June 20, 2010

The Phantom Tollbooth

I have recently noticed a severe lack of literature in my life.  Prior to France, I always read a book, other than those for school, that I would be reading (albeit slowly).  During France, I was too busy writing, drawing, studying, and plus, books in English were hard to come by.  After France, my world was inundated with design and I had a lot to catch up on.  Needless to say, I can't remember the last book (of Fiction) that I read, cover to cover, since Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. 

Laughable, tragic, shocking, I know. 

This is why, as I close one volume of my life, I pick up a new book a new book and begin another.  In this volume, I will move out of Eugene and into a new apartment in Portland, I will get my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Product Design, I will read more, and I will write more.  

A new friend of mine recently told me, after I said I had nothing funny or interesting to write about since France, that indeed I did and that just because I wasn't in Europe doesn't mean interesting things aren't happening every day.  

Dangit. He was right. He IS right. 

The first chapter of this volume begins with a book. I have read this particular book more times than any other book and it happens to be one of my favorites. I recommend that every person read it in his or her lifetime.  It's not an epic classic, or a New York Times bestseller, but a young adult fiction book, with numbered chapters and sketches intertwined within its pages. This chapter begins with The Phantom Tollbooth.

I consider this book one of the most underrated books, ever.  Not many people have heard of it, or really understand the depth of it.  Norton Juster weaves in these little gems, these little pearls of wisdom and states them SO SIMPLY and in such a matter-of-fact way that it makes you lower the book and stare off into the wall for a few seconds going, "Of course..." Its brilliant and more people need to appreciate this book.

Which is why I invite you to read this book with me. In fact, I invite you, whomever you are, to read not only this book with me, but also the next and all subsequent books with me. I want to set a goal of reading one book a week for an entire year. That would be 52 books in 52 weeks...but I'm hesitant to bite off more than I can chew (WHICH I have been known to do...FREQUENTLY).  So instead, I will keep it a loose goal...
...I will try to read as many as I can in an entire year.  

I have already asked a few people that I feel have great taste in books, or that I feel have an interesting perspective on life, for book recommendations but I extend the invitation to anyone that reads this.  If you have a book that you feel should not go unread in anyone's lifetime, a book so strikingly important or well-written or incredible that you would like to recommend that I read this year, please, leave me a comment.  I am 100% open to suggestions.  

"Do you know where we are?" asked Milo.
"Certainly," he replied, "we're right here on this very spot.  Besides, being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are; it's a matter of not knowing where are aren't--and I don't care at all about where I'm not."

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