So put down your pinking shears and pour yourself a cup of homemade hot cocoa and listen to my little story. If you need to make a run to your cocoa farm, I’ll wait. I have always enjoyed reading. But somewhere in college I got obsessed with my own future profession and concentrated my efforts on nonfiction. This happens. There are some good nonfiction writers, but the bread and butter of my field (and I assume countless other professions) is boring. Boring as shit. You read for information, read for references, read to see how you are cited, read for data. It can be interesting in its own way. You learn to read boring shit, learn to write boring shit, and most importantly you learn to like it. At some point I developed an overwhelming desire to read good writing. Just good writing, just words. I had no idea where to start. Sure, there were a few authors I knew I liked- but what about all of the writing I didn’t know if I liked. How do you find it?
I imagine there are many solutions to this dilemma. My solution presented itself when I read a book I thought I’d hate. I decided I wouldn’t like it based only on the jacket art and description. I read it anyway because someone had given me a copy, I was bored, and there it was. I loved it and realized it had won a Pulitzer Prize which made me wonder if all Pulitzer winners were that good. So I decided to read the Pulitzer list thinking I may not actually like all of the books but that it would at least provide a decent sample of fiction writing. I just finished the list (from 1948-2009). I did not enjoy them all, but it was a good thing. You might like it too.