Reading From My Hat: A new literary project

Hello my freaky darlings! As I have probably pestered you all about, I’m starting a new reading project which I’m going to blog about here since I’d like to share it with you and (mostly) because I feel like blogging about it will make me be more honest about the whole project. I know I will feel guilty if I try to cheat and fib to my readers and friends.

So what is this project you ask? Well I’ll get to that momentarily. First let me tell you guys a little about me, give you some background info so that when you read about the project in a moment you will understand why I want to do this and why I will need your help to make it an enlightening and horizon-broadening experience.


I’m a bookseller by profession. Pretty much it’s the most perfect job for me, because I’m also a voracious (and probably addicted) reader. I literally can’t not have something to read, as I will go insane and become a homicidal manic foaming at the mouth with crazy googley eyes and all. Finances prevent me from being in college right now, but I don’t see that as a reason to allow myself to become uneducated, I will simply have to try to educate myself. To do this, and also to keep myself sane and to keep the general public safe, I read all the time. “What do you like to read?” You might ask. Well, I would normally answer “Everything.” However, lately I’ve noticed that more and more often I avoid reading certain types of things, while tending to read things that fall under the same genres over and over again. I like to read Teen, Young Readers, Fantasy, Mystery, Travel Writing, Fiction, and certain kinds of biographies, histories, and spiritual writings. I don’t like to read anything apocalyptic, anything about zombies, romance, current affairs, certain kinds of bio’s and histories, sci-fi, or anything that will make me cry.

My 5 favorite books are (in order):

American Gods by Neil Gaiman, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

My 5 least favorite books are(in no particular order):

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Nectar in a Sieve by Kamal Markandaya, anything by Ayn Rand, and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

So this brings me to my project and the reasons for starting it. Being a bookseller I get a lot of book recommendations. I’m also always surrounded by books that look really good or interesting or intriguing, while also being surrounded by books that make me feel guilty, like I should be reading them even though I really have no desire to. That’s 3 distinct categories of books and I bet you all know which one usually dictates what I read. I’ve known for a while that something about this needed to change, I needed something to make me read those recommendations and those books that I feel like I need to read even though they don’t particularly interest me. It took me a while to figure out a good way to do this though, a way that would be fair to all 3 categories while also being easy for me to follow. *Thomas Edison’s invention shines brightly above me, casting a halo around my head while heavenly angels sing a mono-syllabic note* It came to me, that I could write the title of each book or an author’s name down on a little scrap of paper each time I see something I want to read, or get a recommendation, or see something I think I should read. Then when I get home I can put all of those little scraps into my fedora, and draw them out one at a time and read whichever one gets pulled out of the hat. I further decided that if someone recommends something to me, no matter how much I don’t want to read it, it goes into the hat.

This is where you all, and my blog, come in! I have probably 100 books in my hat, I’m adding about 50 more today. I need recommendations people! Comment me with your favorite books, books that you think everyone needs to read, books that changed your life, whatever. The one stipulation I’m making is this, I’m not reading any Christian fiction or Christian inspiration. Well, only the stuff I put in anyway. If there is something in that category that you think is really, truly exceptional, state your case when you recommend it and I will take it into consideration.

Thanks everyone! I hope this will be fun, and I hope you guys will like reading the trials and tribulations!



Filed under Literary Projects, Reading Projects, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Reading From My Hat: A new literary project

  1. I commented, just for you! 😀 I love the layout by the way.

  2. Grace

    Try Kabul Beauty School. It was really interesting watching opinions change.
    Are you going to tell us what books come out of the hat? I know that I am always looking for new books.

    • The Kabul Beauty School was already in the hat! I can’t wait to draw it out! Of course I’m going to tell you guys what I draw out. I’m also going to give you a synopsis, a rating, and tell you about my reading experience with the books. I just posted another post about the first book I drew out, check it out and give me some feedback girly! Thanks for reading!

  3. Emma

    You should consider starting a once a month book club for one of the books that was drawn from the hat. I’d go! 🙂 I love to read new books!

  4. freedomtights

    I freakin’ love American Gods! And Harry Potter! And Ella Enchanted was quite good but I remember being really disappointed with the ending..
    You sound like a kindred spirit and I am jealous that you work in a book store.
    One of my favourite writers is Australian-writer Melina Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi or Saving Francesca) but if you’re not Australian it might not seem as good. I’m not sure…

    • I’ll put your suggestions in The Hat, I don’t think having the writer be Australian will make a difference to my enjoying the books, at least I hope not. I have a few of Kate Morton’s books in there and I know at least one of them is set in Australia. Thanks for the feedback, I’m glad we have some taste’s in common!

  5. grandecoffee

    Your blog is savory. I recommend the challenging, but brilliant “In the Hand of Dante” (Nick Tosches); “Catcher in the Rye” (J.D. Salinger); and “Breakfast of Champions (Kurt Vonnegut)…but you already knew that.

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