Monday, August 1, 2011

The Jodi Picoult Project

As I was running some errands way downtown this weekend (and by way downtown, I mean anywhere south of Lincoln Park), I stumbled upon the main branch of Chicago's public library (the Harold Washington Library). Now, if you know me at all, you know I love all things books. I've been an avid reader since I, well, learned how to read (circa 1987, age 4).

One of my favorite childhood routines would be going to our local public library every Saturday afternoon with my dad. He would read that week's Investor's Business Daily (among other things), while I would park it with the latest Sweet Valley or Babysitter's Club book. So peaceful, so relaxing, so all-in-all delightful.

I figured I'd check out Chicago's esteemed Harold Washington Library, since, well, I was walking right by it. So inside its hallowed halls I went.

And there goes that jaw, dropping away.

I was SHOCKED (not to mention slightly overwhelmed) with its grandeur, just upon initial entrance. I mean, TEN FLOORS of library goodness? Heaven.

Of course, not knowing exactly where to start, I just made myself at home at the front desk, interrogating, excuse me, politely inquiring the library staff about "how this place works". (Sadly, those were my exact words.) The staff gave me a little pamphlet detailing each floor, and off I went on my self-guided tour.

Who knew that a public library would house a mini-MUSEUM? Here, you could find the history of theater, if it so struck your fancy.

Or, heck, screw paying for the Internet at home! Check out the gargantuan nature of one of its computer labs!

Once I reached the seventh floor, I knew I'd quite literally died and gone to heaven. Shelf after shelf of all things Fiction greeted my eager little eyes.

Since I'd come here on a whim, I didn't really have a book in mind. I started out just aimlessly wandering the stacks, happy enough to be drinking in title after title after title. Then, I figured I might as well take a more strategic approach to this and try to focus on finding some book (any book, really!) that I've been thinking of checking out (no pun intended!).

The first author that came to mind was Jodi Picoult. Well, if we're being completely honest here, the first author that actually came to mind was Sophie Kinsella but, who are we kidding, I've already read all HER stuff. Multiple times.

Anyway, so off I trekked, to the P section of this glorious floor. I'd read a few Jodi Picoult books in the past, some of which I loved, some of which I couldn't stand. However, I plucked her name out of the clear blue because she is one of the most prolific authors of which I am aware (I swear, every month she has a new book coming out). Therefore, it didn't surprise me in the least when I finally found the P section and, upon a bit further investigating, stumbled upon...

And this...

Told you she was prolific. Granted, there were multiple copies of several of her works, but whatever. You get the picture. Upon reading the cover flaps of several of the books, I realized that I just couldn't choose! They all sounded so good!

And herein, my friends, is where the Jodi Picoult Project was born. The goal? To read every single Jodi Picoult book, over the course of three months. She has written 20 books total, of which I've read four (I think).

Sure, some of her books have been a total "miss" with me. But overall, I have to say her writing totally resonates with me. Each story is not only well-written, but so well-researched that it makes me want to hug the pages. I love thoroughness. I love feeling like I've actually learned something from her stories, whether it's historical, medical, social, etc.

Since I was a little overstimulated by the neverending array of Picoult books right at my disposal, I finally settled on three books to start my project off.

Sure, why not? Kick off the Project with a bang and all that.

I'm excited! And you KNOW that with each book I complete, YOU, my dear blog readers, will be getting a complete and total book review. You're welcome in advance.

All in all, I have to say, what a delightfully little surprising twist my Saturday afternoon took. I'd forgotten how much I loved the public library. I do hope they survive through the years- they are seriously one of God's finer gifts for the general public.

1 comment:

  1. hi christie!! since you brought up books in your post, i never heard if you had received the box of books i had sent you back in may for your birthday before i went to washington for survival school....i hope you got them because they were some good books that i had read and thought you would enjoy since of course i know how you love to yeah, let me know you got them because if you didn't i will be really sad that they didn't make it to you. anyway, i heart jodi picoult so that is a good author to focus on....i miss you friend! xoxo, nicole :)