My favorite kids in the school where I work are those capable of the absolute ridiculous. Those who attempt things on any given day that send teachers to the aspirin bottle or drive them to drink after school. Not mean or malicious behavior - just ridiculous. The preschoolers who peed in their bag of potato chips in the bathroom to see if it would melt their snack. The middle school student who was "possessed" by a song he heard to the extent he needed to remove his shirt and dance in the cafeteria. Standing on a table. Something about these types of behaviors appeal to me. The curiosity, the energy, the mischief - all speak to a certain joy in life that not all possess.
Now you might already realize that I was one of those kids. The thing I most heard out of the mouths of my parents and the nuns who educated me was a sigh. And I have spent my entire adulthood making sure that I do not lose touch with my love for the ridiculous. So this August, I am going to attempt to read all 42 volumes in the Art of the Novella series from Melville House and blog about the experience as I go. For no other reasons than the books are incredible and I just want to see if I can do it.
The people at Melville House have a touch of the mischievous about them too. If you do not already, you should be reading their blog, Moby Lives. They seemed more than happy to entertain my crazy idea and have built a reading challenge around it which you can see the details of here. And they are giving away a bunch of stuff too. Because everyone should have their stuff and book bloggers love free books because they don't have enough reading material in their houses already. These are the different levels at which you may participate:
- Curious – Read 1 novella
- Fascinated — Read 3 novellas
- Captivated – Read 6 novellas
- Passionate — Read 9 novellas
- Mesmerized – Read 15 novellas
- Obsessed – Read 21 novellas
- Fanatical – Read 27 novellas
- Unstoppable — Read 33 novellas
- Bibliomaniac — Read all 42 novellas
Thomas, I know you want to do this so go sign up now. And the rest of you, you should do the same. These are novellas, people. Small commitments. Unless you sign on to read all 42. You don't want to just witness my complete lack of sense. You want to participate in it, right? And you want your August beach read to scream to the entire shoreline just how smart you are. What do you say?