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So, what is this thing, anyway?

Basically, the idea is that people want to, for a variety of reasons, read books that a whole lot of people love. However, this is often far easier said than done. The books that I’ve picked out (see “The List”) are all books that are critically beloved and – just as importantly – beloved by a great many others, but that do not, either because of intimidating reputations or sheer heft, invite casual reading.

The goal here is to provide support, a place where readers can come and share their thoughts, experiences, and struggles with these books and be heard.

Some may see this as pretentious. The books themselves, after all, have acquired that reputation from some, who tend to see anything that is simultaneously difficult and celebrated as suspicious at best.

And difficult they are. I’ve read portions (that’s a nice way of saying that I’ve started but never finished) of Underworld, Absalom, Absalom, and Blood Meridian. This experiment, then, is as much for me as for anybody else, but having others along for the ride will, it seems to me, make the experience richer and potentially easier.

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