Background: A book jar is a pretty, positive way of gathering together all the titles you want to read or have on your To Be Read pile onto slips of coloured paper so you can add an element of surprise into your reading and do away with long, ever changing lists. I made mine back in March and it seems to have inspired quite a few people to have a go making their own. :)
It took me a while to write about my third choice but now it’s time to pick my fourth book from the jar…
My jar’s colour-coded as you can see in the photo above. So far I’ve picked The Wings of the Dove by Henry James as a choice from my green options (1900-1950 texts) and the author Stefan Zweig, who I decided to read Beware of Pity for, from my purple options (foreign authors and books). My third choice was Oroonoko by Aphra Behn which was from my honey coloured options (pre-1800 books).
I appreciated trying James again, loved the Zweig and hated the Behn but even when I don’t love every book I’m really enjoying the random element the book jar adds to my reading.
Since it’s been months since I picked and read the Behn I want to do something a bit daring and pick one of the pink slips this time – everything on pink card is a wildcard choice! These are the books that are really out of my comfort zone including a lot of genre novels and writers who would never normally make it into my To Be Read pile. It seems the right time to take a deep breath and try something more risky for me as a reader…
My fourth pick is: Arthur C Clarke
His name is in the jar as a wildcard as I have read almost no sci-fi but saw/heard Clarke interviewed several times over the years and was always intrigued by his original views on the world around him. Though I’ve never enjoyed a book that was solidly sci-fi before I wonder if his quirkiness might be able to carry me through one. His work is definitely way, way out of my comfort zone though. :)
I do own a Clarke book actually, Greetings Carbon-Based Bipeds, a non-fiction book of essays and collected works, but starting with that wouldn’t be much of a wildcard given how much I love reading essays anyway. To really take the plunge it will have to be a novel but I’m not really sure which. Hmmm. I guess 2001: A Space Odyssey would be the most obvious place to start?