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I love reading and my favorite is English Literature. Acolytes of English Lit tend to be a bit balmy on the subject. Think of ‘Doctor Who fans’ as book-nerds. They adore it and cannot fathom why everyone else isn’t as crackers as they are about it.

In high school I had an English Literature named Mr. Harchick. He really loved the topic and he nurtured the novices like myself whom he sensed had ‘the calling’.  When the class ended he gave me a list of his favorite ‘great books’, Mr. H’s TGRs (thumping good reads).*

I’ve kept this list all these decades in an accordion file labelled ‘Precious Papers’. I found it the other day. Last year’s book resolution was to read 20 books and thanks to the covid19 situation I read 45. 2021’s book resolution is to complete ‘The Harchick list’:

I am pleased as Punch to discover since high school, on my own, I’ve read most of them: 13 of 19 to be exact. I’m certain I can read six novels in one year. Presently I am slogging through Anna Karenina** and I do not see it ending any time soon. 


If they prove too wordy I may cheat and do some of them via Audiobooks.*** These sorts of tomes are in public domain so there are free versions at Librovox although the readers can be hit-and-miss. I will not read all six in a row but interpolate them between lighter reads and some rubbish-types. 

I am curious to know from Spo-fans:


1. Are you fond of English Literature?

2. How many books from ‘The Harchick List’ have you read?

3. Do you read ‘real books” or do you hear them on audio? 


*I do not remember if he gave everyone the list or just the ones he sensed would appreciate it. Mr. Harchick was not one to suffer fools gladly, or cast pearls before swine and that included impudent sophomores. 

**It ends badly. 

***’Sons and Lovers’ especially. 

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January 2021

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018