Even without "work" a man can only sleep until noon so many times before he starts feeling like a complete piece of shit. For me it took nine until I was like, okay maybe this is corona induced-depression moonlighting as sleeping in?
Then it hit me! Just because most people are idiots and the world is medium-key ending doesn't mean you have to stop living; you just have to adjust! Find a new normal, Dozie.
I adjusted by organizing my bookshelf. I wish I took a before-photo so you could truly see the mess I was dealing with beforehand.
Over the course of seven hours my bookshelf went from a pile of boxes, sweaters and unopened envelopes shoved in/stacked on top of books; to just books, a cup of colored pencils and five picture frames (removed for privacy). Throughout organizing said BS (bookshelf) I came to the realization that I haven't read the vast majority of these books! I'm talking 4 out of 5 like a disappointing Arctic Monkey's album (I do like that song tho).
If you've ever read a previous blog on DOL; especially pre-2019 that may not come as a surprise to you. Reading books isn't exactly my thing. My college GPA of 2.75 and four+ years of blogs on dozonlife.com support that point. I can read over a line 10 times and somehow miss the typo 12 times.
My "New Years Resolution" for 2020 was to read 12 books (one per month) and so far I'm at 2.1 (The two Howard Cosell books that I got for Christmas and started Gospel of Wealth). I've just never been interested in reading; especially novels. When I did have to read in school, I was fascinated with biographies and autobiographies. In fourth grade I read 25 books (single-season high). After Hatchet, most were biographies. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Thomas Edison stand out in particular because my brain can remember that, but not my cousins' names. Who knows if any of these other books make the finished list in 2020, but without further interruption; I present you the Top 10 Books I Own and Haven't Read.
10. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell
Gifted to me by aunt last summer, this book sat in my backpack for about a month (hence the water damage) until it somehow worked its way onto my bookshelf. Hand up, like two years ago I thought Malcolm Gladwell was dead; wicked dead. Like Gladwell hung with Mark Twain dead. All I knew about him was that he's the 10,000 hours guy. I feel like I first heard that in high school and again on Pardon My Take. Like I've said many-a-time, I don't really read. I was shocked to find out that Mal's not only still alive, but relatively young. As of 4:25 PM on April 7th, 2020 Gladwell is only 56 years old.
After further research, it appears this book is a collection of articles Gladwell wrote and not a novel (IDWF novels). I feel like that elevates the chance of me reading this purely so I can look down my nose and say I've read Malcolm Gladwell from 0.04% to 30%.
T-9. Conspiracy: The Greatest Plots, Collusions and Cover-Ups by Charlotte Grieg and Conspiracy Theories: The World's Biggest Mysteries Uncovered by No Listed Author
If you haven't been to a Five Below, I cannot recommend it enough. It's a dollar store that maxes out at $5.55; so everything is responsible AF and the selection is actually kind of gas compared to your Dollar Trees of the world. Sadly they're all closed during the pandemic, but you can still shop online (why I am I writing this like it's copy?) They've got everything; magnets, blu-tooth speakers, Ryan's World notebooks, slime kits, diet coke, Nerf balls, eyeliner, licensed-t-shirts, and mugs! You name it, if it's a cheap trinket, they've got that shit in spades.
Well, goT damn, if Five Below doesn't also carries books. When you're offering HARD COVER conspiracy coverage you best believe I'll impulse buy not one, but two versions at once. As a conspiracy guy I can promise you these books will be read someday. It's just hard to compete with the internet and PBS. 91.1% chance I finish both these bad boys.
8. Just-In-Time: Algebra & Trigonometry For Calculus; Third Edition by Guntram Mueller & Ronald I. Bent
When I was at URI freshmen orientation in the summer of 2010, I signed up for all the appropriate 100 level education and history classes with one of my best pals from high school. We were both going to be history teachers. By the time college started in the fall, he had changed his mind, so I sorta thought about switching my major too (for the first of many times) since your boy was a #follower. I was like "okay, I'm gonna switch into pre-calc so I can transfer into business". After about two weeks of being more lost than Andy Dick in Love in this class I knew I made a huge mistake; despite getting an A- on a quiz. An eagle eye can only get you so far. I ended up dropping the class; setting in motion my five-year plan that was college.
I kind of regret selling every college textbook I could for whatever money I could get at the time; there's a lot of stuff I didn't pay attention to in school that I'm actually genuinely interested now approximately a decade later like psychology, economics and 18th century politics. Any non-education textbook I still own is purely because the University of Rhode Island wouldn't offer me 14% of what my dad paid come the end of the semester. I probably should've thrown this book away years ago, but on principle and those bad ass mustached trapeze artists it'll likely stay on this bookshelf until the day I die. <1% chance I read this.
7. Young Believer™ 365 by Stephen Atreburn & Jesse Florea
I think everybody's religious journey or whatever term you wanna use is their own thing. It shouldn't be forced upon you by anybody. I fundamentally don't know if there is a God or not and neither do you; no matter how much may think you do. Are you uncomfortable yet?
Relax. I truly hope the whole Jesus thing is true. I really hope there's quote unquote some sort of meaning to life. That would be sick, but of course I have my doubts. That being said, over the years I've developed my own views on faith and developed my own relationship with God. If I'm wrong, oh well. Like Drizzy, I'm doing me. I don't need these corny ass books my mom has not so subtly been giving to me the last 15 years to get into Heaven (if it doesn't shut down too due to the big C). I know she'll read this and that's okay. Speaking of reading 0.00% chance I ever read that shit. I'm almost 30, momma!
6. Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle The Historic 2004 Season by Stewart O'Nan & Stephen King
Up until the Mookie Betts trade I ate, slept, lived and breathed Red Sox baseball. My personality was being a Red Sox fan. From like 4th grade until really now, I've receive a lot of impersonal Red Sox and Patriots related gifts. It's what I liked and they were free, so I guess it's cool, but I've gotten so much stupid stuff over the years that I'm supposed to pretend to like just because it has a logo slapped on it. Makes for even more awkward Christmases. Thanks for the Patriots wallet. It's just what I wanted for my 26th birthday.
When Faithful came out I was in middle school. Aka the peak of my Red Sox fandom, but more importantly at the peak of my hatred of all things reading. My grandma used to work a gift shop at Jacksonville INTL Airport and I'm 99% sure she got this there even though it's a somewhat regional book. One day she gave it to me with a mistaken ridden note on the back of a business card from presumably a relative of one of Boston's most despised Big J journalists. Good job blocking out the contact info.
Even though I'm in a trial-separation with the Sox, I may actually read this book someday because of how much '04 still means to me. 20.04% chance!
5. The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th Century America by Paul E. Johnson and Sean Wilentz
I honestly cannot recall how this book was acquired. It's clearly a used book I got from the URI bookstore, so if I attack this backwards....Given the title and knowing when the 19th Century was (1800's FLEX) I think it's from my sophomore year of college. TBH "A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th Century America" sounds right up my alley given my recent independent research. Wouldn't mind having Jackie Q read me this sexy story. At a light 253 pages I might have to spark Sean Bong and have myself a night. 65% chance I crack this dame open.
4. Easy Guide To The U.S. Constitution and Other Important American Documents by Spark Publishing
You ever walk into Barnes and Noble and think today's the day I start really reading? Like you're in prison representing yourself level reading? Just jam as much information in your brain as possible? I wish I didn't take the sticker off, but that very day came for me last summer when I saw a pocket guide to the Constitution for like $5.99 at B&N. I was like this is perfect, I can finally get down all those pesky Amendments and other important American documents; I'm gonna crush this. Then for some reason or another I did not crush this. Considering I actually have some interest in this topic I feel confident saying there's a 78.9% chance I exercise my first amendment rights in my soldier free home.
3. 1,200 Words You Should Know To Sound Smart: Essential Words Every Sophiscated Person Should be Able to Use by Robert W. Bly
Technically I've read up to B in this book.
On the same day I thought I'd crack the Constitution, I figured I'd improve my vocabulary for the sake of my career. I mean look at this fucking title, bro. It's like this was printed just for me. I want to sound smart without actually putting in the work. I need to streamline this process. This is the perfect book for me; until you open it and it's basically like reading the dictionary with your pinky extended. For the furtherance of this publication the probability I absorb said scribe is grander than 98% .
2. Working Towards Whiteness: How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs by David R. Roediger
When you look at that title; it's a lot. At first glance that spine wakes you up.
During the second semester of my first senior year and first semester of my second senior year, my history capstone (class) was all about immigration. My head in the clouds ass didn't even know I needed to take a capstone until the first day of class. I just picked a number on my registration form that fell within the threshold. I wrote my thesis on the economic impact of illegal immigration. That whole paper and how I wrote it is worthy of a blog in itself, but without question those two classes were the biggest academic challenge of my life. It's the only class in all my schooling that I legitimately thought I was going to fall and it just so happened to be the most important in terms of me graduating. I could no longer skate by half-assing it. In years 17 and 18 of my education I actually had to read. Now as I sit back and really think about that time in my life a lot is coming back, but none of that was in my consciousness when I was cleaning and first saw that spine. Seeing that title at first was a real wtf moment. It catches your attention like Julian Edelman. Especially when my copy doesn't have the cool sleeve.
I forgot how I even had this book. I had to dig deep in the files of my brain to recall this.
If my memory serves me correctly, we would read excerpts of this book in class, but have to read the majority of it on our own. Needless to say you know what parts I "read". The premise of the book is actually pretty interesting. It goes into how white Europeans used to be racist towards each other and all that fun stuff I.e. how they worked towards collective "whiteness". While interesting, there's literally thousands of hours of free music and basketball highlights on Youtube that I'd rather watch than read about how Italians and Irish didn't fuck with each other. 17% chance I read this.
T-1. Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman
If you thought I was surprised find Working Toward Whiteness you can only imagine how I felt finding not one, but two swastikas on my BS. I think we can all agree that symbol stinks out loud.
My sophomore year of college I took ENG 160 to fulfill my one English requirement. Little did I know this class was all about the Holocaust. I still have about a half dozen books from that class because I guess the resale value of Holocaust Graphic Novels isn't good enough for URI. Much like Working Toward Whiteness we would read some of this in class high school style. So I technically read some of it, but never completed Maus I and certainly not Maus II. Apparently there is a third and final Maus III. If you're easily offended/stupid a graphic novel about the Holocaust may seem in bad taste, but the symbolism of animals as people is quite powerful if you know about thing about the final solution. My final solution is to be nicer to people and read more, but it's not starting here. 3.9% chance I ever read Maus or Maus II. Thank you for reading this blog.
Not to show off but these are some of these books I have actually read.