Pulitzer Project reaches one-third milestone

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Leona Charleigh Holman is approaching the one-third mark in her year-long challenge to read every Pulitzer award winner, and she said her determination is seeing her through.

A highlight, however, came in the form of a picture and letter from Random House in Canada, from Margaret Atwood, the woman who gave a presentation about the Norway Library project. It was this presentation that eventually inspired Holman to do her Pulitzer Project.

“It was a big moment in my life,” Holman said. “I would not have focused on this so much if I did not hear her presentation.”

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As for the project itself, she said distractions have threatened to break her steady rhythm as she continues to read.

“There are so many books I want to be reading right now,” she said.

These books include non-fictional works, as well as instructional books like gardening, the latter of which has led her to reading summaries of such books online to help get her “fix.”

“One of the challenges of this project is the scales are imbalanced,” she said. “I am not reading a lot of non-fiction.”

Despite this, she said she is powering through this dilemma. Even as the yard work around the house gets more time-intensive, she said she has taken to listening to audio books while doing yard work.

“I am out there for two to three hours at a time, and I hate wasting that much time,” Holman said. “This way, it is like I am doing double-duty.”

Among the books she has read this month include works from Alice Walker and Michael Chabon, the latter responsible for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

“I would not have known it was contemporary,” she said of Chabon. “I can feel the New York accents, the time period (1940).”

As the school year approaches its end, Holman said she is changing how she will publish her online blog. Instead of writing a review of one book per week, starting in May, she will be doubling up, writing two reviews per weekly blog post.

Those interested in reading her blog entries can do so by visiting lcholman.com.

The next Pulitzer Project book club will take place Tuesday, April 23, at 5:30 p.m. at the Elizabethton/Carter County Library. The library is located at 201 N. Sycamore St.