Pulitzer Project talks about weekly blog entries

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

For Leona Charleigh Holman, it was not enough to simply read all 100 years of Pulitzer-winning books in the span of a year. She also decided to write weekly blog posts about the books she has read and her impressions of them.

Holman said the blog provides a unique set of challenges separate from reading the books themselves.

“I thought it would be a great way to have some kind of accountability,” she said. “It is easy to say you are going to do something.”

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She said the library invested money in the project, and she received support from her community. It was only fair to write about the reading experiences for all of her supporters to see on a weekly basis.

Each blog post has three distinct sections: the “review,” a two-to-four sentence summary of the book and what its story is about; notes, a way for Holman to express her personal thoughts about the story, style and other aspects of the book; and memorable quotes from characters in the book.

“My idea was to mimic an elevator pitch,” she said. “I can present an idea, the arc of the story.”

She said she also uses the review to summarize the style of the book, whether it is heavier in theme and scope or more light-hearted.

In the end, the goal is to get the reader interested in the book she is writing about.

“I want to take reading away from academia,” Holman said. “I never give a book a negative review.”

Summarizing sometimes massive pieces of literature in less than five sentences may sound like a high school student’s nightmare, but Holman said she enjoys the challenge, because attempting to do so lets her read through the book again and find what she enjoyed about it more clearly.

“I enjoy leaving some of my favorite quotes,” she said. “You can tell a lot about a book that way.”

The Pulitzer Project will have its monthly meeting today at 5:30 p.m. at the Elizabethton/Carter County Library, located at 201 N Sycamore St. For more information about the book up for discussion each month, or to simply read previous blog entries, visit lcholman.com.