Pulitzer project enters week 8, showcases wide diversity of themes/ideas in literature

In the middle of week eight of her Pulitzer project, Leona Charleigh Holman said one of the biggest challenges she is experiencing is the abrupt changes in themes and ideas when switching from one book to the next.

“I am getting involved with one theme to immediately switch to another,” Holman said.

With 15 books under her belt as she approaches the two-month mark, she and the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library are hosting their next monthly book club on Tuesday, Feb. 26. This time around, the club will discuss the 2018 Pulitzer winner, Less, by Andrew Greer.

“Straight away, someone who is interested in Pulitzers would want to see the differences in writing in 100 years,” Holman said. “That is why we did this one immediately after the first winner.”

Compared to the books she has read recently, she said Less is starkly different, featuring the story of a gay man going through a mid-life crisis and his life experiences.

“The setting jumps over 130 years ahead,” Holman said.

Typically, she said she gives herself one day off between books so she has time to process and absorb the themes and ideas she read in the previous book before launching into the next one on the list the following day. She said she does this because the themes differ widely sometimes between books.

“Typically we have our genre preferences, and we tend to stick with what we like,” she said. “Reading these lesser-known books, you would think I would be familiar with these, but I may really not. It is kind of embarrassing.”

Over the past month, she said she has “carved out” her reading time over the course of the day, which she says is important because, with warmer weather on the horizon, her life is about to get busier.

“It is going to be mowing time soon, and I have a grandbaby on the way,” Holman said. “It is something I have to be mindful of.”

New Pulitzer winners are announced every April, and as the 2019 awards approach, Holman said she is interested in reading the newest winner once her journey is over.

“I will always read the year’s Pulitzer from here on out,” she said. “I do not want to get 100 years behind this time.”

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