A 2010 challenge I’ll take on!

December 24, 2009

I’ll be trying to be more healthy, and spend less, but I don’t know that I can make those resolutions. MizB has come up with a challenge I can handle: reading 12 books from one’s TBR (to be read) list in 12 months. One is allowed to add another list of 12 as back-up…I’ve been interested enough in these books for long enough that I hope I won’t need it, and just have 13 because I miscounted and now I can’t decide which one to drop :p

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer. I’ve been hearing about him for a long time but this will be my first read.

American Bloomsbury, a profile of those nor’eastern US Transcendental folks and “Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work”, a Christmas present from G., written by Susan Cheever.

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder.

The Prince, Machiavelli.

The Englishman’s Boy, Guy Vanderhaeghe.

Failure is not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond, Gene Kranz.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a short story collection by ZZ Packer.

All The Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy.

Four Major Plays (Oxford ed.), Ibsen.

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger.

Whispering Pines: The Northern Roots of American Music, from Hank Snow to The Band, Jason Schneider.

And the only one I’ve actually tried to read before and stopped, D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow. I was really enjoying it, I don’t know why I stopped. And yes, I know it’s shameful that I haven’t yet read some of the things on the list. But that’s the point of next year.

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11 Responses to “A 2010 challenge I’ll take on!”

  1. Justin said

    Let me know if you like Catcher in the Rye. I was not very impressed. I think that it very well could be that we’re now too far from it’s time; and a lot of more recent books took inspiration from this “edgy” story so it’s not that “different”. Seriously, to my mind, he seemed like an okay kid; a little bit conceited and a practicing wastrel, but not a bad guy.

  2. G said

    My own thoughts on Catcher in the Rye are that I read this book at the wrong time in my life. As a symbol of a very specific point in life, the book is a beautiful proclamation of youth, but as an adult I cannot relate to it any more. I prefer his short stories much more.

    You have a number of books on your list that I have also missed out on reading and have considered at one point or another.

    I am interested in your take on D.H. Lawrence. I love his writing style but I detest how he writes male/female relationships, there is something disturbing about it. Your thoughts?

  3. Faith said

    Let me put it this way, G. I’ve read earlier versions of some of D.H. Lawrence’s stories, and the man/woman thing improves. I do see how it’s troublesome…but one of my all-time rules of reading is to try to take a book (an author!) as it is, without wishing it was something different.

    Kate, I love your list, and have had great / interesting experiences reading most of the books…in a couple cases, I worry they might not be what you expect. I hope you have your back-up list ready! (not that you can’t do it, but reading Don Quixote, as wonderful as it is, with a toddler and a new baby, might take half a year :p)

    I’m excited we’re doing it!

    • Kate said

      I know right, my list is impossible…but that’s why it’s my TBR list…for one reason or another, I just can’t get to these. Do normal people have books on their shelves they’ve been meaning to read for over a decade? (I think the McCall Smith book is the only one coming in at the under-a-year mark, whereas the Anne series is closer to two decades.) And now that it’s January, I have to CHOOSE?!

      Is your list in order? Where do you begin?

      • Faith said

        I don’t think I’ll impose an order. I took the advice of people who have done it before and chose a variety of things, so if I don’t feel like reading fiction/non-fiction/drama/whatever at the time I can choose something else.
        I’ve started with American Bloomsbury, a non-fiction book that was a gift from a friend that I want to gift to my mother when finished (she’s big on the history of those authors and that time and place). Right now I’m feeling Salinger after I finish it, but we’ll see.

  4. G said

    If your mother needs any added incentive reading American Bloomsbury, tell her that it reads like a poorly plotted soap opera. Everyone sleeping with everyone else. Difference here is that they just happen to be brilliant writers.

  5. G said

    I just noticed that you’re one of your “challenge” reads is Ibsen. Let me know what month you do that and which plays. I enjoy his plays quite a bit, well the two that I have read: A Doll’s House and The Lady from the Sea.

  6. G said

    Excuse the poor grammar, was deleting something and only deleted part of that sentence.

  7. […] back when some friends and I signed up for a reading challenge: choose 12 (in my case, 13) books from your to […]

  8. […] A 2010 challenge I’ll take on! December 2009 10 comments 3 […]

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