2011 Reading List

4 Jan

As promised, here’s my projected reading list for 2011. I want to finish 12 books throughout the year, so for all you math whizzes out there, that averages to about a novel a month. I just browsed through my personal library and found plenty of books that I own but haven’t read yet. I tried to gather a mixture of American, British and other international authors. I also included books from different time periods and even threw in some non-fiction pieces to give me a well-rounded reading experience. Some of the choices are for pure fun and escapism, some are for reference and some are for challenging my brain. Please read on and feel free to leave any suggestions from your own lists as mine is not final. There are just too many books to read!

Pure Fun & Escapism

Catching Fire & Mocking jay (Suzanne Collins)

I cannot help myself. I must read the rest of the Hunger Games series. The books are easy to read but engrossing.  Plus, the premise is thought provoking and the protagonist is well developed.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Stieg Larsson)

I also must finish the Millennium series, even if it makes me sad that Stieg Larson cannot give the world more Lisbeth Salander adventures.

Challenges

The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien)

I have made it over halfway through this book, so I cannot leave the history of Middle Earth yet. This book is challenging because of its immense cast of characters with extremely similar names and (at times) its uneven narrative pacing.

The Voyage Out (Virginia Woolf)

This is my British novel challenge for the year. Last year I read Woolf’s Jacob’s Room and that was an incredibly difficult, but ultimately rewarding read. This one is supposed to be a veiled “portrait of the artist.”  I’m interested to get more insight into Woolf.

International Challenges

Anna Karenna(Leo Tolstoy) and/or The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

I love Russian literature! It is just so long and filled with characters with similar sounding names. So I have to add some easy reads to my list to make sure to finish 12 books in a year.

Palace of Desire (Naguib Mahfouz)

I read Palace Walk, the first book in the Cairo trilogy, in college. It is about time I revisited those characters.

Daughter of Fortune (Isabel Allende)

This would be my 3rd Allende. Her magic realism tendencies always keep me interested.

New Author & American Contemporary

The Amazing Adventures of Navalier & Clay (Michael Chabon)

Last year I tried out Jeffrey Eugenides (ok, I may try to throw in the Virgin Suicides sometime this year, too) and was not disappointed. I found Chabon on the same list of great American authors, so I’m expecting an interesting read.

All the Pretty Horses, Outer Dark, Suttree (Cormac McCarthy)

I’ve read The Road and was impressed by the tone and setting. Ike loves McCarthy so I have plenty of his novels to choose from this year.

Reference

How to Read Literature Like a Professor (Thomas C. Foster), Writing with Style (John R. Trimble), The Elements of Style (William Strunk Jr. & E.B. White)

Why not read books to improve my craft? Plus, they are all short and sweet.

More than Enough (Dave Ramsey)

Money is important, and I agree with Ramsey’s suggestion to read one money-based book each year. I’ll try to skim this one while tackling a particularly challenging read.

There are my choices! I may exchange a few here and there and perhaps add in a Margaret Atwood or a Tana French novel. Who knows? From the height of this stack I better get reading right about…now. But hey, reading is one of my favorite activities so this is fun challenge. Again if I left out any good novels or authors, feel free to leave me suggestions. There’s always 2012!

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