My reading selection was somewhat haphazard last year. Clearly not the end of the world, but ideally I'd like to be a bit more structured in picking books. Just to make sure I'm covering good ground with what I read, and all.
So I hereby resolve to read the following twelve books this year.
[Note: I can and will read other books as well, but the twelve on this list must be read, otherwise...I will have failed 2010. And I don't want to fail 2010. So I best get to reading, no?]
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1.) Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurty - This isn't a book I would have chosen for myself, but my neighbor recommended it most enthusiastically (and weirdly). Plus, the author is a Pulitzer Prize winner, so I figure he's probably worth a read.
2.) Take the Cannoli : Stories From the New World by Sarah Vowell - Personal essays, the kind which I myself might like to write one day. So we'll call this market research...
3.) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller - I can't ever seem to remember the title of this one, but I'm sure it's going to be good. As I look ahead and try to map out 2010 (to the extent that one can plan), I'm eager to hear Don's thoughts (it's ok if I call him 'Don' right?) on creating our own life stories.
4.) [Title TBD] by Graham Greene - I love this guy in a big way, and it's been too long since I've gotten lost in one of his books. Haven't yet selected which one I'll read this year. Suggestions?
5.) A Nero Wolfe Mystery by Rex Stout - If you've never read a Nero Wolfe Mystery novel, then you probably should. Stat! They're very entertaining, and surprisingly well written, considering Stout churned them out quite prolifically. (The particular book I pick will depend upon which volumes the NYPL has available that I haven't already read.)
6.) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - Gah. Mr. Faulkner and I haven't been on speaking terms since the mid-nineties, when I was forced to read The Sound & The Fury for English class. And hated it. Big time. But SBG said good things about this book, and perhaps it is time to give the author a second chance. After all, Faulkner served as the University of Virginia's first writer-in-residence. So maybe he and I should reconcile, in the name of dear old UVA.
7.) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Speaking of high school English class, here's another book that I hear deserves a second chance. I liked it ok when I read it in school, but a friend recently remarked that everyone should read it again when in their late twenties/early thirties, as they'll bring a different perspective to the story then. So we'll see...
8.) The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell - I'm including this book because its title has been scratched on a post-it note and stuck on my desk for about two years, ever since I read a favorable review somewhere. And I really want to throw that post-it note away. So we're going to make it a point to finally read this sucker.
9.) Air Guitar by Dave Hickey - More essays. Last year, Newsweek included Air Guitar in their list of top 50 books that "open a window on the times we live in, whether they deal directly with the issues of today or simply help us see ourselves in new and surprising ways." Ok, then. Sounds good to me.
10.) A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain - I've been crushing on Twain's pithy sayings for years, but I haven't read a book of his since Huck Finn was assigned in school. Or was it Tom Sawyer? Hmmm. The reason I can't remember is because I didn't actually read either. I was that kind of student. Time to make up for it now.
11.) Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow - Another recomendation from SBG. Sounds gripping good.
12.) Lies My Mother Never Told Me by Kaylie Jones - I figure I should be reading memoirs, as I'm currently attempting to help someone write their own. And this one promises juicy anecdotes of Mr. Frank Sinatra. Hot-diggity.