12 books in 12 months

Posted by on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

I am in!  I am all the way in.  I have sooooo many books, and some of them have been traveling with me through life for too long without being read.

The rules:

12 Books, 12 Months Challenge

  • Pick 12 titles from your To Read Pile.  These should be titles you currently own in whatever format you prefer.
  • Acquisition of other formats or translations is permitted.  So, if you have a paperback but want an audiobook, you can get one.  If you have a library copy but want to buy your own, that’s kosher.  Heck, if you own a copy and want to check another out from the library, I’m not gonna stop you. (I edited this rule to suit me a bit more.)
  • Post your list in your public space of choice by September 1, 2010.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your list.
  • Read all 12 titles between now and September 5, 2011.  Might as well tack on an extra long weekend at the end for cramming.
  • When you finish a title on your list, post about it in your public space of choice.  If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your review.
  • Once a month, I’ll post a round-up of the reviews posted from that month so that we all know what everyone else has read.

Here is my list, including a 13th book, just in case one of these is too crazy-making to finish. I’ll read them in whatever order I choose on a whim, trying not to save the most difficult to get through for the end:

1. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee.  I read about half of this during my Senior year of college, but lost it mid-read, which is very unusual for me.  I then found that a “friend” had borrowed it from my coffee table without asking even though he knew I was reading it . . . got the book back, stopped knowing him, and waited a while to cool off.  I picked it up again during grad school, but that was the semester of my Joyce Ulysses seminar, which required me to read that fantastic novel over and over again, and multiple translation-based classes, so poor Agee was abandoned again.

2. Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt.  I have no concept of how many people have told me I’d love this book.  It was another victim of my insane grad school reading and translation schedule.  I brought it to campus, started reading between classes, realized it was about academia and obsession, and picked up a City Paper instead.

3.  A Mercy: A Novel by Toni Morrison. I’m not sure why I haven’t read this yet. It’s one of only two books I gave myself permission to buy during that wacky year of no book purchases. I did get on the waiting list for the audiobook at the library, but never got it.

4. London Fields by Martin Amis. I bought a used copy sometime in the 90s, knew I should read it and would probably like it, and passed it over for no good reason over and over again.

5. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. I love her! Why haven’t I read this? Now I want to read it first.

6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I’ve read too much Eliot and seen Apocalypse Now too many times to have never read this.

7. Wild Decembers by Edna O’Brien. I love her. Nuff said.

8. The Good Brother by Chris Offutt. Offutt is one of my absolute favorite writers. I think I’ve been saving this book up, because now that Offutt is doing a lot of script writing, he’s not putting books out fast enough to keep me sated. Instead, I shall finish reading all of his published works, and then perhaps I shall stalk him, in a readerly way, begging him to go back to writing books.

9.The Story of the Night by Colm Toibin. He’s another author I pay out to myself oh-so-slowly. Sigh. How I crush on books. I still want to take The Blackwater Lightship to prom.

10. Glory by Vladimir Nabokov. I love love love Nabokov, particularly Mary, which a friend has never returned, and Lolita, which I’ve read over and over.

11. Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff. I started this just last week and set it down in favor of something lighter. “Something lighter” has been monopolizing my bedside table for long enough, already. I’m a freaking scholar! Sheesh, me . . .

12. At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien. I started reading this last spring, right around the time I had that vocal chord hemorrhage. I even explained some of the backgroound mythology to a friend who coincidentally picked it up around the same time. And then I took a rain check, because cancer sucks and work is hard.

13. Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I think this got too many hipster stamps, which turned me off. But, hey presto, that’s not Eggers’ fault.

Filed in 12 books in 12 months,Books | 10 responses so far

10 Responses to “12 books in 12 months”

  1. Janeon 01 Sep 2010 at 9:50 am 1

    Ooooh! Can I play?

  2. anjon 01 Sep 2010 at 12:45 pm 2

    I wanna play too! Must look thru the pile of books unread on my shelves and get back.

  3. --Debon 01 Sep 2010 at 4:36 pm 3

    I loved Possession and have read it multiple times. Oddly, though, it’s the only book by A.S. Byatt I’ve made it through. I’ve tried at least half a dozen others, and none have sucked me in like that one did. I read Heart of Darkness in college because it was required and nothing could induce me to read it again (grin). (But then, I hate dark, horror-ish kinds of tales anyway.)

    As to my unread books. I’m not quite sure how many I have these days, but fewer than I did. Even before the big book destash before we moved last year, my number of unread books came in at about 35 books out of the 3000 I owned, so I’m pretty content with that.

  4. Junoon 03 Sep 2010 at 12:24 pm 4

    I never did finish the O’Brien, which I took to referring to as that fucking Irish book, despite its manifold excellencies. I wonder where it is?

    I did a get a copy of that Seamus Heaney/photo book second hand, for a disgracefully low price. Gorgeous.

    I should try again. I WILL try again. Hold my hand? ( I worry that blogging and middle age have turned my head into a seine incapable of sustained reason. Not that a sieve can reason.)

  5. Laneaon 04 Sep 2010 at 7:37 am 5

    Juno, we could have a mini book club if you like. I haven’t decided exactly when to read it, but it will be in the next year. I’m happy to walk other folks through it as well. I haven’t read it yet, but I did go get that fancy diploma made out of studying all things Irish.

  6. Jenniferon 07 Sep 2010 at 8:32 am 6

    Ooh! Fun!

    Off to gather my list :-D

  7. Jenniferon 08 Sep 2010 at 9:11 am 7

    There! I did it (better late than never ;-D ). Posted … now to finish the book I’m currently reading so I can start one on the list!

  8. [...] to: Anj, Jennifer, Out of Yarn, Sara, and Unmitigated Me.  And you can now peruse lists from: Amy, Lanea, Nanette, Rebekah, and [...]

  9. gayleon 16 Sep 2010 at 12:24 pm 9

    I may print this list off next time I head for the library. Lots of authors I haven’t heard of, and others that I’ve meant to try. Thanks for the glimpse at your bookshelf!

  10. [...] to: Anj, Jennifer, Out of Yarn, Sara, and Unmitigated Me.  And you can now peruse lists from: Amy, Lanea, Nanette, Rebekah, and [...]

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