Sunday, January 2, 2011

The To-Read Pile

My To-Read pile is getting bigger and bigger. Not just books that I've picked up second hand, but books I mean to read from the library. Here's a look at the pile, and some quick thoughts on them. It'll be interesting to take a peek at this list, and the Year in Review's To-Read list in six months or a year and see how much I accomplished.

Light Years by James Salter
Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
Zulu by Caryl FĂ©rey
The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
The Snopes Trilogy by William Faulkner (I have an amazing antique boxset of this that I got off eBay some time now)
The Age of Reason by Jean Paul Sartre (in fact, the whole trilogy)
God is an Englishman by R. F. Delderfield (again, the whole trilogy - I picked up each volume for a dollar each - why not?)
A Passage to India by E. M. Forster (once I finish the Raj Quartet I'm going to tackle this)
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. 
Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon
The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

and of course, the list from the Year in Review

A Division of the Spoils by Paul Scott (currently read about 400 pages of 625)
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
GB84 by David Peace
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (read about 80 of one million pages)
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Blood's a Rover by James Ellroy 
(read about 120 of 500 pages)

Pretty hefty list, huh? Well, rest assured, my To-Read pile has been this big since I started reading seriously in middle school. While the volume never decreases (and won't ever), at least my tastes have improved and I'm not stuck reading dreary Palahniuk clones like I did before. Ugh, Palahniuk - why?

So my challenge for 2011 is to read at least 75% of this list. There's 24 books on the list (counting trilogies as single works) and three quarters of that is 18 books. Let's see if I can do that. So begins the 2011 Challenge. Notice that this runs concurrently with my ongoing Booker challenge and TIME's 100 Greatest challenge. There exists a little overlap in all three challenges.

Wish me luck!

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