Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reading List 2008

I managed to read only twenty books last year, which is just a little depressing. I could blame the slow pace on spending most of the summer reading Ulysses, but either way it demonstrates that I'm not spending nearly enough time reading. Given that my bookshelves are filled with books still waiting to be read, and each year new books come out or there are other books that I learn about and want to read, I'd better pick up the pace.

I figured that the best way to to approach reading this year was to give myself a list. So this is the list:

Ward No. 6 and Other Stories - Anton Chekhov
High Lonesome: Stories - Joyce Carol Oates
Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson
Collected Stories - Eudora Welty
All Aunt Hagar's Children - Edward P. Jones
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Pushcart Prize 2007
Light in August - William Faulkner
Best American Short Stories 2007
All The Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
Lives of Rocks: Stories - Rick Bass
A Sport and a Pasttime - James Salter
Stories of John Cheever
Absalom Absalom - William Faulkner
Best New American Voices 2007
Death of Sweet Mister - Daniel Woodrell
Heart Is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
Gilead - Marilyn Robinson
Rabbit Run - John Updike
Middlesex - Jeffery Eugenidies
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
The Orchard Keeper - Cormac McCarthy
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Do With Me What You Will - Joyce Carol Oates
The Idiot - Doestoyevsky
Collected Stories - Richard Yates
Aloft - Chang Rae Lee
An American Tragedy - Theodore Dreiser
Mercury - Anna Kavan
The Liars Club - Mary Carr

It is an ambitious list at thirty titles, with only a couple of epic titles (Garcia Marquez). The emphasis this year is on short stories, including the year's best of collections and collections by some masters. And Faulkner, McCarthy, and Oates each get two slots because I've got some catching up to do on their back catalog.

So, enough blogging, I've got reading to do.


  1. Half a dozen of those are on my list, too. And while I've long been tempted to read An American Tragedy, by all accounts it's a very slow slog of a read. If you haven't read any Dreiser yet but would like to, I'd suggest Sister Carrie instead.

  2. Sister Carrie is on my shelf waiting to be read as well, but American Tragedy sounds more up my alley. And it's been sitting there taunting me longer.