Monday, January 3, 2011

Let's Do This: 26 Books in 2011

It's true. I've become addicted to Netflix. My DVD queue has ballooned to 265 titles, and my instant queue isn't much better with 244. I add new movies and shows every day (even when I don't have time to watch any), so the list isn't going down anytime soon. I'm now the perfect poster child for the service: FB statuses about it, word of mouth advertising to family and friends, debates about whether Dexter or Weeds is better...

And so here I find myself at the start of 2011 realizing that while my love affair with Netflix still runs strong, I've let my true love and treasured pastime - reading - fall to the wayside. I used to be able to finish an entire Jane Green book in one sitting. I would never see a movie before reading the book. And I'm the kind of girl who would pass up a night out with friends for the last 100 pages of Harry Potter.

Earlier today I found a post from Arik Hanson about his (and others') challenge to read 26 books in a year. I've decided to join them, and these are the 26 books I plan to read this year:

1. I LOVE A MAN IN UNIFORM by Lily Burana (currently reading; was recommended by a colleague)

2. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (on loan from and recommended by a friend)

3. The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in an Age of Terror by Dina Temple-Raston (I saw Dina speak at an event last year and was inspired to purchase her book)

4. Our House in the Last World by Oscar Hijuelos (Mr. Ives' Christmas was on the reading list in one of my college English classes, and I've also read The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and Empress of the Splendid Season. Thought I'd give his first novel a try, too.)

5. The Last Single Woman in America by Cindy Guidry (impulse purchase at used bookstore)

6. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald (because it's his first and you've gotta have a couple classics on the list)

7. Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich (this has been on my list ever since I read her first book, Nickel and Dimed)

8. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (fluff)

9. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (the movie was creepy, but I've heard the book is good and it's been sitting on the shelf for a few years now)

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (every year I tell myself I'm going to get through this one; now I'm accountable for it)

11. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (because it's important and about making the world a better place)

12. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich (Minnesota author and a gift from a friend)

13. Chocolat by Joanne Harris (I recently watched the movie and then remembered I own and still need to read the book)

14. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore (I also saw him speak last year at a client event and was inspired to read his book)

15. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling (because I miss HP)

16. Staggerford by John Hassler (Minnesota author and set in Minnesota)

17. WAR by Sebastian Junger (just watched Restrepo)

18. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan (it should make me think twice about both health and nutrition)

19. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (at the top of all the 'best of' lists in 2010)

20. The Shack by William Young (because people still haven't stopped talking about it)

21. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (another one that has topped many lists)

22. My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler (I've heard her books are hilarious, so I've decided to start with the first one)

23. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barrack Obama (while we're a long way away from the 2004 DNC, I still want to take time to read the president's second book)

24. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (one that topped the non-fiction lists in 2010)

25. love the one you're with by Emily Giffin (another guilty pleasure, plus the movie based on her first book, Something Borrowed, comes out this year!)

26. Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays by David Sedaris (I've finally decided to give his books a try, too, and will start from the beginning)

So that's it. Twenty-six books in 2011. And good blogging fodder.

What will you be reading this year?


  1. A few thoughts:
    1) I've always loved the name Dina Temple-Raston.
    2) More non-fiction than most people would list, which is great. I love non-fiction.
    3) Wuthering Heights is possibly the worst book I've ever read. Classic, my ass.
    4) Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my favorite authors ever. Move him up the list.

  2. Dougie: 1. I also love her name and like to say it out loud on repeat. 2. I'm very well-rounded. 3. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to. 4. Maybe I can swap the order of him and Bronte ;)

  3. you hyperlinked every book? wow! quite an impressive list. Your first resolution of blogging more is going well, we wish you well with the book reading resolution too! Maybe at the airport on your way to SA you can get some good reading done.

  4. YES! I love that you included few (if any) marketing/business books. Mostly fiction, from my first glance, right? Will you write reviews of each? Also, I read In Defense of Food last year--great read.

  5. I've read a good amount of these books on my own and in my book club, will have to suggest some of the others for future book club reads. Thanks for the list, there's some great books on here!

  6. K/B - thanks for the blogging encouragement; you make great role models :) I was able to get a couple chapters in on my flight to San Antonio; hopefully a few on the way back, too.

    Arik - you're right; I don't think any directly related to work, but a few indirectly connected. I will definitely review each, and I'm looking forward to Defense of Food very much.

    Rachael - thanks for the kind words about the list; sounds like you're in a great book club that reads a nice variety of genres/topics!