As The Rejectionist reminded me, tis the season to get those New Year's resolutions ready! My resolutions are as follows:
1. Rock the knee-high argyle socks off my job, and rock 'em good.
2. Complete my version of the 10-10-10 reading challenge, to which I linked at the end of Amanda's awesome guest post from last week. The challenge is to read ten books from each of ten different, self-selected categories by October 10th.
100 books in ten months is an ambitious goal, but what I like even more about the challenge is its focus on diverse reading. The challenge pushes readers to tackle writing styles which challenge them, explore new categories of books with an open mind, and discover new reading interests.
I'm not sure I'll make it to ten books in each category, so I'm striving for a modest five instead. And that's where you come in! My categories are below, but I need suggestions.
feminism, gender studies and queer theory
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
---> I could use more suggestions, particularly of a well-researched history of feminism in the U.S., definitive texts in these fields or good overviews of contemporary thinking in these areas.
In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe by Jonathan Scott Fuqua
From Hell by Alan Moore
The Sandman, Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Maus by Art Spiegelman
classics I haven't read yet
The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
---> What else should I have read by now?
books I would normally scoff at
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
---> Okay, this is the category for anyone who wants to torture me, or force me to change my mind about a book. What do you think -- should I read the autobiography of Justin Bieber? Some crazy conspiracy theory? Lay it on me!
contemporary literary fiction
A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
---> Did I make the right choices? What books have changed you or made you think recently?
books I bought but haven't read yet
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls (okay, I admit, this is a bit of a guilty pleasure, and it's not even out yet... but I worked on it as an intern, so I already know I'll buy it, and I won't be able to wait to read it!)
The Naming by Alison Croggon
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
books with people of color on their covers
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Huntress by Malinda Lo
---> What are your favorites? I'm looking for fiction here, but that can be adult, children's, genre -- whatever!
literary journals and collections of poetry or short stories
War Dances by Sherman Alexie
Things You Should Know by A.M. Homes
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
---> I really need to add some poetry or a literary journal to this list. What are your favorites?
genre literature (sci-fi/fantasy)
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Scar by China Mieville
---> Okay, genre mavens -- what are your favorites? Bonus points for subversive themes like gender-bending and addressing issues of discrimination.
The Great Typo Hunt by Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson
The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood by Maria Tatar
Hit me up in comments with your suggestions!
Better yet, I hope some of you will join me for this challenge. Feel free to post your categories in comments. I'll be happy to send some suggestions right back at you -- and hopefully so will my other readers!