Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The List: My 2013 Roll Call of Books Read

I read somewhere that singer Art Garfunkel has kept a list of the books he reads since he was sixteen. I wish I had thought of it sooner. As it is, I have maintained my list for quite some time. My wall calendar (which will never be replaced by any online version) bears the month-by-month record of books I finish. Then when the new year rolls around, I transfer my list to a "Book-woman" journal my mother gave me awhile back. The first entry is dated 1997.

If my "What to Read Next " list represents my bibliophilic New Year's resolutions, then the following reflects as least one part of my accomplishments. Please keep in mind that all the while, I am reading the material I assign for classes--from freshman comp papers to Brit lit assignments. (Technically, every year's list would include Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Utopia, two or three Shakespearean plays--at least--numerous short stories, poems, and plays, and--most time consuming and least fulfilling of all--numerous drafts of hundreds of student essays.)

Without further ado, here's my 2013 list:

Karen Thompson Walker, Age of Miracles
Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behavior
B. A. Shapiro, The Art Forger
Jo Barbara Taylor, Cameo Roles (read twice--once for a review)
Malaika King Albrecht, What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (likewise)
Junot Diaz, This Is How You Lose Her
Tina Fey, Bossypants
Joshilyn Jackson, A Grown-up Kind of Pretty
Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood
Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore
Chris Cleaves, Little Bee
George Saunders, Tenth of December
Walter Bennett, Leaving Tuscaloosa
Alan Bradley, Speaking from Among the Bones
A. S. Byatt, Possession
Ann Hood, The Obituary Writer
Maggie Shipstead, Seating Arrangements
Wiley Cash, A Land More Kind than Home
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Kate Atkinson, Life after Life
Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins
Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys
Fannie Flagg, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven
Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Therese Ann Fowler, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
William Landay, Defending Jacob
Rick Bragg, All Over but the Shoutin'
Kent Haruff, Benediction
M. L. Steadman, The Light Between Oceans
George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones
Jeanette Walls, The Silver Star
David Sedaris, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
Peter Heller, The Dog Stars
Will Schwalbe, The End of Your Life Book Club
Ron Rash, Nothing Gold Can Stay
Kathryn Kirkpatrick, Unaccountable Weather
Jess Walter, The Financial Life of Poets
Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
Jennifer Pharr-Davis, Becoming Odyssa
Joseph Mills, Sending Christmas Cards to Huck and Hamlet
Kathryn Stripling Byer, Descent
Bob and Emilie Barnes, 101 Ways to Love Your Grandchildren
Jodi Piccoult, The Storyteller
Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
Irmgard Al Hunt, On Hitler's Mountain
Daniel Wallace, The Kings and Queens of Roam
Margot Livesey, The Flight of Gemma Hardy
John Green, Paper Town
Robert Hicks, A Separate Country
Wilton Barnhardt, Lookaway, Lookaway
Tammy Foster Brewer, No Glass Allowed 
Robert Lee Brewer, Solving the World's Problems
Irene Gut Opdyke, In My Hands
Amy Franklin Willis, The Lost Saints of Tennessee
Carl Hiassen, Bad Monkey
Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath
Louis Sachar, Small Steps
Tracy Chevalier, The Last Runaway
Jeanette Haien, The All of It
Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park
Lane Kaaberbal and Agnete Friis, The Boy in the Suitcase
Anne Lamott, Help, Thanks, Wow!
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch
Allan Gurganus, Local Souls
Alex and Brett Harris, Do Hard Things
Ann Patchett, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

There you have it:  The explanation for where some of my hours were spent this past year.  In case you're wondering, I do include audiobooks because (1. with a 25 or 30-minute drive to work and then back, audiobooks keep me sane; (2. I honestly sometimes can't remember if I listened to a book or read the words on the page--unless the reader was remarkably memorable, as many are; (3. I sometimes will read part and listen to part.

In case you don't recognize some titles, much poetry is included in the list.  There should probably be more. I have a huge collection of poetry books and chapbooks, especially since I am exposed to so many good poets each month at Poetry Hickory.  I plan to follow this list with several review, and I will certainly mention some of the poetry I've loved this year.

Please feel free to share your lists with me.  Where do you think I get some of my best suggestions?

1 comment:

Linda H. said...

Nice list.
I just finished reading The Storyteller (which I see is on your list). Excellent book.