12 Books, 12 Months

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I've recently started to re-focus on reading ink on paper, as my friend Nonny calls it. I have always been a reader, but in recent years it's become something I have to do intentionally, rather than something that I do naturally, which I frankly do not like. I want to return to being a natural reader. Anyway, today's blog reader perusing (and yes, I realize that my voracious blog consumption is probably partially to blame for not reading as many books as I used to) led me to my friend Jenny's post on 12 Books, 12 Months, a challenge from The Latter Day Bohemian. The idea is simple--make a list of 12 books that are already in your to-be read pile and commit to read them over the next 12 months. The rules are like so:
12 Books, 12 Months Challenge
* Pick 12 titles from your To Read Pile. These should be titles you currently own in whatever format you prefer.
* Acquisition of other formats or translations is permitted. So, if you have a paperback but want to read on your Kindle, you can get a Kindle copy. If you have a library copy but want to buy your own, that's kosher. Heck, if you own a copy and want to check another out from the library, I'm not gonna stop you.
* Post your list in your public space of choice by September 1, 2010. If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your list.
* Read all 12 titles between now and September 5, 2011. Might as well tack on an extra long weekend at the end for cramming.
* When you finish a title on your list, post about it in your public space of choice. If you prefer not to post, you can just leave a comment with your review.
* Once a month, I'll post a round-up of the reviews posted from that month so that we all know what everyone else has read.

I'm in! Between this and the Indiespensable book club from Powell's, maybe I'll get some actual reading done in the next year!

My 12 Books:


  1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami: gift from my friend Hala, who swears I'll love it

  2. Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology by Jennifer K. Stuller: gift from my friend and co-blogger Skye. A couple of our reviews at Heroine Content are actually cited in this book, and I have been looking at it longingly for months.

  3. Our Bodies, Ourselves and the Work of Writing by Susan Wells: I was so excited about this coming out that I pre-ordered it and waited for it with baited breath, and since it's arrival it hasn't even been cracked. Embarrassing.

  4. Young, White, and Miserable: Growing Up Female in the Fifties by Wini Breines: this has been on my bookshelf for years. I have no idea where it came from, but it keeps getting passed over.

  5. Dangerous Woman: The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman by Sharon Rudahl: this one actually breaks the rules, since I don't already have it. However, it has been on my "MUST BUY" list forever, so I'm going to use this excuse to get it.

  6. Mama, Ph.D.: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life by Caroline Grant: Another one that I just *had* to have and then it sat on the shelf for a year or more. Sensing a pattern?

  7. The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic by Darby Penney: And again. Had to have it, didn't read it.

  8. Cherry and Lit by Mary Karr: I bought Mary Karr's whole memoir trilogy this year, but I only actually read The Liar's Club. I enjoyed it, though, so I'd probably be well-served to read the other two books.

  9. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: my mom gave me this for Christmas last year and has asked at least a half dozen times since then if I've read it yet, so I'd better read it.

  10. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk: another one that has been sitting around at my house for quite a while, and I've never picked it up.

  11. Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood by Julie Gregory: I thrifted this back when I was in a "horrible memoirs" period, then the phase ended and I didn't read it. I should either read it or get rid of it.

Anybody else want to join in?

11 Comments

I'd love to join, but I'm gonna have to break the rules. I'm on a "no more buying books!" phase for a while, and I've read every book in my house, except for the ones on string theory. haha. I'd like to do an altered version, going with 12 books on my list that my library actually has. If this is acceptable to the lovely Grace, I'll join in on these conditions. I have to come up with my list!

Whoa... it's weird when one's online acquaintances collide with the real life ones!

But anyway, I do plan to do this!

Hi, I'm a new reader to your blog but my bookshelves are cluttered with books I haven't got around to reading, so I really need this challenge. My 12 are:
Games People Play, Eric Berne M.D.
Waste and Want, Susan Strasser
Never Done, Susan Strasser
Rubbish! The archaeology of garbage, William Rathje and Cullen Murphy
Garbage Land, Elizabeth Royte
The Republic, Plato
Set this House in Order, Matt Ruff
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The Immoralist, Andre Gide
Heat, Bill Buford
Catching Fire, Richard Wrangham

As E & I are both librarians, I doubt either of us would stand in the way of library books! :)

Grace, I went to an art exhibit on 7 and really want to read it. Diary is probably my favorite Palahniuk book. And I have always wanted to read 10. I'd love to hear what you think of all of them.

I'm so glad people are doing this!

This is a great idea! I'm in! I'll be back with my list.

I'm in, too. Off to select my books, and I'll post my list and reference you and the LD Bohemian

I'm delighted that you've signed on, and I really look forward to your reviews. Have you read The Girls Who Went Away? It was (perhaps unsurprisingly) moving and also thematically consistent with many of the titles on your list.

Here is my list, a combination of books that I've been meaning to read for a long time (some since I was a teenager), and more recent additions:

Night- Elie Wiesel
The Count of Monte Cristo- Alexandre Dumas
Nickel and Dimed- Barbara Ehrenreich
The Great Influenza- Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild- Jon Krakauer
One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Omnivore’s Dilemma- Michael Pollan
Dracula- Bram Stoker
Haunted: A Novel- Chuck Palahniuk
Shogun- James Clavell
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance- Robert M. Prisig
The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo- Steig Larson

oops! Had a typo there. The Great Influenza was actually written by John M. Barry.

I know this is a little late but I could have sworn your missive said Sept 5th. Anyway I am in and here are my 12 books in no particular order yet. I made sure they didnt coinside with Ron's.

1. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
2. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
3. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Piqualt
4. Lamb - Christopher Moore
5. Franny and Zoey - JD Salinger
6. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
7. Bite Me - Christopher Moore
8. Whitehorn Woods - Maive Binchy
9. Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Teri Pratchett
10. Anne of the Island - LM Montgomery
11. Anne of Windy Poplars - LM Montgomery
12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chronicles Issue 1 (Based on the TV show)- John Vornholt, Alice Henderson

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