January 21, 2013: New Beginnings

Welcome back, Leigh-Anne. We’ve missed you and I’ve done a spotty job of holding the fort during your hiatus. I need to respond to your Sweet Tooth critique, but I can’t quite muster the energy to actually finish the book. Actually, that’s probably all the response I need to give. It’s not McEwan’s finest work; nevertheless, he remains my literary boyfriend.

In keeping with Leigh-Anne’s spirit of new beginnings, I recently made a pact with my friend Nathalie (I think it might have actually been a pinky swear) that we would endeavour to read 24 books this year. Two books a month. Nothing earth-shattering, below the pace of my best reading years, but still well ahead of my 2012 tally. Given all that I have on the go and my limited amount of free time, it will be a challenge. Nathalie has given herself some parameters: 12 fiction, 6 non-fiction in the biography vein, and 6 non-fiction in the business and current events vein. I’m choosing not to be so clearly defined; I’m going to let my reading whims take me where they may. My first book of the year (once I finally finish Sweet Tooth) is I’ll Seize The Day Tomorrow by Jonathan Goldstein, recommended by our very own Leigh-Anne. Beyond that, I’m looking to my previous to-read lists as well as the many unread books on my shelves for inspiration. My list for 2011 is below with annotations reflecting what I’ve read since I posted the list. What else should I put on my 2013 list? Suggestions are most welcome.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay
October by Richard B. Wright
The Assassin’s Song by MG Vassanji
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
Life by Keith Richards
Open by Andre Agassi
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
Mordecai: The Life & Times by Charles Foran
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Great House by Nicole Krauss
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Annabel by Kathleen Winter
The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb
The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrub
Let’s Take The Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell
The Day The Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Also:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
419 by Will Ferguson
Inside by Alix Ohlin
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
The Purchase by Linda Spalding
Umbrella by Will Self
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’m also considering dipping my toes into Hilary Mantel. And finally, there’s some great inspiration here: The Millions: Most Anticipated: The Great 2013 Book Preview.

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3 Responses to January 21, 2013: New Beginnings

  1. JHirshfeld@SpencerStuart.com says:

    Hey Amy

    I have read these pics off your list and actually enjoyed them all for different reasons. I will look forward to your take on them. I also read The Imposter Bride (another Giller runner up) and enjoyed it. I am now reading Critical Condition by Jeffrey Simpson on our health care system….not an uplifting read but interesting nonetheless.
    Gone Girl is my next read followed by The Purchase, I have heard good things about both so we shall see.

    Hope all is well with you and the fam!

    419 by Will Ferguson
    Inside by Alix Ohlin
    Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

  2. sshaver says:

    May I suggest a swap?

    Instead of Great Expectations, which is wonderful, maybe try Bleak House, which is even more wonderful. Forget about being impatient with Esther; just enjoy the energy, the undertow, and the wealth of bizarre but almost-true characters. I reread it every few years.

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