2013 TBR Pile Challenge

1608f712ceffe9aee0c57f5173546389One of the reasons I originally started my reading project was that I wanted some motivation to read the classics I already had on my book shelf. However, the project ultimately led to my book collection expanding and now my “TBR pile” is larger than ever. So, I have decided to join Adam’s 2013 TBR Pile Challenge. I think I should be able to manage 1 book a month even with the twins. And if not…so it goes! The following is my list: (Some of the selections are from my reading project and some are not.)

1. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
3. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
5. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
6. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
7. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
8. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
9. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Judy Blume
10. The World According to Garp, John Irving
11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
12. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer

Revisiting the Reading List…

Other “classics” projects that I have discovered, via the world of blogging, all seem to have set a finite number for their project. For example, some plan to read a set list of 100 or even 250 books. I purposely did not set my project reading list at a specific number. Instead, I chose for the project to remain fluid thereby allowing the project room to develop and transform as time went on. Since it is the New Year, I decided it was time to take a look at the list and make some updates.
In one of my initial posts, I indicated that certain books had not been added to the list because I had read them rather recently for various college courses: Robinson Crusoe…Daniel Defoe, The Scarlett Letter…Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emma…Jane Austen, The Red Badge of Courage…Stephen Crane, Uncle Tom’s Cabin…Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Awakening…Kate Chopin, East of Eden…John Steinbeck, and A Prayer for Owen Meany…John Irving. After further consideration, I have decided that A Wrinkle in Time…L’Engle, Gone with the Wind…Margaret Mitchell, and Revolutionary Road…Richard Yates should also have been omitted from my list. I did not read these three for any college class, but had read them before the project started in October of 2010. I had planned to post my thoughts on the three before the end of 2010, but it turns out that they would have really required a re-read for me to do them any proper justice. I will say this: both A Wrinkle in Time and Gone with the Wind are new personal favorites of mine with Revolutionary Road truly not trailing far behind. If you have the chance, read them all!
Now the question becomes…what would I like to add to my list? First, I have to say that I have become rather interested in the authors behind all of these “classic” selections. So, as a compliment to my reading I may continue to add a few selections regarding the actual authors to my list. For now, I have chosen: Sylvia Plath Method and Madness…Edward Butscher, Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath…Paul Alexander and Edgar Allan Poe – His Life and Legacy…Jeffrey Meyers.
By Sylvia Plath, I am also adding The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath and Collected Poems. I intend to spend a month or more of 2011 focused on Ms. Plath. I am also adding the following: Othello…Shakespeare, The Painted Veil…W. Somerset Maugham, Mrs. Dalloway…Virginia Woolf, and 18 Best Stories by Edgar Allan Poe. If my math is correct, this brings my new list to 52 selections. I will be updating the actual Reading List accordingly sometime this evening.

The List…

I have posted a list of 45 selections to begin my challenge. As the challenge moves along, I may elect to lengthen the list…perhaps to 100. A few books that I would have included are not listed because I have already read them (in the last couple years) for college courses I was taking: Robinson Crusoe…Daniel Defoe, The Scarlett Letter…Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emma…Jane Austen, The Red Badge of Courage…Stephen Crane, Uncle Tom’s Cabin…Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Awakening…Kate Chopin, East of Eden…John Steinbeck, and
A Prayer for Owen Meany…John Irving.

And yes, I love vintage and otherwise interesting book covers! Who doesn’t, right…right?
Anyway, I think I am going to make Little Women and The Diary of Anne Frank my first two selections from the list. I have had a strange affair with books relating to Louisa May Alcott this year; starting with Harriet Reisen’s biography: Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. I have also read March by Geraldine Brooks and The Lost Summer Of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees. I remember that in fourth grade our teacher purchased books from the Scholastic Book Order and then allowed us to each pick one from a table for our Christmas present. I was an avid reader as a child and so I, of course, picked the thickest book on the table: Little Women. I haven’t read this book since I was a child and am wondering if I will enjoy it as an adult as much as I did back then. As for The Diary of Anne Frank, I must confess that I have NEVER read it, although I have seen the movie.