Bethany’s 2009-10 Book List

My reading challenge began at the end of May in 2009. Since I am a teacher, the beginning of summer vacation always seems like the best time to begin new projects, so each year’s challenge runs from Graduation of one year to Graduation of the next. The rules evolved over time and are as follows:

1. I read whatever I feel like reading. There are no restrictions based on “quality.” However, because my thought processes are so different when I read poetry, individual volumes of poetry don’t count. However, epic poems, book-length narrative poems, and collections of essays and short stories are fine as long as I read them in order from start to finish.

2. Re-reads are fine – again, as long as I truly read them from start to finish without skimming. However, once a title is on the list, it can not be added to the list again, for that year or for any future year. Since I’m an English teacher, I re-read a lot of books for school, but they can only make the list once.

The 2009-10 List

  1. Curtis Sittenfeld, Man of My Dreams
  2. Geraldine Brooks, March
  3. John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
  4. Meg Wolitzer, The Ten-Year Nap
  5. David Ebersoff, The 19th Wife
  6. John Steinbeck, East of Eden
  7. Kate Atkinson, Case Histories
  8. Bill McKibben, Long Distance: A Year of Living Strenuously
  9. Jason Brown, Why the Devil Chose New England for His Work
  10. Kate Jacobs, The Friday Night Knitting Club
  11. Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear it Away
  12. Marjane Satrapi, The Complete Persepolis
  13. Julie Powell, Julie and Julia
  14. Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men
  15. Lalita Tademy, Cane River
  16. Aravind Adiga, White Tiger
  17. Alice Hoffman, Here on Earth
  18. Alice Munro, The Beggar Maid
  19. Carson McCullers, Clock Without Hands
  20. Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
  21. Helen Oyeyemi, The Opposite House
  22. Alice Munro, Runaway
  23. T.C. Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain
  24. Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  25. George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
  26. Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
  27. J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace
  28. David Leavitt, Arkansas
  29. Pat Conroy, South of Broad (my early thoughts) (my final thoughts)
  30. Alice Munro, Dance of the Happy Shades (my thoughts on “The Office”)
  31. Don DeLillo, Falling Man
  32. Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods
  33. Jane Smiley, Ten Days in the Hills
  34. Andre Dubus, In the Bedroom
  35. Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  36. Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
  37. Albert Camus, The Stranger
  38. Bill Bryson: Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way
  39. Michael Pollan: In Defense of Food
  40. Nevil Shute: On the Beach
  41. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
  42. Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
  43. Lorrie Moore, The Gate at the Stairs
  44. Michael Gates Gill, How Starbucks Saved My Life
  45. Susan Cheever, American Bloomsbury
  46. Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
  47. Frederick Douglass, Narrative
  48. Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Jill’s final thoughts)
  49. Matthew Pearl, The Dante Club
  50. Kate Chopin, The Awakening
  51. William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (my thoughts on Act I)
  52. Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  53. Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
  54. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  55. Dante, The Inferno
  56. Kathryn Stockett, The Help
  57. Joseph O’Neill Netherland
  58. John Irving, Last Night at Twisted River
  59. John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley (Jill’s review)
  60. J.M. Coetzee, Age of Iron
  61. Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players
  62. Ha Jin, Waiting
  63. Bharati Mukherjee, The Holder of the World
  64. Joanne Harris, Chocolat
  65. John Steinbeck, The Pastures of Heaven
  66. Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
  67. Julie Powell, Cleaving
  68. Toni Morrison, Beloved
  69. Michael Downs, The House of Good Hope
  70. William Styron, Darkness Visible
  71. Joanne Harris, The Girl With No Shadow
  72. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (my essay “The Parallel Lives of Jay and Grey”) (My essay “The Great Gatsby as Complicated Comedy”)
  73. Jerzy Kosinski, Being There
  74. William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I
  75. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  76. Gloria Goldreich, Dinner with Anna Karenina
  77. Sherman Alexie, Flight
  78. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
  79. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
  80. Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
  81. Dan Chaon, Await Your Reply
  82. Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
  83. Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety
  84. Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
  85. John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle
  86. Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano
  87. Wallace Stegner, Recapitulation
  88. John Steinbeck, To a God Unknown
  89. Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Jill’s review)
  90. William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew
  91. Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
  92. James Dickey, Deliverance
  93. Flannery O’Connor, The Complete Stories (my thoughts on “Good Country People”)
  94. Stieg Larsson, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  95. J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians
  96. Don DeLillo, Point Omega
  97. David Treuer, The Translation of Dr. Apelles
  98. J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey
  99. Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
  100. Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin
  101. George Orwell, 1984
  102. Abraham Verghese, Cutting For Stone
  103. Italo Calvino, The Baron in the Trees
  104. Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire
  105. John Williams, Stoner (Jill’s review)
  106. Truman Capote, In Cold Blood
  107. Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  108. Thomas Cahill, The Gift of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels
  109. Paul Harding, Tinkers
  110. Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

3 Responses to Bethany’s 2009-10 Book List

  1. dianetk says:

    Have you thought about a page just for the reviews you two have done so far so we do not have to page thru each list? 🙂

    • dianetk says:

      Never mind, you already did ti! :-p

      • lfpbe says:

        The best way to browse through the books we’ve already reviewed is with the list of authors that runs down the right side of the home page. It’s not quite as easy as a list of titles – maybe we can work on that sometime soon.

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