The 2013 50-book challenge

In 2013, I want to read 50 books. Why 50? Well, 52 books in 52 weeks sounds a lot better, but I decided to give myself just a tiny bit of wiggle room. So I can read a few doorstoppers. Or actually catch up if I get behind.

See, I really love libraries.

I really love libraries. (This is me on a road trip.)

Why such a hefty reading challenge at all? Because I know that I’m not only happiest, but also most creative, engaged with the world, and adventurous when I’m reading a ton. But it’s too easy to let a must-read sit on my nightstand for weeks while I fill my time with work, more social activities, and other important things. If I give myself a challenging goal and make it public, I think I’ll have a better chance of prioritizing reading. Will other values, like my relationship, family and friends, and career fall to the side while I pursue hours curled up with novels? I don’t think so. Instead, I expect I’ll sacrifice after-work reruns of old sitcoms (lame), evenings surfing the web (waste of time), and subway rides staring at my shoes (boring). And office life, social ties, and leisure time? I’d guess that all of those will see a boost.

What I’ve Read So Far

1) Local Girls, by Alice Hoffman

2) Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger

3) This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz

4) Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland, by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

6) Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

7) Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

8) An Object of Beauty, by Steve Martin

9) Dear Life, by Alice Munro

10) Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain

11) The Hours, by Michael Cunningham

12) Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

13) Paris in Love, by Eloisa James

14) The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

15) And What Do You Do?, by Barrie Hopson

16) The Invisible Thread, by Laura Schroff

17) Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri

18) Sad Desk Salad, by Jessica Grose

19) The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes

20) Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

21) The Dinner, by Herman Koch

22) Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson

23) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling

24) Tender at the Bone, by Ruth Reichl

25) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

26) The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri

27) My Kind of Place, by Susan Orlean

28) Revenge Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger

29) TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann

30) Reading Like a Writer, by Francine Prose

31) Brazen Careerist, by Penelope Trunk

32) The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer

33) I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron

34) The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

35) The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri

36) Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

37) My Life in France, by Julia Child

38) 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami

39) Vaclav and Lena, by Haley Tanner

40) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra

41) Bunheads, by Sophie Flack

42) Heartburn, by Nora Ephron

43) The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

44) Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris

45) The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

46) The Defining Decade, by Meg Jay

47) The Little Black Book of Style, by Nina Garcia

48) Looking for Alaska, by John Green

49) Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, by Elizabeth Eulberg

50) I Like You, by Amy Sedaris

(For a peek at my full bookshelves, check out my GoodReads page.)