Goal #47: Read 52 books in a year. (Progress)

Goal #47: Read 52 books in a year.

How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti

I started out liking this book, with its emphasis on female friendship–something all too rarely depicted in literary fiction, especially the kind of literary fiction that generated as much buzz as this book did. Then I started disliking it, once I realized that the characters weren’t so much sweet muddled 20-somethings but just obnoxious hipsters with way too much time on their hands. And then, towards the end, I liked it a little bit again. I hesitate to criticize it too harshly, since most of the reviews I’ve seen that did clearly came from people who just Did Not Get It, and I’m afraid that there were definitely parts of this novel that I just didn’t get. So I’ll leave the verdict up in the air, for now.

Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro

I read an interview with Jeffrey Eugenides where–in the midst of some sexist drivel–he mentions that every writer in the world wants to be Alice Munro. That much, at least, is true. Reading an Alice Munro collection is like getting a free master class in how to write a short story. I’m pretending it’s research.

Insurgent, Veronica Roth

These books are so bad. I don’t know why I keep reading them. The characters have all the emotional depth of cauliflower, and the protagonist, Tris, has an IQ to match. I got about 100 pages in before I started rooting for bad things to happen to the main characters. As soon as I put this book down, I swore up and down that I wouldn’t go near the third book when it comes out. But let’s face it, I probably will.


  1. A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
  2. Past Perfect, Leila Sales
  3. Bunheads, Sophie Flack
  4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick
  5. The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
  6. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  7. Oz and Beyond: The Fantasy World of L. Frank Baum, Michael O. Reilly
  8. Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, Dorothy Wickenden
  9. The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis
  10. Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa, Dambisa Moyo
  11. The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm, Juliet Nicholson
  12. The Summer without Men, Siri Hustvedt
  13. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith
  14. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredibly Voyage, Alfred Lansing
  15. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg
  16. A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
  17. The Comeback Season, Jennifer E. Smith
  18. Sisters, Schoolgirls and Sleuths: Girls’ Series Books in America, Carolyn Carpan
  19. A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
  20. In the Woods, Tana French
  21. Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave 1959-1969, Thomas Lisanti
  22. Darkroom, Jazzy Danziger
  23. Divergent, Veronica Roth
  24. The Tempest, William Shakespeare
  25. The Curse of the Pharoahs, Elizabeth Peters
  26. The Likeness, Tana French
  27. Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver
  28. Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Film, Donald Bogle
  29. Elvis Cinema and Popular Culture, Douglas Brode
  30. The Challenge for Africa, Wangari Maathai
  31. Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher
  32. A Boy’s Will, Robert Frost
  33. The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, Edmund White
  34. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
  35. My Most Excellent Year, Steve Kluger
  36. Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, A.J. Jacobs
  37. The Moon and Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham
  38. How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti
  39. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro
  40. Insurgent, Veronica Roth

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