Sunday, May 17, 2009


Since we're five months into the year I figured it was about time to join a book challenge. Last year it was the Booker Challenge, and this year it's 999 from Goodreads - read nine books in nine categories. Shouldn't be too tough. Here's my list.

1. The Crimson Petal and the White – Michel Faber (Historical Fiction)
2. Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell (Non-Fiction)
3. Like You’d Understand Anyway – Jim Shephard (Short Stories)
4. Evocative Objects: Things We Think With – Sherry Turkle, ed. (Essays)
5. My Mother, My Self – Nancy Friday (Feminism/Psychology)
6. Wallace Stevens: Words Chosen Out Of Desire – Helen Vendler (Literary Criticism)
7. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer – James Swanson (History)
8. Winter’s Bone - Daniel Woodrell (Contemporary Fiction)
9. Butcher’s Crossing – John Williams (The American West)

I admit to being a bit lukewarm on some of these books, namely the essays and the Nancy Friday book, but I should read them so this is a way to get me to do it. I'm reading The Crimson Petal now and it's quite good, but since it's 894 pages long I resisted putting David Copperfield on the list. I think it's even longer. I'd like to read it "in the near future," but I'm not making any written commitments. Of course there are a bunch of poetry books I'd like to read, but everything I have, I've read, and I don't know when I'll get a new batch.

Charmi's doing the challenge with me, I hope. If you're on Goodreads and want to join, please join!


Charmi said...

You have a great list, Sarah. I remember My Mother/My Self decades ago being on my own mother's bookshelf. I don't remember reading it, but I just picked it up on Amazon for 1 cent plus shipping!

Now, to come up with my own list. I wonder if I can come up with nine different poetry categories ;-)

SarahJane said...

I'm so glad you joined, Charmi. Nic Sebastian just joined, too! I don't remember why on earth I got My Mother, My Self, but who knows, maybe it's good. I'm sure my mother had it, too.
I wanted to put poetry books on my list, but I don't have any un-read ones and since I live abroad it's not like I can just pop off and buy some. Oh well.
You can definitely make up nine poetry categories!
American Poetry
Eastern European Poetry
Depressing Poetry
Experimental Poetry
Love Poetry
POetry by Women
Poetry by Men
Poetry my someone I know

Laura said...

Hi Sarah,
Looks like a fun challenge. But is it 9 books total, or 9 in each category?

SarahJane said...

It's definitely nine in total, so should be pretty easy.

Laura said...

Oh, good. I can do that. :)

SarahJane said...

my dear, we are glad to have you.

Pam Hart said...

Hi Sarah...this looks interesting. I'll investigate further at goodreads. Are the categories listed there?
BTW, the Evocative Objects essays are pretty read-able and some were enjoyable. Thanks for the heads up.

SarahJane said...

Hi Pam -
You can choose your own categories: schlock, textbooks, graphic novels, bathroom books, confessional poetry, erotica, japanese history, Lincolnalia, organic chemistry, whatever. Glad to hear you liked "Evocative Objects." I'm sure it's worthwhile / I'm just lazy.

Lisa said...

Hi Sarah,

I've been following your blog here and there for a bit now (after finding your poems online). I enjoy how your entries are often sparse but always poignant.

In any case, I'm putting in my two cents on David Copperfield--one of the more humorous Dickens novels and a quicker read than it looks. When time permits...

Thanks for the words,

SarahJane said...

Hi Lisa -
Probably I should be reading David Copperfield instead of The Crimson Petal and the White, which is good, but not upside-your-head good.

Thatcher Keats said...

we played the Water game (the waterboard game/ The Abu Ghraib game/the water splash game? words:lists) w/ Jim Shepard, his family, Abby Thomas, and the Towerses two weeks ago. I could drop more names, but suffice to say it was not torture, though I got splashes a number of times.

KC & I each read MY ABANDONMENT this month and were quite moved. to me it felt like Already Dead, one of my favorites. Clem in off school next Thursday, then to surf for a glorious week w/ the dolphins and the cheesesteaks.
And Happy Birthday to LL Cool Del.

SarahJane said...

hi thatch -
you are my one claim to fame. i'm looking forward to the stories. what's MY ABANDONMENT? I imagine something new from Jim S.? I haven't read Already Dead yet, though I know how much you like that one. It's on my long list.

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