26 Books in 52 Weeks

Stitched Panorama

As part of my much larger New Year’s Resolution (Talk less, listen more) I have chosen 26 books to read this year. Here they are, in order.

1. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

2. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga

3. Collected Stories – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

4. Life – Keith Richards

5. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh – Michael Chabon

6. Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

7. Mrs. Dalloway – Virgina Woolf

8. Atonement – Ian McEwan

9. Money – Martin Amis

10. Lanark – Alisdair Gray

11. The Road – Cormac McCarthy (sigh)

An extremely handsome pigeon just landed on my windowsill. His head is the same powered royal blue color that brass has a tendency to turn to when exposed to the elements. It fades quietly into that orgy of incandescent magenta and a shimmering metallic teal that the sod’s necks tend to go when they’re aptly groomed. He’s a mincing fowl lothario. Not a rogue feather straggling or an unruly tuft protruding. Regal. Debonair. Wonderful.

12. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

13. A Passage to India – E.M. Forster

14. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome

15. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

16. October Light – John Gardner

17. A Visit From the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan

18. Empire Falls – Richard Russo

19. American Pastoral – Phillip Roth

20. Rabbit at Rest – John Updike

21. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

22. Savage Continent – Keith Lowe

23. In the Garden of Beasts – Erik Larson

24. Short Stories – Anton Chekov

25. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

26. Ulysses – James Joyce *

* Why the fuck not?

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7 thoughts on “26 Books in 52 Weeks

  1. carole says:

    It’s probably irrelevant and so fangirlish-gushing of me, but I almost feel like we have a connection now because I’ve read or at least heard of most of the books on this list 😀

  2. Barolojoe says:


    One Faulkner novel on the list.

    And thankfully one of his top three – together with ‘Absalom’, Absalom’ & ‘The Sound & ‘The Fury’ (‘Light In August’ is overrated in my eyes, and most of Faulkner’s later work too…).

    Kafka in English should be okay. At least, he’s easier to transfer than some other great German pre-war writers like Alfred Döblin, Hans Henny Jahnn , or the outstanding yet untranslatable, tragic expressionistic lyricist Georg Trakl.

    Nabokov on top – and no Joseph Conrad, no Graham Greene? (I recommend ‘The Secret Agent’ & ‘Brighton Rock’).

    Chekov is a good choice. Many praise Dostojewski & Tolstoi, though I prefer some other Russians, not so widely known but worth a closer look:





    • Shawn says:

      “Absalom, Absalom” was an endurance trial for me. Faulkner couldn’t write a short, simple sentence to save his life (except perhaps in “a Light in August”). I was grateful just to get through it. The complexity of his sentences, while sometimes breathtaking, was more often irritating and headache inducing. Don’t misunderstand; I was very glad I finished it, but it was agonizing.

  3. sharken says:

    That’s an ambitious list, that is. To bathe in the athmosphere which made the publishing of Ulysses and other great pieces of literatur possible, I highly recomend Andrea Weiss: Paris was a woman. It is great to read and brings to life the immensly inspiring cultural bloom of Paris of the 20s. Namedropping at it’s best. Great you treat yourself to the lighthearted JKJerome. If you want some more fun stuff without appearing shallow, may I recommend The annotated Alice by M Gardner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Annotated_Alice. In a sense, this is also relateted to Lolita.

  4. sharken says:

    Of course I mean relatetetetededated.

  5. CJS says:

    Pygmalion- Bernard Shaw

  6. Allie says:

    Love this list. Just got a Master’s in English and many of these books were part of my reading! Enjoy!

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