challenges, reading goals

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge


If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen every episode of Gilmore Girls. Twice. You love to drink coffee and talk fast and you maybe (just maybe) stalked the Netflix premiere party of A Day in the Life because it was happening on your own campus and DUH you couldn’t just not go and gape at all the stars passing you by!!

And maybe you relate a lot to the protagonist Rory Gilmore, a bookish teen who’d rather read than party, like I do. (the one in the original series, not the lost twenty-something in A Day in the Life though I’m sure that’s in my future!)

Here’s my own personal progress on the Rory Gilmore reading challenge in my quest to emulate every part of the character that I can; I will keep this updated as I slosh my way though my TBR pile. I probably won’t read all of them (ESPECIALLY The Shining. I hate horror and Stephen King is just too good at what he does) but its fun to keep track!

Legend: bolded are books that I possess; striked out are books that I have read; I will include links to reviews if I have reviewed that book on my blog

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  9. Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
  10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
  11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
  17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
  18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
  23. The Bhagava Gita
  24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
  25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
  26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
  27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
  30. Candide by Voltaire
  31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  32. Carrie by Stephen King
  33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
  37. Christine by Stephen King
  38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
  41. The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
  42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
  44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
  45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
  46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
  48. Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
  49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
  51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  52. Cujo by Stephen King
  53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
  56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
  58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  61. Deenie by Judy Blume
  62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
  64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
  65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  66. Don Quijote by Cervantes
  67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
  68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
  71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
  72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
  74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
  75. Emma by Jane Austen
  76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
  78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  79. Ethics by Spinoza
  80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
  81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
  82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
  84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
  86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
  87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
  88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  89. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
  91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
  93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
  94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
  100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
  101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
  103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
  104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
  107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – started and not finished
  108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
  109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
  111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
  112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
  113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
  124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
  125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
  126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
  129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
  130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
  133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  134. How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
  135. Howl by Allen Gingsburg
  136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  137. The Iliad by Homer
  138. I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
  139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  140. Inferno by Dante
  141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
  142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
  143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
  144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
  148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
  150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
  151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
  155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
  157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
  160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
  163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
  170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
  173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
  174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
  176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
  177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
  180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
  184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
  186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
  187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
  188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
  189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
  190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
  193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
  194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
  195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
  196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
  197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
  203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
  204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
  205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  206. Night by Elie Wiesel
  207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
  209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
  210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
  211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
  213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
  217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
  218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  219. Othello by Shakespeare
  220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
  222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
  223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
  226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
  230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
  233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
  235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
  236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  237. Property by Valerie Martin
  238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
  239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
  241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
  242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
  243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
  244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
  250. The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
  251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
  253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
  254. Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
  255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
  259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
  260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
  261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
  263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
  264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
  270. Selected Hotels of Europe
  271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
  272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
  275. Sexus by Henry Miller
  276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
  278. The Shining by Stephen King
  279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
  283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
  284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
  285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
  286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
  288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
  289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
  290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
  291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
  298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
  299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
  302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
  303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
  306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
  309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
  311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
  314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
  315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  316. Ulysses by James Joyce
  317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
  318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  319. Unless by Carol Shields
  320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
  322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
  324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
  328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
  330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
  331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
  332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  333. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
  334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
  335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

So far I have read 35/339..which comes out to around 10%. I guess I better keep reading!

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to be read

TBR jar / TBR masterpost

So, I’d seen the idea of a TBR jar floating around on another book blog…so I decided, why not? I barely have any room for the books that I have and my separate TBR lists are amazingly long, so I decided to compile the lists into one masterlist.

Well, that might have been a mistake. I counted all of the tiles that I have written down…and there are 127 titles. 127 you guys! Because I am interested in so many genres and try to read diversely…well…let’s just say I will be committing to this TBR jar for a while.

The way the TBR jar will work is that I have written each title on my TBR list and the names of the books that I own that are unread on separate slips of paper. I will fold them up, mix them in a Mason jar, and pick out a couple to read each month.

So as of now- I am hereby banning myself from buying any more books/adding to this TBR list until I can get it to a more manageable size. (It’s obvious to pretty much everyone except me that I have a huge problem).

I’m gonna keep track of what I’m reading and when, and I will do so on this post:

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
  2. Alex and Eliza
  3. Alexander Hamilton
  4. America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction (September 2017)

  5. Angel
  6. Angels in America (#1)
  7. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
  8. Anton Chekhov: The Complete Short Novels
  9. Anton Chekhov: Stories
  10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Finished October 2017)
  11. As I Descended
  12. The Awakening
  13. A Bad Feminist
  14. The Bell Jar
  15. Between Shades of Gray (Finished September 2017)
  16. The Bluest Eye
  17. The Boy in Striped Pajamas
  18. Boy Meets Boy
  19. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  20. Catch-22
  21. Casual Vacancy
  22. A Circle of Quiet
  23. City of Bones
  24. The Collected Stories- Pushkin
  25. Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol
  26. The Color Purple
  27. The Complete Plays: Christopher Marlowe
  28. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
  29. Crazy Rich Asians
  30. Difficult Women
  31. Dreamology
  32. Dreams from My Father (Finished September 2017)
  33. Elbow Room
  34. Eleanor and Park (Finished December 2017)
  35. Eligible
  36. Every Heart a Doorway
  37. Extras
  38. The Eyre Affair
  39. Fangirl  (Finished August 2017)
  40. The Fault in Our Stars
  41. Fire
  42. Flame in the Mist
  43. From the Silence of the Tao House
  44. The Fountainhead
  45. Fun Home
  46. The Geek Feminist Revolution
  47. Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
  48. Girl, Interrupted
  49. The Girl on the Train
  50. The Girls of Atomic City
  51. Give us the Ballot
  52. The Glass Castle
  53. The Goldfinch
  54. Gone Girl
  55. Good Wives (Little Women #2)
  56. The Handmaid’s Tale
  57. The Hate You Give
  58. The Help
  59. History is All You Left Me
  60. The Hobbit
  61. How to Make a Wish
  62. The Iceman Cometh
  63. If I was Your Girl (Finished September 2017)
  64. I’ll Give You the Sun
  65. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Finished September 2017)
  66. It Takes a Village
  67. The Jane Austen Book Club
  68. The Jungle
  69. Larger than Life
  70. The Life of Pi
  71. Lowlands
  72. The Luster of Lost Things
  73. Mark of Athena
  74. Memoirs of a Geisha
  75. The Melody of You and Me
  76. Mom & Me & Mom
  77. More Happy than Not
  78. Mourning Becomes Electra
  79. My Antonia
  80. My Sister’s Keeper
  81. Nevermore
  82. The Nightingale
  83. Not Otherwise Specified
  84. Notorious RBG
  85. Of Fire and Stars
  86. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  87. The Opposite of Loneliness
  88. The Outsiders
  89. Paper Towns
  90. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  91. Persepolis 2
  92. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  93. The Price
  94. The Princess Bride
  95. Queens of Geek
  96. Ramona Blue
  97. Red Fire
  98. Room
  99. Sara Bareilles: Sounds Like Me (finished August 2017)
  100. The Secret Life of Bees
  101. Seven Ways We Lie
  102. The Shell Collection
  103. Shiver
  104. A Short History of Nearly Everything
  105. Sightseeing
  106. Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  107. Story of the Trapp Family Singers
  108. A Streetcar Named Desire
  109. The Sun is Also A Star (Finished January 2017)
  110. Tales from Watership Down
  111. Tash Hearts Tolstoy
  112. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  113. Tender is the Night
  114. A Thousand Splendid Suns
  115. To All the Boys I Loved Before
  116. Two Boys Kissing (Finished August 2017)
  117. The Virgin Suicides
  118. Walden
  119. We are Okay (Finished September 2017)
  120. When Breath Becomes Air
  121. When We Collided
  122. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
  123. Wild
  124. Wild Swans
  125. Wuthering Heights
  126. The Year of the Runaways
  127. The Zoo Story

This started out as a cute idea, but now it has turned into something that I’ve probably needed to do for a looong time.

Progress: Read- 12/127

Bolded Books are those in my possession.

 

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book review, fiction

Review: Eligible

She might even have felt that self-congratulatory pride that heterosexual white people are known to experience due to proximate diversity.

-Eligible, Curtis Sittenfield

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FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 4.5/5 stars

SUMMARY: A modern Pride and Prejudice retelling in which Elizabeth Bennet is a writer for a progressive, feminist magazine based in New York City, Jane Bennet is a yoga teacher, and Chip Bingley is the newest doctor in town, fresh off the reality television show Eligible (think The Bachelor). Mary, Kitty, and Lydia still live at home, unemployed and unmarried. In fact, none of the Bennet girls are married, although their mother desperately wants them to be due to their dire financial situation. Lizzie must deal with the reality of impending financial instability, family dynamics, AND the stuck-up doctor in town named William Darcy, which makes for many interesting potential romances.

THOUGHTS: This book is utterly delectable. If you enjoy retellings and Jane Austen, this book is definitely for you. For those of us that have read Pride and Prejudice, I’ll give you a few juicy tidbits- Catherine de Bourgh as a second-wave feminist icon (think Gloria Steinem-type), Lydia and Kitty as cross-fitters, and Collins as a Silicon Valley figure.

Curtis Sittenfeld managed to capture each of these characters magnificently and translated them to the modern atmosphere flawlessly. I had my serious doubts going into this adaptation, especially since The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was so brilliant, but I was pleasantly surprised by Eligible.

Just as the original Pride and Prejudice did, Eligible combined character development with plot progression in an ideal ratio. And of course, the cast of characters could not be crazier, nor could they be more lovable and relatable. Would highly recommend for anyone who enjoys a good Austen narrative!

 

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book review, fiction, young adult

Review: The Sun is Also a Star

“Tragedy is funny.”
“Are we in a tragedy?” he asks, smiling broadly now.
“Of course. Isn’t that what life is? We all die at the end.”

The Sun is also a Star, Nicola Yoon

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FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 3/5 stars

SUMMARY: Natasha is only a believer of observable facts, of hard science. Love is nothing more than a series of chemical reactions. Love is only temporary, a nonspecial series of catalysts and outcomes. Natasha is also an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica who is facing the threat of deportation, who loves physics, and whose family is rather complicated. Natasha is trying to find a last-minute way to save them from Homeland Security. Daniel is a wannabe poet, a Korean-Amerian boy who struggles with having parents who want him to attend Yale and medical school after. He has an almost-perfect, but completely douchebag-y older brother. He’d rather talk about the stars than study medicine, but also knows how heartbreaking that would be to his parents. These two teens find themselves, within the span of a few hours, barreling towards each other by some coincidence of the universe. But what else the universe may push them to- the brink of adulthood, of a new life, of love…it’s anyone’s guess.

THOUGHTS: This book was so adorable. The characterization is strong- Natasha and Daniel are in many ways the examples of stereotypes in terms of their character tropes and their socioeconomic statuses- however, there are many ways in which they subvert all of the stereotypes that they are privy to as well. I docked off two stars for plot points that seemed too convenient or too cliche; sometimes it was just so obvious that I couldn’t ignore it no matter how much I was enjoying those plot points.

However, if you’re a fan of Young Adult in general, you’re going to fall for this book like I did. The tension and romance between Daniel and Natasha is made of purely heightened emotions- from angst to sadness to love and beyond. They’re perfect together and complement each other so well, and none of their chemistry is forced. They even gave me serious Eleanor and Park vibes.

The discussion of other things- like family expectations/societal expectations concerning biracial relationships, what it might be like to be a family that’s undocumented in America (this is really dope as I am an international migration studies minor), the theories behind slang and multiverses, and looks into the thoughts of minor characters. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, because it really made it feel like Daniel and Natasha were only two cogs of a bigger machine that was completely out of control.

I think the suspense of the book and the great characters kept me grounded into this book. Yoon’s language is also swoon-worthy, and I think she really managed to capture the unique spirit of New York City with her diverse ensemble of characters.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a solid YA rec- go check it out!

 

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book review, nonfiction

Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

In the beginning, I was put off by the harshness of German. Someone would order a piece of cake, and it sounded as if it were an actual order, like, ‘Cut the cake and lie facedown in that ditch between the cobbler and the little girl’.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

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AUTHOR: David Sedaris

GENRE: Comedy, Non-Fiction

FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 4/5 stars

THOUGHTS: If you have never read a David Sedaris essay, I suggest turning around, checking out Me Talk Pretty One Day, and then coming back to this review. I typically don’t indulge in essay reading, and I am honestly not sure how common comedic essay writing is. However, I have yet to come across with a voice so strong and distinctive as Sedaris’ in my readings. His ability with the word and his sense of his ability to make people laugh are completely masterful, and as usual, I was not let down by Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

The topics in this book ranged from healthcare in France to the inner monologue of a clueless conservative activist relying on her liberal to help her protest. If you do read this book, I recommend listening to the audiobook version, as David’s voice adds a whole other dimension to the comedy of the essays. If people look at you strangely for laughing aloud in public at seemingly nothing, you won’t even care because you will be that full of glee.

As always, I learned many interesting details about Sedaris’ personal life and wondered at the idiosyncratic details of his personality. He seems more like caricature now to me than a real person, but maybe that is just his skill and self-awareness at play. The main purpose of Sedaris’ works are always human, but every so often, there is an element of philosophy or observation that strikes a deeper chord with the reader. Sedaris doesn’t claim to be an expert in anything except himself, nor does he ever come off as preachy. But his writing has a way of drawing me back and forth from real life in a way that seems pleasanter than the way that real life actually plays itself out. If I could somehow obtain his imaginative vision as a filter to my own life, I would undoubtedly accept it.

I cannot discuss the greater details of this book without spoiling a lot of it, so instead of going on and on about it, I’m just going to tell you to drop everything and go read this for a good laugh!

 

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book tag

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Much About

I’m back with participating in Top Ten Tuesday now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is those books that you love, but for the life of you, you really cannot remember much about those books due to time eroding information from your mind. For me, I read a lot as a kid, so many of these books are lost to my newly adulted mind due to time.

  • A Wrinkle in Time

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I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the trailer for the Disney movie is inconsistent with the actual book or that I’ve just completely forgotten the details of the plot of this book, but when I watched that trailer for the movie coming out soon, it seemed very unfamiliar to me. I think the main idea and plot seem pretty familiar, but everything else is scattered in my mind. To be fair, I did read this book at a very young age and LOVED it. I should really pick it up again.

  • The City of Ember

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Do you guys remember reading this series? I remember highly enjoying the first installment, getting bored by the second installment, and then never following through with the rest of the series. It was pretty popular for quite a bit, but I don’t remember the rest of the series taking off in the same way the first book did.

  • Inkheart

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I adored this series! I still remember the basic premise of how the main character was able to manipulate the written word in a supernatural way. The specific events and trials that she goes through, however, are now lost to me.

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society

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This was such a fun read, but the many specificities of the plot are now lost to me. I’d definitely consider rereading this book though. I can’t even remember if I read the sequel to this book…

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

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I didn’t realize how much I didn’t remember about this book until I started watching the Netflix series. Whoops. (I highly recommend the series, by the way).

  • Graceling

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I think I only read this book because a friend of mine was reading it. I can’t even trust myself to remember the basic premise of this but all I remember is liking it. I think this was one of the first times I was introduced to a female character in a young adult book that had masculine characteristics that were praised rather than made fun of, so that’s pretty cool.

  • The Host

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I read this book unaware that the author was the same woman who had penned Twilight. All I know it’s kinda creepy and it has aliens in it. I really enjoyed it though!

  • Anne of Green Gables

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Again, I know the basic premise. But the other characters besides Anne, however, I can’t remember a thing about.

  • The Last of the Mohicans

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I read this book more recently than the rest of the books on this list. Although, I did read it at 1 or 2 AM in the morning and there were several instances in which I fell asleep reading it. Whether I fell asleep out of boredom, exhaustion, or some combination between the two, I can’t say (because I don’t really remember what this book was about).

  • Stuart Little

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I have a good excuse for not remembering this book: I was in the third grade when I read it. Again, the basic idea of a little kid having his talking pet mouse as a friend sticks in my mind. All other details are lost or have been supplanted by the details of the movie.

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book review, nonfiction

Review: Hamilton: The Revolution

History is entirely created by the person who tells the story

Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter

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AUTHOR: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter

GENRE: Non-Fiction

FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 5/5 stars

BACKGROUND: In hindsight, it seems that most revolutions are inevitable. This applies to both the American Revolution and the revolution that Hamilton, the musical, has made in both musical theatre and rap. However, when you are in the midst of completing a revolution, nothing seems inevitable. This book tells of the process that shaped Hamilton from a mixtape, a concept album, to one of the best musicals of our generation- from the first performance that Lin did at the White House to the opening night on Broadway. It also includes the annotations to the libretto of the musical.

THOUGHTS: Okay if you have not listened to Hamilton or seen the show, this is maybe not the book for you. It will be so much more meaningful if you are familiar with the show in any capacity. So, if you have not but are intending to listen to this show, maybe consider not finishing this review.

Another disclaimer: I have been a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda for the longest time so I enjoyed this book more than the casual fan of Hamilton would.

I absolutely adored every moment of listening to Hamilton: The Revolution. Being as big of a fan of the show as I am, there were plenty little tidbits included in the book that were news to me, which was quite enjoyable. Getting to know exactly what it takes to pull off such a phenomenon, and exactly how risky it was, is much more enjoyable to know now that the musical is indescribably popular.

The emotional moments of creating the musical, especially since there are so many elements of overcoming racial disadvantages and marrying modern music with musical theatre, are a joy to read. There are quite a few times during the audiobook in which I shamelessly teared up, or straight up cried. The fact that the cast of Hamilton tends to come from immigrant parents and very diverse backgrounds make the story of how this family came together very touching. The story of Anthony Ramos in particular broke and mended my heart in a turn of a sentence.

The inevitable intermingling of this story with the story of American history AND contemporary American politics also adds to the complexity of the story. The story of the American revolution and in particular, Alexander Hamilton, embodies so much of what we would now call the American spirit. Any patriot, any person who is proud of the multiracial, diverse, and yet united America will feel immense pride in how perfectly Hamilton seems to usher us into a new cultural, political, and social age– even though it is set in our deep past. You need to see it (or read it) to believe it.

If you are a fan of the musical, or a hip hop geek, or a musical theatre geek, or a history buff, you will definitely enjoy the annotations that Lin have provided on the libretto. I pinky promise.

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book review, fiction

Review: Attachments

Every woman wants a man who’ll fall in love with her soul as well as her body.

– Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

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AUTHOR: Rainbow Rowell

GENRE: Fiction/Light Romance

FORMAT: paperback

RATING: 4/5 stars

SUMMARY: Think a 90s romantic comedy. It is currently the precipice of the new millennium, and that means the introduction of the Internet and the phenomenon of e-mail. A newspaper hires a thirty-year-old computer specialist named Lincoln to sit in a room at night and read through flagged emails sent by its employees for bad behavior. Lincoln finds himself constantly reading the email chains exchanged between Jennifer and Beth, which are flagged for innocuous reasons. In the process of reading these emails, he finds himself falling more and more for Beth, a girl he has never seen but knows the most intimate details about. Beth is similarly infatuated with a guy who hangs around the office late at night, but who she actually knows nothing about. How will they extract themselves from this seemingly intractable situation?

THOUGHTS: Again, this book was loaned to me by my friend who apparently likes to feed my newborn Rainbow Rowell addiction. Unlike the other books that I have read by Rowell, like Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, this is NOT teen fiction. That means it touches on subjects like pregnancy, and what it really means to grow up and separate from your parents. As someone who is only a year away from graduation, there are many moments in the book that I was more keen to: the decision of Lincoln to move out of his mother’s home, his debate over whether he should continue working or go back to school, his search for when and where his life is supposed to start. Of course, I haven’t gone through these steps yet, but it gives me a nice glance into what the rest of my 20’s will look like.

Lincoln’s introspective and inner struggles to achieve true adulthood are what struck me the most. And of course, there is the cute romantic-comedy element of the book that kept me coming back for more (and didn’t make me as depressed about adulthood). The friendship between Beth and Jennifer is enviable, and both are incredibly smart and witty. The issues that they go through in their respective relationships portray that there’s a lot more to adulthood than career and just finding a partner- there’s all the things that come after too. The possibility of marriage? The possibility of children? And how can you even approach these topics when you are not sure if you want either?

Luckily, the creepy-guy-reading-emails-and-being-ethically-dubious is addressed as well, as it is a very self-aware novel. If it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. I never take issue with authors attacking problematic issues and topics as long as they acknowledge that its problematic, but in case you’re the kind of person who can’t get around that sort of thing, then maybe this book isn’t for you. I don’t know if Rowell wanted to address implications of new technology, and how surveillance in an information age could shape the nature of modern relationships, but I would say that a small part of that is at play in this novel as well.

All in all, this is a cute and thought-provoking read. Would definitely recommend.

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book tag

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions / Goals

I am now going to be joining the delightful bookish meme: Top Ten Tuesday! It is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so go check her and it out! This week’s theme is Bookish Resolutions for the new year.

  • Read 50 Books (or more)

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Last year, I shot low and easily surpassed reading my initial goal of 25 books by 10. This year, I am aiming towards 50, which I feel like I can achieve easily. That comes to about one book a week, and I already have a great start:

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  • Read War and Peace

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The longest book that I read last year was Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Kareninawhich I thoroughly enjoyed. The reason that I decided to read this book was to see if I could get through War and Peace, the logic being that if I can get through and enjoy Karenina, then I will like War and Peace. I’ll probably hold off on this book until the summer though.

  • Read more physical books

Because I am a political science major, it can be difficult for me to pick up a book in between classes or for leisure because I am already reading up to 300 pages of text each week for school. I have gotten around this fact by listening to more audiobooks, but I am going to try and incorporate more physical books into my school schedule since I have so many!! But if I can’t, or if my mental health can’t take it, then I’m not going to push it. Reading is enjoyable, and I strive to keep it that way!

  • Read more non-fiction!

This is a BIG resolution for me. I only read 9/35 nonfiction books last year, and I would really like to increase the percentage. Fiction is a fun escape, but non-fiction books have so much to offer as well. I recently got a copy of The Art of War and I am still trying to read What Happened, so I definitely have good options for this section.

  • Read more diverse authors

This goal is mostly aimed at reading more authors of color. I am guilty of reading in a very Eurocentric manner, and given that I am an Asian-American woman, I especially would like to read more books by people that look like and have had similar experiences to me.

  • Finish a series

Hopefully I can finally finish the rest of the Percy Jackson books that I’ve been putting off, or even the Jojo Moyes series, and take those books off my TBR.

  • Check off some of those DNF books

We’re all guilty of this, aren’t we? I just want to finish one or two of those DNF books.

  • Read over 20,000 pages

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I don’t just want to read a certain numerical amount of books, especially as I often read plays, which are significantly shorter than novels. I read around 12,500 pages last year, so I hope reading 20,000 pages across 50+ books is reasonable!

  • Get through 20% of my TBR list

Oh, my TBR list. It’s so long, and I have not been great about adhering to it strictly because of the availability of books or the release of new books. I have only read 11/127 of the books on that list, which comes to around 8%. I would really like to read through 20% of that list AT LEAST this year, so that means around 26 books. 26-11 comes to 15, which is pretty reasonable.

  • Read more classics

Especially, especailly Jane Austen. and Shakespeare. I especially want to finish all of Jane Austen’s novels.

What are your bookish resolutions?

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