Friday, January 7, 2011

52 in 52

yesterday, m and i were talking of new year's resolutions and how we hadn't made any. then he said something like 'i want to make 2011 the year where i say yes to more things. let's not allow ideas to stay ideas. let's do them.' i love that.

so, i'd like to read more. as you know, i love books. and i love the idea of reading more (a lot more). so i'm joining the leagues of 52 in 52 and attempting to read 52 books in 2011. i'm also resolving to read more nonfiction because i tend to always gravitate towards the literature section of any bookstore and, i've heard, nonfiction does good things for the brain.

anyone care to join me?

here's a start to my list. many are taken from the new york times best books or from pulitzer prize winners or national book award winners. some are recommendations or standard classics. some are about marriage (it's the year of the wedding after all). and some come from this website where other people write about their 52 in 52.

1. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
2. Desiring God by John Piper
3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (again)
5. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
6. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (started this twice... need to finish)
8. The Artist, The Philosopher, and The Warrior: The Intersecting Lives of da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped by Paul Strathern
9. When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett
10. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
11. The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy by Cathy Porter
12. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (from Natalie's list!)
13. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler
15. Tinkers by Paul Harding
16. The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila
17. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande
18. A Maze of Grace by Trish Ryan
19. The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason
20. I Married You by Walter Trobisch
21. The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace
22. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
23. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
24. A Christmas Carol & Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens

do you have recommendations? i'd love to hear them!


  1. Guion and I read Sacred Marriage together during our pre-marital counseling and it was really amazing; so critical to our relationship now. The premise of the book is that marriage was not designed to make us happy (although it does), but rather to make us holy.

    To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
    The Kreutzer Sonata, Tolstoy (novella!)
    Beloved, Toni Morrison
    Howards End, E.M. Forster
    For the Time Being, Annie Dillard (more or less nonfiction; beautiful, spiritual, curious memoir)

    Looking forward to hearing about your reading progress! I think it's a great challenge.

  2. Well you've already read Pride and Prejudice so I can't recommend that.

    If you are looking for more nonfiction: I've heard that "The Heavenly Man" is a really good book. And I would read it with you. Its a book about a Chinese Christian (Brother Yun) who went through a lot of persecution. It really challenges your faith and is encouraging (so I've heard).

    Also, I loved "A Severe Mercy" - definitely a good read.

    For a lighter non-fiction read --- I enjoyed the book "Freakonomics". The author made a lot of creative comparisons in the world. He gives you interesting enough facts to make a cocktail party conversation more amusing.

  3. I love this idea. I don't know if I could read a book in a week though. Maybe I will do 26 books in 52 weeks.... Well I think that you should throw in some shorter books in the mix as well. If you are gonna take this seriously you gotta be strategic. Technically you should be finishing up your second book this week!

    I like the idea of putting some of the classics on the list. I think you should add "Great Expectations" to the list. And I have recommended this to you more than once before: "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank Peretti.

    I have also kind of wanted to read some of the books we read when we were little again, like "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'engle, or really any Madeline L'engle book. I think it would be kind of cool to read some favorites from the time in life.

    I love "Siddartha" by Hermann Hesse as well.

    As far an non-fiction goes, Anderson Cooper's "Dispatches From the Edge" was a great read!

    ALSO, highly recommended: "The New Birth Order Book" by Dr. Kevin Leman


  4. girls, thank you for all the suggestions!

    abby, sacred marriage sounds awesome. i do love virginia woolf too!

    liz - loved freakonomics as well! will have to check out the heavenly man. a severe mercy has been on my list for some time now, so i think it's time i read that one.

    kirby - madeline l'engle! haven't thought about her books in a long time. good call!


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