Mary’s Reading List 2017

This is my reading list for the year.  I’ll admit that is is very ambitious, but I started my first book last week and even confining the reading time with nights of work and family time I’m already halfway through.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey.  I may not get to give reviews on all of these treasures, but I’ll do my best to give as many as I can manage.

A banned book – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (I’ve always wanted to read this, as it is a favorite of a dear friend of mine.  And if you’re ever looking for a good book, the banned list is always a great place to start.  They usually have the most to say.)

A book endorsed by your favorite celebrity – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (Recommended by Emma Watson. I’ve loved her since The Sorcerer’s Stone and am so proud of the strong, opinionated, passionate woman she’s grown into since that first film.)

A comic with a female lead – Crimson Hero by Mitsuba Takanashi (A manga, the Japanese comic.  This story is about a girl who wants to play volleyball, but is the heiress to a historic inn and must fight to have her own say in life’s choices.)

A book set to become a movie – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (I finally caved and watched the first film, despite not wanting to jump on the band wagon. So it only makes sense to start the series.)

A classic Austen – Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (My favorite of her novels, a pleasure to read and sure to brighten the darkest day.)

A play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (People keep telling me to read this since I love the series so much. I suppose now is as good a time as any.)

A book more than 100 years old – Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (A classic I have always meant to read someday.)

A non-fiction book – Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

A non-white male author – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (I love Alexie’s work. Both hysterical and heart rending by turns.)

A non-white female author – Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

A book you read in high school – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse (I loved this book when we read it, so rich in culture and insight into the human condition and the search for spiritual meaning.)

A classic horror book – Salem’s Lot by Stephen King (My favorite of King’s work, a masterful take on the vampire myth.)

A book of poetry – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

A book recommended by a friend – Dead Souls by Nickolai Gogol (Recommended by Ashley, one of the other lovely ladies here at the Petticoat Review. She’s never steered me wrong.)

A young adult book – Sugar Scars by Travis Norwood (A new take on the zombie genre, with a twist.)

A retelling of a classic – William Shakespeare’s The Clone Army Attacketh: Star Wars Part the Second by Ian Doesher (A hysterical retelling of Star Wars in iambic pentameter. The bard would be proud. All six of the original stories have been completed so far.  I know I’m going out of order, but I only own this one.)

A book based on a fairy tale – Wicked by Gregory Maguire

A biography/autobiography – The Brontes: Wild Genious on the Moors: the Story of a Literary Family by Juliet Barker (I’m excited to get a better idea of the life of some of my favorite female authors.)

A graphic novel – Brody’s Ghost by Mark Crilley (An American artist and writer who has written books on the art of manga.  This is his own story in the same genre and I am excited to see how he uses the tools of the Japanese craft in new ways.

A translation – Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Heret, Afghanistan edited and translated by Farzena Marie

A book set in the USA – Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (An African-American classic. One I started by never finished, so I shall begin again.)

A book published in 2017 – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

A book published in 1917 – A Daughter of the Morning by Zona Gale

A book by an author my age – Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (Written roughly when he was my age.)

The first thing I picked up at the bookstore – Watership Down by Richard Adams

A book of short stories – The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

A classic Bronte – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are two of my favorite novels, but I have never read a novel by the youngest Bronte sister.)

A 20th century classic – Animal Farm by George Orwell

A book outside my favorite genre – Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther

A book about a culture I’m unfamiliar with – Thirst by Andre Gelasinov (A book depicting Russian culture, which hopefully will be a fascinating read.)

A book from childhood – Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (I loved these books as a child and am only too happy to read them again.)

A book published in 2016 – When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

A book by a non-writer – The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (A biography by the guitarist of Motley Crue about his addictions.)

A book set in my hometown-region – Native Son by Richard Wright

A book with someone’s name in the title – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

A book with a number in the title – Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (A classic that I have not yet read, shame on me.)

A book with a character named Mary – The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (A childhood favorite as well. I am Mary in many ways. This book instilled in me a love of India.)

A book of 500+ pages – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A book I can finish in a day – Freight Train by Donald Crews (My brother’s favorite story book growing up, and a favorite of mine as well.)

A book with a one word title – Room by Emma Donoghue

A book that will improve a specific area of my life – On Love by Alain de Botton (This book claims to help people who love too much. I’ve got that problem in spades.)

A memoir or journal – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (A book I’ve always wanted to read. Maya Angelou is one of the greatest writers of our time.)

A book by someone younger than me – Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh (This girl also writes a hysterical blog of the same name, go check it out.)

An award winning book – The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Gobel (This book won the Caldecott Medal in 1979, and is probably my favorite story book from childhood.)

A self-published book – The Adventures of Strongarm and Lightfoot: Scratching a Lich by Michael C. Bailey (The first in a series suggested by another dear friend, a satire of the fantasy genre.  I am so stoked to read it!)

Bonus Round! (If I have the time.)

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Did You Know I Love You by Christa Pierce

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (I once did a reading for an audio book for this novel with the help of my ex-husband for his mother. It was great fun.)

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Natasha’s Dance by Orlando Figes

Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia by Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Brensen

Women, Witches and Demons in Imperial Russia


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