My reading list has been growing at an
alarming exciting rate lately, so I thought I would share with you some of the books I will definitely be taking out of the library in 2015.
With a total of 25 books on the list, I will need to read just 2 each month (plus an extra one month) to finish them all in one year.
While there are many, many more than 25 books on my regular reading list, I have organized this 2015 must-read list into 5 categories to ensure variety:
- Classics I’ve Missed: These are famous works by well-known authors that I somehow haven’t gotten around to reading yet.
- Authors I Need More Of: These are more obscure or more recent works by authors I have read and loved in the past.
- Contemporary Women: These are contemporary novels by women authors I haven’t read in the past.
- Essential Nonfiction: These are books I hope will help me be a better human. All of them cover important and relevant topics that I should be thinking more about.
- Stranger Than Fiction: These are nonfiction stories that will reveal more about this strange and wonderful world we’re living in.
All sections are arranged alphabetically by author.
CLASSICS I’VE MISSED
- Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees
I studied Italian in college, spent a total of 8 months in Italy, and have still managed to never read anything by Italo Calvino (other than If on a winter’s night a traveler in high school – when I was not yet ready to appreciate it – and a few pages of Invisible Cities). Clearly, this needs to change.
- Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness
I used to read a lot of science fiction, but while I conquered many of the greats of the genre (Asimov, Adams, Bradbury, Herbert, L’Engle, etc, etc), I somehow missed reading anything by Ursula K. Le Guin. The Left Hand of Darkness is one of her most iconic novels, so I figured it was as good a place to start as any.
- Susan Sontag: Against Interpretation
I have read bits and pieces of this thought-provoking essay collection over the years, and now I would like to finally read the rest.
- David Foster Wallace: Infinite Jest
I spent most of the summer of ‘10 trying to check Infinite Jest out of the Washington University library, entirely without success. Hopefully I will have better luck at the St. Louis Central Library in 2015.
- Virginia Woolf: Orlando
I know, I know. I’ve never read Virginia Woolf, and it’s getting to be embarrassing.
AUTHORS I NEED MORE OF
- Margaret Atwood: The Edible Woman
Ever since I read The Handmaid’s Tale in middle school, I’ve been a big fan of Atwood. I’ve made it through the major works in her canon, but I’m still far from a completist. Tackling her first novel will bring me one step closer.
- Daniel Handler: Adverbs
One of my favorite library moments is when I found out that Roald Dahl, a favorite author of my childhood, also wrote books and short stories for adults. So, when I recently stumbled upon the fact that Daniel Handler (alias Lemony Snicket) had written a novel composed of interlinked short stories for adults, I was thrilled.
- Haruki Murakami: The Strange Library
Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors of all time, and I’ve read as many of his novels as I could get my hands on. When NPR informed me that his illustrated novella The Strange Library had just been released in English, I couldn’t wait to add it to my reading list.
- Helen Oyeyemi: White Is for Witching
I discovered the magic that is Helen Oyeyemi in 2014 with Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox, and I hope to continue it in 2015 with White Is for Witching. Hopefully I’ll have time for The Icarus Girl and The Opposite House too!
- Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch
I read The Secret History and enjoyed it, so when The Goldfinch was everywhere in 2014, I knew it would eventually end up on my list.
I’ll let the books in this category – and the following categories – speak for themselves. Since the authors and topics are new to me, I don’t have specific reasons for choosing each book other than the fact that all of them come well reviewed and highly recommended.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah
- Aimee Bender: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
- Alexis Coe: Alice + Freda Forever
- Tayari Jones: Silver Sparrow
- Scarlett Thomas: The End of Mr. Y
- Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- Marjorie Hillis: Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman
- Garrett Keizer: Privacy
- Eli Pariser: The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You
- Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts
STRANGER THAN FICTION
- Katherine Howe: The Penguin Book of Witches
- Jill Lepore: The Secret History of Wonder Woman
- Mary S. Lovell: The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family
- Daniel Okrent: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition
- John Safran: God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi
What’s on your list this year? Let me know in the comments what you’re most looking forward to reading in 2015.