Friday, April 3, 2009

I'm Scared: Project Fill-in-the-Gaps

At the behest of MoonRat, over at Editorial Ass, I'm taking on a terrifying challenge. I scared of it, really and truly. You have no idea. It's called Project Fill-in-the-Gaps, and there's a whole blogging collective site for posting about this. I haven't gotten permission to post to it yet, but I have asked and will throw my list up there when permission is granted.

The challenge is this: to pick 100 books that you want to read, but somehow never get around to (because they're kinda hard and you're tired and there are other fun and easy things to read). Commit to reading at least 75% of them in the next five years. That's more than one great but tough book per month. I'm not sure I can do it, even with my voracious reading habits. But I do think it's a great idea because, honestly, without something like this, when will I ever be motivated to read these books?

It was actually hard for me to come up with 100 that I felt were worthy of a project called Fill-in-the-Gaps - at least, to come up with 100 that I was interested in reading and that I hadn't already read. As it is, eight of the books on my list are things I've read before, but I read them so long ago and I only read them once; I keep meaning to re-read them but meet the same problems as with the rest of the list that I've never read. I marked the ones I've read before with a little "(R)" in front of the titles.

So here's my list. They're in alpha order by author, but I probably won't read them in that order. I may post about my progress from time to time, but I'll give the nitty-gritty details on the Fill in the Gaps blog. If you're interested, join the fun!
  1. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  2. The Man with the Golden Arm, Nelson Algren
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  4. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
  5. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
  6. (R) Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  7. Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
  8. Continental Drift, Russell Banks
  9. Peter Pan, J M Barrie
  10. The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  11. The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow
  12. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  13. (R) Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
  14. The Good Earth, Pearl S Buck
  15. Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
  16. Running with Scissors, Augusten Burroughs
  17. Possession, A S Byatt
  18. The Plague, Albert Camus
  19. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  20. My Antonia, Willa Cather
  21. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  22. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography, Agatha Christie
  23. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
  24. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K Dick
  25. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  26. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  27. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. The Barrytown Trilogy, Roddy Doyle
  29. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
  30. The House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus III
  31. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  32. Spartacus, Howard Fast
  33. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
  34. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
  35. This Side of Paradise, F Scott Fitzgerald
  36. A Room with a View, E M Forster
  37. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
  38. Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy
  39. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
  40. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  41. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  42. (R) The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  43. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
  44. (R) Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  45. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
  46. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
  47. The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
  48. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson
  49. Daisy Miller, Henry James
  50. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
  51. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
  52. The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
  53. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
  54. The Road to Lichfield, Penelope Lively
  55. At the Mountains of Madness, H P Lovecraft
  56. Of Human Bondage, Somerset Maugham
  57. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  58. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  59. The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers
  60. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  61. Promethea, Alan Moore
  62. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Haruki Murakami
  63. Invitation to a Beheading, Vladimir Nabokov
  64. Everything that Rises Must Converge, Flannery O'Connor
  65. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  66. (R) Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
  67. Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
  68. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
  69. Six Characters in Search of an Author, Luigi Pirandello
  70. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig
  71. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  72. The Wanderers, Richard Price
  73. The Shipping News, E Annie Proulx
  74. (R) The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon
  75. The Human Stain, Philip Roth
  76. The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
  77. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  78. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  79. Fair and Tender Ladies, Lee Smith
  80. Maus, Art Spiegelman
  81. Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne
  82. Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  83. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
  84. Short Stories of Mark Twain, Mark Twain
  85. The Accidental Tourist, Anne Tyler
  86. Burr, Gore Vidal
  87. Myra Breckenridge/Myron, Gore Vidal
  88. Candide, Voltaire
  89. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  90. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  91. All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
  92. (R) A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh
  93. (R) A Curtain of Green, Eudora Welty
  94. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
  95. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
  96. Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe
  97. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
  98. Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  99. Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
  100. The Book Thief, Mark Zusak


  1. woohoo!! awesome list. we have a bunch in common :)

    i'm SO EXCITED about the joint blog. woot.

  2. Good list!Maybe instead of re-reading "Pride and Prej," you can read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" since it is supposed to have kept much of the original text!

  3. I've noticed that a lot of people on the joint blog have a lot of books in common...which I guess isn't so surprising. There are a lot of classics, and who has time to read them all?

  4. OMG, I didn't read the little intro first and saw the (R) in front of titles and was going to be immediately shocked and dismayed (read: jealous) you'd gotten those done already!

    So, I feel a little better. :)