I used to be an avid reader. The type of person that would sit down a cruise a 400 page book in under 6 hours. I absolutely love to read and luckily for most of my life my formal education supported this. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school we had weekly class trips to the school’s library, teacher’s encouraged us to read daily, and there was even class time devoted to my personal favorite SSR (Silent Sustained Reading). In college, there was a shift for me and finding the time to do all my class-required reading was difficult enough, much less time to read all the other books on my list.
This year I’m looking to prioritize reading, and have crafted the below list based on books that I have been interested in reading for months (even years). There are also a few books that I’ve read excerpts of but haven’t been able to dive into whole-heartedly.
Here is my current “to-do” list. Did I miss your favorite? Let me know if there is something I should add!
+ What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami. While simply training for New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Murakami’s decided to write about it as well.
+ The White Album by Joan Didion A 1979 book of essays by Joan Didion. Like her previous book Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album is a collection of works previously published in magazines such as Life and Esquire. The subjects of the essays range widely and represent a mixture of memoir, criticism, and journalism, focusing on the history and politics of California in the late 1960s and early 70s.
+ Rising Strong by Brené Brown Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.
+ The Female Persuasion: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer There’s nothing like a crush – the all-consuming gush of obsession and excitement that shocks the system into euphoria. We often read about romantic infatuation, but in The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer sets her sights on another kind – female friendship and mentorship, and the craving to be heard and admired by the one you admire. It’s a rich and satisfying novel – it will be called timely –about Greer Kadetsky, a young woman coming of age and finding inspiration in feminist icon, Faith Frank, who evolves throughout the novel from abstract celebrity, to boss, confidant and challenger who pushes Greer to confront reality.
+ Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (2005) is a collection of essays by novelist David Foster Wallace. It is also the title of one of the essays, which was published in Gourmet magazine in 2004. I’ve read the essay “Consider the Lobster” but would love to not only reread it but also to read his other essays.
+ It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine “Megan Devine has captured the grief experience: grief is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be honored. She understands the pain that grieving people carry on top of their actual grief, including the pain of being judged, dismissed, and misunderstood. It’s OK That You’re Not OK is the book I’ve been waiting for for 30 years—the one I can recommend to any newly bereaved parent, widow, widower, or adult grieving a death.” —Donna Schuurman, senior director of advocacy and training at The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families
+ Friendship: A Novel by Emily Gould Gould’s novel, out this summer, features two thirty-something women who wouldn’t seem out of place on the cast of “Girls.” One’s a Midwesterner who has outgrown her Bohemian lifestyle, and another’s a little too accustomed to privilege.