21 October 2009

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

The more I think about this Cannonball Read, the more excited I get. Since I graduated college in May, life has been wacky, a little bit erratic, and I'm looking forward to this year-long commitment.

I guess I'll talk a little about myself... I graduated from UVA in May 2009. Thanks to this woeful economy, I still don't have a real job. I'm barely employed at a cafe... I probably shouldn't get too in-depth with it in case Irish spies are watching me. I imagine them being leprechauns, actually.

Most of the books I read usually involve the following topics/themes:

Germany - was a German Studies major, I can't help it, it's engrained in me, literally (Dad is German)
War - also majored in Foreign Affairs, it's my thing and it tends to work well with the German theme
Heartbreak - I excel at reading and crying at the same time
Traveling - because it's fun and I'd much rather pretend to be there than here
Soccer (and Tennis to a lesser degree) - I toe the line between passionate and fanatical

Over the years, I've learned that I much prefer unhappy endings over happy endings. Maybe it seems more realistic to me, or I'm just a sadist who enjoys reading and crying a little too much.

Like my Twin, I hate ChickLit. In fact, I'd much rather everyone die at the end than the Shopaholic meet her rich man and live happily ever after. That's not to say I don't appreciate classic romance, I can watch Pride and Prejudice (BOTH versions) over and over and over again. I live for certain scenes in Sense and Sensibility. But I can't stand trite, cheesy bullshit.

That said, last night I did some research and compiled a list of books I'd like to read over the next year.

1. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón
2. The Angel's Game - also by Zafón
3. Stasiland - Anna Funder
4. For Whom the Bells Tolls - Hemingway
5. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
6. Captain Alatriste - Arturo Pérez-Reverte (and maybe the rest of the series if I like it)
7. The Ministry of Special Cases - Nathan Englander
8. Open - Andre Agassi
9. The Have-Nots - Katharina Hacker
10. Women in Love - DH Lawrence
11. A Room with a View - EM Forster
12. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
13. The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood
14. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
15. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster Wallace
16. 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
17. A Tale of Two Cities - Dickens
18. People are Unappealing - Sarah Barron
19. All Quiet on the Western Front - Remarque
20. Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
21. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald
22. On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
23. The Kommandant's Girl - Pam Jenoff
24. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
25. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen & Seth Grahame Smith
26. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
27. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn
28. High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
29. Soccernomics - Simon Kuper
30. Soccer Against the Enemy - Simon Kuper
31. City of Thieves - David Benioff
32. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters - Jane Austen & Ben H. Winters
33. A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell
34. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (possibly the rest of the series)
35. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barberry
36. Eros by Helmut Krausser
37. Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
38. Between Two Seas by Carmine Abate
39. The Lover by Marguerite Duras
40. The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald
41. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italio Calvino
42. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
43. Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
44. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
45. Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman
46. All the Names by Jose Saramago
47. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
48. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

That's more than half of my list, but who knows if I'll still have interest in these books over the next few months. I think it's a good start though.

20 October 2009

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Pajiba Cannonball Read S2 = 52 books in 52 weeks starting November 1st.

I was thinking about doing it last year, but the goal was 100 books and I didn't think I'd be able to balance it with schoolwork. Since I'm done with school AND basically unemployed (I don't think a 10 hour work week counts as much), I have plenty of time on my hands.

It's for a good cause AND it'll challenge me. I haven't been reading as much as I'd like to, so a little competition will give me that extra kick I need.

Even though the competition won't start for another 2 weeks, I've already got my first book picked out - "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

So yeah, stay tuned.