When I first started blogging, I joined practically every reading challenge that I came across. I soon learned that I had basically set myself up for failure. As this challenge and that challenge fell to the wayside, one stood out. The Notable Books Challenge was one that I could do. It’s a perpetual challenge, meaning that it goes from year to year to year. You can read any notable book from any year’s list.
So, every January, I look back on the notable books that I’ve read, and then choose my new selections. Last year, I said that I would read five of them.
- When Will There be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (CSM 2008, NYT 2008, PW 2008)
- The Likeness by Tana French (CSM 2008, PW 2008)
- Serena by Ron Rash (CSM 2008, PW 2008,)
- The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (CSM 2008, PW 2008)
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa (2009 ALA, NYT 2008, PW 2008)
I didn’t actually read the last book, but I did read several other notable books that I didn’t have on my original list:
- No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane (PW 2008)
- Outliers by Maclom Gladwell (PW 2008)
- What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (PW 2007)
- Columbine by Dave Cullen (2010 ALA, NYT 2009, PW 2009)
This year, I have again settled on five, with the hope that I actually read many more than this.
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. (Man Booker Prize, CSM Best Books 2009, 2010 Tournament of Books, and NYT Most Notable 2009)
- Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips. (CSM Best Books 2009, NYT 2009 Notable Books, 2010 Tournament of Books, PW 2009 Best Books)
- Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr. (CSM Best Books 2009)
- The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. (NYT Notable Books 2009, 2010 Tournament of Books, PW 2009 Best Books)
- Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls. (NYT Notable Books 2009, 2010 Tournament of Books)