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BBAW & a Challenge

August 17, 2008

Have you ever seen the blog My Friend Amy? I hadn’t stumbled upon it until today and found that she will be hosting the Book Bloggers Appreciation Week (BBAW) in September. It looks like a fun way to celebrate the book blogging community. As she points out, book bloggers are inherently a wonderful, caring and fun group, so why not celebrate what we do together! I’ve just now joined and would suggest you check out her blog for more information.

The lovely Joanna over at Lost in a Good Story is hosting the New Classics Challenge. OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I stink at actually finishing any challenges (and have already planned to join RIP III this fall) so even though this one sounds intriguing, I’m going to pass on being a participant. Having said that, it was fun to scan through the list of books from Entertainment Weekly’s list of new classics (or what they consider the best reads from 1983 to 2008). I have copied the list below and bolded the ones I have already read.

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)

22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)

35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World’s Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators’ Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

I’ve got quite a few of these books sitting on my bookshelves, waiting to be read (see below). Maybe without the pressures of this challenge, I might actually get to some of them soon!

9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)

Are you up for this challenge? Check out Joanna’s blog to find out how to join!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2008 6:10 pm

    I read a lot, but I’ve only read four of the books on that list!

    I just finished The Russian Concubine, and I think you’d really like it. I couldn’t put it down, and now that I’m finished with it, I miss it terribly!!!


  2. August 17, 2008 7:57 pm

    A lot of good books on that list – Poisonwood Bible and Cold Mountain especially, out of the ones you own. Bel Canto is also a good book, although not as much of a favorite as the other two, and I Angela’s Ashes is probably a good book as well, except for the fact that I don’t usually like memoirs.

    From the rest of the list, I thought Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay, Cloud Atlas, His Dark Materials, and The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down were all excellent.

  3. August 19, 2008 10:37 am

    I saw that list but didn’t know it was online -thanks for the link. Of the ones you didn’t read yet, I’ve read #55, #60, #75, #78, #79, and #94, and I have to say they were all pretty good, so I trust the list’s “taste” in books.

  4. August 19, 2008 11:45 am

    A couple of these were on the Bargain stack at Borders for $5 and yet I didn’t pick em up (On Beauty, Cold Mnt) I amaze myself sometimes… I have so many books to read that are IN MY OWN HOUSE so I must stop buying. It’s interesting to me how many I have read. I love lists.

  5. tara permalink
    August 19, 2008 8:15 pm

    I have not been reading your blog recently and am happy to have found myself back (and also pleased to see you’re still here). The list is great and I am surprised that I’ve read at least 75% of them. The true HAVE TO READ are … The Road (the finest book I read last yr), Maus, The Handmaid’s Tale, the Poisionwood Bible (you really have not read that, it’s amazing), Angela’s Ashes, Interpreter of Maladies, Comfort Me w. Apples (love Ruth Reichl) and Blindness. On a recent camping trip this summer my husband and I agreed to read whichever book the other suggested. I suggested he read The Ruins (which he couldn’t put down) and he made me read One Hundred Years of Solitude.

  6. August 27, 2008 9:55 am

    I’ve only read 28 of those books although I do have a couple lurking on my shelves. From the list of books-that-you-own-but-have-not-read-yet , I’d really recommend The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s an incredible book that I can’t recommend highly enough. I also enjoyed Case Histories and The Poisonwood Bible.

  7. August 28, 2008 2:55 pm

    Hmm, this one is mighty tempting. I’ve read quite a few but not nearly as many as I probably should have. Still, like any of these lists I take issue with some of the choices and wonder where some of my favorites are.

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