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My 2016 Reading List

reading, books, books to read, reading list, 20s reading list, 20s, books to read in your 20s

I'd hate to say it, but I'm a big goal setter during January. This year I'm trying to read 2-3 books every month which translates to reading somewhere between 24 and 52 books total. Last year I read 15 books which isn't terrible, but I'd like to be more mindful about reading this year.

So I've come up with this list of books I'm trying to read this year. I haven't got these in any sort of order or theme, just books I've been wanting to read. It should be noted though that I have no problem stopping a book halfway through if I get too bored with it- I'm looking at you The Emperor's Children.

I like to keep my list really flexible and add to it during the course of the year, so I've only got 16 books to read so far. If you're a book nerd like me you should check out my Goodreads, where I share everything I read.

1. Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace

I've already started this one because I'm pretty sure it's by far the most difficult book on my list. Mainly for it's size –over 1,000 pages. This was on tons of those 20-something reading lists I found online, so I knew I wanted it number 1 on my list. I got this sucker on Kindle so I'm not lugging around a brick with me and it makes the footnotes a breeze.

2. The Sun also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

I've actually already started this one too but haven't gotten far enough to say much about it yet. It's been sitting on my shelf for years and I've been meaning to read it for a while now. I have a weakness for the clearance section at Half Price Books.

3. The Emperor's Children - Claire Messund

It took me ten months to get halfway through this book and very little has happened thus far. I'm going to give it one more go this year before putting it away all together. I'm typically pretty good about quitting a book if I get too bored with it. I may wait until I've got a road trip this summer to crack this one back open.

4. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson

I'll be honest, I don't know much about this book but rather found it on a list somewhere. I've really been into contemporary novels recently and I've gotten so tired reading about New York and Paris in other novels. This one takes place in a "Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake," which seems about as far from NYC as you can get.

5. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

I watched this movie when I was a little younger, so it might be hard for me to get through this knowing the plot. Again this was on a ton of lists as a must read.

6. Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert. A Heinlein

I read A Darker Shade of Magic and Cloud Atlas last year and loved them, so I'm really trying to consume some more science fiction. I got an Amazon gift card for Christmas and picked up Stranger in a Strange Land used for a penny!

7. The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. - Adelle Waldman

A girl can only take so many classics, I think this one is going to be an easier beach read, it's also going to–hopefully– be a quick read at about 250 pages. I also have a nerdy obsession about reading really great debut novels from authors, then following them whenever they release something new.

8. The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell

I loved Cloud Atlas by Mitchell when I read it last year so I'm really looking forward to reading another one by him. The Bone Clocks was released in June of last year.

9. The Poisonwood Bible

I'm kicking myself for not taking AP English my senior year of high school. I opted for dual credit English comp instead and missed out on tons of great books like this one. My friend–who was smart enough to take AP English–said this was one of her favorite from the course so I definitely wanted to read it this year.

10. The Handmaids Tale - Margret Atwood

Ok so I cheated, I got this book for Christmas and consumed it the two days after. So technically I guess I read it in 2015. My boss at the library said this was one of her favorite books and I definitely see why, Atwood has the perfect balance of language and plot that makes me like a book. It's also relatively short, so I definitely recommend it.

11. The Collected Poems of Kenneth Koch

I may or may not be reading this just because the cover art is so gorgeous. Seriously though, poetry is one genre I've never read before so I though I'd try some out this year. I will however say I'll be getting this at the library because even used it's really expensive. If I really love it I may break down and buy a physical copy, I did the same for Cloud Atlas, I listened to it on Audible then picked up a copy from Half Price I loved it so much.

12. On the Road - Jack Kerouac

I honestly don't recall where found this book and decided to put it on my list, but this–like Stranger in a Strange Land –I got for a penny used from Amazon. I suppose I didn't have any 20's lit on my list.

13. Call Ee by Your Name - André Aciman

This is probably one of the more spicy novels on my list so far. Last year I bought a two dollar kindle book that sounded interesting. A few chapters in I realized it was a romance novel, talk about weird. While erotica is definitely my idea of casual, academic reading Call Me by Your Name has more of a coming-of-age feel which made me want to add it to my list.

14. The Group - Mary McCarthy

Instead of making friends of my own I'd much rather just read about people with friends, #introvertstatus. Seriously though, I'm really into books that take place over a long period of time, this one follows a group of friends from meeting through adulthood.

15. The Fountainhead - Ayn rand

This is another one I missed out on in AP English. Ayn Rand has a ton of highly reviewed novels, I read somewhere that this one is slightly less political than Atlas Shrugged.

16. One Flew over the Cukoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

I haven't read many books about mental illness since The Bell Jar when I was in high school. This one is another American classic.

17. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

This was a New York Times bestseller that my boyfriend got in a loot crate last year. It seems like a really cool sci-fi novel.

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  1. These all look like interesting picks! Over the last few years, I've felt like I had no time for leisure reading. It is something I definitely enjoy though, so I'm hoping to read more during 2016. I think making a list is a great idea and definitely would help to meet the goal! Good luck!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss