1. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
3. Arsonist by Joaquin Zihuatanejo
4. The Dust of Dreams by Erikson
5. The Crippled God by Erikson
These books are unfinished business, the works I have already bought but never finished, or ones in a series or connected to others in a universe that I am already invested in. All of them are picks from me personally, and they are each in their own way an inspiration for this silly challenge of mine, all of them a microcosm of the entire year’s worth of reading on their own. That’s why I’m going to read these first, to begin the year with the greatest mental challenges, and to prove to myself that I can finish these things despite whatever may have caused my initial lapse from them.
6. Warbreaker by Sanderson
7. Easy Riders Raging Bulls by Peter Biskind
8. Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Murakami
9. Horns by Joe Hill
10. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
11. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
13. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
14. Zeroville by Steve Erickson
15. Images: My Life in Film by Ingmar Bergman
16. Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek
17. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
18. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by Mitchell
19. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
20. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
21. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
22. V. by Thomas Pynchon
23. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
24. An Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov
25. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
26. Call of the Wild by Jack London
These are all standalone novels that have been suggested to me that I find interesting enough to put on the list. Since a significant number of recommendations given to me were from series, I think I will read these first, and then start picking away at the last grouping of books:
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman (10 graphic novels)
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (2 books)
Awoken Online by Travis Bagwell (5 books)
Black Company by Glen Cook (4 books)
New Crobuzon by China Mieville (3 books)
The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel (3 books)
Horimiya by HERO (12 Volumes)
The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
The Liveship Traders Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Alex Cross by James Patterson (9? Patterson’s a madman)
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (14! books)
Imperial Radch by Ann Leckie (3 books)
The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin (3 books)
These series could comprise 74 distinct tomes if I read them all, but I doubt that I will finish every series, especially given that there are some quite prolific authors among those listed. Nonetheless, they will comprise the latter half of my reading of the year, with at a good number of them likely holding my interest enough to finish out my stated goal.
Many of the books on my list I have almost no idea what to expect from outside of the short description given on the Amazon page. Many I have a great deal of knowledge of, and some I have been wanting to read for some time. Hopefully, this will not feel as challenging as it may appear; as it is now I have easily been keeping up a pace sufficient to reading 1 book per week for a couple months now, and that is on novels with thousand-page lengths.
In this, I hope my objective is rather quite clear. I have been a lifelong reader, but my interest has only recently returned to me after it lapsed for some time in my early twenties. I have recaptured something about myself in my recent readings, something that I don’t want to lose grasp of. Over the next year, I hope to nurture this feeling and turn the act of reading for pleasure into a habit that I can maintain for the rest of my life.
Additionally, I’m excited to be reading a wide variety of works. When I was young, we would have reading lists assigned to us as a challenge, a means to get us to engage with a wide selection of works, and I always undertook the exercise with determination. This list ranges much further than any I could have produced on my own, and for that I must thank everyone who responded to my requests across the variety of mediums that I put it out on.
Formally, this begins on January 1st, 2019. Until then, I’ll be finishing up Mistborn and thinking of something to write about it and the Stormlight Chronicles that expresses how I view the works as representations of Sanderson’s style and in the greater context of other fantasy works they are related to. I look forward to sharing these thoughts, and many others, with all of you over the next year.