Start Date: 6/28/2017 End Date: March 2020? Books Read So Far: 14
I’ve always wanted to do one of those “101 things in 1001 days” type of challenges that I have seen frequently on other blogs, but was never inspired enough to actually come up with an idea worthy of trying. That is, until I recently confessed that my biggest shame as a writer is that I don’t read — and finally embraced a newfound love of audiobooks and podcasts.
So, in order to conquer the self-imposed myth that I don’t read and don’t have time to read, I am challenging myself to read 101 books in the next 1001 days or 33 months… which amounts to roughly 2 2/3 years so I expect to be done around my 34th birthday or so.
The books on this list will come from a variety of sources. Some I will read thanks to a movie tie-in bookclub that I co-founded, some I will read because I recently saw an article recommend it and put them on my Amazon Wish List, and most I will read because I bought the book on Kindle but am giving up on the idea of reading it that way (for now). So here goes!
1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
This memoir by one of my favorite writers (and co-host of the Dear Sugars podcast, which I love) chronicles Cheryl’s journey to find herself again after the death of her mother and divorce from her husband in her early 20s. Wild primarily is the story of her 1100-mile solo hike that took a broken young woman and built her up again.
(Started: 6/28/2017, Finished: 6/30/2017 — via Audible)
2. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman
Anne Helen Petersen
Narrated by author
I saw this book on a couple “must read” lists for books that came out in June 2017 and the title appealed to me instantly. This book is broken down into 10 chapters of different female celebrities and how they are each pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an “acceptable” woman—and how society often deems them each “too much” or something. The chapter on Hillary Clinton in particular was fantastic.
(Started: 7/2/2017, Finished: 7/9/2017 — via Audible)
3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Who doesn’t know and love The Wizard of Oz movie? The book was very similar, and I was thrilled to read the original story and see some of the differences in the text. I read the unabridged version, which was less than four hours long.
(Started: 7/10/2017, Finished: 7/14/2017 — via Overdrive)
4. Bad Feminist: Essays
narrated by Bahni Turpin
This book has been on my Must Read List for forever, and I was thrilled to find it in my library’s audiobook app after owning the Kindle version for over a year and failing to read it. This collection of essays, which spans politics, criticism, and feminism, was a fascinating read about how we view women, race, and what it means to be a feminist today.
(Started: 7/16/2017, Finished: 7/23/2017 — via Overdrive)
5. The Art of Memoir
Narrated by author
Mary Karr is a well-known memoir author, and her latest book is part memoir about her life as a writer and as a reader of memoirs and part instruction manual. She read the book herself, and I found her voice calm and knowledgeable. My only real complaint here is that I actually think this book would have been better had I read my physical copy of it and could take notes on the instructional part.
(Started: 7/24/2017, Finished: 7/29/2017 — via Overdrive)
6. Modern Romance: An Investigation
Narrated by author
I have been meaning to read this book for ages, and I am thrilled that I finally was able to. Aziz, a comedian, narrating his own book was a joy. Besides the little asides and jokes throughout, it was actually a very good investigation into modern dating. In particular, I was fascinated by the chapter on international dating (in which he talked about dating in Paris, Tokyo and Buenos Aires). I highly recommend this one for anyone dating in today’s world… or who is simply interested in what it’s like.
(Started: 7/31/2017, Finished: 8/2/2017 — via Overdrive)
7. Me Before You
Narrated by Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, Owen Lindsay
I watched this movie last year, and fell in love. I had always meant to read the book, and even bought the book and its sequel on Kindle. But since I’m now doing audiobooks, I thought “reading” it via my library would be best. As predicted, the book was great. Similar to the movie, but with a lot more family drama, it’s a sweet and heartbreaking novel — my favorite kind.
(Started: 8/6/2017, Finished: 8/9/2017 — via Overdrive)
8. After You
Narrated by Anna Acton
Sequels can honestly be a hit or a miss, and this one falls squarely in the middle. To be honest, I was frequently annoyed with the things that our main character was doing and the way she was reacting. But in the end, it was a happy ending and she made the right choice, so all is good. I also appreciated the the sequel pretty much kept to one narrator, versus having mostly one but sometimes others throughout the first book. I wonder if this one will make it into a movie too?
(Started: 8/9/2017, Finished: 8/11/2017 — via Overdrive)
9. Why Not Me?
Narrated by author, Greg Daniels, B.J. Novak
I didn’t listen a book due to a busy weekend, but I started out strong with Mindy’s second memoir. Just as with my previous book, however, I didn’t love the sequel as much as I had loved the original. Although having Mindy herself read the book was great, and she is always funny and has a surprising amount of insight, this one just didn’t have the depth or hold my interest as much as Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? had.
(Started: 8/14/2017, Finished: 8/14/2017 — via Overdrive)
10. The Handmaid’s Tale
Narrated by Claire Danes
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while now, basically since I heard of the Hulu series and what a huge splash it was making. Luckily, it was chosen as our book club book for August, so I had a great excuse. The narration by Claire Danes was phenomenal and reading the book was almost as thrilling as seeing the series (which I had done back in June). I’m very much looking forward to the series continuing the tale, to be honest, because the book did indeed have a jarring ending. None the less, it’s a must-read for today’s world.
(Started: 8/15/2017, Finished: 8/24/2017 — via Audible)
11. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
Narrated by Elisa Donovan
Yes, I read Lean In several years late (better late than never!) and all in one day. Between running errands and cooking lunches for the week, I had plenty of time and absolutely devoured the audiobook. Although I wish that Sheryl Sandberg herself had read this one, I thought the book was so much more than what others have described it as. I took quite a few tidbits with me for the future and am even encouraging my partner to read it soon. Can’t wait for her second book, Plan B.
(Started: 8/26/2017, Finished: 8/26/2017 — via Overdrive)
Narrated by Sara Jes Austell
Right on the heels of Lean In, and because I had another day of errands to get done, I dove straight into #Girlboss. I mostly enjoyed this quasi-girlpower book by the founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, but I didn’t find her advice nearly as thrilling as the previous book. She had good things to say about work and ambition, but at times I found it vapid and a bit too self-congratulatory. Her focus on not attending school and not taking out a loan to start her business were also quite unrealistic and, I am afraid, possibly sending a bad message to young girls. Overall, though, I am glad I finally read this one too.
(Started: 8/27/2017, Finished: 8/28/2017 — via Overdrive)
13. The Carrie Diaries
Narrated by Sarah Drew
Although I was excited to read the story of Carrie Bradshaw’s final year of high school, I was a little disappointed by this book. I found her more vapid than in the show and was shocked by some of the missing details from the show and visa versa (like, in Sex and the City, there’s NO mention of Carrie’s two younger sisters or her dad and in this prequel book there’s no mention of her HS boyfriend Jeremy). Overall, though, it was a fun and easy read.
(Started: 8/29/2017, Finished: 9/1/2017 — via Overdrive)
14. Esperanza Rising
Pam Munoz Ryan
Narrated by Trini Alvarado
In an effort to read more Latinx stories and more young adult novels (which I love, but had fallen out of the habit of reading when I fell in love with memoir too), I began this book with excitement. The story was a bit slow and difficult for me to relate to, but it was a great look at what life was like for Mexican immigrants working in California farmlands in the 1930s. The historical novel taught me a lot (including reminding me about Mexican Repatriation), and I am excited to read more of these types of stories.
(Started: 9/2/2017, Finished: 9/4/2017 — via Overdrive)
15. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Narrated by author
Currently in progress.
(Started: 9/5/2017, Finished: TBD — via Overdrive)
16. Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic & the Domestic
Narrated by author
(Started: TBD, Finished: TBD — via Audible)
Upcoming Books (in no particular order):
- The War Of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle* (Steven Pressfield) — via Audible
- Pride and Prejudice* (Jane Austen) — via Audible
- In the Country We Love: My Family Divided* (Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford) — via Audible
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking* (Susan Cain) — via Audible
- Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words* (Michael Ausiello) Release date: September 12, 2017 — via Audible
- The Hate U Give* (Angie Thomas)
- Spinster (Kate Bolick)
- Running With Scissors: A Memoir (Augusten Burroughs)
- Dry: A Memoir (Augusten Burroughs)
- Lust & Wonder: A Memoir (Augusten Burroughs)
- Lit: A Memoir (Mary Karr)
- Alex & Eliza (Melissa de la Cruz)
- Better Than Before (Gretchen Rubin)
- Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty)
- Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon)
- The Sun is Also a Star (Nicola Yoon)
- Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (Carlos Eire)
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (Michael Pollan)
- It Was Me All Along: A Memoir (Andie Mitchell)
- Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert)
- Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing (Jennifer Weiner)
- Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction (Elizabeth Vargas)
- Where She Went (Gayle Forman)
- Heartburn (Nora Ephron)
- Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (Susannah Cahalan)
- The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo (Amy Schumer)
- Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’ (Lena Dunham)
- Eligible (Curtis Sittenfeld)
- Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest To Discover if Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, Or Why Pie is Not The Answer (Jen Lancaster)
- Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase (Jen Lancaster)
- Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office (Jen Lancaster)
- My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict’s Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black; Or, A Culture-Up Manifesto (Jen Lancaster)
- The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog (Jen Lancaster)
- Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl’s Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? (Jen Lancaster)
- The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person (Shonda Rhimes)
- How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
- The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)
- The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir* (Ariel Levy)
- Luckiest Girl Alive (Jessica Knoll)
- The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood (Belle Boggs)
- Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things (Jenny Lawson)
- Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (Jenny Lawson)
- The Girls (Emma Cline)
- Everything You Want Me To Be: A Novel (Mindy Mjia)
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life* (Jen Sincero)
- Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life (Glennon Doyle Melton)
- Love Warrior (Glennon Doyle Melton)
- The Nest (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney)
- Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain and Do Everything Better (Wendy Suzuki)
- The Alchemist (Paul Coelho)
- Sweetbitter (Stephanie Danler)
- Once Upon a Quinceañera (Julia Alvarez)
- Wildflower (Drew Barrymore)
- The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson)
- Shadowshaper (Daniel José Older)
- Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body* (Roxane Gay) — via Overdrive
- The Glass Castle: A Memoir* (Jeannette Walls) — via Overdrive
- The God Delusion* (Richard Dawkins) — via Overdrive
- Gone With the Wind* (Margaret Mitchell) — via Overdrive
- Option B* (Sheryl Sandberg) — via Overdrive
- Gabi, a Girl in Pieces* (Isabel Quintero) — via Overdrive
- Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (Piper Kerman) — via Overdrive
* Already purchased, pre-ordered, or reserved at my library