Bibliophilia – 50 in 2011

50 in 2011


As an incessant collector of books and a bibliophile (Another might go with the much less delicate “hoarder.”) I often find I’m swimming in them – negotiating a constant mess of piles. I’ve decided that I want my reading to take a more goal oriented approach in an effort to make progress in reading books I own. For instance, I have an ever growing collection of biographies about women but most of them have gone unread. Same with fiction that doesn’t have a science/fantasy element to it. This could be a laughable endeavor given I seem to acquire a new stack of books weekly, but I like impossible challenges!

Methodology: I selected fifty books that I’d really love to get to this year from my collection. I’m not aiming to read them all so much as using them as a guide to prioritize what to pick up. I will probably keep the list at 50 throughout the year – once one is read on the list I will add another to replace it. I’m also not requiring that I read only what’s here, I know I’ll be reading many other things though they will probably be lighter reads.

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
Lolita – Vladimir Nabakov
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
She – H. Rider Haggard
Ceremony – Leslie Marmon Silko
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
Dubliners – James Joyce

Vera: Mrs. Vladimir Nabakov – Stacey Schiff
Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi – Katherine Frank
Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life – Caroline Moorehead
The White Boned Demon: A Biography of Madame Mao Zedong – Terrill Ross
Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA – Brenda Maddox
Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle
Hermann Hesse: Pilgrim of Crisis – Ralph Freedman
A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII – Sarah Helms
Geisha: A Life – Mineko Iwasaki

Politics, Current Events and Economics
Anarchism: From Theory to Practice – Daniel Guerin
Man Made Language – Dale Spender
Women, Culture and Politics – Angela Davis
Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform – Sharon Hays
Zapatista Reader – Tom Hayden
The Cost of Living – Arundhati Roy
Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace – Vandana Shiva
The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty – Dorothy Roberts
Juki Girls, Good Girls: Gender and Cultural Politics in Sri Lanka’s Global Garment Industry
Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East
The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy – Raj Patel
Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda – Peter Uvin
Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives – Cynthia Enloe
Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World – Mike Davis

Various Non-Fiction
A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present – Howard Zinn
An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales – Oliver Sacks
The Cosmic Serpent – Jeremy Narby
In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development – Carol Gilligan
Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit
God is Red: A Native View of Religion – Vine Deloria Jr.
ADDED: The Frailty Myth – Colette Dowling

House of Leaves – Mark Danielewski
The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula LeGuin
Mistress of the Art of Death – Ariana Franklin
Petals of Blood – Ngugi wa Thiong’o
The City and the City – China Mieville
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
The Glass Bead Game – Hermann Hesse
Still Waters in Niger – Kathleen Hill
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri