(If you're curious to see what I've read in past years:
The hardest thing both years was narrowing it down to 12, so this is the time of year when I solicit input from the peanut gallery.
Here are the current contenders:
RETURNING FROM LAST YEAR:
- Death Is a Lonely Business, by Ray Bradbury. I love Ray Bradbury.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. Recommended by someone.
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins. Recommended by lots of people.
Oliver Twist or David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist was on my list last year but I ended up reading Great Expectations instead because the consensus seemed to be that Oliver Twist was not his best. David Copperfield also came up as a better alternative, so maybe that. Or maybe since I just read Great Expectations I'll give Dickens a rest this year.
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Gushed over by so many people, including several of you.
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. People keep telling me to read this. It sounds like a fast & entertaining read.
Middlemarch, by George Eliot. Gushed over by several good friends. I'm thinking seriously of including this one this year, especially since I don't think I've ever read any Eliot.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy. Heartily lobbied for by several of you last year. Same as above.
The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett. See "mysterious mystery." Though I think this is actually pretty short so it may not warrant its own month.
Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. I like to read one or two sci fi classics per year & sort of can't believe I haven't read this.
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Everyone says this is great, plus it's like 300 pages.
The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith. This one just sounds intriguing. Bonus points for a female author.
The World According to Garp, by John Irving. Another one lots of friends have recommended. Then again I've done Irving two years in a row so maybe I let someone new have his slot this year.
Ulysses, by James Joyce. I should probably be terrified of this one but I'm oddly intrigued.
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. After One Hundred Years of Solitude, I still kind of feel the need to try another GMM. Or not.
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck. Several friends have been telling me for years to read this one. I haven't been big on Steinbeck in the past but I'm willing to give it a shot.
Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne. See sci fi classics. Also Journey to the Center of the Earth was unsatisfying.
Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse Five is one of my favorites.
All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren. I find the summary intriguing. This one is one of the leading contenders, I think.
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton. Recommended by several of you in previous years.
A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. I've never read any Tennessee Williams & feel kind of ashamed about it.
NEW CONTENDERS FOR THIS YEAR:
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I really just need to suck it up and finally read this. I even own a copy that someone gave me for Christmas when I was like, 14.
Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. I saw part of the movie which for a long time convinced me that this book was Not My Thing, but lots of people have said it's super good, so maybe I'll give it a shot.
Far From The Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy. Also many rave reviews.
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. I've heard that this is actually a well-written book, in spite of the decadent subject matter? I am definitely going to read it one of these days.
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. Lots of people have raved about it and said it actually does not necessarily make you want to shoot yourself in the face.
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. I keep forgetting I've been meaning to read this.
To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf. I've never read any Virgina Woolf and that seems like something that should be fixed.
Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs. Morbid curiosity, I admit.
Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie. Love me some Rushdie.
Thoughts? Which would you vote for? Are any of your desperate favorites missing? Anything from which I should flee while there's still time? MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!