Last year, Rick from Another Book Blog made a list of 100 books he wanted to read, at some point in his life. I loved the idea of having a lifelong list, and boy did I have books to fill it. I jotted down as many books as I could – books that I felt would enrich my life somehow, or important reads I hadn’t had time for yet. I then proceeded to read a total of one of the 75 books I listed. As I sorted through my blog last week, refreshing it a little, I read through the list again and realized that yes, do still want to read those books, but most of them I listed as an attempted accomplishment of some sort, and not because I actually truly am excited to read them.

I went home and perused my shelves and realized something: I own so many books I can’t wait to read, but by owning them, I feel as though I’m saving them for a rainy day, or worse, retirement (ha!) and not actually engaging with something I’m pretty sure I will love! And then I thought “Wow.. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I’ll have wasted all that money buying books I may have loved, and never got to.” And so, this year, as a goal, I am going to read through some of those books instead. I am deleting my 75 books and instead, reviving the list with 47 books I already own, which I think I will love, and want to actually read – because life is too short, and you never know just how much time you truly have. I want to fill my reading time with great books, instead of always saving the good ones for a rainy day. There will always always be more new books to read.

In no particular order, here we are! The list will live (with progress reports) in the links above. I’d love to hear what you think of any of these!

The Old But New List

  1. The Year of Magical Thinking – Joan Didion
  2. Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion
  3. My Life In France – Julia Child
  4. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  5. Life Among the Savages – Shirley Jackson
  6. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
  7. The Monsters of Templeton – Lauren Groff
  8. Living With A Dead Language – Ann Patty
  9. The Shepherd’s Life – James Rebanks
  10. Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
  11. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly – Matt Mccarthy
  12. The Long Winded Lady – Maeve Brennan
  13. Homesick At The New Yorker – Angela Bourke
  14. This Is the Story Of A Happy Marriage – Ann Patchett
  15. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  16. Home Is Burning – Dan Marshall
  17. The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
  18. Sleepwalking – Meg Wolitzer
  19. One Last Thing Before I Go – Jonathan Tropper
  20. The Tender Bar – J.R. Moehringer
  21. The Dutchess of Bloomsbury Street – Helene Hanff
  22. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
  23. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  24. Upstream – Mary Oliver
  25. Bleaker House – Nell Stevens
  26. Uncommon Type – Tom Hanks
  27. Lab Girl – Hope Jaren
  28. Thanks Obama – David Litt
  29. Ten Years in the Tub – Nick Hornby
  30. I’ll Drink to That – Betty Halbreich
  31. Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business – Dolly Parton
  32. Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell
  33. The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben
  34. Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
  35. The Last Girl Before Freeway – Leslie Bennetts
  36. If We Were Villains – M.L. Rio
  37. My Life On The Road – Gloria Steinem
  38. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life – Ruth Franklin
  39. Bird By Bird – Anne Lamott
  40. Medicine Walk – Richard Wagamese
  41. The Long Goodbye – Meghan O’Rourke
  42. Dying – Cory Taylor
  43. Men We Reaped – Jesmyn Ward
  44. The Good House – Ann Leary
  45. On Writing – Stephen King
  46. Being Mortal – Atul Gawande
  47. Hammer Head – Nina MacLaughlin

If I get through a few of these, I already anticipate a wonderful reading year ahead!


2 thoughts on “The Old But New List

  1. Oh my god, if you have Atul Gawande on your list I urge you to listen to his interview on On Being:

    So so so good. Being Mortal went on my TBR right after I listened to it.

    Good for you for revising your list! Life is fluid. And I laughed when you said you only read 1 book off your list. I just finished the 2nd one on my list haha. Slow and steady, right?

    It’s a great accomplishment for me to not sweat over self-imposed reading challenges. :D

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