Project Fill-in-the-Gaps

Project Fill-in-the-Gaps created by Moonrat on her blog Editorial Ass: fill in the gaps in your reading lists of classics and contemporary fiction. Make a list of 100 titles, give yourself 5 years to complete reading the list, and give yourself 25% “accident forgiveness” – consider the task accomplished if you achieve 75 titles in the time span. I found this via some blog or other — and sent it to Stephanie, who loves these sorts of projects and immediately put together her list.
I have some rather heavy lifting on my list (Proust!!!!!!) so I have 65 76 titles, rather than 100.

Reading Deadline: April 10, 2014

* = I own the book
Italic = I’ve started it
strikethrough = I’ve finished it

  1. Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale *
  2. Ballard: Crash
  3. Samuel Butler: Way of All Flesh
  4. Celine: Death on the Installment Plan *
  5. Cervantes: Don Quixote *
  6. Chaucer: Canterbury Tales *
  7. Chopin: The Awakening *
  8. Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell *
  9. Collins: The Moonstone *
  10. Connolly: The Book of Lost Things *
  11. Conrad: The Secret Agent *
  12. Danielewski: House of Leaves *
  13. Dreiser: An American Tragedy
  14. Don DeLillo: Underworld *
  15. Elliot: Middlemarch *
  16. Ellison: Juneteenth *
  17. Gibson & Sterling: The Difference Engine
  18. Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha *
  19. Highsmith: The Talented Mr. Ripley *
  20. Hilton: Lost Horizon *
  21. Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
  22. James: The Golden Bowl *
  23. James: The Portrait of a Lady *
  24. Jerome: Three Men in a Boat
  25. Joyce: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man *
  26. Lethem: Motherless Brooklyn *
  27. Lewis: Main Street
  28. Maugham: The Razor’s Edge *
  29. McCarty: The Road *
  30. McEwan: Atonement *
  31. Melville: Moby Dick *
  32. Moore: Fool
  33. Naipaul: A House for Mr. Biswas
  34. O’Connor: A Good Man is Hard To Find *
  35. Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
  36. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 1) Swann’s Way *
  37. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 2) In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower *
  38. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 3) The Guermantes Way *
  39. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 4) Sodom and Gomorrah *
  40. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 5 & 6) The Prisoner & The Fugitive *
  41. Proust: (In Search of Lost Time – Vol 7) Finding Time Again *
  42. Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel *
  43. Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea *
  44. Safran Foer: Everything is Illuminated *
  45. Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men *
  46. Stendhal: The Charterhouse of Parma *
  47. Sterne: A Sentimental Journey *
  48. Stephenson: Cryptonomicon *
  49. Gene Stratton Porter: A Girl of the Limber Lost *
  50. Donna Tartt: A Secret History *
  51. Tolstoy: Anna Karenina *
  52. Updike: TBD *
  53. Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea *
  54. Wallace: Infinite Jest *
  55. Wharton: The House of Mirth *
  56. Wroblewski: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle *
  57. Richard Yates: Revolutionary Road *
  58. Zusak: The Book Thief *
  59. Bloom: Shakespeare – The Invention of the Human *
  60. Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything *
  61. Campbell: The Hero of a Thousand Faces *
  62. Dawkins: The God Delusion *
  63. Diamond: Guns, Germs and Steel *
  64. Diamond: Collapse *
  65. Jacobs: Life and Death of Cities *
  66. Jacobs: Economy of Cities *
  67. Jacobs: Nature of Economies *
  68. Steven Johnson: The Ghost Map *
  69. Pinker: The Blank Slate *
  70. Stein: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas *
  71. Weisman: The World Without Us *
  72. Zimbardo: The Lucifer Effect *
  73. Burroughs: Queer *
  74. Dickinson: Complete Works
  75. Plath: The Bell Jar *
  76. Whitman: Leaves of Grass *

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    I believe I own The Awakening, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Wide Sargasso Sea, A Sentimental Journey, and The House of Mirth.

  2. Cordelia

    Oh, I wouldn’t even know where to start with a list. Every time I open up a book review or go to a bookstore, I want to read more. When I hear about someone reading a book before dying, my most pressing question is “did s/he finish the book ?.” This gives away my deep book reading neurosis. Cued up right now, after my Dogs of Babel interlude are Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog (in English; it is a lot of French for me to handle) and L.J. Davis’ A Meaningful Life. I really stopped by to urge you to check out an entry in a blog that I follow on the place of bikes in the New Urbanism, since that is where your interests have been leaning:

  3. Steph

    I hesitated to start the list myself, but I’m coming to embrace the idea. My friend Cate just finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog; that book has been on my radar, and I considered it for my list, but decided to keep it on my wish list possibilities while I worked through books I already own.
    That discussion of cycling is an interesting post, and I’ve been thinking more about bikes lately, especially since Indianapolis has taken steps to install bike lanes and to create more trails for pedestrians and bicycles. We’re a bit behind the zeitgeist because we haven’t had the urban density that makes bikes an easy mode of transport around town, but that is changing in the city center and people are embracing cycling and trying out cycling to work more, now that there are some friendlier options.
    It was interesting to observe the bike-friendly city that is Toronto last year when we were there. One of the city magazines had a lengthy article on the significant problem of road rage that both car drivers and cyclists are engaging in in Toronto – there is apparently quite a war going on between the two cultures and the city was trying to figure out how to disengage the clash they are locked into. While the article addressed the questions, it didn’t seem to have any real answers, and it seemed to me from the interviews that there was more of a need for discipline on the part of cyclists than on motorists. Motorists complaints were that cyclists didn’t obey traffic rules in place and placed themselves and motorists in harms way; I’ve seen that in action a time or two here in my city myself.
    (It’s also interesting to think about what I’ve seen of Toronto as I’m skimming the Jane Jacobs books, knowing the influence she’s had on that city’s urban planning.)
    I think having a dense urban core and mixed use planning is the key to really creating bike culture in a city, though, and some American cities are there and others aren’t. I work too far away from where I live for cycling to be practical, and that’s also true of most of my co-workers. They occasionally bike in, but it’s a pretty rugged attempt to do that regularly. short of quitting my job and finding one downtown, I’m not sure how to handle that. My last attempt to use the city bus system was difficult; confusing, time-consuming and involving a lot of walking to get from the stop to my workplace.
    And large portions of America will never be dense enough to really support many alternate means of transport to cars. I remember having a conversation with some Europeans who explained that they didn’t really understand America and it’s love affair with the car until they came here on a vacation for a week and decided to drive to California and back. They actually got started on their trip before it dawned on them on the second day that this is not an undertaking that is actually possible in a week’s time unless you were driving pretty much non-stop. When their compact rental car stalled attempting to go over the Ozark mountains, they understood why an SUV, which they had previously mocked and derided, might have some truly practical applications. Of course trains and high-speed rail and more efficient cross-country transport could probably bear some of that traffic; we haven’t engaged because we just haven’t had to do so financially.
    I think the problem in America isn’t just that we use cars to the exclusion of everything else – it’s also that we very often don’t use the right cars. A Smart Car in downtown Indianapolis is a smart use of a vehicle (if you get one with a decent transmission, that is.) Attempting to drive your Smart Car over the Ozark mountains is not a terribly practical thing to do. Neither is trying to drive your Hummer down Meridian Street in rush hour traffic, although lots of idiots do it.
    And Europe is way ahead of America in forcing car companies to make fuel efficient vehicles. That discrepancy between models of cars available in Europe and available here in America is a gap for which Americans need to be demanding an explanation of car companies.

  4. Cordelia

    I think you are dead on when you say that “I think the problem in America isn’t just that we use cars to the exclusion of everything else – it’s also that we very often don’t use the right cars”. And, if you go back to some entries from summer and early fall on my blog, you’ll even get to see my route on a bike along the shortest distance that I have ever had to work (5.5 miles in the video, 7 if I take a slightly longer way to increase my life expectancy). I lived in Springfield once, but have only been to Indianapolis, but the differences are clear to me. Springfield has a sort of little “urban core,” more like a small town feel, and is very compact over all. Indianapolis strikes me as simply much more vast, with a core surrounded by freeways and interstates that would be hard to bypass. And commuting from one suburban point to another is almost never addressed. Interesting stuff, though. I’m a light rail fan, and I’d like to see much better public transport everywhere.

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