2013 Reads: The Longlist

Last year I started a new practice, reading lists. Perhaps it’s a little OCD, but my obsessive compulsiveness does not extend beyond my reading. The practice is this: I make lists of books that I want to read for various reasons and I consult those lists when I’m looking for something to read. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But somehow I’ve made it into the most complex process ever. I started compiling my list of 52, what I call my longlist, back in September. I’ve scoured my bookshelves, ranked the books on this list, crossed off titles only to re-add them…

Too complicated? Yes. Simply, these are the top 52 books currently on my to-read list. That’s not to say I will not lose interest in some before I get around to them, or that other books will not come along and pique my interest, but when I’m without a book, this list is the first place I’ll look to. The shortlist, which I’ll unveil next week, is more practical. It is made up of ten books selected from the titles on my longlist–the ten books selected as shortlist titles are ones that I have put off far too long and will make it a point to read in 2013.

So, without further ado, Chris Blocker’s 2013 Reads Longlist (exciting, eh?)

A Good Man Is Hard to Find – Flannery O’Connor
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
At the Mouth of the River of Bees – Kij Johnson
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
Dune – Frank Herbert
Empire Falls – Richard Russo
Folklores, Memoirs, & Other Writings – Zora Neale Hurston
Ghostwritten – David Mitchell
God’s Bits of Wood – Sembene Ousmane
Gods Tomorrow – Aaron Pogue
Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Heat – Joyce Carol Oates
Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization – Nicholson Baker
Hunting and Gathering – Anna Gavalda
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden – Hannah Green
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Lamb – Christopher Moore
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Little, Big – John Crowley
Mama Day – Gloria Naylor
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Not Without Laughter – Langston Hughes
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Shepherd of the Hills – Harold Bell Wright
Some Love, Some Pain, Sometime – J. California Cooper
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
The Bone People – Keri Hulme
The Counterfeiters – André Gide
The Deptford Trilogy – Robertson Davies
The Elephant Vanishes – Haruki Murakami
The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
The Garlic Ballads – Mo Yan
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
The Gospel in Brief – Leo Tolstoy
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century – Scott Miller
The Question of Bruno – Aleksandar Hemon
The Sky Unwashed – Irene Zabytko
The Stand – Stephen King
The Street – Ann Petry
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – Anne Brontë
The Tenants – Bernard Malamud
The Trees – Conrad Richter
The World’s Fair – E.L. Doctorow
Union Dues – John Sayles
We, the Drowned – Carsten Jensen
Weeds – Edith Summers Kelley
Wool Omnibus – Hugh Howey
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room – Janet Frame

Which of these books have you read and loved? How do you determine what you’re going to read next? Do you have a to-read list and how often do you consult it?

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