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You know what I realized the other day? On my to-be-read shelf are books representing every decade from the 1890's to the 2000's (as well as a few earlier). "Wow," I said to myself, "this seems ripe for a challenge. There's got to be some kind of chronological, by-the-decade reading challenge geared to just this situation." And lo and behold, there is.

The Decades '09 Challenge began in January, so I'm a bit behind the ball, but I figure I'll join anyway. I've got all the books already, after all, and even if I don't finish by the "deadline," it'll still be a fun exercise. Here's what I'm thinking about for a list:

  • 1890s: Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles
  • 1900s: Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie
  • 1910s: W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage
  • 1920s: William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury
  • 1930s: Edith Wharton's Roman Fever (and other stories) OR John Dos Passos's The Big Money
  • 1940s: Eudora Welty's Delta Wedding
  • 1950s: Truman Capote's The Grass Harp/A Tree of Night
  • 1960s: Alexandr Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward
  • 1970s: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
  • 1980s: Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
  • 1990s: Peter Matthiesen's Lost Man's River OR Giles Milton's Nathaniel's Nutmeg

Fun! I don't know how far I'll get, but it's somehow satisfying to find that I have a pre-made, unconsciously-selected reading list that spans a century so evenly.

1 Comment

  • Love this idea and your list. I'm going to see if my own to-be-read shelf will generate a decades list.

  • June 2012

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
              1 2
    3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    24 25 26 27 28 29 30


    link to Wolves 2011 reading list
    link to more disgust bibliography