2011 Resolution #3: Read 100 Unread Books

In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week.

Over time, any voracious reader winds up with a list of books that they intend to read someday, but they find themselves reading more urgent things in the interim. They could read this challenging novel, but there’s this great page turner to read instead. This novel is pretty good, but it’s so long that I’ve lost my place in it. Boy, this nonfiction one is really challenging reading.

As a result, I’ve gradually built up a long list of “to-be-read” and “come-back-to” books that I keep telling myself I’ll read someday.

2011 is that “someday.”

I’ve been assembling an actual list of these books over the last few weeks. I’ve mentioned many times on here that I keep a running Word document of books I’d like to read (or, in a few cases, re-read) at some point. I essentially took that list and eliminated some of the chaff, boiling it down to 100 titles that really sum up some of the things I’ve strongly considered reading over the past couple of years, but put aside for whatever reason.

Here’s that list.

, edited by Richard Russo
, edited by Alice Sebold


, by Jonathan Franzen
, by Cory Doctorow
, by Roberto Bolano
, by Neal Stephenson
, by Neal Stephenson
, by Neal Stephenson
, by David Mitchell
, by David Foster Wallace
, by Hilary Mantel
, by Paul Harding
, by David Mitchell
, by Paolo Bacigalupi
, by Joshua Ferris
, by W. G. Sebald
, by Michael Chabon
, by Michael Chabon
, by Cory Doctorow
, by Jonathan Lethem
, by Abraham Verghese
, by Thomas Pynchon
, by Mark Danielewski
, by Haruki Murakami
, by Bret Easton Ellis
, by Bret Easton Ellis
, by Neil Gaiman
, by Jonathan Safran Foer
, by Aravind Adiga
, by Roberto Bolano
, by Wally Lamb
, by Philip Hensher
, by Wally Lamb
, by O. Henry
, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
, by Vernor Vinge
, by Junot Diaz
, by Neil Gaiman
, by Stephen King
, by Kazuo Ishiguro
, by Ann Patchett
, by James Clavell
, by Dan Simmons
, by Dan Simmons
, by Charles Stross
, by China Mieville
(unabridged), by Alexandre Dumas
, by D. H. Lawrence
, by Dave Eggers
, by Richard Holmes
, by David Shields
, edited by David Sedaris
, edited by Dave Eggers
, by David Foster Wallace
, edited by Peter Gammons
, edited by Leigh Montville
, edited by Christopher Hitchens
, edited by Mary Oliver
, edited by Freeman Dyson
, edited by Elizabeth Kolbert
, by Francis Collins
, edited by Francis Collins
, by Carl Sagan
, by Christopher Hitchens
, by T. J. Stiles
, by Liaquat Ahamed
, by Patti Smith
, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
, by Rick Perlsetin
, by Rick Perlstein
, by Bill Simmons


, by Eloise Ristad
, by Richard Dawkins
, by Richard Dawkins
, by Richard Dawkins
, by George Dohrmann
, by John Elder Robison
, by Greg Grandin
, by Gregg Easterbrook
, by Matthew Amster-Burton
, by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler
, by Haruki Murakami
, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
, by Joseph J. Ellis
, by Malcolm Gladwell
, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
, by Clay Shirky
, by James Carse
, by Anthony Bourdain
, by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman
, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
, by Dexter Filkins
, by Michael Greenberg
, by Geoff Dyer
, by MaryBeth Hicks
, by Lee Smolin

It’s a wide mix. It’s roughly half fiction and half nonfiction. There’s a fairly strong religious theme running through there, with some strong apologetics and some strong atheist writing, too. I could go on and on with the observations about the list.

In the end, though, my goal is to read every title on that list in 2011.

Where will you find time? I currently read just shy of two books a week for personal enjoyment – and this is my “personal enjoyment” list for 2011. Some of the titles are a bit more challenging than my usual stuff, but I plan on coming up with that time by making sure I’m always carrying a book with me when I leave the house so that I don’t find myself idly reading a newspaper at the car repair shop and the like.

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