Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Salon: My 2015 Baileys Backlist Book Bucket List

The Sunday Salon.comIt's been awhile since I last Salon-ed. Almost seven months? Where has the time gone? Relatedly, I have an almost-sixteen-month-old and it will be December this week. Wow! This time last year, I made a book bucket list. And I actually read all five books! With a few extra days off this week, I decided to make a pile of all the 2015 releases I want to finish before the end of the year. It's laughably tall. Impossibly tall. I hope to read some of them this month and all of them eventually, but I already know it will never happen because there are always more books, so I'm giving myself the freedom to pick and choose from that stack as I see fit (especially as it involves two chunksters.)

I'm constantly setting, breaking and revising reading goals. I spend a lot (too much?) of time thinking about what kind of reader I want to be. I'm not claiming I have the answer for all time, but I have a good answer for now:
  1. I want to read what strikes my fancy, while keeping an eye on the prize lists. I don't want to force myself to read prize listed titles I'm not interested in or feel guilty for not reading entire lists. 
  2. I want to read more than I do now, and I know part of that is always wanting to be reading the book I'm currently reading (or listening to.) 
  3. And I want to (eventually) make my life goal of reading every title longlisted (or shortlisted or that wins) the Baileys Prize (formerly Orange Prize.) 
I will probably never manage to read all twenty longlisted books between their announcement in March and the announcement of the winner in June, but if I shift my focus to reading all of the lists going back to 1996 in whatever order strikes my fancy, I might have better luck. I started this approach this month, and I've had fairly good luck with it in November, so I'm sharing my 2015 Baileys Backlist Bucket List to see if anyone wants to join me in reading any of these six titles in December:

  • What Was She Thinking by Zoe Heller
  • Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
  • The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
  • The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey
  • Official and Doubtful by Ajay Close
If it continues to work well for me, I'll share 4-5 titles each month.

Now tell me: 
  1. Want to join me with any of my 2015 Baileys Backlist Book Bucket List picks?
  2. What's on your 2015 Book Bucket list?
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  1. I think my book bucket list is to read more nonfiction next year and to read more of the books on my real and ebook shelves. But those shiny new fiction books are always so tempting, aren't they?

    1. Yes! I have an embarrassing number of unread books on both my physical and virtual shelves. At least I've finally stopped buying them, even when they're $1.99.

  2. I've read all of these so I'm afraid I can't join you, but I can say that the Zoe Heller and Samantha Harvey books are two of my all-time favourites. They are very different in style, but I loved them both. I look forward to hearing what you make of them!

  3. I won't get enough books I already have from the library read so I won't join you on this round, but keep trying! I loved What Was Lost, and other books by Strout.
    Enjoy, and I look forward to you vetting this batch for me so I know which ones are good!

  4. I just listened to Outline by Rachel Cusk from this year's short list, so I guess I did sort of join you!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Happy reading!