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Here's to a Shame-Free 2014!

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Jan. 18th, 2014 | 11:50 am

. . . or at least, you know, low-shame. Let's be realistic here.

Happy New Year! I'm all excited and energized about writerly things, and also about readery things. In particular, I am excited about the 2014 reading challenge I came up with. I've made a list of fifteen Books I'm Kind of Ashamed I Haven't Read Already. And this year, I'm going to read them! Then I will NEVER AGAIN have to admit that I'm a Teen Services librarian who has read nothing by John Green. Or that, even though I suspect I'll love it, I've never quite gotten around to Ender's Game. Or look, my school never assigned The Giver, okay? I tried to keep it to books that I think I'll actually enjoy. Different titles make the list for different reasons: it's a classic, teens at my library devour it, I've heard a million times that it's great, it's something I'm obviously going to love and it's absurd that I haven't read it already.

It's a pretty doable challenge, I think, and I'm psyched about it. My coworker Nori (of the book review blog Nori's Closet) liked the idea, too, and ended up making her own list of embarrassing unreads to be finally read in 2014.

Want to see my list? (You know that's a trick question on this blog, because you will always see the list.) Here, in alphabetical order but not necessarily reading order, are fifteen books that will soon no longer shame me with their unreadness!

  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  3. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  4. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  5. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (This was the first one to go. I just finished it! And might have sprained a tear duct. WHY, JOHN GREEN, WHY?)
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  9. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  10. Matched by Ally Condie
  11. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  12. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
  13. Sabriel by Garth Nix (I loved his Keys to the Kingdom series)
  14. Wild Magic (or any other title by Tamora Pierce YOU GUYS I AM A FANTASY FAN AND YA LIT FAN WHO HAS NEVER READ TAMORA PIERCE WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME)
  15. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead


Probability of crying while reading some of these books: high.
Probability of going, "Why didn't I read this years ago?": high.
Probability of being glad I read these books: skywriter high.

Anyone else want in? Or just want to share a book or two that you're kind of embarrassed not to have read yet?

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Comments {2}

The happy phantom

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from: miss_maxine
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
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I don't actually feel much shame for the books I haven't read. Maybe because I am not a librarian. I feel like most things I've skipped, I've skipped for a reason. I have successfully avoided ever reading a James Joyce novel, for instance, and I'm not sorry. (I am sorry that I had to read The Great Gatsby twice, though. But I'm not sorry that I'm sorry.)

Also have not read Tamora Pierce, possibly due to some criticisms I've heard over mild cliches in her major works. I have read some short stories, which were okay. Not reading her novels probably also has something to do with how heavily I read Robin McKinley in my formative years. Pierce's main subject area seems to be Girls Swordfighting, which overlaps with McKinley's Girls Who Do Things, and the latter was enough to satisfy me entirely.

That said, I am somewhat embarrassed by the length of my to-read list, or the fact that I don't think I've read even half of Diana Wynne Jones's oeuvre. I also have not read Sabriel, and I have been wanting to for at least 10 years. *hangs head*

I loved The Fault in Our Stars. Diana recommended it to me two years ago, not long after my transplant evaluation. It hit home. I was also probably more amused than most by all the hospital jokes in there.

The Curious Incident made me bawl the first time I read it, but in a good way...I guess? YMMV. I was in a weird place when I read it. I think it was when I was taking 10 billion APs and subsisting on 3-4 hours sleep, so.

I loved Ender's Game when I first read it, but it seems more problematic every time I reread. There are a few quite interesting essays about its...problematicy? out there I could link you to, if you'd like, after you're finished. You may also wish to think about Card's particularly virulent strain of homophobia as you read, because...um. Just see if you notice a theme.

The Giver was one I loved. Apparently there are two wildly different ways to interpret the ending, which I never would have guessed until I heard people talking about the other interpretation as if it were a matter of fact. I suspect you will interpret it the way I did.

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angeladegroot

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from: angeladegroot
date: Jan. 27th, 2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
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This is a FANTASTIC list - quite a few of my favorite books are on here.
I started a list of my own - I was so ashamed to admit how many classics I haven't read that last year I started a list of must-reads. I'm rather pleased with myself that I've managed to make my way through some of these and I actually liked most of them (not 1984, sorry!) Sometimes I get a title out of the library as an audio book and listen to it as I buzz around time doing my usual errands and such. I read Grapes of Wrath that way. I'm currently reading Much Ado About Nothing and I really like it. I'd never read a Shakespearian comedy before. I'm going to put one of the books from your list onto my list so that I can share in your 2014 adventure.

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