I have this weird thing about wanting read things in order. I want to read a writer’s work in the order they wrote it. As if it might help me get into their head and understand what they were thinking or where they were coming from and to see their evolution as a writer.
There are several authors I want to do that with: Zadie Smith, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, so I’m not going to list all of their books below. And I obviously can’t list every book I want to read as it’s never ending. These are just the ones I’d love to start working on this year. What do you think about that? Have you ever done that? Thought to do that? Do you think it’s good or bad for any reason?
This year my list is very art heavy. It has do to with a few things. One being that it’s just one of my main passions in life and I want to soak up everything I can about artists and creators that I like or admire. Secondly it’s because I’m launching a new series this year, an ongoing series about artists (all types, not just painters) that I’ll tell you about soon!
My 2017 Book List (so far):
A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years: 1917-1932, by John Richardson
A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World, by Marcia Tucker
Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim, by Anton Gill
As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
Blue Nights, by Joan Didion
Born to Run, by Bruce Springsteen
Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, by Henri Matisse and Pierre Courthion
Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance
How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir, by Cat Marnell
How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel, by Jesse Ball
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein
Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing, by Jennifer Weiner
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, by Jon Krakauer
Jackson Pollock: An American Saga, by Gregory White Smith
Lee Krasner: A Biography, by Gail Levin
Lives of the Artists, by Calvin Tomkins
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir, by Padma Lakshmi
Matisse on Art, by Jack Flam
Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954, by Hilary Spurling
My Own Words, by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett , Wendy W. Williams
Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett
Purity, by Jonathan Franzen
Settle for More, by Megyn Kelly
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE, by Phil Knight
The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers, by Terry McDonell
The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena
The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion, by Tracy Daugherty
The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman
The Nix, by Nathan Hill
The Regulars, by Georgia Clark
The Silver Star, by Jeanette Walls
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder
The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse: The Early Years, 1869-1908, by Hilary Spurling
Tools of Titans, by
You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler
Zelda, by Nancy Milford
So that’s my ambitious list, which I’ve chosen not to include a million books about Matisse and other artists. Not including the books that my book club will read. Currently we are reading Before the Fall which I already finished. But I’m OK if I don’t read some of these and read others instead. I already own probably a third of these books, so I should read those first. Last year I read 24 books. I think I can read a lot more this year.
But I have a question — those of you who have read a lot of Joan Didion — do you think I should read her books first, then read the biography about her? Read the biography first, then the rest of her books?
Currently I’m reading Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science, by Atul Gawande (shocked you with that one, huh?), and I’m still reading two books about Picasso, and a third about Picasso and Matisse, In Montmartre. Also, the husband of a good friend of mine wrote a book that I need to read that I think comes out later this year. I started listening to Walden but just could not get through it.
What books are on your list this year? Thoughts (without spoilers) on any of the ones on my list?