My Book List for 2017

A long list of books I want to read this year.

2017 Book List // Meg Biram

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

Commonwealthby Ann Patchett

Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng

Hausfrau: A Novelby Jill Alexander Essbaum

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisisby 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 Girlby Carrie Brownstein

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writingby 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 Memoirby 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 Wordsby Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mary Hartnett (With), Wendy W. Williams

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, by Chris Voss

Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett

Purity, by Jonathan Franzen

Settle for More, by Megyn Kelly

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKEby 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 Nixby 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 Titansby Timothy Ferriss

You Will Know Meby 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?