In May 2016, I made a list. The list contained thirty books I have yet to read. I gave myself three years to read all thirty books. I will be honest: the challenge was not completed. I take full blame. There were times where I was too busy (graduate school) and there were other times when Netflix binge-watching got the best of me. And there were a few times where I absolutely forgot the list existed.
I am a perfectionist. I despise not reaching a goal. But I know I am not perfect and know that my ambitions typically get in the way of reality. I thought to myself, “How can I redeem myself?” There was no way I was going to create a new list of thirty books. For one thing, I’m living on a strict budget, so as much as my heart breaks, I have to exert self-control and not splurge at Half Price Books. Also, if it didn’t work the first time, why bother trying again?
I came up with a solution, a re-adjustment of sorts. First, as oppose to calling it a “challenge”, I am calling it the Z&H Book Club, so you, my fellow reader, can join in on the fun. Secondly, I restricted myself to the books on my shelf. I did not realize I had a backlog of books dating back to five+ years ago. This list is not full on old school literature. I have added a couple things that will help me with my career field and overall knowledge. Thirdly, I decreased the number of books on the list to fifteen, that way I am not completely overwhelmed with the options. Again, I am overly ambitious and seriously thought I can read bricks like War & Peace and Les Miserables along with twenty-something odd books in three years. Finally, to still make it a bit of a challenge, I limited myself to two years. If you do the math, that is 7.5 books a year, so there is wiggle room for the behemoth that is War & Peace.
The Z&H Book Club List:
- The Three Musketeers – Dumas
- A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens
- A History of the United States in Five Crashes – Nations
- La Fortune d’Alexandre – Messadie
- For Whom the Bell Tolls – Hemingway
- Age of Innocence – Wharton
- The Princess of Cleves – Madame de la Fayette
- The Beautiful & the Damned – Fitzgerald
- War & Peace – Tolstoy
- Madame Bovary – Flaubert
- Emma – Austen
- Leaves of Grass – Whitman
- Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allen Poe – Poe
- Essays – Emerson
- His Final Battle: The Last Months of FDR – Lelyveld
I hope you, my fellow reader, will join me on this journey through the Z&H Book Club. Off to the bookshelf!