Will Baude discusses something called the 50 book challenge, with the idea being to read 50 books this year and blog about them. Not a bad idea.
I think I’m tentatively going to try it. It’s time to fill in some longstanding gaps in my reading, and this kind of structure may help me remember to do so. I may end up well short of fifty, but then again, maybe not. I’m going to put up some initial plans here, in part to shame myself into keeping up. And I’m going to start easy — by focusing mostly on books that I already have, on the shelf at home, but which I haven’t yet read. (Yes, my book buying capacity seems to greatly outstrip my free time for book reading).
Here are a few that I’m starting with:
By the Hand of Mormon. It’s been sitting on the shelf for some time, it’s about time that I actually read it.
Mormonism and the Magic World View. Also sitting on the shelf; also as yet unread.
Prelude to the Restoration. I already started this one, and it’s good so far — a Sperry Symposium collection.
Fire in the Bones. About Tyndale. Came recommended by a ward member.
Bushman’s new one, if/when it comes out.
Julie Smith, Search Ponder and Pray. (What’s the use of co-bloggers if not to read their stuff).
Jack Miles’ God, which comes highly recommended by a friend, and possibly Christ if I like the first one.
Mere Christianity. (I think I have a copy around somewhere).
Something on at least one of the people that Taylor Petrey blogged about.
Law and History
Hart’s Concept of the Law. (In the mail).
Hart and Honore on Causation. (On the shelf)
Gordon Wood’s Creation of the American Republic. (On the shelf).
Rakove’s Original Meanings. (On the shelf). (Are we sensing a pattern here?)
Caro’s LBJ. (Yes, I know, everyone except me read this two years ago. I’m a little behind the curve).
Bernstein (and Oman), You Can’t Say That. (On the shelf).
Sunstein, One Case at a Time. (Shelf). (Does it count if I already read the law review article?).
Sunstein, Why Democracies Need Dissent. (Shelf).
Amar, Bill of Rights.
Literature / Philosophy
The Brothers Karamazov. (On the shelf).
Unamuno’s Niebla. (In the mail).
Love in the Time of Cholera. (On the shelf).
Something Shakespeare that I haven’t yet read (Riverside on the shelf). I’m thinking perhaps Troilus and Cressida.
Something Locke (most like Two Treatises, shelf) (I’ve read bits and pieces, but I’m not counting that).
Something Kant (I’ve got one or two of the Critiques on the shelf, I think, though I haven’t seen any Kant for a while; it may be lost).
Something Mill (Utilitarianism?).
Something Neitzsche (probably Thus Spoke Zarathustra).
Something Nabakov. (Ada?)
Something feminist-y and not too strident. (Quite a bit on the shelf).
Some pretty poetry, perhaps some Whitman or Neruda or Dickinson.
Moneyball. (Yes, I know I’m late on this one too).
Hmm, that’s 30(ish) targeted so far. That’s probably a good enough plan for now. We’ll see if I manage to get through that many before the year’s end, and who knows, perhaps I’ll even make it to fifty. Meanwhile, I’ll post periodically about books, in particular the Mormon-themed ones.