One of my goals for 2011 is to read 50 books.  As a full-time grad student, you’d think I’d be reading books all day.  But the truth is, I can probably count on one hand the number of books I’ve read, cover to cover, since I’ve been in school.

So here’s the regularly updated list of my progress.  I’m always looking for recommendations, so your suggestions are appreciated!

1. Dead Sea Souls  Douglas K. Pearson – creative imagining of the end of the world and the return of Christ

2. The Color of Water  James McBride – a black man’s tribute to his white mother (recommended)

3. The Miracle Worker William Gibson – a play about the life of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

4. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk  David Sedaris – darkly comedic morality tales told by animals

5. People of the Book  Geraldine Brooks – a fictionalized history of the Sarajevo haggadah (recommended)

6. Once Upon a Time in the North  Phillip Pullman – a prequel to the excellent His Dark Materials series

7. Eating Animals  Jonathan Safran Foer – a man examines his eating habits after the birth of his first son (recommended)

8. God of Carnage  Yasmina Reza – disappointing portrayal of adults who act like children by celebrated comedic playwright

9. Food Rules  Michael Pollan – stripped down version of Pollan’s previous books, simple guide to eating wisely which you probably could have written on your own

10. The Help  Kathryn Stockett – race relationships in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s from the perspective of black maids and the white women they serve (recommended)

11. Sex God  Rob Bell – encourages an attitude of deep respect for all humanity based on the divine image within us

12. The Line  Douglas Pearson – a girl sees angels and demons battle over the souls of men.

13. Phantom Tollbooth (the play) Norton Juster and Susan Nanus – stage adaptation of the beloved children’s classic. a bored young boy journey’s to a magical land and discovers the importance of learning

14. Five Women Wearing the Same Dress Allan Ball – comedic play by the writer of Six Feet Under, five bridesmaids discover they have more in common with each other than with the bride.

15. Twilight of the Golds Jonathan Tolins – a woman with a gay brother struggles with the decision of whether or not to terminate her pregnancy when tests reveal the child will likely be homosexual (recommended)

16. Dog Sees God Bert Royal a grown up Charlie Brown tries to cope with life beyond the comic strip

17. Love Wins Rob Bell – controverisal look at the “best” ending to the Christian story

18. Stonewater Rapture Doug Wright – two teenagers from a small town in Texas discuss love, sex and faith

19. Sweet Bird of Youth  Tennessee Williams – a (no longer) young man returns to his hometown to reclaim the love of his life

20. Tinkers  Paul Harding – unlikely Pulitzer Prize winner, a dying man reflects on his relationship with his father

21. Garlic and Sapphires  Ruth Reichl – memoir of a restaurant critic for The New York Times goes undercover to get the job done, and finds herself in the process (recommended)

22. Half The Sky  Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn – a look at real problems and practical solutions to women’s victimization throught the world (recommended)

23. The Normal Heart Larry Kramer – the HIV-AIDS crisis strikes the gay community in New York while the country ignores their pleas for recognition and assistance (recommended)

24. God Woody Allen – Allen’s first in a trilogy of plays, a ridiculous “exploration” of the meaning of everything

25. Love! Valor! Compassion! Terrence McNally – eight friends spend the summer together, exploring the complexities of love and friendship.

26. Miss Witherspoon Christopher Durang – a play explores the terrifying reality of living in a post-9/11 world as one woman fights with her spirit-guide to stop her re-incarnation cycle (recommended)

27. Spiced Dalia Jurgensen – “under-seasoned” kitchen memoir of a woman’s journey working in the pastry kitchens of New York

28. 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow – classic thriller adapted for 4 people on the stage

29. Our Town Thornton Wilder – stage classic about the dearness of everyday life in small-town America

30. Inherit the Wind Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee – a dramatic re-telling of the Scopes Monkey Trial (recommended)

31. The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin – a woman spends a year investigating popular theories of happiness

32. Bossypants Tina Fey – Tina Fey.

33. Beyond Therapy Christopher Durang – a man and woman escape the influence of their unstable therapists to find love in one another

34. Fuddy Meers David Lindsay-Abaire

35. The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan

36. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson

37. Beaten, Seared, and Sauced Jonathan Dixon – memoir of a CIA student

38. Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain

39. The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins

40. Lost in Shangri-La Mitchell Zuckoff

41. Golda’s Balcony William Gibson

42. Time Stands Still Donald Margulies



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