Top Ten Tuesday: Refocusing My Reading

As many of you know, I ended last year stuck in a reading rut. Maybe the holidays distracted me, or maybe I was burnt out and unable to keep up a more rigorous reading pace, but I think the main problem was my inability to find a book that truly grabbed me and refused to let go. Book choice plays a big part in whether a book is devoured or only picked up every few days to read about 20 pages, and I think my poor picks last year contributed to my slump. I did read but not with my usual passion. For some reason I couldn't find any book that really made me want to just sit down and read, and the more often this happened the more discouraged I felt.

So, as the new year descended upon me, I made a resolution in the hopes of refocusing my reading for 2012. Literary fiction has always been my greatest love, and this year I want to focus on those books which have stood the test of time and continue to inspire and amaze. All the books on my list are sitting on my bookshelf right now, but there has always been some mental block keeping me from picking one up. The excuses vary. Sometimes it's fear of disappointment, the desire to focus on the newest and most noteworthy reads, or simply the longer length. This year I vow to overcome all these obstacles in order to reclaim my reading passion once again.

I just finished reading Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a couple of days ago (shameful it took this long, I know), and was blown away by how quickly I read through it...truly unputdownable. This book was left unread for so long due to the fear of disappointment, so now I'm glad that I can put excuse number one out of its misery. I know the odds of all the following books wowing me are not 100 percent, but here's my list of both contemporary and older classics that will hopefully refocus and revive my reading passion in 2012.


1) The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

2) Final Payments by Mary Gordon

3) Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

4) Villette by Charlotte Bronte

5) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

6) The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

7) The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

8) The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

9) The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

10) Crossing California by Adam Langer


  1. Great list! A lot of these (especially Cloud Atlas and The Namesake) are at the top of my TBR too!

  2. Some great choices here! The Red Tent is one of my favorites. I have several of these on my own shelves. Cheers to refocusing!

  3. It's surely a good list - I hope the refocusing goes well! I'm going to be reading House of Mirth for the Winter's Respite readathon this week, I look forward to your impression of Cloud Atlas too.

  4. I love your list too. I really enjoyed Roy, Wharton, and Lahiri.

  5. Replies
    1. Interesting list--I wouldn't have thought some of those books would go together, but hey, that's what makes the world go 'round.

  6. This is a great list, and I can totally get on board with you revitalizing your reading by choosing to be picky about what you read. I have been doing that more often, and have had some really amazing reading experiences. Good Luck to you with this!

  7. This is an amazing list! I've only read The Red Tent myself and I loved it. I've always wanted to read Cloud Atlas and House of Mirth so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on them!

  8. As I mentioned on twitter the other day - The Red Tent is excellent. I also love everything Lahiri writes so I hope you enjoy the Namesake too!

  9. I read Extremely Loud and...several years ago, and then we saw the movie last week. Loved the movie; the young boy was amazing.

  10. I ADORE Villette Such a good book. I hope you enjoy it. :)


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