My Reading Plan, 2011: The Top Ten Eleven Project

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, I have this plan.

For a few months now, I’ve had a few books sitting in my bedside to-read pile that aren’t new. They’re old favorites that it’s been a little too long since I’ve last read them. When I noticed a week or two ago that the number of favorite books queuing up  had climbed to three, it occurred to me that I should just take a few months and go back and take a new look at a whole bunch of books that I’ve read and loved.

Those of you used to the way I think here on Agenda Forty know that this year (the year I turned forty,) I’ve been trying to look with new eyes at life, how I live it, what my priorities are, blah blah blah life change blah introspection blah blah. Well, since I spent 2010 getting myself into a wide range of new books, taking 2011 to review the books that formed my literary tastes sounded, well… fun. (Okay, fun and easy. Reading books I’ve read a gajillion times before? Score!)

Then I started making the list of my ten favorite books. So far it’s about sixteen books long. Must work on that. Still, it’s an enjoyable process… and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, other people might enjoy the process as well.

Since I am not one to do things by halves (except, y’know, by only doing half of something, which I do all the time) I decided that I’d offer to share the madness by inviting ten other people to band together and protect a world that fears and hates them. Of course, it was pointed out to me that that had nothing to do with reading, so I changed plans instead to inviting ten people to join me in an online reading group.

Here’s the pitch:

Each person in the Top Ten Eleven Reading Club would be responsible for reading their ten favorite books over the course of 2011. Each person would also select one book from their list to share with the group. That book would get put onto a communal reading list, which everyone in the club would read. Total reading burden: 20 books. (Your ten favorites, and the suggested favorite of each of the other ten members.) To keep things orderly, as group facilitator, I’d assign a month to each person’s book, thus getting us done in eleven months (leaving December free to recover!)

Since, of course, reading is a fairly solitary activity, I thought that it might actually be fun to then share some of our feelings about revisiting these old favorites… Each week, I would post a question, direction or theme to discuss, which we could do on a separate page of this blog. Nothing too difficult, just something to get discussion rolling. Also, if people wanted to put together questions of their own for their selected book, that would be cool too.

So why am I blogging all about this at such length without my usual digressions and verbal witticisms? Because getting such a club together in time to start January 1, 2011, is going to take a little bit of planning. I’ve got a few people in mind that I’d like to invite, but I also want to see who’d be interested in such a thing. So, I’m posting the whole enchilada here to see who bites. If you’re interested in joining the Top Ten Eleven project, either reply here or send me an email at I’ll combine the people who express interest with the people I hope to draft and put together a good group of eleven with eclectic backgrounds and literary tastes. (Caveat: if you want to do it and don’t make the cut, it has nothing to do with you personally. It just means I lost your email. Really. It’s just other people who I didn’t pick for substantive reasons.)

So… start thinking about your top ten books and if you’re up for a literary adventure in 2011!


Tomorrow: I tell you all about the Top Ten Eleven book club idea I have. (I’m writing this yesterday, so this goes up tomorrow. Which is today. Damn time paradoxes!)

  1. Laurie says:

    I would like to play! Now to go cull the list down to 10.

  2. Rachelle says:

    I could use a little directed reading, if you have room. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the children’s/young adult section of the literary world. I will have to give some thought to my true top ten.


  3. Jonah says:

    Die, heroically reading scum, die!!!

    Er, I mean, I will join this fool’s errand. Prepare for non-fiction!

  4. Alyssa says:

    I thought I had said something to you at some point – but I would be happy to join you all….

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