The *Actual* List of Books That Saved My Life

You asked for it—Jonathan Russell Clark delivers the list of every book he's read in the last eleven years.

actual list of books

A few months ago, Read It Forward published an essay of mine chronicling the last eleven years of my reading life and the list I kept of every book I read in that period. The point of the piece was less the list itself and more the process of maintaining it—how it encouraged me when I felt inadequate, and how it nudged me onward when I let my reading slip—so I neglected to include the actual list itself. It seemed, to me, beside the point. The essay found a readership, which I’m grateful for, and many people have expressed interest in seeing this Word doc of mine, this strangely private itemization of my literary endeavors, and while I still think the essay stands without the list, I also do not mind at all sharing the list with whomever would like to peruse it (it’s probably, I suspect, a lot less interesting than some people might assume). But no matter how casual I act about publishing the list, I can’t shake this feeling of exposure, of being without some heretofore-invisible armor, the accumulated wisdom of over a decade of pursuit that no one, other than myself, has seen cataloged so starkly. Reading over it, though, I see how the meaning and vulnerability I imbue into the list stem not from some inherent quality of the record keeping but from my nuanced attachments to the books and to the times in which I read them. It’s a shorthand history of who I was, who I am, and who I want to become—but the language in which it’s written is one that only I can translate and understand. Still, I hope there’s something in it for everyone else.

Maybe what’s in it for others is the mere recognition that each of us needs some version of this list, some personal passion we want to keep track of, some ambitions we want to foster into reality, and some aspects of ourselves we want to improve, or fine tune or wholesale invent, starting now. It isn’t always about numbers per year or being in competition with yourself, but we often try to quantify our abstract accomplishments with some semblance of scientific observation. And maybe it’s a fool’s errand, this tracking of our achievements—but for me the act of keeping the list made whatever outcome I’d hoped it would provide absolutely effective, like an extended placebo. So even if such recordings have dubious efficacy, I still believe in its importance to my development, some small validation for minor accomplishment, some measure to push me forward, always forward. And this list has, and continues to, provide those things for me. The question for you is: What is your list?

Books Completed: 2005

  1. Little Children by Tom Perrotta
  2. Chronicles by Bob Dylan
  3. Woody Allen by Richard Schickel
  4. The Every Boy by Dana Adam Shapiro
  5. The Buzzing by Jim Knipfel
  6. Stranger than Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk
  7. The Body Artist by Don Delillo
  8. Kings of Infinite Space by James Hynes
  9. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  10. Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
  11. Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
  12. The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin
  13. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  14. The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard
  15. Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker
  16. Superstud by Paul Feig
  17. Autobahn by Neil LaBute
  18. This is How it Goes by Neil LaBute
  19. You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
  20. Faustus by David Mamet
  21. Romance by David Mamet
  22. Generation X by Douglas Coupland
  23. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  24. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
  25. Take-Ten Plays by Eric Lane and Nina Shengold
  26. The Wild Party by Joseph Mancure March
  27. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  28. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
  29. A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut
  30. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  31. Dubliners by James Joyce
  32. Candide by Voltaire
  33. Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman
  34. Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
  35. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  36. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  37. The Last Opium Den by Nick Tosches
  38. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
  39. The Truth (with Jokes) by Al Franken
  40. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
  41. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  42. Rebels on the Backlot by Sharon Waxman
  43. Eyes Wide Open by Frederick Raphael
  44. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
  45. Said the Shotgun to the Head by Saul Williams
  46. Planet Simpson by Chris Turner
  47. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Books Completed: 2006

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  1. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  2. JPod by Douglas Coupland
  3. Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland
  4. Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
  5. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
  6. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  8. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  9. Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby
  10. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  11. The Coma by Alex Garland
  12. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  13. Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello
  14. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  15. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
  16. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by J.D. Salinger
  17. King Lear by William Shakespeare
  18. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  19. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  20. Hamlet: Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom
  21. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
  22. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  23. Death, etc. by Harold Pinter
  24. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  25. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
  26. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  27. Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman
  28. Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt
  29. Junkie by William S. Burroughs
  30. When You Ride Alone, You Ride with Bin Laden by Bill Maher
  31. City of Glass by Paul Auster
  32. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  33. Naked by David Sedaris
  34. Queer by William S. Burroughs
  35. The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith
  36. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  37. Tartuffe by Moliere
  38. Antigone by Sophocles
  39. The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno
  40. The Final Solution by Michael Chabon
  41. Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
  42. Some Girl(s) by Neil LaBute
  43. Three One-Act Plays by Woody Allen
  44. Against the Day (2006) by Thomas Pynchon
  45. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
  46. On Bullshit by Harry S. Frankfurt
  47. The Whalestoe Letters by Mark Z. Danielewski

Books Completed: 2007

  1. The Last Night of the Earth Poems by Charles Bukowski
  2. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  3. Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Equus by Peter Shaffer
  5. Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
  6. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  7. Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
  8. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  9. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  10. Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
  11. The Neon Bible by John Kennedy Toole
  12. Factotum by Charles Bukowski
  13. Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
  14. Pulp by Charles Bukowski
  15. Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski
  16. The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
  17. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  18. Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
  19. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  20. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  21. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  22. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  23. Rant (2007) by Chuck Palahniuk
  24. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  25. Three to See the King (2001) by Magnus Mills
  26. The Dharma Bums (1958) by Jack Kerouac
  27. Cloud Atlas (2004) by David Mitchell
  28. After Dachau (2001) by Daniel Quinn
  29. The Road (2006) by Cormac McCarthy
  30. Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon
  31. Snakes and Earrings (2003) by Hitomi Kanehara
  32. Watchmen (1987) by Alan Moore
  33. Winkie (2006) by Clifford Chase
  34. Everyman (2006) by Phillip Roth
  35. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) by J.K. Rowling
  36. On Chesil Beach (2007) by Ian McEwan
  37. The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  38. Siddhartha (1922) by Hermann Hesse
  39. Things Fall Apart (1959) by Chinua Achebe
  40. Sentimental Education (1869) by Gustave Flaubert
  41. God is Not Great (2007) by Christopher Hitchens
  42. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) by Mark Twain
  43. Ishmael (1992) by Daniel Quinn
  44. Pale Fire (1962) by Vladimir Nabokov
  45. Jane Eyre (1847) by Charlotte Bronte
  46. Einstein’s Dreams (1993) by Alan Lightman
  47. Daisy Miller (1878) by Henry James
  48. Being There (1970) by Jerzy Kosinski
  49. Eats, Shoots and Leaves (2003) by Lynne Truss
  50. The Broom of the System (1987) by David Foster Wallace
  51. End of the Road (1958) by John Barth
  52. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997) by David Foster Wallace
  53. Forty Stories (1987) by Donald Barthelme
  54. Vineland by (1991) Thomas Pynchon
  55. Snow White (1967) by Donald Barthelme
  56. The Underpants by Steve Martin
  57. The Ghost Writer (1979) by Philip Roth
  58. The Golden Compass (1995) by Philip Pullman
  59. How the Water Feels to the Fishes (2007) by Dave Eggers
  60. Amsterdam (1998) by Ian McEwan
  61. The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886) by Leo Tolstoy
  62. Main Street (1920) by Sinclair Lewis
  63. Special Topics in Calamity Physics (2006) by Marisha Pessl
  64. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005) by George Saunders
  65. Zuckerman Unbound (1981) by Philip Roth
  66. Uncle Vanya (1897) by Anton Chekhov
  67. My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist (1990) by Mark Leyner
  68. The Anatomy Lesson (1983) by Philip Roth

Books Completed: 2008

  1. The Odyssey (800 B.C.) by Homer
  2. Born Standing Up (2007) by Steve Martin
  3. The Prague Orgy (1985) by Philip Roth
  4. Pnin (1957), by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. Exit Ghost (2007), by Philip Roth
  6. The Contrast (1787) by Royall Tyler
  7. Slow Learner (1984) by Thomas Pynchon
  8. Leaves of Grass (1855) by Walt Whitman
  9. Proof (2000) by David Auburn
  10. Specimen Days (2005) by Michael Cunningham
  11. Howl (1956) by Allen Ginsberg
  12. Bartleby, the Scrivener (1853) by Herman Melville
  13. Benito Cereno (1855) by Herman Melville
  14. Pastoralia (1999) by George Saunders
  15. The Language of God (2006) by Francis S. Collins
  16. White Noise (1985) by Don DeLillo
  17. Selected Essays (1750-54) by Samuel Johnson
  18. In Persuasion Nation (2006) by George Saunders
  19. Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth
  20. The Breast (1972) by Philip Roth
  21. Sula (1973) by Toni Morrison
  22. The End of Faith (2005) by Sam Harris
  23. The Diary of a Madman and Other Stories (1835, 1845) by Nikolai Gogol
  24. The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) by Thomas Pynchon
  25. The Mayor’s Tongue (2008) by Nathaniel Rich
  26. I. (2002) by Stephen Dixon
  27. Snuff (2008) by Chuck Palahniuk
  28. Seize the Day (1956) by Saul Bellow
  29. The Enchantress of Florence (2008) by Salman Rushdie
  30. Heart of Darkness () by Joseph Conrad
  31. Shalimar the Clown (2005) by Salman Rushdie
  32. Our Gang (1971) by Philip Roth
  33. The Plot Against America (2001) by Philip Roth
  34. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976) by Tom Robbins
  35. The Future of an Illusion (1927) by Sigmund Freud
  36. Invisible Cities (1972) by Italo Calvino
  37. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark Twain
  38. Transparent Things (1972) by Vladimir Nabokov
  39. The Braindead Megaphone (2007) by George Saunders
  40. Crime and Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  41. Burning Down the House (1997) by Charles Baxter
  42. The Canterbury Tales (1390s) by Geoffrey Chaucer
  43. Indignation (2008) by Philip Roth
  44. Seconds of Pleasure (2004) by Neil LaBute
  45. Twelfth Night (1601) by William Shakespeare
  46. Downtown Owl (2008) by Chuck Klosterman
  47. The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway
  48. How Fiction Works (2008) by James Wood
  49. Wifeshopping (2008) by Steven Wingate
  50. Sense and Sensibility (1811) by Jane Austen
  51. All the Sad Young Literary Men (2008) by Keith Gessen
  52. Hard Times (1854) by Charles Dickens
  53. A Raisin in the Sun (1959) by Lorraine Hansberry
  54. The Man Who Lived Underground (1943) by Richard Wright
  55. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008) by Junot Diaz
  56. Flaubert’s Parrot (1984) by Julian Barnes
  57. Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  58. Jesus’ Son (1991) by Denis Johnson

Books Completed: 2009

  1. Deception (1990) by Philip Roth
  2. 2666 (2008) by Roberto Bolaño
  3. This Year You Write Your Novel (2007) by Walter Mosley
  4. McSweeney’s 29 (2009) by Various
  5. Ethan Frome (1911) by Edith Wharton
  6. The Metamorphosis (1915) by Franz Kafka
  7. Sula (1973) by Toni Morrison
  8. The Mercy Seat (2002) by Neil LaBute
  9. The Age of Innocence (1920) by Edith Wharton
  10. The Metamorphosis (2002) by Peter Kuper
  11. Doubt (2004) by John Patrick Shanley
  12. Oleanna (1992) by David Mamet
  13. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005) by Jonathan Safran Foer
  14. The Pillowman (2003) by Martin McDonagh
  15. Song of Solomon (1977) by Toni Morrison
  16. Outliers (2008) by Malcolm Gladwell
  17. Reading Like a Writer (2006) by Francine Prose
  18. The House of Mirth (1905) by Edith Wharton
  19. Wit (1998) by Margaret Edson
  20. A Mercy (2008) by Toni Morrison
  21. Maps & Legends (2008) by Michael Chabon
  22. Salome (1892) by Oscar Wilde
  23. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
  24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  25. Joe Gould’s Secret (1942, 1964) by Joseph Mitchell
  26. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet (2009) by Reif Larsen
  27. Details of a Sunset and Other Stories (1976) by Vladimir Nabokov
  28. Goodbye, Columbus (1959) by Philip Roth
  29. Midnight’s Children (1980) by Salman Rushdie
  30. De Profundis (1897) by Oscar Wilde
  31. The Lazarus Project (2008) by Aleksander Hemon
  32. Inherent Vice (2009) by Thomas Pynchon
  33. God is Dead (2007) by Ron Currie, Jr.
  34. All the Sad Young Literary Men (2008) by Keith Gessen
  35. The Counterlife (1986) by Philip Roth
  36. A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682)
  37. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1791, 1818, 1868)
  38. Eating the Dinosaur (2009) by Chuck Klosterman
  39. The Humbling (2009) by Philip Roth
  40. Fortune’s Football (1797) by James Butler
  41. Letters from an American Farmer (1782) by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur
  42. Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World (1829) by David Walker
  43. Let the Great World Spin (2009) by Colum McCann
  44. The Coquette (1797) by Hannah Webster Foster
  45. Heading South, Looking North (1998) by Ariel Dorfman
  46. The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath
  47. Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo (1808) by Leonora Sansay
  48. The World of Apples (1973) by John Cheever
  49. Look at the Birdie (2009) by Kurt Vonnegut

Books Completed: 2010

  1. King Richard II (c. 1595) by William Shakespeare
  2. Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro
  3. Richard III (c. 1590) by William Shakespeare
  4. Ulysses (1922) by James Joyce
  5. Reading Joyce (2008) by David Pierce
  6. Changing My Mind (2009) by Zadie Smith
  7. No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007) by Miranda July
  8. The Biographer’s Tale (2000) by A.S. Byatt
  9. Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594-5) by William Shakespeare
  10. Twelfth Night (1590s) by William Shakespeare
  11. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) by James Joyce
  12. What Narcissism Means to Me (2003) by Tony Hoagland
  13. White Teeth (2000) by Zadie Smith
  14. King Lear (1590s) by William Shakespeare
  15. The First Person and Other Stories (2008) by Ali Smith
  16. The Winter’s Tale (1610) by William Shakespeare
  17. Sum (2009) by David Eagleman
  18. The Scandal of Ulysses (1993) by Bruce Arnold
  19. 36 Arguments of the Existence of God (2009) by Rebecca Goldstein
  20. Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself (2010) by David Lipsky
  21. Other Stories and Other Stories (1999) by Ali Smith
  22. American Pastoral (1998) by Philip Roth
  23. Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever (2010) by Justin Taylor
  24. The Corrections (2000) by Jonathan Franzen
  25. The Sacred Heartbeat of Consent (2010) by April Ranger
  26. Summertime (2009) by J.M. Coetzee
  27. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000) by Michael Chabon
  28. Freedom (2010) by Jonathan Franzen
  29. How to be Alone (2004) by Jonathan Franzen
  30. Washington Square (1881) by Henry James
  31. The Theatre and Its Double (1938) by Antonin Artaud
  32. Marat/Sade (1964) by Peter Weiss
  33. Everything Matters! (2010) by Ron Currie, Jr.
  34. Dutchman and The Slave: Two Plays (1964) by Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka
  35. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) by Stephen Crane
  36. Nemesis (2010) by Philip Roth
  37. Saved (1965) by Edward Bond
  38. Masterpieces (1983) by Sarah Daniels
  39. The Romans in Britain (1980) by Howard Brenton
  40. The Awakening (1893) by Kate Chopin
  41. The Age of Innocence (1920) by Edith Wharton
  42. A Lost Lady (1923) by Willa Cather
  43. The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  44. Blasted (1995) by Sarah Kane
  45. Phaedra’s Love (1996) by Sarah Kane
  46. Cleansed (1998) by Sarah Kane
  47. Shopping and Fucking (1996) by Mark Ravenhill
  48. Skin (1997) by Sarah Kane
  49. The Universe in Miniature in Miniature (2010) by Patrick Somerville
  50. The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
  52. Netherland (2009) by Joseph O’Neill

Books Completed: 2011

  1. Skippy Dies (2010) by Paul Murray
  2. The Accidental (2007) by Ali Smith
  3. 20 Under 40: Stories from the New Yorker (2010) by Various
  4. Great House (2010) by Nicole Krauss
  5. The Anthologist (2009) by Nicholson Baker
  6. The Lover’s Dictionary (2011) by David Levithan
  7. The Fates Will Find Their Way (2011) by Hannah Pittard
  8. A Long Way Down (2004) by Nick Hornby
  9. Solo (2010) by Rana Dasgupta
  10. Love and Obstacles (2009) by Aleksandar Hemon
  11. The Pale King (2011) by David Foster Wallace
  12. Too Much Happiness (2009) by Alice Munro
  13. Black Swan Green (2006) by David Mitchell
  14. A Visit from the Good Squad (2010) by Jennifer Egan
  15. The Abstinence Teacher (2007) by Tom Perrotta
  16. You Don’t Love Me Yet (2007) by Jonathan Lethem
  17. How I Became Stupid (2001) by Martin Page
  18. The Beautiful and Damned (1922) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. The Rehearsal (2008) by Eleanor Catton
  20. Juliet, Naked (2009) by Nick Hornby
  21. The Gum Thief (2007) by Douglas Coupland
  22. High Fidelity (1995) by Nick Hornby
  23. The Passion (1987) by Jeanette Winterson
  24. Twilight of the Superheroes (2006) Deborah Eisenberg
  25. Shakespeare Wrote for Money (2008) by Nick Hornby
  26. Woody Allen: A Life in Film (2003) by Richard Schickel
  27. Woody Allen on Location (1987) by Thierry de Navacelle
  28. The Little Friend (2002) by Donna Tartt
  29. The Enthusiast (2009) by Charlie Haas
  30. The Eyre Affair (2001) by Jasper Fforde
  31. And Another Thing… (2009) by Eoin Colfer
  32. Him Her Him Again The End of Him (2007) by Patricia Marx
  33. Swamplandia! (2011) by Karen Russell
  34. Citrus County (2011) by John Brandon
  35. Dear American Airlines (2008) by Jonathan Miles
  36. Consider the Lobster (2005) by David Foster Wallace
  37. Eating the Dinosaur (2010) by Chuck Klosterman
  38. The Ecstasy of Influence (2011) by Jonathan Lethem
  39. The Passer (2011) by Robin Christophersen

Books Completed: 2012

  1. Pulphead: Essays (2011) by John Jeremiah Johnson
  2. It Chooses You (2011) by Miranda July
  3. The Tiger’s Wife (2011) by Tea Obreht
  4. Bossypants (2011) by Tina Fey
  5. What the Dog Saw (2011) by Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Middlesex (2002) by Jeffrey Eugenides
  7. Blink (2005) by Malcolm Gladwell
  8. The Marriage Plot (2011) by Jeffrey Eugenides
  9. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (2012) by Nathan Englander
  10. Imagine: How Creativity Works (2012) by Jonah Leher
  11. The Hunger Games (2007) by Suzanne Collins
  12. Catching Fire (2009) by Suzanne Collins
  13. Mockingjay (2010) by Suzanne Collins
  14. I’m a Stranger Here Myself (1999) by Bill Bryson
  15. The Sense of an Ending (2011) by Julian Barnes
  16. Unaccustomed Earth (2008) by Jhumpa Lahiri
  17. Farther Away (2012) by Jonathan Franzen
  18. Too Much Happiness (2009) by Alice Munro
  19. Some Fun (2006) by Antonya Nelson
  20. Olive Kitteridge (2008) by Elizabeth Strout
  21. Old Girlfriends (2009) by David Updike
  22. The Animal Girl (2007) by John Fulton
  23. Freedom (2010) by Jonathan Franzen
  24. Interpreter of Maladies (1999) by Jhumpa Lahiri
  25. The Art of Fielding (2011) by Chad Harbach
  26. The Namesake (2003) by Jhumpa Lahiri
  27. The World According to Garp (1978) by John Irving
  28. A Hologram for the King (2012) by Dave Eggers
  29. Falling Man (2007) by Don Delillo
  30. Desperate Characters (1970) by Paula Fox
  31. Tinkers (2009) by Paul Harding
  32. The Imperfectionists (2010) by Tom Rachman
  33. The Moviegoer (1961) by Walker Percy
  34. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007) by Sherman Alexie
  35. By Nightfall (2010) by Michael Cunningham
  36. Chronic City (2010) by Jonathan Lethem
  37. Pobby and Dingan (2000) by Ben Rice
  38. The Age of Miracles (2012) by Karen Thompson Walker
  39. An Object of Beauty (2010) by Steve Martin
  40. This is Where I Leave You (2009) by Jonathan Tropper
  41. Fidelity (2003) by Michael Redhill
  42. NW (2012) by Zadie Smith
  43. This Is How You Lose Her (2012) by Junot Diaz
  44. More Baths Less Talking (2012) by Nick Hornby
  45. This Beautiful Life (2011) by Helen Shulman
  46. Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (2012) by D.T. Max
  47. Telegraph Avenue (2012) by Michael Chabon
  48. The Uncommon Reader (2006) by Alan Bennett
  49. There but for the (2011) by Ali Smith
  50. Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder (2000) by Tony Hawk with Sean Mortimer
  51. The Fifty Year Sword (2005, 2012) by Mark Z. Danielewski
  52. Office Girl (2012) by Joe Meno
  53. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (2012) by Robin Sloan
  54. Both Flesh and Not (2012) by David Foster Wallace
  55. The Fun Stuff and Other Essays (2012) by James Wood
  56. Reunion (2006) by Alan Lightman
  57. The Round House (2012) by Louise Erdich
  58. Several Short Sentences About Writing (2012) by Verlyn Klinkenborg
  59. Hosoi (2012) by Christian Hosoi with Chris Ahrens
  60. Drown (1996) by Junot Diaz
  61. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) by Junot Diaz
  62. Lost at Sea (2012) by Jon Ronson

Books Completed: 2013

  1. Eminent Outlaws (2012) by Christopher Bram
  2. The Fault in Our Stars (2012) by John Green
  3. Swann’s Way (1913) by Marcel Proust
  4. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) by James M. Cain
  5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) by Hunter S. Thompson
  6. Howards End (1910) by E.M. Forster
  7. Artful (2013) by Ali Smith
  8. A Moveable Feast (1964) by Ernest Hemingway
  9. Letters to a Young Poet (1929) by Rainer Maria Rilke
  10. Tenth of December (2013) by George Saunders
  11. Kafka Was the Rage (1993) by Anatole Broyard
  12. Palo Alto (2010) by James Franco
  13. The Pregnant Widow (2010) by Martin Amis
  14. High Windows (1974) by Philip Larkin
  15. In Cold Blood (1965) by Truman Capote
  16. The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. III (2008)
  17. On with the Story (1996) by John Barth
  18. The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. I (2006)
  19. A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers (2009) by Elaine Showalter
  20. Butterfly in the Typewriter (2012) by Cory MacLauchlin
  21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey
  22. The Passer (2013) by Robin Christophersen
  23. The Palace Thief (1994) by Ethan Canin
  24. The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. II (2007)
  25. The Paris Review Interviews, Volume IV (2009)
  26. The Great Perhaps (2009) by Joe Meno
  27. A Map of Tulsa (2013) by Benjamin Lytal
  28. Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It (2012) by Maile Meloy
  29. Odds Against Tomorrow (2013) by Nathaniel Rich
  30. Expensive People (1968) by Joyce Carol Oates
  31. Women with Men (1997) by Richard Ford
  32. The Sportswriter (1986) by Richard Ford
  33. Bobcat and Other Stories (2013) by Rebecca Lee
  34. Intimacy (1998) by Hanif Kureishi
  35. Old School (2003) by Tobias Wolff
  36. Death in Venice (1912) by Thomas Mann
  37. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012) by Ben Fountain
  38. Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) by Maria Semple
  39. The Interestings (2013) by Meg Wolitzer
  40. Other People We Married (2011) by Emma Straub
  41. Super Sad True Love Story (2010) by Gary Shteyngart
  42. The Color Master (2013) by Aimee Bender
  43. We Live in Water (2013) by Jess Walter
  44. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (2013) by Mason Currey
  45. Cheating at Canasta (2007) by William Trevor
  46. Don’t Make Me Stop Now (2007) by Michael Parker
  47. Nine Inches (2013) by Tom Perrotta
  48. You Are Not a Stranger Here (2001) by Adam Haslett
  49. Literary Brooklyn (2013) by Evan Hughes
  50. The Returned (2013) by Jason Mott
  51. Bad Haircut (1994) by Tom Perrotta
  52. Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) by Susan Sontag
  53. How to Read a Novelist (2013) by John Freeman
  54. Everyman (2006) by Philip Roth
  55. S. (2013) by Doug Dorst (with J.J. Abrams)
  56. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) by Tom Wolfe
  57. The Flamethrowers (2013) by Rachel Kushner
  58. At the Same Time (2007) by Susan Sontag
  59. The Luminaries (2013) by Eleanor Catton
  60. Arguably (2011) by Christopher Hitchens
  61. Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth
  62. An Introduction to Literary Theory (2008)

Books Completed: 2014

  1. The Heart of the Matter (1948) by Graham Greene
  2. The Orchid Thief (1998) by Susan Orlean
  3. The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup (2000) by Susan Orlean
  4. Autobiography of a Face (1994) by Lucy Grealy
  5. Truth & Beauty (2004) by Ann Patchett
  6. The Trip to Echo Spring (2014) by Olivia Laing
  7. Too Good to Be True (2012) by Benjamin Anastas
  8. White Girls (2013) by Hilton Als
  9. Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice (2007) by Janet Malcolm
  10. The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) by Wayne C. Booth
  11. Signifying Rappers (1990) by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello
  12. Working (1974) by Studs Terkel
  13. E.E. Cummings: A Life (2014) by Susan Cheever
  14. Quack This Way (2013) by Bryan A. Garner and David Foster Wallace
  15. Inscriptions for Headstones (2013) by Matthew Vollmer
  16. Best of McSweeney’s (2013) by various, edited by Dave Eggers and Jordan Bass
  17. Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life (2013) by Dani Shapiro
  18. Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books (2014) by Wendy Lesser
  19. Edie (1980) by Jean Stein with George Plimpton
  20. Was This Man a Genius? Talks with Andy Kaufman (2001) by Julie Hecht
  21. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  22. Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview (2013) by Jonathan Cott
  23. The Rhetorical Tradition, 2nd Edition (2001) by Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg
  24. MFA vs. NYC (2014) edited by Chad Harbach
  25. The Shape of Things to Come (2006) by Greil Marcus
  26. Solar (2010) by Ian McEwan
  27. The White Album (1979) by Joan Didion
  28. Joseph Anton (2012) by Salman Rushdie
  29. Lost for Words (2014) by Edward St. Aubyn
  30. The Satanic Verses (1988) by Salman Rushdie
  31. Casino Royale (1953) by Ian Fleming
  32. Last Word (2013) by Jonathan Blum
  33. The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (2014) by Kevin Birmingham
  34. The Truth (2014) by Michael Palin
  35. If There’s Any Truth in a Northbound Train (2014) by Ryan Werner
  36. Joss Whedon: The Biography (2014) by Amy Pascale
  37. The Novel: A Biography (2014) by Michael Schmidt
  38. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (2014) by Haruki Murakami
  39. Susan Sontag: A Biography (2014) by Daniel Schreiber
  40. The Art of the Novel (1986) by Milan Kundera
  41. Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations (2014) by Mónica Maristain
  42. Don Quixote (1604/1614) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  43. The Sixteenth of June (2014) by Maya Long
  44. Love Songs (1917) by Sara Teasdale
  45. The Harp-Weaver (1928) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
  46. Wild Nights! (2008) by Joyce Carol Oates
  47. Free Will (2012) by Sam Harris
  48. Hothouse (2013) by Boris Kachka
  49. Lying (2013) by Sam Harris
  50. Egg Heaven (2014) by Robin Parks
  51. Mortality (2012) by Christopher Hitchens
  52. Wolf in White Van (2014) by John Darnielle
  53. American Primitive (1983) by Mary Oliver
  54. I Wear the Black Hat (2012) by Chuck Klosterman
  55. Thomas and Beulah (1986) by Rita Dove
  56. The Children Act (2014) by Ian McEwan
  57. The Magicians (2011) by Lev Grossman
  58. Late Lights (2013) by Kara Weiss
  59. The Republic of Imagination (2014) by Azar Nafisi
  60. Fortress (2014) by Kristina Marie Darling
  61. Twenty Poems That Could Save America (2014) by Tony Hoagland
  62. Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (2010) by Tony Hoagland
  63. The Sense of Style (2014) by Steven Pinker
  64. Ideas and the Novel (1980) by Mary McCarthy
  65. The Wild Iris (1992) by Louise Glück
  66. Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (1996) by Lisel Mueller
  67. Late Wife (2005) by Claudia Emerson
  68. Bid Me to Live (1960) by H.D.
  69. Crude Sketches Done in Quick Succession (2015) by Andrew Brininstool
  70. Unacknowledged Legislation (2000) by Christopher Hitchens
  71. How to be both (2014) by Ali Smith
  72. Stag’s Leap (2012) by Sharon Olds
  73. Native Guard (2006) by Natasha Trethewey
  74. Life on Mars (2011) by Tracy K. Smith
  75. The Missionary Position (1995) by Christopher Hitchens
  76. The David Foster Wallace Reader (2014)
  77. When Books Went to War (2015) by Molly Guptill Manning
  78. American Pulp (2014) by Paula Rabinowitz
  79. Still Open (2014) by April Ranger

Books Completed: 2015

  1. The Footnote: A Curious History (1997) by Anthony Grafton
  2. What We See When We Read (2014) by Peter Mendelsund
  3. Wilde in America (2014) by David M. Friedman
  4. Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America (2013) by Roy Morris, Jr.
  5. Fun Home (2006) by Alison Bechdel
  6. Saint Friend (2014) by Carl Adamshick
  7. Remainder (2005) by Tom McCarthy
  8. Turtleface and Beyond (2015) by Arthur Bradford
  9. Oscar Wilde’s Scandalous Summer (2014) by Antony Edmonds
  10. Satin Island (2015) by Tom McCarthy
  11. Constance (2011) by Franny Moyle
  12. Oscar Wilde (1984) by Richard Ellmann
  13. Oh the Glory of It All (2005) by Sean Wilsey
  14. Room (2010) by Emma Donoghue
  15. I Am Radar (2015) by Reif Larsen
  16. The Familiar Vol. 1: A Rainy Day in May (2015) by Mark Z. Danielewski
  17. The Nearest Thing to Life (2015) by James Wood
  18. Blessing on the Moon (1997) by Joseph Skibell
  19. Lucky Alan and Other Stories (2015) by Jonathan Lethem
  20. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2013) by Ayana Mathis
  21. Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker (2015) by Thomas Kunkel
  22. Ordinary Light (2015) by Tracy K. Smith
  23. Saint Mazie (2015) by Jami Attenberg
  24. Where I’m Reading From (2015) by Tim Parks
  25. Off the Books (2015) by J. Peder Zane
  26. Music for Chameleons (1980) by Truman Capote
  27. A Solemn Pleasure (2015) by Melissa Pritchard
  28. The World Between Covers (2015) by Ann Morgan
  29. Browsings (2015) by Michael Dirda
  30. Capote (1988) by Gerald Clarke
  31. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine (2015) by Alexandra Kleeman
  32. Barbara the Slut and Other People (2015) by Lauren Holmes
  33. Single, Carefree, Mellow (2015) by Katherine Heiny
  34. Why Read Moby-Dick? (2011) by Nathaniel Philbrick
  35. Genoa (1965) by Paul Metcalf
  36. Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage (2015) by Philip Weinstein
  37. Purity (2015) by Jonathan Franzen
  38. The Road Not Taken (2015) by David Orr
  39. My Struggle: Book One (2009) by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  40. The Bone Clocks (2014) by David Mitchell
  41. Breams Give Me Hiccups (2015) by Jesse Eisenberg
  42. So You’ve Been Publically Shamed (2015) by Jon Ronson
  43. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) by Truman Capote
  44. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (2015) by Salman Rushdie
  45. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (2014) by John Lahr
  46. Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) by Claudia Rankine
  47. We Should All Be Feminists (2014) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  48. Marvel and a Wonder (2015) by Joe Meno
  49. The Martian (2014) by Andy Weir
  50. The Best American Comics 2015, edited by Jonathan Lethem
  51. Annihilation (2014) by Jeff Vandermeer
  52. Slade House (2015) by David Mitchell
  53. Moral Agents: 8 Twentieth-Century American Authors (2015) by Edward Mendelson
  54. There Is Simply Too Much to Think About (2015) by Saul Bellow
  55. Reporting Always (2015) by Lillian Ross
  56. Think Again (2015) by Stanley Fish
  57. And Yet… (2015) by Christopher Hitchens
  58. The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic (2015) by Jessica Hopper
  59. Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows (2015) by John Lahr
  60. Massive Pissed Love (2015) by Richard Hell
  61. Note Book (2015) by Jeff Nunokawa
  62. This Should Be Written in the Present Tense (2016) by Helle Helle
  63. So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood (2015) by Patrick Modiano
  64. Real Life Rock (2015) by Greil Marcus
  65. The Art of X-Ray Reading (2016) by Roy Peter Clark
  66. Refund: Stories (2015) by Karen E. Bender
  67. The Last September (2015) by Nina de Gramont
  68. Plotted: A Literary Atlas (2015) by Andrew DeGraff
  69. A Carlin Home Companion (2015) by Kelly Carlin
  70. Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane (2015) by Patrick McGilligan
  71. Public Library and Other Stories (2016) by Ali Smith
  72. The Ocean, the Bird, and the Scholar (2015) by Helen Vendler
  73. The World Is On Fire (2015) by Joni Tevis
  74. The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems (2016) by B.H. Fairchild
  75. In Other Words (2016) by Jhumpa Lahiri
  76. Map: Collected and Last Poems (2015) by Wislawa Szymborska
  77. The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution (2015) by David Wootten
  78. Numero Zero (2015) by Umberto Eco
  79. Paulina & Fran (2015) by Rachel B. Glaser
  80. Creationists: Selected Essays, 1993—2006 (2006) by E.L. Doctorow
  81. Sea Lovers: Selected Stories (2015) by Valerie Martin
  82. The Spectacle of Skill: The Selected Writings of Robert Hughes (2015) by Robert Hughes
  83. Selected Poems (2015) by John Updike
  84. The Love Object: Selected Stories (2015) by Edna O’Brien
  85. Poems: New & Selected (2016) by Ron Rash

Books Completed: 2016

  1. The Door (1987) by Magda Szabo
  2. The Brothers Vonnegut (2015) by Ginger Strand
  3. Blackass (2016) by A. Igoni Barrett
  4. What Belongs to You (2016) by Garth Greenwell
  5. Selected Non-Fictions (1999) by Jorge Luis Borges
  6. Living by Paper: Letters from Iris Murdoch, 1934—1995 (2016)
  7. The Noise of Time (2016) by Julian Barnes
  8. A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989) by Julian Barnes
  9. One Hundred Twenty-One Days (2016) by Michele Audin
  10. Leaving the Atocha Station (2011) by Ben Lerner
  11. Classical English Rhetoric (2010) by Ward Farnsworth
  12. Classical English Metaphor (2016) by Ward Farnsworth
  13. The Violet Hour: Great Writers at the End (2016) by Katie Roiphe
  14. The Lost Art of Reading (2010) by David L. Ulin
  15. But What If We’re Wrong (2016) by Chuck Klosterman
  16. Between Parentheses (2011) by Roberto Bolaño
  17. Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations (2015) by Monica Maristain
  18. The Savage Detectives (1998) by Roberto Bolaño
  19. Trout Fishing in America (1967) by Richard Brautigan
  20. Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (1970) by Tom Wolfe
  21. Seeing Red (2016) by Lina Meruane
  22. Music in the Air (2016) by Ralph J. Gleason
  23. Take This Stallion (2016) by Anaïs Duplan
  24. George Washington (2016) by Adam Fitzgerald
  25. Ark (2016) by Julian Tepper
  26. The Shadow of the Wind (2001) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  27. American Rhapsody (2016) by Claudia Roth Pierpont
  28. Picasso (1938) by Gertrude Stein
  29. The Ivory Tower (1970) by John Fowles
  30. A Woman Without a Country (2014) by Eavan Boland
  31. Night of the Animals (2016) by Bill Broun
  32. Complete Poems: 1904—1962 (2016) by E.E. Cummings
  33. The Silent Woman (1994) by Janet Malcolm
  34. Marilyn (2015) by Amanda Ngoho Reavey
  35. The Unknown University (2007) by Roberto Bolaño
  36. An Essay on Man (1710/2016) by Alexander Pope
  37. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011) by Stephen Greenblatt
  38.  Standing Water (2016) by Eleanor Chai
  39. Poems That Make Grown Women Cry (2016) edited by Anthony and Ben Holden
  40. The Hatred of Poetry (2016) by Ben Lerner
  41. The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (2016) by Neil Gaiman
  42. Joe Gould’s Teeth (2016) by Jill Lepore
  43. When Everything Changed (2009) by Gail Collins
  44. The Regional Office is Under Attack! (2016) by Manuel Gonzales
  45. Observations (1924) by Marianne Moore
  46. Pictures of the Gone World (1955) by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  47. Mz N: the serial (2016) by Maureen N. McLane
  48. Critics, Monsters, & Fanatics and Other Essays (2016) by Cynthia Ozick
  49. The Regional Office is Under Attack! (2016) by Manuel Gonzales
  50. The Hike (2016) by Drew Magary
  51. The Senility of Vladimir P (2016) by Michael Honig
  52. The Mandibles: A Family, 2029—2047 (2016) by Lionel Shriver
  53. The Queue (2016) by Basma Abdel Aziz
  54. Invaders (2016) by Various
  55. How Literature Saved My Life (2013) by David Shields
  56. 2666 (2008) by Robert Bolaño
  57. Clockwork (1996) by Philip Pullman
  58. The Receptionist (2012) by Janet Groth
  59. Time Travel: A History (2016) by James Gleick
  60. Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception (2013) by Claudia Hammond
  61. The Book (2016) by Keith Huston
  62. The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship (2016) by Alex Beam
  63. Life Moves Pretty Fast (2016) by Hadley Freeman
  64. Shakespeare and Company (1956) by Sylvia Beach
  65. The Art of Rivalry (2016) by Sebastian Smee
  66. 11/22/63 (2012) by Stephen King
  67. Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson (2016) by Juan F. Thompson
  68. The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates: 1973—1982 (2007)
  69. The Journals of John Cheever (1991)
  70. Publishing (2015) by Gail Godwin
  71. Collected Poems (2016) by Marie Ponsot
  72. Ardent Spirits (2009) by Reynolds Price
  73. Moonglow (2016) by Michael Chabon

Featured Image: Elsa Ienna

About Jonathan Russell Clark

Jonathan Russell Clark

JONATHAN RUSSELL CLARK is a literary critic. He is a staff writer for Literary Hub , and a regular contributor to The Georgia Review and The Millions. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, The Atlantic, The New Republic, LA Review of Books, The Rumpus, Chautauqua, PANK, and numerous others. His essays have been mentioned in The Guardian, NPR.org, BBC.com, Bookforum.com, Electric Literature, Word Riot, Poets & Writers, and as one of Katie Couric’s Katie’s FYI. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Clark was educated at the University of Oxford, the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, UMass Boston, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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