Or: the Great Summer 2014 Reading Challenge, or the Graduation Year Reading Challenge, or the How to Clear Your Five-Year-Old To-Read List, a.k.a. How To Guilt Yourself Into Finally Reading Ulysses, and Other 800+ Page Classics You Claimed To Have Read and Loved But Never Got Past Page Ten, or What Made Me Think This Was a Good Idea In The First Place?

Number of pages noted solely for time-managing purposes—and, let's face it, sanity purposes as well.

The "I'm going to need more than one day to read these but let's just pretend"

Necessary Errors, Caleb Crain (480 pp.) –
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (771 pp.) –
The Secret History, Donna Tartt (559 pp.)
The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner (383 pp.)
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton (834 pp.) –
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace (1079 pp.) *
The Pale King, David Foster Wallace (538 pp.)
The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (635 pp.)
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer (721 pp.) –
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (405 pp.) *
Moby Dick, Herman Melville (625 pp.)
Ulysses, James Joyce (783 pp.) –
Finnegans Wake, James Joyce (628 pp.) –
Catch-22, Joseph Heller (463 pp.)
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez (417 pp.) –
The World According to Garp, John Irving (609 pp.) –
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (617 pp.) –
Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy (351 pp.)
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (343 pp.)
Other Voices, Other Rooms, Truman Capote (232 pp.) *
Sanctuary, William Faulkner (326 pp.) –
Light In August, William Faulkner (507 pp.)
Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner (313 pp.) –
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (309 pp.)
Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor (236 pp.) –
The Violent Bear It Away, Flannery O’Connor (256 pp.) –
East Of Eden, John Steinbeck (601 pp.)
The Winter Of Our Discontent, John Steinbeck (304 pp.) –
On The Road, Jack Kerouac (307 pp.)
Cities of the Red Night, William S. Burroughs (332 pp.) –
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald (288 pp.)
The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald (422 pp.)
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (964 pp.) *
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (544 pp.) –
The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides (406 pp.)
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (544 pp.)
The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (667 pp.) –
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (545 pp.) –
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (796 pp.) –
Middlemarch, George Eliot (904 pp.) –
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith (496 pp.) –

The “Sure, I can do it, right? Right?”

Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion (213 pp.)
Blue Nights, Joan Didion (208 pp.)
Where I Was From, Joan Didion (240 pp.)
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (282 pp.)
The City and the Pillar, Gore Vidal (240 pp.)
The Member of the Wedding, Carson McCullers (163 pp.) *
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers (352 pp.) *
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck (103 pp.)
A Farewell To Arms, Ernest Hemingway (355 pp.) *
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (186 pp.)
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction, J.D. Salinger (213 pp.)
To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf (209 pp.)
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut (215 pp.) *
The Grass Harp, Truman Capote (97 pp.) *
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (244 pp.)
The Optimist’s Daughter, Eudora Welty (192 pp.)
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls (272 pp.) –

Short stories/essays.

Tenth of December, George Saunders (251 pp.)
Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion (238 pp.)
Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger (198 pp.)
The Portable Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Parker (603 pp.) *
The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (70 pp.) –
When You Are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris (323 pp.)
How We Are Hungry, Dave Eggers (222 pp.) *


The American Dream, Edward Albee
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee
Sight Unseen, Donald Margulies
Dinner with Friends, Donald Margulies
Brooklyn Boy, Donald Margulies
Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies
The House of Blue Leaves, John Guare –
Six Degrees of Separation, John Guare
This Is Our Youth, Kenneth Lonergan
Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Terrence McNally
Blithe Spirit, Noël Coward (130 pp.)
Thom Pain (based on nothing), Will Eno –
Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet (112 pp.)
The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer (128 pp.)
Homebody/Kabul, Tony Kushner (172 pp.)
Women of Manhattan, John Patrick Shanley (72 pp.)
The Odd Couple, Neil Simon
Once in a Lifetime, Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman
The Man Who Came to Dinner, Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman (88 pp.)
Arcadia, Tom Stoppard
August: Osage County, Tracy Letts
The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter (96 pp.)
A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen
The Cripple of Inishmaan, Martin McDonagh

Non-Fiction (probably won’t finish any of those, but who knows)

The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
Gateway to the Promised Land, Mario Maffi *
Up in the Old Hotel, Joseph Mitchell (736 pp.)
The Colossus of New York, Colson Whitehead (176 pp.)
The Devil’s Playground, James Traub
Off-Off Broadway, Christopher Olsen
Révoltes et Utopies, Andrew Diamond
The Future Of Us All: Race and Neighborhood Politics in NYC, Roger Sanjek

*: started
-: not currently on my shelves; will have to acquire somehow

Here I go! [Insert inspirational, motivational message][insert pep talk said in the voice of coach taylor over an explosions in the sky heartfelt instrumental score] [Insert crying noises] Anyway. I might do a "one movie a day" as well, because I know I will need a cop-out to feel productive when I'm deep into Middlemarch and want to punch everyone in the face, or roam dangerously close to the liquor cabinet and a nearby window. Oh, well. Only two more oral presentations and one paper to hand in and I'm out for the year, excluding midterms/finals and the like. I guess I don't have any excuse. Eat, Sleep, Read, is that it? More like "Drink Coffee, Eat, Drink Coffee, Read, Drink Coffee, Repeat." Clear eyes, full hearts. Don't let Coach Taylor down. Can't lose.