An update on my 50 books in 2021 goal

Two months into 2021 and I’m ahead on the 50 book challenge. Here’s a list of what I’ve read so far along with brief notes.

  1. Cultural Amnesia – Clive James. Review here.
  2. The Naked and the Dead – Norman Mailer. Mini-review here.
  3. The Hamlet – William Faulkner. Not my favorite Faulkner, but still Faulkner.
  4. The Dog Stars – Peter Heller. I’m a sucker for good post-apocalyptic stories. This was a fun one.
  5. Jayber Crow – Wendell Berry. My first book by Berry. Beautiful story. Much better than what I anticipated.
  6. Tortilla Flat – John Steinbeck. Funny!
  7. The Sunset Limited – Cormac McCarthy. Bittersweet in that this is the last of McCarthy’s novels that I haven’t read. Guess it’s time to start over from the beginning again. I also watched the Tommy Lee Jones & Samuel Jackson movie. Very existential. It reminded me a lot of the Grand Inquisitor in the Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.
  8. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens. This was a recommendation from a friend. I don’t read a lot of recently-released-fiction, but I’m glad I read this one. It’s got a heavy focus on birds and ecology, it’s set in the South, and it’s a fun whodunit type of book.
  9. Conscious– Annaka Harris. Panpsychism is a fascinating concept.
  10. The Red and the Black – Stendhal. I read this because it was influential for René Girard. I’m still processing it. As I read it I didn’t find it extremely engaging but I’ve found that it’s stuck with me.
  11. Extraterrestrial – Avi Loeb. Read this. A real scientist making a very compelling case for extraterrestrial life.
  12. The Evolution of Desire – Cynthia L. Haven. A book about the life and works of René Girard. Very well written and a great introduction to Girard.
  13. Never Enough – Judith Grisel. An engaging and pragmatic look at drug addiction.

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