Jan 08

All about Project Short Story; Our reading resolutions for 2013; We recommend Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Tenth of December by George Saunders.

Project Short Story

Ann recently launched Project Short Story, a year-long celebration of short fiction. We’re announcing it on the podcast because we want everyone to know about it, but most of the PSS content going forward will be here on the blog and not on the podcast. Be sure you are signed up for mailing list so you’ll get notified when new blog entries are posted.

The first monthly read-along for Project Short Story is “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu, which was announced on Monday.

New Resolutions for a New Year (4:55)


This year Ann and I have each made a few Reading Resolutions. I hope to read 78 books this year (13 more than I read in 2012). Plus, I’ve identified 13 books I’ve been meaning to read, but still haven’t, most of which are titles I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read.

In addition to committing to reading one short story every day, Ann has put Ready Player One by Ernie Cline and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry on her “must read in 2013” list.

Eric, over at our Goodreads group, has suggested a reading challenge that he’s calling simply ALL. Pick a favorite author and read everything they’ve ever written. Given our respective love of Ian McEwan and William Boyd, Ann and I surprisingly haven’t read everything by them. Which author would you choose? What are your reading challenges for 2013?

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (14:53)

beautiful ruins by Jess Walter      Tenth of December by George Saunders

At the end of last year, Ann read a lot of books, some of which would likely have ended up on her best of 2012 list, if she hadn’t already picked that list for the podcast! One of those was Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, a story that connects a small Italian village in 1962, and a Hollywood studio today.

I was blown away by George Saunders’ newest collection of stories, Tenth of December, which is just out in hardcover. Saunders is a writer who is considered by many to be a master of short stories, and you need only read this collection, the title story in particular, to find that out for yourself.

 photo by simplyla, via flickr
  • How cool … we’re on the same page. I read “Beautiful Ruins” in August, and it’s, the book I’ve been recommending to everyone since; it’s my favorite read from 2012. And, I bought “Tenth of December” yesterday before I heard your recommendation.

  • Stan Hynds

    Best short story collection of 2013 has already happened. It is Tenth of December.

  • Jennifer Skerritt

    Ann, are you familiar with the Selected Shorts podcast? http://www.selectedshorts.org/
    Short stories read live, often by well-known actors, occasionally the authors themselves. You can subscribe through iTunes, or listen to the last 5 episodes on the website. Some public radio stations carry it as well, not sure of the broadcast times as I listen through iTunes.

    • I was not familiar with it — thank you!

  • Dawn

    Ann, What app are you using to keep track of your reading?

    • It’s called Book Lover. I don’t like it as much as Goodreads, and it’s not as flexible as I would like, but it’s easier to use than a spreadsheet on my phone.

      • Debbie

        I just downloaded Book Lover on my phone. I have such a long list of books to be read, and so many at home, I can’t remember if I bought the book or not when I am in a store. Hope this helps. Thanks for the idea.

  • I think for the ALL reading challenge, I’d probably chose Margaret Atwood. I’ve read two of her books last year and loved them. I own more and have them on my to read list for this year, I’d love to read her entire bibliography.

  • I absolutely agree about George Saunders’ story Tenth of December. It’s one of the most amazing, powerful stories I’ve ever read. Happy New Year, Michael and Ann!

  • Amy

    Just had a brainstorm for my New Year’s Reading resolution while I was listening to this episode. I’m going to read a minimum of 12 classic children’s stories or award-winning YA books that somehow I’ve missed.thus far. First up: The Little Prince and The Fault in Our Stars.

    • Anonymous

      That’s a great challenge! The Little Prince is one of my 13 in 2013

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