The Notable Book Perpetual Challenge

The Notable Book Perpetual Challenge asks participants to to set yearly goals.  In 2011 I neglected to post my reviews to the challenge web site.  I plan on posting on the web site in 2012.

I hope to read at least 12 notable books in 2012.  Here are some possible titles.

From the ALA 2011 Notable Books for Adults list:


A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

Next by James Hynes.

The Surrendered by Chang Rae Lee.

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes.


Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier.

The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness by Oren Harman.

The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Just Kids by Patti Smith.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson.

From the New York Times 2011 Most Notable list:


The Art of Fielding  By Chad Harbach.

The Barbarian Nuseries By Héctor Tobar.

11/22/63 By Stephen King.

Ghost Lights By Lydia Millet.

The Leftovers by Tom Perotta.

The Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks.

A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles.

Mr. Fox By Helen Oyeyemi.

Say Her Name By Francisco Goldman.

The Sense of an Ending By Julian Barnes.

Shards By Ismet Prcic.

Space, In Chains By Laura Kasischke. (Poetry)

The Stranger’s Child By Alan Hollinghurst.

Taller, When Prone By Les Murry (Poetry)

Train Dreams By Denis Johnson


The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning By Maggie Nelson.

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World. By David Deutsch.

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. By Steven Pinker.

The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. By Jonathan Lethem.

1861: The Civil War Awakening. By Adam Goodheart.

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. By Charles C. Mann.

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India. By Joseph Lelyveld.

In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin. By Erik Larson.

The Information: A History. A Theory. A Flood. By James Gleick.

Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion. By Janet Reitman.

Is That A Fish In Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything. By David Bellos.

The Memory Chalet By Tony Judt.

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War. By Tony Horwitz.

One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir. By Binyavanga Wainaina.

Pulphead. By John Jeremiah Sullivan.

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. By Stephen Greenblatt.

To A Mountain In Tibet By Colin Thubron.

There are many other notable book list links at the Notable Books Blog.  I have actually read and reviewed several of the books on the 2011 NY Times list and will link the reviews to my challenge page.


Filed under Challenges 2012, Notable Books

7 responses to “The Notable Book Perpetual Challenge

  1. Good luck! I have to admit with EVERY challenge I join I am terrible about posting my reviews to the places I am supposed to…

  2. John Michael Cummings

    Dear Page 247:

    I’m an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out last month.
    Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about
    adolescence published by West Virginia University Press.

    All the stories in my collection have been previously published in
    well-regarded print and online literary magazines such as The Iowa
    Review, Passager, The Bitter Oleander, Confrontation, Salt River
    Review, The Foliate Oak. and The Cortland Review.

    Can I interest you in reviewing it?

    If you write me back at, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

    My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher’s website:

    Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
    Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: “In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering–emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

    My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story “The Scratchboard Project” received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

    I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

    For more information about me, please visit:

    Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


    John Michael Cummings

    • John Michael Cummings – Thank you kindly for your request. I am not accepting books for review at this time, there are plenty of book bloggers out there who would be happy to review Ugly to Start With so I’m sure you will find others happy to receive your request. Wishing you the best of luck with your new book.

      Gavin at Page247.

  3. good luck Gavin ,all the best stu

  4. Reading your list of books for this challenge has me excited! I would join this challenge but my reading time is limited this year. Good luck with this challenge!

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