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3, 2, 1 ~ Three Authors, Two Books, One Month

After listening to Townie, I knew the time had come to read Andre Dubus III’s novels. He’s written two: House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of the Last Days. Although I didn’t do it last year, I have taken the month of November to highlight authors in the past. November became the logical choice for planning those reads. The trouble is that two books is not enough to fill a month, at least not one that I’d be pleased with anyway. I knew I needed something else to flesh it out.

Around the same time, I’d been tweeting about my love of Stewart O’Nan with @mattviews and @lakesidemusing. It’s been ages since I’ve read O’Nan and I started jonesing for a read pretty badly. He has plenty of work I haven’t read yet, so I could easily come up with enough books from his list to complete the month of November. From past experience though, I know that four books from the same author in a month’s time isn’t a good idea for me. Since I was reading two Dubus novels, I decided to read two O’Nan novels in November.

Still, four books does not make a month, though it’s getting close. I can easily read six books in a month, especially if there is a mixture of audiobook and print. So, who else should I select? O’Nan is an existing favorite. Dubus is an author for whom I’ve only just scratched the surface. For a third author, I decided to pick someone I’ve never read before. But who? As I purused my library looking for a previously unread author, I remembered another author sitting on my shelves that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time – Flannery O’Connor. Not only do I have an audiobook copy of Everything that Rises Must Converge, I also have a very nice collection of her body of work.

I’ve mentioned each of the three authors I’ll be reading. Here are the actual selections I made:

House of Sand and Fog ~ Andre Dubus III’s first novel. I have a copy of the audiobook, which was narrated by the author and his wife.

The Garden of Last Days ~ Dubus’ second novel. I picked this up after Stephen King wrote about it in Entertainment Weekly. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since.

A Prayer for the Dying ~ I’ve requested this title from my local library. It’s O’Nan’s fifth novel about an undertaker forced to choose between his duties to a plague-stricken town and his family.

Wish You Were Here ~ This novel leads up to Emily Alone, which I’ve preordered in paperback. I’ve got a copy of this novel on my Kindle.

Everything That Rises Must Converge ~ I won the audiobook from Karen White during Audiobook month. It’s a collection of short stories, which will set it apart from the rest of my reading.

The Violent Bear It Away ~ This is O’Connor’s second and last novel. It is about a 14 year old boy wanting to escape his destiny to be a prophet.

22 Comments

  • At 2011.10.27 10:48, MJ said:

    Oh, wow. It looks like November will be a great reading month. I’ve read a few of these, and would recommend all the ones I’ve read.

    I should read more Dubus, too, as I’ve only read one – House of Sand and Fog. I think I lent my copy to a friend, because I haven’t been able to find it in forever.

    • At 2011.10.27 11:56, Literate Housewife said:

      I am really excited to dive into Dubus. If you haven’t read Townie, I highly recommend it.

    • At 2011.10.27 11:27, Ti said:

      I haven’t read Stewart O’Nan yet. This has been an amazing reading year for me. Lots of new authors and a lot of great reads. I plan to add him to my list for next year. Crossing my fingers that next year is just as good, if not better!

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      • At 2011.10.27 12:00, Literate Housewife said:

        No pressure, but I’m considering making O’Nan a requirement for friendship. I’ll grandfather you in. ;-)

      • At 2011.10.27 11:39, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

        Are we pushing MARRIAGE PLOT back to December?

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        • At 2011.10.27 12:04, Literate Housewife said:

          That’s going on as planned. It might have made more sense to switch O’Connor for Eugenides, but we’ll see how it goes.

        • At 2011.10.27 11:43, Jenn's Bookshelves said:

          Great choices! O’Nan’s upcoming book, The Odds, is available on Netgalley. I squealed with delight when I saw it there!

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        • At 2011.10.27 11:47, Vasilly said:

          I think I’m most excited about you reading O’Connor. Her stories are just so shocking but yet amazing. They’re different from most short stories I’ve read. Happy reading.

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          • At 2011.10.27 12:07, Literate Housewife said:

            Thanks! I’ve been wanting to read her for a long time now. I’ll definitely be tweeting and posting about it.

          • At 2011.10.27 14:37, Michelle said:

            I’ve never read any of these authors. :( *hides*

            • At 2011.10.27 14:51, Literate Housewife said:

              Michelle! You need to rectify that. Dr. Literate Housewife prescribes LAST NIGHT AT THE LOBSTER for you. Stat!

            • At 2011.10.27 14:43, Sandy said:

              You have a packed November missy! Wow. I agree with you that anything Stephen King talk about, I am in. I have been known to read his recommendations blindly. As for O’Nan, I just uploaded Emily, Alone on my iPod last week, based on Beth Fish’s review. I will hurry up with that so you will be my friend :)

              • At 2011.10.27 14:55, Literate Housewife said:

                Sandy, you will always be my friend simply because you have way too much dirt on me. LOL! I have a feeling you’ll love him. :-)

              • At 2011.10.27 16:39, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                It looks like you have a wonderful month planned!

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              • At 2011.10.27 20:18, Matt said:

                It’s amazing now Stewart O’Nan has just caught on fire among the book bloggers lately. I’ve got two down and two more lined up (Wish You Were Here and Emily, Alone) for next month as I take my birthday weekend getaway. The Night Country was an unexpected ghost story so it’s perfect timing for Halloween. I’m currently reading Snow Angels, which also has a Halloween reference.

                I’m looking forward to the read-along. :)

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                • At 2011.10.27 20:32, Literate Housewife said:

                  I almost picked THE NIGHT COUNTRY, but A PRAYER FOR THE DYING wouldn’t let ke go. I need to read WISH YOU WERE HERE to prepare for EMILY, ALONE. So much goodness to choose from!

                • At 2011.10.28 10:12, Karen White said:

                  Can’t wait to hear what you think of EVERYTHING THAT RISES… I was honored to be on that book. Her writing is full of difficult things to swallow, let alone speak aloud, but so rich and evocative of a time and place in our country.
                  I’ve had HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG sitting on my shelf for awhile now – I am inspired to join the Dubus party and read it now!

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                  • At 2011.10.28 15:16, JoAnn said:

                    What a month! I read three O’Nan novels in September and am taking a short breather before his new one comes out in January… can’t wait! It’s been years since I read The House of Sand and Fog, but I do remember that it was unputdownable.

                    • At 2011.11.09 15:49, 3, 2, 1 Update said:

                      [...] it’s 11/9, I’m well into 3, 2, 1 month (3 Authors, 2 Books, 1 month). I began November by starting the audiobook version of House of Sand [...]

                      • At 2011.11.10 09:44, caite@a lovely shore breeze said:

                        I am a big fan of Flannery O’Connor. people either seem to hate or love her work. I think she was brilliant and I will be curious to see what you think of her work.

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