Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deal Me In 2017 - Short Nonfiction Version

Over at his blog, Bibliophilica, Jay has announced the 2017 "Deal Me In" Challenge.

Pick a bunch of short stories, assign each of them to a different card in a deck, and each week pick a card at random. Read the story and share your thoughts about it. (If you don't want to do this on a weekly basis, use only two suits from the deck or something like that.)

The thing is, I don't read short stories based on a pre-planned list. But I'd like to participate. Given that the challenge allows for variations, I'm focusing on essays, feature articles, letters, and speeches. I've been making a list of my own anyway as part of my effort to study more short nonfiction.

So here's my list. I plan to comment on these here or at Words in Bold, depending on the topic.

(If you're interested in participating in this challenge, whether with short fiction, short nonfiction or a mix, go for it, and let Jay know.)

Ace: "Thinking and Moral Considerations" by Hannah Arendt
Two: "Teaching a Stone to Talk" by Annie Dillard
Three: "Nobel Prize Banquet Speech" by William Faulkner
Four: "Letter to a Young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke
Five: "To An Anxious Friend" by William Allen White
Six: "Letter from the South: Nobody Knows My Name" by James Baldwin
Seven: "How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endanger Us All" by Amy Wallace
Eight: "Marginal Notes on Civilization in the United States" by George Santayana
Nine: "Middlemarch and Everybody" by Zadie Smith
Ten: "Some Thoughts on the Common Toad" by George Orwell
Jack: "The Blue of Distance" by Rebecca Solnit
Queen: "A Drugstore in Winter" by Cynthia Ozick
King: "Existence and Celebration" by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Ace: "Fairy Tale Is Form, Form Is Fairy Tale" by Kate Bernheimer
Two: "The American Forests" by John Muir
Three: "The Devil-Baby at Hull House" by Jane Addams
Four: "The Solace of Open Spaces" by Gretel Ehrlich
Five: "Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels" by George Orwell
Six: "On Kindness" by Cord Jefferson
Seven: "Ghosts of the Tsunami" by Richard Lloyd Parry
Eight: "How Burrowing Owls Lead to Vomiting Anarchists" by Kim-Mai Cutler
Nine: "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sacks
Ten: "Forty-One False Starts" by Janet Malcolm
Jack: "Living With Music" by Ralph Ellison
Queen: "Darkness and Light" by Kathleen Jamie
King: "In Favor of the Sensitive Man" by Anais Nin

Ace: "Why I Write" by George Orwell
Two: "Psalm 8" by Marilynne Robinson
Three: "Commencement address at Berkley" by Vera Rubin
Four: "No Name Woman" by Maxine Hong Kingston
Five: "The Execution of Tropmann" by Ivan Turgenev
Six: "The Third Winter" by Martha Gellhorn
Seven: "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" by Hunter Thompson
Eight: "After Life" by Joan Didion
Nine: "Yemen's Hidden War" by Matthieu Aikins
Ten: "Van Gogh, Death and Summer" by A.S. Byatt
Jack: "The Dream" by Winston Churchill
Queen: "Heiligenstadt Testament" by Ludwig van Beethoven
King: "Home" by Maya Angelou

Ace: "Here Is New York" by E.B. White
Two: "Atomic War or Peace" by Albert Einstein
Three: "Heaven and Nature" by Edward Hoagland
Four: "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us" by Steven Brill
Five: "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food" by Michael Moss
Six: "Elves Were Bastards" by Terry Pratchett
Seven: "Working Anything But 9 to 5" by Jodi Kantor
Eight: "Twilight in the Box" by Shruti Ravindran
Nine: "The Incredibly Strange Mutant Creatures..." by Karl Taro Greenfield
Ten: "What Are People For?" by Wendell Berry
Jack: "On Style" by Susan Sontag
Queen: "For My Brothers and Sisters in the Failure Business" by Seymour Krim
King: "Be Your Own Story commencement address" by Toni Morrison


Nancy Cudis said...

I'm excited to know you're a participant as well! I'm really tempted to read non-Filipino short stories and even essays and other literary forms, especially those by A.S. Byatt, E.B. White...I'm seeing a lot of great works here. But I made a writer's vow to read more Filipino short stories this year. I will still read other works and talk about them, although not for Deal Me In (maybe the wild cards?). :)

Jay Carr said...

Great list! I've only read one or two of these, but am familiar with many of the authors. We also have a title in common - the Jane Addams essay. Looking forward to seeing how our thoughts onthat one compare when it'/ come up in our draws. Good luck!

Brian Joseph said...

This is a great idea. Your list looks very impressive.

I myself need to read more short stories and essays. I generally like them, I just never seem to get around to reading them.

I look forward to your future posts on these works.

HKatz said...

@ Nancy - I look forward to reading your thoughts and getting introduced to Filipino writers (I recently read a collection of short stories called "Manila Noir," crime fiction by Filipino writers and enjoyed it).

@ Jay - I look forward to that too. I like that you're mixing up fiction and nonfiction. I love short stories, but just don't really plan out what I'll read in advance.

@ Brian - Thanks! Start with one a week, a quick read. Build from there :)