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