Monday, August 01, 2005

12 months, 12 books - maybe

I am envious of Largehearted Boy's reading project. This year and last, he's set a goal to read a book a week, reviewing each on his site.

For the past several years, I've attemted to just read one book a month, yet somehow I always fall short of my goal. Last year and the year before, I managed ten.

Prey by Michael Crichton
Tricky Business by Dave Barry
Left Behind by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Babyhood by Paul Reiser
Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Copeland
Songbook by Nick Hornby
Dude, Where's My Country? by Michael Moore
Lost by Gregory Maguire

Lies (and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them) by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yan Martel
Sleeping with the Angel by Nick Hornby (editor)
The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace
Blankets by Craig Thompson *
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket *
Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Coraline by Neil Gaiman *
We're Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Off Ramp by Hank Stuever
We've Got Blog by Rebecca Blood (editor)
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
* does not count toward goal

If I allowed graphic novels or junior fiction to count toward my goal, I'd have made it last year. But it's not meeting the goal itself that I'm concerned about — I don't get a prize if I accomplish it — I just want to read more. Nevertheless, most of the books on my list aren't that profound. I mean, I read Left Behind, for God's sake (it was so terrible).

Oddly enough, while I don't count books like Coraline or A Series of Unfortunate Events, since I consider them primarily to be children's books, I do allow Harry Potter to count toward my goal (hey, it's more than 800 pages).

This year, I'm on track to miss the mark again as I'm only in the middle of my sixth book after seven months.

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby
Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams
The Untelling by Tayari Jones
Never Let You Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson

I am determined to keep trying, though. I read faster when I like the book (and I have a tendency to keep muddling through despite not liking it), so hopefully the rest of my selections this year will be enjoyable. So far, only Hornby's How to Be Good has dragged me down, but it made for a very slow start to the year.

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