Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Many Books Will I Read in 2010?

now reading: American Women Activists' Writings ed. by Kathryn Cullen DuPont

I'm disappointed with the number of books I have read this year. I had even toyed with the idea of making 2010 the year I read 100 books! Instead, I have been an all-over-the-place reader and not accomplished anywhere close to that. As far as I can see there are two main reasons for this.

One is that I have been reading books to review them for work or do a little work-related research and while I like them, I usually do two or three of those at once, while also having a leisure read going, and all three just get jumbled and slowed down. The other main reason is that Brian and I live in a studio apartment in Chicago right now (since February). I actually like the layout, as studios go, with the bathroom, closet, and kitchen all separate so it's kind of like a 2.5-room studio. But it is a studio, and I do like to read books in quiet, which means that I don't do as much reading as I would if we had a separate room where I would not hear the news/sports/music or whatever else is going on. Basically, I only read when Brian is either also reading or not here or when I take the extra physical-but-also-mental step of having to create quiet in order to read instead of just starting to read. This might not make sense, but trust me - we read (and write!!!!) more when we have "a room of one's own."

Anyway, I believe I have read only 34 books this year so far! They are:
  1. Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis
  2. Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation by John Carlin
  3. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
  4. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  5. The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Last Year by Jay Parini
  6. Introducing Feminism by Cathia Jenainati
  7. Dirty Diplomacy: The Rough and Tumble Adventures of a Scotch-Drinking, Skirt-Chasing, Dictator-Busting and Thoroughly Unrepentant Ambassador Stuck on the Frontline of the War Against Terror by Craig Murray
  8. The Life of Andrew Jackson by Robert V. Remini
  9. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  10. Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds by Stephen Kinzer
  11. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  12. After the Second Sex by Alice Schwarzer
  13. En el tiempo de las Mariposas by Julia Alvarez
  14. Martin Van Buren by Ted Widmer
  15. Old Tippecanoe: William Henry Harrison and His Time by Freeman Cleaves
  16. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  17. Video Night in Kathmandu: and Other Reports From the Not-So-Far East by Pico Iyer
  18. Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century's End by Sara M. Evans
  19. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  20. Chicago: Lonely Planet City Guide by Karla Zimmerman
  21. The Gastronomical Me by MFK Fisher
  22. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  23. John Tyler: Champion of the Old South by Oliver P. Chitwood
  24. Betty Friedan: Her Life by Judith Hennessee
  25. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  26. Writing in an Age of Silence by Sara Paretsky
  27. The Talbot Odyssey by Nelson DeMille
  28. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  29. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
  30. Le Petit Nicolas by Jean-Jacques Sempe
  31. I Will Fight No More Forever: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War by Merrill D. Beal
  32. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  33. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America by Walter Borneman
  34. Women Who Run the Show: How a Brilliant and Creative New Generation of Women Stormed Hollywood by Mollie Gregory
And the question is, (how) do I now revise my goal? It would be an extremely difficult thing to read 65 more books in addition to the one I'll finish tonight or tomorrow between now and December 31st, unless they were all picture books or maybe the entire Magic Treehouse series or something. Should I revise down to fifty? Sixty? Forty? (Forty doesn't seem at all ambitious enough, but I might actually be really busy during December as it happens.) Unless someone gives me a much better idea, I think I am going to revise the goal down to fifty, and a few of them might be young adult books which happen to be on my list anyway, just to make things a tiny bit easier on myself.

This blog entry has been brought to you by Goodreads, which ably keeps track of my books in the order I read them. I love that web site.

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