Wednesday, March 02, 2005

50 Book Challenge

I'm a bit late, considering most people started the 50 book challenge (link via the truly magnificent 50 Books) in January, but I might hop on the wagon now and see if I can actually do it. Now that I'm working in publishing, maybe it might be a good idea to pump up the read this year...

The concept of keeping track of the books you've read over the year isn't foreign to me per se, but it's something I often forget to do. A couple of years ago I got a copy of Stephen King's On Writing for Christmas. He said that he doesn't watch television (pah!), but he does read, often upwards of 70 books a year. I remember saying to myself, "Seventy? Is that all?" and wanted to see if I could beat him. Yes, I honestly entered into a completely fictional race with Stephen King to see if I could read more than he does. Yeah, the first year I didn't even come close. I read over 60 books the following year and then didn't keep track at all of the reading I did last year (We'll call that my lost year, all I did was work, have surgery and then get fired, so it doesn't count). So, I started off this January keeping track of what I've read so far, and um, it's kind of pathetic.

Here's the list:

1. A Conspiracy of Paper, David Liss (took me forever to read this book, and I didn't enjoy it as much as The Coffee Trader)
2. Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby (I like him, I know, guilty pleasure, but I know nothing about soccer so it was a so-so read for me)
3. The Last Cowboy, Lee Gowan (excellent book, by the way)
4. Robinson Crusoe (for abridging, but I'm counting it anyway)
5. Frankenstein (see above)
6. Devil May Care, Sherri McInnis (trashy chicklit that wasn't half bad)
7. Other People's Children, Joanna Trollope (a shamelessly engaging book that I was surprised I actually enjoyed as much as I did)
8. Evening Class, Maeve Binchy (I had PMS, that's my only excuse)
9. Dry, Augusten Burroughs (a really good memoir about a man who comes to terms with being an alcoholic, it's painful, but fabulous)

Note the tragic lack of, um, substance in the above list? I'm actually ashamed to call myself a reader.

Oh, and I've made a vow to buy no more books until I've read everything at home that I've got that hasn't been read yet. Yeah, these books fill an entire bookcase. So, I'm going to start the 50 Book challenge. I'll keep you posted. And to whet your appetite about Dry, here's one of my favourite quotes:

"Like cubic zirconia, I only look real. I'm an imposter. The fact is, I'm not like other people. I'm like other alcoholics."

--Augusten Burroughs


Anonymous said...

Hi Tragic,
Glad you liked "The Last Cowboy". Didn't you think it had substance?
Lee Gowan

Deanna McFadden said...

I was referring to the, ahem, chicklit -- not to your most excellent and enjoyable book. Probably the only one on that damn list that had any substance.

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