The List

15 01 2009

This is probably the fifth year I’ve kept track of all the books I’ve read, though only the first I’ve made it public. It seems this year I averaged about one book every two weeks—half my goal—and some of these are short books. Kinda sad, really. Of course, this doesn’t count books I re-read, books I read ¾ of and abandoned, or essay and story collections I dipped into once, twice, or repeatedly, but failed to finish cover to cover. Nothing’s here unless I read, for better or for worse, every word. That means excluding many fine books I wanted to pore over more closely, and at greater length, prolonging the pleasure so to speak, and collections where, for one reason or another, I left a few stories unread. Similarly, however, if I began reading a story collection the previous year, but didn’t finish it until this year, it appears here. Sort of cheating, I know.

I should make a separate list for stories, but that would involve more bookhandling than I care to deal with for a blog entry, since I kept no running record. Still, when I look back on this list and try to pick out what’ll stay with me… it’s been a year more for stories than novels. This list also excludes all reading done for work, not pleasure, and most graphic novels. In the early part of the year I went through these so quickly that I didn’t keep track.

Titles are listed more or less in chronological order of completion, rather than when I started them, though I omit all dates, which might otherwise go a long way toward explaining sudden long lapses in reading… nothing for February or June, and a big slowdown through summer. I enjoyed myself, and deliberately refrained from any rating system. The most embarrassing titles are those I just read to go to sleep… I’ll let you guess which ones. Enjoy!

Saint Peter’s Snow, Leo Perutz

Veniss Underground, Jeff VanderMeer

Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang

By Night Under the Old Bridge, Leo Perutz

Stranger Things Happen, Kelly Link

The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, Michael Swanwick

The Etched City, K.J. Bishop

Bones of the Earth, Michael Swanwick

The Empire of Ice Cream, Jeffrey Ford

Anything for Billy, Larry McMurtry

Jack Faust, Michael Swanwick

Superfolks, Robert Mayer

A Model World, Michael Chabon

The Cosmology of the Wider World, Jeffrey Ford

Le Héros blessé au bras, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

Le Château de verre, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

The Passion, Jeanette Winterson

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, Vladimir Nabokov

A Perfect Spy, John LeCarré

The Affirmation, Christopher Priest

The Glamour, Christopher Priest

Fun Home, Alison Bechdel

The View from the Seventh Layer, Kevin Brockmeier

A Better Angel, Chris Adrian

The Story of My Disappearance, Paul Watkins

The Body, Hanif Kureishi

Le Seuil du jardin, André Hardellet

Greenland Manhattan, Chloé Cruchaudet

Palladio, Jonathan Dee

The Wooden Boat, Jonathan Carroll

De l’autre côté d’Alice, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

Mécomptes cruels, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

Le Goût de l’ombre, Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

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2 responses

15 01 2009
Matt

I read 3-4 Leo Perutz back, oh, a decade ago now, and I assembled what I believe to be a complete collection of the remainders of the translations Arcade published—he’s really good, isn’t he?

25 03 2010
Last Year’s List

[…] the year before, I compiled the 2009 list less from hope of starting conversation than for reasons of internal […]

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