Thursday, October 21, 2010

26 books, 27 weeks

Back in April I challenged myself to read 25 books by my birthday, which was 28 weeks away. I ended up exceeding that goal, completing 26 books a week early.

Was it a success? Mostly. I read a lot of things I'd had on my list for years that I'd get around to "someday," and to actually get to them felt like bonus weeks of life. On the other hand, I didn't really fall in love with any author that I wasn't already a big fan of (Danny Wallace, Anne Lamott, Frederick Buechner); I'd sort of been hoping to find another rich vein of books to lose myself in. Another failure: I put off reading several books that were particularly long or complex in an effort to keep pace, so I'll remove that pressure from my reading list for the next six months and not worry about quantity. However, all in all I was happy to have done it rather than not. It felt good to be intentional.

Here's the final tally:

  • "Pride and Prejudice," Jane Austen

  • "Survivor," Chuck Palahniuk

  • "The Year of Magical Thinking," Joan Didion

  • "Prayer and Temperament," Chester P. Michael & Marie C. Norrisey

  • "Patience with God," Frank Schaeffer

  • "You Shall Know our Velocity," Dave Eggers

  • "Breakfast of Champions," Kurt Vonnegut

  • "Time Out of Joint," Philip K. Dick

  • "Suck it, Wonder Woman," Olivia Munn

  • "From Eternity to Here," Frank Viola

  • "The Yellow Leaves," Frederick Buechner

  • "A Princess of Mars," Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • "The Fallacy of Creative Thinking," Alan Abel (as Dr. Bruce Spencer)

  • "Round Ireland with a Fridge," Tony Hawks

  • "The Gun Seller," Hugh Laurie

  • "The Mysterious Affair at Styles," Agatha Christie

  • "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut

  • "Ubik," Philip K. Dick

  • "The Guinea Pig Diaries," A.J. Jacobs

  • "The Untold Story of the New Testament Church," Frank Viola

  • "Imperfect Birds," Anne Lamott

  • "S*** My Dad Says," Justin Halpern

  • "Join Me," Danny Wallace

  • "Friends Like These," Danny Wallace

  • "Revolution," George Barna

    1. I'm trying to decide whether to accept an invitation to a reading group that's going through Pride & Prejudice. It's nowhere near the top of my reading list, as I read it for the first time a year or so ago and, to be honest, just wasn't as enchanted by it as so many others seem to be -- but I think so highly of several of the reading group participants, many of whom are die-hard Austen fans, that I suspect that they may be able to introduce me to the charms of the story that I didn't discern on my solo blitz.

      I wonder whether they'd notice if I actually read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

    2. You must now do that. That's hilarious.