Monday, April 30, 2012

A Reading Check-up

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve already put a third of the year behind us. Time to check in on our reading resolutions, no? Below is my quick progress report; you can add your own in the comments.

Goal #1 Read more women:  So far so good. I’ve been hovering right around 50% women authors all year, and I imagine I’ll end up somewhere north of 50% by the end of 2012.

Goal #2 Read an Agatha Christie novel before I see it adapted on screen: Check. Review can be found here.

Goal #3 Read a foreign language novel in the original: No progress yet, but then again, it’s only April. Get off my back, dude.

Now for the tallies:

Books read so far:  13   (on pace to beat last year’s 32)
Pages read so far: 3,701  (current pace puts me 250 pages below last year’s 11,358)
They break down something like this: eight novels and one novella (73% of total), two short story collections (18% of total), one play, and one play-short story combo (9% of total). All of it classic or contemporary literary fiction.

And here’s the list:

  1. The View from Castle Rock, Alice Munro 
  2. A Bell for Adano, John Hersey 
  3. Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta 
  4. Wasatch, Douglas Thayer 
  5. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James 
  6. Curtain, Agatha Christie  
  7. Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust  
  8. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte  
  9. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte   
  10. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan   
  11. The Vegetable, F. Scott Fitzgerald  
  12. The Fifth Column & Four Unpublished Stories of the Spanish Civil War, Ernest Hemingway  
  13. The Death of a Disco Dancer, David Clark

What about you? What have you read this year? Which books have  knocked your socks off?


  1. I like to keep tabs too. Fourteen books, divided exactly in half by gender and good mix of sophisticates and commoners, with approximately 4000 plus pages consumed. Not to exude a terrible snobbery but a lot of authors, if not the books themselves, are 'winners': three Pulitzers, three Nobels, an MBE, a National Book Critics Circle, an Orange Prize, and at least one American Academy of Letters award. Three brought me to tears.

    Travesty- John Hawkes
    A Visit from the Goon Squad- Jennifer Egan
    City Farmer-Lorraine Johnson
    Housekeeping- Marilynne Robinson
    Tinkers- Paul Harding
    Hunger- Knut Hamsun
    One Good Turn- Kate Atkinson
    The Extra Man-Jonathan Ames
    The Dirty Life- Kristin Kimball
    The Aunt's Story- Patrick White
    What I Loved- Siri Hustvedt
    Enemies: A Love Story- Isaac Bashevis Singer
    Case Histories- Kate Atkinson
    The Salvage Detectives- Roberto Bolano

  2. Great list. But don't tease us, Erinn. Which three were the tear-jerkers?

  3. My list so far...

    Middlemarch by George Elliot
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
    Rabbit, Run by John Updike
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling
    I, Robot by Issac Asimov
    Blood Merridian by Cormack McCarthy
    No Country for Old Men by Cormack McCarthy
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormack McCarthy
    The Great Gatsby
    The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
    The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
    Independence Day by Richard Ford
    The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn
    Miracle Cure by Harlan Coban

    None of them made me cry, but The Lean Start-up was close.

    Working on The Big Sleep and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance now.

    Now I need to write about them...

    1. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, sounds like a thrilling read. I can't wait to see the review of that one. :)