This morning I got to cross another item off of my 101 in 1001 list. This was one of those goals that couldn’t be done in an instant and actually took me 11 months to complete. It was also a goal that I couldn’t start until January of this year—read 15 books in 2009. Now, I always feel like I need a disclaimer after I tell somebody about that goal. One that specifically spells out the fact that I’m not a moron and I do read more than 15 books in a given year. I actually read quite a bit but it is usually academic books, books related to design theory and art, children’s books—tons of these, magazines, etc. I realized a couple of years ago that I wasn’t really reading anything just for pleasure. Well, maybe the kid’s books but that is a completely different. Nothing just for me. So I made it a goal when I wrote the list to read 10 books in 2008 and 15 books in 2009 just for pleasure. No ulterior motive than to just enjoy a book.
I hit the 2008 goal in August of last year and this morning I hit the 2009 goal. I’m considering exchanging an unfinished item on my list with a new goal—read 20 books in 2010. Either way, setting those two goals have me back on the path to enjoying all the great—and not so great—literature out there. Plus, there is just something special about reading an actual book. Not listening to one—which is also great—or reading one on an electronic device, but an actual book. The crisp pages, the black ink set in a specific font, the cover art, the smell of the pages that instantly declare whether the book is new or old. I love it.
So here is what I read this year to hit my goal. Some were better than others with #13 and #14 being the worst. In any other situation I would have given up on #14 but I got to a certain point and I was committed. I could not give up. But the payoff? Not worth it. Oh well. I do find it interesting that entirely by accident I started and ended with a books written by David Sedaris. I guess I like his writing, #15 was a quick 2 day read after two painstaking weeks of reading a poorly typeset 250+ page crap heap that might have been a good story had it been only 20 pages.
But anyway, the list.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day—David Sedaris, 1.09
- The Graveyard Book—Neil Gaiman, 2.09
- Watchmen—Moore/Gibbons, 2.09
- Tuesdays with Morrie—Mitch Albom, 3.09
- When You are Engulfed in Flames—David Sedaris, 5.09
- It Sucked and Then I Cried—Heather Armstrong, 6.09
- The Road—Cormac McCarthy, 6.09
- Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card, 7.09
- World War Z—Max Brooks, 9.09
- I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone—Stephanie Kuehnart, 9.09
- Slaughterhouse Five—Kurt Vonnegut, 9.09
- The Alchemist—Paulo Coelho, 10.09
- The House on Mango Street—Sandra Cisneros, 10.09
- The Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde, 10.09
- Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim—David Sedaris, 11.09