I, along with many Americans, made a handful of resolutions in January. And I, along with many Americans, promptly forgot/ignored/procrastinated most of those resolutions. I don't even remember what most of my resolutions were, but the one I was actually intent on was my reading goal. At the end of 2012 my grand total stood at 71. Not too shabby, but I felt I could do better. So in January I set out to have read 85 books by the end of the year, and at least one new-to-me classic a month.
I met the goal handily. I surpassed 71 in September and 85 the second week of November. Final count (I know I'm not going to finish The Real Pepsi Challenge by tomorrow night): 95
48 fiction, 47 nonfiction
9 books were rereads
The longest book I read was Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. The first half really flows, 5/5 the second half drags, 2.5/5. Worth a read, but not my favorite. It wasn't the tragedy and death that made the latter half lag, it was the focus on Marius and Cosette as characters. There's not a lot of depth there. The Bishop, on the other hand, is awesome, and of course, Javert. It's a good book, but you do have to be prepared for fifty page tangents on Waterloo, royalty, whatever caught Hugo's attention.
The oldest book I read was Samuel Richardson's Pamela, published in 1740. It's been out for nearly three hundred years! Crazy. (Another crazy, not-as-fun fact: rape-justification arguments used in this book are still thrown around today.)
The book that makes me happy just by its very existence: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher (Star Wars in the style of Shakespeare! I am one-thousand percent okay with this! Fetch me a sequel!)
The book that I saw in a book store when I was like twelve and wanted to buy but didn't and I just barely got around to reading it: Brainiac by Ken Jennings. (It was delightful.)
And now, Rebecca's Top Ten Books of 2013 (Only books I hadn't read before were considered.) Drum roll, please.
10. Through the Children's Gate-- Adam Gopnik
9. The Ballad of Tom Dooley-- Karyn McCrumb
8. The ABC Murders-- Agatha Christie
7. The Violinist's Thumb-- Sam Kean
6. Okay For Now-- Gary D Schmidt
5. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks-- E Lockhart
4. The Color Purple-- Alice Walker
3. The Clockwork Universe-- Edward Dolnick (A.W.E.S.O.M.E.)
2. The Kite Runner-- Khaled Hosseini (Read this book. But be aware it will Rip. Your. Heart. Out.)
1. Mao's Last Dancer-- Li Cunxin (Read this book. Just, read it. Read it, read it, read it.)
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Emma by Jane Austen (Fiction)
At Home by Bill Bryson and The Ghost Map by Samuel Johnson (Non-fiction)
"I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson