End of the year wrap-up: An OCD girl's guide

So Christmas and the New Year are almost here and I'm about to take off to Paris with Jon for 9 days.  It's been 7 years since I've last been and I'm really excited to look at the city through new, grown-up eyes.  The thing I'm probably most looking forward to (besides gorging on delicious delicious stinky cheese) is checking out the bookstores.  Not just Shakespeare and Company but Village Voice, The Abbey, Tea and Tattered Pages, San Francisco Book Co., and all the rest. Of course this is not including the awesome bookstore/boutique at the Centre Pompidou and all the FNACs I plan on visiting to stock up on cheap french livres de poche.  My partner in crime is giving me hell for thinking about bringing a small suitcase in addition to my large suitcase just in case I buy too many books (or wine). He'll just have to deal.

Anyway, as I think about this year in reading, I have to say I'm slightly disappointed.  Because I'm OCD, I like to keep a list of everything I've read in a year (you probably do too, right?) and it's neat to look over.  Some months I was a reading machine and other months I could barely finish a fluffy book. I read a lot of comics in January and July and surprisingly my most reading-est month was October. I posted my list below in case you're also an OCD list maker/checker (also, post your list in the comments if you keep one, of course I want to examine what you read too!) I also set some "new year" goals for 2011 for reading:

1. I WILL finish The Instructions and start and finish Infinte Jest. I just will.
2. I will find another comic series to devour (maybe Transmetropolitan?)
3. I will read over 100 books again.
4. I WILL READ MORE NON-FICTION
5. Read more published-in-2011 books so reviews and recommendations can be timely.

Regarding #3 - I know, I know, size doesn't matter, but come on. It kind of does. Weirdly, I read the most when I was in graduate school and working a full time job; I think I hit 120 books that year.  So really, I have no excuses. If I can just figure out a way to not fall asleep every time I lay down to read, I might actually accomplish it.

What are your book reading goals, if you have any? Can you recommend any good non-fiction? Do you think I'm weird for having book goals?

My full list after the jump


January 2010

1. Hard Rain  Falling – Don Carpenter
2. Nine Stories – J.D. Salinger
3. A Way of Life Like Any Other – Darcy O’Brian
4. Stitches: a memoir – David Small (graphic novel)
5. A Fair Maiden – Joyce Carol Oates
6. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1-5 – Bryan Lee O’Malley
7. The Walking Dead Vol. 1-11 – Robert Kirkman

February 2010

8. There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales – Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
9. And The Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks – Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs
10. The Boat – Nam Le

March 2010

11. Burmese Days – George Orwell
12. Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut

April 2010

13. Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
14. Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert

May 2010

15. Fishtown (comic) – Kevin Colden
16. Any Easy Intimacy (comic) - Jeffrey Brown
17. Eat When You Feel Sad – Zachary German
18. Dimanche and Other Stories – Irene Nemirovsky
19. The Plague – Albert Camus
20. Livability – Jon Raymond

June 2010

21. The Chrysalids – John Wyndham
22. The Most Beautiful Book in the World – Eric- Emmanuel Schmitt
23. Hotel Iris – Yoko Ogawa
24. Medium Raw – Anthony Bourdain
25. On a Dollar a Day – Christopher Greenslate & Kerri Leonard
26. How Did You Get This Number – Sloane Crosley

July 2010

27. Mr. Peanut – Adam Ross
28. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne – Brian Moore
29. After the Fall – Kylie Ladd
30. Y the Last Man, vol. 1-10 – Brian K. Vaughn
31. Bad Marie – Marcy Dermansky

August 2010

32. A Common Pornography – Kevin Sampell
33. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
34. The Group – Mary McCarthy
35. My Abandonment – Peter Rock
36. True Grit – Charles Portis

37. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet – David Mitchell

September 2010

38. Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
39. Sourland – Joyce Carol Oates
40. Room – Emma Donaghue

October 2010

41. Await Your Reply – Dan Chaon
42. Skippy Dies – Paul Murray
43. 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter of a Ton and Gained a Life – Nancy Makin
44. Let the Right One In – John Ajuvide Lindqvist
45. Brooklyn – Colm Toibin
46. Outer Dark – Cormac McCarthy
47. Let The Great World Spin – Colum McCann
48. This is Where I Leave You – Jonathon Tropper
49. The Secret Lives of People in Love – Simon Van Booy
50. We Were the Mulvaneys – Joyce Carol Oates
51. Little Bird From Heaven – Joyce Carol Oates
52. Walking Dead #12

November 2010

53. Celebrity Chekhov – Ben Greenman
54. The World According to Garp – John Irving
55. Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

December 2010

56. Arkansas – John Brandon
57. The Imperfectionists – Tom Rochman
58. Where Men Win Glory – Jon Krakauer
59. Mr. Toppit – Charles Elton
60. Just Kids – Patti Smith

Books I attempted but failed to finish (but still have illusions of finishing)
1. The Instructions – Adam Levin
2. Lords of Misrule – Jaimy Gordon
3. Wuthering Heights
4. I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
5. Foundation I – Isaac Asimov


8 Responses so far.

  1. I totally make a list of what I read too! The past 4 years, I've taped a piece of paper up in this cabinet in my room to write them all down, and each year I tape another paper on top of the rest and just keep going. You're much more ambitious (and a much faster reader) than me because my goal is usually to read over 50 books. I've hit 55 3 years in a row, so next year I'm shooting for 60. I'd post my list, but I don't want to be mocked for my poor choice of excessive teen reading. So next year I'm going to try to read more classics and more books written for adults so I don't feel so ashamed at the end of next year!

  2. I didn't keep much of a list this year. Bad, bad bookseller.

    I read the most when I worked for a large chain bookstore, and could check books out like the library. I also didn't have internet for some of that time, so there was also that.

    My goals for next year: Finish Infinite Jest. Read at LEAST 2 books a month. Possibly cut down the backlog of already purchased books in my house.

  3. Candace says:

    i can't believe that i don't make a list, but there's a goal for 2011. i'll start keeping a list...hurray!

  4. CT says:

    I'm currently at 78 books for the year, but planning to hit at least 80 since I'll be on vacation for the next week and a half.

    My goal EVERY YEAR is 100. I never make it. Maybe next year! :-)

    And Danae, excessive teen reading doesn't have to be a "poor choice." There is some supremely excellent shit out there. (I would recommend steering clear of James Frey's YA sweatshop stuff, though.) But, I'm an unapologetic teen fiction connoisseur. :-)

  5. Oh Deanna says:

    If you haven't read it yet, you should pick up the "Kabuki" series by David Mack so you geek out with me and Brandie and laugh at the irony of her cat.

  6. Jon K says:

    I love goodreads because it means I don't have to keep losing the list I make over and over again.

    I'm really excited to finish The Instructions and give Infinite Jest a try too. I think to round out my huge book goal list this year I'm going to add in Gravity's Rainbow and Mason & Dixon.

  7. Jem says:

    Oh man! 100 books! My goal of 26 books seems anorexic now.

  8. Jesi says:

    sorry this is late but just discovered your blog. and what a great blog! but you have to finish Wuthering Heights! i've read it 3 times already. love that book. it would fit nicely into your anti-romantic novels for Valentine's Day.

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