Saturday, January 02, 2010

100 Book List Countdown

Possessed by either optimism or hubris last year, I vowed to finish 100 books for 2009. And though I've been quite slow blogging about them, I am happy to report to my three readers that I closed my last book on December 27, four days before the year was out. I picked up three fresh books after that, but have since been taking my own sweet time.

Here is the complete list, excluding titles that I merely re-read this year (so yeah, this list could have been longer had I concentrated on books new to me, but there's so much joy to be found in re-exploring a good book):
1. Stick Out Your Tongue (Ma Jian)
2. Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Marisha Pessl)
3. The Princess Diaries 10 (Meg Cabot)
4. Austenland (Shannon Hale)
5. My Swordhand is Singing (Marcus Sedgewick)
6. No one belongs here more than you. (Miranda July)
7. The Little Book of Forensics (David Owen)
8. Color: A National History of the Palette (Victoria Finlay)
9. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
10. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (Brock Clarke)
11. My Mistress' Sparrow is Dead (edited by Jeffrey Eugenides)
12. Night Watch (Sergei Lukyanenko)
13. Royal Assassin (Robin Hobb)
14. Becoming Bindy McKenzie (Jaclyn Moriarty)
15. Feeling Sorry for Celia (Jaclyn Moriarty)
16. The Princess and the Hound (Mette Ivie Harrison)
17. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
18. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose (Laura Willig)
19. Malinche (Laura Esquival)
20. Getting to Know You (David Marusek)
21. The Stone Rose (Jacqueline Rayner)
22. Winter Rose (Patricia A. McKillip)
23. The Man of My Dreams (Curtis Sittenfeld)
24. Silent on the Moor (Deanna Raybourn)
25. Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
26. What I Did For Love (Susan Elizabeth Philips)
27. The Changeling Sea (Patricia McKillip)
28. The Resurrection Casket/Doctor Who series (Justin Richards)
29. Kissed by an Angel (Elizabeth Chandler)
30. The Power of Love (Elizabeth Chandler)
31. Soul Mates (Elizabeth Chandler)
32. Tintin and the Secret of Literature (Tom McCarthy)
33. Proust and the Squid (Maryanne Wolf)
34. The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases (edited by Jeff Vandermeer and Mark Roberts)
35. The Sugar Queen (Sarah Addison Allen)
36. General Winston's Daughter (Sharon Shinn)
37. The Observations (Jane Harris)
38. Lady of the Glen (Jennifer Roberson)
39. Criss Cross (Lynne Rae Perkins)
40. A Curse Dark as Gold (Elizabeth C Bunce)
41. Belle/Once Upon a Time series (Cameron Dokey)
42. Pretty Monsters (Kelly Link)
43. The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
44. My Imaginary Ex (Mina V. Esguerra)
45. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (E. Lockheart)
46. Carved in Stone (Linda Newbery)
47. The Mysterious Benedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
48. When It Happens (Susane Colasanti)
49. Every Soul a Star (Wendy Mass)
50-53. Secret Sorceress (+ 3 other books)
54. The Ninth Stone (Kylie Fitzpatrick)
55. Devil's Cub (Georgette Heyer)
56. Ransom My Heart (Mia Thermopolis/Meg Cabot)
57. The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)
58. Murkmere (Patricia Elliott)
59. Ambergate (Patricia Elliott)
60. The Reluctant Heiress (Eva Ibbotson)
61. The Red Queen's Daughter (Jacqueline Kolosov)
62. Agnes and the Hitman (Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer)
63. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Joanne Fluke)
64. Eon Dragon Reborn (Alison Goodman)
65. Thirteen Reasons Why (Jay Asher)
66. The Book of Lost Things (John Conolly)
67. Carpe Diem (Autumn Cornwell)
68. Dracula's Heir: An Interactive Mystery (Sam Stall)
69. A Far Cry from Kensington (Muriel Sparks)
70. The Knife of Never Letting Go (Patrick Ness)
71. The Ask and the Answer (Patrick Ness)
72. The Lighting Thief (Rick Riordan)
73. The Sea of Monsters (Rick Riordan)
74. The Titan's Curse (Rick Riordan)
75. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Rick Riordan)
76. Odd and the Frost Giants (Neil Gaiman)
77. The Tea Rose (Jennifer Donnelly)
78. City of Bones (Cassandra Clare)
79. Impossible (Nancy Werner)
80. Making Money (Terry Pratchett)
81. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (Trenton Lee Stewart)
82. I am a Dalek/Doctor Who series (Gareth Roberts)
83. Thud! (Terry Pratchett)
84. Blink (Malcolm Gladwell)
85. Salt A World History (Mark Kurlansky)
86. Stargazer: The Life and Times of the Telescope (Fred Watson)
87. Tigerheart (Peter David)
88. An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)
89. The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen (Paul Spencer Sochaczewski)
90. Fevre Dream (George R.R. Martin)
91. Grail Prince (Nancy McKenzie)
92. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List (Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)
93. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Alan Bradley)
94. Bewitching Season (Marissa Doyle)
95. Wild Orchid/Once Upon a Time (Cameron Dokey)
96. Hush (Donna Jo Napoli)
97. The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters Volume 1 (Gordon Dahlquist)
98. The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
99. The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Carrie Ryan)
100. Anathem (Neal Stephenson)

On the surface, I've learned that:
1) 100 books in a year is an average of 3.65 per book, but I can actually consume about 2-3 books in a day, provided they're really light reads. Much thanks go to YA and romances, which prove to be the quickest reads for me.

2) Of all the books I've read this year, only about 20 of them come highly recommended. Okay, the actual number might be a little off; I'll have to go over my list. Not that the others are bad. I have more than enough good words to say about most of them, but only a precious few have reached my personal favorites category. The ratio seems extremely disappointing to me at this point.

3) Anathem was the hardest book I've had to read in a long time. It's about math and philosophy and aliens and contains words like polycosmic metatheorics. But thank you, Mr Stephenson. It's an experience I won't soon forget.

4) This year, I read what could be the crappiest romance series I've ever encountered. It had angels. And cheese. Plenty of cheese. Urgh. Why didn't I stop?

5) I was disappointed with myself for not picking up more Filipino books. I actually read part of Sarge Lacuesta's Flames and Other Stories and Ricky Lee's Para Kay B but never got to finish them. I vow to read more next year.

I don't think I'm crazy enough to go for another hundred next year after this, not especially after feeling pressured by mid-December. I'm glad I tried this, though. 100 is a nice number, especially when my instinct tells me my annual average would fall between a comfortable 60-80 books/year range. Looking back, I realize my list has leaned towards the lighter side of the reading scale so perhaps for 2010, I'll try to challenge myself with wider, more diverse reading material. Now there's a resolution. Happy new year, friends!