Monday, November 21, 2016

My 61 Books

Last December I decided to see if I could read (and report on) 61 books: one for each of my years on the planet. I wrote about this crazy decision here. And ever since then, I've been
. . . reading! I have done so well that today, a good two weeks before my 62nd birthday, I have only one book to go. So I thought I'd tally up the list.

I'm impressed with myself, I must say. That said, next year I will not be reading 62 books: that way madness lies. But I think I'll try for 50. With, again, the caveat that some of those books may be picture books (indicated with an asterisk in the list below—eight in all). I am becoming very, very fond of picture books!

My book reports were fun to write—actually reflecting on what I've read is not something I usually do. Nos. 1–10 can be found here; 11–20 here; 21, 22, and 23 in the month of April 2016; 24–27 in May; 28–30 in June; 31–35 in July; 36–40 in August; 41–47 in September; 48–56 in October; 57 is here; 58 is here; 59 is here; 60 is here. And I am currently working on 61: should be posted any day now.

The only two I did not especially care for were nos. 39 and 44. I have worked with the authors of nos. 15, 19 & 37, 38, and 41 (in writing workshops: delightful experiences all), and gave a ride to the author of no. 8 to his parents' house, a two-hour gabfest. The author of no. 7 is my tenant. No. 46 I read in Norwegian, over a period of many months. No. 53 is a pop-up book. Nos. 2, 17, 23, 29, and 55 are YA fiction. Nos. 48 and 58 (and 17 and 29) are classics, I suppose you could say. Male authors: 31; female: 30. I intended to have 61 different authors, but BK Loren snuck in twice while I wasn't paying attention. I have highlighted my favorites.

1. Colum McCann, Thirteen Ways of Looking (2015)
2. E. L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1969)
3. Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)
4. Paolo Bacigalupi, The Water Knife (2015)
5. Jussi Adler-Olsen, The Keeper of Lost Causes (2007)
6. Karen E. Bender, Refund: Stories (2015)
7. Patti Davis, Two Cats and the Woman They Own, or Lessons I Learned from My Cats (2006)
8. Steve Almond, Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto (2014)
9. Marion Winik, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead (2008)
10. Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015)
11. Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014)
12. Julie Otsuka, The Buddha in the Attic (2011)
13. John Lawton, A Lily of the Field (2010)
14. Ursula K. Le Guin, Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story (1998; rev. ed. 2015)
15. Mark Doty, Deep Lane: Poems (2015)
16. Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (2015)
17. E. B. White, Charlotte's Web (1952)
18. A. X. Ahmad, The Caretaker: A Ranjit Singh Novel (2013)
19. BK Loren, Animal Mineral Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food (2013)
20. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston, Farewell to Manzanar (2012)
21. Mary Norris, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (2015)
22. Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion (2015)
23. Robert Cormier, I Am the Cheese (1977)
24. Philip C. Stead, Ideas Are All Around (2016)*
25. Geoff Dyer, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World (2016)
26. Jo Ellen Bogart, with illustrations by Sydney Smith, The White Cat and the Monk: A Retelling of the Poem "Pangur Bán" (2016)*
27. Elif Shafak, The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (2010)
28. Sharon Bolton, Little Black Lies (2015)
29. Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960)
30. Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (2016)
31. Rachel Cusk, Outline (2014)
32. Maira Kalman, What Pete Ate from A–Z, where we explore the English Alphabet (in its entirety) in which a certain DOG DEVOURS a MYRIAD of ITEMS which he should NOT (2001)*
33. Fred Marcellino, I, Crocodile (1999)*
34. Allen Eskens, The Life We Bury (2014)
35. Henning Mankell, The Troubled Man (2012)
36. Mary Roach, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013)
37. BK Loren, Theft (2012)
38. Craig Childs, The Desert Cries: A Season of Flash Floods in a Dry Land (2002)
39. Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train (2015)
40. Phil Klay, Redeployment (2016)
41. Luis Alberto Urrea, Into the Beautiful North (2009)  
42. Daniel Woodrell, Winter's Bone (2006)
43. Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (2016)
44. Jennifer Berne, On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein, with illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky (2013)*
45. Matthew Burgess, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings, with illustrations by Kris DiGiacomo (2015)*
46. Erlend Loe, Naiv. Super (1996)
47. Alessandro Sanna, Pinocchio: The Origin Story (2016)*
48. Jack London, The Call of the Wild (1902)
49. Robert Olen Butler, From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction (2005)
50. Kimi Kodani Hill, Topaz Moon: Chiura Obata's Art of the Internment (2000)
51. John Hart, The Last Child (2009)
52. Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative (2012)
53. Marion Bataille, ABC3D (2008) 
54. Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves (2008)
55. Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game (1978)
56. Hervé Tullet, Press Here (2011)*
57. Edmund de Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (2010)
58. William Golding, Lord of the Flies (1954)
59. Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)
60. Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016)
61. Claudia Rankine, Citizen (2014)

1 comment:

  1. I love that Charlotte's Web and Island of the Blue Dolphins made your favorites list!