Thursday, January 8, 2009

Literate and stylish.

I know I've been sporadic as of late. It's been a tough week to get back in the groove of work after a couple of pretty sweet two-day workweeks.

I've seen a lot of people deciding to read 52 books this year as a promise to themselves in 2009. I think I'd like to try that goal and read more, if possible. That'll be pretty tough with the whole "getting married" hoopla and whatnot, but I think I can do it. I commute everyday via subway (prime reading time!) and I do a lot of travelling otherwise - to go home, to visit Jesse.

Though Jesse's been home for quite a while and methinks he'll be here for some time, too.

I've already finished one book, the second book in George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy series, A Clash of Kings, which Sean got me into. I started it in 2008, but I'm counting it because it's 1001 pages long. SERIOUSLY.

With the help of* to keep me organizied and vigilant in my quest, I'm starting the countdown with all the books I got for Christmas, plus a book Sean and I have promised to "Book Club" together.

Also, I'm counting Eclipse of the Twilight series, as I'm only 200 pages in and I started reading it in or around the beginning of December. These books are hard to get through, HOLY CRAP. Jesse can attest to me picking up the book on the bedside table, groaning, and going, "Okay, okay, okay, I can get through this," and then he just laughs at me and goes, "Why???" But I shall conquer this, because I know not even horrible writing and nonsensical plots will defeat me! Okay, I'm getting melodramatic.

I present, my burgeoning list:

01 A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin (DONE 01.05.09)
02 Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (CURRENTLY READING)
03 Infinity Blues, Ryan Adams (CURRENTLY READING)
04 Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn (CURRENTLY READING)**
05 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Max Brooks (CURRENTLY READING)
06 Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (Future Sean/Jessica Book Club Book - FSJBCB)
07 The Road, Cormac McCarthy
08 A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
09 Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
10 The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent
11 Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
12 Daughters of the North, Sarah Hall
13 2666, Robert Bolano
14 The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
15 The Red Tent, Anita Diamant
16 Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer (UGH LAST ONE FINALLY)
17 Crimson, Brian Augustyn (graphic novel series)
18 A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
19 Best American Magazine Writing 2008, ASME

So. That's where I'll start. What are you reading? Anything I should be reading? Leave any suggestions in the comments to check out and possibly add to my "to-read" list! And add me on Goodreads if you have an account!

*To my Shelfari lovers - I simply couldn't; I had already invested myself in Goodreads and Shelfari wasn't as detail-oriented about the books as GR is. I like being able to update my book-reading status with page number and notes(couldn't figure it out on Shelfari) and it was easier on GR to browse and find interesting books. I deleted my Shelfari account.
**Y: The Last Man note: it's a series of graphic novels, 10 volumes at about 120 pages each - I'll count them all together as one book.


  1. Ever heard of "Battle Royale"? Fits the theme of some of those that you've mentioned. Super long, but fast read, and intense!

  2. Emily - I'm guessing it's an apocalyptic story? Nearly all the books I'm reading it's basically like the world is ending or something world-changing is happening/about to happen. I will check it out!

  3. Make a point to read The Road in as few sittings as possible. You will seriously be able to read it in like two sessions. It's definietly one flowing piece.

    I'm reading a shit ton of comics right now. Mostly Marvel stuff, the new Iron Man book (Invincivle Iron Man) is really good (at least this current arc), The Walking Dead is incredible, Powers is incredible, The New Avengers is solid. I'm a few pages away from finishing the Dark Tower. I don't think you'd like it.

    Real books on the horizon: Outliers, our FSJBCB (that rules), and Empire Rising (cant remember author off the top of my head).

  4. It HAS been tough to get back into the swing of things this week! I spent this morning catching up on your last few weeks of the previous one, good for you!

    Reading more has been a goal of mine lately as well. The best book I have read in the last months was Geek Love - loved it. (I think perhaps everybody has already read this except me?!) I will be picking up some of your suggestions, but this post confirmed that I will not be reading the Twilight books!!

  5. That's a mighty ambitious list! Anna Karenina, 2666, plus the lengthy George R.R. Martin (who, thanks to you, I'll be starting again soon)? That's nearly 3000 pages right there! You must be a fast reader. Though I suppose technically you could count 2666 as five books... And I'll second These Seans: read The Road in a weekend.

    Also: I love Ishiguro. Savor him.

  6. Sean - I'll have to maybe come over at some point after AK (oh geez, those initials...) and rummage through your comics! You tell me how those other books are...

    Brittany - Geek Love? I'll check it out! Sounds popular and I haven't heard of it! Hm. Hope your work week is going better than mine :)

    Zan - Oof. I know, it's so much. Maybe I'll just count the pages I end up reading? Ha. But a goal is a goal: 52 Books! (Maybe I'll add in a couple of fast-read teen books?) Or I'll just count 2666 as five books...and I'm really excited to read Ishiguro!

  7. I'm starting The Reader by Bernhard Schlink tomorrow. I saw the movie last week and although it was really good, I always expect the book to be better. So I'm thinking it will be a great read.

    p.s. I took your advice and read The Time Traveler's Wife. I made sure that the last reading session took place alone and in private like you suggested, thank GOD you told me that. I was bawling like a baby. :-P

  8. It's sort of apocalyptic. Well... it's about an "east asian country" where, every year, an eighth grade class is taken to the middle of nowhere and instructed to kill each other until only one remains. Its chapters follow each child, and at the end of each chapter, you get a head count of who remains. It has a cultish following in Japan (it's translated into English). Different, good!

  9. Don't think about the writing of the Twilight series. Just think of it as fluff and enjoy the story. New Moon is the worst of the books. Good luck with your reading challange!

  10. Oh and I really enjoyed the Red Tent. Anna K. I could not get through. I've tired like five times!

  11. I like better too. Yay for reading! I don't have my list together yet, but I am going to try and read 52 books too.

    I always think about reading George R.R. Martin cause you like him so much, it doesn't seem like my scene though. What do you think?

  12. Jen - Gah! I know! TTW's ending makes my crrrryyyy. I kinda want to read it again. I'll look into The Reader! I've seen the previews, and I love Kate, so I'll probably see it, though it looks intense.

    Emily - added it to my "to-read" list! Thanks!

    Ginny - thanks! Anna K. certainly seems daunting.

    Liz - I didn't think I'd like "Double R" (as Sean and his brother James affectionately refer to him as) - but I was proven wrong. I thought it would be very Dungeons and Dragon-y, because that's what I expect when I hear "epic fantasy" - but the writing and the characters are great. I'm not going to lie, in terms of actual writing, it's one of the best. You have to read every sentence (which makes it time-consuming). And, I definitely teared up at certain points in the first book. And emailed Sean in RAGE. hahaha :)

  13. I used Shelfari to count how many books I read last year (72!!!) but this year I'm using GoodReads. Seemed easier to just start from scratch somewhere else and I think I'm liking it better as well. I'm on my 5th book so far, which isn't bad! (Clearly I have no life!)

    As for books, I'm bad at recommendations because I am such a chick-lit fan. So unless you like chick-lit, I probably can't help! Probably the last non-chick-lit book I read was "The Lovely Bones", although that was great!

  14. I seriously want to try this out. I've been kind of lacking motivation to do anything lately- not a good sign for the year to come, obviously- and I think this is a good way to get me working towards something. I got the Kindle for Christmas, so it's pretty easy to keep an eye on what I've been reading. We'll see.

  15. Paula - become my friend on Goodreads, please! I wanna see what you read! I can totally read chicklit, too! In fact, I might NEED to given how heavy my reading list is!

    Melissa - Yeah! Do it! The kindle sounds/looks amazing, I saw a girl reading on one this morning on the subway. Post a list! :)

  16. Duuude, Way to go with all the RR. So good. Also, Y, and Crimson are great reads!

  17. i just finished eclipse. and i agree they are getting a little hard to get through though i changed my mind about jacob :D i still love twilight the best. the others i'm just reading so i can say i read them haha

  18. These look amazing! I don't have a formal goal like that but I think I may develop one if I can get my crafting a little more balanced.

  19. Kissable and quiet.

    (okay I just had to because of your title.) <3

  20. James - I blame your brother for all the RR I am reading. SO MUCH! But I love it!

    Ria - Yeah, I'm just TRYING to defeat them. Ha.

    Kyla Bea - I wish I was as crafty as you!

    Jamie - Hahaha, it's the perfect line, really.