Monday, June 8, 2009

You are the anchor that holds me.

"Reading is pleasure and happiness to be alive or sadness to be alive and above all it's knowledge and questions." - Roberto Bolaño, 2666.

I finished this novel last night, and immediately re-read the last three pages again, as if in a trance, as if unable to let go of something I'd spent a lot of time with over the last three weeks, as if I couldn't stand for the story to be over. It's hard to compare this book to much else I've read, though I've added it to my favourite books, just as I did The Road earlier this year. I think the last time a book made me stop and re-read a sentence or whole passages so many times was probably Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude. I'd recommend 2666 to everybody who loves a great sentence, can deal with tangents, and will invest time into this 900-page novel in five parts.

So how am I doing with my fifty-two books for 2009? Well, the last time I updated about it here was back in February, though I update my Goodreads status nearly daily with my reading. I'm still completely open to suggestions - the last time I did it, I added your suggestions to my "to-read" list, currently at 206 books! So, I might not get to it right away,'ll be there. Perhaps just tell me about a book that really moved you, something that might be akin to how relevatory I found 2666. Even if I've already read it or whatever - I love hearing about books other people treasure and why. My own favourites can be found here.

Fifty-Two Books in 2009

01 A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin (01.05.09)
02 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, Max Brooks (01.18.09)
03 Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (01.20.09)
04 The Road, Cormac McCarthy (01.22.09)
05 Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughn (01.27.09)
06 Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyers (01.31.09)
07 Infinity Blues, Ryan Adams (02.12.09)
08 The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 (02.28.09)
09 First Love, Ivan S. Turgenev (03.08.09)
10 Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (03.15.09)
11 Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (03.16.09)
12 The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera (03.24.09)
13 Never Let Me Go, Ishiguro Kazuo (03.29.09)
14 The Last Vampire, Christopher Pike* (04.05.09)
15 Whisper of Death, Christopher Pike (04.13.09)
16 Monster, Christopher Pike (04.21.09)
17 A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin (04.30.09)
18 Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith (05.15.09)
19 Crimson, Brian Augustyn (CURRENTLY READING)**
20 2666, Roberto Bolaño (06.07.09)
21 The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson (CURRENTLY READING)

Hopefully I'll reach the halfway point of 26 books in July! After I finish Jam's suggestion of The Devil in the White City (which is a quite good non-fiction read so far!), I have a few shorter books lined up to take a little breather from those novels which add pounds to my commute! They include, The Sound of My Voice by Ron Butlin (128 pages), Daughters of the North by Sarah Hall (240 pages), and The Lover by Marguerite Duras (128 pages).

So, again, let me know what your favourite book ever is and explain why you love it and how it moved you! I'm excited to read about them!

*Did you know that Christopher Pike chose his pen name from the Star Trek character? Still. Relevant.
**This graphic series isn't really doing it for me, I may put it down after finishing the second volume.


  1. I just finished Slumdog Millionaire. I haven't seen the movie so I can't compare the two but I quite enjoyed the book. Actually, after reading the book I'm not sure how they could have turned the story into a movie. I'm interested to see how they did it.

  2. My favorite book ever is probably either Denis Johnson's Jesus's Son, or Jonathan Carroll's
    Child Across the Sky, and way way back, The Secret Garden. I also love Persuasion, by Jane Austen, The Riddlemaster of Hed series by Patricia Mckilip. I read Infinity Blues, when it first came out by the way. A lot of people seem to have not liked it,
    but while I didn't love every poem, I really loved a lot of them.

  3. Hillary - I've seen the movie, but haven't read the book! I'll have to check it out :)

    Sandy - I have Jesus's Son sitting on my shelf at home! I'll have to read it sooner, now - plus, I believe that one's short? Yessssss. I'm the same about Infinity Blues - didn't like everything, but there was so much I really did like! Thanks for sharing!

  4. you are just going to LOVE devil in the white city. i read it a few years ago and have passed it on to friend after friend. love the mystery, love the history and i love this fine city of chicago.

    have you read the thirteenth tale or riding with elephants?! those two are good ones i would definitely suggest :)

  5. Ang - I haven't read either of those two - what made you like them so much? I've heard of Riding with Elephants because my friend Sean read it, I think, I'll have to ask him about it! Thanks!

  6. ohhh i love devil in the white city. i guess my two all time favorite books would have to be blood meridian and wuthering heights.

  7. Ahh, it's funny you mentioned One Hundred Years of Solitude - I JUST started reading it yesterday. 75 pages in and loving it so far!

  8. I read Water For Elephants, not riding with. Water is pretty good though.

    What do you think of Crimson? I honestly dont really care for it, I thought it was OK at first and then it just seemed to get worse. I think I have like one issue left in the third trade? I should probably just finish it at some point.

    in other comic related news, I think they are going to fucking kill Peter Parker in the Ultimate Universe and I got legit upset about this. You should read ultimate spider man here and there. it's teen drama done oh so well.

  9. Hmmm.... I've already recommended The Time Traveler's Wife, and I know that you've already read most of my favorite classics. All of my books are in boxes so I can't look through them to jog my memory. I will say that I just read a silly chick book called Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern. It was an okay book, but the main character's father is so funny, I seriously had tears running down my face from laughing so hard. I can't tell you the last time I did that.

    If I think of anything I'll let you know.

  10. Ender's Game, all time favorite. The main character was the driving force of why I love the book and read it every year.
    As for recommendations, Bel Canto by Anne Patchett. Beautiful writing, amazing re-read worthy passages.

  11. Amber - Blood Meridian is sooo on my list to read! I currently own around 20 books I have yet to read...I promised myself not to buy any more books until I've read them!

    Mich - One of my all-time favourites....I relished reading every page of it! I need to re-read it soon...perhaps in Spanish.

    Sean - I'll have to look into these separate books, haha. Did you not read my footnote regarding Crimson? I can't barely finish this 2nd trade volume. I don't like the graphics (too Japanime-y for my taste) and the story is doing nothing for me. I never give up on books (I finish those stupid Twilights) but I may give up after finishing the 2nd volume. OY.

    Lyndsey - Thanks, girl! The Time Traveler's Wife is a MUST, thanks for the rec' oh so long ago!!!

    Alissa - Ender's Game is coming up soon! I have it sitting on my shelf - I get recommended it a lot, actually. Bel Canto - will surely check out, sounds interesting. Gracias!

  12. Hey, hey!

    So can we put me on a 25 book reading list for 2009, since I am starting so late in the game? Why didn't I think of this? Ugh. Next year I say--race to the finish line!

    Naw, probably shouldn't do that. I tend to lie, cheat, and steal my way in competitions. Eek (what???).

    Anyway, you still need to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

    I beg of you.

  13. both of my reccos have great character development, bizarre story line and a tad of mystery. def check them out :)