Home > Uncategorized > My year in reading

My year in reading

So, here it is, my annual report on the books I read in the previous year. My total of 48 books is relatively low compared with recent years. But in my defense, I read some long books in 2009. In addition, it was a hectic year, professionally and personally, leaving a little less time for reading.

Fiction highlights: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser; Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead; The Signal by Ron Carlson; Dead Boys by Richard Lange; Inherent  Vice by Thomas Pynchon; The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon; and The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter.

Nonfiction highlights: Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore; Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker; West of the West: Dreamers, Believers, Builders, and Killers in the Golden State by Mark Arax; 1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick; Zeitoun by Dave Eggers; Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce; Books: The Essential Insider’s Guide, edited by Mark Strand.

Book of the year (fiction): The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Can’t wait to read his next one, The Angel’s Game, which colleague Tod Goldberg says is even better. Runners-up: Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon and The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter.

Book of the year (nonfiction): Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. This is a great piece of literary journalism, one man’s story, both heroic and tragic, about Hurricane Katrina. Runner-up: Idiot America by Charles P. Pierce.

The complete list

January

Last Train to Memphis:  The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick (nonfiction)

Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby (nonfiction)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (fiction)

In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honoré (nonfiction)

February

The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett (fiction)

Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents by Mikal Gilmore (nonfiction)

March

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (fiction)

Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser (fiction)

Dress Her in Indigo by John D. MacDonald (fiction)

Falconer by John Cheever (fiction)

Nonconformity by Nelson Algren (nonfiction) (Kindle)

Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (nonfiction)

Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster (fiction)

April

West of the West: Dreamers, Believers, Builders, and Killers in the Golden State by Mark Arax (nonfiction)

Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick (nonfiction)

Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly (nonfiction)

May

How the Two Ivans Quarreled by Nikolai Gogol (fiction)

On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (nonfiction)

The Essential Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius (nonfiction)

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea (fiction)

Blue Vegas (manuscript) by P Moss (fiction)

The Unquiet Grave by Cyrill Connolly (nonfiction)

The Voices in My Head (manuscript) by Danny Gans (nonfiction)

Writing Places: The Life Journey of a Writer and Teacher by William Zinsser (nonfiction)

June

Paris Spleen by Charles Baudelaire (nonfiction)

The Poet by Michael Connelly (fiction)

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead (fiction)

The Signal by Ron Carlson (fiction)

It Happened in Las Vegas (manuscript) by Trish Geran (nonfiction)

July

House of Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes (manuscript) by Douglas Wellman and Mark Musick (nonfiction)

The Thoreau You Don’t Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant by Robert Sullivan (nonfiction)

A Conservationist Manifesto by Scott Russell Sanders (nonfiction)

Elric: The Stealer of Souls: Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melniboné, Volume 1 by Michael Moorcock (fiction)

A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway (nonfiction)

August

1969: The Year Everything Changed by Rob Kirkpatrick (nonfiction)

Dead Boys by Richard Lange (fiction)

The Time of Their Lives: The Golden Age of Great American Book Publishers, Their Editors and Authors by Al Silverman (nonfiction)

September

Inherent  Vice by Thomas Pynchon (fiction)

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (nonfiction)

October

Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone by Eduardo Galeano (nonfiction)

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce (nonfiction)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (fiction)

November

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon (nonfiction)

Books: The Essential Insider’s Guide, edited by Mark Strand (nonfiction)

December

Family Secret by Warren Hull and Michael Druxman (nonfiction)

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter (fiction)

Googled: The End of the World As We Know It by Ken Auletta (nonfiction)

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker (fiction)

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 2, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Geoff, I enjoyed reading your lists. Except for a few, we read entirely different stuff. I just finished “The Shadow of the Wind” in audio and enjoyed it very much. I listened to it while traveling in Barcelona, and putting the actual places to the names in the book was fun. I found it to be an engaging and emotional story too, though a tad predictable.

    How on earth do you remember all the books you’ve read? I’m trying to recall just last few months, and I’m finding it hard!

  2. January 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Sue: As far as keeping track, I simply write down the books as I finish them. I keep a Word file on my desktop and add to it as each book is completed. I’ve been doing this since 2002. I wish I had started earlier. Another way to do it is online, through Good Reads or Shelfari.

  3. Remiabyron
    December 11, 2011 at 12:38 AM

    check with low price to your friends

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: