Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How did I choose to Read books 32-52??

A while back I started a post not just reviewing books (since anyone can review a book), but instead explaining how I came to read those specific books.  I will now finish that for the remaining books I read this year.  Starting at book #32:

32. A Game of Thrones- George RR Martin  809 Pages -- A
  I loved the HBO show.  On a whim I bought the books on Amazon when I saw a deal where they were selling the books for approximately $20 for the first four books.  I wasn't sure I'd like the books, but I figured why not.  I guess you can tell, I liked them.  If anyone's looking to read these themselves I recommend this cheap set: http://www.amazon.com/Books-Thrones-Clash-Kings-Swords/dp/B005CC0CMC/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1323232864&sr=8-22

33.  A Clash of Kings - George RR Martin 969 Pages - A
I didn't expect to jump right into this second book in the series.  I thought I would space them out and take my time, but that's not really my style I guess.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to know what was going to happen to the characters.  Especially since reading the first book was a lot like just watching the TV show again which I had just watched a few months prior.

34.  Shopgirl - Steve Martin   130 Pages -- B+
Earlier in the year, I read An Object of Beauty, Steve Martin's newest novel about a young woman.  I happened to be in my laundry room and saw his earlier novel from about 10 years ago covering a similar subject matter.  I had seen the movie, but didn't remember it.  The book was good and smart, but I'm happy he expanded the themes of his newest novel.

35.  A Storm of Swords -- George RR Martin   1,128 Pages -- A+
I read a short book, but couldn't stay away from the world George Martin has sucked me into.  I went back after a short hiatus and am happy I did so since this was the best book I read this year, and one of the best books I've ever read in my life.

36.  No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy   309 Pages --C+
I found this in my laundry room when I found Shopgirl.  I don't get Cormac McCarthy. After reading this and The Road, I have officially decided he's not for me.

37.  The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler   230 Pages-- B-
This was my book club book, so I ordered it from the library and read it quickly so I could run back to my world of Dragons, Direwolves and Kingslaying.

38.  A Feast For Crows -- George RR Martin   976 Pages -- A
I could only stay away for one book before reading the final book in the set that I bought.  I thought I would save it, but I couldn't.

39.  A Dance With Dragons -- George RR Martin  959 Pages -- A
I went out with my friend Mike and he told me he had the book and said since he was a little behind me he wouldn't get to it for a few weeks.  If I could promise to read it, and give it back within 3 weeks I could have it.  So I jumped at the opportunity to catch up with all the other fans and then to dive into the websites for theorizing.

40.  The Postmortal -- Drew Magary  365 Pages   --  B+
The newest book club book had to be read.  While walking through the rough aisles of Comicon, I happened to see that the book that was assigned was being sold at the nerd-haven.  Without thinking, I bought the book just so I had it

41.  The Tao of Pooh -- Benjamin Hoff  158 Pages -- B-
One weekend I went over my friend Evan's house.  He is a fellow lover of books and had a sweeping bookshelf of books that I was interested in reading.  I told him about my challenge and he mentioned that he was sure he had a ton of short, good books.  The next few books on this list come from Evan's shelf.

42.  After The Quake -- Haruki Murakami   145 Pages -- A-
I got Evan into Murakami when I read The Wind-up Bird Chronicles.  Since then, we have both read a few of his books.  Evan had this one so I stole it before even he had read it.

43.  The House on Mango Street -- Sandra Cisneros  110 Pages -- C
While going through Evan's books, Aubrey asked if she could borrow this one.  He said OK.  I decided to read the book simply because it was in my apartment and it was short.  It bored me.

44.  Techno Pulp -  Arty Nelson  203 Pages -- C-
Evan recommended this book saying he enjoyed it while he was traveling through Europe when he was 20.  I can see why it may have appealed to him, but reading it as a 34 year old, I couldn't relate as well.  But it fit my length criteria.  And the only good thing is I read it on the day my nephew was born.

45.  Son of Neptune -- Rick Riordan  513 Pages  -- C+
I've read all of Rick Riordan's Demi-god series of books.  My brother works for Disney publishing and this is one of his biggest sellers.  My brother gave this book to me and since they are quick, fun page-turners I decided to read it.  And I was getting sick of reading short books.

46.  Black Swan Green -- David Mitchell  294 Pages -- B-
Evan gave me this book.  David Mitchell is an author that he is in love with and I find to be very smart and very good.  This was not his crowning achievement (for that read Cloud Atlas).

47.  Bodega Dreams -- Ernesto Quionez  213 Pages -- B+
Another book that Evan recommended to me.  I had no expectations of this book which is a retelling of The Great Gatsby but in present-day Spanish Harlem.  I was pleasantly surprised by this story and how well the story was told in today's day.

48.  Miracle on the 17th Green -- James Patterson  195 Pages -- B
This summer I really got into golf.  This book was a book about golf by an Author who I have read at least 10 novels by.  I know he's a short read, and this was about golf.  I saw it on the library shelf and figured I would knock it out in a day.  I was right (I read it on the Friday after Thanksgiving), I just wasn't expecting to enjoy this sappy, predictable melodrama as much as I did.

49.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button --  F. Scott Fitzgerald   63 pages-- C-
I had seen the movie, but I had just read Bodega Dreams and didn't want to re-read Gatsby.  But I figured Fitzgerald deserved some respect.   I saw it in the library and it was only 3pages long with pictures.  It took 45 minutes to read.   Oh yeah--- It's also one of the rare instances where the book is better and longer than the movie.  And I didn't really like the movie.

50. Piercing  - Ryu Murakami  185 Pages -- B+
Ryu Mrakami's books are always next to Hiraku Murakami in the library.  I've always been interested  in what I see and heart his books were good, but disturbing.  After reading this one, I agree.  He's like the Japanese Chuck Palahniuk and that's a good thing.

51.  While Mortals Sleep -- Kurt Vonnegut  255 Pages -- C+
Saw this in the libraray and being someone that needs to read everything by an author, this series of unpublished short stories by the man needed to be read.  So I grabbed it off the shelf.

52.  The Visible Man -- Chuck Kloserman   225 Pages -
The first book I read this year was Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman.  I have never read his fiction before, but saw it in the library and thought there was something fitting about reading my 52nd book of the year by the same author that I read the first by.  I'm glad I read this book.  Although I'm getting sick of Klosterman's style and his obsession with what "matters and means" and if something is "important" (Seriously!!! Read anything he writes and check out how many times he uses those words Like This Article)

52 Books in 52 Weeks

I'm sorry to my loyal reader.  But I've been busy.  It has been over 2 months since my last post, but I was a man on a mission.  In the beginning of the year I attempted to read 52 books in 52 weeks.  I was on a great pace and then I decided to read the Game of Thrones novels which are approximately 1000 pages each and there were five of them.
Well, I finished that, but when I did I realized I had only read 39 books and there were about 12 weeks left.  That meant I had to read 14 books in that time period.  So I decided to "cheat".  Of course, I made up the rules, but I decided to try and only read "short" books.  Now this doesn't mean there is anything wrong with a short book vs. a long book, but I normally don't plan my reading this way.  But even though I wanted to read shorter books, this does not mean there was not a ton of quality in these books, nor does it mean these were not books I didn't want to read.  I just chose not to read some books that are longer than some that are shorter.  For example: I'm sure if I wasn't trying to complete this challenge, I would have read the newest Stephen King book by now, but since it is about 1100 pages long, I felt it could wait.  The best part is that I finished a little early.  I will most likely read about 55 books this year instead of the 52 I expected to read.
So now: 18,032 pages later, an average page count of 346.77 pages later, please humor me and take a look at all the books I read this year.  The books breakdown as 41 Fiction Novels,  8 Non-Fiction and 3 collections of short stoies:  Included is the approximate date it was read (the month), the page count and the letter grade I would give as a rating from A-F.


Number Book Author Pages Rating Date
1 Eating The Dinosaur -   Chuck Klosterman 270 B Jan-11
2 Catching Fire  -   Suzanne Collins 391 B+ Jan-11
3 Full Dark, No Stars -    Stephen King 368 B Jan-11
4 Endurance: Shakleton's Incredible Voyage -   Alfred Lansing 280 A- Jan-11
5 Mockingjay  -   Suzanne Collins 290 B- Feb-11
6 The Vintage Caper  -    Peter Mayle 225 C- Feb-11
7 Brains: A Zombie Memoir  -   Robin Becker 182 C Feb-11
8 As God Commands  -   Niccolo Ammaniti 405 Feb-11
9 Never Let Me Go  -   Kazou Ishiguro 288 B Mar-11
10 Mr. Funny Pants  -   Michael Showalter 250 B+ Mar-11
11 The Book Thief  -   Markus Zusak 550 B Mar-11
12 Cross Fire  -   James Patterson 350 C Mar-11
13 The Big Short  -   Michael Lewis 266 B+ Mar-11
14 South of the Border, West of the Sun  -   Haruki Murakami 213 A Mar-11
15 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time  -   Mark Haddon 225 B+ Mar-11
16 On Writing  -   Stephen King 300 B+ Mar-11
17 Zombie Spaceship Wasteland  -   Patton Oswalt 191 D+ Apr-11
18 Everything Is Going To Kill Everybody  -   Robert Brockway 260 C- Apr-11
19 House of Leaves  -   Mark Z. Danielewski 710 B Apr-11
20 20th Century Ghosts  -   Joe Hill 310 B+ May-11
21 Jar City  -   Arnaldur Indridason 285 May-11
22 The Day I Turned Uncool  -   Dan Zevin 172 C+ May-11
23 Flatland  -   Edwin A. Abbott 118 B+ May-11
24 Room  -   Emma Donoghue 322 A- May-11
25 A Visit From The Goon Squad  -   Jennifer Egan 342 A Jun-11
26 Super Sad True Love Story  -   Gary Shteyngart 332 A- Jun-11
27 The Red Pyramid  -   Rick Riordan 516 C+ Jun-11
28 The Throne of Fire  -   Rick Riordan 450 C Jun-11
29 An Object Of Beauty  -   Stever Martin 293 A- Jul-11
30 Tell-All -   Chuck Palahniuk 179 D+ Jul-11
31 The Imperfectionists -  Tom Rachman 265 B+ Jul-11
32 A Game of Thrones -  George R.R. Martin 809 A Jul-11
33 A Clash of Kings -  George R.R. Martin 969 A Aug-11
34 Shopgirl -  Steve Martin 130 B+ Aug-11
35 A Storm of Swords -  George R.R. Martin 1128 A+ Sep-11
36 No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy 309 C+ Sep-11
37 The Big Sleep -  Raymond Chandler 230 B- Sep-11
38 A Feast For Crows -  George R.R. Martin 976 A Sep-11
39 A Dance With Dragons -  George R.R. Martin 959 B+ Oct-11
40 The Postmortal -  Drew Magary 365 B+ Oct-11
41 Tao of Pooh -  Benjamin Hoff 158 B- Oct-11
42 After The Quake -  Haruki Murakami 145 B Oct-11
43 The House on Mango Street -  Sandra Cisneros 110 C Nov-11
44 Techno Pulp -  Arty Nelson  203 C- Nov-11
45 Son of Neptune -  Rick Riordan 513 C Nov-11
46 Black Swan Green -  David Mitchell 294 B- Nov-11
47 Bodega Dreams -  Enersto Quinonez 213 B+ Nov-11
48 Miracle on the 17th Green -  James Patterson 195 B Nov-11
49 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -  F. Scott Fitzgerald 63 C- Nov-11
50 Piercing -  Ryu Murakami 185 B+ Nov-11
51 While Mortals Sleep -  Kurt Vonnegut 255 C+ Dec-11
52 The Visible Man Chuck Klosterman 225 B+ Dec-11