Now that I know I can do it- that I can, in fact, read 100 books in a year- I doubt I will do it again. There is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes with achieving a goal, but there were times where I felt rushed, like I was reading for school instead of reading for the sheer pleasure of reading. I was reading just for the 100-book goal. Were there great parts about it? Absolutely. The 100 book challenge encouraged me to push the boundaries of what I had read before, to seek out new authors and new genres, and I will certainly push on with the international authors project I started up in the fall.
But I will read at my own pace from here on out, thankyouverymuch. It will still average out to about 80-85 books per year, so I’m not slouching in my reading, but the pressure is off to read a crazy lot.
What’s on tap for 2014? I have to have some sort of goal, so this year I plan to memorize a poem each month. Six by men, and six by women. So far, I have picked out “i carry your heart with me(i carry it in)” by e.e. cummings, “The Privilege of Being” by Robert Haas, and “The First Elegy” by Rainer Maria Rilke.
My next couple of books to read are The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Suskind, and New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families by Colm Tóibín.
As for 2013? The final book count was 102. Whew.
78. Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses– Sarah Gristwood
79. Discount Armageddon– Seanan McGuire
80. On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks– Simon Garfield
81. The Happy Atheist– PZ Myers
82. A Clash of Kings– George R.R. Martin
83. Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus– Rainer Maria Rilke
84. Rilke’s Book of Hours– Rainer Maria Rilke
85. A Storm of Swords– George R.R. Martin
86. Quest for a King: Searching for the Real King Arthur– Catherine M. Andronik
87. A Feast for Crows– George R.R. Martin
88. Thou Art That– Joseph Campbell
89. The Dream Hunters– Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano
90. The Hero of a Thousand Faces– Joseph Campbell
91. A Dance of Dragons– George R.R. Martin
92. The Book of Images– Rainer Maria Rilke
93. Northanger Abbey– Jane Austen
94. The Crystal Cave– Mary Stewart
95. The Hollow Hills– Mary Stewart
96. A Moveable Feast– Ernest Hemingway
97. Island– Jane Rogers
98. The Last Enchantment– Mary Stewart
99. Among Others– Jo Walton
100. A Natural History of the Senses– Diane Ackerman
101. The Wicked Day– Mary Stewart
102. The Spanish Queen– Carolly Erickson