Sunday, June 20, 2010

State of the Blog, Part One: The Lists

Summer starts this week, but it's hard to tell here in rainy Portland. The sun is supposed to arrive in the next few days, so in anticipation, here is the first of my quarterly blog assessment posts.


My List of Lists is over in the right-side column. These are Prize Winners, Must Reads, and other lists of books I have read or intend to read for some reason or another. Also in the right-side column is a list of my favorite authors. I add to both lists from time to time.

This is a three-part assessment. This first part addresses the book lists. Part Two, coming soon, will deal with the challenges I joined this year. Part Three will take a look at the author lists.

So far in 2010, I have read a total of 28 books from my various book lists. That is better progress than I would have guessed, but I am still daunted by the number of books on my TBR shelves. I should spend more time reading and less time playing with my lists.

THE LISTS

1899 Top 100
Books read so far: 7/100
Books read in 2010: zero (but I am more than halfway through The Count of Monte Cristo)
Books I hope to read in 2010: 3
  1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
  2. The Moonstone by Willkie Collins
  3. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Books on my TBR shelf: 13

All-TIME Top 100
Books read so far: 75/100
Books read in 2010:
  1. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  2. Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion (reviewed here)
    Books I hope to read in 2010: those two, plus two-thirds (I really hope to finish The Lord of the Rings.)
    Books on my TBR shelf: 14

    Anthony Burgess
    Books read so far: 28/99
    Books read in 2010: 2
    1. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (reviewed here)
    2. Titus Groan by Mervin Peake (reviewed here)
      Books I hope to read in 2010:one more (Strangers and Brothers by C.P. Snow)
      Books on my TBR shelf: 20

      BBC's Big Read
      Books read so far: 55/100
      Books read in 2010: 2
      1. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
      2. Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake (reviewed here)
      3. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (reviewed here)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: 2 more
      1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
      2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas 
      Books on my TBR shelf: 9

      Book Club
      Books read so far: 17/18
      Books read in 2010: 2
      1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
      2. The Red Tent  by Anita Diamant
      Books I hope to read in 2010: 3 more (but Small Island is the only one I know so far) Books on my TBR shelf: one

      College Board
      Books read so far: 76/101
      Books read in 2010: one (Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath)
      Books on my TBR shelf: 15

      Costa Book of the Year
      Books read so far: 5/24
      Books read in 2010: 2
      1. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
      2. Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
      Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (Small Island by Andrea Levy)
      Books on my TBR shelf: one

      Easton Press
      Books read so far: 56/100
      Books read in 2010: one (The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (The Count of Monte Cristo)
      Books on my TBR shelf: 31

      Edgar Award
      Books read so far: 7/55
      Books read in 2010: 2
      1. New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith
      2. Citizen Vince by Jess Walter (reviewed here)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: no more, I don't think
      Books on my TBR shelf: 5

      Erica Jong
      Books read so far: 31/100
      Books read in 2010: 2  
      1. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbon (reviewed here)
      2. Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion (reviewed here)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: several, including
      1. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
      2. Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier
      3. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
      Books on my TBR shelf: 19

      French Connection
      Books read so far: 45/112 (and counting -- there are more books to add to the list)
      Books read in 2010:3
      1. The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White (reviewed here
      2. L'Affaire by Diane Johnson
      3. My Life in France by Julia Child (reviewed here)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: 2 more
      1. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
      2. The Count of Monte Cristo
      Books on my TBR shelf: 25

      Books read so far: I don't keep track, because I delete them after I read them
      Books read in 2010: same
      Books I hope to read in 2010: 13 more (I'll be busy)
      1. The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
      2. The Art of Disappearing by Ivy Pochoda
      3. The Evolution of Shadows by Jason Quinn Malott
      4. The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt by Rulka Langer 
      5. Soldiers in Hiding by Richard Wiley
      6. Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories by Scott Nadelson 
      7. Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz 1942-1957 by Robert Dietsche
      8. Another Way the River Has: Taut True Tales from the Northwest by Robin Cody   
      9. An Architectural Guidebook to Portland by Bart King 
      10.  The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
      11. A Geography of Secrets by Fredrick Reuss 
      12. Lunatic Express: Discovering the World via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes by Carl Hoffman
      13. To the Woods: Sinking Roots, Living Lightly, and Finding True Home by Evelyn Searle Hess
      Books on my TBR shelf: 13

      James Tait Black Memorial Prize
      Books read so far: 8/96
      Books read in 2010: one (The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry; for my Battle of the Prizes, British Version challenge)
      Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (G by John Berger; also for my Battle of the Prizes, British Version challenge)
      Books on my TBR shelf: 10


      LT Early Reviewers

      Books read so far: 27/30
      Books read in 2010: 6
      1. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (reviewed here)
      2. Maimonides: and the Biblical Prophets by Israel Drazin
      3. Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow (reviewed here)
      4. The Wall in My Head: Words and Images from the Fall of the Iron Curtain, published by Words Without Borders Anthologies (reviewed here)
      5. Short Stories, Book I by Anton Chekhov (reviewed here)
      6. A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (reviewed here)
        Books I hope to read in 2010: three more
        1. The New York Stories by Elizabeth Hardwick
        2. Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos 
        3. Burmese Lessons: A True Love Story by Karen Connelly
        Books on my TBR shelf: 3

        Man Booker Prize

        Books read so far: 21/43
        Books read in 2010:one (The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga)
        Books I hope to read in 2010: 2 more (for my Battle of the Prizes, British Version challenge)
        1. G by John Berger 
        2. The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
        Books on my TBR shelf: 15

        MLA's 30
        Books read so far: 22/30
        Books read in 2010: one (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver)
        Books I hope to read in 2010: just the one
        Books on my TBR shelf: 4

        Modern Library
        Books read so far: all of them!
        Books read in 2010: zero (finished this list a couple of years ago)
        Books I hope to read in 2010: none
        Books on my TBR shelf: zero

        National Book Award

        Books read so far: 26/64
        Books read in 2010: zero
        Books I hope to Read in 2010: 2 (for the Battle of the Prizes, American Version challenge)
        1. Them by Joyce Carol Oates
        2. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
          Books on my TBR shelf: 13

          NBCC Award
          Books read so far: 16/34
          Books read in 2010: one (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz)
          Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (Counterlife by Philip Roth)
          Books on my TBR shelf: 11

          Nobel Laureates
          Authors read so far: 20/106
          Books read in 2010: one (Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney)
          Books I hope to read in 2010: one more (Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset)
          Books on my TBR shelf: 31 (but most by authors already read)

          Observer's Top 100
          Books read so far: 58/100
          Books read in 2010: 2  
          1. Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
          2. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
            Books I hope to read in 2010: one and two-thirds
            1. the last two books in The Lord of the Rings
            2. The Count of Monte Cristo
            Books on my TBR shelf: 18

            Orange Prize
            Books read so far: 1/13
            Books read in 2010: zero
            Books I hope to read in 2010: one (Small Island by Andrea Levy)
            Books on my TBR shelf: 5

            Oregon Books
            Books read so far: 3/20
            Books read in 2010: zero
            Books I hope to read in 2010: maybe none
            Books on my TBR shelf: 2

            PEN/Faulkner

            Books read so far: 7/29
            Books read in 2010: zero
            Books I hope to read in 2010: 2
            1. Soldiers in Hiding by Richard Wiley (also on my Guilt List)
            2. Seaview by Toby Olson
              Books on my TBR shelf: 12

              Pulitzer Prize
              Books read so far: 40/84
              Books read in 2010: one (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz)
              Books I hope to read in 2010: at least 2 (for the Battle of the Prizes Challenge) 
              1. The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
              2. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
                Books on my TBR shelf: 19

                Radcliffe's Top 100
                Books read so far: 88/100
                Books read in 2010: two
                1. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster (reviewed here)
                2. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
                3. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (reviewed here
                  Books I hope to read in 2010: 3+
                  1. the rest of The Lord of the Rings
                  2. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
                  3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
                  4. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
                    Books on my TBR shelf: 9

                    RCR Top 10
                    Books read so far: 10/10 (it's my list)
                    Books read in 2010: one (Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbon; reviewed  here)
                    Books I hope to Read in 2010: probably none -- one change this year is a big step already
                    Books on my TBR shelf: who knows?

                    Well-Stocked Bookcase
                    Books read so far: 35/60
                    Books read in 2010: zero
                    Books I hope to Read in 2010: 2
                    1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
                    2. Them by Joyce Carol Oates
                    Books on my TBR shelf: 13

                    7 comments :

                    Aths said...

                    Wow.. love all those lists!! I'm a big list-person too!

                    Book Bird Dog said...

                    I'm not nearly as organized re my blog and have only one or two challenges that I follow. Having read the classics and literature all through collge, I am now free to indulge in guilty pleasures like mysteries, thrillers, adventure, and even paranormal time travel romances (found only one good writer so far though). It's liberating. I stay away from every classic writer besides Shakespeare and Dickens :)

                    Have fun reading!

                    Alyce said...

                    My TBR shelves and lists seem to be neverending too. I'm not as organized as this, but I do have some lists put together of books for challenges.

                    Rose City Reader said...

                    Aths -- Let me know if you follow any of the same lists. I try to not let them "control" me, but they are fun!

                    BBD -- I understand! I go in waves between reading for pure entertainment, and reading with some list-oriented, secondary goal in mind.

                    Alyce -- I think of these lists as personal challenges, but without any organized plan or deadline.

                    Think we'll get some sun this week?

                    BookQuoter said...

                    WOW, and I thought I made lists:) I really have to read the Count of Monte Cristo, too!!!!

                    Jessica said...

                    I love lists, everytime I see a 100 greatest books list I HAVE to go down and see how many I can tick off. Very organised

                    The Dormouse said...

                    I hadn't realized how many lists you've been tracking. It seems that the modern library will take me through another year or two, but I've got my eye on the NYRB classics after that.

                    Regardling Absalom, Absalom!: godspeed. I look back on it as a worthy read, but the narrative moves like a scratched record with so many memories crowding the page and scrambling to tell and re-tell themselves!

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