Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Twenty Down, Eighty To Go

This is a little late, but the reason I didn't post it earlier is a good one; I was reading.  I raced through my 21st book from The List last week, and have made a good dent into number 22.  My goal of finishing 25 within a year is still in reach.  Now back to my regularly scheduled twenty book re-cap...

After almost one year, I'm a fifth of my way through the list.  I have now read more books in the past eleven months, then I did in the previous eleven years.  When I think about how much I've been reading, and how much of The List I've been through, I then start to think about what it will be like to actually finish all 100 books.  Will I be relieved because I don't have any more mandatory reading, or will I miss the military-like direction it will have provided me for so long?  I suppose it'll be like eating your first KFC Double Down; you don't how you'll react until you're finished.

I've been thinking a lot recently about how to summarize twenty novels.  My first thought was to talk about which book I liked the most and which I like the least, and discuss my overall impressions of the books.  But I've decided I should leave that for the end, as I'd rather talk about my favorite book from all 100, instead of my favorite so far and then always be comparing that novel to others from the second twenty, and so on.  So instead, I'm going to go through the first twenty 'by the numbers':

Shortest - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - 171 pages
Longest - Midnight's Children - 589 pages
Oldest - The Great Gatsby - 1925
Newest - Atonement  - 2002
Longest Reading Time - To the Lighthouse - 56 days
Shortest Reading Time - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - 4 hours
Books Started but Not Finished - 1 (Neuromancer)
Books borrowed from Library and returned, unread - 1 (All the King's Men)

Books by Decade:                                           Books by Letter:
1920's - 3         1960's - 2                                 A - 1     H - 1     P - 1
1930's - 4         1970's - 1                                 B - 2      I  - 1     S - 2
1940's - 1         1980's - 3                                 C - 3      L - 3     T - 2
1950's - 4         1990's - 0                                 D - 1     M - 1
1970's - 1         2000's - 2                                 G - 1     N - 1

Books by American Authors - 11
Books by British Authors - 9
Books by American Authors but published in other country's because of oppressive US obscenity laws - 2

Source of Book:
From the library - 16
Borrowed from friends - 3
Books I own - 1

Library Fines:
Midnight's Children - $3.15
Atonement - $0.70
To The Lighthouse - $1.05
The Power and the Glory - $1.05
Total Fines: $8.05

References to The List:
The Corrections - A character is reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Atonement - One character reads a book by Virginia Woolf, author of two books from The List.
Ragtime - Theodore Dreiser, author of a book from The List, is a character

The First Twenty Books:
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Brideshead Revisited
Naked Lunch
Light in August
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Great Gatsby
Catcher in the Rye
Tropic of Cancer
Midnight's Children
The Corrections
The Power and the Glory
To The Lighthouse
Lucky Jim
The Sun Also Rises
I, Claudius

Only Eighty Books to Go!

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