Saturday, July 30, 2011

Forty Down, Sixty to Go

I've now hit my next 'milestone', book number forty.  I am now two-fifths of the way through this list of 100 All Time Novels.  Two-fifths doesn't sound like as many books as 'forty' does, so I'll stick with that; I'm forty books into this list.

The second twenty books has had some ups and downs, and has taken me from October 2010 to today.  By far the two longest books I've read were in the last twenty, those, being, Infinite Jest and Gone With the Wind, which are both 400 pages longer than any other book I've read so far.  The shortest two books have also been since October, with The Bridge of San Luis Rey and The Day of the Locust.  I had assumed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret. would be the shortest.  I suppose the latter still could be. 

I've also noticed I've changed by library borrowing habits in this past segment, having returned 19 books without reading them, including Gravity's Rainbow twice.  I also incurred more fines this go around, with 13 book, totalling $13.30 in fines.  I guess this is because I now usually have 10 to 20 books from The List borrowed from the library at any given time.  It ensures I'll always have something ready to read, but also that I'll incur more fines.

Lastly, I see I've been on an American author kick, with 17 of the past 20 books being my American authors.  This is purely by coincidence, as I haven't ever really taken the author into consideration when selecting my next title.  But, I think I'll try to make a concious effort to squeeze in a few more international talents in the next twenty reads.

Well, forty books down, only sixty more to read!

Here's the second twenty books 'by the numbers':

Shortest - The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 107 pages
Longest - Infinite Jest - 1,076 pages
Oldest - The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 1927 (Gatsby - 1925)
Newest - Infinite Jest  - 1996 (Atonement - 2002)
Longest Reading Time - Infinite Jest - 50 days (To the Lighthouse - 56 days)
Shortest Reading Time - Play it as it Lays - 6 hours (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - 4 hours)
Books Started but Not Finished - 0
Books borrowed from Library and returned, unread - 19

Books by Decade from this Twenty: (total)                                           
1920's - 1  (4)        1960's - 4  (6)                           
1930's - 3  (7)        1970's - 3  (4)                           
1940's - 3  (4)        1980's - 2  (5)                            
1950's - 2  (6)        1990's - 2  (2)                            
               2000's - 0  (2)                          

Books by American Authors - 17
Books by British Authors - 2
Books by Russian Authors - 1

Source of Book:
From the library - 19 (35 Total)
Borrowed from friends - 0 (3 Total)
Books I own - 0 (1 Total)
Book Stolen from Rural Hotels - 1

Library Fines:

Gravity's Rainbow - $2.80
Herzog - $0.70
On the Road - $0.70
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - $1.05
Play it as it Lays - $0.35
The Death of the Heart - $1.05
The Blind Assassin - $1.05
The Berlin Stories - $0.35
An American Tragedy - $1.05
Painted Bird - $0.70
Lolita - $2.10
Slaughterhouse Five - $0.70
All the King's Men - $0.70
Total Fines: $13.30

References to The List:

Infinite Jest - William Burroughs is mentioned by one of the characters

The Sportswriter  - Frank Bascombe is reading The Sun Also Rises
The Sportswriter - Bascombe refers to Tropic of Cancer
Appointment in Samarra - A character is reading Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
Appointment in Samarra - One of the club members reportedly went to school with F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Second Twenty Books:
Snow Crash
On the Road
Play it as it Lays
The Berlin Stories
Infinite Jest
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
The Day of the Locust
The Sheltering Sky
Gone With the Wind
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
The Sportswriter
Rabbit, Run
Blood Meridian
Appointment in Samarra

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

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