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51* of 50

  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus
  11. Anonymous — Go Ask Alice
  12. Cooper, Susan — The Grey King
  13. Martin, Steve — Shopgirl
  14. Cooper, Susan — Silver on the Tree
  15. Gaiman, Neil — Stardust
  16. Gaiman, Neil — Coraline
  17. Le Guin, Ursula — A Wizard of Earthsea
  18. Le Guin, Ursula — The Tombs of Atuan
  19. Le Guin, Ursula — The Farthest Shore
  20. Le Guin, Ursula — Tehanu
  21. Merton, Thomas — The Seven Storey Mountain: An Autobiography of Faith
  22. Alexander, Lloyd — The Castle of Llyr
  23. Zelazny, Roger — Lord of Light
  24. Card, Orson Scott — Ender's Game
  25. Clarke, Arthur C. — Childhood's End
  26. Grahame, Kenneth — The Wind in the Willows
  27. Dahl, Roald — James and the Giant Peach
  28. Lewis, C.S. — Out of the Silent Planet
  29. Lewis, C.S. — Perelandra
  30. Milne, A.A. — Winnie-the-Pooh
  31. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead
  32. Bester, Alfred — The Stars My Destination
  33. Greene, Graham — The Power and the Glory
  34. Gaiman, Neil — Neverwhere
  35. Ballard, J.G. — The Drowned World
  36. Ballard, J.G. — Crash
  37. Joyce, James — The Dubliners
  38. Le Guin, Ursula — Tales from Earthsea
  39. Le Guin, Ursula — The Other Wind
  40. Asimov, Isaac — The Robots of Dawn
  41. Dick, Philip K. — A Scanner Darkly
  42. Stewart, George R. — Earth Abides
  43. du Bois, William Pène — The Twenty-One Balloons
  44. Wells, H.G. — The Time Machine
  45. Toole, John Kennedy — A Confederacy of Dunces
  46. Silverberg, Robert — The Book of Skulls
  47. Bradbury, Ray — Something Wicked This Way Comes
  48. Blish, James — A Case of Conscience
  49. Russell, Mary Doria — The Sparrow
  50. Libreria Editrice Vaticana — Catechism of the Catholic Church
  51. Alexander, Lloyd — Taran Wanderer

I was determined to read #51 in one day. This one gets an asterisk, though. I only finished the first 172 of 218 pages before midnight. I would easily have finished it all before midnight if I hadn't spent a couple of hours playing on my brand-new laptop and hadn't also taken a nap in the evening. I finished all but the last 9 pages during the commute home. Besides having read the bulk of it in 2006, one other factor justifies its inclusion on the list for last year: I started this book challenge in Eastern Standard Time, not Greenwich Mean Time, and I did finish reading Taran Wanderer before 5 a.m. GMT, thus still 2006 in Boston.

Of course I chose Taran Wanderer because I thought there was a realistic chance I could finish it in one day. I knew I was going to be spending a bulk of the day commuting on buses or trains or waiting around for scheduled appointments, which translates into a lot of reading time. But I also chose Taran Wanderer because I've been wanting to read more of Taran's adventures for a while now.

Taran Wanderer is so far my favorite of the Chronicles of Prydain, which is ironic, since it's the only one of the five novels that didn't win some sort of award. I think maybe I like it more because it is the most introspective of the first four. I enjoy reading accounts of journeys of self-discovery, where the protagonist's eyes are turned inwards. Alexander did a marvellous job of keeping the story simple but incredibly rich and rewarding.

And so the year's reading comes full circle, as my book challenge both began and ended with a Lloyd Alexander novel. Now, off to bed I go, and when I wake up I'll start the new year with a new book for the new reading goal. Happy New Year everyone!


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
I love Taran Wanderer. I adore the Prydain books in general, but TW is hands-down my favorite. Fantasy for children that doesn't soft-soap life's pains, but that also remains hopeful. And so beautifully and honestly told!

After you finish the Chronicles, check out The Foundling for more Prydainy goodness.
Jan. 1st, 2007 11:43 pm (UTC)
We won't discuss my book total for the year. Nah, lets. I was hopeful I would get to fifty, but I knew that realistically I wouldn't make it because of my plans to hike the A.T.

I did read a lot of books before leaving for the A.T.- getting in 20 books before my departure in Mid April. I also read another 5-10 book on the trail, and about 5-10 since I got back. Unfortunately I stopped recording and numbering them once I left for the trail so I'm not sure of the exact number, but it is 30 to 40 maximum for the year.

I'm not sure I will be able to meet the 50 book challenge this year either. I have been reading things that aren't so much "reading books" as random books I've been picking especially to help broaden my imagination and language appreciation. This is because I had meant to participate in NaNoWriMo each of the last two years and never did so because of time constraints. While I'm not going to wait for November, I do plan on making my own NoWriMo challenge sometime this winter or spring, and I realize that probably the worst impediment to writing something yourself is reading too much of other people's much better writing!
Jan. 2nd, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
Not so... it won an Audiophiles Earphone Award... and it was an SLJ Best Book of the Year... Okay, okay. But I don't think Book of Three or Castle of Llyr won awards either? Not major ones anyway. In any case, whether or not it actually received awards the year it was released, it definitely was considered an incredible work by the critics right from the beginning -- it probably suffered from the Lord of the Rings "we'll just wait til the last one and give *that* the award" phenomenon.

Taran Wanderer is an absolutely phenomenal book, no question about it. Also, since you started your year in EST anyway, I don't think you need an asterisk to count it towards 2006.
Jan. 2nd, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
I stand corrected. Just inside the front cover of my copy is a page listing the books in the series with a brief blurb about each. You're right that Book of Three and The Castle of Llyr don't have awards listed next to them (how did I miss that?), but neither does Taran Wanderer.
Jan. 2nd, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
I would be surprised if they didn't also get various ALA Notable and SLJ Best Book and so forth also; those kinds of honors matter (a little) the year that things are released, but not much after that. Some editions will continue to print those lists of honors and notices on the back or the inside cover/opening pages, others don't bother.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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