- Pohl, Frederik — Gateway (278 pages)
- Clement, Hal — Mission of Gravity (193 pages)
- Benford, Gregory — Timescape (499 pages)
- O'Hare, Mick (editor) — Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? and 114 Other Questions (232 pages)
- Dos Passos, John — Number One (218 pages)
- Heller, Joseph — Catch-22 (457 pages)
- St. John of the Cross — Dark Night of the Soul (119 pages)
- Day, Dorothy — The Long Loneliness (286 pages)
- Allen, Ted, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley, and Jai Rodriguez — Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab 5's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better (250 pages)
- Whittemore, Carroll E., ed. (William Duncan, illus.) — Symbols of the Church (59 pages)
- Hardy, Thomas — Jude the Obscure (507 pages)
- Lee, Harper — To Kill a Mockingbird (278 pages)
- Mann, Thomas (Helen T. Lowe-Porter, transl.) — Death in Venice (73 pages)
- Kempis, Thomas à — The Imitation of Christ (165 pages)
- West, Canon Edward N. — Outward Signs: The Language of Christian Symbolism (232 pages)
- Alexander, Lloyd — The High King (253 pages)
- Bellairs, John — St. Fidgeta & Other Parodies (84 pages)
- Endo, Shusaku — Silence (300 pages)
- Moorcock, Michael — Behold the Man (137 pages)
- Pouncey, Peter — Rules for Old Men Waiting (208 pages)
- Davies, Robertson — Tempest-Tost (The Salterton Trilogy) (235 pages)
- Davies, Robertson — Leaven of Malice (The Salterton Trilogy) (218 pages)
- Davies, Robertson — A Mixture of Frailties (The Salterton Trilogy) (311 pages)
- Austen, Jane — Pride and Prejudice (274 pages)
- Murakami, Haruki — Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (400 pages)
- Burrows, Ruth, O.C.D. — Essence of Prayer (210 pages)
- McCarthy, Cormac — The Road (239 pages)
- Dahl, Roald — The BFG (184 pages)
- Eugenides, Jeffrey — The Virgin Suicides (247 pages)
- Geoffrey of Monmouth — The History of the Kings of Britain (280 pages)
Page count: 7,426 of targeted 12,500.
I suppose I had better post about The Virgin Suicides before I forget all about it. I have a slightly different perspective than when I finished it, and that is that three weeks later it is being relegated to the 'forgettable' category. It wasn't a bad read at all. In fact, Eugenides' style is very readable, and I very much enjoyed the way he began the story. It just never really seemed to go anywhere—one of the dangers faced when you start a story by stating its conclusion—and when the much anticipated climax finally arrived, nothing particularly new or revelatory was unfolded. I cannot adequately describe what I felt at the end: an ambivalent mixture of having enjoyed it and been dissatisfied, perhaps.
I watched the movie immediately after finishing the book and actually liked it more, which rarely happens. It wasn't a great movie, but I think it did a good job of distilling the most important ideas from the book and developing them.
Now, moving on… I've been wanting to read Monmouth's History ever since I first saw him referred to extensively in the notes to a Shakespeare history or tragedy. My interest was rekindled when I arrived in Britain. I couldn't find the History in any bookstore, though, and one store employee even went so far as to tell me that nobody is interested in it except scholars. Harumph! If it weren't for the library, I might still be curious.
I enjoyed it for the most part, especially the long, eloquent speeches by various kings and warriors and the few anecdotes about more memorable characters such as Merlin and Utherpendragon. More importantly, it gives me the background I wanted before delving into Shakespeare and the Arthurian legends once more. However, the History did mostly contain accounts of battles, and there really wasn't much difference between accounts of Brutus (the first king) and Cadwallader (the last), for example. And the battles lacked the poetry of such works as Song of Roland.