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Book 32

  1. Pohl, Frederik — Gateway (278 pages)
  2. Clement, Hal — Mission of Gravity (193 pages)
  3. Benford, Gregory — Timescape (499 pages)
  4. O'Hare, Mick (editor) — Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? and 114 Other Questions (232 pages)
  5. Dos Passos, John — Number One (218 pages)
  6. Heller, Joseph — Catch-22 (457 pages)
  7. St. John of the Cross — Dark Night of the Soul (119 pages)
  8. Day, Dorothy — The Long Loneliness (286 pages)
  9. 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)
  10. Whittemore, Carroll E., ed. (William Duncan, illus.) — Symbols of the Church (59 pages)
  11. Hardy, Thomas — Jude the Obscure (507 pages)
  12. Lee, Harper — To Kill a Mockingbird (278 pages)
  13. Mann, Thomas (Helen T. Lowe-Porter, transl.) — Death in Venice (73 pages)
  14. Kempis, Thomas à — The Imitation of Christ (165 pages)
  15. West, Canon Edward N. — Outward Signs: The Language of Christian Symbolism (232 pages)
  16. Alexander, Lloyd — The High King (253 pages)
  17. Bellairs, John — St. Fidgeta & Other Parodies (84 pages)
  18. Endo, Shusaku — Silence (300 pages)
  19. Moorcock, Michael — Behold the Man (137 pages)
  20. Pouncey, Peter — Rules for Old Men Waiting (208 pages)
  21. Davies, Robertson — Tempest-Tost (The Salterton Trilogy) (235 pages)
  22. Davies, Robertson — Leaven of Malice (The Salterton Trilogy) (218 pages)
  23. Davies, Robertson — A Mixture of Frailties (The Salterton Trilogy) (311 pages)
  24. Austen, Jane — Pride and Prejudice (274 pages)
  25. Murakami, Haruki — Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (400 pages)
  26. Burrows, Ruth, O.C.D. — Essence of Prayer (210 pages)
  27. McCarthy, Cormac — The Road (239 pages)
  28. Dahl, Roald — The BFG (184 pages)
  29. Eugenides, Jeffrey — The Virgin Suicides (247 pages)
  30. Geoffrey of Monmouth — The History of the Kings of Britain (280 pages)
  31. Figgess, Sandra — Christian Initiation of Older Children (87 pages)
  32. Clarke, Susanna — Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (1006 pages)

Page count: 8,519 of targeted 12,500.

What a book! Wow! I'm not going to say too much about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, because I need to go to bed and I know I won't have much time to write about it anytime soon.

I'm not sure what to say about it anyway. The first two-thirds of the book, I remember thinking to myself, "When I write up my little book review, I must mention something about how Clarke's writing evokes the good Dickens (the magical Dickens, not the dreary Dickens)," but I must point out that the only Dickens I've read is The Pickwick Papers and A Christmas Carol. But enough comparisons: this is a highly original story inventively told. (At least, I don't think I've read anything quite like it.) I highly recommend it to all, especially anyone who enjoys fantasy-realism and historical fiction. Don't be daunted by the length, as it reads far more quickly than many a shorter book.

Meanwhile, I've just about given up on my reading goal for the year. I would have to bump my reading up from the 40+ pages a day from a couple of months ago to 50+ pages a day, and I just don't see that happening. I have mostly myself to blame, as I spent a 2-month or so stretch watching movies more than reading, and now my Russian, Italian, and singing classes are taking up my time. The biggest time drain, though, is a particularly obnoxious website for a client that has proven to be far more complicated than I expected and has taken two months longer to complete than it should have. The only time, thanks to all these things, that I have to read is on commutes and for a half hour or so before I sleep. Oh well, it really wasn't all that important a goal, I suppose.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC)
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell completely rocks.
Oct. 30th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sir. That sums it up and could have saved me a bit of writing. ;)
Oct. 31st, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
Your goal was arbitrary, artificial, a bit ambitious, not necessarily realistic, likely or even possible unless you were to totally abandon sleeping. It's nice to have larger-than-life goals, especially when you have a history of sometimes meeting them, but you should feel free to sometimes let one fall short of attainment.

The importance of the goal has little to do with whether or not you reach your intended mark. What is important is that you were willing to try and to publicly commit yourself. You've done well enough.
Oct. 31st, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
Re: Reading
Your goal … not necessarily realistic, likely or even possible

I'm not sure why you think that. Had I simply read on my commute every day I would have attained it with ease. Yet here I am unemployed all year and with practically no commuting. I had all the time in the world to read, it's just that for a couple of months I chose to watch 2-3 movies a day instead. My goal was actually quite conservative and attainable, especially given my circumstances.
Oct. 31st, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
I loved Strange and Norell. In particular, I loved the arrogance of the fairy king and how totally shallow and randomly psychotic he was. I also loved how he was contrasted so amazingly with Stephen Black who was deep, thoughtful, fastidious, and consistently caring.

But I think the biggest reason I liked it was the way it turned into some kind of Dickens meets Dr. Who scenario at the end. I almost expected Strange to walk through a mirror and find a Napoleonic dalek behind it.
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
I got the Dickens, but I just couldn't think of the other half. I think you nailed it!

I hadn't thought of Uskglass as shallow and psychotic—he just acted as I might expect an omniscient king to—but I hadn't thought of the contrast between him and the other nameless slave. You're absolutely right, and thank you for drawing my attention to that parallel.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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