I’m think that in addition to the books I’ve been listing, which are all books I’ve actually finished, I should list the books I start and don’t finish for one reason or another. Like Secret Life of Bees is sitting on the nightstand because I can’t make myself read the terrible part I sense is coming up in the next chapter. I should just get over it, because I’m 640 pages into 2666 and really terrible stuff happens, but Bolona’s style is so mesmerizing and dispassionate that it’s more like a dream than Bees, which is terribly personal somehow. That’s part of the genius of 2666, he draws you into the dream where the lives of women don’t matter. Where a few individuals struggle to the surface and gasp air, but are eventually sucked back down into the murk. And how can something this strange and awful be so readable? I’ll devour 150 pages a night. I did stop for months though and then picked it back up.
And I’ve picked up a couple of other new authors at the library, writing literate mystery, which is where Meditations of an Animist, my latest novel would fall on a bookstore shelf. And put them down for one reason or another. It’s a chilling lesson. How hard it is to fire a reader. How little time you have to do it.
9. The Savage Garden, Mark Mills
8. What the Dead Know, Laura Lippman
7. The Magic Thief, Sarah Prineas
6. Savvy, Ingrid Law
5. Coraline, Neil Gaiman
4-4.5 A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows, George RR Martin
2-3. A Game of Thrones, and A Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin, epic fantasy.
1. Jennie, The Romantic Years, the first volume of an old biography of Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s mother, an American.
36-44 Heaven to Betsy, Betsy in Spite of Herself, Betsy Was a Junior, Betsy and Joe, Carney’s House Party, Betsy and the Great World, Betsy’s Wedding, Emily of Deep Valley, Maud Hart Lovelace
30-35 Betsy-Tacy, Betsy Tacy and Tib, Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill, Winona’s Pony Cart, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown, Maud Hart Lovelace
24-29 The five books in The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper
8-23 All 16 books in Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna series
1-7 Harry Potter, 1 through 7. Amazing how little I remembered of Deathly Hallows.