Category: reading

2008 Project List

Here is the list of books I’ve read in 2008.  My goal is to finish 52 books (the equivalent of a book a week).

Total Pages Read: 10,774
Shortest book: 96 pages
Longest book: 928 pages
Fiction: 17
Non-Fiction: 13
Poetry: 1

Last book read:

31.  Drown by Junot Díaz.  Short Stories about a Dominican immigrant family.  224 pages. (Finished 30 Dec 08)

Full list below the cut:

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the truth below the truth

Sometimes by a woodland stream he watched the water rush over the pebbled bed, its tiny modulations of bounce and flow.  A woman’s body was like that.  If you watched it carefully enough you could see how it moved to the rhythm of the world, the deep rhythm, the music below the music, the truth below the truth.

from The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

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Read a Book

I just saw this for the first time this past week.  This was originally aired on BET show The 5ive, and I believe (from the CNN spots below) has been aired on the show 106 & Park, a daily top-10 rap video countdown.  The song, by poet Bomani Armah, aka D’Mite or notarapper, is a parody/satire of the state of the “urban” black culture.  Not surprisingly, people didn’t get it:

Part 1 (From CNN)

Part 2 (From CNN)

I love in the second part of the interview, that the guy doesn’t see how silly his complaints about this animated short are.  He keeps trying to make the video out as a PSA, removing it from the context where it was shown. Completely ignoring the fact that it was shown on a show (and channel) that regularly feature music videos that glorify violence and drugs, while at the same time objectifing women. 

When accused by the CNN host of being a provocateur, Bomani responds wonderfully:
“I didn’t think the idea of reading and hygiene and all these things was controversial”

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/read-a-book/

The 2008 Project

Last year, my friend Elizabeth and I set out to read a book a week (or the equivalent by the end of the year).  The first half of the year, I was doing pretty good, however, with the move to L.A. things slowed down significantly during the second half of the year.  My final total for 2007 was 30 books. (The list is here).  Elizabeth ended up making it to 52 (Her list is here).

Since I didn’t make it to last years goal, I’m starting anew with my 2008 project.  My goal is to at least improve on last years total, while still striving to attain the book a week goal.

To start of this year’s project the following books are on the nightstand queue:
The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Getting Things Done by David Allen (re-read)
What’s Your Poo Telling You? by Josh Richman & Anish Sheth, M.D. (a gift from Elizabeth)
The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A Postsecret Book compiled by Frank Warren

That should get me the first few month’s at least.

I’ve also got a few books in mind that I plan to read this year:
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis (Yes I know its a crime that I’ve not read these yet)
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/the-2008-project/

Books I’ve Read in 2007

Inspired by this list, I’ve decided to keep a list of books I’ve read in 2007.  I’ll more than likely be doing less individual reviews and just updating this list as I finish books.  Anyway…enough of the rambling explanations, on to the list.

Last book finished:

30.  Atonement by Ian McEwan. (Finished 12 Dec 07)

 

See the Complete List below the cut (its starting to get long):

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NYT’s “Best American Fiction of the past 25 years”

The ones I’ve read are in Bold:

Beloved-Toni Morrison
Underworld-Don DeLillo
Blood Meridian-Cormac McCarthy
Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels-John Updike
– Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, Rabbit at Rest
American Pastoral-Philip Roth
A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole
Housekeeping-Marilynne Robinson
Winter’s Tale-Mark Helprin
White Noise-Don DeLillo
The Counterlife-Philip Roth
Libra-Don DeLillo
Where I’m Calling From-Raymond Carver
The Things They Carried-Tim O’Brien
Mating-Norman Rush
Jesus’ Son-Denis Johnson
Operation Shylock-Philip Roth
Independence Day-Richard Ford
Sabbath’s Theater-Philip Roth
Border Trilogy-Cormac McCarthy
— All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain
The Human Stain-Philip Roth
The Known World-Edward P. Jones
The Plot Against America-Philip Roth

It seems I have some work to do on this list.  Though at least I did get the top 3. 

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Love in the Time of Cholera

It took me much longer than I expected to read this book.  I still enjoyed it a bunch, its an interesting take on unrequited love.  I think in the end, it was just my reading habits that changed over the course of the past month that made it take longer to finish the book.  I switched to working part-time at work, so I no longer had a lunch hour to read and I wasn’t reading as much on my commute as I had been.  As a result I really don’t have much to say about the book itself.  It became the thing I read right before bed or when I needed something to occupy my mind that wasn’t my life.  In these roles it succeeded.

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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

It’s interesting reading Murakami’s short stories.  They are like individual dreams that you wake up with before you want to.  At least that’s how I often feel.  But then even his longer works tend to finish before I want them to.

This collection is interesting, because it has some of his earliest stories as well as his latest stories.  Most of the time it is easy to figure out which is which.  His later work is much more polished than the earlier work.

My favorite works in this collection are “Tony Takitani,” “Chance Traveler,” “The Kidney Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day” and “A Shinagawa Monkey.”

I’ve read through all of Murakami’s fiction that have been translated into English.  My favorite novels were Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore.

Now to figure out something new to read. 

 

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2006 Nobel Prize in Literature

As somewhat expected, Orhan Pamuk has won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.  I’ve only read one of his books, Snow, but I did like it quite a bit.  (My Review)  I’m curious to read more of his works and will probably be picking more up soon at Powell’s.

In other literature prize news, Kiran Desai won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for her second novel The Inheritance of Loss, winning a prize her mother has been shortlisted for 3 times.

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Dance Dance Dance

I finished the “sequel” to The Wild Sheep Chase last Thursday (yup, two Murakami novels in one week).  Dance Dance Dance takes place four and a half years after the conclusion of The Wild Sheep Chase.  There is definitely more “meat” to this novel than the earlier one.  It also helped fulfill that desire I had after the earlier novel for more story.

Reading Murakami is like reading a dream.  Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it feels like reality and sometimes its so bizarre that it surprises even the wildest imaginations.  Time often disappears leaving only shadows of memory.  

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