Reading in 2010

I have decided to re-up the 2009 reading challenge, albeit with a slight tweaking. To reiterate, the goal is to read 50 new books in a year. Note that it is restricted to new (to me) books. I love old books, and in some year, maybe 2011, I’ll do a reading challenge for them. Re-reads are pretty much always quicker and I know which ones are good. But I want to try to learn something new in this project. And thus, all new books.

Of the 50 new books, five are to be religious works. The theory here is a sort of literary tithe.

Also, to keep me from discriminating against the big, fat books that are piling up, another tweak is this: I want 50 books and/or 20,000 pages. I’d say 400 pages is a reasonable length for a book, and counting pages should also keep me from avoiding the big Lincoln biography, or the history of the Supreme Court, or the account of the lives of the wives of Henry VIII.

So anyway, finishing out January, I also got these in:

3. Big Man by Clarence Clemons. Odd, uneven book, with chapters by Clarence interspersed with chapters from his co-writer, screenwriter Don Reo, and other chapters of “legends” which are admittedly mostly lies. Fun, interesting, but REALLY uneven.

4. It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over by the staff of Baseball Prospectus. This is a book about baseball pennant races. The staff of Baseball Prospectus use history as a jumping off point to ask questions about baseball and to try to use empirical data to answer those questions. If you’re a hardcore sports nerd, this is great. If not, likely a bit dry.

5. Under the Dragon by Rory MacLean. Fascinating travel writing about Myanmar (aka Burma). Since a good friend spent a long chunk of time in and around the area, I’ve been very interested in it. MacLean writes the story of he and his wife journeying across the county in search of a particular kind of basket. En route, they encounter persecuted, browbeat, beautiful people who, bit by bit, spell out the story of a doomed land. Heartbreaking, engaging and very well written.

January total: 5 books completed/50
January page total:
Magic in the Night 268
The Book of Basketball 715
Big Man 384
It Ain’t Over 457
Under the Dragon 224

As yet unrevealed 6th book in progress 101
January total 2,149/20,000 (Actually, I realize in retrospect that I read approximately the first 200 pages of Magic in the Night in December… so while I’ll count the book as a 2010 book, the page count goes back down to 1,949/20,000).

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2 Responses to “Reading in 2010”

  1. dv Says:

    If I counted pages, I would lose terribly. Fantastic Mr. Fox had about 12 pages.

    • eljoe1235 Says:

      Like I say, the main motivation here is to keep myself from getting too discouraged in the middle of an 800 page book because I didn’t read two 400 page books instead. Goals are made to be not met 😉

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