Monday, January 7, 2013

A Book a Week in 2012 - Failure

A Book a Week in 2012

For the last two years, I read an average of a book a week. In 2012, I set out with the same goal but got waylaid and came up short. As much as I would have liked to meet my reading resolution, I think its a valuable lesson to accept that sometimes life gets in the way and 70% has to be enough. I could make a defense and point out that I read at least a dozen issues of Poetry Magazine or claim extenuating life circumstances but instead, I’ll list what I read along with some highlights and statistics.

The Children’s Book - A. S. Byatt
MacBeth – William Shakespeare
Hay – Paul Muldoon
Green Squall – Jay Hopler
Envy – Joseph Epstein
Ether/Ore – Brett Jenkins
Trojan Women – Seneca (trans. A.K Boyle)
Ashes for Breakfast – Durs Grünbein (trans. Michael Hofman)
Love Stories/Hate Stories – Russ Wood & Brett Jenkins
Victims of a Map - Samih al-Qasim, Adonis, & Mahmud Darwish (trans. Abdullah al-Udhari)
The Deleted World – Tomas Tranströmer (trans. Robin Fulton)
Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems – Federico Garcia Lorca (trans. Carlos Bauer)
Birds of a Lesser Paradise – Megan Mayhew Bergman
Corruption – Camille Norton
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
 Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
The Bhagavad Gita – (trans. Juan Mascaro)
My Melancholy Whores – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (trans. Edith Grossman)
The Apple Speaks – Becca Lachman
The Seven Very Liberal Arts – Marilyn Taylor
The Birth of Classical Europe – Simon Price
Passions and Ancient Days – C.P. Cavafy (trans. Edmund Keeley & Phillip Sherrard)
The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides
Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Nifflinger
The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
The Casual Vacancy – J.K Rowling
In the Garden of Beast – Erik Larson
Shakespeare: the World as Stage – Bill Bryson
The Great Divorce – C.S. Lewis
Berlin Stories – Robert Walser (trans. Susan Bernofsky)
Descartes’ Bones – Russell Shorto
My Unwritten Books – George Steiner
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Things Fall Part – Chinua Achebe

Some Lines:
  • Purity of heart is to will one thing. (Søren Kierkegaard)
  • Once there was a city that was at war for ten years. Eventually it was destroyed; many people were killed and their women taken into slavery. (Linda Gregerson)
  • Facts are surprisingly delible. (Bill Bryson)
  • The beginning is an artifice and what recommends one over another is how much sense it makes of what follows. (Ian McEwan)
  • Every letter was a love letter. (Jeffrey Eugenides)
  • What has become of us as a people that we can possess the beautiful only in dreams? (Robert Walser)

Some Statistics:
  • 35 Books
  • 26% in translation
  • 32% poetry
  • 35% female writers
  • 7243 pages 

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