The ideal is to read a book a week, but considering how busy I was going to be, early this year I set a goal of reading at least a book a month. Of course I’ve read more, but instead of putting everything here, I’m putting only the twelve books I’ve read this year that were really significant to me.
I was happy to cross out some of those monumental books that I’ve had on my list and my shelf forever. I still wish I could have read more. But of course I had to remind myself that the list looks shorter while the books were thicker. And it didn’t really help my list that I read the whole set of Harry Potter again, Pride and Prejudice twice, Persuasion, and The Godfather. But, hey, books are meant to be enjoyed and enjoyed again.
So here is my BIG Twelve for 2010 and the dates and time when I finished them:
1. Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence (27th Jan 00:10)
~ D. H. Lawrence is kind of tedious but I would still read all of his books if I could. He simply writes well and there’s a lot someone like me can learn from a writer like him.
2. A Room With A View, E. M. Forster (30th Jan 18:24)
~ I thought me and Forster were over after A Passage To India. That books simply wasn’t how I thought it would be. A Room With A View was definitely better. It’s not a favorite but it reconciled me with Forster and made me look forward to reading Howards End.
3. Good As Gold, Joseph Heller (10th Mar 10:13)
~ The Heller I wanted to read was Catch-22 but I couldn’t find a copy. It was my friend JB of La Belle Aurore who showed me this book after I mentioned Heller. I just bought it to try and I found it really hilarious.
4. Inferno, Dante Alighieri (24th April 14:49)
~ One simply must read a few of these classic classics every now and then. They are often referred to by many works of literature, etc. and one must not be too behind. I don’t know if I got this entirely, but it is definitely worth a few more readings. Here’s the first few lines of Inferno which I particularly like:
Halfway through our trek in life
I found myself in this dark wood,
miles away from the right road.
It’s no easy thing to talk about,
this place, so dire and dismal
I’m terrified just remembering it!
Death itself can hardly be worse…
5. The Catcher In The Rye, J. D. Salinger (3rd Jun 17:18)
~ The Catcher in the Rye simply cannot be missed. The whole experience for me was like reading one very long sentence.
6. Animal Farm, George Orwell (5th Jun 19:19)
~ I am a big fan of George Orwell and his Nineteen Eighty-Four and I felt like I shouldn’t miss this other classic Animal Farm. Who can forget “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” or images of pigs walking upright?
7. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray (15th June 23:36)
~ I was thoroughly entertained by this book. This was one monumental read and I didn’t expect to finish it as fast as I did. But I like the whole tone of the narrative and the kind of insight it gives into the life of the noble and the rich (separately).
8. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo (20 Jul 17:57)
~ I loved the movie and the book, in a different way. I can’t express enough how Les Misérables affected me. This book made Hugo my favorite French author and one of my favorite authors ever.
9. The Hours, Michael Cunningham (24th Jul 18:35)
~ “All in a day” is what I think when I think about this book. What can happen in one day in the life of Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway, Laura Brown, Clarissa Vaughan and Virginia Woolf. I don’t know how I like the book but I’m glad I’ve read it. Anything current isn’t my top choice to read on any given day but I do give them a chance every now and then.
10. War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy (17th Oct –)
~ Tolstoy is Tolstoy. Anna Karenina I was supposed to love but didn’t, and although I would give it another chance with a different edition, I’m not ready to do that yet. I gave War and Peace a try instead. It is said to be “the greatest novel ever written.” It is indeed great and Tolstoy has become a favorite of mine.
11. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett (9th Dec 19:26)
~ I read children’s books every now and then and find that I really enjoy them. I like the basic and simple stories but very direct messages. Actually, I should have read this already by the time I was eight or something, but I didn’t have any access to these classic children’s books then. I’m making up for it now and I will read all of them in time!
12. The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Ford (30th Dec 1:00)
Perfect year-end read. I love the book and now am a big Ford fan. There are those lines! They make me go back and read certain passages over and over and over again. Ford went back and forth and back and forth with the story but I was still able to follow and loved how he put everything together.
There they are. Hopefully, I top this list next year. I have a great selection awaiting. 🙂