Now, it may not seem like it, but I do occasionally learn from my mistakes. I am not going to attempt another 11 things in 101 days list, however, if I have learned anything in life it is that the proper response to failure is lowering your standards...or seppuku, and since I'm kinda short on swords, we will be going with lower standards.
Goal #5 from last year's challenge was to read 10 books, and like many of the other goals, I was not even close. I was ego-protecting enough not to record how many books I actually read over the 101 days but I vaguely remember the number to be 2.5. That is pathetic. So this year, I'm going to focus exclusively on that goal, and to keep the title of this activity consistent i will be bumping my book number up by 1. I'm thinking of this as a self-imposed version of those lists they used to give you over summer vacation in school, except this time I am not going to ignore the list until the week before class starts and spend the week before the deadline frantically searching libraries and bookstores and reading all night to be able to BS my way through the inevitable quiz.
So without further ado, I present you The 2010 She Laughs too Easily & Cries too Hard... 11 Books in 101 Days Summer Reading List:
- Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson: Technically, I started this book yesterday and tomorrow is the official start date, but my power was out for a lot of last night so there was not nearly as much novel devouring as one would expect. Also, seriously, you all need to read Ms. Jackson's books. This is the literary highlight of my summer. I will try not to finish it before midnight so it makes at least some of the actual window.
- Diary by Chuck Palahniuk: I know so many folks who are gaga over Chuck Palahniuk that I couldn't help but pick this up when I saw it in the Friends of the Library book sale for 50 cents. The Gentleman informed me that I had, in his opinion, picked the worst Palaniuk book, but you know what? It's what they had and I want to know what the big deal about this guy is.
- Fragile Beasts by Tawni O'Dell: O'Dell has a gift for broaching the grittiest of issues and small towns without feeling the need to reach for her rose-colored glasses. Her books are not exactly the feel good kind of summer read you might take to the beach, but I loved the first three and am looking forward to this addition.
- The Godfather of Kathmandu by John Burdett: Burdett gives us the fourth in the Bangkok series about Thai detective, Sonchai Jitpleecheep. I originally started reading the first installment, Bangkok 8 because there was nothing that really struck my fancy in the store that day and it was delightfully neon pink and yellow. I judged a book by its cover and discovered a fantastically surreal series full or spirits, crime, corruption, sex and mystery.
- South of Broad by Pat Conroy: If you need me to explain to you why Pat Conroy is worth reading then you need to hang your head, go to the library and get yourself a copy of the novel Prince of Tides (no film cheating!).
-Cleaving by Julie Powell: I picked up Powell's first memoir, Julie and Julia (yes, the one that became the Amy Adams/Meryl Streep film), because I had seen it on the bargain shelf at Barnes & Noble so many times that I just couldn't fathom not buying it. I ended up really enjoying it and look forward to seeing if Cleaving is another Julie and Julia or if she gives it a fresh treatment.
- This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry
- Hummingbirds by Joshua Gaylord
I have to admit, I don't really remember a whole lot about these two, they were on my Amazon Wishlist which means at some point I thought they were cool enough to read and they are available at my local branch of the biblioteca. From what I remember, the former is about a troubled family with an autistic son and the latter is about the goings on at an all-girls prep school. I'll let you know how they turn out.
- First Family by David Baldacci: Baldacci puts out a book just about ever 6 months, if not more frequently, but the only ones that ever caught my attention were the King/Maxwell series. This is the fourth in that series. I let Johnny borrow it when I first picked it up and he has assured me that I will enjoy.
-Iodine by Haven Kimmel: I have owned this one for the better part of 2 years and even though I love Kimmel's honest style in The Used World and A Girl Named Zippy, I have never actually read it. This must change.
- This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin: I had to throw something psychological and think-y (yes, I am aware of the irony of the "word" think-y) on this list, lest my brain muscles (not a thing) become soft and lazy. Plus I really do mean to read this book, it combines the discipline I spent 6 years studying with the media form that is pretty much omnipresent in my life. it's just never happened. So now I shall make it happen.
So that's the list. The deadline is September 25, 2010, 101 days from tomorrow. I'll throw up a tally in the sidebar so you can
...now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hide all of my traditional summer Wendy Holden books. That jazz is the literary equivalent of cotton candy.