52 Books in 52 Weeks


I’m well on my way to reading a kajillion books while here in China. I’m not working as much as I was in Japan, I’m not studying Spanish like I was in Spain, and I’m not in school trying to learn Microbiology. I think I may keep track! I’ve so far read about a book a week, and I’m thinking I may go for the 52 books in 52 weeks thing. I’ll tell you what’s holding me up. The big one, obviously, is where am I going to get these 52 books in a language I can read? There are small foreign books sections in a few bookstores, but the books are all at least the price they would be at home, usually more. It seems hugely extravagant to contemplate buying that many books. I’m hoping some kind of book exchange or used books place will manifest itself.

My other issue, and a vain one, is that I don’t always read quality literature. I read for pleasure, for fun, for a little experience of something, somebody or sometime else. This means some of the books I read last me 2 days (Cocktails for Three, by Madeleine Wickham) and are a bit embarrassing to admit having read. I almost feel like they shouldn’t count. BUT, I’m going to do it anyway and admit to you all along the way what I, in fact, read.

So, here we go, what I’ve read so far, in order:

Gabriella & Alexander, Nora Roberts (found on plane ride over, free book!)
A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
Playing With Boys, Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez
Eva Luna, Isabel Allende
Cocktails for Three, Madeleine Wickham
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan

And this puts me right on track. I’m a bit ahead of schedule, actually, by a few days. I’ve just started The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood; if I’m remembering correctly, it’s Heidi’s favorite book. Is this right, Heidi? It’s an immediately gripping book and makes me wish I’d brought the copy of The Blind Assassin that I’d tried a few times to get into at home but failed.

I’ll keep you posted when I’ve got a few more books to add on.

List Update, November 28th, 2007

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler

And now it’s on to the Traveling Pants book!


3 responses »

  1. I just had to tell you I just did a essay on Isabel Allende, Eva Luna stories. I wrote about the character, Casilda in the short story “The Judges Wife”. Also, this short story is in my literature book. So you are reading some lit in that list!

    I am starting to read more of Isabel’s stuff, most all of it is magical realism and most main characters are strong women.

    Let me know what you think about Eva Luna.

  2. Well, we ship some items Internationally:-) Do not recall any to China, although, Japan is not uncommon. USPS use to have a thing called a K Bag (or something like that) which made book shipping more affordable. Not sure what the current method is, but there must be something. Maybe we could ship you a couple of dozen books at a time!

  3. I like the 52 books in 52 weeks idea. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately, too. We’ll have to share some ideas. I love Margaret Atwood but haven’t read her in awhile. I was perusing online and found a great website for the Shanghai Library…in English. It sounds huge and says it welcomes people from Shanghai and abroad to check it out. Have you?

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