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:

1. Gabriella & Alexander, Nora Roberts (found on plane ride over, free book!)
2. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
3. How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
4. Playing With Boys, Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez
5. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende
6. Cocktails for Three, Madeleine Wickham
7. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
8. 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

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

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

Final Update, September, 2008! (in rough chronological order, because I’m disorganized)

12. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares
13. Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
14. Rococo, Adriana Trigiani
15. Sphere, Michael Crichton
16. Beloved, Toni Morrison
17. Plain Truth, Jodi Picoult
18. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
19. The Broker, John Grisham
20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling
21. Spice, Jack Turner
22. The Last Anniversary, Liane Moriarty
23. Shopoholic and Baby, Sophie Kinsella (given to me on the morning of my birthday by Jesse on his way to work. It was only a few days after we found out we were “expecting”. Sweet husband!)
24. Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
25. Skeleton Man, Tony Hillerman
26. Knocked Up, Rebecca Eckler
27. Water for Elephants, Sarah Gruen
28. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
29. The Mermaid Chair, Sue Monk Kidd
30. A Good Dog, Jon Katz
31. Size 12 is Not Fat, Meg Cabot
32. Size 14 is Not Fat Either, Meg Cabot
33. Belly Laughs, Jenny McCarthy

To be finished tomorrow, I’m tired.

34. Thirteen Moons, Charles Frazier
35. Big Boned, Meg Cabot
36. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling
37. Lightning, Dean Koontz
38. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards
39. Sunshine, Robin McKinley
40. The Other Woman, Jane Green
41. Anybody Out There?, Marion Keyes
42. Expectant Motherhood, Nicholson J. Eastman (brought to me by Heidi, very interesting, published 1949)
43. A Tale of Two Sisters, Anna Maxted
44. Good Grief, Lolly Winston
45. The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
46. The Dirty Girls Social Club, Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez (this is where I got stuck! The book took me 3+ weeks to read. NOT recommended)
47. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Alexander McCall Smith
48. Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith
49. Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Dr. Glade B. Curtis and Judith Schuler, MS
50. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Alexander McCall Smith
51. My Life in France, Julia Child
52. Tao Teh Ching (sic), Lao Tzu translated by John C.H. Wu (1961)

The Tao Te Ching is a book of 83 poems and they are not long poems, but it counts, darn it, and I read it in the Barnes and Noble coffee shop on the last day of my 52 weeks. Ha! Fin!


2 responses »

  1. You are awesome! but,,,we need reviews now —and recommendations/disrecommendations…. I could make a list of 52 books for you (probably 52), that are in my possession and have not yet been read. I have however, bonded with them and have hurt my back carrying them from house to house. Still awaiting that delicious uninterrupted time to sink into them. Perhaps I need to go to China?

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