The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Am I nearly done? I started this "read all books under 200 pages in my local library" venture in November last year and progressed merrily at the beginning, accelerated in the middle, had a late gasp, and sputtered to a horrible halt when I reached the Ws. Then I realised that I still had some unread S and T books gathering dust (and library fines) and my interest waned a bit more. You can see from this graph how my week-by-week read count decayed so rapidly over the past couple of months. Terrible thing, a waning enthusiasm.

I had half a mind to give up on Ali Smith and Solzhenitsyn and Tondelli, unread. Then I came across Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic, and Wolf Haas' The Bone Man, and my keenness to read jumped right back up. I finished these two at a sitting, and then I grabbed Jáchym Topol's The Devil's Workshop. These books are so steeped in tragedy that I could not see how much worse a story could get than the treatment of indigent Japanese brides coming to the US in search of a better life, or the beaten-down citizenry of Terezin trying to preserve the horrific wartime history of their town. Well, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn has shredded my equanimity. I'm not sure still more tragedy is the way forward.


So I quickly re-read P.G. Wodehouse's Young Men in Spats. Joy.


And I grabbed long-ignored non-fiction. A book or two about the London Underground. A tome on the geology of the Himalayas. Another book on black holes. A history of Russian art and architecture. I did not read these cover to cover, but dipped into them, dipped out, dipped back. I cannot say I absorbed much, but these did provide some serious relief from the fiction marathon I've been on.


Well, here is the final set of statistics. Women vs men, translated vs English.

Total: 126
Translated: 42
Original languages: French (11), German (10), Spanish (4), Italian (4), Japanese (2), Dutch (2), Portuguese (1), Danish (1), Norwegian (1), Dari (1), Arabic (1), Russian (1), Czech (1), Chinese (1), Magyar (1).

Women authors: 43

Genre: 25
Literary: 101


Vijay said...

This is brilliant. I have been reading your posts every now and then and also following your journey to read these 200 books. Wow...this is really inspirational. I start on some book and then for soem reason cannot keep to it. I jump around and none gets completed.

Fëanor said...

Hi, thanks for the kind words. Glad you've enjoyed my sojourn among the library shelves!

sakura said...

Impressive! And it's a great way of reading around a lot of subjects.

Fëanor said...

Reading 'around' is right! Not to be repeated, though, for several years :-) I have to say that a large majority was so eminently forgettable that I have, indeed, forgotten about them.

Anonymous said...

addaboy. i new youd make it. readin, ritin, rithmedic - now youve tried your hand at all of em three even if in reverse order. least now amanda bynes darent say mean things bout you.

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