And that brings up his 50…

The language of cricket, I miss it so, or at least Test Match Special. In this instance the subject line is slightly misleading because the 50 in question is actually books. I set myself a goal at the beginning of 2009 to read at least 50 books this year. I have just completed my 50th. Probably not time left in 2009 for a century, though I do have a shelf of books queued up waiting to be read so I might as well press on. 50, however, is a good point to pause and review. The complete list, in the order that I read them, can be found at the end of this post.

What can I discern from this list of books?

  • 9 were borrowed from our public library
  • 16 have Canadian authors
  • 3 were chosen due to personal recommendations from friends
  • 9 authors have multiple books on this list
  • 1 book was being reread (a surprisingly low number, I usually reread more books than that during a year)
  • 5 were read aloud by my wife and me
  • 6 are non-fiction

In the mix there are some great reads, some light fun reads, some serious reads, and probably only one dud.

First 50 books read in 2009:

  • Chabon, Michael. Wonder Boys
  • Bloom, Harold. How to Read and Why
  • Prose, Francine. Reading Like a Writer
  • Gaiman, Neil. American Gods
  • Gaiman, Neil and Terry Prachett. Good Omens
  • Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker
  • Fforde, Jasper. The Eyre Affair
  • Moore, Christopher. A Dirty Job
  • Russo, Richard. Empire Falls
  • Vanderhaeghe, Guy. The Englishman’s Boy
  • Wright, Richard B. October
  • Prose, Francine. Goldengrove
  • Fforde, Jasper. Lost in a Good Book
  • Chabon, Michael. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. Powers
  • Austen, Jane and Seth Grahame-Smith. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • Hill, Lawrence. The Book of Negroes
  • Gessen, Keith. All the Sad Young Literary Men
  • Fforde, Jasper. The Well of Lost Plots
  • Furey, Leo. The Long Run
  • Clarke, Brock. An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England
  • Wright, Richard B. Clara Callan
  • Gallant, Mavis. A Fairly Good Time
  • Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
  • Mosley, Walter. This Year You Write Your Novel
  • Russo, Richard. Bridge of Sighs
  • Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Anne of Green Gables
  • Chabon, Michael. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
  • O’Neill, Heather. Lullabies for Little Criminals
  • Toews, Miriam. The Flying Troutmans
  • Prose, Francine. The Peaceable Kingdom
  • Robinson, Marilynne. Housekeeping
  • Fforde, Jasper. Something Rotten
  • Baker, Nicholson. The Anthologist
  • Chabon, Michael. Gentlemen of the Road
  • Chabon, Michael. A Model World and Other Stories
  • Baker, Nicholson. The Mezzanine
  • Saul, John Ralston. A Fair Country
  • Hay, Elizabeth. Late Nights on Air
  • Chabon, Michael. Maps and Legends
  • Barbery, Muriel. Gourmet Rhapsody
  • Baker, Nicholson. The Everlasting Story of Nory
  • McEwan, Ian. On Chesil Beach
  • Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Anne of Avonlea
  • Chabon, Michael. Manhood for Amateurs
  • Coupland, Douglas. Generation A
  • Barbery, Muriel. The Elegance of the Hedgehog
  • Bicknell, Jeanette. Why Music Moves Us
  • Crummey, Michael. Flesh and Blood
  • Strube, Cordelia. Lemon
Posted in books.


  1. The dud, I’m sorry to say, was Harold Bloom’s How to Read and Why which was disappointing on so many levels. Identifying which was best would be very hard. There are some books that I would recommend highly to some people if I knew their tastes, but not to others (if I knew theirs). In my LibraryThing account (see right) I have rated each of these books on a 5-star system (which is admittedly very crude). 8 of the books on this list have received a 4-star rating from me which means (idiosyncratically) that I think they stand out far above the usual fare and that I would be happy to bring them up in conversation. (N.B. Lots of the other books on this list are also excellent, or worthy of recommendation to the right person.) I would gladly read anything else by someone who can write something that rates that highly for me.

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