Mayday, Mayday!

The entire world has changed seemingly overnight. No, that’s not true. COVID-19 had been brewing and building for months and months. Festering and threatening overseas. We knew it would come our American way, and yet. Yet! Here we are. I have been laid off from my job; have been quarantined for 40 plus days; have not seen the inside of a store of any kind; have not driven a car or talked face to face with another human being besides my Kisa. For over a month, I have been separated by screens and paranoia. I couldn’t even say goodbye to one of my closest friends for fear of contamination before he stole across borders towards a new home. Words like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Hangout, and Live Stream rule my daily existence. My insanity has been kept in check by these words, walking 8-9 miles a day, writing letters, and finishing chores I always said I would get to but never did (sewing ripped clothes, making curtains, hanging art, you name it). The one activity I haven’t done much of is…read.
Nothing bothers me more than someone saying, “think of all the time you have to read!” They mean well but they just don’t know. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time reading. When I could get away with it, my nose was constantly in a book. In the dead of winter, when the summer tides of friends had gone out, I was left with my sister and a handful of kids close in age. Close, but not quite. Dead low tide was a boy one year older. A girl three years younger. A boy two years older. A boy four years younger. No one exactly shared my birth year. I found myself turning to friends within the pages of books. Lots and lots of books. Lots and lots of friends. My dad was not a fan of these relationships. He viewed fiction as leisure or worse, laziness. “Get outside! Get some fresh air!” was his constant bark from early October through May. His bark was so biting I grew up fearing fiction was a form of loafing; something to never to be caught doing in broad daylight. I remember smuggling Nancy Drew under my shirt when I went to the school bathroom; ducking under covers with a flashlight to join Bilbo on his great adventure; climbing trees with Stephen King clenched in my teeth. Hiding to hang out with a paperback became normal.
In 2006 when I started the BookLust Challenge, I thought I had slayed the old insecurities. I thought I could spend time with a book without guilt. For fourteen years I held onto this belief as a private gospel…until I got laid off and I couldn’t sit on the couch with a book. All the old feelings of leisure, loafing, laziness came flooding back. Guilt. I realized I only read when I was killing time, waiting for something else. Constructive book devouring? I don’t know. For years, I could juggle reading 5-6 books at a time and finish 10 in a month. But! That was when I was on hold with a vendor, bored in the boardroom, waiting in line at the grocery store, fighting nerves in the doctor’s office, sitting as a passenger on long car/train/plane/boat rides. Reading kept me from waiting for anything. Take all the time you need while I finish this chapter…
I have been out of work for one month, collecting unemployment equal to my take-home pay and yet I’ve only managed to finish two books. I guess I could try to tell myself I am waiting to go back to work, but that’s too abstract for my too literal mind. Mayday! Mayday, I can’t read.

I always said I will die before I officially finish the reading Challenge. Now I know it to be true.


Evolution

I started this book challenge thing in November of 2006. Since then I have read over 1,000 books, thanks to Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust series. I’ve had fun. I’ve learned a lot. But, it’s time for a change. No, I’m not quitting the challenge…just changing some things up a little. All things have a natural progression. If you were to look at my first reviews in 2006 I didn’t mention an author fact or any book trivia. In a lot of reviews I didn’t even find a favorite line to quote as proof I read the book. Those elements of the review evolved slowly over time. Recently, I found two more details that need to change and, unlike the previous changes, these come with an announcement instead of a slow introduction.

The first is simple. If Pearl says something specific  about a book or author I want to note it, so I’m starting a “Nancy said” sentence right after book trivia. If she didn’t say anything other than to list the title, oh well. I think this addition to the review is a natural one, since I have been mentioning what Nancy said about some titles. Case in point: Pearl liked Halberstam’s The Fifties and I made note of that.

The second change is very dramatic (to me in my own little world anyway). This change literally throws all my comparison stats out the window. I am moving the anniversary to a calendar year. For ten years now I have counted the books read between December 1st and November 30th as a complete year. It’s too complicated that way for reasons I can’t get into right now. Let’s just say a January 1st to December 31 cycle will work best. Let the (new) games begin!


Stop Drop and Reload

Has anyone else noticed this? My reading has gotten out of control. And when I say out of control I mean Out.Of.Control. Case in point: in 2013 I only read four books off the Challenge list. Natalie Merchant, my sister, my job and a friend all made book recommendations that I took. Four books. In 2014 I read ten books off the Challenge list. Five were all about running and five were gifts or recommendations. Ten books. In 2015 I read fifteen off Challenge list books. Fifteen books! We are only 2 1/2 months into March and already I have read nine off-Challenge-list books. This has GOT to STOP. At this rate I will never, ever finish the Challenge list. I keep spending time with books I shouldn’t. I’m pulling my hair out. You just can’t see me.

As of right now I am currently reading two books that are not on the Challenge list. Both are books that should have been Early Review books. So, here is the plan: I am going to finish up those books (In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White and Why the Grateful Dead Matter by Michael Benson) and then return to reading from the list as much as possible. I need to stop reading titles not indexed in the Lust books, drop books that have nothing to do with the Challenge and reload the ones that do. The end.


Late September Dogs

I’m posting this a day early, just to get it out of the way! Three months to go and then I’m done with this big list format. Fall is upon us (because some of us are back in school) and I’m not ready for the term to begin again. As I look at the book list I am really surprised October has only three books. I’m betting that will change! Current month of books is in bold:

  1. Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  2. In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
  3. By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman (AB)
  4. Recognitions by William Gaddis (DNF)
  5. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  6. Lady Franklin’s Revenge by Ken McGoogan
  7. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao* by Junot Diaz (AB)
  8. Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  9. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  10. Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  11. A Good Doctor’s Son by Steven Schwartz
  12. Drinking: a Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  13. Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak
  14. Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout
  15. Treasure Hunter by W. Jameson (ER)
  16. Maus II by Art Spiegelman (Jan)
  17. The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat (AB)
  18. In Xanadu by William Dalrymple
  19. The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  20. Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose
  21. Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore
  22. Greater Nowheres by David Finkelstein/Jack London
  23. Alma Mater by P.F Kluge
  24. Old Man & Me by Elaine Dundy
  25. Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  26. Good Life by Ben Bradlee
  27. Underworld by Don DeLillo
  28. Her Name Was Lola by Russell Hoban
  29. Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
  30. Fires From Heaven by Robert Jordan
  31. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce DNF
  32. Herb ‘n’ Lorna by Eric Kraft
  33. Polish Officer by Alan Furst – (AB)
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
  35. Walden by Henry David Throreau
  36. Reservations Recommended by Eric Kraft
  37. Selected Letters of Norman Mailer edited by J. Michael Lennon – (ER)
  38. Chasing Monarchs by Robert Pyle
  39. Saturday Morning Murder by Batya Gur
  40. Bebe’s By Golly Wow by Yolanda Joe
  41. Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose
  42. Broom of the System by David Wallace
  43. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
  44. Little Follies by Eric Kraft
  45. Literary Murder by Batya Gur
  46. Bob Marley, My Son by Cedella Marley Booker (ER)
  47. Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  48. Southern Mail by Antoine de Saint- Exupery
  49. Measure of All Things, the by Ken Alder (AB)
  50. Two Gardeners by Emily Wilson
  51. Royal Flash by George Fraser
  52. Binding Spell by Elizabeth Arthur
  53. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  54. ADDED: Castle in the Backyard by Betsy Draine (EB)
  55. Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  56. Where Do You Stop? by Eric Kraft
  57. Everything You Ever Wanted by Jillian Lauren (ER)
  58. Murder on a Kibbutz by Batya Gur
  59. Flash for Freedom! by George Fraser
  60. Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma
  61. Petra: lost city by Christian Auge
  62. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman
  63. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  64. Flashman at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser
  65. What a Piece of Work I Am by Eric Kraft
  66. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson
  67. Ruby by Cynthia Bond (ER)
  68. Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  69. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  70. Murder Duet by Batya Gur
  71. Flashman in the Great Game – George MacDonald Fraser
  72. At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft
  73. Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme
  74. New Physics and Cosmology by Arthur Zajonc
  75. Grifters by Jim Thompson
  76. Snow Angels by James Thompson (AB)
  77. So Many Roads: the life and Times of the Grateful Dead by David Browne (ER/AB)
  78. Short story: Drinking with the Cook by Laura Furman
  79. Short Story: Hagalund by Laura Furman
  80. Lone Pilgrim by Laurie Colwin
  81. Not so Short story: The Last of Mr. Norris by Christopher Isherwood
  82. short story: Jack Landers is My Friend by Daniel Stolar
  83. short story: Marriage Lessons by Daniel Stolar
  84. Light in August by William Faulkner
  85. Not so Short story: Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
  86. A Comedy & A Tragedy by Travis Hugh Culley (ER)
  87. Feed Zone by Biju Thomas
  88. Leaving Small’s Hotel by Eric Kraft
  89. Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser
  90. Possession by AS Byatt (DNS)
  91. In the Footsteps of Genghis Khan by John DeFrancis
  92. Faster! by James Gleick (AB)
  93. Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett
  94. ADDED: Families and Survivors by Alice Adams
  95. Inflating a Dog by Eric Kraft
  96. Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett
  97. Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser
  98. Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett
  99. SWAPPED: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving instead of Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (needed a Canadian audio)
  100. ADDED: Petty by Warren Zanes (ER)
  101. Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  102. SWAPPED: Homicide by David Simon instead of Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  103. Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (Oct)
  104. Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett (Oct)
  105. Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser (Oct)
  106. Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman (Nov)
  107. Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser (Nov)
  108. Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett (Nov)
  109. Andorra by Peter Cameron (Nov)

DNF = Did Not Finish; AB = Audio Book; ER = Early Review; DNS = Did Not Start; EB = Electronic book


Silly Rabbit Comes Early

Month five of the Challenge. I have made a decision. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like this big long list with book titles crossed off. While the list of books finished looks impressive I’m not liking the overall concept. I will stick this list thing out for this year, but come December we’re doing something different. Don’t know what yet but definitely something different. Here are all the books for the year with the books for April in bold:

  1. Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  2. In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
  3. By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman (AB)
  4. Recognitions by William Gaddis (DNF)
  5. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  6. Lady Franklin’s Revenge by Ken McGoogan
  7. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao* by Junot Diaz (AB)
  8. Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  9. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  10. Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  11. ADDED: A Good Doctor’s Son by Steven Schwartz
  12. ADDED: Drinking: a Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  13. ADDED: Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak
  14. ADDED: Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout
  15. ADDED: Treasure Hunter by W. Jameson (ER)
  16. Maus II by Art Spiegelman (Jan)
  17. ADDED: The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat (AB)
  18. ADDED: In Xanadu by William Dalrymple
  19. ADDED: The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  20. Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose
  21. Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore
  22. Greater Nowheres by David Finkelstein/Jack London
  23. ADDED: Alma Mater by P.F Kluge
  24. ADDED: Old Man & Me by Elaine Dundy
  25. ADDED: Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
  26. Good Life by Ben Bradlee
  27. Underworld by Don DeLillo
  28. Her Name Was Lola by Russell Hoban
  29. Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
  30. Fires From Heaven by Robert Jordan
  31. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce DNF
  32. Herb ‘n’ Lorna by Eric Kraft
  33. Polish Officer by Alan Furst – AB
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (Mar)
  35. ADDED: Walden by Henry David Throreau
  36. ADDED: Reservations Recommended by Eric Kraft (Mar/Feb)
  37. ADDED: Selected Letters of Norman Mailer edited by J. Michael Lennon – ER (Feb /Mar)
  38. Chasing Monarchs by Robert Pyle (Mar)
  39. ADDED: Saturday Morning Murder by Batya Gur (Mar)
  40. Bebe’s By Golly Wow by Yolanda Joe (Mar)
  41. Lives of the Muses by Francine Prose (Mar)
  42. Broom of the System (David Wallace (Mar)
  43. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (Apr)
  44. ADDED: Little Follies by Eric Kraft (Apr/Feb)
  45. ADDED: Literary Murder by Batya Gur (Apr)
  46. ADDED: Bob Marley, My Son by Cedella Marley Booker (ER)
  47. ADDED: Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Mar)
  48. ADDED: Southern Mail by Antoine de Saint- Exupery (Mar/Apr)
  49. ADDED: Measure of All Things, the by Ken Alder (Apr) AB
  50. Two Gardeners by Emily Wilson (Apr)
  51. Royal Flash by George Fraser (Apr)
  52. Fifties by David Halberstam (Apr)
  53. Binding Spell by Elizabeth Arthur (Apr)
  54. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  55. Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  56. ADDED: Where Do You Stop? by Eric Kraft (May/Feb)
  57. Murder on a Kibbutz by Batya Gur (May)
  58. Flash for Freedom! by George Fraser (May)
  59. Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma (May)
  60. Petra: lost city by Christian Auge (May)
  61. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman (May)
  62. Jordan by E. Borgia (May)
  63. Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (May)
  64. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (May)
  65. Flash at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser (May)
  66. ADDED: What a Piece of Work I Am by Eric Kraft (Jun/Feb)
  67. Castles in the Air by Judy Corbett (Jun)
  68. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson (Jun)
  69. Thirty-three Teeth by Colin Cotterill (Jun)
  70. Millstone by Margaret Drabble (Jun)
  71. Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  72. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  73. At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft (Jul/Feb)
  74. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (Jul)
  75. Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme (Jul)
  76. New Physics and Cosmology by Arthur Zajonc (Jul)
  77. Grifters by Jim Thompson (Jul)
  78. Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Jul)
  79. Snow Angels by James Thompson (Jul)
  80. Ararchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (Aug)
  81. ADDED: Leaving Small’s Hotel by Eric Kraft (Aug/Feb)
  82. Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser (Aug)
  83. Possession by AS Byatt (Aug)
  84. In the Footsteps of Ghanghis Khan by John DeFrancis (Aug)
  85. What Just Happened by James Gleick (Aug)
  86. Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (Aug)
  87. ADDED: Inflating a Dog by Eric Kraft (Sep/Feb)
  88. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (Sep)
  89. Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser (Sep)
  90. Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett (Sep)
  91. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (Sep)
  92. Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Sep)
  93. Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Sep)
  94. Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (Oct)
  95. Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Oct)
  96. Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett (Oct)
  97. Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser (Oct)
  98. Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman (Nov)
  99. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Collin Cotterill (Nov)
  100. Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser (Nov)
  101. Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett (Nov)
  102. Andorra by Peter Cameron (Nov)

DNF = Did Not Finish; AB = Audio Book; ER = Early Review


The Shortest Month

This is the second month of this strike-through technique and I’m not sure I like it. I am really bothered by the fact that any additional books get crossed off almost immediately. Sigh. I will say this, though – I like how the crossed off titles look against the full list. Impressive!

  1. Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (DNF)
  2. In a Strange City by Laura Lippman
  3. By a Spider’s Thread by Laura Lippman (AB)
  4. Recognitions by William Gaddis (DNF)
  5. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  6. Lady Franklin’s Revenge by Ken McGoogan
  7. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao* by Junot Diaz (AB)
  8. Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  9. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  10. Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  11. ADDED: A Good Doctor’s Son by Steven Schwartz
  12. ADDED: Drinking: a Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  13. ADDED: Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak
  14. ADDED: Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout
  15. ADDED: Treasure Hunter by W. Jameson (ER)
  16. Maus II by Art Spiegelman (Jan)
  17. ADDED: The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat (AB)
  18. ADDED: In Xanadu by William Dalrymple
  19. ADDED: The Assault by Harry Mulisch
  20. Wild Blue by Stephen Ambrose (Jan)
  21. Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore (Jan)
  22. Greater Nowheres by David Finkelstein/Jack London (Jan)
  23. ADDED: Alma Mater by P.F Kluge (Jan)
  24. ADDED: Old Man & Me by Elaine Dundy (Jan)
  25. ADDED: Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (Feb)
  26. Good Life by Ben Bradlee (Feb)
  27. Underworld by Don DeLillo (Feb, maybe)
  28. Her Name Was Lola by Russell Hoban (Feb)
  29. Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton (Feb)
  30. Fires From Heaven by Robert Jordan (Feb)
  31. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce (Feb)
  32. Herb ‘n Lorna by Eric Kraft (Feb)
  33. Polish Officer by Alan Furst – AB (Feb)
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (Mar)
  35. ADDED: Reservations Recommended by Eric Kraft (Mar/Feb)
  36. Chasing Monarchs by Robert Pyle (Mar)
  37. Murder on a Kibbutz by Batya Gur (Mar)
  38. Bebe’s By Golly Wow by Yolanda Joe (Mar)
  39. Lives of the Muse by Francine Prose (Mar)
  40. Broom of the System (David Wallace (Mar)
  41. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (Apr)
  42. ADDED: Little Follies by Eric Kraft (Apr/Feb)
  43. Two Gardeners by Emily Wilson (Apr)
  44. Royal Flash by George Fraser (Apr)
  45. Fifties by David Halberstam (Apr)
  46. Binding Spell by Elizabeth Arthur (Apr)
  47. Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan (Apr)
  48. Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (May)
  49. ADDED: Where Do You Stop? by Eric Kraft (May/Feb)
  50. Flash for Freedom! by George Fraser (May)
  51. Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Buruma (May)
  52. Petra: lost city by Christian Auge (May)
  53. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman (May)
  54. Jordan by E. Borgia (May)
  55. Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (May)
  56. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (May)
  57. Flash at the Charge by George MacDonald Fraser (May)
  58. ADDED: What a Piece of Work I Am by Eric Kraft (Jun/Feb)
  59. Castles in the Air by Judt Corbett (Jun)
  60. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson (Jun)
  61. Thirty-three Teeth by Colin Cotterill (Jun)
  62. Millstone by Margaret Drabble (Jun)
  63. Winter’s Heart by Robert Jordan (Jun)
  64. Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan (Jul)
  65. At Home with the Glynns by Eric Kraft (Jul/Feb)
  66. Disco for the Departed by Colin Cotterill (Jul)
  67. Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme (Jul)
  68. New Physics and Cosmology by Arthur Zajonc (Jul)
  69. Grifters by Jim Thompson (Jul)
  70. Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Jul)
  71. Snow Angels by James Thompson (Jul)
  72. Ararchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill (Aug)
  73. ADDED: Leaving Small’s Hotel by Eric Kraft (Aug/Feb)
  74. Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser (Aug)
  75. Possession by AS Byatt (Aug)
  76. In the Footsteps of Ghanghis Khan by John DeFrancis (Aug)
  77. What Just Happened by James Gleick (Aug)
  78. Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett (Aug)
  79. ADDED: Inflating a Dog by Eric Kraft (Sep/Feb)
  80. Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (Sep)
  81. Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser (Sep)
  82. Queens’ Play by Dorothy Dunnett (Sep)
  83. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (Sep)
  84. Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (Sep)
  85. Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Sep)
  86. Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman (Oct)
  87. Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Oct)
  88. Disorderly Knights by Dorothy Dunnett (Oct)
  89. Flashman and the Dragon by George MacDonald Fraser (Oct)
  90. Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman (Nov)
  91. Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Collin Cotterill (Nov)
  92. Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser (Nov)
  93. Pawn in Frankincense by Dorothy Dunnett (Nov)
  94. Andorra by Peter Cameron (Nov)

DNF = Did Not Finish; AB = Audio Book; ER = Early Review


Counted Among the Crazy

As you may or may not know and as you may or may not care, I miscounted the books left to go in my Book Lust Challenge. I had previously decided I was going to embrace the new number and move on. Obviously, I didn’t embrace and I haven’t moved on. I am still trying to figure out how I miscounted. But. But! But, in that figuring out, I think I’m beginning to get answers. Go figure.

The root of the problem lies in what was indexed. Across all three Book Lusts the editors were not consistent with what information should be included. In Book Lust any book mentioned in the introduction was not included in the index. Full titles were not listed. A lot of the poetry and short stories were missed. In all, there were over 140 mistakes in the index of Book Lust. Now, let’s look at More Book Lust. 18 titles didn’t make it into the index and most of those were either poetry or short stories. Full titles were included (unlike Book Lust). In Book Lust To Go instead of missing information there was an overabundance of information. For starters, take the titles Le Marriage and Le Divorce. These two titles are indexed twice – once under L for Le and once under M and D for Marriage and Divorce, respectively. Two titles, four entries in the index. Duh. Another issue – only in Book Lust To Go is the series title indexed along with the individual books within the series. Example: Kristen Lavransdatter is the name of the series and it is composed of The Cross, The Wife, and The Wreath. Three books, four entries in the index. Interestingly enough, Kristen Lavransdatter is also indexed in More Book Lust but only by the series title. There is no mention of The Cross, The Wife or The Wreath. Surprise! Bottom line, I don’t really know how many individual titles I have to read. Meh.

So, as you can see (clear as mud) I am trying to sort out the titles. This is going to take some time. I’ll try not to go crazy.