100 books in 2009. FAIL.

I signed up for the 100 books in 2009 challenge and failed miserably, much to my shock and horror. Given my lifetime habit of reading at least two books a week, the Challenge seemed like a snap. But, in the heel of the hunt, as my old Irish Mammy used to say, I managed to read a mere 57. I don’t think I have had such a fallow reading year since the first twelve months after #1 Son was born, when the double-whammy of no longer commuting to work by train and falling into bed every night too exhausted to make it through more than a page at at time, severely cut into my reading.

But all is not lost. I have made a New Year’s Resolution—possibly the most difficult resolution I have ever made—to whit: I solemnly pledge that I will not buy another book until I have finished all the unread books I have amassed.  So there.

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I shall start with these, which have been gathering dust by the fireplace, waiting for me to get to them, and briefly comment as I go. I will place one to four five ☆ next to the title when I have read it to indicate how much I enjoyed it. A ★ will indicate not worth reading. Hopefully there will be very few of the latter.

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  1. The Celtic Ring by Bjorn Larsson ☆ ☆
  2. The Double Bind by Chris Bojalian
  3. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  4. The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  5. The Pope’s Children by David McWilliams
  6. Netherlands by Joseph O’Neill ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  7. A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
  8. Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
  9. Red Dog, Red Dog by Patrick Lane ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  10. A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  11. The Time in Between by David Bergen
  12. Sundays & Silence by Gina B. Nahai
  13. Cruising for Cowards by Liza & Andy Copeland
  14. A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre
  15. And then there are these, towering by the bed …

  16. South Dublin – How to get by on, like, 10,000 Euros a day by Ross O’Carroll-Kelly
  17. Extraordinary Canadians: Emily Carr by Lewis DeSoto
  18. Extraordinary Canadians: Nellie McClung by Charlotte Gray
  19. I Don’t Believe in Atheists by Chris Hedges
  20. The Photograph by Penelope Lively
  21. Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin
  22. My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir by Rona Maynard ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  23. A Scientific Romance by Ronald Wright
  24. Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
  25. Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald
  26. It’s Your Boat, Too by Suzanne Giesemann
  27. The Road Home by Rose Tremain
  28. The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews
  29. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  30. Doors Open by Ian Rankin
  31. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
  32. The Going Rate: A Matt Minogue Mystery by John Brady
  33. Wow. Guess I don’t have to buy any books for the first few months of the challenge …

    Some additions to the list, supplied as loaners by my well-read Sister-in-Law, who passes on her wonderful reading finds to me:

  34. Afterimage by Helen Humphreys ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  35. The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys
  36. Everything in This Country Must by Colum McCann
  37. Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell (LOVED his Cloud Atlas!)
  38. Fault Lines by Anne Rivers Siddons ☆ ☆
  39. A children’s book, recommended to me by #1 Son:

  40. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  41. Two books picked up at the grocery store (way to make shopping bearable!):

  42. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  43. Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibbs
  44. Just arrived from my trusty online bookstore:

  45. Stet by Diana Athill ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  46. Instead of a Letter by Diana Athill
  47. Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  48. On order from same bookstore and eagerly awaited (so much for not buying any books for the first few months!):

  49. The Female Brain by Louann Brizenden
  50. I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  51. The Reluctant Mr Darwin by David Quammen ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  52. The Lost Chord by Ian Thomas
  53. Philip and Elizabeth by Gyles Brandreth ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  54. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  55. Picked up while buying a birthday gift for somebody else:

  56. Priest by Ken Bruen ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  57. Yet more books …

  58. The Broken Parachute Man by Robert B. Bolin ☆ ☆ ☆
  59. Up Island by Anne Rivers Siddons ☆ ☆ ☆
  60. The Ladies’ Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  61. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  62. The Side-Yard Superhero by Rick D. Niece ☆ ☆ ☆
  63. The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  64. Perfecting by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
  65. The Black Donnellys by Nate Hendley
  66. Jesus Swept by James Alexander Protzman ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  67. Confessions of a Former Child by Daniel J. Tomasulo ☆ ☆ ☆
  68. Coraline by Neil Gaiman ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  69. The People of Sparks (the second Book of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  70. Sanctuary by Ken Bruen ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  71. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  72. Souvenir of Canada 2 by Douglas Coupland ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  73. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult ☆ ☆ ☆
  74. The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  75. Wildtrack by Bernard Cornwell
  76. The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way by Bill Bryson
  77. A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols
  78. Passage by Connie Willis ☆ ☆ ☆
  79. Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  80. The Pact by Jodi Picoult ☆ ☆ ☆
  81. Exit Lines by Joan Barfoot
  82. Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
  83. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau (the Third Book of Ember)☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  84. Dial M for Merde by Stephen Clarke ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  85. Strange Fatality by James E. Elliott ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  86. The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  87. The Eye of the Leopard by Henning Mankell ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  88. Labour Day by Joyce Maynard ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  89. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  90. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  91. The City & The City by China Mieville ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  92. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  93. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris ☆ ☆ ☆
  94. Generation A by Douglas Coupland
  95. Love and Summer by William Trevor ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  96. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  97. Cross by Ken Bruen ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  98. Sidetracked by Henning Mankell ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  99. Before I Die by Jenny Downham
  100. The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell
  101. Losing Confidence by Elizabeth May ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  102. One Step Behind by Henning Mankell
  103. Firewall by Henning Mankell
  104. The White Lioness by Henning Mankell
  105. The Complaints by Ian Rankin
  106. Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  107. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
  108. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  109. Yay! One hundred! Now all I have to do is read them and at this point, mid-October, I am falling sadly behind. Blerch. As they say in the Twitterverse #100bookchallengeFAIL!

  110. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  111. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  112. Beyond Belfast: A 560-Mile Walk Across Northern Ireland on Sore Feet by Will Ferguson
  113. Star Bright by Andrew M. Greeley
  114. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
  115. Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance ed. by Robert Proctor & Londa Schiebinger
  116. The Way of the Ship by Derek Lundy
  117. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  118. The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel
  119. The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
  120. Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay ☆ ☆ ☆
  121. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  122. Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
  123. A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel

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