I realize many more people than me are able to somehow read an ungodly amount of books throughout the year (I have some friends who claim the number to be in the 3 or 4 hundreds), but I’ve always been a notoriously and deliberately slow reader, particularly with books I enjoy. I dole them out to myself as if they were slices of thick cheesecake; not too much at one time.
For example, I’m still in the process of re-reading Anna Karenina, now going on 14 months. Add in a full time job with terrible deadlines for half the year, a family, being in the process of writing a novel, a monthly non-fiction column for The Prague Revue, the stray short story solicited from a lit journal every now and again, as well as the sporadic book review for the likes of The Lit Pub, and reading hundreds upon hundreds of novels per year just ain’t gonna happen for me.
That being said, I was still able to somehow enlighten myself with 25 books in 2013. Here they are in some sort of order (I think most recently finished to first of the year). I’ve rated them and mostly given reviews on Goodreads, if you’re interested.
- Before I Die… – Candy Chang
- The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolaño, translated by Natasha Wimmer (in progress)
- Breaking Into the Backcountry – Steve Edwards (Steve is on Twitter)
- Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
- The Merrill Diaries – Susan Tepper (Susan is on Twitter)
- The Boys on the Bus – Timothy Crouse
- Fat Man in a Middle Seat – Jack Germond
- Hinterland – Caroline Brothers (Caroline is on Twitter)
- The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts – Erin O’Brien (Erin is on Twitter)
- The Insufferable Gaucho – Roberto Bolaño, translated by Chris Andrews
- Tenth of December – George Saunders
- Thank You For Your Sperm – Marcus Speh (Marcus is on Twitter)
- The Santa Fe Literary Review – compilation edited by Meg Tuite (Meg is on Twitter)
- Dreams of My Russian Summers – Andreï Makine, translated by Geoffrey Strachan
- Once Upon the River Love – Andreï Makine, translated by Geoffrey Strachan
- Ash Cinema – Edward Rathke (Eddy is on Twitter)
- Shenanigans – Joseph Owens (Joe is on Twitter)
- Bones Buried in the Dirt – David Atkinson
- The Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman
- Flash Fiction Fridays – edited by Robert Vaughan (Robert is on Twitter)
- Microtones – Robert Vaughan
- Nostalgia – Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Julian Semilian (in progress)
- Saint Genet – Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Bernard Frechtman
- The Hunger Angel – Herta Müller, translated by Philip Boehm
- Cataclysm Baby – Matt Bell (Matt is on Twitter)
- About two dozen short/flash pieces on Fictionaut from solid writers such as Steven Gowin, Matt Robinson, Sam Rasnake, Chris Okum, James Claffey, and many others.