When I was growing up, I read voraciously. I'm not talking like, book-a-week reading. A day I didn't read a book, start-to-finish, was a very strange day. I often read two. My teachers gave me dirty looks for bringing 1,000-page Stephen King novels to class in fifth grade, but it was mostly because they thought the covers would scare the other kids.
I think all of this petered out sometime around my junior year in high school, in which the great excursion to India happened - lots of stuff to do, so I read far less. When I got home, the internet was there. I was still reading, mind, but I was reading a lot on the internet. Still, I'd put down a book a week most weeks.
It's when I got into college that my book-reading truly died. Since summer of 2004 (when I started taking classes), I think I read, on average, perhaps a book every three months. I'm not counting stuff I read for classes or jobs (physics isn't a very literature-heavy degree, though). Even as it was happening, I regretted the slow death of my reading habit, and promised myself I'd get back into it once I wasn't trying to go to school, teach, have another job, and possibly a social life.
This brings me to today, a scant thirteen days until 2009. I've decided I want to tackle a reading goal this year - one fiction and one non-fiction book per week, for a total of 104 books in 2009. I have a few books already on my reading lists. For example, rustycoon
loaned me a copy of James P. Hogan's The Two Moons
, containing both Inherit the Earth
and The Gentle Giants of Ganymede
- I've read the first, and need to read the second. Also, my copy of Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver
will finally get read. (I'm starting that one now-ish though. If you have to ask me why, you haven't tried reading it yourself.)
Because I want to remain sane, I'm going to place a few restrictions on each category. Novels nearing the 1,000 page mark may be considered two novels, as may novels which persistently draw comparison to stuff by authors with a penchant for discursive or excessively layered style like Umberto Eco or Thomas Pynchon. (Actually, I may try to see if I can get through Foucault's Pendulum
at some point.) Non-fiction works that get too much past 500 pages might likewise be given an extra week. I mean, there's no point to reading stuff I don't give the time of day.
Anyway, all of that is a long-winded way of asking: what should I read? Pick a handful of fiction and non-fiction books you believe I'd enjoy, and leave them in the comments.