2010 To Be Finished List

January 2, 2010 @ 10:48 am | Filed under:

The trouble with being a contrarian is that the second you make a statement like ‘have realized making TBR lists brings out the contrarian in me & spells doom for books on the list, therefore no more TBR lists shall I make,’ the contrarian rears up and says Who are YOU to tell ME not to make lists??? I’m making a list right this second and you can’t stop me. Hahaha. Bullet point! Bullet point! Bullet point!

Which is another way of saying: I looked at my shelf and realized there were a whole bunch more books I started last year, read and enjoyed several chapters, and set aside temporarily only because there were so many other books clamoring for attention. So here is a list of books I began in 2009 and mean to finish, possibly quite soon, certainly someday.

Edited to add: I’m going to cross off books as I read them. Because the only thing more fun than making lists is crossing off things on lists.

Great Books by David Denby
Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding by Scott Wiedensaul
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli (goes to top of pile because it’s borrowed) liked it!
The Body of This by Andrew McNabb
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (and sequel)
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (and sequel)
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow
Hard Times by Charles Dickens (have been reading this slowly on the iPod, will finish eventually I am sure)

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13 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Ellie says:

    For some reason, I find lists of “in-the-middle-of” books to be the most interesting type of booklists? I don’t know why? I do know that I am perhaps a bit touched, so there’s that!

    I like all the lists, though, never-mind what the nagging, interior voice says: do keep posting them, they are fun to read.

  2. Mary-LUE says:

    Oh, I did a TBR list a few months ago. Still haven’t read those books. I Capture the Castle was on that list.

    My Started but Didn’t Finish List includes:

    The Pillars of the Earth
    Three Bags Full
    Surprised by Hope
    Sylvia’s Lovers

    I AM making a concerted effort to make more time for reading and to finish books–unless I don’t like them.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Jessica says:

    I Capture the Castle is such a lovely read, right up your alley, that you should move it to the top of this list (so that you can quickly put it on the “read” list). I adore that book, one of those that is on my “permanent bookshelf” – meaning it is unpacked with every move, no matter how minor, and displayed. Other titles on permanent bookshelf: Good Night, Mr. Tom; Pride & Prejudice; Swallows and Amazons; Whale Talk…

  4. Melissa Wiley says:

    Ellie, I like people’s “what I’m reading” lists too. And often I find I’d rather write about a book when I’m in the middle of it than after I’m done.

    Hey, are you still having that caching problem here? Thanks for the heads-up on that, btw. I have to figure out if the thing that was making it happen before is happening again.

    Jessica, Whale Talk? I don’t know that one…and I love all those others, which tells me Whale Talk is something I should look into.

    Mary-LUE, I had Pillars of the Earth from the library last year but didn’t get to it in time, and there were holds on it so I couldn’t renew. A pal of mine really loved it.

  5. Sara says:

    I started a new bookmark folder the other day—for your booklists. TBR, R, or otherwise! All the best books I read this year came from you—what would I do without you?

  6. Melissa Wiley says:

    Awww, Sara! Thank you!

  7. Ellie says:

    I … am not sure! *laughs* See, I have to be checking in regularly? ‘Cause I don’t subscribe (I like clicking around), so I only notice if if I was here, there was nothing new, and then I come back and there is a post with a time-stamp showing it was actually posted when I was here last. If you follow me. It’s definitely happened a few times over the past month. I would say, though, that they ‘show up’ within 12-18 hours. Sometimes, a web site won’t ‘show’ new content to a given computer until you’ve refreshed the page? But that doesn’t seem to do the trick here. I wouldn’t say it’s huge problem.

    You know, if I can manage to make myself write something Non-Serious, I will do up a list of all of the (un)read, not currently reading books sitting on my desk.

  8. Lickona says:

    Well, thanks for reading, and glad you liked it. Someday when you’re trapped in a nightmare world of boredom, I will add to your suffering by yammering on about all the things that delighted me on my second read-through.

  9. Lisa says:

    “I Capture the Castle” surprised me–I loved it! “Animal, Vegetable …” surprised me too–by how preachy it got. Still, I finished it and for the most part enjoyed it. I gave up on Al Capone……

  10. Melissa Wiley says:

    Lisa, you and I have such similar tastes, now I’m even more eager to finish those three to compare reactions.

    Matthew, I look forward to chatting about Asterios. About a third of the way through it I launched a rant to Scott re “enough speechifying about art already, just give me some dang story” but by the halfway point I had retracted. There was story there aplenty. And amazingly complex characters—not easy to do in that medium. Dickens can spend a chapter sketching a personality but Mazzucchelli pulls it off with a few brushstrokes and a couple of word balloons. Nice.

    (spoiler space)


    I loved seeing A’s slow, subtle transformation. His reaction to Stiffly’s treehouse sketch: wowed me. The understatedness of it, and what a huge leap he’d taken.

    (more spoiler space)

    The final event, that very last thing? Hated that. I felt cheated, messed with. I get what he was doing there, but phhhthfth, says I. But I think it’s a guy thing and therefore forgiveable. 😉

  11. Lickona says:

    Oh, so glad to hear it. I haven’t doped all of it out yet, but I kinda suspect that every single theory about art that gets spun out in the beginning eventually plays into the actual events of the story. It’s part of why I admire it.

    Moment after moment wowed me. Divesting himself of the few items he’d saved from his apartment, but saving the Swiss Army knife. “Why do you let him talk to me that way?” Even the burning of the videotapes at the outset (but only on my second read-through.)

    The ending positively hurt me. But there was peace, and there was hope (in the form of the boy’s future) – “Make a wish!”

  12. Angela says:

    Al Capone Does My Shirts is great. I want to read the sequel but haven’t had a chance yet.

    A good portion of the books I shared with my fourth graders last year came from your reads, like another commenter. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this year!

  13. Julia says:

    Can I put a plug in for The Elegance of a Hedgehog? I absolutely loved that book. I have never re-read an adult book, but I will re-read this one. There was just too much to take in on the first read.