Reading list, 2003

I have this thing about lists. I like to list the things I have done, such as movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read, and places I’ve visited. I think I have a fear of losing my memory, and in fact, I do tend to forget things very easily. My lists bring me comfort as a sort of defence against memory loss, but also as a way of framing periods of time in terms of culture and activities.

Unfortunately, I’m not very disciplined in my list keeping, which is just as well, as all that focusing on the past is not very Zen-like, is it? One list I have kept up is my list of books read last year (2003). I plan to keep this list going into 2004 and onward. I’m happy to report that I did manage to read quite a few books this year, considering all the other distractions I have to contend with.

Without the list, if you had asked me what books I read last year I might have remembered three or four of them. They’re all still in there in my memory, but I have no sense of when I read most of them. Looking at the list now, I’m quite surprised at some, which I thought I had read two or more years ago.

As such, here is blork’s “What I read in 2003” list:

  • The Adventuristby Robert Young Pelton
  • The Red Badge of Courageby Stephen Crane
  • Port Tropiqueby Barry Gifford
  • Ghost Worldby Dan Clowes
  • 9/11by Noam Chomski
  • Moth Smokeby Mohsin Hamid
  • In Between The Sheetsby Ian McEwan
  • Elegy for Kosovoby Ismail Kadare
  • The Tortilla Curtainby T.C. Boyle
  • The Sun Also Risesby Ernest Hemingway
  • No Great Mischiefby Alistair McLeod
  • Down the Coaltown Roadby Sheldon Currie
  • A Friend of the Earthby T.C. Boyle
  • Life of Piby Yann Martel
  • The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnantby Michel Tremblay
  • The Art of Travelby Alain de Botton
  • Chaos in Cancunby Susan Murray
  • To Hell in a Halifaxby Herbert Krentz
  • Atonementby Ian McEwan
  • Paris in the Fiftiesby Stanley Karnow
  • Aiding and Abettingby Muriel Spark
  • A Cargo of Orchidsby Susan Musgrave
  • After The Plagueby T.C. Boyle
  • The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester

4 thoughts on “Reading list, 2003

  1. Such lists are always interesting to go back to :)

    I have almost always kept reading lists, except for a strange gap of a few years in my life where I read nearly naught. One of my regrets is having lost the reading lists I was keeping since I was 11 or 12.

  2. Yeah, they were all good in their own way. I only put down two books last year. The first was Richler’s “The Acrobats,” which I might not have put down if I had been reading it during a less hectic time. The other is one I will blog about soon. (Actually I blogged about it months ago, but it’s still in “draft” format.)

    Steph, I wish I had done that!

  3. Have you ever considered doing a book exchange type thing with friends? I would have been thrilled to read all the books on your list! It would have been great to do a swap with friends instead of having all my books collect dust on my shelves when I’m done reading them (actually, most went in a garage sale before I moved here – tragic).

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