Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Nerd Extreme Sports

Astoudingly, even to myself, I managed to read 50 books in 2008. That's an average of 4 books a month, a rather brisk clip.

Fortunately I am one of those guys that has three or four books going at once; I ended 2008 still reading Ha Jin's Under the Red Flag, David J. Schow's Gun Work, Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren, Brett Easton Ellis' Lunar Park (on audio book), and started both Cesar Millan's A Member of the Family and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight since Christmas.

Still, being conscious of having to keep reading, to read interesting books, to not re-read books, and so on, convinced me that I have already conquered this nerd summit and will look for another challenge in 2009. In the past, for nerd extreme sports, I have done two 24 Hour Comic Book challenges, one 24 Hour Zine challenge, and participated in marathon gaming sessions at Gen Con and other places.

People have asked what I will be doing as far as reading goes, and I have answered "Read Smarter." I have been away from literature for a while, after minoring in Humanities in college, and I think I need to get back to reading some good, solid stuff again. It doesn't hurt that my wife has challenged herself to read all of the Pullitzer Prize novels, which has piqued my interest.

For the record, my top five favorite reads of 2008 were:

1. Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany
2. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
3. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
4. The Wandering Ghost by Martin Limon
5. The Wheat Field by Steve Thayer

Though if I thought about it tomorrow I might pick three different ones; the top two will stay the same, methinks, but I also considered Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road, George Axelrod's Blackmailer, Naomi Novik's His Majesty's Dragon, Robert B. Parker's Resolution and Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care.

It was the year I knuckled down and finally read Harry Potter, the year I re-discovered Philip K. Dick and discovered Samuel R. Delany, a year of Hard Case Crime and Ace Western Doubles and morose Scandinavian mysteries.

This post is cross-posted from my "50N2008" blog.


Gary Lumpp said...

Maybe you should get a new job where you could read more, like President:

Stephanie said...

Congratulations, that's a lot of books! I'm not sure how many I read in 2008, but am currently reading Chabon's "Final Solution," Adam Hochschild's "Bury the Chains" and a volume of James Agee's essays and film criticism. My family discovered my wish list for Christmas this year, so I've got LOTS of books piling up on my nightstand now and am not allowed to buy any more books for quite some time.

John Oak Dalton said...

Steph, I also read and enjoyed "Final Solution" (though not as much as "YPU" and "Gentlemen of the Road") and am a fan of Agee from the waybacks. Good choices!