Sunday, December 02, 2007


My second post to this blog (a little over two years ago) was about how I had finally achieved my reading goal of 36 books in a year. It had taken me five years to reach that goal, having set it in 2001. At the time, I suggested I would easily reach 40 books read on the year, having more than a month-and-a-half left in the year in which to read. Well, I didn't. I only made it to 38 books and so set a new goal of 40 books at the start of 2006. I only made it to 38 books again. By finishing Remainder by Tom McCarthy a short while ago, I have now read 40 books this year (16 of them since Aug. 27).

Remainder is about a man who had an accident and remembers little about his life. He was hit by something that fell from the sky, was in a coma for a long time, and has had to relearn how to do simple activities such as eating a carrot. He receives a settlement of 8 1/2 million pounds and is not sure what to do with the money, until he sees a crack in someone's bathroom and it sets off a vision of a place where his movements were real. He employs a man (Naz) to help him recreate that vision, that space, those feelings. He buys a building and modifies it, hires people to reenact the events of his vision. Pretty soon, he is reenacting others events that happen to him and even events that he doesn't even witness. He starts falling into trances and all of the planning has an affect on Naz as well. By the end, they take decide to transplant a reenactment to real life. The book is disturbing and odd and wonderfully human as well. It describes things in minute detail and yet is never boring. While reading it yesterday, I felt like I was a visitor in my own house. Something very different.

So, I've finished 40 books with four weeks left to go in the year. I have 4 books from the library still to be read. Will I be able to read one a week? I'm gonna try.

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