Last year I read War and Peace - it has 365 chapters, so fit neatly into one year at a chapter a day. It was nice having a challenge to finish such an epic book and gave me a reason to read every day.
I needed to come up with a challenge for 2013 (although it’ll probably spill into 2014). After writing down a list of books I wanted to read, I noticed that there was a string of authors with surnames starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. I started expanding the list to fit other letters. The only rule is that I can’t have read the author before.
My favourite was probably Money. It was interesting and fun to read an author who has been influential to other authors I’ve read in ways I didn’t realise. The central character, John Self, was one of the strongest and most fascinating narrators I’ve read in a while.
Labyrinths took me a while to get into. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve come across a lot of the ideas presented in other ways (e.g. science fiction movies), but some of the stories resonated. In particular, I loved The Form of the Sword, The Garden of Forking Paths and Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote. The last one in particular stuck with me, for some reason - maybe its relevance to copyright, plagiarism, etc. and the internet?
In Cold Blood was great. I went through it surprisingly fast - it was an easy read. I understand it’s probably more fiction than fact, but Perry Smith was a seriously likeable character(/person?).
Anyway, next up: The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow.