BOOKKEEPING: The Reading Status Report
My Question of the Week, as asked on Twitter this past Tuesday:
Will I get blackballed from the book-blogging community because I haven’t read The Hunger Games and sat out the release-day hoopla for Catching Fire this week? Seriously, someone tell me it’s OK. I need to know.
** Actually, I don’t need to know any more…I ordered them both on Wednesday. I still have no idea how soon I’ll read them, but at least I’ll have them.
The Weight of Silence, by Heather Gudenkauf (TLC Book Tour)
Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan (I saw the movie first)
New additions to the LibraryThing “To Read” Collection:
For me, a couple from the Wishlist –
Books added to the Wishlist:
American Nerd, by Benjamin Nugent
Old World Daughter, New World Mother, by Maria Laurino
“A week or so ago, we took a peek at Statistics, but I completely missed a great new feature. Ever wondered where your books take place? Now you can find out!! Go to your statistics page, look down the column on the left hand side, and find the heading that says Common Knowledge. Then click on the link that says Places. It will take you to a page that will show you the places that you books have taken place in.“
My Answer: A book must have information in the “places” field of its Common Knowledge section to show up in these statistics. There are books in my library that aren’t listed under the cities where they’re set, so apparently that info isn’t there yet for them. But even with that limitation, LT’s Common Knowledge feature identifies 483 places among the 641 books I currently have cataloged. That includes some completely fictional locales, like Thursday Next’s Bookworld, various places from Harry Potter’s world (anyone up for a visit to Diagon Alley?), and The Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman. (You know, there are some days I think those cliffs just might exist…)
Here are a few of the real-life places that make multiple appearances in my books:
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (6 times)
Chicago, Illinois, USA (11 times, mix of fiction and non-fiction – if it has a subtitle, it’s the latter):
- Gatsby’s Girl by Caroline Preston
- Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
- Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl’s Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me? by Jen Lancaster
- I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
- Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
- Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama
- The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
- Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult
- Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros
London, England, UK (21 novels, not including any of the Harry Potter books)
- The Whole World Over by Julia Glass
- The Post-Birthday World: A Novel by Lionel Shriver
- The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
- Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
- Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
- Black & White by Dani Shapiro
- Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
- Serendipity: A Novel by Louise Shaffer
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- Away: A Novel by Amy Bloom
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
- Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
- The Hours: A Novel by Michael Cunningham
- The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A. J. Jacobs
- The Namesake: A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri
- So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson
- Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl
- Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
- Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
- The Dive From Clausen’s Pier: A Novel by Ann Packer
- The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
Paris, France (3 novels, 6 works of non-fiction)
San Francisco, California, USA (17 times, including 7 Tales of the City)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (6 times, 3 courtesy of Margaret Atwood)
As for other “fun” statistics, my books mention 36 events, but almost 1/3 of them come from the Harry Potter books, so I personally wouldn’t count them – it seems to me that the “events” cited in this category should be real-world ones, but apparently some people disagree. There are also over 2400 characters identified in the books living in my library – no wonder it seems crowded!
I’ve seen several BTT responses that responded to this with multiple concepts of “big” books, and I think I’ll do the same. Again, I’ll define “recent” as “this summer” (June through August).
Biggest page count: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (672 pages)*
Biggest seller/most popular: again, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*
Biggest impact/impression on me: The 19th Wife
*This was a re-read after I saw the movie, and I didn’t post a review of it here, but it meets the criteria for this question regardless.
1. I feel like it’s been way too hot the last few days (but at least the Santa Anas haven’t kicked in yet).
2. Going out to dinner with Tall Paul is always fun.
3. Right now, I can hear these things: the water running in the kitchen, and someone else washing the dishes (I cooked, so he cleaned up).
4. Summer vacation is over and I’m glad the kids didn’t kill each other.
5. The last time I ate Brussels sprouts was the last time I ate Brussels sprouts.
6. I have some plans, but not too many of them, for this Labor Day weekend.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out at home, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and a movie and Sunday, I want to make the drive down to Oceanside and back without hitting too much traffic! (And I’m glad we’ll still have Monday off to relax after the trip.)