The reading check-in

I hit 50 titles over at The 50 Book Pledge, just in time for my mid-year check in. So far, the stats are looking thus:

Middle Grade
Good Night, Maman, by Norma Fox Mazer
Love that Dog, By Sharon Creech
Hate That Cat, by Sharon Creech
End of the Line, by Sharon E. McKay
Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
Count Me In, by Sara Leach
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
Better Nate than Ever, by Tim Federle
I’ll Be Home Soon, by Luanne Armstrong
Tinfoil Sky, by Cyndi Sand-Eveland
One Year in Coal Harbor, by Polly Horvath
Mimi Powers and the I-Don’t-Know-What, by Victoria Miles
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein
Son, by Lois Lowry
Violet Mackerel’s Remarkable Recovery, by Anna Brandord

Young Adult
Boy 21, by Matthew Quick
Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card
Year of Mistaken Discoveries, by Eileen Cook
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, by Evan Roskos
The Diviners, by Libba Bray
Pirate Cinema, by Cory Doctorow
Homeland, by Cory Doctorow
Take Me There, by Carolee Dean

An Old-Fashioned Girl, by Louisa May Alcott
Gritli’s Children, by Johanna Spyri

The Woefield Poultry Collective, by Susan Juby
Half-Blood Blues, by Esi Edugyan
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
The Disappeared, by Kim Echlin
Irma Both, by Miriam Toews
All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
The Shadow Queen, by Sandra Gulland
Blindness, by José Saramago
When We Were Orphans, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Open Secret, by Deryn Collier
And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
Story House, by Timothy Taylor
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Good Luck of Right Now, by Matthew Quick
The Wind is Not a River, by Brian Payton
The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton

War, by Sebastian Junger
What Now?, by Ann Patchett
Manage Your Day-to-Day, ed. by Jocelyn K. Glei
Still Writing, by Dani Shapiro
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
The Sports Gene, by David Epstein
Why We Write, ed. by Meredith Maran

I’ve always loved the essay called “A Rake at Reading” in The Merry Heart, by Robertson Davies. He says:

So — I confess I have been a rake at reading. I have read those things which I ought not to have read, and I have not read those things which I ought to have read, and there is no health in me — if by health you mean an inclusive and coherent knowledge of any body of great literature. I can only protest, like all rakes in their shameful senescence, that I have had a good time.


Of the books on this list, 12 were passed along to me (with insistence) by my daughter and two by my son. Six were given by friends, two were written by friends, and another two were recommended by friends, including my fiction pick of the year thus far: The Goldfinch. (Thank you, Rachel, for that suggestion.)

My non-fiction pick so far is Still Writing, a lovely collection of meditations. If you’re a writer, I highly recommend it.

Onwards to the second half of the reading year!

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