The Sunday Salon: I Did It! 100 books!!!

The Sunday

Happy Sunday, bloggers and bloggees!

I reached a milestone this week: read my 100th book for 2008! I reached my reading goal with almost 4 weeks to spare. The rest is just frosting on the cake.

I thought I'd do a little 2008 wrap-up today. It's been a great reading year: I've discovered new (to me) authors; read books from countries I hadn't "visited" before; read a couple of classic tomes that I never thought I'd read (War and Peace was a major accomplishment!).

Below is a list of books I read and rated either 4, 4.5 or 5 stars out of 5. All of these are highly recommended. I've linked to my reviews for the ones I have. The asterisk * indicates a new-to-me author; a plus sign + indicates a country new to me in literature.

5 stars:
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy*
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie* +
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • The Girls by Lori Lansens*
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville* +
4.5 stars:
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy*
  • Year of Wonders: a Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks*
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (graphic novel)*
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro*
  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell*
  • When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka*
  • Sorry by Gail Jones*
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer*
4 stars:
  • Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Kraybill, Nolt and Weaver-Zercher
  • An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • At Mrs. Lippincote's by Elizabeth Taylor*
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson (graphic memoir)*
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • Come to Me by Amy Bloom (short stories)
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
  • Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles*
  • Disgrace by JM Coetzee*
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn*
  • Fifth Business by Robertson Davies*
  • Gardens of Water by Alan Drew* +
  • Gentleman Jim by Raymond Briggs (graphic novel)
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier*
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • In the Wake by Per Petterson
  • Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan*
  • Light on Snow by Anita Shreve*
  • March by Geraldine Brooks
  • Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively*
  • Mosquito by Roma Tearne* +
  • Mudbound by Hillary Jordan*
  • Music and Silence by Rose Tremain*
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout*
  • Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle*
  • Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi +
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi*+
  • Restoration by Rose Tremain*
  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff*
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (Group Read)
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan*
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery*
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers*
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss*
  • The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville
  • The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan (graphic novel)
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean*
  • The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (Group read)
  • The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
  • The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney*
  • The Translator by Daoud Hari*+
  • The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton*
  • The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson*
  • Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
  • Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo*
  • Unless by Carol Shields
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (with caveat - difficult emotional read)*
  • Wild Life by Molly Gloss
And the clunkers (aka The Poo Pile - courtesy of Irish) - some I slogged through, some I quit on - generally earned 2 or fewer stars. I save the 1/2 star for the worst of the poo - sort of like tipping your bad waitress a penny.
And the number one clunker of 2008, earning the rarely presented One Half Star award:
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah* -- I found this one impossible to finish.

I'll be doing a book giveaway in a couple of weeks - Matrimony by Joshua Henkin (signed by the author, no less!). Matrimony was named one of the New York Times 2007 Notable Books. Details coming soon!


Literary Feline said...

Wow! Congratulations! I definitely won't be making it to 100 this year. I think I've only managed that once in the last 10 years.

Anni said...


Kerrie said...

Well done. I've read 103 and may make 110 by the end of the year unless life interferes.
Have you seen the mem about new-to-me-authors? Have a look at my post at

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

Congratulations! I am not going to make 100 this year but I still signed up for the 100+ challenge next year. It gives me something to hope for.

BTW..the comedian you saw on my blog was named Louis CK.
Happy Sunday!

Serena said...

Congrats on making 100 books! What a great feat!

Wendy said...

Woo hoo, Terri!!!! And you even read War and Peace in that mix :) Your 5 and 4.5 star books agree with some of mine ....

darbyscloset said...

That is wonderful that you completed 100 books....could you do that because you are retired? Ha Ha!!!! Totally just kidding!!!!
Loved your star ranking, many I agreed on and many I ordered......ugh, my wallet.....oh yes I'm supporting the industry this season and for me it's not just a season it's all year!!!
Thanks for sharing
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Jientje said...

100 books? That's quite an accomplishment!! Congratulations!

beastmomma said...

Good job on meeting your goal! I am so impressed and awed. It looks like most of the books you read this year were good ones which is a relief!

Lezlie said...

Congratulations! It's a fun milestone to reach!


N.Vasillis said...

Congratulations on making it to 100!

Anonymous said...

WoW that is so cool! What a milestone!

Anonymous said...

Wow - congratulations! I count my books by age years, not calendar years, but I'm thinking I might start doing both now.

Margot said...

Wow - I'm impressed with your list! Congratulations. And you only retired the end of October! Good for you.