2008 Book Resolutions, Final Update

So, here is the final look at how I did on my book resolutions for last year (for the record, I am counting any reading I did through the end of my vacation towards the 2008 resolutions, so for the sake of this project 2008 ended on 1/4/09).  I was pretty successful - I completed three of my five resolutions, and almost did the fourth.   This was my first year setting reading goals in this way, and I think next year my resolutions will reflect the lessons I learned this year (while still dreaming big, because what is the point, if not to try to do something ambitious??). So, without further ado, my 2008 book resolutions -

Knock off three big books, specifically, War and Peace, Ulysses and The Power Broker (Robert Caro’s biography of Robert Moses).  This is inspired by having read Les Miserables and The Decameron this year - we’ll see if it’s reasonably possible.

FINAL UPDATE:  This was my least successful resolution - I only completed one of the three novels, Ulysses (completed 1/1/09 - review to follow).  I don’t want to make too many excuses, but I partially blame the baby for my conundrum - both The Power Broker  and War and Peace are huge heavy books (at least in my copies) and as such were impossible to read when breastfeeding/holding the baby, because you need both hands.  A pitiful excuse, but I am sticking too it...

2.  Read at least ten of the Modern Library’s top 100 novels (yes, if I read Ulysses it counts for both.  Dude, if I read Ulysses I win, even if I don’t turn another page!).

FINAL UPDATE:  1. Zuleika Dobson, Max Beerbohm 4/15/08

                    2. Loving, Henry Loving 4/24/08

                    3. The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles 5/18/08

                    4.  U.S.A. (or as much as I plan to read), John Dos Passos 7/4/08

                    5. A Dance to the Music of Time (1st movement) Anthony Powell,             


                    6. A Bend in the River V.S Naipul 7/17/08

                    7. Nostromo Joseph Conrad 8/29/08

                    8. Parade’s End Ford Madox Ford 10/20/08

                    9. The Ginger Man J.P. Donleavy 12/04/08

                    10. Ulysses, James Joyce 1/1/09

OH YEAH, I DID!! I totally threw it into third gear on vacation to finish Ulysses, and to meet my ML goal.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Read deeply one one non-fiction subject - i.e. read at least five books on one topic.  The topic I’ve picked is classical music, since Jon and I listening to a massive (48 disk) lecture on “How to Listen to and Appreciate Great Music.”  Shouldn’t be tough to read five books on all of classical music in 360 days.                                                                                                    FINAL UPDATE:

Read my first book Opera Offstage Milton Brener

Read my second book Enchanted Evenings  Geoffrey Block 

Read my third book The Rest is Noise  Alex Ross

Read my fourth book The Wagner Clan  Jonathan Carr                                          So, I did reasonably well with this - I finished four books, and am working on a fifth right now (but since I didn’t make it for the year, the urgency is a bit gone).  I really enjoyed this one, though (especially the Ross book) and I am going to repeat this same resolution next year.   

4.  Play Lisa Schmeiser’s Dewey Decimal system game.  I love her blog, and I too tend to be limited in my non-fiction reading. And we know that I love goofy book rules.  I think it will be really fun to read around the library - I’m getting my 000 book today!


* Read my 000 books: The Dead Beat Marilyn Johnson (070.4499)

                                       The Great Pretenders Jan Bondeson (001.95)

Read my 100 book: Doing Nothing Tom Lutz (174 L975)

Book failure on my 200 book: Buddha Karen Armstrong (294.363)

Read my 300 book: The Maul and the Pear Tree P.D James & T.A. Chritchley  (364.1523)

Read my 400 book: The Meaning of Everything Simon Winchester (423.09)

Read my 500 book: To See Every Bird On Earth Dan Koeppel (598.0723)

Read my 600 book: A Perfect Red Amy Butler Greenfield (667.26)

Read my 700 book(s): Opera Offstage Milton Brener (782.109); Enchanted Evenings  Geoffrey Block (forgot to write down the DD number!)  

Read my 800 book(s): The Din in the Head Cynthia Ozick (809 099D)  

                                        Life Sentences Joseph Epstein (809 E64L)

Book failure on my 900 book: Mistress of the Elgin Marbles, Susannah 

                                                     Nagel (forgot to write down DD!)

COMPLETED THIS RESOLUTION!! (Even though I didn’t finish all the books, I gave each section of the Dewey Decimal Section a try. Glad I did it.)


Re-read five books (ideally not mysteries or YA).  I have this huge library, and while I’m doing pretty well with the shelf sitters with my commuting book rule, I should get some use out of all the books that I am hoarding.

Re-read my first book! The Professor And The Madman, by Simon Winchester

Re-read another book (though I am not sure I should count it, because it had a lot of pictures)  Living Large in Small Spaces Marisa Bartolucci

Re-read another book The Architect of Desire Suzannah Lessard - I must say that when I thought up this project, I anticipated re-reading more fiction than non-fiction, but it hasn’t been that way so far!

Re-read another book Anansi Boys Neil Gaiman (ok, technically, when I read it before I read a library copy, but since then we got a copy of our own, and I re-read it, so that counts).  

Re-read a fifth book!! Watchmen Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons! 

Re-read a sixth book!  Going Postal, Terry Pratchett

COMPLETED THIS RESOLUTION!! Also, I didn’t count any mysteries, as I’ve re-read billions of those!  This was great fun, and something I will do again.  

So, all in all, a reasonably successful project.  Coming up soon, my 2009 Book resolutions!

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017