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52 Books – Q1 Progress Report

I’m trying to read 52 books in 2007, a book a week. I’ve still got a little cushion, but I’m slowing down. Been lucky, with lots of good books. Here’s a list, with a one-line review, link to more detailed review. Starred books are particularly good.

52 Books in 2007 – Q1 Results

  1. *A Clockwork Orange (f), by Anthony Burgess
    Wonderfully inventive, dark satire about a hyper-violent future.
  2. Kafka on the Shore (f), by Haruki Murakami (review)
    Disappointing outing, tho still worth a read for Murakami fans.
  3. The God Delusion (nf), by Richard Dawkins (review)
    Cheap, lazy book by a once-great author. Please: more science, less pop psych and bad philosophy.
  4. *Programming the Universe (nf), by Seth Lloyd (review)
    Is the universe a big computer? Fascinating book.
  5. *Lullabies for Little Criminals (f), by Heather O’Neill (review)
    Beautiful novel about kid growing up in the skanky streets of Montreal.
  6. A Beginner’s Guide to Anarchism (nf), by Ruth Kinna (review)
    Decent intro to anarchism, but missing key connections, especially to the hacker world.
  7. Now is the Hour (f), by Tom Spanbauer (review for Books in Canada)
    Coming-of-age-in-the-small-town-60s story of a teen figuring out he might be gay.
  8. The Human Stain (f), by Philip Roth (review)
    Slick and assured writing by a great American novelist, lacked something, not sure what.
  9. Prochaine Episode (f), by Hubert Aquin (review)
    Twisted tale of a Quebecois spy, or a writer, or a lunatic, or all three.
  10. King John of Canada (f), Scott Gardiner (review for Books in Canada)
    Canada gets a king. Satire ensues.
  11. *The Wealth of Networks (nf), by Yochai Benkler (review)
    The text to read for a comprehensive and detailed study of the open movement in all its guises.
  12. Slow Man (f), J.M. Coetzee (review)
    Man gets hit by car, loses leg. Metaphysical musing, good Coetzee; not great Coetzee.
  13. Crazy about Lili (f), William Weintraub (review)
    Fun fluff about a young McGill student in the 1940s, and his friendship with stripper Lili L’Amour (a fictionalized Lili St-Cyr).
  14. America at the Crossroads (nf), Francis Fukayama (review)
    Maybe the neocons were a bunch of idiots after all. So says a former neocon.
  15. *A Complicated Kindness (f), Miriam Toews (review)
    Mennonite girl smokes pot and screws. Funny, sad, and fantastic.


  1. Christopher Hughes Christopher Hughes 2007-04-09

    Darn you, Mcguire – I just hit 13 yesterday and was feeling pretty good about it. Must … overtake … (gasp)

  2. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-09

    i ususally have a big slowdown in the summer. still: get to work Hughes.

  3. heri heri 2007-04-09

    how do you pick your books by the way? are you making a definitive list in january?

  4. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-09

    books picked randomly (well, based on what I would like to read) … no difinitive list, though there are some books I’d like to read this year, most of which are sitting by my bed.

  5. I’d like to see a review of Italo Calvino’s “If on a winter’s night a traveler” posted.

  6. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-09

    well i’ll have to read it first. do you recommend it?

  7. Chris Hughes Chris Hughes 2007-04-10

    I would recommend “If on a winter’s night a traveller”, for whatever that’s worth.

    I would also strongly recommend “Fictions” by Jorge Luis Borges – especially for “The Lottery of Babylon” and “The Library of Babel”

  8. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-10

    Borges I know well…

    “winter’s night” it seems to me i picked up once, but have not read. I’ll scour my bookshelves again & see if it’s there somewhere.

  9. From what I’ve read so far, “winter’s night” is awesome.

    Hugh, is there a way that commentators can be pinged when their name comes up (like in IRC)?

  10. Hugh Hugh 2007-04-13

    edward: er… ur askin the wrong guy! maybe this’ll work:

    but normally i try to respond to comments here.

  11. Sprague Dawley Sprague Dawley 2007-04-24


    Re: Edward’s desire to track comments — this isn’t exactly what he wants, but it allows your readers to get email notice when someone comments on a thread that they’ve contributed to:

    A lot of people are using it now and I’m going to add it to mine.


  12. Be a Good Daughter Be a Good Daughter 2007-10-29

    Hello the comment is funny.
    I like your blog..

  13. Rosina Rosina 2008-08-07

    Interesting web page is, i\’ll see you later one more timee

Comments are closed.