And so comes the time to kick back and reflect upon the last 12 months of reading in my life. Here are a few notes on the best, the worst and the weirdest things read in 2001:
If you’re seriously contemplating buying a house, allow me to warn you: It will ruin your reading time. Seriously. Once you’ve bought a house, there’s constantly something else to do, from painting to cleaning, from snow shoveling to mowing the lawn. It gets worse if you have a garden. From an average of 210-260 books per year read while I was a happy fellow living in my parent’s basement, I’ve had to struggle to reach 170 and 200 books in the past two years. While my paperback reading is more or less unchanged due to invariable commuting time, the amounts of large-format books read has plummeted. If you want to remain a happy reader, don’t buy a house. Or get a significant other who doesn’t read… if you can stand that.
Over the past few years, I’ve accumulated an impressive "to be read" pile. This is severely affecting my reading habits, since I now deliberately try to go through the pile rather than buy new books or borrow them from the library. Consequently, my grasp of current literature has dwindled to a point where I can’t even, as of December 2001, list a "top five" 2001 releases. Things are not expected to change in 2002, but I’ll do my best to get back on the wagon by 2003. If all goes as expected, naturally!
I’ve said so in my review of Nelson DeMille’s The Lion Game, but it bears repeating: The events of September 11, 2001 have definitely affected my reading. Any thriller dealing with terrorism is now perceived differently than before, and usually not for the best. I don’t expect that I’m alone in saying so.
From terrorism to bad books, there is only a matter of degree, so here are my bottom choices for the worst books read in 2001. The common element linking these five choices is that they’re all indescribably dull. Save for Appleseed, don’t look for reviews of these books anywhere on the site; if I lost hours of my life reading these books, I’m not about to waste minutes of my readers’ time by writing about them.
Don’t get the impression that I couldn’t enjoy some books. Here are my choices for top ten books read in 2001:
Finally, here are a few more recommendations of books published over the past five years:
Until next time… happy reading!