In 2002 I only managed to read 25 books (2 of which were audio). That’s five less than last year. 20 were fiction to 5 nonfiction, next to which I abandoned 3 more nonfiction publications.

Cover Museum van Onvoorwaardelijke Overgave, Dubravka UgresicBut 2002 was also the first year in which I actually re-read a novel: the Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugrešić. I admit I read it in different languages, but because it fascinated me and not ‘cause the English was too difficult. I usually don’t reread books because Mount To Be Read is pretty high and there’s so little time… 25 books a year is not much: you can do the math yourself! In the lucky event I get to be a hundred years old (yeah, right) I would be able to read 2500 books. And that’s counting the years I couldn’t even read yet ;) LOL

Here’s the complete list of books. My favourites will be briefly highlighted below.

  • Emma, Jane Austen (1816)
  • Kerewin, Keri Hulme (1983)
  • Playing for the Ashes, Elizabeth George (1994)
  • Instructions for Visitors, Helen Stevenson (2000; nonfiction)
  • Schimmenrijk, Rosita Steenbeek (1999)
  • Ver heen, P.C. Kuiper (1988; nonfiction)
  • Perpetuum mobile van de liefde, Renate Dorrestein (1988)
  • Spoorloos in Italië (Mapping the Edge), Sarah Dunant (1999)
  • Mijn kleine blauwe jurk (My Little Blue Dress), Bruno Maddox (2001)
  • De Alchemist (O Alquimista / The Alchemist), Paul Coelho (1988)
  • the Museum of Unconditional Surrender, Dubravka Ugrešić (1996)
  • De garnalenpelster, Nilgün Yerli (2001; nonfiction)
  • De dagdromer (The Daydreamer), Ian McEwan (1994; children’s book)
  • Museum van Onvoorwaardelijke Overgave, Dubravka Ugrešić (1996)
  • Enduring Love, Ian McEwan (1997)
  • The Cement Garden, Ian McEwan (1978)
  • Als een tweederangs burger: een vrouw tussen Nigeria en Londen, Buchi Emecheta (1974; ‘nonfiction’?)
  • Sluitertijd, Erwin Mortier (2002)
  • Een Spaans hondje, Rascha Peper (1998)
  • The Little Friend, Donna Tartt (2002)
  • Noodzakelijk verlies: de liefdes, illusies, afhankelijkheid en irreële verwachtingen die wij allen moeten opgeven om te kunnen groeien, Judtih Viorst (1987; nonfiction)
  • One on One: the Imprint Interviews, Leanna Crouch (ed.) (1994; nonfiction)
  • Museumstukjes, Middas Dekkers e.a. (2002)
  • Sense and Sensibility (abridged), Jane Austen (1811; audiobook)
  • Lolita (unabridged), Nabokov (1955; audiobook)

Abandoned (all nonfiction): Zuidvleugel Rijksmuseum by Annemarie Vels Heijn (which was terribly written), The Faustian Bargain: the Art World in Nazi Germany by Jonathan Petropoulos (fascinating read — I hope to pick it up again someday) and a time-management manual, Werken aan projecten: een handreiking voor projectleiders, projectteamleden en opdrachtgevers by Rudy Kor.

Jeremy Irons in Lolita
More interesting is which books I liked best! First: I absolutely loved my Lolita audiobook because it is read by — drumroll — Jeremy Irons! He’s got such a nice voice it makes me swoon… :) And I already mentioned Dubravka Ugrešić at the beginning of my post. Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries are always fun too. The Imprint Interviews were quite interesting; I especially liked Barbara Gowdy questioning Leonard Cohen and the talks with Margaret Atwood and Anne Rice. Another HUGE favourite this year was The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I know a lot of people were disappointed by it after The Secret History, but as long as you don’t read it as a ‘whodunnit’ it is a really great coming of age story in a long hot summer. Oppressive.

Myself, I was pretty disappointed by Bruno Maddox’s My Little Blue Dress. I had read a raving review and expected a lot of it; I thought it was a fun title as well. But today I can’t remember a thing about it. High/low/no expectations often seem to influence our reading experiences!

Last but not least I would like to mention the novel that has the BEST BEGINNING EVER! I unknowingly picked it up in the bookshop and before I knew it I was well into the story! Do you have any idea which of the titles mentioned above I’m talking about? How could it be any other book than Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love??? He immediately rocketed into my top list of favourite authors :) Take my advise if you plan on reading this book: never ever read what it’s about — not even the blurb on the book cover! It’ll probably spoil it all :(