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Signed copy of Number9dream
In 2005 I read 53 books, amounting to a total of 14.767 pages. The post about my personal reading challenges in the years 2005 – 2008 will tell you I had actually hoped to get to 15.000 pages, but alas. So that’s the challenge I failed this year — but I had two more!

  1. to read a book from each decade from 1900 until 2005
  2. to finish all bookcrossing books in my possession before the year closed (which happened to be 16 in total)

I succeeded in both these missions!

Here’s my complete list of books finished in 2005. Bold titles belong to the decades challenge, those with an asterisk (*) were BX-copies on my shelf that needed to be read.

  • In april was het gras op , Ruth Feigenbaum ( 1999 ) nonfiction
  • De vernuftige edelman van La Mancha Don Quichot II , Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ( 1615 )
  • Kaas en de evolutietheorie , Bas Haring ( 2001 ) * nonfiction
  • Museumhuizen , Ella Reitsma ( 2003 ) nonfiction
  • Het museum van de toekomst , Anita van Mil & Marije Verduijn ( 2001 ) nonfiction
  • Number9dream , David Mitchell ( 2001 )
  • Deception on his mind , Elizabeth George ( 1997 )
  • Kafka on the shore , Haruki Murakami ( 2003 )
  • Get everything done and still have time to play , Mark Foster ( 2000 ) * nonfiction & bx-copy –> I bought a copy for myself
  • Gedoemd tot kwetsbaarheid , Geert Mak ( 2005 ) * nonfiction
  • Oracle night , Paul Auster ( 2003 )
  • Specht en zoon , Willem Jan Otten ( 2004 )
  • Property , Valerie Martin ( 2003 )
  • Microserfs , Douglas Coupland ( 1995 )
  • Saturday , Ian McEwan ( 2005 )
  • Avondgezichten: liefdes uit het leven van Prins Genji (Genji Monogatari), plus inleiding , Murasaki Shikibu ( vanaf 1002 )
  • Het stenen bruidsbed , Harry Mulisch ( 1959 )
  • De dood wil mij niet (La mort ne veut pas de moi), Yolande Mukagasana ( 1997 ) nonfiction
  • Killing critics , Carol O’Connell ( 1996 )
  • Ministerie van pijn (Ministarstvo boli) , Dubravka Ugresic ( 2004 )
  • Girl with a pearl earring , Tracey Chevalier ( 2001 ) *
  • Ministerie van pijn (Ministarstvo boli) , Dubravka Ugrešić ( 2004 )
  • The bridge of San Luis Rey , Thornton Wilder ( 1927 )
  • Strangers (Ijintachi to no natsu) , Taichi Yamada ( 1987 )
  • De verzamelaar (The collector) , John Fowles ( 1963 )
  • The Samurai’s Garden , Gail Tsukiyama ( 1995 ) * bx-copy –> bought a copy of my own!
  • Sonny Boy , Annejet van der Zijl ( 2004 ) *
  • El Negro en ik , Frank Westerman ( 2004 ) nonfiction
  • Spookliefde , Vonne van der Meer ( 1995 ); audio book
  • Through the green valley , Barbara Gowdy ( 1988 )
  • Women of the silk , Gail Tsukiyama ( 1991 )
  • Van oude mensen, de dingen, die voorbijgaan.. , Louis Couperus ( 1906 )
  • Fingersmith , Sarah Waters ( 2002 ) *
  • Scoop , Evelyn Waugh ( 1938 )
  • De zaak Sotheby’s , Peter Watson ( 1997 ) nonfiction
  • In pursuit of the proper sinner , Elizabeth George ( 1999 )
  • Een museum is ook maar een mens ( 1999 ) nonfiction
  • The shadow of the wind , Carloz Ruiz Zafón ( 2001 )
  • De buitenproef , Thomas Rosenboom ( 1983 ); audio book
  • The time traveller’s wife , Audrey Niffenegger ( 2004 )
  • Dichtertje , Nescio ( 1917 )
  • Cal , Bernard MacLaverty ( 1983 ) *
  • Vanonder de koperen ploert , Hans Vervoort ( 1975 ) nonfiction
  • Kitchen , Banana Yoshimoto ( 1988 ) *
  • Eens was ik een mens (Se questo è un uomo) , Primo Levi ( 1947 ) * nonfiction
  • Steffie Steek in de klauwen van het leven , Dubravka Ugresic ( 1982 ) *
  • [De indologen , Cees Fasseur ( 1993 )] nonfiction ~ temporarily put aside
  • Stone angel , Carol O’Connell ( 1997 )
  • The museum guard , Howard Norman ( 1998 ) *
  • Behind the scenes at the museum , Kate Atkinson ( 1995 ) *
  • Tokyo , Mo Hayder ( 2004 ) *
  • Srebrenica: het zwartste scenario , Frank Westerman en Bart Rijs ( 1997 ) nonfiction
  • De stenen dagboeken , Carol Shields ( 1993 ) *
  • Extremely loud & incredibly close , Jonathan Safran Foer ( 2005 ) *

Biggest disappointment: probably Don Quixote because I had expected so much of it. But I’m glad I persevered because now I really know what it’s about and that makes it easier to spot references in other books. That’s fun ;)
I really didn’t like The Collector and Specht en zoon.

Thankfully I have lots of favourites to compensate: Number9dream (you had probably guessed that ;), Kafka on the shore, Oracle night, Property, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Strangers, The samurai’s garden, Fingersmith, The time traveller’s wife, Eens was ik een mens, Extremely loud & incredibly close.

Here’s the list of books I read in 2004: 44 in total (and 1 abandoned); 39 works of fiction, 5 nonfiction.

And whatdoyaknow: I believe 2004 was my very last year without any reading challenges!

Some of my all-time favourites that I read in 2004

Some of my all-time favs, read in 2004

It was a great year for me: many favourites, some of which are in my top list of all times! Bold titles are those books that I especially enjoyed.

  • The Crimson Petal and the White, Michael Faber (2002)
  • De kat achterna, Doeschka Meijsing (1977)
  • Tijger, tijger!, Doeschka Meijsing (1980)
  • Atonement, Ian McEwan (2001)
  • Geestdrift (Skull Session), Daniel Hecht (1998, bx-copy)
  • De creatiespiraal, Marinus Knoope (1998, nonfiction)
  • Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood (1990)
  • Ghostwritten, David Mitchell (1999)
  • De Da Vinci code (The Da Vinci Code), Dan Brown (2003)
  • De moeder van Nicolien, J.J. Voskuil (1999)
  • Het geheim, Anna Enquist (1997)
  • De blinde huurmoordenaar (The Blind Assassin), Margaret Atwood (2000)
  • Een zachte dood (Une mort très douce), Simone de Beauvoir (1965)
  • Kartonnen dozen, Tom Lanoye (1991)
  • Nachtmerrie met dame (Incubo di signora), Nino Filastó (1981)
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel (2001)
  • De gesloten kamer (Det slutna rummet), Sjöwall & Wahlöö (1972, bx-copy)
  • Familieziek, Adriaan van Dis (2002)
  • De opwindvogelkronieken (The Wind-up Bird Chronicle), Haruki Murakami (1994)
  • Sterremeer, F. Springer (1990)
  • De geschiedenis van de Roccamatio’s uit Helsinki (The History of the Roccamatio’s from Helsinki), Yann Martel (1993, bx-bookring)
  • The Passion, Jeanette Winterson (1987)
  • The Story of Lucy Gault, William Trevor (2002, bx-copy)
  • Mathilde, Thomas Ross (2003)
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides (2002, bx-bookring)
  • Versluierde heuvels (A Pale View of Hills), Kazuo Ishiguro (1982)
  • The Nanny Diaries, Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus (2002)
  • De ambassadeur, Jef Geeraerts (2000)
  • De ijsdragers, Anna Enquist (2002)
  • Spoetnikliefde (Sputnik Sweetheart), Haruki Murakami (1999)
  • After the Quake, Haruki Murakami (2000)
  • De stille kracht, Louis Couperus (1900)
  • Bezonken rood, Jeroen Brouwers (1981, bx-copy)
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
  • The British Museum is Falling Down, David Lodge (1966, bx-copy)
  • The Turn of the Screw, Henry James (1898, bx-bookring)
  • De moorden in de Rue Morgue (The Murders in the Rue Morgue), Edgar Allen Poe (1841)
  • Het mysterie van Marie Rôget (The Mystery of Marie Rôget), Edgar Allen Poe (1842)
  • De gestolen brief (The Purloined Letter), Edgar Allen Poe (1844)
  • De vernuftige edelman Don Quichot van La Mancha I, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1605)
  • Museumfavorieten: verhalen van 15 vertellers, Middas Dekkers e.a. (2004, nonfiction)
  • Museumstukjes, Maarten Asscher e.a. (2002, nonfiction)
  • Goed bewaren: tips voor het omgaan met kunst in huis, Rijksmuseum Twenthe (2003, nonfiction)
  • Illicit traffic of cultural property: museums against pillage, Harry Leyten ed. (1995, nonfiction)


Abandoned
The Vasa’s New Battle (2003, nonfiction)

Disliked
Books by the male Flemish authors Lanoye & Geeraerts: Kartonnen dozen & De ambassadeur.
I can’t remember a thing about Nachtmerrie met dame (Incubo di signora), so I guess that was no success either – although I would have remembered at least something if I had hated it.

Worst pun
“Did you mount her?” in: The Da Vinci Code, asked to Robert Langdon and relating to the Eiffel Tower but coinciding with his daydream about Sophie Neveu…

Cover How to Visit a MuseumI didn’t read many outstanding books in 2003! :( David Finn’s How to Visit a Museum (nonfiction) and Barbara Gowdy’s The Romantic (fiction) were this year’s favourites. And I also rather liked Boris Akunin’s mystery The Winter Queen, but that’s about it. All three I read close to the end of the year :\ A total of 26 books is not that much either… I can do better!

Further statistics: more than a third of my books were nonfiction (8). 17 of them were written by female authors, 8 male and there’s 1 institutional publication. 9 copies were or became Bookcrossing books.

  • Nationaliteit: geen. (My American Fictionary), Dubravka Ugrešić (1993, nonfiction)
  • Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Dubravka Ugrešić (2002, nonfiction)
  • Een ladder op de aarde, Hélène Nolthenius (1968)
  • Jerzy Kosinski: a Biography, James Park Sloan (1996, nonfiction)
  • De duivel en het meisje (The Devil and Miss Prym), Paulo Coelho (2000)
  • The Italian Girl, Iris Murdoch (1964); my first ever wild release for Bookcrossing
  • Een hotel op het dak van de wereld (Hotel on the Roof of the World), Alec Le Sueur (1999, nonfiction)
  • Reis naar het ongerijmde (Scar Tissue), Michael Ignatieff (1994)
  • In the Presence of the Enemy, Elizabeth George (1996)
  • Oesters, Rascha Peper (1991)
  • Huurders en onderhuurders, Hella Haasse (1971)
  • Rico’s vleugels, Rascha Peper (1993)
  • The Imaginary Girlfriend, John Irving (1996, nonfiction)
  • De prijs van de bruid (The Bride Price), Buchi Emecheta (1976)
  • De tienduizend dingen, Maria Dermoût (1955)
  • In the Forest, Edna O’Brien (2002)
  • Hotel Terminus, Kristien Hemmerichs (2003)
  • De zwijgende vader, Jill Stolk (1992)
  • De Tanimbar legende, Aya Zikken (1992)
  • Lopen met Van Lennep, [Jacob van Lennep] (1823/2000, nonfiction )
  • De geest overwint: 8 december 1941 – 15 augustus 1945, St. Indisch Monument ([1988], nonfiction)
  • How to Visit a Museum, David Finn (1985, nonfiction)
  • The Romantic, Barbara Gowdy (2003)
  • Sleuteloog, Hella Haasse (2002)
  • De afgewende stad, Hélène Nolthenius (1994)
  • The Winter Queen, Boris Akunin (1998)

Tried, but gave up on: De schepping: autobiografie van god (The Life of God, As Told By Himself), Franco Ferrucci (1989)

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 :(

In 2001 I finished reading 30 books and abandoned 4 more.

My favourites were probably The White Bone and Mr Sandman, both by Barbara Gowdy, so 2001 was my year of discovering this marvelous author. But thanks to a friend I also discovered the ‘Havers/Lynley mystery series’ by Elizabeth George. And I have great memories of The Male Cross-dresser Supportgroup by Tama Janowitz and A Human Stain by Philip Roth.

Complete list of books read

  • Hoog boven de wereld (Up Above the World) , Paul Bowles ( 1966 )
  • The male cross-dresser supportgroup , Tama Janowitz ( 1992 )
  • Rubber , Madelon H. Székely-Lulofs ( 1931 )
  • Mr Sandman , Barbara Gowdy ( 1995 )
  • De voorlezer (Der Vorleser / The Reader) , Bernhard Schlink ( 1995 )
  • Het huis op de plantage , Aya Zikken ( 1983 )
  • Miauw , Midas Dekkers ( 1980 )
  • Gloed , Sándor Márai ( 1942 )
  • An unsuitable job for a woman , P.D. James ( 1972 )
  • Cover her face , P.D. James ( 1962 )
  • Diamanten op mijn wang , Elizabeth Nobel ( 2001 )
  • A great deliverance , Elizabeth George ( 1988 )
  • Nog pas gisteren , Maria Dermoût ( 1951 )
  • Payment in blood , Elizabeth George ( 1989 )
  • Well-schooled for murder , Elizabeth George ( 1990 )
  • The maul and The Pear Tree , P.D. James and T.A. Critchley ( 1975 )
  • De menselijke smet (A Human Stain) , Philip Roth ( 2000 )
  • A suitable vengeance , Elizabeth George ( 1991 )
  • Honderd deuren , Maria Stahlie ( 1996 )
  • For the sake of Elena , Elizabeth George ( 1992 )
  • Rebecca , Daphne du Maurier ( 1938 )
  • Boy , J. Bernlef ( 2000 )
  • The White Bone , Barbara Gowdy ( 2000? )
  • Time to be in earnest: a fragment of autobiography , P.D. James ( 1999 )
  • Het woeden der gehele wereld , Maarten ‘t Hart ( 1993 )
  • Weg met die troep , Donna Smallin ( 1999 )
  • Een vingerhoedje , Cécile Dreesman ( 1983 )
  • Van dochter tot vrouw; verslag van een psychoanalyse , Harry Stroeken ( 1990 )
  • De hele wereld in een vitrinekast , Boudewijn Büch ( 2001 )
  • De zaak Goudstikker , Pieter den Hollander ( 1998 )

Abandoned

  • De wand (Die Wand) , Marlen Haushofer ( 1987 )
  • Games4girls , Marion Bloem ( 2001 )
  • Takdiran en andere verhalen , Lin Scholte ( 1977 )
  • Nu of nooit (Last Chance Saloon) , Marian Keyes ( 1999 )

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