Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goodbye to an old friend; A year in books; and a week of non-schedule

First and foremost I said goodbye to an old friend this weekend. It wasn't a tragic loss; it was a decision I made after thinking it over for a few days. He had been with me for a few months now and I knew it was time to say goodbye, at least for a while. I know that I can always welcome him back whenever I choose although he does take a while to come around.

Here he is before we parted ways:

And here I am without him:

This week also marked a year from when I started writing down the books I had read. I started doing this when I was working in San Francisco and riding the train into the city every day; I had about an hour and a half in total ride time every day so I got quite a bit of reading done. In November I started working closer to home but I was surprised to see that I kept up with the reading. I'm not sure if I will read another 62 books this year but I will try my best to get close. Here are the books I read in the last 12 months in order and with the date finished:

05.10.07 - Suttree - Cormac McCarthy
05.13.07 - Forever - Pete Hamill
05.16.07 - Sick Puppy - Carl Hiaasen
05.21.07 - This Book Will Save Your Life - A.M. Homes
05.23.07 - White Fang - Jack London
05.24.07 - The Call of the Wild - Jack London
05.29.07 - Time Stops for No Mouse - Michael Hoeye
06.04.07 - The Children of Men - P.D. James
06.07.07 - Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salenger
06.11.07 - The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
06.18.07 - Meet Mr. Grizzley "A Saga on the Passing of the Grizzley Bear" - Montague Stevens
06.26.07 - Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
07.03.07 - The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffinger
07.09.07 - Slaughter House Five - Kurt Vonnegut
07.11.07 - Triathlon 101 - John Mora
07.18.07 - No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
07.27.07 - Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
08.07.07 - Young Men and Fire - Norman Maclean
08.14.07 - Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
08.23.07 - The Judas Strain - James Rollins
08.28.07 - Cannery Row - John Steinbeck
09.05.07 - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
09.12.07 - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
09.17.07 - The Prince and The Pauper - Mark Twain
09.24.07 - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain
09.25.07 - Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
09.26.07 - Alice Through The Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
09.27.07 - The Pearl - John Steinbeck
10.02.07 - The Red Pony - John Steinbeck
10.08.07 - The Giver - Lois Lowry
10.18.07 - The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
10.29.07 - Time and Again - Jack Finney
11.01.07 - Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
11.07.07 - The Orc King - R.A. Salvatore
11.14.07 - Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
11.16.07 - I am Legend - Richard Matheson
11.28.07 - The Golden Compus - Philip Pullman
12.14.07 - The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
12.20.07 - The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
12.20.07 - Homeland - R.A. Salvatore
12.23.07 - Exile - R.A. Salvatore
12.28.07 - Sojurn - R.A. Salvatore
01.19.08 - The Crystal Shard - R.A. Salvatore
01.21.08 - Streams of Silver - R.A. Salvatore
01.23.08 - The Halfling's Gem - R.A. Salvatore
01.26.08 - The Legacy - R.A. Salvatore
01.28.08 - Starless Night - R.A. Salvatore
02.01.08 - Siege of Darkness - R.A. Salvatore
02.06.08 - Passage to Dawn - R.A. Salvatore
02.10.08 - The Silent Blade - R.A. Salvatore
02.16.08 - The Spine of the World - R.A. Salvatore
02.28.08 - Servent of the Shard - R.A. Salvatore
03.09.08 - Sea of Swords - R.A. Salvatore
03.14.08 - The Thousand Orcs - R.A. Salvatore
03.20.08 - The Two Swords - R.A. Salvatore
04.01.08 - The Promise of the Witch King - R.A. Salvatore
04.11.08 - The Road of the Patriarch - R.A. Salvatore
04.19.08 - All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
04.23.08 - The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy
05.10.08 - Cities of the Plain - Cormac McCarthy

I found it to be a strange coincidence that I started tracking the books in May '07 with a Cormac McCarthy book and 12 months later to the day I finished a Cormac McCarthy book. In that time he has definitely become one of my favorite authors (if not my favorite). I also have to thank Jen for turning me onto a new style of book as I used to read action and adventure type books most of the time. Without her influence I most likely never would have read many of the books on this list and definitely would not have read The Time Traveler's Wife which ranks among the best books I have ever read.

If I was to recommend ten books from the list they would be: The Time Traveler's Wife, Forever, Time and Again, Water for Elephants, The Grapes of Wrath, Last of the Mohicans, Cannery Row, Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses.

Tomorrow I start book one of the new tracking year - At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen.

This week was a week of non schedule since I start my training for Showdown at Sundown and the Half Marathon in July on Monday. I still got in a few workouts and went to my first Masters swim class which was awesome. We swam the same amount of yardage in that one night as I usually do in a week. I got out with Jen on the roads twice, one day she was a bit nervous due to the traffic but still did great and the other day we went with the Cyclepath group and she did awesome. On the second half of the ride she was setting the pace for our small split off group and we were maintaining an 18-19 mph average.

Totals for the week: 3,750 swim - 53mi bike - 8mi run

Tomorrow I plan on running four miles in the morning and going to masters in the evening.


jen said...

Farewell Captain Greybeard and welcome back Smoothy McFreshface!

That's a lot of books... I probably read less than 20.

Thanks for running with me this morning- you're going to have a huge impact on my training because you really push me. Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

I too, like the smooth look & your blue eyes really shine. Watch out for the sun on the long-shaded areas. Your masters swim class sounds wonderful. Swim/bike/run on.....
Dragonfly on the Water...

Tristram Wood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tristram Wood said...

Now thats a shame! You could have rocked the Dave Z. look for a while, and maybe even gotten some free coffee out of the deal...keep rolling!

Kim said...

wow look at your cute little baby face!!!!! looking sharp buddy!!!

holy crap i see a recurring theme/author of your books! you read as much as i do! :) bookworm!

Arcane said...

Hey why get so emotional over a t-shirt. That is what you're talking about right?

Wow you read a lot. I'm reading the Time Traveler's Wife right now and agree that it's a very good book.

Marathon Maritza said...

I have like a bazillion comments on this post...let's do it in organized points, shall we?

- Bye bye beard! The shave after growing it out for so long is always the cleanest shave...don't you agree, Jen?
- I should TOTALLY start keeping track of the books I read. I've been kinda doing it unofficially on my blog but I'm sure I've missed some.
- Matt says I read more than anyone he knows...I will make sure to send him this post so a new king can be crowned.
- Time Traveler's Wife was AWESOME. Did you know your copy of it has been to Europe?
- I love Steinbeck.
- This Salvatore guy...what style of books does he write?
- I MUST loan you The Gold Coast by's kind of a 'guy' book (it's about a Mafia guy) but I LOVED it and I think you'd enjoy it too. Tell Jen to remind me...
- HOORAY! I have someone to talk books with!
- That is all.