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13 books for a total of 4316 pages.

The biggest book was War and Peace at 1273 pages. It was written by Leo Tolstoy, and is unlike any other novel I’ve yet read. Many critics consider it to be the best Russian novel. It is also the first Russian novel I’ve ever read, and is the most highly recommended fiction of the year. Thus far.

The three other novels were: We, Journey to the End of the Night, and Omensetter’s Luck, which are all excellent. Each in its own way, and all have been added to my favorite novels.

The smallest book was Gregory Corso’s The Happy Birthday of Death at 91 pages. Cesaire’s The Collected Poetry (clocking in at about 208 pages, as it’s bilingual at 408 pages) was far more enjoyable: a two page poem often supplied ten or fifteen new vocabulary words.

Cortazar’s Blow-up and Other Stories was a bit underwhelming (compared to Hopscotch), but what short story collection isn’t? Also, Barthelme’s Forty Stories may have better stories, but Sixty Stories (read in February) has more cohesion and feels like a more solid collection.

Other nonfiction included: The Professor and the Madman, about the history of the OED, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Chomsky’s Profit Over People, The Poetics of Space and Oulipo.

During this month I started taking notes as I read, and completed about 20 (double sided pages) in a slender notebook commonly used by journalists. Not just vocabulary and ideas, but also stealing amazing lines… the best writers steal.

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