I’ve been keeping a book journal this year for the first time ever. Last night, I logged the title of my 99th book read so far this year. Suddenly, the choice of what to read next took on undue significance. Surely my 100th book of the year should be something special? This is silly for a number of reasons, not least of which the fact that I’ve got four or five half-read books lying around and chances are that one of those will end up being the 100th book finished rather than something new that I start today.
Still, despite being a generally logical person, I’m a bit superstitious about numbers. For example, when I draw up a grocery list, if it has thirteen items on it, I’ll take one off or add another one. I can’t help but feel that my 100th read of the year should be a worthy book. The trick is being able to gauge in advance whether a book will be a worthy one.
What should I opt for? John Banville’s The Sea which I have been so eagerly anticipating? Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad or Jeanette Winterson’s The Weight both of which I’m even keener to check out after reading Caroline Alexander’s assessment of them in the NYTBR this weekend? Gutted, a first book of poems by Evie Christie whose reading at her launch last week blew me away? Ted Bishop’s Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcyles and Books the description of which is sufficiently intriguing that I suspect it will be one of my best non-fiction reads this year, if I manage to read it this year?
In the end, I think it will be Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is the selection for a virtual book club proposed by Quillhill and joined by Ella, Stefanie, Susan, Sylvia, and Maryann, and no doubt others like me who have been slow to announce their participation. The date to post about the book is fast approaching (December 18th) so I'd better get started. And I suspect that I can’t go wrong with this one as my 100th book. Though if I really want the numbers to align, perhaps it ought to have been One Hundred Years of Solitude…