50 Books Project

Wherein I attempt (and, so far, fail) to read 50 books each year.

Here’s the list from 2008:

The Alchemist

The Golden Compass

Tender at the Bone

The Mammoth Hunters

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2)

The Passion of Mary Magdalen: A Novel (The Maeve Chronicles)

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3)

Duma Key

The Light Fantastic

The Terror

The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health

The Plains of Passage

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

The Hollow (Book Two of the Sign of Seven Trilogy)

Nickel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

The Shelters of Stone

Equal Rites

I Gotta Crow: Women, Voice, and Writing

Animal Dreams

London Transports

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ancestors of Avalon

Hannibal Rising

Body For Life

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

A Stroke of Midnight

The Secret Servant

The Historian

Body For Life



Moral Disorder and Other Stories

Final Journeys: A Practical Guide for Bringing Care and Comfort at the End of Life

Son of a Witch: Volume Two in the Wicked Years

Thank You for All Things (Bantam Discovery)

The Secret Life of Bees

Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion

A Salty Piece of Land

The 2009 List

(Wherein I failed even more than last year, having only read 28.)

Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)

The Yoga Teacher

The Wordy Shipmates

Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, Book 2)

Borgia Bride, The

Fifty Things to Do When You Turn Fifty: Fifty Experts on the Subject of Turning Fifty

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Children of Dune

Introduction to Tantra : The Transformation of Desire

God Emperor of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 4)

Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau

House of Sand and Fog (Oprah’s Book Club) (Vintage Contemporaries)

Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 5)

Church of the Dog

Chapterhouse Dune (Dune Chronicles, Book 6)

Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!

The House of the Spirits

London: The Novel

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son: A Novel

The Age of the Unthinkable: Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It

Hunters of Dune

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: City of Night: A Novel

Aesop’s Fables (Oxford World’s Classics)

Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles (Myths, The)

Sandworms of Dune

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Ballantine Reader’s Circle)

The 2010 List

(Wherein I did okay — made it to 39 this year)

Under the Dome: A Novel

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Icy Sparks (Oprah’s Book Club)

Jitterbug Perfume

On Writing

The Pagan Stone (Sign of Seven, Book 3)

The White Queen: A Novel (Cousins’ War)

A Pirate Looks at Fifty

Pirate Latitudes: A Novel

The Book of Lost Things: A Novel

Little Bee: A Novel

Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Dead and Alive: A Novel

To The Lighthouse

Shutter Island

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Random House Reader’s Circle)

Adventures in the Rocky Mountains (Penguin Great Journeys)


2001: A Space Odyssey

So Much for That: A Novel

The Messenger

All Quiet on the Western Front (Pacemaker Classics)

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, Book 2)

The Graveyard Book

In Her Shoes : A Novel

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)

2010: Odyssey Two

Voyager (Outlander)

Aloha Surf Guide A Beginner’s Guide for the Vacationing Surfer

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage)

2061: Odyssey Three

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

3001 The Final Odyssey

Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks

Drums of Autumn (Outlander)

Eye of the Needle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (P.S.)

Dead Until Dark (Original MM Art) (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

Living Dead in Dallas (Original MM Art) (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

The 2011 List

(Wherein I did okay again. Β 32 this year.)

I’d Rather Be in the Studio!

Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 10th Anniversary Edition (Harry Potter)

Red Mars (Mars Trilogy)

Club Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 3)

The Ice Queen: A Novel

Invisible Man

Dead to the World (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Book 4)

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

Notes from a Small Island

The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International)

The Lotus Eaters: A Novel (Reading Group Gold)

Remember, Be Here Now

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health

Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, Book 2)

Dead as a Doornail (Original MM Art): A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

Heaven and the Afterlife (As part of the My Father Gives Me These Books to Read Series.)

The Tudor Rose: The Story of the Queen Who United a Kingdom and Birthed a Dynasty


One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

New Menopausal Years : The Wise Woman Way, Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90 (Wise Woman Ways)

The Fiery Cross (Outlander)

Never Let Me Go

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 6)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat–Not a Sour Puss

The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession

The Magicians: A Novel

The Help

The 2012 List

(Wherein I decided I will probably never make 50, but that’s okay. Β It’s fun to try.)

All Together Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)

The Artist’s Way

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

Steppenwolf: A Novel

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)

The Surrendered

The End of Illness

The Pillars of the Earth

My Body Is A Temple: Yoga As a Path to Wholeness

Water for Elephants: A Novel

Courage: Overcoming Fear and Igniting Self-Confidence

The Lacuna: A Novel (P.S.)

Just After Sunset: Stories

Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy)

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

The Art of Travel


The Hunger Games (Book 1)

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 8)

I Dreamed of Africa

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)

Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

A Clash of Kings (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two

23 Comments on “50 Books Project”

  1. Amburger says:

    I attempt and fail each year as well. I only ever make to 20-25. If I had more time, and more interesting books that really catch my attention.

  2. Meredith says:

    You read a Salty Piece of Land?!? I love Jimmy Buffet books!!! When we were little, my dad used to read us JollyMon. It’s a kid’s book, based on one of his songs, but I loved it SOOOO much. And then I found out that he wrote grown up books and that was way too exciting. It’s funny because he’s such a great story-teller, and you can find bits of his songs work their way into the book. Like “cowboy in the jungle”, something about riding a pony on a beach, and all kinds of stuff.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble, I just really love that book but nobody takes me seriously when I tell them that I like Jimmy Buffet’s books. Big shocker, huh?

    • Robin says:

      lol! Thanks, Meredith. You brightened my day. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I read the book and enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to check out more of his books (especially the one he wrote when — and about — he turned 50.

  3. happypoppeye says:

    Why 50 books a year? Why put a number to something you enjoy and try to froce it. For me this only makes it unenjoyable. I would rather read and enjoy 1 book a year than try and read 50 just because that is a number that sounds good.


    • Robin says:

      Hi John πŸ™‚

      It’s an arbitrary number and I never meet it or expect to meet it so there is no forcing. I borrowed the idea from another blogger because I noticed I was spending less time reading books (oddly enough, correlating with spending more time reading blogs). Having a challenge helps to motivate me.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. πŸ™‚

  4. Adam says:

    Though I’m not going for any specific number, I’ll probably hit 50 books this year, I’m up to 18 since March 11th when I started my blog about books. I also read several books this year before I started keeping my blog so I’m probably at about 25-30 for the year. Best of luck in reaching your goal of 50 for this year.

  5. Siannaphey says:

    This is a great effort, I don’t read enough! but I want to…Would love to know what your favourite books to read were? Two books I aim to read are Norwegian Wood and The Art of Racing in the Rain πŸ™‚ Thanks again!!!

    • Robin says:

      Oh gosh, Siannaphey. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite book. There are so many wonderful books. Norwegian Wood was certainly one of those wonderful books. The House of the Spirits was another. I found Jitterbug Perfume quirky and funny, and The Graveyard Book was fabulous.

  6. ashleypaige4 says:

    I’m so glad yo see that you’re reading the Outlander books! I’m obsessed! It’s the driving passion behind my desire to visit Scotland! I’m having a hard time finishing the 5th book, though.

    • Robin says:

      Scotland is a gorgeous country, Ashley. I’ve been there a couple of times, and particularly love the Highlands. I wish I could afford to live there. πŸ™‚

  7. The only thing more fun than reading books, for me, is reading other people’s reading lists! Your’s are very interesting and we have quite a few in common. I liked Buffet’s book, too.

    I know this is an old post, but I just came across it. Hope you don’t mind! What are you reading now? I just finished “A Trick of the Light” by Louise Penny, my favorite mystery writer.

    • Robin says:

      Hi Melissa πŸ™‚

      I like reading other people’s lists too. It’s interesting to see what people are reading and I often find some new books to add to my reading list.

      I’m currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. If interested, you can (usually) find what I’m currently reading listed in the side bar (over to the right, somewhere near the top). I added “usually” because sometimes I get behind in updating it.

      I’ll be moving my current list (also in the side bar, near the bottom) over to this page once we change over to 2012 and I start a new one.

      Thanks for stopping by. I don’t think many people look at the pages on my blog (just the posts) which is okay, but it’s nice when someone does. πŸ™‚

  8. tarapappas says:

    What a great challenge! And I love your taste in books πŸ™‚ You have some pretty wonderful ones on your list!

  9. subhanzein says:

    Wow! Your lists are amazing! I’ve been wanting to read some of the books on your lists myself, but only managed to do some. We’ve got some books we both like though! πŸ™‚

    Warm regards,

    Subhan Zein

  10. CMSmith says:

    I think I’m going to list my books too. Thanks for the idea. I’ve read many of the same fiction books you’ve read, but very little non-fiction.

    I just finished The Book Thief. I thought it was very good and it went fast. Now I’m slipping in a Nora Roberts book. I read them like candy when I want a light easy read that I know won’t make me cry or have to think. I have The Snow Child on my kindle to read next for the Goodreads Book Addicts group.

    Good luck with your reading. I’ll enjoy seeing what you do.

  11. Corina says:

    I tried this for the first time in 2012. I got to 67 books! My goal for this year is 75. Ambitious but if I keep reading only books I absolutely love, it should go quickly. If I read books just because they are the current title to read even if they aren’t my cuppa tea, they drag and drag and drag me down.

    • Robin says:

      I know what you mean, Corina. There are some books I have to slog through, and then find I’m glad I did. Others, not so much. I instituted a 50 page rule. If something about the book hasn’t grabbed me by page 50, I give up. The only exception to that are the books on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. I’m working my way through the list. Sometimes it’s slow going. I find the classics often require me to slow down and think about what I’m reading. Not all of them. Some go fast and I wonder why I’d never read them before. And some are work and I get to the end wondering why I bothered.

      Lately I’ve been reading books with a lot of pages so I’ve been putting short, quick, “brain candy” type of books in between. πŸ™‚

  12. mobius faith says:

    fun and varied reading lists. I wish I had more time to read. It’s just that with all the exercise my eyes get when I’m creating something the last thing I want to do is read. I usually find myself just closing my eyes and listening to music. I do listen to audio books once-in-a-while. I’m looking forward to what 2013 holds for you.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Terry. πŸ™‚

      I don’t read as much as I used to, for similar reasons. Sometimes my eyes are just too tired, usually from staring at the computer screen.

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