Alongside a handful of shared/group reading challenges (here‘s my mid-year update on those), I’d chosen some themes to explore and I’d spotted some gaps in my reading.

Short Stories
1. Sarah Selecky’s This Cake is for the Party (2010)
2. Lynn Coady’s Play the Monster Blind (2000)
3. Mavis Gallant’s Home Truths (1981)
4. Alice Munro’s Dance of the Happy Shades (1969)
5. Belle Boggs’ Mattaponi Queen (2010)
6. Gordon j. h. Leenders’ To Be Continued… (2005)
7. Alice Munro’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You (1974)

Drawn from the pens of my Must Read Everything authors (12)
1. Barbara Comyns’ Sisters by the River (1947)
2. Margaret Drabble’s The Garrick Year (1964)
3. Helen Simpson’s Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990)
4. Anita Brookner’s A Start in Life (1981)
5. Alice Munro’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You (1973)
6. Banana Yoshimoto’s The Lake (2011)
7. Rose Tremain’s Sacred Country (1992)

Re-reads (12)
1. Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion (1987)
2. Alice Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women (1971)

Series (because I actually want to finish/catch-up-with some of the oodles that I’m engaged with so I can start new ones)
1. Jo Dereske’s Miss Zukas series (which began with Miss Zukas and the Library Murders; 3 remain for me in the series)
2. Lois Lowry’s trilogy: The Giver; Gathering Blue; The Messenger
3. Terry Griggs’ Cat’s Eye Corner series: Cat’s Eye Corner; The Silver Door; Invisible Ink (three volumes in total)
4. Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole Diary series (which began with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾; 7 remain for me in the series)
5. Louise Penny’s Gamache series (which began with Still Life; 4 remain for me to read)
6. Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series (which began with Dead Until Dark; 7 remain for me in the series)
7. Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series (five volumes in total)

Non-fiction (12)
1. Sean B. Carroll’s Remarkable Creatures (2009)
2. Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie’s Slow Death by Rubber Duck (2009)

Aging (*Memory)
1. Sarah Leavitt’s Tangles (2010)
2. Catherine M.A. Wiebe’s Second Rising (2009)
3. Ghost Stories in Jeff Lemire’s Essex County, Collected (2009)

Gender and Conformity (*Intersexuality)
1. Kathleen Winter’s Annabel (2010)
2. Thomson Highway’s Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998)
3. Rose Tremain’s Sacred Country (1991)

Nature (*Wildlife)

Toronto (Fiction/NF)
1. Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion (1987)
2. Stacey May Fowles’ Be Good (2007)
3. Amy Lavender Harris’s Imagining Toronto (2010)

See how neglectful I’ve been of those last themes? Shameful, isn’t it. You’d never guess that I really do want to be reading on those subjects.

Well, I think I chose too many themes in that I was expecting to dabble but then, as you start looking into something, it becomes more interesting, and you want to keep reading and other books remain on the shelf.

The second half of this reading year will include a focus on my dozen Must-Read titles for 2011. I think they make a grand mix of many favoured sorts of books: some classic and others contemporary, some children’s books amongst books written with adult readers in mind, some non-fiction and some fiction. With two exceptions, these books have been on my reading list for years…some of them for decades. 2011 will see them read!

And now I must go…and read…but before you go, do please let me know if you have recommendations for any of these themes!