When I started this, back in '06, it came along with a pledge: I was gonna read 50 books in the year, and my readers were gonna tag along for the ride. Yeah, that ain't happenin'. We're closing in on halfway through the year, and I'm not halfway through 50 -- I'm not one-third through 50. So to spare everyone the indignity of me going back and editing posts to talk about my goal of reading 30 books in 2006, or seeing me give synopses of Hardy Boys books in a desperate attempt to hit the half-century mark (personal favorite: #8, "The Mystery of Cabin Island"), I'm scaling it back to "I will read however many books I've read by December 31, 2006." Less inspiring, more attainable.
That said, #14: "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell
It's rare I go into a book knowing I'll love it, but in this case, the combination of ejaculatory reviews and a recommendation from one of the few people whose literary opinion I swear by made it a winner before page one. And yes -- it was. I'm reluctant to go saying much about the setup -- part of my joy was realizing how the book was assembled. Suffice to say that it's dreamy, and beautiful, and wonderful.