I’ve been plodding away at keeping up with my reading list for the year and was about to put the finishing touches on this post when I inadvertently deleted the whole thing. So, instead of my insightful commentary and mini-reviews, you’re getting a list with a few notes.
My themes for this batch seem to be YA novels with female protagonists, frequently written by Sarah Dessen; books that take place in whole or in part near Swoope, Virginia (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and See You in a Hundred Years); and books about primitive living (See You in a Hundred Years, Wilderness Mother, and The Other). The Divorce Party was the worst book of the lot, although I think a lot of people would find Why I Came West frustrating. If you want that story, read Winter, which is a wonderful book. The other is good chiefly if you, like Bass and like me, feel that your life got derailed at some point by the need to save the world, or some part of it. Bizarrely enough, I didn’t reread any books during this stretch of the year, but I’m seriously considering reading Iodine again as soon as it comes back. It has gotten me ILLing books it mentions, and I am now a devotee of Haven Kimmel’s blog.
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers
You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
The Sorrows of an American by Siri Hustvedt
The Bishop’s Daughter by Honor Moore
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
The Great Man by Kate Christianson
See You in a Hundred Years by Logan Ward
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller
The Divorce Party by Laura Dave
The Other by David Guterson
Wilderness Mother by Deanna Kawatski
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Friday Nights by Joanna Trollope
Cost by Roxana Robinson
Why I Came West by Rick Bass
The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer — listened to, not read — have I really only ingested one audio book in the past four months?
December by Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop
The Soloist by Steve Lopez
Iodine by Haven Kimmel
And hey, if you’re really, really interested in what I’ve read, I did a little book meme after the jump.
Via Steve, the 106 books most frequently tagged “unread” on LibraryThing. The rules: bold the ones youâ€™ve read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didnâ€™t finish.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — I keep meaning to finish it, but I think I’ve forgotten most of the part I read.
- Anna Karenina
- Crime and Punishment — I started trying to read this when I was twelve, I believe.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude — The first few sentences are still probably the best first few sentences of any novel, ever — but I’ll cop to that being a lame excuse for the fact that I get the characters so muddled that I’ve never finished the book.
- Wuthering Heights
- The Silmarillion
- Life of Pi : a novel
- The Name of the Rose
- Don Quixote
- Moby Dick — I love Moby Dick.
- Madame Bovary
- The Odyssey — I’ve even read about a third of it in Greek!
- Pride and Prejudice
- Jane Eyre
- A Tale of Two Cities
- The Brothers Karamazov
- Guns, Germs, and Steel
- War and Peace
- Vanity Fair
- The Time Travelerâ€™s Wife
- The Iliad
- The Blind Assassin
- The Kite Runner
- Mrs. Dalloway
- Great Expectations
- American Gods
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
- Atlas Shrugged
- Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
- The Canterbury Tales — I used to try reading Chaucer in Middle English, give up, read the translation, feel like a cheater, start over, repeat.
- The Historian : a novel
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
- Love in the Time of Cholera
- Brave New World
- The Fountainhead — If I could un-read this book and get those hours back, I would.
- Foucaultâ€™s Pendulum
- Middlemarch — Actually, I’m not sure I ever finished this, though I know I’ve started it several times.
- The Count of Monte Cristo
- A Clockwork Orange
- Anansi Boys
- The Once and Future King
- The Grapes of Wrath
- The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
- Angels & Demons
- The Inferno
- The Satanic Verses
- Sense and Sensibility
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Mansfield Park
- One Flew Over the Cuckooâ€™s Nest
- To the Lighthouse
- Tess of the Dâ€™Urbervilles
- Oliver Twist
- Gulliverâ€™s Travels
- Les MisÃ©rables
- The Corrections
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- The Prince
- The Sound and the Fury
- Angelaâ€™s Ashes : a memoir
- The God of Small Things
- A Peopleâ€™s History of the United States: 1492-present
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- A Short History of Nearly Everything
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being
- The Scarlet Letter
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves
- The Mists of Avalon
- Oryx and Crake : a novel
- Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
- Cloud Atlas
- The Confusion
- Northanger Abbey
- The Catcher in the Rye
- On the Road
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
- The Aeneid
- Watership Down
- Gravityâ€™s Rainbow
- The Hobbit
- In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
- White Teeth
- Treasure Island
- David Copperfield
- The Three Musketeers
— I read this book in bits and chapters. I may have read the whole thing, but I’m not sure.
3 thoughts on “2008 in books, continued”
I also love Moby Dick. I think you need to be in the right mindset, and I think you can’t be forced to read it for school.
Come to think of it, I think I did read it for school, twice (a seminar I audited in college and another with Marilynne Robinson in grad school, round one), but I read it on my own first, which is something I tried to do with any book I thought I might like.
You read a Joanna Trollope I didn’t know existed? Also, I think I will maintain my fading credibility as an English major and not do the meme, thank you.