Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2009 Reading List

Currently I am recovering from a string of overnight shifts. Here are my reads from this past year. Since graduating, I have tried to not be a complete recluse by joining a book club. It has been good in that a lot of the books I probably would have never come across otherwise. As far as discussion goes, we are really more of a wine and dessert club, with often hardly a mention of the month's read.


Walking Across Egypt - Clyde Edgerton. A funny, quick read-- kind of like reading several episodes of Golden Girls.

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer. This was a gift from someone, and I was curious about what all the fuss was about. It seemed like there wasn't near enough action in the book to warrant it's length.

Empire Falls - Richard Russo. This was a book club pick. About life in a small town, where nothing seems to ever happen, and everyone is stuck and unhappy with their positions in life until there's a dramatic turn at the end.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage - Dr. Laura Schlessinger. This was a homework assignment for AG and I by our chaplain (I have yet to meet the guy). There were a lot of duh! forehead-slapping statements in it, like how one should treat their spouse nicely if they want niceness in return.

All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren. Would have been better had the politician been shot much earlier in the book. Apparently, this was made into a movie, which I probably should have just watched as it wouldn't have wasted as much time.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith. Somehow I avoided reading this in high school. I liked it, as its protagonist is a scrappy girl and her struggle to educate herself and rise above her surroundings.

Hornet Flight - Ken Follet. WWII thriller, a nice, quick and entertaining read.

Dead Heat - Dick Francis. I had never heard of this author before. My future father-in-law lent me this book, and I really enjoyed it. It's about a chef who keeps having accidents until he figures out that someone is out to get him, and becomes a bumbling detective in the process.

Scarpetta - Patricia Cornwell. It had been a while since I had read a Kay Scarpetta thriller, and I think that this one may be my last. Cornwell seems to be capitalizing on America's current obsession with Little People. It was so bad, I donated it to the hospital library in St. Lucia.

The Last Juror - John Grisham. Read this one on a plane. It was entertaining, and more about Southern living than legal sleights of hand.

One More Day - Mitch Albom. Very quick read about an alcoholic and his regrets for not appreciating his mother.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands - Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Another homework assignment. I thought the first one was misogynistic (if that's possible from a female author) until I read this one!

Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky. I was warned that this one would be a difficult read, but I didn't think it was too bad. A disillusioned student murders out of theory and then drives himself mad dwelling on it.

Peace Like a River - Leif Enger. I think that this book was probably the best discovery I had from book club this year. The characters are very likable, and the story is about miracles happening as a result of faith to keep a family from falling apart.

The other benefit from joining a book club has been rediscovering the value of the public library system. My local library is in a historic building from when this crippled town was populated by millionaires. It has marble staircases, a domed ceiling, and lion statues guarding the front door. It is much more accessible than libraries were when I was younger. One can reserve and renew books online. Checkouts are for four weeks, rather than just two. The library is also linked to three other ones in the area, and they don't even mind which branch the books are returned to, regardless of where they came from. In times when people are looking for cheap entertainment, I would suggest the public library system, as you can also check out popular dvds and workout videos with equipment!

Past reading lists: 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005


~~Silk said...

Dr. Laura is a pompous ass. She's nasty to her callers, rigid, unsympathetic, and a total hypocrite. Not to mention stupid. She's into her shtick for the money that controversy and nastiness brings.

She has made some major mistakes in her own life, and I could respect her if she admitted her mistakes and said she'd learned from them, but instead, she lies and claims it all never happened.

See http://www.nndb.com/people/427/000022361/.

I'd find another chaplain. This one sounds rather rigid.

(Dr. Phil, on the other hand, is also a bit pompous, but at least he's real, honest, and more concerned about others than about himself. He just doesn't claim religious justification.)

Pardon my steam. Back when Jay was working but couldn't drive, I listened to Dr. Laura's radio show on the two hour round trip morning drive. My screaming at her at least kept me awake.

~~Silk said...

...and yeah, I was about 13 when I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and I still remember it fondly.

Kate said...

I had heard about the nude photos. I just don't get how a female radio personality with a career of her own can bash women for choosing to work outside the home. I figured the Marriage book would be more balanced than the Husbands book, but they were both pretty much focused on blaming women for not catering to their husbands.

ru said...

Looks like I need to add some books to my library list!

Ugh. I have never liked Dr. Laura; I can't believe she would write about marriage. I hope you can find better advice about marriage than hers.

I'm so excited that your waiting is almost over . . . AG is home soon!