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Final 2005 Bookcount

I can imagine some of you thinking, "If you'd spend more time reading instead of talking about reading...." True, true. But I love talking about books almost as much as I love reading them.

Below is my final booklist for 2005, hoping that I didn't forget any from earlier in the year. You've seen the list before, so I've added some thoughts on each book to make it more interesting for you.

  1. Kennedy, John F.: Profiles in Courage — A very interesting read. I had heard of some of these Congressmen, but not all. I questioned the inclusion of some and the exclusion of others. But I thought it was a very readable collection of mini-biographies.

  2. Adams, Douglas: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — So much wacky fun!

  3. Adams, Douglas: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe — Wacky fun!

  4. Adams, Douglas: Life, the Universe and Everything — Still wacky, but the fun started to diminish.

  5. Adams, Douglas: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish — This one started to become a chore to finish.

  6. Adams, Douglas: Mostly Harmless — The last 2-3 in the series, I mostly kept reading because I was interested in what would become of the characters and so that I could say I read them all. They had their moments, but too much emphasis was placed on the wacky as opposed to the funny and they just weren't as entertaining as the first two.

  7. Gaiman, Neil: American Gods — Fantastic book. I love his style of fantasy-realism, the manner in which he interwove mythology and Americana.

  8. Lewis, C.S.: A Grief Observed — I suspect this book will be more meaningful to me many years from now.

  9. Stephenson, Neal: Cryptonomicon — Fantastic read! I loved following the different storylines and watching them converge. The ending seemed a bit too neat, though.

  10. O'Connor, Flannery: Everything That Rises Must Converge — Beautiful, touching stories with a touch of the macabre. I recommend these to everyone.

  11. Akutagawa, Ryūnosuke: Rashomon and Other Stories — Such a disappointment. A couple of the stories were interesting, but there really wasn't much to them.

  12. Cisneros, Sandra: The House on Mango Street — A pleasant read, following the life of a young Latino girl growing up in Chicago, but nothing special.

  13. Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness — This was my third go at this. I had enjoyed it before but wasn't looking forward to it as the Book Club selection. I decided to get the Norton Critical Edition, which contains lots of background reading, including Conrad's diary, and critical essays. I simply confirmed that this is one of the great novels of the English language.

  14. Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings — Not at all what I expected. A very moving account of coming of age in difficult circumstances.

  15. Wells, H.G.: The War of the Worlds — Not a fan of the Victorian style of writing.

  16. Lewis, C.S.: The Magician's Nephew — Now I am wishing I had read this in the published order. A beautiful book!

  17. Lewis, C.S.: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — What can I say that hasn't been said already?

  18. Lewis, C.S.: The Horse and His Boy — I was shocked by the obvious contempt towards Arabs, but it was a very entertaining story.

  19. Lewis, C.S.: Prince Caspian — All the Narnia books are great. What more can I add?

  20. Lewis, C.S.: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader — This might have been my favorite of the Chronicles. Maybe.

  21. Lewis, C.S.: The Silver Chair — And this might have been my least favorite. But that's kind of like saying I like oral … never mind! Suffice it to say, they're all great.

  22. Lewis, C.S.: The Last Battle — Reminded me in many ways of Lewis' The Great Divorce.

  23. Asimov, Isaac: The Naked Sun — Much, much better than Caves of Steel. I almost didn't read this, because I was so disappointed in the first. Now I'm looking forward to Robots of Dawn.

  24. Heinlein, Robert A.: Stranger in a Strange Land — I grok it! I do, much more than I expected I would. What a beautiful book! What a beautiful way of life. Very much looking forward to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

  25. Alexander, Lloyd: The Book of Three — Everyone seems to love this book … except me. It was alright, but it felt like a novelized King's Quest. I know it's "just a children's book" (not my words), but, with Narnia, The Hobbit, and even the much maligned Harry Potter as standards, it seemed lacking.

  26. Wibberley, Leonard: The Mouse That Roared — A delightful little tale of a fictional duchy that invaded and conquered the U.S. over pinot noir.

  27. Anthony, Piers: On a Pale Horse — I enjoyed it, and I'm curious about the other Incarnations, but I'm not sure I really enjoy Anthony's writing style.

  28. Lewis, C.S.: The Four Loves — An insightful look at the different kinds of love. Lewis doesn't really say much about the loves that hasn't been said before, but it was very interesting to see how his thoughts tie in to those expressed in his other books.

I am going to try to document each book I read in 2006 as I'm reading them, mostly because it's easier to keep track of them that way and partly because I have this nagging feeling I may have forgotten about something I read last year. Hopefully, I'll be able to get a little closer to my 50-book goal than last year!

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
urban_faerie_
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
I too like talking about books almost as much as reading them. Good thing my friends are all book nerds too.
Might I suggest a few of my favorites to mix things up just in case you get sick of fantasy/sci fi and need some good character driven fiction?
I read all of these last year:
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Euginedes
Everything is illuminated, by Johnathan Safran Foer
Crossing California, by Adam langer (technically I finished that one last night but whatever.)
Happy reading!
spwebdesign
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
This past year was unusual in the amount of fantasy/sci-fi I read. Most years actually include little to no sci-fi or fantasy!

I had already decided Middlesex is a must read, although I may wait till I get to England to read that one, since I want to get rid of the books I own. Tell me more about the other two.
mdm_sosostris
Jan. 2nd, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
Baubles
I still gotta quibble on the Alexander stuff. I know it lacks the depth of the Tolkien (but come on, who doesn't?) and even the Lewis. But I'm unconvinced that it's a bad thing. Alexander's not mythmaking (Tolkien) or allegorizing (I think I just made that word up, but you know what I mean). He's telling stories--and the stories become more compelling with each installment.

Much like Rowling's done with the Harry Potter series, Alexander advances his metanarrative with his readers' age and comprehension levels. Plus I defy you not to weep at the end of The High King. I sob like a baby every time I read it. True, Alexander lacks the literary genius of many other "children's" authors; but I think his characters are remarkably vivid in what could have been rote fairy-tale spinning.

I'm telling you: keep reading 'em. They're worth it.
spwebdesign
Jan. 2nd, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Baubles
I didn't say The Book of Three was bad, just that it no better than alright. That said, I do have The Black Cauldron sitting by my bedside, and it will definitely be amongst the 20 books I read before heading overseas.

I felt pretty much about the first Harry Potter book. I thought it was okay, but nothing special. Everyone tells me the others are progressively better, so I suppose I will someday have to read them, but there's no hurry.
ayelle
Jan. 4th, 2006 04:26 am (UTC)
Re: Baubles
Oho! So we share love for this children's series as well!!

As a matter of fact, Alexander is one of my two favorite children's authors and I still think that someday I'm going to write a thesis on him.

Oh, and spwebdesign, she's right, they just get better and better, except that #2 is better than #3. When I taught the class on fantasy in the ChLit survey class, I had them read (newbery honor-winning) #2, The Black Cauldron, instead of starting with #1. For me, BoT is, more than anything, a prelude and introduction to the characters for the rest of the series. Though I still like it more than you do.
mdm_sosostris
Jan. 4th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
Crunchings and Munchings
I'm telling you, we need a reading group. Except that you're in school and all busy.

Very well. Maybe *I* need a reading group.
ayelle
Jan. 4th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
Re: Crunchings and Munchings
Since all they're letting me read in my last semester is 19th century preachy victorianesque american children's lit and gritty young adult realism, I could probably still use a reading group.

if I ever have 5 spare minutes to read anything not assigned, that is...
spwebdesign
Jan. 4th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Re: Crunchings and Munchings
Where were you when I had my book club? Managed to keep that endeavor going for three years before a few members moved out of town and I couldn't find enough interested new people to keep it going.
minkrose
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
well, you've hit up some of my favourite books (obviously, Narnia and SiaSL). I loved Fenchurch in Hitchhiker's and I've never forgiven him for her disappearance. She is my favourite character.

that said, I know you probably don't need suggestions but I feel compelled to suggest my two favourites, especially since you grok SiaSL.
A Prayer for Owen Meany (john irving)
The Blind Assassin (margaret atwood)


I still really need a booky icon. and a librarian one.
spwebdesign
Jan. 3rd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
And I need photography practice. Maybe we could help each other out? ;)
minkrose
Jan. 3rd, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
that's not a bad idea at all but I have no idea when I could do that.
I'd also have to find a properly librarianly outfit. I mean, the barette and glasses are pretty awesome but aren't quite... enough.
spwebdesign
Jan. 3rd, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
the barette and glasses are pretty awesome but aren't quite... enough

I don't know… We'll have to agree to disagree! <wink>
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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