Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year in Books, 2010 (the last, Last post!)

"Books to the ceiling,
 Books to the sky,
 My pile of books is a mile high.
 How I love them! How I need them!
             I'll have a long beard by the time I read them!"
                              Arnold Lobel

We've had a beautiful afternoon, and the kids and I went the the park to play and walk, and I finished The Woman in White!  Whew!  It wasn't a book I was tempted to quit listening too, but I didn't like any of the characters and I've been eager to finish it.  From now on, in addition to checking on whether the author of a book I'm considering listening to died before completing the book (as Elizabeth Gaskell did with Wives and Daughters), I'm also going to be checking to see how long the book is.  The Woman in White is too long.  Or maybe just too long to spend with such enthusiastically subservient female characters -- yuck.  But anyway, finishing that book put me in mind to make a list of what I've read (or listened to) in 2010, and also some of what I'm planning to read in 2011!  This goes along with my resolution (with a small "r," because I don't want to be held to it!) to spend more time reading actual Books in the coming year and less time reading stuff on the internet.  I read a lot on the internet in 2010, but most of it wasn't very memorable.  Or at least, I don't remember it, which isn't necessarily the same thing.  But on to the list...  well, and a last explanation.  I combined my lists of fiction (not the history related stuff) I read to the kids with the books I read (or listened to) myself.

Great Books by David Denby
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
The Clothes They Stood Up in and The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennet
Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
The Hotel Under the Sand by Kage Baker
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Justification: God's Plan & Paul's Vision by N.T. Wright
The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School by Neil Postman
The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J.R. Moehringer
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
The Box of Delights by John Masefield
Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and Doesn't by Stephen Prothero
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Honey for a Woman's Heart: Growing Your World Through Reading Great Books by Gladys Hunt
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith
Preacher's Boy by Katherine Paterson
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
What to Eat by Marion Nestle
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall
Matthew for Everyone: Chapters 1-15 Tom Wright
Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality by Michael Spencer
Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space by Philip Reeve
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
The Philosopher's Diet: How to Lose Weight and Change the World by Richard A. Watson
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by N.T. Wright
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis S. Collins
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye
Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition by Seamus Heaney
Starcross: A Stirring Tale of Spies, Time Travel, and Curious Hats by Philip Reeve
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
Wulf the Saxon by G.A. Henty
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
The Search for Delicious by Natalie Babbitt
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
Listening to the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell
Mere Humanity: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on the Human Condition by Donald T. Williams
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller
Mothstorm: The Horror from Beyond Uranus Georgium Sidus by Philip Reeve
Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale

Of course there were some I forgot to note down, but that is most of what I read for fun.
I am nearly finished with Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (such fun!), and also nearly through Woe is I, by Patricia O'Connor, and Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham.  And then it is on to my "to read" stacks! (which are delightfully high right now, thanks to gifts on my birthday and Christmas!)

I'm looking forward to starting the year with...
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog...) by Jerome K. Jerome
To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.

Of course other things will come up, but that looks good for a start!  I won't run out of reading anytime soon, at any rate (Kristin Lavransdatter is humongous!).

So that is really it for the year!  Best wishes to all for a wonderful 2011!

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