Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Books 2009 - #s 1 through 5

I don't know whether or not there is an actual "Reading Challenge" thrown down this year, but I'd like to continue the practice of keeping track of, and reporting on, the books I read during the year.

Last year I only ended up reading 31 books. That's nowhere near the 60 book goal. This year my personal goal is to read 50 books in 2009. And I started early. I read my first book on January1: The Small One, by Charles Tazewell. It's an old book, not well known at all, but the author is well known for writing the famous (or infamous, in some circles) children's classic, The Littlest Angel. The small one is an old donkey, worthless to his owners, but loved by a little boy, who ends up being given a great responsibility.

While I was on vacation, I completed a book by Abigail Thomas called Thinking About Memoir. I loved her book, Three Dog Life, and this little book is just as well-written, but it's more a book of writing, and memory, exercises than it is a memoir itself.

I had read parts of In the Bleak Midwinter a couple of years ago, but the dog ate it before I got to the end. In December I read the last two books in the series, so I took the opportunity to go back and re-read the first in the series. It was fun vacation reading.

The Bible Salesman, by Clyde Edgerton, was my next vacation book, and just as fun as In the Bleak Midwinter, but in another way. I blogged about it here.

Finally, I read Timothy Egan's fine book, The Worst Hard Time. It's a harrowing and finely-written account of the dust bowl during the depression, and those who lived through it. It's really an environmental disaster story. I remember a conversation with a friend of my husband's, a free-market kind of guy, who said most people didn't understand that the "market" is a law, like gravity -- you can't ignore it. This book reminds me that there are other "laws" as well -- laws of nature, and that we ignore at our peril.

14 comments:

Magdalene6127 said...

I am so impressed with your running start... how do you wonderful women find the time?

I gotta get serious.

Diane said...

Well, Mags, remember, it was vacation! I need a running start. Also, I'm going to mix in a few really short books this year ;)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm impressed by your running start.

I refuse to set a numeric goal, but I'm going to post about books this year too. My first one is tomorrow. It's more generic. Only one is a recent read, but it was a mystery so I decided to talk about mystery series I like.

mompriest said...

wow, diane...that is impressive. I blogged about reading, poetry, and, well, my total inability to read entire books...hope you meet your goal and read lots of great books!

Rev SS said...

impressive, and interesting list so far!

Diane said...

well, Mompriest, I have had a lot of trouble reading entire books lately too....I really had to force myself on the dust bowl book.

Ruth, I find that a numeric goal does help, even if I don't make it. However, just posting about the books helped too.

zorra said...

I thought The Worst Hard Time was one of the best books I read last year--so well written, and the story was so compelling that the book almost read like a novel at times.

Jan said...

You've already read some good ones! Thanks for the recommendations. I want to find "The Worst Hard Time," esp. since both you and Zorra suggested it.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

50 books... you go girl! that seems like an awful lot to me... but a very worthy goal indeed.

Jennifer said...

The Worst Hard Time is on its way to me. I can't wait to read it.
I loved all of the Spencer-Fleming books. I ate them like candy!!!!

Jennifer said...

The Worst Hard Time is on its way to me. I can't wait to read it.
I loved all of the Spencer-Fleming books. I ate them like candy!!!!

Kievas said...

I hope you achieve your goal!

Lindy said...

Diane, I am still reading books from last year that I haven't finished yet. I admire you. You are really doing it.

Auntie Knickers said...

I remember The Small One, in my opinion much better than The Littlest Angel! I liked The Bible Salesman although not as much as some of his earlier books. Had a chance to hear Julia Spencer-Fleming (she lives not far from here) last fall and love her books. The Dust Bowl one sounds like one I need to read. May I suggest a really short book that you might like: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. It's short, funny, but also gives one something to think about.