Saturday, January 08, 2005

Reading List 2005

Books I demand you read if you haven't already:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
by Michael Chabon. Mom just brought this one back after an extended absence so I had to revisit it. Still love it. I'd like to try one of his other books soon, probably Wonder Boys.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It struck me much more this time how much our society has begun to resemble Bradbury's world of the future. Scary. Read this book again if you haven't read it lately.

Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Loved it. Pulitzer Prize winner in 1932. Thanks Oprah for bringing it to my attention even though it really annoys me that there's a huge "Oprah's Book Club" sticker on the front. I didn't realize that it was the first in a series of three books, so now I need to find the other two.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I reread this in preparation for the movie. I was skeptical of the movie, but just saw a trailer and it looks pretty cool, even with Mos Def as Ford Prefect.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. LOVED this book. It didn't win the Pulitzer for nothing. If you haven't read it, you really should. Go buy it. Right now!

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. Fascinating reading. Unless you're a polygamist. Then you might not like it so much.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary
by Simon Winchester. Fascinating. I had no idea the OED was created that way and the story of one of its schizophrenic contributors is amazing.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
by JK Rowling. Come on it's Harry Potter, I don't really need to say more do I?

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Story of a girl growing up with an abusive father in the rural South during the civil rights movement who leaves in search of information about her dead mother. I loved it.

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. This isn't really a book, but I'm calling it one because they bound a special edition of the short story into book form. I loved this story. I hope they do it justice in the movie because if it's done right it could definitely be Best Picture material. Read it, it's beautiful and heartbreaking.

Rachel and Leah by Orson Scott Card. Another take on the Biblical story of Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah. I thought the Red Tent was better written, but this focuses more on the four of them before their marriage to Jacob. I'll definitely read the second half of the story when The Wives of Israel is published. I'll also look for his other Women of Genesis books.

Books I enjoyed, but who knows if you'll like them because you're not me:

A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. Knight - Reread. Christmas present from Tamara. I had it on my wish list because it's one of those books I keep lending out and not getting back. I love the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. If you're a mystery lover, I highly recommend it. First book is The Beekeeper's Apprentice. I'd loan it to you, but again it's been loaned out and never returned. Stupid friends.

A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George. I love Elizabeth George, love the Lynley/Havers series. Like mysteries? Try her. This was a particularly good one, I really enjoyed it.

Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig. Tamara loaned this one to me and I really enjoyed it. I feel TOTALLY sane after reading it.

Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson. I love my geek books.

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester. Finally made it through this. The beginning was quite slow for me with all the history of early European contact with the area and then the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. I kept putting it down and forgetting about it. I finally got hooked when the volcano started rumbling. That part? Fascinating. Especially when I heard a news story recently that said the Pacific Northwest's geology is extremely similar. I wonder when Mt. Rainier will blow?

Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. I really liked this as I read it, but now that I reflect on it, I'm not sure it was about all that much. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it or not.

We Thought You Would be Prettier by Laurie Notaro. I used to read her columns when she wrote for the Arizona Republic and laughed and laughed. This is some very light, but enjoyable, reading.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I can't wrap my brain around anythng much heavier than this right now, since I fall asleep after only a page or two every night. Some fun YA fiction about an evil mastermind 12 year old capturing fairies for the pot of gold ransom sounded just right.

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl Book 2) by Eoin Colfer. Cute. The first one was better, but this one is worth a read too if you like that sort of thing.

The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl Book 3)
by Eoin Colfer. Same as above.

All He Ever Wanted
by Anita Shreve. Kind of a creepy story when you think about it. I don't know if you'd like it. I gave it away on Paperback Book Swap, so that should tell you something. I don't often give books away.

Trashy mysteries that I don't like to admit to reading so they now have a category all to themselves. I have an addiction, OK?

Cat and Mouse by James Patterson.

Over the Edge
by Jonathon Kellerman.

Deception Point by Dan Brown. Dude, come on. I figure out who the villain is way too early in all your books. Please try a little harder. Make me think about it at least. (Uh, I actually read this twice this year. Please don't mock me.)

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. Again with the figuring out the villain too early. Why do I bother? And anti-matter? You lost me at the anti-matter.