Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Reading List 2006

I'm just going to put in the titles so I can finish these up for the year. I stopped keeping track, so these are the ones I remember:

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. (How on earth did anyone think this was non-fiction?)

Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir

The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City by Jennifer Toth.

How to Get Your Kids to Eat But Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter

1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2 to 12 by

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. Loving the continuing Thursday Next series. And finally discovered where Fraulein N got her name!

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Farber and Elaine Mazlish. I decided we really needed this book after hearing us say, "Why can't you eat your dinner, Fiona? Even your baby sister has eaten more than you." Yeah, just trying not to screw up the kids. Too much.

Parable of the Sower
by Octavia Butler. Loved it. Tale of living in and escaping from post apocalyptic California. Al Gore would love this book since the apocalypse is caused by global warming.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year
by Anne Lamott. I love Anne Lamott and this is a great read. It was definitely appropriate reading too as Amelia reaches the one year mark, I was nodding my head with recognition the whole time. I especially appreciated that she too feared her child would grow up to be a Republican.

Incredible Years: A Troubleshooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 3 to 8 by Carolyn Webster-Stratton. We got this during the height of Fiona's temper tantrums. Helpful. Doesn't make you feel like a crap parent even when your kid is totally out of control.

by Octavia Butler. A science fiction novel that combines time travel with social issues. Her modern day narrator experiences slavery first hand while the book explores the question of how slaves and slave owners are made. After reading this, I'm pretty sure the author of Time Traveler's Wife drew some inspiration from Butler.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Very Jane Austen-like story. I loved it and was quite saddened to find out that Dodie Smith hadn't published much else besides 101 Dalmatians. I wanted to read more of her work.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Story of two friends in modern day Afghanistan. Eye opening and a good story. A little heavy on the Victorian-like use of coincidence to forward the plot for my taste, but a good, engaging story that made me loathe the Taliban.

Baltimore Blues, Charm City, Butcher's Hill, In Big Trouble, and The Sugar House by Laura Lippman. This series was recommended to me by a friend and I'm really enjoying it as you can see. Maybe a little too much. Perhaps I should take a break and read something else. The main character is a woman about my age and I like that she's not perfect.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. This book never fails to make me cry. Even more so now that I'm a mother for some reason. Gosh, I love Anne Shirley.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I was surprised to find out this is on the Modern Library's 100 best novels list. I shouldn't have been, because it's a great book.

Night by Elie Weisel. Horrifying and heartbreaking - Weisel's story of his time in concentration camps in Poland and Germany. This is a short book, but it still wasn't easy to get through.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Beautiful story and a quick read. Definitely worth a read if you haven't read it before.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King. A re-read. Still love this book.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Man, I am such a sucker! I've read this one before and knew I didn't like it all that much. The whole book goes basically like this: Someone gets killed, try to guess his passwords, "scholarly" exposition, someone tries to kill narrator, try to guess the passwords, "scholarly" exposition, try to guess the passwords, too-easily-guessable villain is revealed and defeated, "scholarly" exposition, neat and wholely implausible ending.

Every Secret Thing by Laura Lippman. I didn't like this one as much as her Tess Monaghan series. Maybe it was the whole theme of child murderers, I don't know. I just wasn't that into it.

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min. The story of a concubine who ends up ruling China. A sympathetic view of Tzu Hsi's rise to power. Interesting, but the historical novel genre and I just aren't meant to be best pals, I guess.

Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson. Everytime I finish one of his books I vow never to read another one. And then I do. I don't even really like them and am now quite convinced that James Patterson hates women and uses his writing to act out all of his violent fantasies against womankind. In this last one, all of the women were killed by a serial killer in spectacularly awful, violent ways. The one time a man was killed? Neat shot to the head. And it's been that way in all of the books I've read by him. Women stolen to be sex slaves and then killed (in more than one book), women tortured, women serial killed. I'm kind of scared to be writing this because I'm afraid James Patterson might read it and come and find me.