01 January 2011

2010 Books

Here is what I read in 2010:

1. These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner - (Loved this book. I couldn't put it down. As far as historical-romance-fiction goes, this is as good as it gets. Just go read Janssen's review.)

2. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder - (I will never stop adoring this series. I will also never live in South Dakota.)

3. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - (Typical Dan Brown.)

4. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin - (Excellent story, kind of bland writing. Maybe not everybody needs to read this book because it really isn't stellar, but everyone should familiarize themselves with the story.)

5. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - (I really liked this book. The writing is great, and the story was wonderful.)

6. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather - (Before this I loved My Antonia, but with that as my only sampling of Willa Cather, I wasn't really sure if I was crazy about her writing. Now I'm certain that I am.)

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling - (My memory of this was that Harry was a big whiny baby throughout the whole book. It wasn't as bad as I remembered. And Doloroes Umbridge is a truly magnificent villain.)

8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - (Great book. Well-deserving of all the positive reviews. An excellent tale of redemption.)

9. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss - (I loved this book so much. I could hardly stop laughing, nodding my head in agreement and wanting to high-five Lynne Truss.)

10. The Help by Kathryn Stocket - (Loved this book. A couple of people recommended it to me, and I wholeheartedly agree with those folks.)

11. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner - (I sure did like this book. I'd been hearing about it for a few years, and I finally got around to reading it. Really interesting.)

12. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - (I liked this even more than The Kite Runner. Hosseini is a really engaging story-teller, and I found that I couldn't put this one down.)

13. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George* - (I enjoyed this one. It's written for kids, most especially for boys, but I'm not really sure how much most boys would like it. The pace is a little slow, and even though the narrator is a boy, the tone is much too adult.)

14. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - (Why yes, yes, I did read this last year. That was in preparation for the movie. This time was with my carpool buddy.)

15. Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza - (This was a difficult read but entirely worth it. While reading it, I was constantly reminded of how much God loves us and wants us to be joyful.)

16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - (I'm so glad my carpool buddy has finally read this series now. And I wish I could go to Hogwarts and get sorted. Maybe one day.)

17. Theodor SEUSS Geisel by Donald E. Pease - (This biography reads more like a literary analysis than a biography. Good thing it was only 152 pages.)

18. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - (I really liked the main character, Oskar, but I thought he was a little too adult-like. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but I liked it.)

19. A Year Down Yonder by Gregory Peck - (Liked this even better than A Long Way From Chicago, which I read last year.)

20. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - (I had been nursing this one since December, picking it up only here and there when I wanted something charming to boost my spirits. I brought it along on the cruise to help lighten the load of the some of the depressing ones I had brought along, and then I just couldn't stop reading it.)

21. Watership Down by Richard Adams - (Who knew a nearly 500-page book about a warren of rabbits could possibly be so interesting?)

22. Little Town on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - (I read this in one sitting when I should have been unpacking boxes. Then I delved straight into the next. I missed these while they were boxed up.)

23. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder - (Almonzo and Laura had strikingly different childhoods, and it was interesting to see how different life was if you grew up in a rich farmer's family. I don't think I really noticed the differences when I read these books as a girl.)

24. The Savior and the Serpent by Alonzo L. Gaskill - (Much of the Old Testament is symbolic, but we don't really live in a culture where those symbols are still relevant. This book breaks down the Adam and Eve story, and it was a really fascinating read.)

25. When Everything Changed by Gail Collins - (I sure did like this book. Well-written and thoroughly interesting. Way to go women of the last fifty years!)

26. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens* - (Only my second Dickens read. It didn't quite compare to A Tale of Two Cities, but I liked it, and I liked the narrator.)

27. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich - (Some parts of the story I found captivating. Other parts were disturbing. Others were too much like a soap opera.)

28. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen* - (Meh. Not particularly clever, brilliant or deep.)

29. The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages* - (I liked it. I would have probably enjoyed it more at about age 10, but it was definitely worth a listen.)

30. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder - (It was totally different reading about Laura and Almonzo's courtship in my twenties than when I was nine.)

31. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder - (I'm glad I'm not a farmer.)

32. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith - (Loved. How have I not heard more about this book?)

33. Just Food by James E. McWilliams - (Interesting but kind of dull.)

34. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns - (Rather enjoyed this one. I liked the characters, the setting and the story. It made me hungry for fried chicken.)

35. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter* - (I couldn't get over the arrogant tone of this book and the assumption that everybody really has a deep-seated desire to be unbelievably wealthy, so it wasn't a particularly enjoyable listen. There are some good points, but his financial philosophy just doesn't mesh very well with my own.)

36. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth - (If all baby books are this repetitive, I don't know how many I will get through. But I think it will be worthwhile in a few months.)

37. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - (Not as satisfying a conclusion as I expected. I liked the overall wrap-up, I just didn't really like how she got there.)

38. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dhal - (Man alive, I cannot wait to read this book to my kids. How had I not read it until now?)

39. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton - (Amazing. Beautiful prose. Beautiful story.)

40. Evolution of a Radical by Newton Van Dalsem - (This book was written by a relative of mine, and I enjoyed it, but there wouldn't be much mass appeal in it at all.)

41. When the Wind Blows by James Patterson - (I'm just not really into thrillers.)

42. Matilda by Roald Dhal - (Read this aloud with Eric in the car. I loved it as a kid, and I still enjoyed it as an adult.)

43. Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok - (Not one I can recommend to everyone, but I sure loved it. In the next life I intend to have deep discussions with Potok. I cannot get enough of his books.)

44. Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin - (While I cannot advocate this financial lifestyle completely, I think it offers some really great ways to look at and think about money.)

45. On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam - (If you do not follow the steps in this book your baby will probably grow up to be an axe murder. Okay, okay. It wasn't THAT bad, but I found the tone really irritating although many of the principles resonated with me.)

46. Fight For Your Money by David Bach* - (Very informative and useful. Not necessarily an exciting read, though.)

47. The Pearl by John Steinbeck - (How had I never read this until now? So awesome.)

48. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America by Barbara Ehrenreich* - (Listening to this book made me feel like I was watching a Michael Moore film - there are lots of good points, but because the opposing side is never addressed, and the author blatantly ignores her own argument's weaknesses, the overall work is only a small step above propaganda.)

49. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond - (A little long, but incredibly interesting.)

50. The Time-Starved Family by DeAnne Flynn - (A lot of good ideas in this book. It is more about evaluating priorities than anything else.)

51. The Giver by Lois Lowry - (I've read this book at least 30 times. I will never stop loving it.)

52. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill and Elizabeth Sherrill - (I will never cease to be amazed by this woman.)

*I listened to an audio-book.


Melanie said...

Aside from the Laura Ingalls and the baby books, I've read most of what you listed here and generally agree with your reviews. I'd forgotten how charming Roald Dahl's books are. I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory approximately 8 gazillion times as a child. Now I want to go back and re-read all of his books.

Janssen said...

My mother-in-law said she wouldn't let Andrew read My Side of the Mountain for fear she'd wake up and find him gone to live in a tree.

trishtator said...

Sherry = incredible. You've reminded me of a couple things I needed to remember. Potok - got to read more of his books. I read 'My Name is Asher Lev' last year and it totally blew me away, especially growing up in a such a devout culture. Steinbeck - love that man. One of my favorites of his (which may not be for everyone) is called 'Travels with Charlie,' and he drives around the country in a camper with his dog. 'O Pioneers' - loved that audio books (go Librivox!) I really want to read 'Kite Runner' and 'A Thousand Splendid Suns,' but haven't quite gotten there yet. 'My side of the Mountain' - I have always dreamed of living in a tree. It's still tempting. Have you read Poisonwood Bible? If you haven't, I think you should.

heidikins said...

So many great books!!! I have read and love about half of them!!!


Jenn said...

You've given me some good ideas to add to my good reads list. Thanks! As much as I loved The Kite Runner, I also enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns even more. Beautiful. Oh, and from what I can tell, yes - all baby books are that repetitive. Drives me crazy.