Tuesday, February 02, 2010

My 2009 book report...

On my other blog, I keep a list of books I am currently reading, along with a list of books completed for the year. I began this while I was recovering from illness, and had extra reading time on my hands. Last year with less reading time, it looks like I averaged a book every couple of weeks. Not bad, for a slow, methodical reader like me.

Below is my list of completed books from 2009, just so I can remove it from the other blog. This list includes both reading books and audio books listened to on trips or while sewing or cleaning or taking walks. Let me comment on a few stand-outs, and not-so-noteworthy, titles.

The last book I finished, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, was beautifully written, if rather on the philosophical side. I found it charming and funny and sarcastic. I could imagine myself as a girl in the place of the younger protagonist, with her self-centered assuredness and sweeping moral judgments. Dh, on the other hand, was never a pre-teen girl with a dramatic flair, and he found the book irritating and annoying. This book had the most widely varied opinions in the house of the year.

My least favorite novel of the year was Henry James' Daisy Miller. If i could ask Mr. James a question, it would be, "If you had to write this story, why not make it a short story, or better yet, a haiku, and get it over with?"
Spoiled Americans
Waste their lives and die in pain.
No redemption here.

In the Willa Cather category, I found O Pioneers to be much better than My Antonia, but not nearly as good as Death comes for the Archbishop. But whatever the book, you can't bat Cather for lovely, moving description of the land the relationship of the people to it.

The most enjoyable theology book of the year was definitely Minority Report. Trueman is a savvy writer, and blends humor, truth and wit in all his essays.

Best new novel (to me) of the year: The Kite Runner. Brutal and hard to read in places, but beautiful and moving in a way I've not been moved since Cry the Beloved Country. (Both of these books were new to me in adulthood.)

And there was a liberal sprinkling of re-reads last year: Tolkien and Lewis, Sayers and Wodehouse. One can't do without one's old friends!

How about you, Gentle Readers? What books did you read last year? Or which of the following do you have opinions about? I'd love to hear from you!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by M. Barbery (completed 12-09)
The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (completed 12-09)
The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (completed 11-09)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (completed 11-09)
The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (completed 10-09)
The Eclogues by Virgil (completed 10-09)
Persuasion by Jane Austen (completed 10-09)
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by A. M. Smith (completed 10-09)
The Confessions of St. Augustine (completed 9-09)
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (completed 9-09)
Foundation by Isaac Asimov( completed 9-09)
My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (completed 9-09)
Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (completed 8-09)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shhaffer (completed 8-09)
The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith (completed 7-09)
Knowing God by J. I. Packer (Completed 7-09)
Death of a Maid by M. C. Beaton (completed 7-09)
Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh (completed 6-09)
Ender in Exile by orson Scott Card (completed 6-09)
Daisy Miller by Henry James (completed 6-09)
Minority Report: unpopular thoughts on Everything from Ancient Christianity to Zen Calvinism by C. Trueman (completed 6-09)
The Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card (completed 6-09)
The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini (completed 6-09)
The Lighthouse by P.D. James (completed 6-09)
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (completed 5-09)
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (completed 5-09)
Mrs. Miniver by Jan Struther (completed 4-09)
Stardust by Neil Gaimon (completed 3-09)
Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists by Collin Hansen (completed 3-09)
Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card (completed 3-09)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (completed 2-09)
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (completed 2-09)
The Kalahari Typing School For Men by Alexander McCall Smith (completed 2-09)
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (completed 2/09)
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers (completed 2/09)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (completed 1-09)
The Mortification of Sin by John Owen (completed 1-09)


Cindy Marsch said...

My mother is supposed to be sending me *Hedgehog* soon, and I'm currently enjoying Wallace Stegner's *Crossing to Safety.* I enjoyed Peter Ho Davies' *The Welsh Girl* and then a collection of his stories that left me wanting another collection, so I have another one waiting for me soon. I'm currently doing *Frankenstein* for the study center and enjoying it. I look forward to *O Pioneers,* as I enjoyed both the other titles of Cather's you mentioned.

Mrs. Edwards said...

I'm not sure if you saw it or not, but I complained a bit about The Elegance of the Hedgehog on my blog today. I couldn't remember where I got the idea to read it, but I'm guessing it must have been from you! I wonder why I couldn't get into it? I'm sure it is a poor reflection on me!

I meant to read Cry the Beloved Country last year, but never got to it. Thanks for the reminder; I want to read it.

You've really been helping me get out of my non-fiction rut. I think I've read more fiction in the last two months than in the last three years! It is good to get back into it after mostly spending my reading time on theology, history, or current events and other non-fiction!

MagistraCarminum said...

Well, that's two for (my dil ELsa and me) and two against (Amy and my dh). I think Randy was alos in the "liked category. I'll have to get over to your blog and check out your comments, Amy!

Randy Greenwald said...

I was not in the 'liked' category – I was in the 'loved it' category. And, to my recollection, I was never a preteen girl myself. But my memory is a bit rusty these days.