Saturday, January 9, 2010

Book Harvest 2009

 Most of the books I read this year were recommended by someone else--either Bridget, Craig, The Oregonian, or Book Group.  There were only a few disappointments.  The lineup of fiction and non-fiction was 10 fiction to 16 non-fiction, which is more fiction than the usual for me. 

The bin Ladens (Coll)--NF; delves into ObL's extended family and points out that ObL is an outcast in certain parts of his own family; a newer book called Growing Up bin Laden is on my list for this year

Lone Survivor (Luttrell)--NF; you couldn't make up a thrilling yet tragic book like this but be warned about language

Found--F; strange tale of a plane full of babies; intriguing but weird at the same time

Red Sky in Mourning (Ashcraft)--almost pointless NF story about a man lost at sea in a storm, written by his surviving wife; it should have been shorter; don't confuse w/ an excellent coming of age story called Red Sky at Morning

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (Shaffer)--F; loved it and wish there was a sequel

The Hunger Games (Collins)--F; imaginative, suspenseful and well-written work about a society that annually sends two of its teenagers to a gladiator-style exhibition; stand alone first-in-a-series

Mornings on Horseback (McCullough)--NF; who knew Teddy Roosevelt became the accomplished person he did against such great odds?

A Long Way From Home (Brokaw)--NF; Tom Brokaw's youth; I say he was meant to achieve great things

Follow Me Down (Foote)--F; Civil War historian Shelby Foote's novel about nothing; I didn't care for it much

Shiloh (Foote)--F; Foote is in his element here when he describes a scene of dead and wounded as barrels of God's creation mistakes dumped out onto the battlefield [he says it more eloquently]

Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times (Brands)--NF; re: T. Roosevelt above; who knew a man with a lousy life could take care of our national business?

A. Lincoln (White)--NF; what doesn't he say about honest Abe?  Didn't know he abhorred slavery from childhood

Ablaze (Read)--NF; as bad as Chernobyl was, we're lucky it wasn't worse; can thank some who gave their lives to get the plant under control

In Plain Sight (Smart)--NF; Elizabeth Smart story thoroughly covered by her uncle

Firelover (Wambaugh)--NF; fire department arson specialist who creates his own job security, if you get my drift

Massacre at Mountain Meadows (Walker)--NF; no agenda or whitewashing here; it's the real deal

The Dark is Rising (Cooper)--F; this was on a list of must-reads so I obeyed and read it; in the light of some of the good juvenile literature we've seen the past decade it pales because it's too far-fetched and hard to follow

The Shack (Young)--F; popular fiction that's too weird for my tastes

The Worst Hard Time (Egan)--NF; Depression dust bowl 101; itwas shocking to me to read how much that area suffered--I just didn't know

A Matter of Chastity (Yocom)--NF; chronicle of a young woman who committed murder to avenge her rape over 100 years ago

Sarah's Key (DeRosnay)--F; ok fast read involving the Holocaust in France, but too manipulative and contrived

Three Weeks in October (Moose)--NF; Charles Moose, former PDX police chief writes about the Washington DC sniper he dealt with as Montgomery County MD police chief

Sudden Sea (Rossi)--NF; 1938 New England hurricane which made landfall without warning as a category 5; people peacefully eating lunch on their sunny terrace were drowned in 25 feet of water a few hours later

The Princess Academy (Hale)--F; great YA story about a young woman who wanted 'more' than to be a princess

Skeletons on the Zahara (King)--NF; amazing story of survival by sailors shipwrecked on the African coast

Catching Fire (Collins)--F; sequel to The Hunger Games . . . leaves you hanging and the third book doesn't come out until August!


  1. I liked The Dark is Rising back in the day (you probably have an old copy sitting on the shelf in Spare Oom).

    I want to ask you more about The Shack.

  2. Although I do end up reading some decent books for my courses, I will be happy to have a chance to read more books for pleasure this summer, and especially when I am finished with school! When that time comes, I will have to revisit this list.

  3. I think The Shack would be of more value to someone without strong religious values--someone who is lacking in core beliefs and convictions. It would be reassuring to them to know that God loves them and is aware of them and their pain.