Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Book Roundup

My second annual book roundup divided by subject or genre.  I can't say I have a particular favorite.  You can tell by my description whether I feel a book is worth reading or not.  The colors have no meaning!

911 interest:
102 Minutes--detailed fascinating account of exactly what happened where in the WTC on 911
Global Jihad--a short informative explanation of radical Islam circa 2002; an update would be useful

7 non-fiction accounts of military or war experience: 
Highest Duty--Sullenberger's story of "the miracle on the Hudson;" somewhat inspiring but a little slow
Daring Young Men--story of the Berlin Airlift, wow, just read it; is this a great country or what? 
A Train to Potevka--Utahn's experience as a secret agent in Russia; worth reading 
With the Old Breed--WW2 vet's "tell it like it is" account of Pacific battles; there is no glory in war
The Raft--plane crash-lands in Pacific, amazing chronicle of the crew's survival 
Song of Survival--3 Dutch sisters taken captive by Japanese during WW2 in Sumatra 
The Zookeeper's Wife--how a family survived and kept others alive at the Warsaw Zoo during WW2

Frank McCourt: 
Tis and Teacher Man--if you can cut through the profanity, McCourt has a gift of making the mundane either so comical you crack up or the polar opposite, so sadly pathetic you can barely get through it.

I am glad I read all of these books about power in the natural world: 
The Wave--the science behind waves and a study of the increasing rogue waves
 Catergory 5--1935 Labor Day hurricane which is even scary just reading about 
F5--1974 huge tornado outbreak; shocking what nature can do! 
Storm Warning--1999 outbreak of scores of tornadoes largely in Oklahoma

2 related books:
My Abandonment and When She Flew: @ 10 years ago a girl and her father were found living in our local Forest Park, getting along "just fine;"  both these books are about that situation, but are totally fiction, which I did not know until the end of the first book.  I felt cheated because I read them just to find out what happened to the father and daughter.

4 books about true crime cases; none particularly stand out:
The Cases That Haunt Us--6 historic crimes never solved, for which author advances his theories
Sins of the Father--years after the crime a woman's memory reveals a murder she witnessed
The Unabomber--title says it all
The Innocent Man--justice obstructed, then obtained in Oklahoma murder case

biographies or not:
Driven--co-written autobiography about Larry Miller, a very successful and humble Salt Lake businessman
The New York Mormon Singles Halloween Dance--hated this book, this author has problems
Come, Tell Me How You Live--Agatha Christie's account of assisting her archaelogist husband on digs in Syria and Turkey

2 non-fiction titles I appreciated this year:
A Short History of Nearly Everything--it really is; the more I read in it, the more the evidence speaks to a higher power in charge of this earth; everything in creation "happened" just right
To America--probably Stephen Ambrose's last; I like that he debunked some popular myths about our country

Mockingjay--well-known 3rd book in Suzanne Collins's series
Cry, the Beloved Country--stunning account of the pain, tragedy and hope (yes, hope) in the black situation in S. Africa during apartheid
#1 Ladies Detective Agency--popular fiction; I enjoyed learning about Botswana
The Veteran--6 intriguing short stories with no connecting theme; enjoyable
The Book Thief--opinions are polarized; this is a valuable book that should be read and discussed

YA novels:
The Princess Bride--I appreciate the movie way more
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler--entertaining

Dairy Queen--this one and the two following are a series about the same character, a teenage girl running a dairy farm; I read them quickly because they were the book group choice and they are ok, but not enough substance for me
Front and Center
The Off Season

Superfreakeconomics: more of the same


  1. Thanks for the list! I added at least 2 from this list to my own and a few from Bridget's. I appreciate the recommendations.

    Happy new year!

  2. I forgot about Potevka. I'll have to find that one somewhere...