Archive for December, 2009

2009 readings

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I might squeeze another book into this list before the year ends, but I also might just snuggle my way into 2010 instead.  Either way, this is the things I read in 2009, and while it’s likely I accidentally omitted a thing (or 5), for the most part, this is it.  What a year!  Plenty of good reads.  I am so excited for 2010 and fresh new fun readings!

  • A long way gone: memoirs of a boy soldier-Ishmael Beah
  • Apples & Oranges-Marie Brenner
  • Plague of Doves-Louise Erdrich
  • Love Medicine-Louise Erdrich
  • Coffee at Luke’s: an unauthorized Gilmore Girls gabfest
  • The Beet Queen-Louise Erdrich
  • Sportswriter-Richard Ford
  • Lucy Knisley-French Milk
  • Leanne Shapton-Auction book
  • Saïd Sayrafiezadeh-When Skateboards Will be Free
  • Octavia Butler-Fledgling
  • Tim Gunn’s Guide to Quality, Taste and Style
  • Daniel V’s Guide to How Style Happens
  • Michael Greenberg-Hurry Down Sunshine.
  • Raymond Carver-Call if you need me
  • Miranda July-No One Belongs Here More Than You
  • Dan Savage-Skipping Towards Gomorrah
  • Sarah Vowell-Take the Cannoli
  • Koren Zailckas-Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
  • Jeffrey Eugenides-Middlesex
  • Junot Diaz-Brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao
  • Milan Kundera-Identity
  • Octavia Butler-Wild Seed
  • Isabel Allende-Paula
  • Louise Erdrich-Master Butchers Singing Club
  • Jhumpa Lahiri-Interpreter of Maladies
  • Isabel Allende-House of the Spirits
  • Isabel Allende-Of Love & Shadows
  • Isabel Allende-My Invented Country
  • David Rakoff-Don’t get too comfortable
  • Louise Erdrich-Blue Jay’s Dance
  • Isabel Allende-Sum of our days
  • David Rakoff-Fraud
  • Susan Jane Gilman-Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress
  • Sherman Alexie-Absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian
  • Philip Pullman-His Dark Materials series
  • Suzanne Collins-Hunger games series (2/3)
  • Julie Powell-Julie & Julia
  • Lorrie Moore-A gate at the stairs
  • Octavia Butler-Kindred
  • Fear & Trembling by Amélie Nothomb
  • Ann Patchett’s Patron Saint of Lairs
  • Time Traveler’s Wife-Audrey Niffineger
  • Margaret Atwood-Year of the Flood
  • Sherman Alexie-War Dances
  • Julia Alvarez-In the name of Salome
  • Lydia Davis-Varieties of Disturbance
  • Kazuo Ishiguro-Never let me go
  • Kelly Link-Stranger Things Happen
  • Alice Munro-Too much happiness
  • Alicia Partnoy-The Little School
  • John Crowley-Little, Big
  • Michael Greenberg-Beg, Borrow, Steal
  • Robin Romm-The Mercy Papers: a memoir of 3 weeks
  • Maile Meloy-Both ways is the only way I want it

I will reflect often on 2009. It starts here.

Friday, December 11th, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  No, not Christmas.  BOOKLIST TIME.  There are a billion best of 2009 lists floating around out there, and as I am frankly tired of doing research for other people, you can find them yourself if you are interested.  What this means is I can reflect back on my year and regret some things I’ve read and look forward to kicking 2010 (CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?  2010!!!?) off with some exciting new reads.

I have mined the following from a variety of lists, and after frowning at myself for not having read them earlier, I am hereby promising myself that they are next up.  Some are embarrassing.  Some probably suck.  Such is the nature of best of lists.

    • Lit: a Memoir-Mary Karr
    • Raymond Carver: a writer’s life-Carol Sklenicka
    • Under the Dome-Stephen King (I cave.  I really want to read this.  Blame the cover.)
    • Family Album-Penelope Lively
    • Follow Me-Joanna Scott
    • Museum of Innocence-Orhan Pamuck
    • Nocturnes-Kazuo Ishiguro
    • Dorothea Lange: a life beyond limits-Linda Gordon
    • The Mercy Papers: a memoir of three weeks-Robin Romm
    • A Paradise Built in Hell: extraordinary communities that arise in disaster-Rebecca Solnit
    • Both ways is the only way I want it-Maile Meloy
    • A Short History of Women-Kate Walbert

So what I am doing now?  I am reading Little, Big by John Crowley, which is essentially a 500-some page book about fairies and being secretly married to them and having your children kidnapped in the night.  I think that’s what it’s about.  It is one of those books that carries me along magically for about 25 pages and then drops me someplace weird in my sleep.  I obviously love it, because who doesn’t love weird fantasy books, but oi! is it ever long.

Last week I trucked through Alicia Partnoy’s The Little School, because sometimes when my life is getting me down I need to be shocked into relativity by something gruesome and awful and real, and this did that.

Next week I will happily reflect on my year of goal achieving.  More like 200FINE.  I love the end of the year.  Here’s to goals.