Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Have You Read-2008? What Do You Hope To Read- 2009?

I always find it satisfying to go back at the end of the year and recap what I've read over the previous year. It feels like an account of , at least in part, how I've spent my time.

The Challenge: What have you read this past year? What was your favorite? What was your least favorite? What book would you most recommend to others to read? Also list one or two reading goals for next year. What do you hope to read? Do you hope to read more? Do you hope to read more of a particular type of material?

Even if you haven't read any books- what blogs, news sources, message boards, or magazines have you read?

Either leave your list in the comments or on your own blog with a link in the comments!!

What I've Read 2008

  1. Bridge of Sighs - Richard Russo
  2. The Beautiful and The Damned- F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. E=MC2: A Biography of The World's Most Famous Equation- David Bodanis
  4. Rebecca- Daphne DuMaurier
  5. Wise Blood- Flannery O'Connor
  6. Canticle for Liebowitz- Walter A. Miller
  7. Pudd'nhead Wilson- Mark Twain
  8. Gang Leader For a Day- Sudhir Vankatesh
  9. There Are No Children Here- Alex Koltowitz
  10. The Maltese Falcon- Dashiell Hammett
  11. Papillon- Henri Charriere
  12. The Heart of The Matter- Graham Greene
  13. Love In The Time of Cholera- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  14. The End - Salvatore Scibona
  15. Straight Man- Richard Russo
  16. The Idiot- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  17. Whatever It Takes- Paul Tough
  18. The British Museum is Falling Down- David Lodge
  19. Sentimental Education- Gustav Falubert
  20. Native Son- Richard Wright
  21. A Question of Upbringing (A Dance To The Music of Time part. 1)- Anthony Powell
Currently reading:
  1. One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich- Alexander Solzhenitsyn (lol! It was lost for a few weeks, and so I started a new book and haven't gone back to finish yet)
  2. Our Mutual Friend- Charles Dickens
  3. Mr. Ives' Christmas- Oscar Hijuelos
Favorite: Bridge of Sighs. Least Favorite: Wise Blood. What Everyone Should Read: There Are No Children Here.

Goals For 2009
  1. A Remembrance of Things Past- Marcel Proust (I've waited until I was getting more sleep, so that I could really read this--so I am hoping this year sleep, and hence Proust, will come)
  2. An American Tragedy- Theodore Dreiser


  1. What did I read 2008?


    I read bits of quite a lot of stuff..I think that's why I read non-fiction, mainly. So I can read bits.

    Think the only bit of fiction I read was Graham Greene's "Heart Of the Matter" (you'd know that), and I tried to read Hermann Hesse's "Narcissus and Goldamund". Think I'll put that on the "Things to read in 2009,(or maybe 2010)". And I read some of H.G Wells' "Tono-Bungay". I really need to finish that...I have this like tiny hardback edition from before the Second (First?) World War with tiny writing.

    The best thing I read, I think, was A.N Wilson's "The Victorians". It really is very good.

    In 2009, I intend to read..hmm...something German. Lol. Thomas Mann or something. That'll keep me struggling for a year, I reckon...;-)

  2. I haven't read much of the stuff on your list, I'm afraid...but Papillon is a really good movie.

  3. Do you want to read it in German?? I haven't heard of that HG wells. Is it any good? Tim is a big Wells fan--he just got a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft for Christmas, though, and Lovecraft will likely supplant Wells at the top spot.

    Can you believe that I haven't seen the movie!!? I did add it to my Netflix queue- but it's like number 20 or something. LOL!

    I keep trying to read at least one Russian author , one French author, and one South American author to supplement my American/British heavy reading for the year.

    I use non-fiction as my sort of "fluff" in between fiction. I really love literary non-fiction--but it doesn't demand the same attention as does fiction for me to read.

    I am hoping to read the autobiography of Fred Hoyle this year. And maybe a book on Oppenheimer.

  4. No, I can read fluently in English or Norwegian, but alas, not German, though I sometimes "have a bash". I have Rielke's "Duno Elegies" with the original German on one page, and the English translation on another. I like using that for a dip. On a side note; My father has a (very old) English edition of Catullus, that suddenly turns into French wherever there's a "lurid bit". We've had many a laugh at that...the assumption being that if you know French you're sort of "depraved enough" for those lines. Lol.

    "Tono-Bungay" isn't Science Fiction Wells as much as a sort of satire...the main character's uncle develops a "super medicine" they call Tono-Bungay, described, (and I like this line) as "a sort of Worcester Sauce for the Phagocytes". It's quite an amusing book...I mainly dragged it out because some years ago it was voted by some Science mag as the best "science novel" ever. I don't know if I agree, though.

    I've always called Lovecraft "The Arrgghh man" because he has like these short stories that are like "being written" while events occur....so the last line of a story will be like; "They're coming closer. Oh no. Arrrghh." Not quite my cuppa; but if it keeps 'em reading..

    You should def. see the Papillon movie! As to Hoyle..he did had some interesting ideas. He didn't go for the "Big Bang" theory, though, but he's credited with coining the phrase "Big Bang", actually in mock of the theory.

    I read mainly English/American authors too...mainly because that's what there's most of! Norwegian classics can be...heavy. I admire people who can "go through" Undset, Hamsun, etc. I haven't seen much contemporary stuff I could be bothered with...I seem to live in the past a bit in terms of literature.

  5. I have yet to make it through Kristin Lavransdatter, though I have started it at least twice. I think It might be a translation issue. I have read a bit of Ibsen, but that's the extent of my Norwegian reading.

    I seem to cycle through contemporary fiction. After I had Tim, I read a whole bunch of contemporary fiction-mostly written by women. Some of it was really good, some of it meh, but I still felt like it balanced out my reading a bit. It helped me to be convinced, too, that there were newer books which were a worthy use of my finite time on earth. One of the greatest finds for me has been Richard Russo--though right now I heavily favor his two latest novels.

    This year I will likely read Julia Alvarez, as she has been recommended multiple times.

    Fred Hoyle really kind of fascinates me-you know being kind of a black sheep. I am interested to read his autobiography, as he was also a science fiction writer.

    Have you read Homer Hickam, at all? The Coalwood Trilogy is just an awesome piece of writing. The first book was the basis for the movie October Sky. He also is a aerospace scientists who has written some science fiction.

  6. I lost track of what I've read...
    Right now I'm reading something Dutch (a 1000-page book about a fictionalised encounter between Charles Manson and Roman Polanski. It's fascinating, but a little weird).

    Have you ever read McEwan? Love his work.

  7. Nope- I have Atonement sitting on my shelf- but I still haven't read it. Might be good to get to this year....

    Dude! That's sounds like a seriously wacked out book! Is it fun???

  8. Only last year did I start keeping an account of what books I read during the year. I did it mostly for me to see, as you say, how I spent part of my time. My biggest accomplishment was getting through Weigel's Witness to Hope. Good book, but quite long and big for a mom of two little ones to get through. It began as a Lenten book, then became an Easter book and I finally finished it in August. My most enjoyable though, which I only finished this month but started in September, was reading all of Wilder's Little House books, which I had never read. I though, if I am going to homeschool two girls, I need to have read these books. lol. I just finished Lewis' The Four Loves, which I took slowly but found very interesting and am excited to begin a biography on Wilder by Pamela Hill. I am not sure yet which book I will add to it but I am also (very) slowly reading the bible, cover to cover ( currently in Nehemiah). I just have too many books I want to read and so take a little time picking just which one will be next. I've read a couple on your list and there are several I want to read. Thanks for this post!!!