Friday, December 18, 2009

Reading is Fundamental (2009 Edition)

Here's a partial list of the books I read in 2009. Recommendations for 2010? Put 'em in comments.
  1. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (The "Grass" section was fascinating.)
  2. Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritence, by Barack Obama (I hope. Yes. I still hope.)
  3. Brick Lane, by Monica Ali (Female liberation in the south Asian community of Thatcher's London.)
  4. Vile Bodies, by Evelyn Waugh (Scenes from the upper class struggle between the wars. It's not A Handful of Dust, but I liked it.)
  5. You Got Nothing Coming: Notes from a Prison Fish, by Jimmy A. Lerner (Middle class Jewish guy's life goes off the rails and into a Nevada state prison. Did I mention that his cellmate is a skinhead named "Kansas"?)
  6. The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry (Beautifully written, but with a too-perfect and ultimately lame ending.)
  7. The Other Boelyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory (Anne got a raw deal.)
  8. The Boelyn Inheritance, by Phillipa Gregory (I watch "The Tudors", too. So sue me.)
  9. Dracula, by Bram Stoker (Absolutely fantastic. How did I miss this all these years? I still think about the "Ghost Ship" sequence. The dawn of it all...)
  10. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery (Get out your handkerchiefs...)
  11. I Don't: A Contrarian History of Marriage, by Susan Squire (Love. Honor. Obey.)
  12. Drums Along the Mohawk, by Walter D. Edmonds (A ripping-good yarn chock full of history, drama, and intelligently drawn characters.)
  13. A Place of Greater Safety, by Hilary Mantel (Desmoulins, Danton, Robspierre et al come together and crack up. More parallels to this particular moment than I'd care to contemplate.)
  14. 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff (Charing is charming.)
  15. Slouching Toward Bethlehem, by Joan Didion (The center cannot hold.)
  16. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, by Charles P. Pierce (Much more substantive than the title would lead you to believe. Occasionally hilarious and consistently horrifying.)
  17. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, by Simon Schama (Professor Schama rules!)
What did you read this year?

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