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2007 - the Year in Books - trinalin thinks things through
trinalin
trinalin
2007 - the Year in Books
Two years ago, I had tried to set myself some goals for 2006. Although there are some goals which I haven't done a good job with (exercising 20 minutes a day on my exercise bike), I definitely accomplished one in 2007 which has aided another longterm goal of mine. This summer, I finally got my floor-to-ceiling bookshelves put up. And that has certainly made the goal "read 30 minutes a day" a much more fun thing to do.

For the past several years, I've tried to read at least 50 books during a year. 2006 was the first year (since I've been keeping track) which I managed it with 54 books. Despite my slow start in 2007 (only reading 2 in January), I trounced my former "record" with 59 books read. I had hit 50 while still in November. :-) Once again, I'll put the disclaimer in that I read all sizes & shapes of books. From college "textbooks" (How to Think About Weird Things) to children's stories (Mars Needs Moms) - a book is a book in my book. :-) Audio books count too, but I only had 2 of those in 2007. (Big Finish plays, OTOH, are not "books" in my book. So they don't get counted.)

So, on to some of my discoveries from the 59 books read in 2007:

Two "new" authors for me this year were Steve Hockensmith and Christopher Moore. Thanks to several "Buy 2 get 1 Free!" sales at bookstores over Spring Break, I wound up trying several authors, including these two. And I decided I need to check out more books by them.

Hockensmith is a relatively new author with two books out and one coming in February. Holmes on the Range is the first book, where it introduces us to Big Red and Old Red, a couple of "cowboys" who wind up in the center of mysteries. But thankfully, Old Red is a BIG fan of Sherlock Holmes (his younger brother Big Red reads them to him - several times) and is able to apply Holmes' techniques out in the "Old West." I also picked up On the Wrong Track later on in the year and enjoyed it as well. A nice mix of Western, Humor, and Mystery.

Moore, OTOH, has been around awhile, but I only discovered him last year during Spring Break. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal was probably the funniest book I'd read in years. It was "laugh out loud" and "slap the bed" funny. Several times I scared Lucy such that she'd jump off the bed and run & hide. As soon as I finished it, I loaned it to my folks and they enjoyed it as well. Since then, I've tried two other Moore books. Coyote Blue was enjoyable, but I think I'd've been more impressed with it if I'd read it before Lamb. A Dirty Job, however, was very dark and funny in the right ways. With Moore, you can figure he's going to turn things on their heads, and as you can guess by the subtitle of Lamb, gods get to do handstands too.

In the (auto)biographical realm (which I don't usually buy - this year was an exception), I discovered Frank McCourt. Angela's Ashes was one of the most heart wrenching books I've ever read - but poverty through the eyes of young Frank McCourt was also often funny. As soon as I'd finished Ashes, I needed to read what happened next, so I bought 'Tis and Teacher Man. In a way, I'm glad that I didn't read Teacher Man before I started teaching. ;-) (OK, so it would have been impossible as it was written in 2005 and I started teaching in 1993.) I may have to consider checking out other autobiographies and biographies out there.

2007 was the year that JK Rowling finished the Harry Potter book series. I had seen the 5th movie shortly before the book came out. Then I read book 6 in two days to get ready for book 7. And then I read that in a further 2 days. I really enjoyed the book and how it tied up the whole series. I need to do another marathon read from book 1 on to book 7 - but maybe in the summer. ;-)

I discovered in 2007 that David Sedaris doesn't rock my boat (although Me Talk Pretty One Day wasn't awful - I've just read other humorists that I enjoy more). Bill Bryson, OTOH, still entertains me (this year with In a Sunburned Country).

I could probably go on about more of the books I've read, but I'm getting antsy to play a bit more World of Warcrack before bedtime. And the good news about 2008 and books is that I've already got 6 under my belt. This is thanks to The Spiderwick Chronicles. I spent the last 5 nights reading the five books of the series. Quite fun books with beautiful illustrations. Tonight I'll either start on Making Money by Terry Pratchett or First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde.

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