Monday, January 08, 2007

2006 Roundup

I did this last year, so I may as well keep the tradition alive. (I cannot believe I left Cloud Atlas off last year's list, by the way.) Well, this year I read fifty-two books. Twenty-three were by women, and twenty-nine were by men. A little more balanced this year, though I wish my list were longer. I am within one book of that damned Radcliffe list though, and that has to count for something.

Top five books of the year:

1. I have to start with my favorite book of the year, All the King's Men. Blew me away totally. I psychotically loved this book, and I fully expected to be bored.
2. I also loved The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie--and I recommend the movie too. Very highly. Maggie Smith in her prime, what more can you ask for?
3. My favorite Agatha Christie was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and I read it like three times this year because I was so impressed with it. If you like mysteries at all, and you haven't read it, give it a shot. Pure fun.
4. Fourth spot is going to Martin Dressler mainly because I taught it. When you teach a book, you become intimately acquainted with it and appreciative of it, I think. Especially when you have to justify to a class full of extraordinarily bright students why it's a "great American novel."
5. And finally, The Bridge of San Luis Rey was wonderful. I want to re-read it, in fact, because I don't remember the details--only the theme. God vs. coincidence. Powerful.

I have to have an honorable mention here for a book I didn't write about at the time, the thesis manuscript of my very dear Jenfu. I didn't write about it because it's not complete and between bound covers yet, so I wasn't sure what to say (or whether I should even reveal its title, which I will not). But my reaction was something akin to "holy shit, I am friends with a genius." True story.

Books I hated this year? Oh, there are some good ones.

1. Atlas Shrugged, for the love of god, is a steaming pile of crap. I cannot improve on my original review.
2. Michael Crichton's anti-global warming book State of Fear. I am so sad about this because I used to like him so much. (Not because he argues against global warming, but because the book just plain sucks. And also, bitch crazy.)
3. Look Homeward, Angel also sucks mightily. That's the one where the person in the comments thinks I have a feeble mind and PMS because I hated it. God bless him.
4. An American Tragedy is at first promising, then predictable and boring. Of its time more than for the ages, I think.
5. Oh god, I ran out of room! Did I hate Lord Jim more, or The Black Dahlia? What the hell, I didn't like either one. Give one of them the honorable mention, I don't care which.

Here's to finishing Finnegans effing Wake in 2007!


Blogger Kevin said...

52 books? Man, I'm happy if I get to twenty. I'm just too ADD to power through 50+ books in a year.

I've been meaning to check out some Agatha Christie novels. I'll have to make a library run soon.

Got another Gabriel Garcia Marquez book next up on my plate: "Of Love and Other Demons."

9:03 AM  
Blogger K said...

I am booklogging this year. I really am. (Tried last year, but lost count around April, because of wedding.)

Do you have a Librarything, by the way?

1:50 PM  
Blogger mo pie said...

I don't even know what a Librarything is!

11:17 AM  

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