Monday, December 31, 2018

My Year in Books 2018

I had set a goal of 200 books this year and fell short. I only read 192. Too much binge Netflix watching! I set my goal at 150 for 2019. Hope I can make that!

The Numbers:

Pages: 53,390 (approximately)
E-books: 28
Print books:  11
Audiobooks:  153

Again, the big winner was audiobooks. My favorite book of the year was another re-read of "Ready Player One". I love the book and the movie came out this year, so of course I had to re-read it again. Another re-read of a favorite, "Good Omens" by  Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. I can't wait for the new TV series from this one. I hope it is as good as the book.

A new book I really liked was "Eliza and Her Monsters" by Francesca Zappia.

A new series for me that really stood out was a series of poems by Amanda Lovelace, "Women are Some Kind of Magic". I read two books in this series and I hope there are more to come.

Favorite Reads of 2018

I continued several series this year including "The Puzzle Lady" by Parnell Hall, "Cat in the Stacks" by Dean James and "Pendergast" by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

New series:
Molly Harper has two new series out. "Mystic Bayou" and "Southern Eclectic".
A new children's series I like is "Wizards of Once" by Cressida Crowell
"Girl From Everywhere" by Heidi Helwig
"Super Powereds" by Drew Hayes
"Illuminae Files" by Amie Caufman
"Maze Runner" by James Dashner

Stand Alone Books:
Didn't read many of these this year and the only one that really stands out is "Eliza and Her Monsters"

Favorite books revisited:

"Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke
"Robot" by Isaac Asimov 

Thumbs down to:

Only a couple that I really didn't like.
"Neuromancer" by William Gibson, winner of several awards and had great reviews. I just didn't care for it.
"Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for Ultrahuman Protection" by Alexander Krane sounded really good, but fell short.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Great American Read

(Updated October 26, after the final show)

PBS now has an 8 part series called "The Great American Read". The series description states that it explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through America's best-loved novels as chosen in a national survey.

Here is a list of the chosen books. The ones in bold are the ones I have read (71). Some of the series I did not finish for various reasons. Too many or grew boring (Outlander, Left Behind), too many years between installments (Game of Thrones), or I didn't realize it was really a series and I'm not sure if I read them all or not (Alex Cross Mysteries). Some of the ones I read, I wonder how they wound up on this list as "Great". How anyone could call "Flowers in the Attic" a good book, much less great is beyond me. I thought it was sick and disgusting. "Looking for Alaska", well lets just say anyone who reads John Green is just asking to be depressed. 

The others that I have read, were all memorable enough that I remember what they were about and, for the most part, liked. Some of these, actually most of the ones I've read, are among my personal favorites. "And Then There Were None" is my all-time favorite Agatha Christie. "Rebecca" is my favorite surprise ending. Everyone should read "The Handmaid's Tale", not for entertainment, but for the warning. "The Color Purple" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" for their lessons in racism. "Jane Eyre" is probably my all-time favorite high school required reading, "Siddhartha" in college. "Harry Potter" and "The Wheel of Time" I have read several times (yes, all 13 of the 1000 pages + "Wheel of Time" series, several times). "Ready Player One" is my current book and movie (very different) favorite. "Dune" was a great book, but one of the worst movie adaptations I've ever seen. One of my favorite book quotes is in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" ("42", if you have read the book, you will know what that refers to!) "The Stand" for its power of suggestion (Steve and I both got really sick during the first half of the book and all symptoms disappeared the last half, not kidding, that really happened).

The Final Results:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Outlander (Series)
  3. Harry Potter (Series)
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Charlotte's Web
  8. Little Women
  9. Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Jane Eyre
  11. Anne of Green Gables
  12. Grapes of Wrath
  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  14. Book Thief
  15. Great Gatsby
  16. The Help
  17. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  18. 1984
  19. And Then There Were None
  20. Atlas Shrugged
  21. Wuthering Heights
  22. Lonesome Dove
  23. Pillars of the Earth
  24. Stand
  25. Rebecca
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  27. Color Purple
  28. Alice in Wonderland
  29. Great Expectations
  30. Catcher in the Rye
  31. Where the Red Fern Grows
  32. Outsiders
  33. The Da Vinci Code
  34. The Handmaid's Tale
  35. Dune
  36. The Little Prince
  37. Call of the Wild
  38. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy
  40. The Hunger Games
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo
  42. The Joy Luck Club
  43. Frankenstein
  44. The Giver
  45. Memoirs of a Geisha
  46. Moby Dick
  47. Catch 22
  48. Game of Thrones (series)
  49. Foundation (series)
  50. War and Peace
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  52. Jurassic Park
  53. The Godfather
  54. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  55. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  56. The Notebook
  57. The Shack
  58. A Confederacy of Dunces
  59. The Hunt for Red October
  60. Beloved
  61. The Martian
  62. The Wheel of Time (series)
  63. Siddhartha
  64. Crime and Punishment
  65. The Sun Also Rises
  66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  67. A Separate Peace
  68. Don Quixote
  69. The Lovely Bones
  70. The Alchemist
  71. Hatchet (series)
  72. Invisible Man
  73. The Twilight Saga (series)
  74. Tales of the City (series)
  75. Gulliver's Travels
  76. **Ready Player One**
  77. Left Behind (series)
  78. Gone Girl
  79. Watchers
  80. The Pilgrim's Progress
  81. Alex Cross Mysteries (series)
  82. Things Fall Apart
  83. Heart of Darkness
  84. Gilead
  85. Flowers in the Attic
  86. Fifty Shades of Grey
  87. The Sirens of Titan
  88. This Present Darkness
  89. Americanah
  90. Another Country
  91. Bless Me, Ultima
  92. Looking for Alaska
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  94. Swan Song
  95. Mind Invaders
  96. White Teeth
  97. Ghost
  98. The Coldest Winter Ever
  99. The Intuitionist
  100. Dona Barbara