Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008 Reading List

When I started this blog, I intended to post reviews of all the books I read. That lasted for approximately one book, with a few more reviews scattered over the months. So, to make up for that I thought I'd post a list of all the books I read in 2008, with my recommendations or criticisms included. And even this is late, since I intended to post it while watching football on New Years Day. Oh gets in the way sometimes, but here's what I read in 2008.

1) Isak Dinesen - Out of Africa - Boring
2) William C. Davis - Look Away: A History of the Confederate States of America - I'm not sure the author's analyses were always backed up by the facts, but this was a very educational book.
3) Omar Khayyam - The Rubaiyat - Don't know why this is a classic.
4) E. B. White - Stuart Little
5) Eugene O'Neill - Long Day's Journey Into Night - Repetitive and not very interesting.
6) Edmond Rostand - Cyrano de Bergerac - Silly.
7) Thornton Wilder - Our Town - I don't remember a thing about this book.
8) Cait Murphy - Crazy '08 - Great book, capped by the Cubs (the Cubs!!) winning the World Series. And, it's a true story!!!!!!!!!!!!
9) Theodore Dreiser - An American Tragedy - Very long, but very good.
10) Maureen Ogle - Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer - Informative and fun look at the American beer industry, tilted a bit too heavily, at times, toward Anheuser-Busch.
11) Edward Steers, Jr - Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln - Just the right amount of detail about a story I thought I knew.
12) Bill O'Reilly - Who's Looking Out For You - Typical conservative trash. O'Reilly can do better than this.
13) Kemp P. Battle - Great American Folklore - Much too long.
14) Joel Chandler Harris - Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings - Most disappointing book of the year. I thought I would like this, but it wore thin really fast.
15) Patrick F. McManus - They Shoot Canoes, Don't They? - Not very funny, which for a book of humor is not good.
16) Louis L'Amour - Last of the Breed - Horrible writing, stupid characterizations, awful book.
17) John Koessler - Names of Israel - Surprise book of the year - every section taught some good lessons.
18) Charles Frazier - Cold Mountain - Great story, but with arrogant writing.
19) John S. Carbone - The Civil War In Coastal North Carolina - I don't normally like topical history with such a narrow scope, but this was okay.
20) Jay Winik - April 1865 - Excellent history.
21) Thomas Keneally - American Scoundrel - Disappointing. Good, but disappointing.
22) Shel Silverstein - Where the Sidewalk Ends
23) Fred Saberhagen - The Lost Swords: The First Triad - Typical fantasy, these three books have been on my shelf for about half my lifetime and now I can finally get rid of them.
24) Fred Saberhagen - The Lost Swords: The Second Triad
25) Fred Saberhagen - The Lost Swords: Endgame
26) Booker T. Washington - Up From Slavery - Good stuff and easy to read.
27) Richard Bachman - Blaze - From Stephen King's alter ego, this book was surprisingly great.
28) Alexander Solzhenitsyn - One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Outstanding. I can see why this is a classic.



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