Saturday, January 07, 2012

2011 Reading List

Since I'm having a difficult time refiring my writing engine, I thought I'd do something quick and simple by reviewing my reading for 2011.  This was, after all, intended to be a blog mainly about books when I first started.  Maybe some day I'll even post the two years I skipped.  Long gone are the years of reading 50 or more books; this year I managed only these 12:

1) Alexis de Tocqueville - Democracy in America - Much more interesting than it sounds, but much too long to keep me interested.
2) Johann David Wyss - The Swiss Family Robinson - When Mr Rogers Neighborhood meets Survivor...  I nearly gagged on the optimism.
3) Stephen King - Duma Key - Enjoyable but not especially memorable.
4) Harry Sievers - Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Warrior
5) Harry Sievers - Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier Statesman
6) Harry Sievers - Benjamin Harrison: Hoosier President - A very up and down biography; at times great, at times mediocre.  Sievers seemed more a cheerleader for a dead president than a historian.
7) Stephen King - Under the Dome - King's best in a long time.  Still, he has a knack for building up these wonderful worlds, then having no way to escape them without a decisive and sudden conclusion that is nearly always a disappointment.
8) Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon - I liked the idea much more than the book.
9) Richard Hough - Captain James Cook, A Biography - Interesting, but really all Cook did was sail around the world making charts, which hardly makes for scintillating reading.  The most engrossing section was the narrative of Cook's death at the hands of the Hawaiians.
10) Pat Conroy - The Prince of Tides - I have been unnecessarily avoiding this book for years, but it was outstanding, and I'm glad to have read it on the suggestion of a friend.
11) Joseph J Ellis - Founding Brothers - Excellent history clearly written. 
12) Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen writes the same thing over and over, chapter after chapter, book after book.  A true one-trick pony.  It's a great trick, but....

My book of the year, narrowly edging out Founding Brothers. It got a boost in my mind for being recommended by a wonderful friend with whom I was able to discuss the book, which always makes reading more valuable and fun.



Blogger Ruth & Steve said...

May try to get the Harrison bio to add to my collection. Thanks for the tip!

19 January, 2012 20:52  
Blogger craigt said...

I've started selling some of my books. If you're interested...

22 January, 2012 19:40  

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