Friday, January 10, 2014

2013 bookwormery

At the beginning of 2013, I made it a goal to read at least 50 books before the end of the year, and whoopee! I made it. I don't think I'll be doing it again this year; I'll probably just revert to my usual goal of 40.   Like usual, I wanted to make a more-or-less even amount of fiction and non-fiction.

So anyway, here are my 2013 friends (and the possibly the reason why nothing seemed to have happened in 2013).  I've already read some of them previously, but I enjoyed them enough to read them again.

My ratings:
-- ***** Awesome; a fave for the year;
-- ****- Great fun.
-- *** -- OK.  Cool.
-- ** --- Meh.
-- * -----Rubbish.


I. Nonfiction

Memoirs
1 Boy: Tales From Childhood [ROALD DAHL] *****
2 Going Solo [ROALD DAHL] *****
3 Eat Pray Love [ELIZABETH GILBERT] ** (Oh, why oh why is this a bestseller?) 
4 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil [JOHN BERENDT] ****
5 Summer At Tiffany [MARJORIE HART] ****

Christian Inspirational
6 Blue Like Jazz [DON MILLER] (Re-read it for the second time) *****
7 The Heart of a God-Chaser [TOMMY TENNEY] ***
8 In the Grip of Grace [MAX LUCADO] ***
9 Re-Church [STEPHEN MANSFIELD] ****
10 Searching For God Knows What [DON MILLER] ****
11 The Spirit of Loveliness [EMILIE BARNES] *** (Re-read; somehow it seemed much nicer the first time I read it)

Humanities
12 Coffee With Michelangelo [JAMES HALL] **** (Re-read)
13 Michelangelo and Raphael In the Vatican ***** (Featured awesome full-color fold-outs of the paintings)
14 Seeing Salvation:  Images of Christ In Art **
15 The Story of Art [E.H. GOMBRICH] ***** (Re-read)
16 Van Gogh [JOSEPHINE CUTTS, JAMES SMITH] ****
17 The World of Delacroix [TOM PRIDEUX] *****

Other
18 An Inconvenient Truth [AL GORE] *****
19 Epicenter:  Why Current Rumblings In the Middle East Will Change Your Future [JOEL C. ROSENBERG] *****
20 Purple Cow [SETH GODIN] *****
21 Speeches That Changed The World *****


II.  Fiction-Nonfiction Hybrids

22 The Bell Jar [SYLVIA PLATH] *****
23 The Te of Piglet [BENJAMIN HOFF] **
24 Roald Dahl's Incredible Chocolate Box ****
25 The Villain's Guide to Better Living [NEIL ZAWACKI] ****


III. Fiction

Science Fiction and Fantasy
26 The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure [WILLIAM GOLDMAN] *****
27 Dune [FRANK HERBERT] ****
28 Foundation [ISAAC ASIMOV] ****
29 Foundation and Empire [ISAAC ASIMOV] ****
30 Second Foundation [ISAAC ASIMOV] ****

Chick Lit
31 How To Make an American Quilt [WHITNEY OTTO] ****
32 The Kitchen God's Wife [AMY TAN] *****
33 Paint It Black [JANET FITCH] **
34 Morrigan's Cross [NORA ROBERTS] *
35 Dance of the Gods [NORA ROBERTS] *
36 Valley of Silence [NORA ROBERTS] *

Thrillers / Mysteries
37 Children of the Furor [ROGER ELWOOD] *
38 The Girl Who Played With Fire [STIEG LARSSON] **** (Would have given it *****if it wasn't so dragging.  Imho, not as enjoyable as "Dragon Tattoo", but still a good read).

39 Interview With the Vampire [ANNE RICE] *****
40 John Dies At the End [DAVID WONG] ****
41 Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children [RANSOM RIGGS] ** (Almost rubbish.  What can you expect from a story driven by found vintage photographs? Paradoxically, it was those photos that saved the book for me.  Without them, this would be just another crap story).

Children's Fiction and Easy Reading
42 Giant Treasury of Beatrix Potter *****
43 The Phantom Tollbooth [NORTON JUSTER] *****
44 The Roald Dahl Treasury *****
45 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing [JUDY BLUME] ***

Other
46 The Count of Monte Cristo [ALEXANDRE DUMAS, Pere] *** (Re-read. It was immensely enjoyable the first time I read it years ago.  This time, it wasn't so.  The one I read this year is an abridged edition without some of the delicious nitty-gritties; i.e., a different, duller translation).
47 The Kite Runner [KHALED HOSSEINI]  *****
48 The Namesake [JHUMPA LAHIRI] ****
49 The Orange Girl [JOSTEIN GAARDER] *****
50 Skipping Christmas [JOHN GRISHAM] *****
51 Veronika Decides To Die [PAOLO COELHO] ***