Sunday, December 16, 2012

November Reads

The year comes to a close, and I remain far from my goal of 52 books. I'm hoping to break 40 by month's end.

Here is what I read last month:

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan: Egan tells the story of those who stayed behind during the Dust Bowl. I've been meaning to read this book for years since so much of it takes place near where many of my relatives lived and struggled during the "Dirty Thirties." I cannot recommend this book enough. It is heartbreaking but well worth reading to understand how important it is to treat our land with respect. Not long after reading this, I watched a documentary about farming practices and dust storms in China. Unfortunately, history does tend to repeat itself.

The Shack by William P. Young: I am reading this for a book club, and I started it with an open mind. But I just did not like it. At all. Its narrative packaging--the author frames it by inserting himself as the ghost writer for his friend's story of how he came to understand the tragic kidnapping and death of his five-year-old daughter--bothered me.

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannet: I read the entire three volumes of this children's book to Gus. How can one resist a story about a little boy named Elmer Elevator and his friend, a baby dragon? They travel to far off lands like Popsicornia and survive many dangerous adventures due to Elmer's resourcefulness and quick thinking. I loved these books as well as the illustrations.

Grayson by Lynne Cox: I'll admit it: I read this true story about a woman who helps a grey whale find its mother one mother off the coast of California, for its very short length. However, I read it mostly in one sitting not because it was an easy read but because it was a satisfying one. Cox's descriptions of ocean life and of free diving use all of the senses. A gorgeous read.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith: I enjoyed Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I struggled to finish it because the jokiness of it got a little old. Perhaps because he does not have to rely on another's narrative structure, Grahame's novel that imagines Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter and slave owners as the allies of vampires (and sometimes even vampires themselves) is much better than his debut effort. It is fast-paced and so convincingly written that I almost caught myself believing that Lincoln really did roam the countryside slaying vampires!

December: I have finished reading Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith, Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking by Tamar E. Chansky, and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I continue reading Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn, Let It Snow (a young adult collection of Christmas stories) by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, and  Korea and Her Neighbors (STILL!) by Isabella Bird Bishop.

This year's total so far: 35

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I really love it, it is a page turner, lots of twists and turns. I recommend it. Loe, GiGi