Thursday, December 31, 2009

Önskar er alla ett riktigt Gott Nytt År 2010!*

* Stolen directly from Cousin Monica's Facebook status, as my Swedish does not extend past saying, "Excuse me!"

So, here we are, the last day of 2009. It has been a difficult year, for many reasons. But it has also been a wonderful year in many ways. My Friend Cherylyn is still around, for which I am very grateful. The twins have grown up a little more, making them a little easier to train. We had enough money for the medical traumas we got to experience this year...there are many ways that I could go with this but I will stop here and celebrate one of the great loves of my life: books.

I have always been a reader. To my mother's great dismay, I read all the time. I read most of the books in my elementary school library. I mean, I was into it. I did my share of watching television too, but I usually had a book in my hand at the same time.

At the beginning of this year, I had the idea to write down all the books that I had read over the course of the year. I wanted to know how many books I read in the course of a year. As I was writing them down, I thought it would be a good idea to rate them along some continuum so I would have some idea of how much I liked them (or didn't). I came up with a very simple star system (I'm all into simple these days) and rated the books. Now remember that I couldn't possibly rate them the exact same way every time, so these are just "take it with a grain of salt" type ratings. And I did catch myself saying things like, "Well, this is ok for (insert genre here) but within the entire pantheon of fiction, it's a lower ranking." Yes, I do talk to myself like that. I'm sure that there is not a crowd of people waiting with baited breath to know what I thought of this that or the other book. But I felt that a warning was necessary.

Friend Cherylyn asked me how I kept track of the books. Here it is: I wrote them down in my journal. Now I am about the most disorganized thing in life and I know that I forgot to write down one book in the middle of the year, but by and large, I think I recorded the rest of them. I'm glad that I didn't write them down in a Word document on the computer, as our computer has been reformatted twice this year. It was an easier discipline (if I may use that term here) to achieve than I thought it would be and it is fun to see all the books I've read this year. So, here we go:

** average
*** above average
**** super-read again
***** unbelievably good


All Things Bright and Beautiful (Herriot)
All Creatures Great and Small (Herriot)
All Things Wise and Wonderful (Herriot)
Every Living Thing (Herriot)
I didn't rate any of these, probably because they are ones that I read over and over again. That should probably make them 4 stars, right?

James Herriot (Graham Lord) ***
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes (Gifford and Fisher) **
Sarah's Seasons (Martha Moore Davis) ****
The Children's Blizzard (David Laskin) ****
The Emancipator's Wife (Barbara Hambly) ****
See You In 100 Years (Logan Ward) ***
Dinner With Dad (Cameron Stracher) **
24-Karat Kids (Goldstein & Stuart) ****
Love the One You're With (Emily Giffin) ****
Marrying Anita (Anita Jain) **
Cincinnati, For Pete's Sake (Peter Bronson) ***

Queen City Lady: The 1861 Journal of Amanda Wilson (William Thomas Venner) ***
A Pioneer Woman's Memoir (Fulton, Greenberg & McKeever) ***
Love Comes Softly
Love's Enduring Promise
Love's Long Journey
Love's Abiding Joy (all by Janette Oke and all rated ***)
All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House (Giffels) ***
Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines ***
Patriot Hearts (Barbara Hambly) ***
Rhett Butler's People (McCaig) ***
20 and Counting (Duggar& Duggar) ***½

Fever Season (Hambly) ****½
William Henry is a Fine Name (Gohlke)****
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (Gohlke) ****
A Free Man of Color (Hambly) ****
Graveyard Dust (Hambly) ****
Sold Down the River (Hambly) ****
Cream Puff Murder (Fluke) ***
When Men Became Gods (Singular) *½
Die Upon A Kiss (Hambly) **

Multiple Blessings (Goesslin & Goesslin) *
Wet Grave (Hambly) *****
Days of the Dead (Hambly) ****
Dead Water (Hambly) *****
Heart and Soul (Binchy) ****
Joey Green's Gardening Magic ***
Plain Perfect (Wiseman) ***
Love Mercy (Earlene Fowler) ****
Something From the Kitchen (Laura Shapiro) ***
Blueberry Muffin Murder (Fluke) ***
After the Rice (Wendy French) *
Baker Towers (Jennifer Haigh) ***
Naptime is the New Happy Hour (Stefanie Wilder-Taylor) *

Irish Country Village (Patrick Taylor) **
Gone With The Wind ****
Scarlett ****

Whitethorn Woods (Binchy) ***
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (Myron &Witter) **
The Way She Chose **½

Summer on Blossom Street (Debbie Macomber) **½
Reuben (All by Mary Christner Bontrager & all rated **½)
Lucy Winchester (C.C. Kaufmann) **

A Bride Most Begrudging (Gist) **½
The Old Buzzard Had it Coming (Donis Casey) ****
Blindman's Bluff (Kellerman) ****
Years of Rice and Salt (Very strange book) ***
American Cookery (Kalpakian) ****

Those Who Love (Irving Stone) **
The Memoir Club (Kalpakian) ****
Patchwork Clan (Lund) ***
The Girls from Ames (Zaslow)***
Twilight (Meyer) ***
New Moon (Meyer) **
Eclipse (Meyer) **
Pretty In Plaid (Jen Lancaster) ***½
The Missing (Beverly Lewis) **
Murder on Marble Row (Victoria Thompson) ****

A Year on Ladybug Farm ***
4 novels by Wanda Brunstetter (Brides of Webster County) **
Photo Finished (Laura Childs) **
Dragonwell Dead (Childs) **
Keepsake Crimes (Childs) **
Blood Orange Brewing (Childs) **
The Quilter's Legacy (Chiaverini) ****
Circle of Quilters (Chiaverini) **
Winding Way Quilt (Chiaverini) ***
Quilter's Homecoming (Chiaverini) ****
The Christmas Quilt (Chiaverini) **
The New Years Quilt (Chiaverini) ***
Eyewitness Classics: Little Women ***
Building a Home with My Husband (Rachel Simon) **½
The Jazz Bird (Craig Holden) ****

Pale Horse, Pale Rider (Porter) ***
Homegrown Stories & Homefried Lies (Mitch Jayne) ***
Among the Mad (Jacquelyn Winspear) ****
Plum Pudding Murder (Fluke) ***
The Angel of Darkness (Caleb Carr) ****
This Time of Dying (Reina) ****
Giving Thanks (Plimouth Plantation) **
Growing up in a New Century **
After the Ball (Beard) ***

Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip (Matthew Algeo) ***
Roots (Alex Haley) ****
Birds of a Feather (Winspear) ****
Haunted Ohio I, II, III, IV, & V (Chris Woodyard) ***
Maisie Dobbs (Winspear) ***½
When the Morning Comes (Woodsmall) ***
When the Soul Mends (Woodsmall) ***½
Upstairs in the White House (West) ***½
Men In Knits (Manning) ***
The Trophy Wife's Club (Billerbeck) **½
Back to Life (Billerbeck) **½
The Sound of Sleigh Bells (Woodsmall) ***½
The Hope of Refuge (Woodsmall) **½
Tragic Magic (Childs) **
Pardonable Lies (Winspear) ****

This year, it seems that I discovered three authors whose books intrigued me enough to read a number of them. These would be Barbara Hambly, Laura Kalpakian, & Jacquelyn Winspear. I can highly recommend the Hambly books in the Benjamin January series as well as The Emancipator's Wife but I have not read the rest of her extensive list of works. I can also highly recommend Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series. It is quite an interesting and meaty bit of detective fiction. Now, I have never read Agatha Christy, so I don't know how she compares, but I am intrigued by the setting (England, between the World Wars) and the protagonist. I still have two more in the series. I shall be very sad to have finished them.

There you have it, for what it's worth. Happy reading and happy new year!

1 comment:

Ohio_Momto3boys said...

Holy Cow, Lori!!! I am impressed! That's a lot of reading. Good work, my friend! I think I'm going to steal your idea and write down my own titles (although I won't have as many as you LOL).

Happy New Years!