Thursday, December 20, 2007

What I Read in 2007

The 34 titles on my 2007 book list have the following characteristics:

I enjoyed most of my reading this year, awarding four or five (out of five) stars to nearly 60 percent (20 books). Only one was a complete dud; I reviewed it here.

Nineteen are non-fiction, 15 are fiction.

Eleven are faith-related, and of those, five were commentaries or sermons specifically related to the Sermon on the Mount.

Nine books I had read at least one time before this year.

Nine have been made (or are being made) into movies. One--Candide--is also an opera by Leonard Bernstein. Nicole Kidman played Isabel Archer in the 1996 adaptation of Portrait of a Lady.

Seven are memoirs, or at least memoir-ish.

Four were gifts; 10 I bought for myself. The others I borrowed, stole, or already had in my library from long ago.

Four are classics, including the Christian classic A Short and Easy Method of Prayer by Madame Jeanne Guyon.

Three are novels by Jodi Picoult.

Three were book club selections: Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (actually, I’m still working on this one); Candide by Voltaire; and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Three were written particularly for a younger audience: Bridge to Terabithia, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Golden Compass.

Two are by Barack Obama.

One is a self-help book on organizing and decluttering. Not that I'm making any promises.

My award for number one new read of the year goes to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This memoir was so good that I read it again about a month after I finished it the first time. The author relates the horrifying, mystifying, confounding, and unpredictable events of her life story with a sort of non-judgmental detachment, with a voice that is neutral and yet engaging at the same time. Any story that begins with the sentence, “I was on fire” has a lot to live up to—and this memoir did not let me down.

My 2007 book list does not include the dozens of little books I read with my kids, like the tales of Pippi Longstocking and Junie B. Jones, and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (which makes me cry every single time I read it, and then that little stinker A. Peevie laughs—laughs!—at me.)

Being a LibraryThing-er has really enhanced my ability to track and categorize my annual reading lists and my library as a whole. If you’re a reader, or a book-lover, or a book collector, check it out if you haven't already.

here to view my online catalog; and click on the tag "2007" to list only the books I read this year.

What did you read this year? What are you recommending?

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