Friday, January 2, 2009

Books of 2008 - December

Wrapping up my reading year:

1. Espresso Tales. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. Quick, easy read. I can't quite explain why I am drawn to these tales from Scotland but I am. This is the second book in the 44 Scotland Street series.

2. Alphabet Juice. Non-fiction by Roy Blount Jr. I love books about books, books about words, books about writing...catching a pattern yet? This book was humorous at times but I found his style condescending and his politics obnoxious.

3. A Conspiracy of Ravens. Fiction by Gilbert Morris. I used to love the Christian fiction by this author but I am increasingly disillusioned by his efforts. It's like he's written so many he just phones it in now. Strong willed female, the tall strong attractive man she doesn't want to be attracted to, obnoxious older family member (usually female) standing in the way. Add to this sloppy habits (like the main character describing herself or sudden omniscience) and I don't really want to read anything else he writes.

4. America's Fighting Admirals. Non-fiction by William Tuohy. Concise but insightful. Read as research (naturally). I had a little thrill when I was checking a footnote in this book and realized the author was referencing a work by an historian whose works I have read. Maybe my intensive U.S. Navy WW2 study is finally paying off?

5. In the Shadow of the Sun King. Fiction by Golden Keyes Parsons. Excellent. Well-written, carefully crafted, based on true events. I think my mom would like this one, but anyone who appreciates well-written Christian fiction probably would.

6. Cooking for Mr. Latte. Non-fiction by Amanda Hesser. Ms. Hesser is most likely a lovely person, but Ms. Hesser is a food snob. And as such she is not the literary heir to M.F.K. Fisher, no matter what the back of this book says. This book didn't make me want to cook or copy any of the recipes. I'd call that a food memoir failure.

7. Spellbound by Beauty. Non-fiction by Donald Spoto. A book about Hitchcock and his leading ladies. Mr. Spoto is an excellent biographer, nonetheless, I am a bit embarrassed to admit I read this.

8. A Year in High Heels. Non-fiction by Camilla Morton. Harmless, useless, meaningless.

9. Poems of Christmas. Edited by Myra Cohn Livingston. I first read the Madeline L'Engle poem that I posted Christmas Eve from this book.

10. Love Over Scotland. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. Book 3 in the 44 Scotland Street series. My favorite character in all the stories so far: Bertie. My least favorite: Bruce or Bertie's mother, Irene.

11. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. Non-fiction by Jennie Chancey & Stacy McDonald. I've seen a lot of women bloggers talking about this book. It is thought-provoking, which is good, of course, but it lacks in the "how" department. I understand the "why" but I need help with "how". I recommend it to Christian women, with some reservations. As always, use discernment.

12. Kid Culture. Non-fiction by Todd Tobias & Lou Harry. Quick, humorous look at kids' books, television and movies.

13. Battle Line: U.S. Navy 1919-1939. Non-fiction by Thomas Hone & Trent Hone. I finished out the year (Seriously - I finished this book December 31st!) with yet another book about the U.S. Navy. I had trouble getting through this one at first but the prospect of starting the year with it unfinished gave me the boost I needed. It was actually very helpful to me. I know a lot more about the WW2 U.S. Navy than I used to but this book gave me the background information I needed. I think I'm ready for a break from Navy history now!

Coming soon: 2008 book year in review.


Karabeth said...

A few comments on your reading choices for December:

1. You are mystically drawn to Scotland because you are part Scottish. I'm doing Scots-Irish research right now in the hopes of finding clues to our roots in the Ulster Plantation. Just kidding about the mystical part but not about the roots. Since you are a "Heinz 57 Variety" genetically-speaking there would be no more reason for you to be drawn to Scotland than to any other country like say England, Germany, France, Israel, Switzerland, or the Scandanavian region of the world.

2. Thanks for the tip. I will look for the book you suggested for me to read because I am seriously in need of some good fiction right now. I'm tired of reading school books, science, apologetics, biographies, genealogy (gasp!), and other non-fiction types. I need some fluff! I'm craving it like I crave chocolate!!!!

Michelle- This One's for the Girls said...

Oh--- I am still wanting Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. I have a little Christmas money! Maybe I'll buy it!

Kelly said...

Not to be pushy or anything, but I'm still waiting for 2008 book year in review. :)

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