Monday, November 9, 2009

Books of 2009 - October

October was a good reading month. It wasn't good in many other respects, so at least I can say I got a lot of reading done!

1. Oliver Twist. Fiction by Charles Dickens. This is actually my first Dickens re-read since I read this one many years ago. The story is, of course, familiar because of all the movie adaptations and allusions in popular culture. I can't say I really love it (query: is Oliver that stupid? Or just that naive?), but it was a quicker read than Pickwick.

2. Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage. Nonfiction by Edith B. Gelles. I love John and Abigail Adams. He's one of my favorite founding fathers and you can't begin to understand him without first studying Abigail. This book is well written and accessible to anyone who'd like to know more about the Adams.

3. Cincinnati Goes to War. Nonfiction, released by the Cincinnati Historical Society. Read as research, especially enjoyed the pictures.

4. Free Land. Fiction by Rose Wilder Lane. Rose is the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I've only read one other book by Lane and I thought I should give this one a try (mostly because I heard the main character is based on her father).

5. Music of the World War II Era. Nonfiction by William & Nancy Young. Read as research. Thorough, if a bit dry. In a book like this it would be nice if a cd were included.

6. Nutureshock: New Thinking About Children. Nonfiction by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman. Prince Charming reviewed this book here. Thought provoking and interesting. I recommend this as an antidote to most parenting magazines.

7. Nicholas Nickleby. Fiction by Charles Dickens. The first book in my "Dickens in chronological order" quest that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think a better title would have been "Newman Noggs" because, lets face it, he's the real hero of the piece.

8. Britain Under Fire: The Bombing of Britain's Cities 1939-1945. Nonfiction by Charles Whiting. Read as, you guessed it, research.

9. Austerity in Britain: Rationing, Controls, & Consumption 1939-1955. Nonfiction by Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska. There is no reason why anyone would read this book, unless as in my case, for research.

10. Since You Went Away: World War II Letters from American Women. Nonfiction by Judy Barrett Litoff & David Smith. As opposed to the above title, I think anyone would appreciate this book. Occasionally sad but always hopeful.

11. Stardust. Fiction by Neil Gaiman. I like the movie and I enjoyed the book but I think the two are quite different (no surprise there). I have to say that I prefer the movie ending to the book, which just goes to show you, there's a first time for everything.

12. Allies in War: Britain & America Against the Axis Powers 1940-1945. Nonfiction by Mark Stoler. I'm no fan of FDR and I'm a huge fan of Churchill, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm a self-described Anglophile, so I have trouble understanding how the US could have treated the UK so shabbily at times. This book reinforced my perception of Eisenhower being one of the main reasons the Allies won the war. Very few men could have balanced all the dueling personalities, agendas and so on that he did.

13. The Lost Art of Gratitude. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. The latest in the Isabel Dalhousie series. I don't like this series as much as the books about Precious Ramotswe or 44 Scotland Street, but it's still a fun little read.

14. The Man in the Brown Suit. Fiction by Agatha Christie. I read this one all in one night after I took some medicine and couldn't sleep. Engaging characters and exotic location (South Africa) what more could you need for escape?

15. Rekindled. Fiction by Tamera Alexander. I've almost completely given up on Christian fiction but I picked this up at the library sale and hadn't read it yet, so I read it during my illness. It's better than most, I thought, but that may be the proverbial faint praise condemnation.

16. Battle Station Sick Bay: Navy Medicine in WW2. Nonfiction by Jan K. Herman. Read as research.

17. They Called Them Angels: American Military Nurses of WW2. Nonfiction by Kathi Jackson. Research, again.

18. Just Doing My Job. Nonfiction by Jonna Doolittle Hoppes. A collection of personal second world war stories. Not really useful as a research read, but interesting in " the greatest generation a la Tom Brokaw" sort of way.

Fiction: 7


Karin said...

Amazing what you have been through recently - and then be able to read! Koodoos to you!!

Lisa said...

I thought the same thing about the Stardust book. The movie ending is WAY better.

Amy said...

Have you ever read "Dearest Ones: a True World War II Love Story" by Rosemary Norwalk?

It is a collection of letters, mostly written by the author while she was working for the Red Cross overseas. I remember it more for learning about her daily Red Cross duties than I think of it as a 'love story'. And of course I have NO idea if it would be relevant to your research or if you have already read it, but ... oh ANYWAY. Just thought I'd throw it out there. :)

Greyson said...

. . . always blown away with how much you read! Go, Karen!

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