Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Books of 2009 - November

Well, after a big reading month in October (and big sickness month, incidentally), November was quite different. It started with a family wedding and never slowed down after that. Enough with the excuses, here's what I managed to finish:

1. Endgame 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War 2. Nonfiction by David Stafford. This hefty tome was actually quite readable. Stafford balances individual stories with the "big picture" in a way that makes me somewhat envious (as a writer). Read as research.

2. A Long Time Ago & Essentially True. Fiction by Brigid Pasulka. I couldn't put this one down. At times brutal and haunting, this book is equally hopeful and charming. An admirable first novel.

3. Soldier From the War Returning. Nonfiction by Thomas Childers. This book deals with an aspect of human cost of warfare that we often skim over. Childers tells three distinct stories (one of them his own family). This approach is earnest but at times irritating because it feels like yet another Baby Boomer working out his own "issues". Read as research.

4. Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. Nonfiction by Mark Mazower. Thorough, not to say tedious. Took me what seemed like an inordinately long time to read, but I think it was worth it. Read as research.

5. Miss Buncle's Book. Fiction by D. E. Stevenson. Charming and witty, this bit of vintage British fiction was a nice change of pace. I wouldn't mind owning this. (Hint, hint)

6. Miss Buncle Married. Fiction by D.E. Stevenson. Almost but not quite as good as the first. Still very funny.

7. Mr. Monk & the Dirty Cop. Fiction by Lee Goldberg. Did you know that there's a series of mystery novels inspired by the television show (one of the few enjoyed by my family)? Neither did I, until now. Funny but not quite as good as the show.

8. Album of the Damned: Snapshots from the Third Reich. Nonfiction by Paul Garson. Pictures taken of and by Germans from 1939-1945. Haunting doesn't come close to describing them. Read as research.

Total:
Fiction - 4
Nonfiction - 4

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