Book #49 was "A Map of the World" by Jane Hamilton. Apparently this made a lot of "best of the year" lists in 1994 when it first came out. The subject matter and themes are pretty depressing -including the death of a child, charges of child molestation, being abused in prison, and adultery - but her writing is lyrical and her insight into her characters is deep. I noticed a lot of the same themes in this book as in "Bleeding Kansas" by Sara Paretsky, which was my #5 read this year, which was interesting. I'd like to read more by Hamilton- she's really talented.
Year in review:
Well, this is the first year since I started tracking in 2006 that I did not complete at least 50 books. I finished 49, and ended the year with 3 books in progress, all of them at least 80 percent completed, so I don't feel too bad about that.
I thought of a few reasons why I didn't get to 50 this year:
a) I challenged myself to some fairly lengthy reads this year. For instance, book #13, a biography of Salvador Dali, was more than 700 pages, and #31, Neal Stephenson's Anathem" was nearly 1,000 pages in hard cover and was more than 20 CDs as an audiobook.,
b) I had a lot fewer audiobooks in my total.
c) I challenged myself to emphasize non-fiction, and nonfiction books are almost always a slower read for me.
I did OK on my sub-goals as well. They were:
1. Read at least 19 nonfiction books. DONE. I read 20!
2. Read at least 12 books by people of color and make an effort to read at least 2 books by GLBT authors and at least 2 by disabled authors. Didn't make this one - only did 7 books by authors of color, and only one by a disabled author, though I did meet the goal of reading at least 2 books by GLBT authors. I also requested my library order a book written by a hearing-impaired author from Michigan and hope to read that in 2011.
I'm still formulating my reading goals for 2011.
( The other books I read so far this year:Collapse )
The Lost Ones, Ian Cameron. 190p. 1961, Hutchinson & Co. 1970, Avon/Hearst as The Island at the Top of the World.
Reading Time: Dec 6-16, work breaks.
I grabbed this out of a freebie box because a) I vaguely remembered the Disney movie as something I enjoyed, and b) since Disney changed the title, I knew the book would be different from or better than what very little I remembered of the movie I saw Lo these many (about 35) years ago.
And yes, the story was Disneyfied.
The movie had two little children looking for their father, with the help of their grandfather and a professor. The book has a man looking for his son, with the help of a professor. The book has the trio stranded on an island, on the rumored caribou migration route, two weeks before the herd is scheduled to come, counting the dogs among their survival rations. In the book, the remaining 5 dogs get the raw end of the whole disastrous trip.
The book was definitely a grown-up adventure story, which I enjoyed, but the ending was harsh.