Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The 2005 Book List

For those of you keeping track, here's a run down of the literature (or not) consumed by me this year:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: An excellent but brutal account of life in pre-revolution Afghanistan and how even the choices we make as children can affect us forever. Many people have raved about this one, and I thought it would be just mildly ok - but it might be my favorite book of the year.

Harry Potter 6: Oh Harry, what will be come of you? Will you end He-who-shall-not-be-named and finally take your place as the Defense against the dark arts teacher at Hogwarts and guide other mini-wizards and witches the way I hope. Please Severus, say it isn't so...

The Three Junes: I thought this would be about three ladies, but is an attempt at an epic story of self forgiveness and acknowledgment that love can take many forms. Forgettable

Time Traveler's Wife: A very clever love story that could be troubling, but leaves the reader thinking about what if, and how much do we really want to know about our futures. A great read.

The Magician's Assistant: Again, love isn't always a boy and a girl, sometimes it's a girl and her dead gay husbands family.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Damn, we are POOR and love may see us through, but it will also find the families savings and drink it to lessen our sorrows.

Mountains Beyond Mountains (nonfiction): Paul Farmer, real life MD is driven to make a difference in the world related to TB and its effects in poorer nations. Dr. Farmer is not a saint, but pretty darned close. If only we were all motivated to do a tenth of the effort to help others...

Working Poor (nonfiction): a Sociological study of the effects of under employment and the companies that take advantage of this population of Americans. H&R Block -- you are evil and should be put out of business for your "rapid refund" program that targets these low income people.

The Book Borrower: Having never written a book I shouldn't criticize but I'm going to anyway. The BB tells a strange story of two women who are friends, but really don't seem to like each other, and when the 'tragic' event happens the reader simply doesn't care. I left this book on a shelf in a rented apartment in Spain, I hope no one actually ever picks it up.

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth (this may have been a late 04 reading): An exploration of what if that blends historical fact and characters in a fantastic scenario. Told from the perspective of a young boy, this book was greatly anticipated and enjoyed, but kind of a bummer.

Evidence of Things Unseen, Marianne Wiggins: I guess you could say that while it may have been keen to work on the atomic bomb, the repercussions weren't all that neato. However, love is where you find it, and family is who you love. I believe this at my core and this story reflects it in a dark but kind way.

Emily Ever After: Holy Jessus on a cake - I thought this would be a fun Nanny Diaries esque story but in reality it is Christian Lit. It's not bad, but I'm disappointed that the author made little Emily choose her 'Christian Values' over her career -- it seems like there has to be a way to be a fully functioning person and believe in God. I think I'm doing it -- but I guess if I really want to go to heaven, I should pack it in and move back to the sticks to be safe.

A Very Long Engagement: you know, I tried to watch the much loved movie and ended up turning it off, but the book was surprisingly moving. Thanks for the tip Jen, I'll mail it back to you soon.

The Devil Wears Prada - Now this was the Nanny Diaries follow up I was looking for, a totally insane view into the fashion world. If you think your boss is an ass, read this and you may be filled with a sense of peace. This weekender is fun fun fun (for girls).

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time: A fun canine murder mystery narrated by a young autistic boy. Clever and touching, even more so when you learn that the author's son is affected by autism.

A Season in Purgatory, Dominick Dunne: This book was published in 1993 and I picked it up at Goodwill for a dollar. Sorry Dom, your 'fictional account' of the Martha Moxley murder is worth more than the dollar I paid. I appreciated the subtle shift from first person narrative to third person and back to first upon the attainment of self-forgivenes. Major lesson to be learned here: don't cross the Kennedy's -- er I mean the Bradley's.

Currently reading:

Dan Brown's (da vinci code guy) Deception Point


The Cave, by the brilliant, but punctuation challenged Jose Saramagio.

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