Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Books

Well, let's see here. I sort of got lazy sometime mid-September and quit writing down the titles of the books I read. Oops!

Here's my best reconstruction of the list of books I read in 2007:

1. The Outlaws of Sherwood: Robin McKinley was the first female fantasy author I read. I read this in junior high but remembered almost none of it.
2. Ethan of Athos: Yes, I am still working my way through everything Lois McMaster Bujold has ever written.
3. Riddle-Master of Hed: I thought I read this trilogy in elementary school, but I think I must have understood little of it then. Lyrical and magical; I liked it.
4. Heir of Sea and Fire, 1/20
5. Harpist in the Wind, 1/22
6. Parable of the Sower: I started this last year and stopped because I found it so dark. I found it still dark and disturbing.
7. Buffalo Gals and other Animal Presences, 1/27
8. Agent to the Stars, 2/1
9. Walking Home, 2/3
10. Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person, 2/12 : Oh, this was good. And then I googled the author hopefully and found that she died last October. But her comics are true, I can tell you that.
11. Od Magic, 2/14 : The book as a whole did not do much for me, but the initial description of Od took my breath away. Hello, goddess.
12. The Last Unicorn, 2/16
13. Homeland and other Stories, 2/20: One of my perennial faves.
14. Spook, 3/1: The summary at calls Roach a consistently funny writer...I got used to her incessant sarcastic little comments eventually, but they were something I expect more from an email from a friend than from a nonfiction book. Ever so astonishingly, this book does not solve the question of what happens to the soul after death, but it was a mildly interesting (and yes, entertaining) look at some of the historical fraud and conjecture about the afterlife.
15. The Face, 3/5: My first Dean Koontz book. I really did not like the writing style... The story was okay but I kept getting distracted and irritated by the endless exposition and description. Plot! Give me Plot! vanishes and this sells millions? One more bit of proof of the basic injustice of life. Hmph.
16. Walking Seattle (Falcon Guide), 3/10
17. Odd Thomas, 3/14
18. The Deserter's Tale, 3/17
19. Passage, 3/29: This book is going to haunt me.
20. Writing Down the Bones, 3/30
21. Doomsday Book, 4/3: Apparently I cannot finish a Connie Willis book without convulsive sobs. This makes two for two. I loved this book so much even as it broke my heart.
22. The Compass Rose
23. The House of the Spirits
24. Grass
25. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
26. Stardust
27. The Foundling and Other Tales
28. Life of Pi
29. The River Why
30. The Sharing Knife: Legacy
31. Tooth and Claw
32. Silver Linings: Travels Around Northern Ireland
33. Freakonomics
34. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
35. The Gift of Fear
36. The Secret Life of Bees
37. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
38. The Postman
39. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
40. The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House
41. The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country
42. The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists
43. The Sandman Vol. 5: A Game of You
44. The Sandman Vol. 6: Fables & Reflections
45. The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives
46. The Sandman Vol. 8: Worlds' End
47. The Sandman Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
48. The Sandman Vol. 10: The Wake
49. Charmed Life
50. The Lives of Christopher Chant
51. The Magicians of Caprona
52. Witch Week
53. The Pinhoe Egg
54. Conrad's Fate
55. Assassin's Apprentice
56. Royal Assassin
57. Assassin's Quest
58. Fool's Errand
59. Golden Fool
60. Fool's Fate
61. The Golden Compass (re-read...)
62. The Family Tree
63. Sideshow
64. The Book of Three (re-read)
65. The Black Cauldron (re-read)
66. The Castle of Llyr (re-read)
67. Taran Wanderer (re-read)
68. The High King (re-read)

That's the list, then. I plan to edit it later with links to all the books in question.

I certainly managed to read a good bit more in 2007 than in 2006. Selling my car had a lot to do with that; all those hours I would have been driving, I was frequently reading on the bus instead. That's one of those intangible benefits to getting rid of a car--sure, we saved money on gas, insurance, and maintenance, but I was also given a lot more reading time. Another big factor would be the fact that in 2006 I spent scores of hours packing, moving, unpacking, looking at houses, signing paperwork for a house, repacking, moving, and unpacking. It's been a year, and still melt with glee whenever I contemplate the fact that I don't have to do that again for as many years as I want to stay here. Ahhh!

Favorites from the year? The six books by Robin Hobb that I stumbled upon in November (55-60, above). She vaulted straight to my list of favorite authors; I am delighted that there are still at least 5 of her books that I haven't yet read. Plus I will track down the ones she wrote under a different name, Megan Lindholm. Neil Gaiman's Sandman series was weird and wonderful, and Stardust was enchanting. Diana Wynne Jones wrote a slew of young adult novels that I somehow missed when I was a young adult. Fortunately, my cousin praised them in August and I was delighted to find that they were just as entertaining to read as an adult.

With five books already on my "to-read" list for 2008, I definitely plan to continue this project. It's been a fun and useful reference. In 2008 I think I'll follow meloukhia's example and try to be more detailed, give at least a perfunctory review of each book that I read. And I'll try to remember to list every book, whether it's a children's book I buy for a niece or something I re-read or a graphic novel or what have you. And I don't think 50 is a very ambitious goal under normal circumstances, but keeping in mind that I'll be traveling the country for an entire month by train, and likely more inclined to stare out the window and visit with friends and see the sights than to read all day, I'll leave it at that anyway and we'll see where I end up.

(edited to add other books I belatedly recalled to the end of the list)