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  1. #1
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    What did you read in January 2005?

    I know a lot of people have reading resolutions (mine was to read 100 books last year, but I only got to 79) so maybe at the end of each month we can check in on each other, recommend recently read books and urge each other on!

    In January I read:
    • The Dark Tower by Stephen King - if you are into the Dark Tower series, let's just say, the ending is worth the wait. I was very satisfied.

      Three Junes by Julia Glass - this was amazing! I liked it so much more than I thought I would. The "third June" was a little eh, but it tied everything else together nicely.

      The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - hated it!

      Technics and Civilization by Lewis Mumford - For school, but a classic (1934) must-read if you are interested in the history of technology, the relationship between culture and technology and critiques of mechanization/technology.

      The Carnivorous Carnivale by Lemony Snicket (on CD) - I love these books and I think they just keep getting better and better.

      Into Our Own Hands: The Women's Health Movement in the United States, 1969-1990 by Sandra Morgen - For work, really fell apart at the end and totally ignored the role of Lesbians in the movement and the impact of AIDS in the 1980s.

      The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (on CD) - Sunny is my hero!

      The Women's Health Movement: Feminist Alternatives to Medical Control by Sheryl Burt Ruzek - For work. Fabulous radical text from someone in the movement.

      The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers Carl Becker - For school, circa 1931, very readable and influential.

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  3. #2
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    Your list has a lot of heavy needing-concentration stuff on it, I don't know how you do it. :) This kind of thread is a good idea!

    I passed my goal for this month -- I think maybe I should have set a higher one, but I wasn't sure if I'd ever find real time to read again and if I'd enjoy it as much as I used to. (I did, and I am.) Okay, here goes:

    Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer. Really enjoyed it. It's about the history of Mormonism and it also deals with the Lafferty murders back in the 80s. It held my interest much more than I thought it would.

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks -- tells stories about some of Sacks' cases; he deals with neurological stuff, so it was about stuff like a man who couldn't recognize anything he saw, like he thought his shoe was his foot, and a guy who had amnesia and had no short-term memory. It was too dry for me, and made me paranoid about my own brain, so I gave up on it a third of the way through.

    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Loved it. I totally recommend this one. It's about a group of dinner guests taken hostage by rebels (fiction). Really good.

    Lost Continent by Bill Bryson. HATED IT. I love Bryson's stuff, but it seemed like he couldn't get away from redneck and fat jokes in this one. (It's the story of his road trip through "small-town America.") It was his first book, so maybe it was a learning experience. I don't know, I just hated it.

    The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. More non-fic, this time about the 1893 World's Columbian Expodition in Chicago, tied together with the story of serial murderer H.H. Holmes. I liked it a lot -- very well written, very interesting for the most part. I recommend it if that's your sort of thing.

    The Fasting Girl (can't remember the author): bleh. Too dry and academic for me. I gave up after 50 or so pages.

    Things You Should Know by A.M. Homes. You know, I really expected to like this one. (It's a collection of stories, the theme seems to be "need" or something like that.) I just didn't connect with Homes's writing, it just hit the wrong spot somehow. I think if you like Lorrie Moore's work, you'd like this, I felt the exact same way after reading Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?.

    Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I didn't like Holidays on Ice very much, but I heard Sedaris's other stuff was better, so I figured I'd try it out. I loved this one. Very funny. I highly recommend it, especially if the only Sedaris you've read is Holidays.

    Wow, that was long. Sorry.

    eta: I also reread The Time Traveler's Wife -- no need to elaborate on that one, I think I've talked it up enough for eight people. ;)

  4. #3
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    because I am at work I can not really go into lengthy explanations of what I have read, but here is the list:

    (goal 50 this year)

    *Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire-JK Rowling
    *The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon-Stephen King
    *The Gunslinger, Dark Tower I-Stephen King (I really liked it so I am going to allow myself one Dark Tower book a month until I am done)
    *Cat's Cradle-Kurt Vonnegut (Vonnegut is always hit or miss with me and I am happy to say that this one was a hit)
    *Blackwood Farm-Anne Rice (Terrible terrible weakness)
    *The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-Douglas Adams

    And I just checked and I only have 80 pages of The Restaurant at the end of the Universe left so I might as well count that as 7. (Thank you Douglas Adams for writing short books)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slinkster
    *The Gunslinger, Dark Tower I-Stephen King (I really liked it so I am going to allow myself one Dark Tower book a month until I am done)
    I love the Dark Tower series (as I noted above I just finished the last book this month). I actually listened to at least three of them on tape (the reader, Frank Muller, does an excellent job). Enjoy!

  6. #5
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    Oh, I'm totally behind. But really, if I can read 50 books other than my required school reading this year, I'll be happy.

    The Outsider by Albert Camus -- a re-read for me. I like this book, but I really needed the afterword to complete it for me.

    The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve -- I ended up with this when a friend tried to pass it off "Uck, it's horrible. Read it!" It's really awful, but good for a quick fluff read I suppose.

    Reconnaissance by Kapka Kassabova -- spot-on about some aspects of backpacking alone... like trying to avoid eye contact so you won't have to talk to anyone on the bus...

    American Beauty by Alan Ball. Okay, it's a screenplay. I actually watched the movie right after reading it, which was kind of sucky.

    Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho -- another re-read. I think it's beautiful.

    The Myth of Sysiphus by Albert Camus. I'm not done, but should be by the end of the day (it's still January!). I'm finding it difficult because I have no philosophy background, but the theme is still interesting: why don't we commit suicide?

  7. #6
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    Crikey, how do you people do it? Seems like the more I've gotten into crafty stuff, especially in the last year or so, the less I'm into reading. Plus, I guess I have a tendency to pick up the 400+ page clunkers!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltica
    Crikey, how do you people do it? Seems like the more I've gotten into crafty stuff, especially in the last year or so, the less I'm into reading. Plus, I guess I have a tendency to pick up the 400+ page clunkers!
    To be fair, two of mine were for school, two for work and two were on cd! Listening to books on tape is great for commuting and crafting :)

  9. #8
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    Ah, I have to get back into listening to recorded books! So much a better use of time than crafting while watching yet another Three's Company rerun.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltica
    Ah, I have to get back into listening to recorded books! So much a better use of time than crafting while watching yet another Three's Company rerun.
    I can just imagine how far back my husbands eyes would roll if he saw me knitting and listening to a book on tape.

    Maybe I will try it and see?

  11. #10
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    I set a goal of reading 50 books for the year and so far I'm well on my way. I should mention that January was my semester break so for a few weeks I really didn't have much to do, and I work part-time and there are usually some slow periods where I can get some reading done :) So here are the 12 I've read in January...

    1) Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
    I absolutely loved this one and am recommending it to all my English and History major friends. I just thought it was such a gorgeous intriguing story and I really liked the strong female character. And just they way Dunant weaves in history and fiction, it was just absolutely fabulous :)

    2) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
    I enjoyed reading this book and finding out more about his life. I'm not so sure I agree with all his advice on writing tho' he's got tons of bestsellers and I'm still unpublished so maybe he's onto something.

    3) Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
    It was just alright. It felt like it took me absolutely forever to get through this one but I was glad I read it. I like travel writing but I usually go for collections of short stories and not one long book by one person but it wasn't bad. And she's from Baltimore which isn't too far away from me.

    4) Hacking iPod + iTunes by Scott Knaster
    I got an iPod mini back in December and wanted to see what other things it could do besides play music. An informative read. Not all that interesting tho'.

    5) Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong: (why we love france but not the french) by Jean-Benoît Nadeau & Julie Barlow
    Another book that took what felt like forever to read. The writing's thick and dense but really informative. I'm not sure if I like the attitude the writer takes but I learned a lot about France and the French culture.

    6) The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
    Yay! That's all I have to say. I can't believe I hadn't read this sooner!

    7) Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
    I liked it. I really really liked it. I wish I had something more profound to say about it, but I don't.

    8) Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
    I was an English major as an undergrad and hadn't read this so I figured I had to, and, once I kinda figured out and accepted the Waiting for Godot-ness of it, I liked it. Nice quick read. Now to rent the movie :)

    9) the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon
    Okay, so I didn't actually read this one. I listened to it on CD while I checked my e-mail and cross-stitched. I enjoyed it. I'm not sure if I would've liked reading it but hearing the story was nice. I don't think I'd listen to it again tho'.

    10) Get Crafty: Hip Home by Jean Railla
    Do I really need to say anything about this one? ;)

    11) Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
    I started this book way back at the beginning of the month and got to like page 12 then put it down. Then picked it up again. Then put it down. Then picked it up again and flew through it in like two days (no pun intended!). Aviation isn't my favourite topic to read about but I love reading about travel in general and he has such a beautiful writing style and some of the most fabulous quotes towards the end of the book. I had to push myself to get through parts of it but it was well worth the time I spent with it :)

    12) State of Fear by Michael Crichton
    A bit predictable, read like a movie script and didn't really leave anything to the imagination which was a bit disappointing. For such a large book I read it surprisingly quickly. It drew me in but wasn't really satisfying reading if you know what I read.

    This month I also started, but didn't finish, The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket, bookends by Jane Green, Good In Bed by Jennifer somebodyorother (on audio CD), and André Breton's Manifestos of Surrealism in both English and French. If I read something in French and also read the same book in English at the same time does it count as reading two books or not since it's the exact same content just in a different language? *hmmm* Something for me to ponder...


 
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