Monday, December 31, 2007

Abbreviated reading list for 2008

Selecting only a dozen books to be on "my list" last year worked so well I'm going to do it again this year. In 2007 I was able to read 93 books, and read through my Bible twice. Having only one book per month that was a must-read gave me lots of time to read other books reviewed or mentioned on various blogs, books I read about in the newspaper, and books recommended by friends and relatives. And I still felt a teensy bit virtuous for having worked some structure into my reading for the year. (Self-congratulation obviously comes very easily to me.)

Laura's book list 2008

1. See You in a Hundred Years: Four Seasons in Forgotten America by Logan Ward. I read about this book in the newspaper last year, ordered a copy, then didn't have time to read it. It's the account of one couple's decision to leave Manhattan and spend a year in rural Virginia with very little technological aids (no phone, no computer) and do some serious agrarian living. I'd rather read about it than do it.

2. The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection by Michael Ruhlman. Last year I read Mr. Ruhlman's book, The Making of a Chef, and loved it. This book appears to pick up where the last one left off, detailing what happens after a chef graduates from the Culinary Institute of America and begins work in a restaurant.

3. South to Bataan, North to Mukden: The Prison Diary of Brigadier General W. E. Brougher edited by D. Clayton James. Journals and diaries always make great reading, and this book is the diary of a friend's father from 1941 to 1945 while he was a prisoner of the Japanese. I've already read a book of poems and a book of short stories by General Brougher and I anticipate enjoying his diary, too.

4. Tuning the Rig: A Journey to the Arctic by Harvey Oxenhorn. I found this at a library book sale and it looked interesting.

5. London 1945: Life in the Debris of War by Maureen Waller. After reading The Book Thief I'm ready for more books about World War II, and I think Maureen Waller has garnered some praise for her work in history.

6. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One by Thomas Sowell. Mr. Sowell's book, Basic Economics, was so good I bought several copies and have used it to teach economics to my children. I also plan to read Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson and learn from Dana and Cindy as they discuss that book. Mr. Sowell's book can't help but further my understanding of economics. Besides, I've yet to read a book by Thomas Sowell that wasn't good.

7. World without End by Ken Follett. The last Ken Follett book I read must have been Eye of the Needle. I was in high school back then, and I really liked that book. I probably should read Pillars of the Earth first, so it's a good thing this book is not first on my list.

8. Blooming: A Small Town Girlhood by Susan Allen Toth. I read a couple of books of essays by Ms. Toth this year and found them quite pleasant. This should be perfect for August.

9. The House of Lanyon by Valerie Anand. Sarah blogged about this book. A few days later while standing in line at Books-a-Million I saw it on the shelf beside me and bought it on impulse. I hope it's good.

10. The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing by Thomas McGuane. Over a decade ago I was completely taken by surprise by Isaak Walton's book, The Compleat Angler. I realized that although I don't like to go fishing, some fishermen can really write! - and make reading about fishing a worthy pastime.

11. America's British Culture by Russell Kirk. Dana has made me realize I need to read more books by Russell Kirk. Hopefully, this won't be the only one by him I read this year.

12. The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott. I have very little fiction on my list. I haven't read a novel by Scott in a long time. This should be a real treat!

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Blogger Donna Boucher said...

Love your list.
I have the Follet book and have just started it.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Well, please tell me what you think of it - I won't be reading it for awhile.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Wool Winder said...

I look forward to the reviews.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Looks like a great list!

Is your bookshelf deliberately organized by color? It looks like a rainbow, but with the colors in a different order!

12:32 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Sarah, that's the only bookcase in the house that is arranged that way, and because it's in my bedroom it stays that way because it's fun to look at!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Been out of town for a week and now stopping by....your list looks interesting, especially Thomas Sowell and Russell Kirk :)

4:30 PM  

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