Permission Granted

Saturday, January 01, 2011

This year my local library gave out gift cards that said "Take Time to READ. Card value: Relaxation. And on the back it says "Permission Granted". I put them in the books I gave as gifts at Christmas and I kept one for myself. Here is a virtual one for you!

For fun, I am sharing my summary from our Read 50 books a year challenge. I just finished my 55th last night! I added emoticons to a few of the best and emoticon for the top three: Cutting for Stone, Let The Great World Spin, and Wolf Hall.

emoticon 55. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Fiction. I just finished this on New Year's Eve and it might be my favourite book of 2010. Fabulous writing. Characters. Plot. Locale. Subject. It has it all.)
54. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (NF history of cancer. Good)
53. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean (NF. Enjoyed this, especially when read in conjunction with the beautiful book below:)
52. The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray and Nick Mann (NF. Gorgeous, seriously!, book with photographs of the elements. Read w/#53 above).
51. The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie (NF. How did 160 conquistadors conquer 10 million Incans? Now I know.)
50. Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (NF. We know SO little. But Bill + Bard = A great history anyway)
49. Around The World in 80 Days by Michael Palin (NF. He's my favourite Python.)
48. Monster III: 511 Kinderheim by Naoki Urasawa (Manga, continuing story. Dark. Good.)
47. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (Entertaining & enlightening. Listened to the audio read by author...a plus)
46. Little Bee by Chris Cleave (Good)
emoticon45. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (lives up to the hype; I started it before Oprah picked it. Promise! I want to read Corrections now.)
emoticon44. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (I may or may not recover from this read. It's more intense than a thriller because it's so realistic. Brutal subject matter. I couldn't put it down.)
43. Monsters II: Surprise Party by Naoki Urasawa (must keep reading to find out what happens! Manga series)
emoticon42. Tinkers by Paul harding (LOVED it. Beautiful writing. Marked my copy up, so glad I bought it.)
41. Monster Vol I by Naoki Urasawa (my first Japanese Manga. Excellent.)
40. My Dog Tulip by JR Ackerley (The movie is just out. Check out the trailer...you'll laugh:

39. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (NF)
38. Bruegel by Wolfgang Stechow ('nother NF about my fav painter)
37. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Neil can do no wrong. Period. LOVE him.)
36. The Iliad (compared translations...like Lombardo)
35. Ape House by Sara Gruen (not worth hardback $$!)
34. Mad Men Unbuttoned by Natasha Vargas-Cooper (nf; life & culture of the 60s)
33. The Lovers by Vendela Vida (ehhh...barely good enough that I finished it)
32. The Go-Between L.P. Hartley (good old fashioned Brit Lit. Set in 1900; written in 1953. Excellent. 1st line: "The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there".)
31. The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst (Part mystery/part family saga. Enjoyed)
emoticon30. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Great trilogy. Sad that it's over and there will be no more.)
29. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (Quirky, but I really enjoyed this novel. Many, many literary & movie references...)
28. Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (For fans of very dark short stories). emoticon27. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Excellent; sad to think this was the way things really were!!??)
emoticon26. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (It's true..it IS the greatest show on earth. Made me feel connected to everything on the planet.)
25. The Man In The Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam (Companion book to Old Filth. More Jane for me!)
emoticon24. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Short stories that all have Olive in common. Thumbs up.)
23. Peter Bruegel the Elder: Artist of Abundance (Loved it)
22. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding & The Meaning of Things by H.Arthur & Mina C.Klein (NF. Fascinating! Horrifying! Just discovered we have a family member who fits the bill and had to read up on it.)
emoticon21. Old Filth by Jane Gardam (loved it)
20. Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (WWII story. Sad & haunting, but I highly recommend it)
19. Hotel at the Corner of Bitter & Sweet by Jamie Ford (More of a Jr. High level read, but a very good story about an awful time in US history)
18. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister (The similes were populous, like a New York City subway. But a good plane read)
17. Worstword Ho by Samuel Beckett (3 stories, each one gets more abstract)
16. How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom
emoticon 15. Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Excellent)
14. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris (Fun in a wicked way)
13. If The Buddha Married by Charlotte Kasl (Great for any relationship)
12. The Vagrants by Yiyen Li (Grim, but very well written)
11. In the Woods by Tana French (Dark mystery)
10. Masterpieces of Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e by Rupert Faulkner (Art book)
9. Loving Each Other by Leo Buscaglia (Good old-fashioned advice)
8. Under the Dome by Stephen King (One of his best)
7. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (CS Lewis was a fan; me too)
6. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Fiction. Funny. Fast. Foul.)
5. The Reserve by Russell Banks (So so)
4. Handbook of Graphic Reproduction Processes by Felix Brunner (Art book)
emoticon3. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Brilliant)
emoticon 2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Excellent)
1. The Ultimate pH Solution by Michelle Schoffro Cook (NF)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BOPPY_
    Interesting list!

    Re: Incas and Conquistadors

    Excellent coverage in: Guns, Germs, and Steel with much more science and anthro on lots of other issues.


    Alas, I've only been reading technical stuff since I started my weight loss program. Just not enough attention to go round for everything ...
    2937 days ago
    Man- I thought I read a lot- just went back to count the books listed in my reading journal- never read 50 in a year- but often 25-30.
    LOVED Cutting for Stone so much I read 2 of his other (NF) books.
    loved Olive, too.
    My favorite book this year was The Lacuna, B Kingsolver.
    Happy reading in 2010!

    3716 days ago
    I love those cards from the library! Mine says Card Value: Inspiration and on the back it says, "Go ahead."

    Starting my 50 books for 2011 today! Happy New Year!
    3716 days ago
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