Friday, April 04, 2008


I should really keep track of the books I read. I've never actually counted how many books I read in a year. So let's see... books read since January 2008, in no particular order...

1. Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application by Louis P. Pojman and Paul Pojman - I read this for class. And I enjoyed the different thoughts on environmentalism and ethics.

2. Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental issues and options by H. Steinfeld, P. Gerber, T. Wassenaar, V. Castel, M. Rosales, C. de Haan - This too I read for class so I am counting it.

3. Atonement by Ian Mcewan - A decent enough book.

4. No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham - One of the many running books I've read. What's too say about it, really? Bingham is one of the top running guys and his books make me feel better about my running skills.

5. The Complete Book Of Running For Women by Claire Kowalchik

6. Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott

7. Women Who Run by Shanti Sosienski - Running stories from many different types of women. I really enjoyed this just for the different experiences each runner has.

8. Letters for Emily by Camron Wright - One of those easy-to-read and sappy books. I admit I did cry.

9. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard - I would have enjoyed this more if she hadn't tried to be all flowery with her writing. It got to bee too much for me.

10. Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille - I always say I am going to become a hermit living in the woods with my dogs and my books and so this was a happy read for me.

11. Duma Key by Stephen King - I'd put this in the top 5 of best written King novels. Definitely one of the better books he's written lately.

12. Blaze by Richard Bachman and Stephen King - Different than his other books but still engaging.

13. The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper - I adore Sheri Tepper and yet I had a difficult time with this one. I didn't feel any of the Margaret's were developed well enough for the story.

14.Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed - This book amuses me and is a good read.

15. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett - You can't go wrong with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett!

16. Time for the Stars by Robert Heinlein - A Heinlein juvenile that I hadn't read before. *gasp*

17. Dune by Frank Herbert - I have to read the series over every so often. This book is what got me started with my love of sci-fi.

18. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - I'd seen the movie before reading the book and Malcolm McDowell still scares me. He was so right for the role of Alex. This book is one of my all-time favorites. I also love The Wanting Seed.

19. Blood Crazy by Simon Clark - One of my favorite horror novels. I love those end-of-the-world stories and this one does not disappoint.

20. When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase and Robert A. Phillips - A book I got off ChanceXchange. The story is horrifying, so much worse than The Three Faces of Eve or Sybil.

21. Empress Orchid by Anchee Min - Another ChanceXchange book. I've read Anchee Min before but I'd say this is my favorite so far.

That just doesn't seem like many books. I must be missing a couple. Although, considering I was at Walt Disney World for a week and then in school for a quarter, those numbers could be correct. Currently I am reading Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice. I found the book in a bag of books I'd loaned to my mom but I'd never read it before now. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed Anne Rice's books. I haven't read her new books about the life of Christ and I haven't decided if I want to. It seems like such a dramatic switch from her Vampire Chronicles and Beauty Trilogy.

I can't imagine not having a book near me. I remember when I was first learning to read and someone had given me the Little House books, I would sit in my room and try to figure out the words so I could read the story for myself. My mom tried reading the classics to us but I think my sister and I asked too many questions so reading time did not last long. I don't believe we ever made it through Black Beauty. When I was at my grandma's house, she always had books around and I would pick up her copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I still love those books.

The first book I read in one sitting was Little Sioux Girl by Lois Lensky. My mom and step-dad picked it up at a fair (I think) and I remember sitting in my bed one summer day and reading it straight through. The sun was shining and the birds were singing and I was in my bedroom at age 9, reading a book. I'd read other books before but never in one sitting like that.

Then there was my challenge book at age 10. I was determined to read Alex Haley's Roots. Every summer I would pick that book up and start reading. I'm not certain why I chose that book. I guess because it was so thick, almost 900 pages. It took three years but by the time I was 13 I finally read it. I remember being so proud of myself. And so horrified. I don't remember my history books ever covering slavery like that. And so every summer I made it my plan to read Roots. When I was in high school one of my professors encouraged me to read Malcolm X's autobiography and books about Martin Luther King, Jr. Those books made high school feel like cake compared to what those men went through.

Until I was 15 or 16 I read V.C. Andrews, Stephen King and cheesy romance novels. I remember the David Lynch movie Dune coming out in the theater and I'd wanted to go see it so bad. No one wanted to see it with me so I had to wait until it was available for video rental. My mom and step-dad rented it and disliked it. I fell in love. I went to school and was telling someone about it when a classmate overheard me and told me the story was from a book. He pointed the series out and I devoured them. And when he heard how much I enjoyed them, he showed me the Heinlein novel I Will Fear No Evil. I was sold on sci-fi from then on. Heinlein novels played a huge role in my adolescence. I'd led such a sheltered, strict life. My parents were always grounding my sister if we got a single C on our report card. We'd be grounded for that grading period until we brought the grade up to a B. If we had a C on our final report card for the year, we were grounded for the entire summer. It's no wonder I spent so much time reading. Heinlein's novels opened my eyes to freedom. They made me accepting of everyone. And for that I am truly thankful. I always turn to his books when I get bogged down and can't concentrate on other books. They refresh me.

Books are the one thing I ask for as gifts. I really don't care about other gifty nonsense. Books are functional. They never go out of style. If I am bored I can pick up a book and be transported. For free! I'd give up television and the internet before I'd give up my books.

No comments: