book list (2007 edition)

Or, “Be afraid. Be very afraid. ”

Or, “Signs that I need to get out more.”

Here we go again for another round. This is my fourth year in a row to do this, and I daresay, it’s always fun looking back at what I’ve read. My apologies in advance for the ridiculous length, but what can I say? I read a lot. Maybe too much, if that’s possible.

I play by Teacher Dave’s rules–these are all books completed this year. Format is date completed: author, title (# of pages). Asterisk means I’ve read it before. This is actually the first year I’ve kept track of book length, so this should be interesting.

January 18: Ian McEwan, Saturday (289)
January 21: Homer, The Odyssey (381)
January 23: St. Athanasius, On The Incarnation (120)
January 30: C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength (382)
February 5: E.M. Forester, A Room With a View (204)
February 10: Marva J. Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly (213)
February 12: Margaret Edson, Wit (85)
February 12: Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (119)
February 16: Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Perestroika (155)
*February 19: Donald Miller, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (289)
February 20: Mark Twain, Roughing It (542)
February 23: Garrison Keillor, We Are Still Married (330)
February 26: Richard J. Mouw, Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport (127)
March 1: Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away (243)
March 3: Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (651)
March 19: Thomas Bailey Aldrich, The Story of a Bad Boy (286)
March 20: Tim O’Brien, Going After Cacciato (338)
March 28: Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (110)
April 1: Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (351)
April 2: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (284)
April 5: Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist (164)
April 11: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (490)
*April 11: Yann Martel, Life of Pi (319)
April 16: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (362)
April 17: Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (447)
*April 17: Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (242)
April 18: Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux (270)
*April 21: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (307)
May 2: Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace (327)
May 9: John Perry, Dialogue on Good, Evil, and the Existence of God (70)
*May 9: Walter Wangerin, Jr., Paul: A Novel (504)
*May 19: Matt Kronberg, Mike Peterson, Jedd Medefind, and Trey Sklar, Four Souls (362)
May 26: Edward T. Welch, When People Are Big and God is Small (239)
*May 30: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (341)
June 7: Richard Adams, Watership Down (479)
*June 7: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (435)
June 12: Douglas Coupland, JPod (448, kind of…don’t ask)
*June 18: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (734)
*June 21: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (870)
June 25: Jamila Gavin, Coram Boy (325)
*June 28: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (652)
*July 7: Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (288)
*July 13: Lauren Winner, Girl Meets God (296)
July 14: Cormac McCarthy, The Road (287)
July 21: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (759)
*August 1: Christopher Vogler, The Writer’s Journey (300)
August 3: James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (221)
August 9: C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy (238)
August 15: Saul Bellow, Ravelstein (233)
August 17: Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (411)
August 21: Greg Garrett, Crossing Myself (232)
August 23: Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (320)
September 5: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (355)
September 12: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation (288)
September 22: David Brooks, Bobos In Paradise (276)
October 1: Graeme Goldsworthy, According to Plan (244)
*October 8: Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What (239)
October 19: Richard Marius, A Writer’s Companion (233)
*October 24: Greg Garrett, Free Bird (242)
October 29: Nick Hornby, High Fidelity (323)
November 7: Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation (373)
*November 14: Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (247)
November 17: Douglas Coupland, Generation X (183)
November 28: John Piper, Desiring God (290)
*November 30: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (305)
*December 3: Lauren Winner, Real Sex (161)
*December 12: J.I. Packer, God’s Words (215)
*December 17: Bob Briner, Roaring Lambs (179)
*December 24: C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (146)
December 31: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount (585)

Pages read: 22,355, which is 319.36 pages per book, or 61 pages per day. This is a little frightening. (Keep in mind, though, that quite a few had full-page illustrations, which brings the total down some. But still.)

Books read for class: 13
Fiction books: 35
Non-fiction books: 31 (which is really high for me–I don’t know how this happened)
Drama and poetry:4

Most read author: J.K. Rowling, of course (hey, I had to reread the series before Deathly Hallows came out…), with all seven of hers. Good on ya, Jo. Mark Twain comes in second with five, as I took an entire class on his works (unfortunately).

Top 5:

Cormac McCarthy, The Road. Bleak as all get out, and not much dialogue to speak of (uh, no pun intended), but well-written. You get immersed in the harsh realities of the post-apocalyptic world along with the two main characters, a father and son, and the end made me want to cry. Really. This book deserves the Pulitzer Prize it got last year.

Margaret Edson, Wit. PUNCTUATION MATTERS, DANG IT. I gasped more than a few times while I was reading it, at how good it all was, how beautiful and tragic it was. Must see this performed soon.

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Ever since one class I took in college that had a unit on sustainable agriculture, I’ve been interested in the subject ever since. Kingsolver and her family take it one further by growing almost all their own food or getting it from their neighbors. If it sounds kind of dry and hippieish, it’s not; Kingsolver’s always honest about how things worked, but still manages to make it sound fascinating and cool the whole time. It made me want to go get my hands dirty. Oh, and her husband and college-age daughter pitch in with a few words, too, which makes it even better for me.

Tim O’Brien, Going After Cacciato. Great details and descriptions of life in the jungles of Vietnam, and an ending that makes you go “Huh?!” (in a good way). Love, love, love this book, and because of it I’m looking forward to reading The Things They Carried even more than I already was.

Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away. To be honest, I was never really impressed by Flannery O’Connor until I read this book, and I am now absolutely in love with her work. The professors who taught me this weren’t big fans of the characters, and to be honest neither am I, but I get what she’s doing here: Those characters I don’t like? I am just like them, all of them, broken and messy and arrogant. But there is grace and redemption at the end, a purifying fire, and that is what matters. Lovely piece of fiction, and one I recommend.

Honorable mentions: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Michka Assayas, Bono: In Conversation; C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength; David Brooks, Bobos In Paradise; Nick Hornby, High Fidelity.

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3 thoughts on “book list (2007 edition)

  1. R keeps telling me I need to try Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, but I think I haven’t because I’m afraid I won’t get it. Then I’ll feel dumb–which is not something I want to feel in front of my just-graduated-from-college daughter. Most twentieth century literature makes me feel either stupid or superior, depending on what mood I’m in. Excepting Lewis and Tolkien, of course.

  2. Steph says:

    i like how hornby got honorable mention, since he’s the one that came up with the top 5 list in the first place. hah.

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