Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Books of 2009

I feel pretty good about myself when I look at the list of "books I'm reading" on this blog. But let's see how I really did. Here are the books I read in their entirety in 2009:

1. Deep River Friends: A Valiant People, by Cecil Haworth - I actually proofread this as an almost-final manuscript. It was exciting to hold a final copy in my hands last summer!
2. I edited another manuscript, a book of Quaker biographies. I don't want to give out the title until it's closer to publication.
3. The Last Camel Died at Noon, by Elizabeth Peters - I read her Amelia Peabody books for sheer enjoyment.
4. Books, by Larry McMurtry - I enjoyed reading about the life of another bibliophile, especially while camping. In answer to a friend: yes, I sometimes do finish reading nonfiction books!
5. Philippians - in the Bible, but it's called a "book."
6. The Scotswoman, by Inglis Fletcher - my first Inglis Fletcher book, inspiration for my own fact-based historical novel.
7. Stone Cold, by David Baldacci, audiobook - A lot of action, good characters and plot, but I started in the middle of the trilogy, which was probably a mistake. I read The Collectors last year and this was the sequel that wrapped up the storylines.

Now, here are the books that I partly read in 2009:
-- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - Excellent. I read the whole thing, but started it in 2008.
-- Financial Survival, by Kristen Eckstein - Practical advice for a tight budget. I read most of it, but I'm one of those people who will stop and work on the "how to" of one chapter before I read further.
-- Moate: A History, by Liam Cox - I would have read this whole book if it were still in print! A lot of history about the small town where my ancestors lived in Ireland. I devoured the pages that I had copied at the library during my trip.
-- A New History of Ireland - read a few chapters during my research trip to Ireland. Good, but overwhelming.
-- A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes - great anecdotes, so you can eat up history in bite-sized, tasty pieces. I've been skipping around.
-- The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate, by Kevin P. Duffus - impressive research, going back to primary sources the way genealogists do. His style is a little annoying, like a Discovery channel special. I started this after Thanksgiving and I'm still working on it.
-- Swahili - I finally found a decent phrasebook with pronunciation tips. I actually am reading the non-dictionary parts.
-- The Snake, the Crocodile and the Dog, by Elizabeth Peters - I just finished this, so it's officially in 2010. Loved it! I felt an extra connection with the plot because of events going on in my own life.

So there you have it, not quite a book a month. I did not have particular goals for 2009 and I'm proud of the editing work this year (in addition to proofreading the news at my office job).
My only reading goals right now are research for my novel. Next up: Roots and The Peaceable Kingdom.

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