Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Books of 2011

I didn't get much writing done (except during nanowrimo!) in 2011, but I feel like I devoured books. Let me count them up and see.

Books I read completely:
1. Shelf Life - Memoir set in a bookstore. OK, but it didn't live up to the promises on the cover.
2. Dewey - A library adopts a stray cat. Wonderful and well-written memoir.
3. Quaker Homespuns, 1655-1833 -  An earlier historian's short stories about some of the same people I'm writing my novel about.
4. Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Reading at the beach!
5. Midsummer Night in the Workhouse - Literary short  stories. I feel expanded.
6. The Preacher's Bride - Historical inspirational fiction similar to what I want to write.
7. Sea Change - A Jesse Stone mystery. I enjoyed the straight-forward, masculine prose.
8. Hash - Quirky! Umm... you had to be there.
9. Emma - I had seen two different movie versions and wanted to read the book.
10. Persuasion - Much more mature work than Emma.
11. Daughters of the Witching Hill - Excellent historical with just enough vernacular and lots of details to pull you into the story.
12. No Plot? No Problem! - Encouraging and practical (especially in November!)
13. One Second After - Everybody should read this book. Everybody! Realistic story of a small town cut off from supplies and communication after a U.S. national disaster. Hard to put down.

Children's books:
Indian Two Feet and His Eagle Feather
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Your Personal Penguin
14. Gift of the Magi
The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
(A Thomas the Train book, I don't remember the title)

I read lots of articles, but here are two I wrote down:
"Why I Write" by George Orwell, 1947
"From A Soldier's Wife," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Oct. 1864 (622-628)

Books I read parts of:
15. (finished) Arctic Ireland - history research for my novel
The Daily Writer - great writing prompts
Writing the Christian Romance - ditto
English Social History (yawn)
The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Angel Chronicles, Vol. I
Charity Cook: A Liberated Woman - history research for my novel, but not as specific as I'd hoped.
Eating Well for Optimum Health - seriously educational; I read about half and may read more.

So, 15. I added four that I'd forgotten to write down, so maybe I missed others. Or maybe I didn't read as much as I thought I did. In 2010, I read about 20 books. In 2009, I read 7 in entirety, and started several others that I finished the following year.

This year, I don't have a reading list. I've researched my book the last few years and now's the time to finish it. At the moment, I'm staying away from similar books until I get my third draft finished, because I don't want to accidentally copy anything. I will continue to read lots of articles, writing books and nonfiction. When I need a break, I'll pick up some "mindless" entertainment in other genres, like mysteries.

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