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Saturday, December 31, 2011

My 2011 Reads

The books at the top of the list I read before I started blogging, so I included on this list a short description of each book. For the books I've already blogged about, if you're interested in reading the post, you'll have to search the blog for it. I'm not sure how to include a separate link to each entry.

Super Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I enjoyed this book enough that I've put Freakonomics on my TBR. The authors seek to explore the hidden side of everything.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen. Two thumbs up. He writes with his tongue in his cheek, as if he and his audience want to destroy the imagination of children. I did find his contrarian stance a bit tedious at times, but agreed heartily with his message.

Tales of the Kingdom, by David and Karen Mains. Tales like fables or fairy tales. Recommend for children.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, by Harriet Ann Jacobs. A heart-wrenching, true, first-person account of being a slave in the American South leading up to the Civil War.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Interesting perspective, but with too much of a preoccupation with sex.

The Mind's Eye, by Oliver Sacks. Sacks must be a wonderfully humane doctor.

The Journal of John Woolman, by John Woolman. John Woolman was a prominent Quaker in early New England.

The Last Dickens, by Matthew Pearl. Pearl's works involving historical personages are gripping and thrilling,  but occasionally gruesome.

The Death of Corinne, by R. T. Raichev. To be honest, I don't really recall this work. I think it was a modern murder mystery set in England.

Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel. Odd, but intriguing.

The Bride Collector, by Ted Dekker. Far too gruesome for me.

The Brothers Boswell, by Philip Baruth. Literary, skillful writing, but with some brief explicit sexual scenes.

Portuguese Irregular Verbs, Alexander McCall Smith. Amusing stories about a professor.

Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith. One of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, which I thoroughly enjoy.

The Stones Cry Out, by Sibella Giorello. Giorello is one of my best finds of 2011. Her books are mysteries.

The Rivers Run Dry, by Sibella Giorello

The Clouds Roll Away, by Sibella Giorello.

Maiden Voyage, by Tania Aebi. Ms. Aebi's father offered to buy her a sailboat, if she agreed to sail it alone around the world, or pay for her college education. She opted for the boat, and became the youngest, at age 18, to circumnavigate the world.

Chop Shop, by Tim Downs. A mystery with a fair deal of philosophical/ethical discussion in it. A bit gory in parts. I thought the ending rendered the ethical thrust of the book moot.

The Mountains Bow Down, by Sibella Giorello.

Some Fruits of Solitude, by William Penn.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, by John McWhorter. McWhorter tells the 'untold history of English.'

More Fruits of Solitude, by William Penn.

Enchanted Hunters, by Maria Tatar. Tatar discusses the importance of reading in childhood. She suggests that all the terms we use to describe avid young readers put them down. She suggests we use the term 'enchanted hunters' instead.

Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul, by Octavius Winslow. An excellent book outlining the importance of drawing close to God throughout life, and the dangers of not drawing closer to God.

The Great Typo Hunt, by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson. A light-hearted, and yet surprisingly philosophical account of a cross-country road trip undertaken by two men looking for and correcting typos.

Manning Up, by Kay Hymowitz. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in current trends in America.

Plague Maker, by Tim Downs.

Factory Girls, by Leslie T. Chang. A fascinating description of life for women in China today.

Righteous Indignation, by Andrew Breitbart. Not nearly as compelling as Steyn.

Histories by Herodotus, books I-IV

I blogged about the remaining books on the list.

A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry.

Unnatural Death, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

The Double Comfort Safari Club, by Alexander McCall Smith.

The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennet.

True Grit, by Charles Portis.

A Child's Own Book of Verse.

Glorious Freedom, by Richard Sibbes.

My Old Man and the Sea, by David Hayes and Daniel Hayes.

Celebrating Children's Books, edited by Betsy Hearne and Marilyn Kaye.

Master Georgie, by Beryl Bainbridge.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke.

The Still Point: A Novel, by Amy Sackville.

Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, by Carol Leonard.

ALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean, by Richard Logan and Tere Duperrault Fassbender.

Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives, edited by Geradine Simkins.

The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, Alexander McCall Smith.

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, Alexander McCall Smith.

Three Dialogs of Plato.

The Wordsmith's Tale, by Stephen Edden.

The Three-Arched Bridge, by Ismail Kadare.

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus.

On the Narrow Road, Lesley Downer.

The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

Multiple Bles8ings, by Kate Gosselin.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, by Jeremiah Burroughs.

In the Land of Invisible Women, by Qanta Ahmed.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses, by Tom Standage.

The Horse that Leaps through Clouds, by Eric Enno Tamm.

eye of the god, by Ariel Allison.

The Hawk and the Dove, by Penelope Wilcock.

The Wounds of God, by Penelope Wilcock.

The Long Fall, by Penelope Wilcock.

The Unquiet Bones, by Melvin Starr.

Gargantua, by Rabelais.

It's Probably Nothing, by Beach Conger, MD.

The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz.

Devices and Desires, by P.D. James.

Read my Hips, Kim Brittingham.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

After America, by Mark Steyn.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken.

Why Read Moby-Dick?, by Nathaniel Philbrick.

The New Road to Serfdom, by Daniel Hannan.

Crazy U, by Andrew Ferguson.

The Winged Watchman, by Hilda van Stockum.

The Wonder Clock, by Howard Pyle.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin.

Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo.

I Dreamed of Africa, by Kuki Gallmann.

How the West Was Lost, by Dambisa Moyo.

Tell Me, Pretty Maiden, by Rhys Bowen.

Wow. A total of 84 books (one I left off the list). A personal record, and that in a year in which I moved and had a baby. And started a blog. :-)


  1. Wow... You make me want to set a goal of more books. I still have to find and finish the ones I started.

  2. Meg, I astound myself! (I wish you could hear me laughing maniacally when I say that.) Truly, though, thank you.

    Mama Z, I'm glad I've influenced you in that direction, and I appreciate knowing that I have. What are you reading these days?

  3. Impressive list. I'm always amazed if I get anywhere near 52 since it doesn't seem like I read one book a week.