Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011 Book Report: Third Quarter

Last quarter I managed to get halfway to my 100-book-year goal, thanks (or no thanks) to research for my history project. How did I do this quarter, and I did read anything for fun? Check out my list below.

Key: C: Children's; F: Fantasy; H: Historical; Hr: Horror; M: Mystery; MG: Middle Grade (ages 8-12); NF: Nonfiction; P: Poetry; SF: Science Fiction; SS: Short Stories; V: Verse novel; YA: Young Adult (age 13+); *not in the last ten years at least; ^for work; #e-book.

07/04/11: David Weber, More Than Honor# (SF, 3 or 4)
07/08/11: Weber, Worlds of Honor# (SF, 3 or 4)
07/18/11: Weber, At All Costs (SF, 2)
07/20/11: Weber, Changer of Worlds# (SF, 2)
07/22/11: Michael Kazin, A Godly Man^ (William Jennings Bryan bio, 1)
07/22/11: Weber, The Service of the Sword# (SF, 2)
07/23/11: Carrie Bebris, The Intrigue at Highbury (M, 1)
07/26/11: Richard Cherny, A Righteous Cause: The Life of WJ Bryan^ (NF, 1)
07/31/11: Weber, The Shadow of Saganami# (SF, 2)
08/07/11: H. Paul Jeffers, An Honest President^ (Cleveland bio, 1)
08/09/11: Henry F. Graff, Grover Cleveland^ (NF, 1)
08/15/11: Nick Salvatore, Eugene V. Debs^ (NF, 1)
08/22/11: Samuel Gompers, 70 Years of Life and Labor^ (memoir, 1)
08/23/11: Weber, Storm from the Shadows# (SF, 1)
08/25/11: Edward Renehan, Dark Genius of Wall Street^ (Jay Gould bio, 1)
08/29/11: Richard Stiller, Queen of Populists^ (Mary Lease bio, 1)
09/03/11: Weber, Mission of Honor# (SF, 1)
09/05/11: Jean Strouse, Morgan: American Financier^ (bio, 1)
09/11/11: Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.^ (bio, 1)
09/13/11: Louis Sachar, Holes (MG, 1)
09/16/11: Craig Phelan, Grand Master Workman^ (Terence Powderly bio, 1)
09/18/11: Powderly, Terence, The Path I Trod^ (memoir, 1)

Only 22 books this quarter; as you can see, I was doing a lot of research for the biography portion of my book. My deadline was September 27 and I was working weekends and nights to meet it, so I didn't get a lot  of extra reading in. (So much for the "lazy summer.") Only 10 of the 22 books were for "fun," and of those, only four were for the first time.

Although some of the biographies were well written and interesting, I have to pick Louis Sachar's Holes as my favorite. It's not a new book—it won the Newbery Medal in 1998 and was made into a movie that I saw when it came out in 2003—and I'd had it sitting around the house so long I thought I'd already read it. So I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and realized it was new to me. It's a wonderfully plotted book, with compelling characters and a language that is simple but interesting.

So at 74 books for the year I'm just shy of my goal of 100 for the year. With my book project—and the need to research—all done, will I make my target for the year? Check back in three months to find out.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo of the Week--9/26/11

Oh, right, I was also looking for architectural things that caught my eye on this go-round of vacation photos, and it doesn't get much more interesting than Frank Lloyd Wright. This, of course, is his famous building for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, which we visited in the fall of 2003. I love that except for one guy probably getting his own picture taken and thus imposing himself on my picture, the place looks deserted. In reality, it was pretty busy, with lots of people enjoying the selection of Impressionists and 20th-century artists. Or not enjoying, depending on your taste for weird art. In any case, it was fun to look up and down the spiral "staircase."