Monthly Archives: December 2009

This Year in Books

This year I read 14 books. My goal was 12, so I’m happy that I met my goal, but I would really like to have read more. It’s all about how much time you have though I guess. And how much time you are willing to spend reading instead of spending time on the Internet or watching TV. Below are the books I read ordered by the date (ascending) I read them and what I thought of each:

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot Buy on
4 out of 5
I did enjoy this book eventhough many modern readers would point out that it is very slow. It is not a short read at 880 pages. I used this character map I found on the Internet and found it very helpful! However, I listened to this book, for free and legally, via librivox. This was a very interesting way to experience the book. Some readers were obvisouly better than others. Some I even had a hard time understanding. There are about 17 different readers over the 86 different chapters. Each chapter is a separate download. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it with the caviotes that I mentioned earlier. I would also recommend Librivox and would use it again.

2. The Pirate Queen: The Story of Grace O’Malley, Irish Pirate by Alan Gold Buy on
4 out of 5
It shouldn’t surpise anyone who knows me that I enjoy reading history. After all, I do have a podcast all about histiry, which I hope to get back to in 2010. The first thing I should mention about The Pirate Queen: The Story of Grace O’Malley, Irish Pirate by Alan Gold, is that it is a fictional piece. However, please be aware that the books language is not for the fainted hearted. The strong language was a major turn off for me. The other warning I will give, is the book sometimes reads more like a romance novel than anything else. All in all, I would say that you should read this book, if you are at all interested in female pirates or history. I did enjoy the novel, despite the strong language and minor love scenes.

3. Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman Buy on
food4 out of 5
Pretty good. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is about how we (Americans) got so fat and how eating the “Food Matters” way will help the environment and help you lose weight. The second half is 77 recipes to help you eat better. I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I looked through the recipes in the second half, but didn’t see anything that screamed out cook me! I wanted this book to be more than it was, so I guess I was let down. Anyone have something better?

4. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter Buy on
2 out of 5
By this point your porbably wondering if I give anything other than a 4 out of 5, well here it is. I couldn’t even finish this. Everytime I picked it up I wanted to put it down. A complete waste of time for me. I guess I’m just not an intellectual reader, cause this bored the begees out of me! I was looking for a fun stimulating read. This did not fill the bill. Felt like homework.

5. Your Baby’s First Year (Second Edition) by American Academy Of Pediatrics Buy on
4 out of 5
This is closer to a 5 than a 4 really. Best baby book I have read yet. We got this from our pediatrician. I started reading it right away. It has great detail on ages 0 – 6 months, then strangely lumps months 6-12 together. Would have liked the same detail in those months as the first 6. The last third of the book is all the depressing diseases and illnesses that babies get. Good book to keep as a resource if any of those things should happen. *knocks on wood*.

6. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Buy on
3 out of 5
My boss at work intorduced my to Gladwell’s writings with a few chapters of Outliers. This book is a great “thinkers” book. Filled with great idea and examples. Gladwell certainly did a lot of research for this book and I can really appreciate that. I think he did a great job with this book. I would recommend this (and all of Gladwell’s) book.

7. The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins Buy on
hungergames5 out of 5
That’s right a perfect score! 5 out of 5! This was a great book, but more inportantly I’m happy I read it because I was introduced to the triliogy of books. Later this year I would read Catching Fire, which was wait for it.even better. This book is a must since it is the first in the triliogy. I doubt you will be dissapointed it has a 4.56 on Goodreads currently.

8. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell Buy on
4 out of 5
Another good one from Gladwell. Not as engrossing as Outliers, but defiently worth reading.

9. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Buy on
4 out of 5
Best out of the three (blink, tipping point and outliers). This is the book that started it all for me. This is a must read. I found it very interesting.

10. The Intellectual Devotional: American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class by David S. Kidder, Noah Oppenheim Buy on
5 out of 5
A gift from my firend Melissa, this was a great book! Very enjoyable. It did take me a while to read it. It does not lend itself to long sittings of reading as each story is only one page long. However, this may also be the best part about the book. No matter how much time I had to read I could always finish at least one story. Great topics!

11. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift Buy on
gullivers4 out of 5
I’m just about the only person I know who didn’t read this book in grade or high school. This is the first book I read on the iPod Touch. I would read another book on that device too. I enjoyed this novel and am disappointed I did not get the chance to read it when I was much younger.  There will be a pop-quiz after reading this book.

12. Shogun: A Novel of Japan by James Clavell Buy on
5 out of 5
Another perfect score! I really loved this book. Ever since I saw the made for tv mini series, I’ve wanted to read the book. This is another book that I didn’t read but instead listened to, however, I didn’t use Librivox. Great book, in the top three out of these 14 listed.

13. Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li Buy on
5 out of 5
Read this for a social media class I took. Great read, I highly recommend for anyone in a leadership position of any size company. Also, great for anyone just interested in social media. Really well written!

14. Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins Buy on
5 out of 5
GREAT BOOK! Can’t believe it but, I think it was better than the first! I wish I could say make this the one book you read this year, but you really should read the first book Hunger Games and this book!  The Hunger Games: Book 3 will be release August 2, 2010.

Currently Reading:

1. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs Buy on
So far this book is a little slow, but very interesting insight into a slaves life. It is non-fiction and I’m reading it on my ipod touch.

2. My Point…And I Do Have One by Ellen DeGeneres Buy on
ellenI once listed to The Funny Thing Is… on a long road trip and enjoyed it. So when I saw this book outside the local library for $0.25, I bought it. So far, it is as funny or funnier than The Funny Thing is…