This year, my goal was to read 24 books (two a month). So far, in 2011, I have completed 33. I abandoned three, which I will explain below, and I am currently reading two. One of the joys of being a proud Kindle owner is the ability to acquire a variety of books at the push of a button. This is a Godsend in a country where both new and used English books are scarce and expensive. With the Kindle, I was never at a loss for a good book and often took advantage of the many free books offered on the Amazon site. That, coupled with encouragement from my friend, Phala, to start our own book club and from my daughter Lauren, to read her AP English assignments along with her, spurred me to read some things I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own.
I also learned about services that allow readers to request advance or courtesy copies of current books from various publishers in exchange for an honest review. (Thanks, Tessa Shockey!) The reading/blogging services I use are BookSneeze, Tyndale’s blog network and NetGalley. If you are interested, the reviews are posted elsewhere in this blog.
And now, without further adieu I present my 2011 reading list! 🙂
Those I’m reading now (but probably won’t finish until 2012):
- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Kindle Freebie and an assigned book from Lauren’s AP English class).
- Not for Sale by David Batstone (Kindle). A book about human trafficking.
My favorites (in no particular order):
- Wading Home by Rosalyn Story (Kindle Freebie). A story of the New Orleans flood.
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Print, loaned to me by a friend).
- A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Print, found it at a used book store in the US)
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl (Print, found it at a used book store in Seoul)
- Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Print, part of Lauren’s AP English reading assignment)
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (Kindle). An excellent and entertaining book about writing.
The ones I hated and cannot recommend:
- Promissory Payback by Laurel Dewey (NetGalley review) Fiction detective novel.
- The First Tycoon by T.J. Stiles (Kindle). This is one I didn’t finish. An historical book about Cornelius Vanderbilt. Too long. Too detailed. Too boring. Visit Biltmore House instead.
Those I reviewed for BookSneeze, Tyndale House or NetGalley:
- The Invisible Order, Book Two, The Fire King by Paul Crilley (Kindle, NetGalley)
- Seeds of Turmoil by Bryant Wright (Print, BookSneeze)
- Stumbling into Grace by Lisa Harper (Print, BookSneeze)
- The Tehran Initiative by Joel Rosenberg (Kindle, Tyndale House)
- Deepest Thanks, Deeper Apologies by Stephen Shortridge (Kindle, NetGalley)
- Popular Clone by M.E. Castle (Kindle, NetGalley)
- Flesh and Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin (Kindle, NetGalley)
- The Coming Revolution by Richard Lee (Kindle, NetGalley)
- Sex Trafficking by Siddharth Kara (Kindle)
- Just Courage by Gary Haugen (Kindle)
- The Dragonfly Effect by Andy Smith (Kindle). One of the three I haven’t finished but eventually will.
Others I read and liked (in no particular order):
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Kindle Freebie)
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Kindle)
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Kindle Freebie)
- Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (Kindle)
- The End is Now by Rob Stennett (Kindle Freebie)
- Radical by David Platt (Print)
- Alex Cross’s Trial by James Patterson (Print)
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Print). Another of Lauren’s AP English assignments.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baronness Emmuska Orczy (Kindle Freebie)
- Hostage in Havana by Noel Hynd (Kindle Freebie)
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Kindle Freebie)
- Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott (Kindle Freebie). The third one I didn’t finish. I read it as a child and liked it. It was a book club read that I didn’t finish in time for the discussion.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Kindle Freebie)
- Lottie Moon by Regina D. Sullivan (Kindle)
- Pearl of China by Anchee Min (Kindle, loaned by a friend)
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (Kindle)
- The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton (Kindle Freebie)
As always, I welcome suggestions for other books to add to my 2012 “to read” list. We canceled cable, effective the end of this month, so I may have even more time to read in the New Year. 🙂