Random Thoughts

about reading, writing, and anything else that interests me

December Reading

I didn’t get online first thing this morning because I wanted to finish the last book I will read in 2010.  Here is the list of the books I finished in December:

  1. Blue Highways: A Journey Into America by William Least Heat Moon
  2. The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter by Sharyn McCrumb
  3. Born Naked by Farley Mowat
  4. Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Sharyn McCrumb
  5. Don’t Look Twice by Andrew Gross
  6. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
  7. Metaphysics in the Midwest by Curtis White
  8. Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
  9. The Job by Sinclair Lewis
  10. The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke

I spent quite a bit of time in the car this month, and I have been on vacation for two weeks. Don’t expect 10 books from me every month!

Blue Highways is a book I have been going to read for years.  Last semester I decided I wanted to have my students do sustained silent reading in class, so I picked this book to read along with them.  I started it in September and finally finished it in December. It was a wonderful book to read.  Don’t know why I put it off for so long.

The two Sharyn McCrumb books, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter and Foggy Mountain Breakdown, were both great.  I enjoyed the fact that in Hangman’s she talks about seelie and unseelie, beings from Scottish/Irish lore.  They are the main characters in the Moning books I have read and enjoyed so much.    Foggy Mountain Breakdown was a collection of short stories, and a very good one at that.  McCrumb doesn’t write much short fiction, and I generally don’t read much of it either.  I really enjoyed these stories though.

I read two Charlaine Harris books,  Grave Sight and Grave Surprise. these are the first two Harper Connelly books.  I read the third one earlier in the year.  I like these a lot.  Harper and her “brother” Tolliver are more interesting characters to me than Sookie Stackhouse is.

I read another book by Andrew Gross, Don’t Look Twice.  It is the same main character as in his book Dark Tide.  I enjoyed the book.  I used to read a lot of detective books, and I don’t do that much any more.  I don’t know if that has made me more or less discriminating.  This was a fun read, though.

I read Farley Mowat’s Born Naked.  Although my daughter grew up reading his books, I had never read any of them.  This autobiography was very enjoyable and easy to read.  I was trying to imagine my parents, who were born about the same time, living the way he did.  He had quite a childhood!

The Job by Sinclair Lewis was the only e-book I read this month.  I don’t think I had ever read anything that Lewis wrote before, but I found this book interesting.  He seemed to have a real understanding of people.  I was a little disappointed that he left me hanging at the end, implying that the main character would, once again, throw it all away for a man, but it was probably more realistic because of that.

The only loser that I read was another collection of short stories, Metaphysics in the Midwest. The only reason I finished reading it was to be able to put it on the list of books I read this year.  It was terrible.  The author is/was a literature professor.  Enough said.

I finished the year with a book I tried not to read, The Tin Roof Blowdown.  I wanted to read it but I didn’t.  According to the front cover, the NY Times Book Review called it “the definitive crime novel about Hurricane Katrina.”  Having lived through Katrina, I wasn’t eager to read about it.  Plus, Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels are always downers.  But I love them.  And this book was no exception.  It reminded me of a lot of things I didn’t really want to remember, but it was an excellent book.

It was an interesting month of reading.  Now I am trying to figure out how to challenge myself next year.

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