I can;t believe it is time to recount my month’s reading already. The year is almost over, and I am nowhere near 100 book, and I am sure I am a long ways from 45,000 pages, too. Oh well…
In November, I read six books:
- Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson
- Long Quiet Highway by Natalie Goldberg
- The Sword of Bedwyr by R.A. Salvatore
- Venus Rain by Kirt Hickman
- Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke
- Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe (231 pages – finished 11/27/11)
It was a total of 1,773 pages. Not bad, but not nearly enough to get me close to my goal. Oh well…
Ghosts of War was written by Ryan Smithson, a young man who went to Iraq and came home to write about it. This was a good book. It would make a perfect companion to the novel I had my students read this semester, Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. Since most of them didn’t read that book, it would be foolish to ask them to read a second one, but it would be good. Smithson’s writing is good. My only concern about possibly using it with students is that his language is that of a young man in the military. It isn’t bad, but it might offend some.
I really thought I had read all of Natalie Goldberg’s books on writing, and then I found Long Quiet Highway. It is a combination memoir and book on writing. In that regard it reminded me of Stephen King’s book On Writing. I really enjoyed this book because it took you deeper into the craft, the connection between writing and who we are. I was interested to see how she combined her study of Buddhism and writing. If you are interested in either, I would highly recommend this book.
The Sword of Bedwyr by R.A. Salvatore was only the second book I have read by him. I really enjoyed it. It was an interesting story and not so complicated that my feeble mind got lost. After reading this, I could see why my son had been trying for years to get me to read his stuff. This is part of a series that I hope to read all of.
Venus Rain is the second novel I have read by by Kirt Hickman. He is a New Mexico writer that I have met at Bubonicon in Albuquerque. His first was Worlds Asunder, and I remember liking it better than this one, but this one was good. I think that the story could have been explained more. I didn’t buy into the characters as much in this one. There is going to be a third book in the series that I will buy once it is out. I have a couple other books by Hickman that I haven’t read yet, but I will probably do that soon. One is about writing and the other is fantasy.
Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke. What more is there to say? This was dark — even for Burke. It was a good story, though, and I am glad I read it. It explained some things I had missed by reading the books out of order — like who Molly was before she married Dave. I really like Burke’s books even if they are dark.
Mississippi Trial, 1955 by Chris Crowe was a book I picked up at school on a table where people leave free things. It was about the Emmet Till murder. It was a great young adult book. I would recommend it to anyone who liked YA historical fiction.
That was it for November. Not a lot of books or pages, but I had fun and learned some things along the way!