Sunday, December 31, 2006

Books Read 2006

1. The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes
2. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
3. The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo
4. A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickenson
5. Practical Demon Keeping by Christopher Moore
6. Eleven On Top by Janet Evanovich
7. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris
8. Dead as a Door Nail by Charlaine Harris
9. Bride of the Fat White Vampire by Andrew Fox
10. Curiousity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement
11. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
12. The Life of the World to Come by Kage Baker
13. In High Places by Harry Turtledove
14. Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
15. Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
16. Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt
17. A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris
18. Vampire High by Douglas Rees
19. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
20. Memorial Day by Vince Flynn

21. Gods of Aberdeen by Micah Nathan
22. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
23. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
24. Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen
25. Blue Screen by Robert Parker
26. Dates from Hell by Anthology
27. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
28. Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
29. The Futurist by James P. Othmar
30. PollyAnna by Eleanor Porter
31. Fluke by Christopher Moore

32. Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
33. The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
34. The Color of Water by James McBride
35. Don't Get Too Comfortable by David Rakoff
36. The Candle of Distant Earth by Alan Dean Foster
37. The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle
38. Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
39. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
40. Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters
41. First Degree by David Rosenfelt
42. The Haunted Bookshp by Christopher Morely

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

“Naturally. Your artist’s soul has been transported. You require peace and quiet to contemplate the full wonder of what you have seen. And,"

I added, "perhaps a whiskey and soda."

That is the voice of Amelia Peabody in Tomb of the Golden Bird by Elizabeth Peters. Amelia is one of those characters who stays with me. I think of her a lot. I am not sure why. She is a forceful woman, way ahead of her time, yet she is a bit nostalgic for the older norms in manners, and feminine style. She believes in equality of treatment for men and women of all races. She is the ultimate feminist, she wears clothing appropriate to archeological digs while working, she carries tools and weapons on her belt. She is practical and smart, competitive, loyal and gushingly romantic about her husband. She speaks her mind. She is a parody, but she knows this, and laughs it off. She even takes advantage of it when necessary.
This book is the latest in a long series about a rich upper class British woman in the Victorian era. Her family members are "renowned" Egyptologists, or so she says. Each book is another season at the annual digs in the land of the Pharaohs, with another crime or murder to be solved.
I really have enjoyed the series, although I don't really have that much interest in Egyptology. The books provide a wealth of color about Egyptology, and also about the political and social climate from 1884 to 1922. I really love the characters. Because they are satirical, to some extent, they are extreme. They are the smartest, the best looking, the most ethical, the most clever, strong, perceptive, and on and on. Sometimes you wish people were really this good.

On a slightly related topic... a few weeks ago, a book came out entitled "The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived: How Characters of Fiction, Myth, Legends, Television, and Movies Have Shaped Our Society, Changed Our Behavior, and Set the Course of History". . The authors have compiled a list of characters, like Sherlock Holmes, and Mickey Mouse who have had an impact on our lives. A quote from a journalist for the Evening Bulletin, Herb Denenberg, said "The book shows the power of ideas, and does offer further proof that, at least at times, the pen is mightier than the sword. The list shows why poets, novelists, artists, playwrights, musicians, advertising executives, movie producers and other creative souls are often more influential than politicians,..." I haven’t read the book yet, but it seems like the concept is endlessly fascinating. Who are the characters that stick with you?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"And the sad part about it is that if you let yourself think you are satisfied with husks, you'll have no appetite left for the real grain."

This is a quote from The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley, written in 1919. The story is about a bookseller who ruminates about how important is it to read the right books. This struck a chord with me, as I have been wondering, am I reading the right books? I haven't been reading all the books I want myself to read...the classics, history, travel, biographies...On the other hand, I don't see the harm in reading the fun stuff, the science fiction, the mysteries, the current hot novels. Is great literature really that much greater? I am sure some of it is. Do you think more, have more ideas, learn more about the world, about human nature? Perhaps. Even a light mystery can start you thinking, or give you an insight or two. Sometimes you just want a little entertainment or distraction. Is the quality of writing a factor? I would argue that if a book holds your attention, it doesn't matter how lyrical, or poetic, or even intellectual the writing is. You could say it is a bonus... but that argues for reading more "Great Literature", since reading time is limited, why not get more bang for your buck? I am definitely of at least two minds about this issue...Hence the selection of the quote from Michael Dirda, Prowling Through the Stacks"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Book Blog

I am so inspired by the various book blogs I have read, I wanted to try and create my own.