Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Lover's Diary

My bad. Books read this year. In order since January. Rated on a corny scale of 1-to-10, with 10 being the best. Sigh...

Voyage of the Dawn Treader
C.S. Lewis
Part of the Narnia deal. It's good!

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Last Comanche Tribe
S.C. Gwynne
6 --- The first half of it's a 9. Lot of things I didn't know about the (typecast?) Indians of the Plains, such as, before the Spanish got there -- no horses! Fast horses changed the ol' ballgame.

The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara, 8.5 --- Read it for the second time, first time in 15 years. Three days at Gettysburg. Won the Pulitzer, I think in 1977

The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, Steig Larson. ------ I'll give FIRE an 8 and HORNET'S NEST a 6.5. I saw "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" at the movie and my spousal unit, who read the book, suggested I skip the book if I wanted because I knew the characters now and all like that. I am saddened that the author is dead (at only age 56?), and one reason is that this character, the Dragon Tattoo girl, was a neat (not the word I'm looking for -- intriguing? really interesting?) character I'd never met before. Neither of these books were 'sensory,' but both were good good good stories that zipped along. These are 600-750-page books, but they are hard to put down. My opinion.

Midlife Manual For Men, Arterburn/Shore. 6... Obviously, if you are a girl or a young man, no need to read this. I don't like the way these guys write but the advice/suggestions are good to hold you accountable and make you think and I'm glad I read it.

The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence. Won't rate this. Brother Larry was a monk, a guy who mainly worked in the kitchen, about 600 years ago, give or take. You can read this in two or three hours. It's a beautiful thing. Brother Lawrence was a stud.

The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbauch, 7. Getting a lot of good reviews for a first-time novel but a lot of bad ones too; more good than bad. I liked it. I understand why some people would give it poor marks but ... I liked it. Don't want to read it again, but very glad I read it. And pieces of it are spectacular. Uses baseball as a backdrop, and a small college set in the present.

Death Be Not Proud, John Gunther, 1947 is when it was published, 6.5. ... A memoir by Gunther, a well-known journalist of his day, of the death of his son from a brain tumor. The battle lasted 15 months; John Jr. died at age 17. Only about 200 pages, includes diary entries from his son as well as the child's letters to his mom and dad and friends and doctors, both before and after he was sick.