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Today in My History

2001:  It's a New World I See
2002:  How'm I Doin', Coach?
2003:  Party Girl
2004:  It Came Without Whistles
2005:  Pondering the Imponderable

2006:  It Started with Mutt
2007If You Wait Long Enough, It's Finally Your Turn
2008:  Unfortunate Fireworks for New Year's Eve

2009:  Comparing Years Again
2010:  Free Association
2011:  Dogs of 2010

2012: 
2011 by the Numbers
2013: 2012 Wrap-Up
2014: 
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow


Bitter Hack
Updated
: 12/10
The Fantasticks
The Santaland Diaries

Books Read in 2014
 Updated: 12/21
"Gone Girl"


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100 Happy Days


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Letter from Lovson

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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers

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mail to Walt

BOOKS OF 2014

1 January 2015

Each year, I go through the list of books I read the previous year.  I keep track of the number of books and the pages I read.  I'll never equal 2012, when I read 78 books, or 24,837 pages.  I had just started working at Logos Used Book Store in 2012 and made it a goal to read a whole book every day I worked...and I did.  But after 2012, I read books I wanted to read and if I didn't finish in a day, I took them home to finish--so fewer, but longer books.  The past two years have been more representative of an average year for me.

In 2013 I read 34 books (14,940 pages) and this year, having finished Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl," I read 36 books (11,543 pages).

Of the books I read,

- 8 were "real books" that I read at Logos
- 5 were "real books" that were NOT Logos books
- 13 were Kindle books
- 9 were audio books

Using the classifications I use on my Kindle these are the genres that I read

- 19 were crime drama books and I discovered author Ruth Rendell this year.  I've read several of her books at Logos.
- 8 were "contemporary fiction" (fiction books not considered "classic" by Logos!)
- 7 were non-fiction books
- 2 were travel books
- 1 was a classic

In the "non fiction" category there was great variety, from "Upstairs at the White House" to "Exceptional Depravity."  The former was a tale by J.B. West, the usher at the White House from Truman to the very early Reagan days.  I learned so much about how life at the White House works.

"Exceptional Depravity" was the story of a horrific murder of two people I knew here in Davis, the capture of the sociopathic teen ager who murdered and eviscerated them just to see what it felt like.  He liked it so much he planned to murder someone else with a baseball bat, but was captured first.  The trial portion of the book was very, very detailed.

There were also a couple of biographies there, like "Happy Accidents" by actress Jane Lynch, which was a delight, and "I am Nujood" by Nujod Ali, 10 years old and divorced at the time of the writing of the book.  An eye opener as to the practice of child marriage in middle eastern countries.

"The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" was a weird story of a book thief and the world of theft among book collectors.

"Enrique's Journey" was fiction, but based on fact and it told about the conditions for children in Central American countries who become so desperate they risk unimaginable hardships to try to come to the United States.  I was so moved by that book that we ended up sponsoring a young man in Honduras so that he can have a better life.  We can't do big things, but we can do a little thing.

Armistead Maupin's "Days of Anna Madrigal" was bittersweet, the end of Maupin's decades-long "Tales of the City" saga, wrapping up the stories of all of the characters we have come to know and love since his work first appeared as a daily serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"40 Years of Chez Panisse" was an odd book I read for book club.  It was mostly interesting for the fact that I lived in Berkeley when Alice Waters was establishing her restaurant and experienced many of the things of which she was a part.  As a reading book, it's not very interesting -- but a nice coffee table book.

"Gidget" was another book I would never have read if it had not been for book club.  Definitely not what a 70 year old woman is interested in.  It was written by the real Gidget's father, and I wonder what it was like to be him writing about his teen aged daughter and the surfers in Malibu in the 50s-60s.

A surprisingly interesting book was Bill Bryson's "Shakespeare: the World as Stage."  I am not a Shakespeare fan, but love Bryson, and this book was filled with fascinating information and non-information (nobody really knows who Shakespeare was or what he looked like, for example!)

The most looked-forward-to book was "Written in My Own Heart's Blood," Book 7 in the Diana Gabaldon "Outlander" series.  I have come to love those books (and now the STARZ television mini series).  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but not as much as some of the earlier ones.  Still, I will be eagerly awaiting Book 8 which, if history is any indicator, won't be out for another 2-3 years.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Merry Christmas to me from me.

 

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