Today in My History
While You Work
2020: 0.8 Miles
Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
A YEAR OF BOOKS
30 December 2021
With the pandemic, I am noticing that a lot of people have posted that they have read a lot more.
In truth, I have actually read a lot less than I usually do. Somehow I've been watching more TV and reading fewer books. The first year of the pandemic, I only read eleven books. This year I read a few more, thirteen.
The book I am just about finishing is Diana Gabaldon's 9th book, "Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone." It took Gabaldon 7 years to finish this book and all of her fans have been panting over its release. It was released November 23 at midnight New York time, and I downloaded it on my Kindle at 9 p.m. California time. I dove right into it. It has been interesting reading the reviews of all of us eager readers. There are probably as many negative reviews as positive reviews. I am one of the disappointed readers.
I will have a full review of it written soon, but I find that it has a lot of problems with it. Not enough Jamie and Claire, for one thing. Too many characters and stories to follow. It would be a bad book if it were your first Gabaldon book because there is so much about things that have happened in the previous 8 books, plus some from the Lord John books, without describing what they are talking about. Too much written in Gaelic and French without translation. I know French and can translate the French phrases, but while some of the Gaelic is explained too much of it is not. I am in the last 10% of the book now and I'm still waiting for something major to happen (actually I know what major is going to happen because I've read about it, but there doesn't seem to be enough of the book to do it justice). So I'm disappointed. And, at 78, I'm afraid that Book 10, the final in the series, won't be printed while I am alive and I will never know the happily ever after of Jamie and Claire!
Another book that disappointed me for similar reasons was written by my friend Alec Clayton. His "Teacher" is a short book, too short. Like Gabaldon's book, he doesn't follow through with stories that he starts. It reads kind of like short stories that should have follow-ups, but don't.
Perhaps the book that was the most popular this year was "The Ride of Her Life" by Elizabeth Letts (with whom I worked in the ob/gyn office when she was a midwife, not an author). This tells the story of a 63 year old woman in Maine who, after losing everything she has in 1954, decides to get on a horse and ride to California. It's based on a true story and it is riveting. I've recommended it to many people and everyone has raved about it.
"Win," by Harlan Coben (one of my favorite authors) brings back the character of Winsor Horn Lockwood III, the best friend of Myron Bolitar, the "star" of all the Bolitar books. Win is on his own in this book and I loved reading more about him and wonder if this is going to be the start of a series of Winsor Lockwood books.
I have mentioned in a few posts one of my favorite children's books, "Bonnie's Boy," about a boy raising a cocker spaniel puppy for his brother. I have said that I have been able to re-read some of my other favorite childhood books, but that I was unable to find this one. Jeri found it and sent it to me and it was fun reading it again.
I love biographies and autobiographies and "The Boys" by Ron and Clint Howard was great fun. It tells a great story of what it's like growing up in television, and there is a lot about the filming of The Andy Griffith Show, which Ron started when he was about 8, after starting in film since age 3. The whole book was delightful.
David Baldacci is another of my favorite authors. His 30 crime stories have entertained me for years, so it was interesting to read his "Wish You Well," which is a completely different story. It tells the story of Lou and Oz, children 12 and 6, who lose their father in an auto accident, which leaves their mother alive, but catatonic. They are sent to live with their great grandmother, who lives on a farm in the Virginia mountains. The story of how they adjust to life without electricity and indoor plumbing and learn how to enjoy taking care of the farm is great.
I also read a book by my friend Jim Brochu, "Murder on the Orpheum Circuit," his first murder mystery, taking place in early 20th century vaudeville and featuring many names who will become famous later in the century.
Finding out that there are a series of books about the character of Monk, whom I love watching on TV, I chose one to read and it was terrible. Not at all like the Tony Shaloub character and I have no desire to read any of the others in the series.
There were other books too, but these are perhaps the most
noteworthy. I hope I can get back into reading in 2022 and maybe get
closer to 50 than I have the past two years.
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This is entry #7948