08 January 2007

Prose of Love and Hate

Gorjus has gone into some detail into the books that he's read over the course of the year and has mentioned the ones he loved and hated. I didn't read as many books as I would have normally what with me having a two-year reaccreditation headache.

Favorite Novels I Read in 2006

1. At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O'Brien.

I decided a little over a year ago that this book would be my first selection for book club, and I wasn't disappointed. O'Brien's style is very descriptive and playful. While I prefer my own writing to be almost utilitarian, I like to read works by people that are done differently than I write. I liked O'Brien's work so much that I subsequently read The Third Policeman and have purchased The Poor Mouth which I plan to read when I have the opportunity.

2. Jujitsu for Christ, Jack Butler.

A Pretty Fakes selection. I checked the book out of my library and read it. I was captivated by the book and thought highly enough about it to read Nightshade, which I thought was another good read in a different genre.

3. The Known World, Edward P. Jones.

Trane's book club selection. I enjoyed reading the work. I suppose it appealed in many levels to the historian in me. I liked the commentary about what happened in the future. The setting of the book was also something that held my interest.

4. Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett.

I've always been a big fan of Pratchett's Discworld series. I generally check out his books from the local public library. One of my co-workers gave me a gift card which I used to purchase it. This book would be properly classified as Young Adult and is the latest of the Tiffany Aching-centric books.

5. Tsotsi, Athol Fugard.

Coppertop's book club selection was read very quickly because we met to see the movie at New Stage shortly after she announced her pick. I think that we book club members were the only people who were disappointed in the movie because of the changes that were made. Unsurprising changes, considering that if the movie followed the last part of the book, it wouldn't have been as commercially successful or likely awarded an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture.

Honorable Mention

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.

Only because of timing. I read the great majority of it in 2005. An excellent selection by the Fairy Penguin.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Great book. I was on a plane heading towards Evansville, Indiana and was sitting near someone reading another book by Murakami (I think The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), and she raved about it.

I didn't read many nonfiction works, but I would recommend these books without any hesitation:

Favorite Nonfiction I Read in 2006

1. The Tender Bar, JR Moehringer.

An excellent memoir. I first heard of Moehringer when I read a newspaper article written by him a few months ago. It's definitely a book worth reading.

2. Resolute: The Epic Search for the Northwest Passage and John Franklin, and the Discovery of the Queen's Ghost Ship, Martin Sandler.

An awesome book about exploration and unraveling a mystery.

3. Prisoner of Trebekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy!, Bob Harris.

An entertaining and at times poignant memoir. It's definitely a recommended read.

Fiction I Didn't Particularly Like in 2006

Phule's Errand, Robert Asprin and Peter J. Heck.

Disappointing. I'm a big fan of Asprin's work, but this latest book was not as good as his earlier works.

Nonfiction I Didn't Particularly Like in 2006

Remember what I mentioned earlier about my two-year reaccreditation headache? I helped contribute to the college's reaccreditation documents by writing, editing, doing a little research, checking the links on the web site, and compiling articles, as well as other duties. I actually like the college's documents and documentation; however, as a consequence of my lengthy headache, it gets the award.

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