so, long vacation! a new year has begun, and to catch you up on the year that was, here’s the list of books i read in 2009. I won’t drone on for paragraphs about each. instead I decided to steal from the trend of the year w/ 140-character-or-less reviews.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
Holocaust survivor and psychologist teaches how to find hope in the worst circumstances. Best account of camps I’ve encountered. (“best?”)
The Writing Diet by Julia Cameron
She wrote The Artist’s Way. Write more AND lose weight? such a good book for january. inspired to adopt “clean eating” practice.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Second time to read this Oprah fav. A good intro to Eastern spiritual thought, though i don’t buy all his ideas. takes himself too seriously.
Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Anne LaMott is an uberfav. (New novel soon!) Finished in just over a week. Second time. Fun to see old margin notes.
Giving by Bill Clinton : Audiobook
Clinton reads his own words! Such an inspiring read (listen). Intro to many great organizations and social entrepreneurs.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
She “wrote the book” on self-help. All about the positive thinking and the mantras. (I don’t buy that you can entirely out-think disease…)
Truth in Comedy by Charna Halbern, Del Close, Kim Johnson
Improv Bible. (No more characters needed.)
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Fiction! See?! I read fiction! Vietnam and truth in relationships…two good, and personally connected, topics for me.
Why Read? by Mark Edmunson
Second time for this one too! 2009, the year of repeats…The reader/writer/teacher’s best friend, this one. So much goodness. A quick read.
The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
Finished in 3 days! Gladwell knows his stuff. How social phenomena become phenomenal.
PoemCrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words by Susan G. Wooldridge
This book giggles and sloshes. Gallops and stomps. It’s a thrift store. A buffet. A jar full of jellybeans. A beach.
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCort
Dear ol’ Frank McCort. passed on soon after i finished the book. Man knew how to write a memoir!
Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow
Wanted to learn about ppl in poverty for job at WIC clinic. Written in 80s, but still mostly relatable.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Fiction strikes again. I enjoyed a story about comic books w/male protagonists! Chabon is the shit. First found him on NPR.
Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser
Another Oprah self-help discovery. Like medicine for the soul-in-crisis (mine quarter-life).
The Funny Thing Is… by Ellen Degeneres
…not this book? Wasn’t so bad, but Ellen can be funnier, and smarter, than this book made her seem.
Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
4th or 5th reading. Sometimes i just need something familiar. book comfort food. Start to think in British. (wonder, would she have blogged?)
Change your Brain; Change your Life by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
New science melds biology and psychology. Your thoughts shape your brain; your brain shapes your thoughts. Active self-treatment. A+
A Life Worth Living by Robert Martensen, M.D.
Both grandmas had Alzheimer’s. End-of-life choices are hard and misunderstood. “Death panel”??? let’s talk quality of life, not just quantity.
What I talk about when i talk about running by Haruki Murakami
Translated from Japanese–think some style was lost in translation. He’s a writer and a runner. This dude runs 60 mile races!
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Childhood memoir written in-the-moment. (A modern day Laura Ingalls?) Little dysfunctional house on the prairie…so good.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Devoured book in 3 days. Unlike anything I’ve read before. Bleak and beautiful. Movie doesn’t capture its tone, hope. so good.
My Booky Wook: a memoir of sex, drugs & standup by Russell Brand
Seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall? You’d never believe the story, past, humor, insight of this one. i luuuuurv him. so good.
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
This book club choice I finished! (a feat) Movie is better (rare) interesting thoughts on blogging, marriage, joy.
The Seeker’s Guide by Elizabeth Lesser
Took 3 months to finish. History of and guide to spirituality from many perspectives. How to care for mind, body, soul. A new favorite.
Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
NYT says women’s issues = the issue of our times. This book shows it’s true. A manifesto for a global problem worth solving. READ IT NOW!
Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Fieffer
Last book of the year, a delight! Young Adult classic. Full of clever language-play. Quick read. Nice.
Book Club choices:
The Enchantress of Florence / Reading Lolita in Tehran / Julie & Julia / The Bean Trees / One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Rushdie’s modern fairy-tale / Overrated. Disappointing / see above / heartwarming / classic. Beat writers unfamiliar to me.
So there you have it! I outread my 2008 total of 24 books. What will the future hold? (Hint: It starts with “where’s” and ends with “waldo”)