|This isn't me. I'm a boy.|
I finished 18 books so far this year, and I'm going to attempt to get through one more in the next week and a half. I actually have 9 days off in a row (only took 2 vacation days) and so far for Christmas, I think I only have one day or so accounted for. I may actually be able to get a fair about of reading in.
Anyway, here is this years list:
Aeschylus. The Oresteia
Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth
Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood
Confucius. The Analects of Confucius
His Holiness the Dalai Lama. How To See Yourself As You Really Are
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe
Foot, David K. Boom, Bust and Echo
Gibran, Kahlil. The Prophet
Homer. The Iliad
Homer. The Odyssey
James, Henry. Washington Square
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild
London, Jack. The Sea-Wolf
London, Jack. White Fang
Steinbeck, John. Tortilla Flat
Tolstoy, Leo. War and Peace
Vonnegut, Kurt. Jailbird
Wells, H.G. The Time Machine
This list makes me smile looking back, because it reflects a few changes in my thinking this year. It was really bothering me that some of the books we were reading for book club were not atop my list of books that I really wanted to read. I had hoped to read Capote and Buck and James (all new authors to me), but I continually felt as if my time in this life was short and I should probably start to read some of the older works that really set the foundation of literature. So we changed the book club strategy and now I have read a lot more of the ancient Greeks. Throw in the finishing of a more modern epic, War and Peace, and I really felt like I was realigning my book reading priorities.
There are also a couple of more spiritual books that I read in the spring after some personal things in my life, and the books really stand out above. The works by the Dalai Lama and Khalil Gibran are there... although Confucius was read by the book club at a later date.
There are also a few books that I should have read in childhood by Jack London and H.G. Wells, that I finally got around to. All were popular books in North America about a hundred years ago.
And finally, there are a couple of random works thrown in this year like Vonnegut and Steinbeck... the former always providing me with comic relief and the latter generally providing me with constant pleasure (though, not in this case).
Biggest Disappointment of 2011: Tortilla Flat
I'm going to say that Steinbeck disappointed me for the first time since reading 'Cannery Row', and I while I can still remember a lot of the plot... I didn't really enjoy the book. There was meaning, but the whole experience did not resonate well with me.
Most Difficult to Read in 2011: How To See Yourself As You Really Are
I'm sure that most people in the book club will say Confucius here, but I had a difficult time with this book by the Dalai Lama because I was expecting it to be a little more simplistic and less technical. I had to read it very slowly to get what I wanted to get out of it. It wasn't an easy read, but I was glad to have plugged through because there were a lot of useful ideas on how to perceive yourself and the world around you.
Best Book of 2011: War and Peace
This is such an easy choice that I don't even have to consult the list. War and Peace cracked my top 5 all-time, because it just had everything in it with little to no fat at all. I never would have believed that I would have been sad when the book ended, not for the characters, but simply due to the fact that there was no more story left. A truly beautiful, haunting and enlightening read. Honerable Mentions: The Sea-Wolf by Jack London and The Iliad by Homer.
New Authors Discovered/Explored in 2011: Aeschylus, Buck, Capote, Confucius, Defoe, Gibran, Homer, James, London, Tolstoy
Author I wish To Read More Of in 2012: Tolstoy, Gibran... and anything from Ancient Greece.