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2012 Reading Journals


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#1 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:30 PM

If we have one for film, then we can certainly have one for books.

* = repeat
Italics and Bold = link to written book review

January
- A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America (2006) - by David Griffith - 4/5
- A Soldier of the Great War (1991) - by Mark Helprin - 5/5

February
- Evangellyfish (2012) - by Douglas Wilson - 3/5
- Happy Days Were Here Again: Reflections of a Libertarian Journalist (1993) - by William F. Buckley, Jr. - 4/5
- The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010) - by Nicholas Carr - 4/5
- Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room (2012) - by Geoff Dyer - 5/5
- A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Country (2012) - by Daniel Bowman, Jr. - 4/5

March
- Stop What You're Doing and Read This! (2011) - by Carmen Callil, Nicholas Carr, Jane Davis, Mark Haddon, Blake Morrison, Tim Parks, Michael Rosen, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson, MaryAnne Wolf & Mirit Barzillai - 3/5
- Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism (2011) - by Carl T. Bogus - 3/5
- Window Poems (1985) - by Wendell Berry - 4/5
- A Treatise of Civil Power (2007) - by Geoffrey Hill - 5/5
- Clavics (2011) - by Geoffrey Hill - 5/5
- Tenebrae (1978) - by Geoffrey Hill - 4/5
- Traveling At Home (1988) - by Wendell Berry - 4/5
- When I Was a Child I Read Books (2012) - by Marilynne Robinson - 5/5
- I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays (2008) - by Sloane Crosley - 3/5
- The Mystery Of The Charity Of Charles Peguy (1983) - by Geoffrey Hill - 5/5
- King Log (1968) - by Geoffrey Hill - 4/5
- A Moveable Feast (1964) - by Ernest Hemingway - 4/5

April
- How Did You Get This Number: Essays (2010) - by Sloane Crosley - 3/5
- The Orchards of Syon (2002) - by Geoffrey Hill - 4/5
- Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (2012) - by Christopher Moore - 3/5
- Without Title (2006) - by Geoffrey Hill - 4/5
- Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72 (1973) - by Hunter S. Thompson - 4/5
- Transformations (1971) - by Anne Sexton - 3/5
- They Eat Puppies, Don't They? (2012) - by Christopher Buckley - 3/5

May
- Is Sex Necessary?: Or Why You Feel the Way You Do (1929) - by James Thurber & E.B. White - 4/5
- The Sun Also Rises (1926) - by Ernest Hemingway - 4/5
- See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity (2011) - by Amy Frykholm - 3/5
- Every Riven Thing (2010) - by Christian Wiman - 4/5
- In Our Time (1925) - by Ernest Hemingway - 4/5
- The Triumph of Love (1998) - by Geoffrey Hill - 5/5

June
- The Torrents of Spring (1926) - by Ernest Hemingway - 3/5
- Pulphead: Essays (2011) - by John Jeremiah Sullivan - 3/5
- Evolving in Monkey Town (2010) - by Rachel Held Evans - 3/5
- Shadows on the Down and other poems (1941) - by Alfred Noyes - 3/5

July
- The Reagan I Knew (2008) - by William F. Buckley, Jr. - 4/5
- Freddy and Fredericka (2005) - by Mark Helprin - 5/5

August
- The Writer's Art (1985) - by James J. Kilpatrick - 4/5
- From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism (2011) - by D.G. Hart - 4/5
- Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement (2009) - by Richard Brookhiser - 3/5
- Socrates Meets Sartre (2005) - by Peter Kreeft - 3/5
- Enemies of the Permanent Things (1969) - by Russell Kirk - 5/5
- Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics (2011) - by Alisa Harris - 2/5
- The Lost Tools of Learning (1947) - by Dorothy Sayers - 5/5

September
- The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (1953) - by Russell Kirk - 5/5
- Living It Up At National Review: A Memoir (2005) - by Priscilla L. Buckley - 3/5
- Refiner's Fire (1977) - by Mark Helprin - 5/5
- Canaan (1997) - by Geoffrey Hill - 4/5

October
- The Idea of a Christian Society (1939) - by T.S. Eliot - 4/5
- No Place For Truth: Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? (1993) - by David F. Wells - 5/5
- The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism (1947) - by Carl F.H. Henry - 4/5
- A Student's Guide to Political Philosophy (2001) - by Harvey C. Mansfield - 3/5

November
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012) - by Rachel Held Evans - 4/5
- The Bleeding of the Evangelical Church (1995) - by David F. Wells - 4/5
- Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) - by T.S. Eliot - 4/5
- Crowd Culture: An Examination of the American Way of Life (1952) - by Bernard Iddings Bell - 3/5
- How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (2009) - by Victor Davis Hanson - 3/5
- Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative (2010) - by Carl R. Trueman - 3/5

December
- The Yellow Birds: A Novel (2012) - by Kevin Powers - 3/5
- Utopia of Usurers (1917) - by G.K. Chesterton - 3/5
- Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) - by Neil Postman - 5/5
- Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (1998) - by Victor Davis Hanson & John Heath - 5/5
- The Whitsun Weddings (1964) - by Philip Larkin - 3/5
- Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World (2012) - by Craig Groeschel - 0/5
- Ripples of Battle (2003) - by Victor Davis Hanson - 3/5
- Edmund Burke: A Genius Reconsidered (1967) - by Russell Kirk - 4/5
- In Sunlight and in Shadow (2012) - by Mark Helprin - 5/5

Edited by J.A.A. Purves, 28 December 2012 - 04:34 PM.


#2 Jason Panella

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:31 PM

I actually started something similar on Librarything. That site is having a challenge to read 75 books in 2012.

My journal, by months:

January.

Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson Posted Image
The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright Posted Image
His Master's Voice by Stanislaw Lem Posted Image
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre Posted Image

February.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld Posted Image
Ruth: The Story of God's Unending Redemption by Robert Wauzzinski Posted Image
Destination: Morgue! by James Ellroy Posted Image
Sociology of Higher Education edited by Patricia J. Gumport Posted Image
American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century edited by Philip G. Altbach Posted Image

March.

Lush Life by Richard Price Posted Image
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. Posted Image
Prospects of Higher Educations: Globalization, Market Competition, Public Goods and the Future of thzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz by Simon Marginson Posted Image
River of Doubt by Candice Millard Posted Image
Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson Posted Image

April.

Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher Posted Image
Ravenloft: The Tapestry of Dark Souls by Elaine Bergstrom Posted Image
The Habit of Being by Flannery O'Connor Posted Image

May.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Posted Image
The Angel on the Roof by Russell Banks Posted Image
Long Island Noir edited by Kaylie Jones Posted Image
Android: Golem by Mel Odom Posted Image

June.

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson Posted Image
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver Posted Image
Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet Posted Image
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld Posted Image

July.

The Alienist by Caleb Carr Posted Image
The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane by Robert E. Howard Posted Image
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris Posted Image
StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath Posted Image

August.

All For the Union by Elisha Hunt Rhodes Posted Image
Burning Chrome by William Gibson Posted Image
The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham Posted Image
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 — the Long Road Home by Joss Whedon Posted Image

September.

A Sacred Voice Is Calling: Personal Vocation and Social Conscience by John Neafsey Posted Image
Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good by Amy L. Sherman Posted Image

October.

Dracula by Bram Stoker Posted Image
Finding God Beyond Harvard by Kelly Monroe Kullberg Posted Image

Currently reading:

Anatham by Neal Stephenson
Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World edited by Samuel Shimon
He Shines In All That's Fair by Richard Mouw

Edited by Jason Panella, 24 October 2012 - 08:04 AM.


#3 Andy Whitman

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:38 PM

I actually started something similar on Librarything. That site is having a challenge to read 75 books in 2012.

My journal, by months:

January.

What? Unemployed people can't afford 75 books per year, and employed people can possibly afford them, but don't have time to read them.

#4 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:42 PM

Andy Whitman wrote:
: Unemployed people can't afford 75 books per year . ..

Um, libraries...?

#5 Andy Whitman

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:54 PM

Andy Whitman wrote:
: Unemployed people can't afford 75 books per year . ..

Um, libraries...?

Okay, how about unemployed people shouldn't be reading 75 books per year. They should be spending more time looking for a job.

Edited by Andy Whitman, 30 January 2012 - 02:54 PM.


#6 David Smedberg

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:07 PM


Andy Whitman wrote:
: Unemployed people can't afford 75 books per year . ..

Um, libraries...?

Okay, how about unemployed people shouldn't be reading 75 books per year. They should be spending more time looking for a job.

What about those of us who are independently wealthy and/or President of the United States?

(P.S. :twisted: I wish...)

#7 Christian

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:14 PM

What about those of us who are independently wealthy and/or President of the United States?

I figured you were going to link the current president's reading list. (as of summer, so ... not so current)

#8 J. Henry Waugh

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

I wish I'd kept a reading journal since I was 12 or so. It would be a nice stroll down memory lane.

My reading time took such a dip when our twins were born in 2009, that I started tracking my books in the hope I could eke out 52 a year. I limped across the finish line that year, but my Kindle and frequent plane travel have made my goal much easier since then. It is with some shame that I admit to finishing books I would have abandoned otherwise so as not to have the time investment be wasted. (Sounds even worse in print).

Anyway, here's my list for January. The I listened to the Canin book on CD. Hope that's not cheating.

Jo Nesbo: The Devil's Star (2005)
Dan Chaon: Await Your Reply (2nd time) (2009)
Cormac McCarthy: The Sunset Limited (play) (2006)
Jo Nesbo: The Snowman (2010)
Lawrence Block: The Night and the Music (2011)
Allan Guthrie: Slammer (2010)
George Pelecanos: What It Was (2012)
Ray Banks: California (2011)
Walter Mosley: All I Did Was Shoot My Man (2012)
Ethan Canin: America, America (2007)
Kevin Roose: The Unlikely Disciple

#9 Jason Panella

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 04:09 PM

Dan Chaon: Await Your Reply (2nd time) (2009)


My wife listened to this on audiobook in December, and I listened as well. It was also my second time through. I loved the book the first time around, but enjoyed it even more since I was able to pay attention to all of the little details I might have missed on the first go. I really am convinced Chaon wrote a Lovecraft story without anything supernatural.

#10 J. Henry Waugh

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:02 PM

This is beyond self-indulgent, but here is my list from 2011. Please be gentle. 2011 releases in bold. For what its worth, none were read in December, as I spent that month picking up OT hours and watching Breaking Bad.

Hampton Sides: Hellhound on His Trail (Book on CD)
Rafael Alvarez: The Wire
Bob Woodward: Obama's Wars
David Lipsky: And of Course, You End Up Becoming Yourself
Kurdo Baksi: Stieg Larsson
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (Book on CD)
Barry Hannah: Ray
Tom Rob Smith: The Secret Speech
Thomas Chatterton Williams: Losing My Cool
T. Jefferson Parker: The Border Lords
Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln (Book on CD)
James Hynes: Next
Ken Bruen: Rilke on Black
Lawrence Block: After The First Death
Ken Bruen: Nona
Neil Albert: The January Corpse
Peter Spiegelman: Death's Little Helpers
Arthur Philips: Angelica (Book on CD)
Fred Zackel: Cocaine and Blue Eyes
Charles Willeford: Poontang and Other Poems
Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore
Dave Zeltserman: Outsourced
John Williams: Stoner
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Beautiful Struggle (Book on CD)
Tom Franklin: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Michael Connelly: The Fifth Witness
Ed McBain: Hark! (Book on CD)
Earnest Hemingway: Men Without Women (Book on CD)
James McPherson: Antietem (Book on CD)
David Markson: Reader's Block
Ed McBain: Mischief
George W. Bush: Decision Points
Walter Mosley: When the Thrill Is Gone
Jon Clinch: Kings of the Earth
Rob Bell: Love Wins
Donald Miller: Father Fictions
Steven Pressfield: Do the Work
Brett Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms (Book on CD)
Charles Willeford: Whip Hand
Loren D. Estleman: The Left-Handed Dollar
Lawrence Block: A Drop of The Hard Stuff
T. Jefferson Parker: Where Serpents Lie (Book on CD)
Edward Conlon: Red on Red
Rober B. Parker: Sixkill
Robert Harris: The Ghost (Book on CD)
Pete Dexter: Spooner (Book on CD)
T. Jefferson Parker: Black Water
Tom Shales: Those Guys Have All The Fun
Anthony Esolen: Ten Ways To Destroy The Imagination of Your Child
Hal Runkel: ScreamFree Parenting
Cormac McCarthy: No Country For Old Men (2nd time; Book on CD)
Thomas H. Cook: The Quest for Ana Klein
Steve Brewer: Calabama
Roger Smith: Dust Devils
Peter Matthiessen: At Play In the FIelds of the Lord (Book on CD)
Chester Brown: I Never Liked You
Dave Zeltserman: Dying Memories
Robert B. Parker: Appaloosa
Richard Stark: Slayground
Loren D. Estleman: Infernal Angels
Megan Abott: The End of Everything
Lawrence Block: Afterthoughts
Lawrence Block: Deadly Honeymoon
Dana Spiotta: Stone Arabia
Tom Rob Smith: Agent 6
Richard Stark: The Score
George Pelecanos: The Cut
Chester Brown: Paying for It
James Sallis: The Killer Is Dying
Drew Magary: The Postmortal
Don Winslow: The Gentleman's Hour
Michael Connelly: Suicide Run & Angle of Investigation
Lawrence Block: Getting Off
Chad Harbach: The Art of Fielding
Emily Gould: The Heart Says Whatever
Dave Zeltserman: A Killer's Essence
Lawrence Block: A Diet of Treacle
Michael Gilmour: The Gospel According to Bob Dylan
Ken Bruen: Headstone
Christa Faust: Choke Hold
Jo Nesbo: Headhunter
Michael Connelly: The Drop:
Chuck Klosterman: The Visible Man
Charles Ardai: Fifty to One
Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending
Peter Spiegelman: Thick As Thieves
Denis Johnson: Train Dreams
Scott Raab: Whore of Akron

#11 Crow

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:19 AM

I'll try this, though I'm not going to get to anywhere near 75 books this year

January - February
REAMDE - Neal Stephenson
Skinwalker - Faith Hunter
The Odditorium - Melissa Pritchard

March
Out of My League: A Rookie's Survival in the Big Leagues - Dirk Hayhurst
Still: Notes from a Mid-Faith Crisis - Lauren Winner
Bloodring - Faith Hunter
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

April
How to Save a Life - Sara Zarr
Blood Cross - Faith Hunter

May
The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers
World Leader Pretend - James Bernard Frost
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense - N.T. Wright


June
The Bone House - Stephen Lawhead
Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball - R.A. Dickey
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe - Charles Yu

July
Hooking Up - Thomas Wolfe
Desert High - Doug Van Pelt
A Hard Day's Knight - John G. Hartness

August
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
Mercy Blade - Faith Hunter
The Chosen - John G. Hartness
The End of Baseball - Peter Schilling, Jr.

September
Quiet: The Power of Introverts - Susan Cain
Seraphs - Faith Hunter

October - December
Host - Faith Hunter
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
Foundation - Isaac Asimov
A Year of Biblical Womanhood - Rachel Held Evans

Edited by Crow, 01 January 2013 - 09:01 PM.


#12 Andrew

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:22 PM

Good idea, Jeremy. My journal may be quite slim, since the time spent reading work-related materials often dims my ardor for reading for pleasure. Anywho:

January

What It Is Like to Go to War, by Karl Marlantes - insightful, eloquent semi-memoir by a Vietnam War Marine

February

1Q84, by Haruki Murakami

Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large, by Wm Shatner - Proust it ain't, but it's made for entertaining and often laugh out loud listening as I make my rounds during the workweek

The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder, by David Thomson - aside from a couple of odd asides, some terrific film and sociological analysis

Ozu, by Donald Richie - superb

March

Slam, by Nick Hornby - the weakest book of Hornby's that I've read; then again, I'm not the intended audience

The Leftovers, by Tom Perotta - 1/3 of it, anyway; I found it surprisingly uninteresting

Kraken, by Wendy Williams - very interesting survey of what we know and don't know about cephalopods; I had no idea that octopuses by some measures are about as intelligent as dogs

Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic's Quest, by Michael Krasny - the author's a bit too much in love with his own words (and wordiness) for my liking, but overall, a sensitive and respectful meditation on agnosticism and faith

God is not Great, but Christopher Hitchens - brilliant writer; I feel his loss acutely

April

Hitch-22, by Christopher Hitchens

Life Itself, by Roger Ebert - great fun, with terrific insights and tales about the likes of Herzog, Scorsese, John Wayne, and Robert Mitchum

40 Days and 40 Nights, by Matthew Chapman - reportage on the Dover Intelligent Design trial by Darwin's great-great grandson - a terrific overview of the creationism-evolution battle, that manages to be laugh out loud funny, too

May

The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking - note to self, whenever I start thinking I'm pretty smart, just pick up a book by Hawking and try to understand 50% of it

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, by Allison Hoover Bartlett - excellent portrait of a sociopath (though the author seems curiously unaware of this)

June

The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins

A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan - soul-searching, at times heartbreaking, work of fiction that manages to immerse the reader/listener deeply into the psyches of multiple characters - amazing stuff

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline - fun sci-fi novel, big-hearted and full of 80's nostalgia - I loved it

Jesus, Interrupted, by Bart Ehrman

July

Duma Key, by Stephen King (audiobook) - first Stephen King in decades, very good

The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell - meh

The Sweet Life in Paris, by David Lebovitz - a fun cultural commentary by an American ex-pat dessert chef experiencing the quirks, exasperations, and delights of Paris

The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

Where Men Win Glory, by Jon Krakauer

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline - this time on audio. together with my son on a roadtrip - great fun

August

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese - magnificent Dickensian melodrama, wonderfully read for its audio edition

September

Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris

The Tennis Partner, by Abraham Verghese - my least favorite of Verghese's books, but a useful portrayal of addiction among physicians

Mortality, by Christopher Hitchens

Daemon, by Daniel Suarez - some interesting ideas, if only Suarez didn't write and develop characters a la Tom Clancy; and the ending was a dopey headscratcher

October

Trials of the Monkey, by Matthew Chapman

Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen - superb in every way

November

The Greatest Show on Earth, by Richard Dawkins - excellent, readable overview of evolution

December

Tin Roof Blowdown, by James Lee Burke - became nearly formulaic in the final hour of audio, but overall, a surprisingly eloquent, angry elegy for Katrina-era New Orleans

Edited by Andrew, 09 December 2012 - 03:38 PM.


#13 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

Drew Magary: The Postmortal

Nice to see someone else read this. It had a certain hilarious genius to it.

#14 Darrel Manson

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:01 PM

Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
Dunning, The Bookwoman's Last Fling (after dinner read aloud)
Hart, The Strategies of Zeus
Robinson, Home (after dinner read aloud)
Bissinger, 3 Nights in August
Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Nesbo, The Redbreast
Donoughue, Room (after dinner read aloud)
Levitt and Dubner, Freakonomics
King, Blockade Billy & Morality (after dinner read aloud)
Golenbock, Wrigleyville
Stegner, Crossing to Safety (after dinner read aloud)
Harbach, The Art of Fielding (after dinner read aloud)
Jacobs, A Year of Living Biblically
Heinlein, Have Space Suit Will Travel (audio)

Edited by Darrel Manson, 30 October 2012 - 06:38 PM.


#15 LibrarianDeb

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:47 AM

. The I listened to the Canin book on CD. Hope that's not cheating.


This librarian has ruled that it's not cheating.

#16 Christian

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:06 AM


. The I listened to the Canin book on CD. Hope that's not cheating.


This librarian has ruled that it's not cheating.

If audiobooks were considered cheating, I'd never get any reading done.

#17 John Drew

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 05:21 PM

* = Reread
Bold = Currently reading

January

Miracle at St. Anna - James McBride Posted Image
The Road to Wellville - T. Coraghessan Boyle Posted Image
The Alienist* - Caleb Carr Posted Image

February

The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon Posted Image
The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson Posted Image

March

Memoir from Antproof Case - Mark Helprin Posted Image verging on Posted Image

April

The Hot Kid - Elmore Leonard
All the Pretty Horses*- Cormac McCarthy

May

The Crossing - Cormac McCarthy

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah, 24 May 2012 - 08:40 PM.


#18 Andrew

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:15 PM

Moderators: any chance of sticking this thread at the top of the 'Literature' section, a la the Film Journals?

#19 Christian

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:40 PM

Moderators: any chance of sticking this thread at the top of the 'Literature' section, a la the Film Journals?

Done.

#20 Jason Panella

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:06 PM

Great suggestion, Andrew. Thanks for stickying it, too, Christian.