Friday, January 06, 2012

Books for 2012

On New Year's Eve Day, a high school friend of mine (Kristen lives out in L.A., writes TV show reviews for an entertainment website and is working on a romance novel) wrote a blog post about books she'd read in 2011 and others she hopes to read this year.

I thought it was a fun idea. Well, the later portion, at any rate. With as fast as I read, I honestly can't remember how many books I read in 2011. But that contributed to this post, too, and I thought perhaps I should keep track in 2012. I'm not going to blog about all of them (that would be silly), but there are occasional books that I find myself wanting to write a term paper (for lack of a better, um, term) on and may deserve note. But I think I will use one of the many journals I've received as a gift to record them...that way at the end of 2012, I will know what and how many books I read this year. It should be interesting to look back on.

I received several books for Christmas, along with a Barnes & Noble gift card that enabled me to buy a few more. :) Plus, there's that giant bin underneath my bed, a few stacks scattered around the house and several books I'd like to reread.

Anyway, five days in, I've read one and started another. The one I've completed, "The House of Silk," which I finished yesterday, is one of the books I got for Christmas. It's a Sherlock Holmes novel, but the first one that was actually authorized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate. I'm always up for a good mystery novel, and this one was entertaining.

I started the second book, Bill Bryson's "At Home," (which I also got for Christmas) last night before bed. The problem (if you can call it that) with Bryson is that A) he's an incredibly witty writer and B) there's so much fascinating information in this book (all kinds of crazy facts about the Crystal Palace, for instance), so I spent a fair amount of time laughing and really didn't want to put it down and go to sleep last night (or this afternoon while reading during lunch). I've found several topics/ facts that I want to know more about (Skara Brae in Scotland, for example. I'd never heard of the archaeological site. Reading about it also almost immediately triggered a time-travel novel idea, but that's another story). And I've only just made it into chapter 2.

But I digress. In addition to finishing "At Home," there are a few other books that I know I want to read this year. They include, in no particular order: "The History of the World in 100 Objects," written by the director of the British Museum; P.D. James' "Death Comes to Pemberley," a mystery that takes place about six years after the events described in "Pride and Prejudice;" then there's "Hedy's Folly: the life and breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr," (no, that's not Hedley) which should be fascinating, since she was an incredibly beautiful and talented actress in old Hollywood, but she also was remarkably intelligent and helped create technology that aided the war effort in WWII and now makes our cell phones possible. Then there's "A Canticle for Leibowitz," by Walter M. Miller Jr. My friend Rebecca sent me a review of it written by Peter Kreeft in Dappled Things several months ago (sadly, I can't track it down now, even with Googling--whatever happened to things staying on the Internet forever?) which fascinated me, and so I ordered it off Amazon. It arrived just after Christmas.

Plus, I also want to reread "The Screwtape Letters." I haven't read it since I was in seventh or eighth grade, when I was required to read it in Theology class. I'm sure I will see parts of it differently, now that I'm an adult. For the same reason, I also want to reread "War and Peace."

Time to go read!

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