January 3, 2008

Final 2007 Book Post

Here are three I neglected to mention earlier. The Molly Ivins because it was a gift for my mom and I wanted to wait until I gave it to her. The Sedaris and McCullough because I listened to them on audio and just forgot to mention them. I used to think listening to books on audio was cheating (I was a Lit. major) but that was because I'd only been exposed to edited bestsellers (and the fantastic Jim Dale's Harry Potter readings). They were fun, but could hardly compare with real reading. Then last year I tried an experiment. I got a big fat juicy novel and listened to an unedited version. I figured if I got as much out of it as reading it I'd continue. It was Jonathan Letham's staggering The Fortress of Solitude. It was an amazing experience and a great reader. I went on to Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang, Yan Martels' Life of Pi, Calvin Trillin's About Alice, Stephen King's writing book and a host of others. Now I don't distinguish between having read or listened to a book. Of course I only get them free from the library and make sure they're unedited. It's especially helpful if you have ADD! I would never have finished 1776 without listening to it. It would have just been too slow for me to read and I would have gone on to something else. But since it was read with enthusiasm and I was trapped in my car I kept going and enjoyed it. It obviously helps if you have a bit of a commute.
Ivins: Dark terrible things are happening in this country and she and Lou Dubose lay them out for you. There's hope in here because of the reasonable folks who take a stand. Encourages me to keep on promoting critical thinking and groups that support democracy and civil rights like the ACLU.
Sedaris: Hilarious, naturally. But not only that. He's got some deeper stuff in here about his family that makes it his most satisfying book yet.
McCullough: Picking just this one year limited the scope of the book in a good way. It keeps a historian from going on to long, but leaves you wanting to go off and read more. Puts many things you thought you knew into context with the things you learn.
I'll post what I read as I go from now on. Let me know what you're reading and enjoying!