Monday, February 04, 2008

PMomma's 2007 Reading List - January through April

I normally do this in my private blog, but since people sometimes ask me about books, I thought I'd post it here. This is a list of the books that I read in 2007. They are listed in the following fashion; the title, the author, page count, my rating out of five (with one being lousy and five beyond excellent). If the book was a re-read, then an asterisk follows the title. Commentary, if any, is in italics. You may want to just scroll past this...
January 2007
1. "Pox Americana", Fenn. 360 pages. 3/5 (If you like learning about bioemperialism, then this is a great book.)
2. "No Ordinary Time", Goodwin. 700 pages. 3/5 (About the Trumans)
3. "The God Delusion", Dawkins. 399 pages. 5/5
4. "Attachment, Evolution, and the Psychology of Religion", Kirkpatrick. 360 pages. 3/5 (Very dry reading. But, there are some interesting portions.)
5. "How We Know What Isn't So", Gilovich. 200 pages. 4/5 (Curious about the psychological processes that go into believeing in the unbelievable? This poses some rationale. P1 also read this book and liked it.)
6. "False Alarm", Siegel. 214 pages. 3.5/5 (An examination of the "Culture of Fear" that has gripped the United States and how we are being manipulated by the executive branch.)
7. "Breaking the Spell", Dennet. 400 pages. 3.75/5 (I thought Dennet was a bit too PC in this one. But, it's still a "must read" for atheists or agnostics or brave Christians.)
8. "Assasination Vacation"*, Sarah Vowell. 4.5/5 (Vowell is one of my favorite writers. This book is an amusing and informative trip around the places where Presidents have been assasinated.)
9. "Wives and Sisters", Natalie Collins. 340pp 3.75/5 (My first fiction book for the year. An LDS woman deals with the lack of accountability in the LDS Church.)
10. "Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America...", Lederer. 216 pages. 3/5
11. "Behind Closed Doors", Natalie Collins. 330pp. 3/5
12. "Letters to a Christian Nation", by Harris. 96 pages 4.25/5.
13. "Born Amish", Garrett. 200 pages. 2/5
14. "A Prayer for Owen Meany"*, Irving. 617 pages. 5/5 (This is the book that the movie Simon Birch was made after. It's one of my favorites. Read it with a box of Kleenex.)
15. "Into Thin Air", Krakauer. 320 pages. 2/5. (I really expected to like this book, but I just can't "feel" Krakauer's style of writing. It's very 7th grade textbook.)
16. "Born Again Skeptics Guide to the Bible"*, Greene. 428 pages. 3.5/5.
17. "His Favorite Wife", Smith. 420 pages. 3/4 (This book was written by a former polygamist wife. Cool topic and insight. Poorly written.)
18. "Women Without Superstition", various. 650 pages. 4/5
19. "Breaking the Spell", Dennett. 400 pages. 4/5
20. "Spook"*, Roach. 320 pages. 4/5
21. "River of Doubt: Teddy Roosevelt's...", Millard. 432 pages. 3/5
22. "Radio On"*, Vowell. 256 pages. 5/5 (I love all of her books. This book is her journal of listening to the radio for a year.)
23. "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening", Robert Frost. 32 pages. (It's a children's book, P2's, but it kicked off my memory lane, classic book run of March 07'.)
24. "Walden"*, Thoreau. 156 pages. 5/5. (If you haven't read this beautiful book, I highly recommend it.)
25. "The Road Not Taken", Frost. 64 pages. 5/5
26. "The Beautiful and the Damned", Fitzgerald. 432 pages. 2/5. (I didn't like this one as well as I usually like Fitzgerald.)
27. "In Small Things Forgotten", Deetz. 304 pages. 3/5. (If you're curous about the archeology of the eastern seaboard, then read this book.)
28. "The God Makers: A Shocking Expose of what the Mormon Church Really Believes", Decker. 300 pp.. 4/5 (Whoa... awesome read!)
29. "The Areas of My Expertise", John Hodgeman. 256 pages. 1/5
30. "Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution", Keynes. 384 pages. 4/5. (I never knew how tormented Darwin was over the loss of his daughter. Very sad.)
31. "The Tulip and the Pope: A Nun's Story", Larsen. 288pages. 2/5.
32. "The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians", Zesch. 344 pages. 4/5. (I really love captivity tales. For some reason, they fascinate me. I guess it's the knowledge that so many children actually preferred to stay with their native american families rather than return to the Elizebethan, Georgian, or Victorian life that they were taken from.)
33. "The Bone Lady: Life as a Forensic Anthropologist", Manheim. 160 pages. 3/5.
34. "Dead Men Do Tell Tales", Maples. 304 pages. 3/5
35. "Confessions of a Medical Examiner", Baden. 240 pages. 4/5
36. "The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire", Hussy. 442 pages. 3/5.
37. "Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture.", Pelikan. 288 pages. 4/5 (I didn't expect to like this book. But, the author did a good job of expressing the importance of Mary in CULTURE, through the ages, and what the figure-head of Mary meant, versus making a claim on the reality of her existence.)
38. "East of Eden"*, Steinbeck. 601 pages. 5/5. (It's Steinbeck... it has to get five out of five. This was, of course, a re-read.)
39. "The Winter of our Discontent", Steinbeck. 288 pages. 4/5 (I *love* Steinbeck, but I had never managed to plow through this book. I decided, this year, that I was going to read it in one night. It's a good book, but I'm still missing something. I didn't really get it.)
40. "Cannery Row"*, Steinbeck. 192 pages. 5/5. (I had to cleanse my Steinbeck pallette. Re-read.)
41. "The Other Side of Eden", Steinbeck's son. 363 pages. 5/5 (ERIN!! You have to read this.)
42. "The Handbook of Evolutionary Pyschology", Textbook. 979 pages. (I can't score a textbook. It seems wrong. But, I did like this tome. It had some justifications that I hadn't thought of before.)

So... let's see.

42 books.

14,275 pages.


Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I must say PM. You have impeccable taste in Poetry - amongst other things:)

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I love the 19th century, American poets. Whitman is a god. Frost and Sandberg are legends.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I studied C19 American Literature at University, Frost, Whitman, Crane, Hawthorne.

Not a big fan of Whitman, but Frost Kiss Ass

Bill said...

Interesting list - I'm going to have to check some of these out.

"Breaking the Spell" was in the list twice.

Sean: "Frost Kiss Ass"? Was that a Freudian slip?

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

No just my usual poor spelling.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

and punctuation.

CAE said...

I'd never heard of the Other Side of Eden; I might have to give it a try, although I think I got my autobiographical fix with Life in Letters.
I love Cannery Row too and read it at least once a year! The Wayward Bus and Travels with Charley are other frequent re-reads.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Some very cool books, there, Pmomma. I have read some of them but not all. I love to re-read things and have a basement full of books that I read and re-read. Need to thin out the ones I haven't touched in a year or so (that's my keeping criteria). I just finished "The End of Biblical Studies" by Hector Avalos. It was a great book. Now I'm going to start his "Fighting Words".

erin said...

41. "The Other Side of Eden", Steinbeck's son. 363 pages. 5/5 (ERIN!! You have to read this.)

I have not read this!! Adding to Amazon wishlist ASAP

susanbrown said...

Breaking the Spell is at both #7 & #19.

I gave my freshman seminar students "prizes" the last day of class this fall. One of them was "Assassination Vacation" that I bought at a discount -- wasn't certain they'd appreciate it, like it, or even "get" it, but they howled with laughter when I brought it out!