2010 Reading Round Up

Ok, if you know me at all, you know I love analysis, trivia, and lists with a love that may not be entirely platonic, so December is always a fantastic time of year because it comes right before New Year’s Day. Ergo: sorting through resolutions from last year, forming resolutions for this year, and generally checking over one’s yearly stats.

I tallied my reading for the year, and it averages out to about a book a week (misleading, since reading one Trollope actually equals about 6 children’s books, but you know what I mean). Anyway, my reading is way up from last year—probably because I spent most of the year revising rather than writing. Or maybe life sort of smoothed out for me? Maybe I started choosing shorter books? Who knows.

I’ve decided to break down the books topically this year (and will star my favorites in case you’re looking for recs). Here goes:

History & Biography:

  • The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall
  • George Eliot: The Last Victorian by Kathryn Hughes
  • The Great Silence: 1918-1920 by Juliet Nicolson*
  • The Greatest Day in History by Nicholas Best
  • Nancy Cunard: Heiress, Muse, Political Idealist by Lois Gordon
  • Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall
  • Deceived by Kindness: A Bloomsbury Childhood by Angelica Garnett
  • Inventing the Victorians by Matthew Sweet
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck*


Fiction (Classic, Mystery, YA, and Contemporary)

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Gracia Marquez (C)
  • Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (C)
  • The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (C)
  • The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide (C)
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Co)*
  • Cover Her Face by P. D. James (M)
  • Defend and Betray by Anne Perry (M)
  • And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander (M)
  • A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George (M)
  • A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (M)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (YA)*
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (YA)*
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl (YA)
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (YA)
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (YA)


Spiritual Interest:

  • Telling Secrets by Frederick Beuchner*
  • The Eyes of the Heart by Frederick Beuchner
  • With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen
  • The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen*
  • Finding My Way Home by Henri Nouwen
  • Crazy Love by Francis Chan
  • Forgotten God by Francis Chan
  • A Tree Full of Angels by Macrina Weiderkehr*
  • Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating*
  • A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred by Brennan Manning
  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
  • Cloister Talks: Learning from My Friends the Monks by Jon Sweeney
  • Being Zen by Ezra Bayda*


Women’s Issues:

  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn*
  • Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness by Ariel Gore
  • For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English
  • The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  • Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem*
  • Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny*


Random Nonfiction/Research:

  • The Best American Essays 2009
  • The New Codependency by Melody Beattie*
  • Lessons of Love by Melody Beattie
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell*
  • Happy at Last: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Finding Joy by Richard O’Connor
  • What Nietzsche Really Said by Robert C. Solomon
  • Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen*
  • For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence by Alice Miller
  • Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman*


No real surprises here. The usual attempts to polish off a few titles from my list of classics, research historical periods and genres, and expand my knowledge base on women’s issues. I think every year there are a couple of issues that grab me: this year my spiritual reading definitely took a step up as I continued sorting through some basic and deep dissatisfactions with my faith tradition. Irreducible is a good academic word for problems like that.

Interesting, is another good word.

Anyway, hope your year was similarly full of good books! It’s funny but despite my penchant for list-making, I almost never make lists of books I want to read. I think I’ve learned the hard way that what sounds like a great read today will probably sound boring tomorrow. Anyway, if you make the list up afterwards, you never feel guilty for failing to read something.

And, that’s a bonus for somebody who really, really enjoyed a book called Tired of Trying to Measure Up this year.




7 thoughts on “2010 Reading Round Up

  1. As always, a totally impressive list! I was thoroughly delighted to see my dear Mrs. Basil E. among them. I had a tape of a dramatized version of this as a child. I *think* it was just a dramatic reading of the actual book, but of course, it may have been abridged. I listened to it over and over and over and over. I had the thing memorized. Then, one tragic day, the tape broke. I had forgotten about it until I saw it there on your list. And I was doubly tickled that it had earned a star.

  2. I am blown away with awe 🙂
    I started making my own list and made it to 11 books. I’m sure I must have forgotten at least one!!! to make it to at least 1 book a month! I feel like I’m constantly reading but somehow I can’t count all the books I’ve just skimmed through or read certain chapters or just half of the book…

    • Thanks, Linda! If it makes you feel better, I definitely consider my fiction and historical reading as part of my job. I don’t think there’s any way I could or would WANT to do this much reading if I was holding down a full time job in an unrelated field…

  3. Would you ever be willing to bind a copy or two for others to read? I really want to hear your story! Who needs a publisher? Publishershmublisher.

    • Hey Cran! I probably won’t be sharing Lilies with anybody and MAY in fact use it for a good bonfire when I reach my self-satisfied sixties… but I would LOVE to get your feedback on my crime novel, should you find yourself with oodles of time to sit around making someone else’s life easier. Let me know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s