Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My Reading List for 2010

I made it to the end of 2010, and this is my summary of books read for 2010. I have been doing this since 2006, and I continue to enjoy reflecting on what I have read for the past year.

Let's start with the basic numbers:

Number of books read in 2010:  119, with 6 rereads.


Number of books read in 2009: 98, with 5 rereads. I believe this is the first time I started to actively track rereads. (the 2009 list).
Number of books read in 2008: 111 (the 2008 list).
Number of books read in 2007: 85 (the 2007 list).
Number of books read in 2006: 106 (the 2006 list).
Number of books read in 2005: 73

It looks like 2010 was my best year so far in terms of the amount of books read. I will include other numbers along with my commentaries after the list. Books with an asterisk are books that I reread this year. As always, if a book title is not as clear, I have added small details in parenthesis (say to make clear it is a graphic novel or part of a series). If I posted a review to one of the blogs, then I will provide a link. Otherwise, you can find the books on my GoodReads profile (link on the right side column of the blog).

The books I have read:

January:

  • Frank Miller, Sin City, Vol 1: The Hard Goodbye.
  • Scott Westerfield, Leviathan.
  • Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Super Freakonomics.
  • Jim Butcher, Welcome to the Jungle (Dresden Files series, graphic novel).
  • Robert Crumb, The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb.
  • Scott Adams, Journey to Cubeville.
  • Failblog.org Community, Fail Nation.

February:

  • James Luceno, Millenium Falcon (Star Wars).
  • Brad Warner, Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye.
  • Frank Miller, Sin City, Vol.2: A Dame to Kill For.
  • Bill Bishop, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart.
  • Scott Douglas, Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian. (Booknote)
  • Darko Macan, Star Wars: Chewbacca (graphic novel).
  • Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. (Booknote)
  • Jessica R. Feldman and Robert Stilling, eds., What Should I Read Next?
  • Dan Joley, JSA: The Liberty File, Book #1.
  • Dan Joley, JSA: The Liberty File, Book #2.
  • Dan Abnett, Eisenhorn (Warhammer 40,000).
  • James Morrow, Bible Stories for Adults.
  • Gary Larson, Last Chapter and Worse.*

March:

  • Alan Moore, Promethea: Book Two.
  • Garth Ennis, Fury.
  • Nanae Chrono, Vassalord, Vol. 1.
  • Nanae Chrono, Vassalord, Vol. 2.
  • Christie Golden, Vampire of the Mists (Ravenloft series, Book 1).*
  • Nanae Chrono, Vassalord, Vol. 3.
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 2: Two Bodies, Two Minds.
  • Greg Mortenson, Three Cups of Tea.

April:

  • Devin Grayson, Nightwing and Huntress.
  • Charles P. Pierce, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. (Booknote)
  • Kozuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 3: The Hell Stick.
  • Greg Pak, Marvel 1602: New World.
  • Jack Cafferty, Now or Never: Getting Down to the Business of Saving Our American Dream.

May:

  • Frank Miller, Batman: Year One. *
  • Bruce Littlefield, Garage Sale America.
  • Gary Larson, The Curse of Madame "C."
  • Spencer Smith, Young Jesus Chronicles: A Cartoon Collection.
  • Beatrice Hohenegger, Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West.
  • Pablo Neruda, Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada.
  • Marc Falkoff, Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak.
  • Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
  • Michael Reeves and John Pelan, eds., Shadows Over Baker Street.
  • Masamune Shirow, Dominion (Tank Police manga).
  • Stewart Wieck, Toreador (Vampire: the Masquerade, Clan Novel #1).

June:

  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 4: Portrait of Death.
  • Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden, The Dangerous Book for Boys.
  • Dave Marinaccio, All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Watching Star Trek.
  • Gary Larson, The Far Side Observer.
  • Alan Moore, Promethea: Book 3.
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 5: Ten Fingers, One Life.
  • Graham Edmonds, The Business of Bullshit.
  • Eric Jerome Dickey, Storm (Marvel Comics).
  • Nancy Folbre, Saving State U.: Fixing Public Higher Education.
  • Moises Kaufman, The Laramie Project. (Booknote)
  • Carl McColman, The Complete Idiot's Guide (R) to Paganism.
  • Alan Moore, Promethea: Book 4.
  • Maki Ogawa and Crystal Watanabe, Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches.
  • Alan Moore, Promethea: Book 5.
  • Greg Pak, Planet Hulk.
  • Marilyn Johnson, This Book is Overdue! (Booknote)

July:

  • Sandy Mitchell, Death or Glory (Ciaphas Cain #4, Warhammer 40Kseries).
  • Jack Huberman, The Quotable Atheist. (Booknote)
  • Amy Wallace, et.al., The Book of Lists: Horror. (Booknote)
  • Suzette Tyler, Been There, Should Have Done That II: More Tips for Making the Most of College. (Booknote)
  • James Dale Robinson, Grendel Tales: Four Devils, One Hell
  • Shmuel Bar, Warrant for Terror: The Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty to Jihad. (Booknote)
  • Eric Garcia, The Repossession Mambo.(Booknote)
  • Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
  • Darko Macan, Grendel Tales: Devils and Deaths

August:

  • Dave Cullen, Columbine. (Booknote)
  • Kim Levin, Catrimony: The Feline Guide to Ruling the Relationship
  • Emmanuel Guibert, The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders. (Booknote)
  • Bill Ayers, To Teach: The Journey, in Comics
  • Arvid Nelson, Rex Mundi, Vol. 1: The Guardian of the Temple
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 6: Shinko the Kappa
  • Arvid Nelson, Rex Mundi, Vol. 2: The River Underground
  • Lewis Black, Me of Little Faith
  • Larry Winget, It's Called Work for a Reason! (Booknote)
  • Julia E. Sweig, Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Chris Ryall, Groom Lake
  • Natalie Goldberg, Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir
  • Pliny the Younger, The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • Jessica Abel, Life Sucks
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 7: The Bamboo Splitter

September:

  • Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know
  • Joe Hill, Locke and Key, vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Ian Spector, Chuck Norris Cannot Be Stopped
  • Joe Hill, Locke and Key, vol. 2: Head Games
  • Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw.
  • Alan Moore, DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
  • Steven Greenhouse, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker. (Booknote)
  • Joe Hill: Locke and Key, vol. 3: Crown of Shadows
  • Peter Normanton, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics.*
  • Hiroya Oku, Gantz, vol.1

October:

  • Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween.* 
  • Nick Gevers, ed., Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology
  • Jon Stewart, Earth (the book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race
  • Paul Greenberg: Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
  • Matt Dembicki, ed., Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
  • Justin Halpern, Sh*t My Dad Says.
  • Sean Williams: The Force Unleashed II (Star Wars novel). 
  • José Saramago, Ensayo sobre la ceguera. (12B12M--Booknote)
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 8: The Death Sign of Spring

November:

  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 9: Facing Life and Death.
  • Kelly Huegel, GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens.(Booknote)
  • Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, Vol. 10: A Couple of Jitte.
  • Dava Sobel, The Planets. (12B12M--Booknote)
  • R.A. Salvatore, The Crystal Shard (graphic novel adaptation. Legend of Drizzt series, #4). 
  • Sandy Mitchell, Duty Calls (Ciaphas Cain #5, Warhammer 40K series).
December: 

  • Scott Snyder and Stephen King, American Vampire, Vol. 1.
  • Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals. (Booknote)
  • Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Century: 1910
  • Ted Nugent, Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto
  • Hiroya Oku, Gantz, Vol. 2
  • Joe Haldeman, The Forever War.* (12B12M--Booknote)
  • Armando Choy, et. al., Nuestra historia aun se esta escribiendo.(12B12M--Booknote)
  • Craig Brando, The Five-Year Party. (Booknote)
  • Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer, eds., Steampunk
  • Helen Isolde, How to have a Perfect Christmas
Commentary and thoughts:
  • I continue to use GoodReads to keep track of what I read (link to my profile, which you can also see on the right column of the blog). From small updates, which are fed to my Facebook page and Twitter, to reviews of the books, that is the space where I am doing most of my reading tracking and reviewing. If I feel a book needs to be shared more broadly, I will repost the book review in one of my blogs. As usual for me, if it is a book on a topic not discussed in polite company (politics, religion, sex or adult, or more personal), I post about it at The Itinerant Librarian.
  • Number of books read in the worst month: 5 (April).
  • Number of books read in the best month: 16 (June). 
  • Fiction: 65. As I have done before, graphic novels and mangas fall under fiction unless they are something like a memoir, which I then count under nonfiction for the overall count.On this basis, I read more fiction than nonfiction this year.
  • Nonfiction: 49. In this category, I would include any library science books. I only read three books related to libraries, and I was not particularly pleased even though one of them was a book that many celebrity librarians thought was the best thing since sliced bread. I thought the book was overrated. Aside from that, I read a little history, a little of current events, and some other miscellaneous things.
  • Graphic novels and comics: 39. This category includes both the traditional definition most people consider, i.e. comics from places like DC and Marvel, as well as other genres. It can include fiction and nonfiction. I reread a couple of items in this category. Batman: The Long Halloween is starting to become an annual tradition for me to reread around Halloween.  It is a very good tale, and it definitely sets the mood for Halloween. 
  • Mangas: 15. I did not read as many this year, but I did complete a series. I will comment on that series below. As I have noted before, getting good mangas in Tyler, TX (or anywhere in East TX for that matter) is next to impossible. A trip out of town usually helps remedy that somewhat, but given that the economy is tight, making that trip has become a less frequent occurrence. I am not too worried as I do have a good amount of mangas waiting to be read; I tend to stock up when I do go out of town, and I have a good stock of mangas, manwhas, etc. to be read, plus some certainly worth rereading. This is different from graphic novels, since some I can get through Interlibrary Loan at work, ILL (usually the more known works), though I still buy a good amount of graphic novels as well. 
  • Other categories: I read two books of poetry and a play. 
  • Books written in Spanish: 3.
  • Books borrowed: 61. This is a new tracking category for me. I want to see how many books I am borrowing versus buying. This can include borrowing from the public library, my workplace, or via ILL. I borrowed slightly more than I bought; 58 books on the list are books I own (it does not mean I bought them all last year; tracking how many books I bought in a year could be interesting, but a different category that might not fit in this post since I don't always read what I buy right away). In terms of my borrowing, I tend to borrow most if not all of my nonfiction reading. This is especially applicable to anything related to current affairs since those types of books are usually the type to read once and move on. Overall, there are not many nonfiction books that I feel I have to own aside from a few reference items or books that lend themselves to be read again. Overall, the basic rule for me is if I do not wish to read it more than once, or it is something common, I will try to borrow it.
  • Book and/or reading challenges. I am currently undertaking the 12 Books, 12 Months Challenge. Here is my post accepting the challenge, and you can find the details and link to the challenge itself as well. The challenge started in September 2010 (I actually started in October 2010), and it runs until September 2011. As of this post, I have read four books from my challenge list, marked above as "12B12M." I am currently reading my fifth book from my challenge list, Frank Herbert's Dune. As I finish a book on the challenge list, I am posting reviews in this blog and in my GoodReads profile. 
  • I have discovered over time that I read a lot by serendipity. I may have mentioned this before or not. Anyhow, I discover a lot of my reading ideas by browsing the new books shelf at the public library, keeping an eye on the few acquisitions we do here (budget is bad, so ordering here is sporadic), and browsing at the bookstore. I also read a good number of book and reading-related blogs where I jot down ideas. The point is I tend to pick stuff up as it comes on my radar. Plus, given that I always have two to four books going at any given time, picking up something new is not an issue for me. Another useful tool is that I keep lists of books I want to read. I have a large stack of written notes with lists, and lately I have been using my scratch pad blog, Alchemical Thoughts, to jot down lists of books I want to read. On the scratch pad, I usually include links to any post I find about the book I am interested in with a link to the book (usually the WorldCat record). One of these days, I have to make an update post or two for any book on those blog lists that I have actually read. If interested, you can visit Alchemical Thoughts and click the "books and reading" tag to see the lists. Overall, I feel like I will always find something to read. 
And now the part that my four readers are waiting for, my favorites of 2010 and other comments:
  • Frank Miller's Sin City series. I am gradually making my way through this. If the only Sin City you know is the film, you need to do yourself a favor and go read the graphic novels. At any rate, Frank Miller's work speaks for itself in terms of excellence whether it is 300, his Batman stories, or his Robocop. Another Frank Miller title I read this year was Batman: Year One. This was somewhat a basis for the Batman film reboot that started with Batman Begins.
  • I thought that Brad Warner's Sit Down and Shut Up was pretty interesting.  Warner gives us a punk take on zen buddhism, and the book was pretty good to read.
  • Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn. I thought that Ciaphas Cain would be my only favorite in the Warhammer 40K universe. Then someone recommended I take a look at Eisenhorn, and I did. This is another excellent series. I read the first collected omnibus that has the three novels and two short tales. Gregor Eisenhorn is an inquisitor in the 41st millennium moving behind the scenes to keep the enemies of the Imperium at bay. This series combines adventure with a touch of detective and suspense fiction. Abnett does have a very good writing style and knows how to keep up a good pace. And since Eisenhorn had an apprentice, who now has his own series, I will be picking up Ravenor at some point in the future.
  • Kazuo Koike's Samurai Executioner series is probably the best manga I read this year. I also feel good because I read the entire series this year. Koike's works are not only great stories, but the artists that draw his stories also tend to do excellent work. The executioner is tasked with testing the shogun's swords, and he does it by beheading the condemned. However, the executioner often works aiding the local law enforcement and does other tasks. There is a touch of the consulting detective in this series set in Edo-era Japan. By the way, the series captures the setting very well. I do have to give the usual warning for the uptight, squeamish, or just more conservative folks: the series does contain violence (including beheadings) and sex. I tend to like that sort of thing, but I know some people out there do not. So, reader discretion is advised. Overall, this is one I highly recommend. Koike is the author of the famous Lone Wolf and Cub series. I already have the first two volumes of that series on my shelf, so I hope to get started on it this year.
  • Bruce Littlefield's Garage Sale America was a cute little book. The author traveled around the U.S. visiting garage sales, rummage sales, and flea markets. The photography in this book was very good, and it captures an interesting piece of Americana. 
  • Beatrice Hohenegger, Liquid Jade: The Story of Tea from East to West was interesting as well. I learned a lot about tea from this book. Not just the history, but also a bit about the plant itself and how we get the tea that we enjoy in our homes. 
  • Greg Pak's Planet Hulk was definitely one of the best graphic novel compilations I read this year. The series has a strong element that reminds us Robert E. Howard's best work in the Conan series. If you are fan of the Hulk, you have probably read this already. If not, you have to read it. If you are not a fan of the Hulk, this volume is very accessible for casual readers. A big concern with comics is the idea of continuity and the question of "can I get into a series without needing too much background or additional information?" The collected volume I read will let you get into the story with ease. And while the story does continue after the events in Planet Hulk, the story does stand by itself. The art in the series is also very good.
  • Sandy Mitchell's Death or Glory and Duty Calls. Regimental Commissar Ciaphas Cain keeps going strong in his adventures in the 41st millennium. He just wants to have an easy life and stay out trouble, but it seems that trouble follows him anyhow. In the process, he does do the right thing, acts heroically, and ends up being the hero of the hour. His reputation only gets bigger, which is not what he wants. The series has a strong sense of humor combined with some pretty good military scifi adventure. I am definitely going on with the series, and I will likely pick up the second omnibus (I already own the first one), which collects these two novels and the sixth novel Cain's Last Stand. However, the commissar is not quite finished given that a seventh novel just came out, The Emperor's Finest. The novels are written as tales of the commissar edited by an inquisitor looking over his files who then presents them to other inquisitors to read. Thus Mitchell can go back and forth in Cain's life from his early years to his retirement to in between. All novels, as far as I have read, can stand on their own, but if you read them over time, you will see references to other works, etc. I should have plenty to read for a while.
  • Joe Hill's Locke & Key series. This is a nice horror graphic novel series. Good art and attention to detail, and a dark plot. A family facing the loss of the father moves East. The house is not quite haunted, but there are some eerie elements. And then there are the keys that the villain wishes to obtain. This is a nice example of good Gothic horror.
  • New manga discovery for me was the Gantz series. On the one hand, I like it, but it is a bit hard to get into. The action pretty much starts right away, and once it does, the pace does not let go. So far, I have read the first two volumes. It's a story of people being taken out of their environments and put into a new, deadlier situation. Fans of things like Survivor, Lost, maybe Hunger Games, and to some extent Battle Royale may like this as well.
  • Given the recent suicides of gay youths dues to bullying, I recommend Kelly Huegel, GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens. It is informative, relevant, and very accessible. 
  • Scott Snyder and Stephen King, American Vampire, Vol. 1. This is another series I plan on following. It offers a new take on the vampire genre, and it goes back to what vampires should be: bad-ass blood suckers to be feared instead of the sissy emo sparkly asshats certain "writers" (and I use the term loosely) have made. 
  • Jessica Abel offers a different take on vampires as well with Life Sucks.  This is a young adult title where vampires work at the local convenience store (think 7-Eleven). Yes, it may sound a bit cheesy, but Abel gives us some humor, a look at teen issues, and a pretty good vampire story. She even takes a jab or two at those other "vampires."
  • The best short fiction collection I read this year, after thinking it over, has to be Shadows Over Baker Street. In simple terms, this is Sherlock Holmes meets H.P. Lovecraft. This is a collection of stories where the great detective has to deal with Lovecraftian  horrors. There are some very good stories and authors in this anthology. This is one I took my time reading and enjoying like a fine wine. If you enjoy horror, Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes, or mystery, or any of the above combined, you will like this book. 
  • I think many readers may enjoy Alan Moore's Promethea series. If you like mythology and fantasy, you will probably like this. As a reader's advisor, I would say it is somewhat similar to works like Fables, which I have on my TBR list. If you have to choose between this and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1910, which I also read this year, go with Promethea. In addition, the art in Promethea is also very good. To be honest, I don't think Moore is getting any better with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and as much as I like Moore's work, I am seriously considering not reading anything else in the LoEG series if anything else comes out. The series pretty much jumped the shark after the second volume. Promethea is Moore still in his prime as storyteller, even in the moments when he really goes deep into things like Kabbalah and origin myths; Moore does have a tendency to go deep in terms of things like literary allusions and references, sometimes excessively so. If you can handle that, you will likely enjoy Moore's works overall. With LoEG, he has pretty much gone beyond providing a good tale just to try to show off how smart he is, and he is starting to fail miserably. Black Dossier (LoEG) was almost unreadable. It's a case where too many sequels are ruining a good thing. 
  • If you still want an Alan Moore fix, his collection of DC stories in DC Universe will do the trick nicely. Don't go in expecting something like Watchmen. These are the stories Moore did for DC Comics, and they do vary in quality. Some, such as The Killing Joke are excellent. Others are just so-so comics fare. If nothing else, you do get a different look at this iconic writer.
  • Eric Garcia's The Repossession Mambo, basis for the recent film Repo Men, is what I am recommending lately when people ask me what is good to read in general science fiction. The premise is very good, and it is very eerie given today's issues with the health care industry. In the novel, if you need an organ, any organ or body part, you can buy it and get it put into your body. If you can't afford it, the Credit Union will be happy to give you financing. However, if you miss the payments for any reason, the Credit Union will send the Repo Men after you, and they will take their merchandise back. Given that medical costs are one of the top reasons for bankruptcies in the United States, and that those making laws pretty much don't give a hoot about that fact, this novel gains a strong relevance and makes a serious comment about our current society. I have not seen the film, but I would like to see it in part because it does feature Forest Whitaker in the role of Jake, which should be interesting to see. This is a book that may stay with you for a while after reading it. 
  • The other science fiction novel I read this year I would like to recommend is Joe Haldeman's The Forever War. This was a reread for me. Though it was written with the Vietnam War in mind, the novel gains relevancy and probably a new audience given the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the U.S. has reached the point where it has been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviets with no signs of leaving any time soon. By the way, George Orwell also envisioned a condition where a state would be in a state of perpetual war in his novel 1984. Who says science fiction is just fluff with nothing to say? I think a lot of our soldiers could easily relate to Major Mandela from Haldeman's novel.
  • Dave Cullen's Columbine is probably the best look at the events of Columbine High School. Cullen took over a decade to research and go over every detail to give us an accurate view of events. The book removes many of the misconceptions people have about the event: the boys were not part of some "trenchcoat mafia" nor were they just loser loners; the story of the martyred Christian girl is false (no matter how many apologists come out of the woodwork, the evidence is it did not happen). Also, the book reveals the efforts the police took to cover up information and its own incompetence. This is a book that needs to be read, and it is one with lessons that we as a society need to heed. The book does include references and notes for folks wishing to verify things.
  • Emmanuel Guibert, The Photographer: Into War-torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders. This was another favorite this year. The book combines graphic novel art and narrative with excellent photography to present the story of a photographer who goes into Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion with the organization Doctors Without Borders. If you are interested in learning more about this part of the world, this book is a must-read. 
  • The one book I am warning people to stay away from: José Saramago, Ensayo sobre la ceguera. Available in English translation as On Blindness, this is just a very difficult to read book, one long big paragraph telling what has to be the most depressing apocalyptic-type tale imaginable. It was a pain to read, and even with the seemingly good premise-- a blindness epidemic strikes, and social chaos ensues-- the book just becomes a slow and tortuous reading experience. If you want post-apocalyptic or disaster kind of reading where society shows its worse side, go find something like The Walking Dead. Overall, I agree that if some major catastrophe happened and society fell apart, that we would see the absolute worst in people. Saramago presents this, but he does so in an extremely oppressive way in terms of narrative. In addition, his habit of not naming characters (the doctor, the lady with eyeglasses, so on) does not help things either. And I am not even going to discuss the rape scene. No, it is not because I am squeamish about rape scenes; I have read plenty of works where rape is present, and the works were excellent. This is not that kind of work. To be honest, I am not sure how he won that Nobel Prize if it was on the basis of this novel. All I know is I probably will not pick up anything else by him anytime soon. Having said all this, I am a bit glad that I can now brag about reading it thus adding this literary fiction author to my list of books read. But as stated, not likely to repeat the experience.
  • And finally, the one book I recommend for librarians that is not related to libraries or librarianship: Saul D. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.I even took notes and wrote a series of posts from those notes over at The Itinerant Librarian.
 There are a few others books in my 2010 list I liked, but the ones listed above are ones that really stayed with me. Overall, it was a pretty good year for reading. I already have books started for 2011. Some are carry-overs from 2010. I will note that I count a book in the month I finish it, thus the carry-overs will go into the 2011 list. Plus I have some other books already in the cue so to speak.

To wrap up, as of this post, I am currently reading the following:
  • Frank Herbert's Dune. As I mentioned, this is for the 12B12M Challenge. 
  • David Grann, The Lost City of Z.  Only reason I slowed down on this a bit is because I picked up Dune. However, so far, I am enjoying it a lot.
  • Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Essential Captain America, Vol. 1
And I have the following coming up (as in I borrowed them, so I have to get to them, or just decided they are next):
  • Brad Warner's Hardcore Zen. I am hoping to pick it up after Grann's book.
  • Charles Portis, True Grit, the basis for the movies. My library actually had it, so borrowed it. However, will not likely get to it until I finish Dune.
  • Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, Vol.1 (Hardcover) and The Walking Dead, Vol. 2 (Hardcover). I was impressed my local public library actually had these given their record with graphic novels is pitiful. My bet is the selector saw the TV show or got a tip about the show. Anyhow, I am hoping to hit it this weekend.
  • Thaddeus Russell's A Renegade History of the United States. Saw it on the new books shelf at the public library, got curious. Not sure I will like it, but I am willing to give it a try.

    And for your amusement, or just because, here are some other people who have posted their lists that I know of as of this post:
    • CW's list. I like how she breaks things down by genre. She also makes a comment on how her e-reader may be changing her reading habits.
    • Mark Lindner's list. He is also taking part in the 12 Books 12 Months Challenge. 
    • Jessamyn West gives her 2010 summary, and you can see her book list as well. Another reason I linked to it is I loved the old time advert she used in the post. 

        7 comments:

        Bruce Littlefield said...

        Hi Gypsy Librarian! Author Bruce Littlefield here. Thank YOU for liking Garage Sale America and including it in your favorites for 2010. I had such a great time on that treasure hunt adventure and am honored that you like it! Here's to lots of good reads in 2011.

        gm said...

        Cullen , who first reported on the story for the online magazine Salon, acknowledges in the book's source notes that thoughts he attributes to Klebold and Harris are conjecture gleaned from the record the pair left behind.

        Jeff Kass takes a more straightforward approach in "Columbine: A True Crime Story," working backward from the events of the fateful day.
        The Denver Post

        Mr. Cullen insists that the killers enjoyed "far more friends than the average adolescent," with Harris in particular being a regular Casanova who "on the ultimate high school scorecard . . . outscored much of the football team." The author's footnotes do not reveal how he knows this; when I asked him about it while preparing this review, Mr. Cullen said he did not necessarily mean to imply that Harris was sexually active. But what else would such words mean?

        "Eric and Dylan never had any girlfriends," the more sober Mr. Kass writes, and were "probably virgins upon death."
        Wall Street Journal

        othemts said...

        Thanks for posting this list. I appreciate that other people like to make lists of what they read as well. It looks like you have read an interesting variety of books (although I've only read two of the books on your list myself).

        Here's my list for 2010:
        https://othemts.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/2010-year-in-review-favorite-books/

        Lisa said...

        Gypsy Librarian, have you read any other books about the Columbine attack? Because unless you have I'm not sure how you can write that Cullen's "Columbine" is 'probably the best look' at the events that happened on April 20, 1999. There are at least three other books that focused on what happened that day, and why. And in my opinion they're superior to the book "Columbine" both in accuracy and analysis.

        The three books are "Comprehending Columbine" by Ralph Larkin, "Columbine: A True Crime Story" by Jeff Kass and "No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death At Columbine" by Brooks Brown. The latter is more of a memoir of sorts by one of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's classmates and friend. The first two however take a more accurate look than Cullen's book at what may have caused Harris and Klebold to attack their school. I highly recommend the Larkin and Kass books.

        Angel, librarian and educator said...

        Dear Mr. Littlefield: Thank you for stopping by. I found your book by pure serendipity, and it was a very enjoyable read. The photography for it was very good as well. I think many people who may enjoy shows like "American Pickers" will probably enjoy it as well. A very nice piece of Americana.

        Columbine commenters: The Kass book was recommended by other sources as well, and I may get to it if at some point I am ready to read another account. The Brown book based on some research I have done and read may not exactly be as objective. But having said that, Cullen's work does appear to be very well researched and documented. For most readers looking for an accessible account, it may well be the one they pick up. However, I am all for folks who suggest material for further reading. It can only help us understand better, and more importantly, help us learn so we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.

        Liam: Got the link. I will certainly take a good look at your list as I love seeing what others read as well.

        To all, best, and keep on blogging.

        Dave Cullen said...

        Hi Angel. What a pleasure to see my book on your list. I have a new respect for the impact of librarians the past two years. I spent a lot of time in high schools this past year, and you all are really reaching a lot of kids with books. Thanks for that.


        And thanks for the kind words. (I clicked over to your Booknote review, too, which I missed the first time. Very thoughtful. Thanks.) I did devote a good chunk of my life to the book, and it's always a relief to find people like you helping to spread the word. I feel like books are always struggling to break through the noise of TV, movies, music and web, but . . . people will always want to read great stories.

        Here's the awkward part: GM above is the Denver businessman who published the book he's plugging. Both sources he cites were written by the same person, Vince Carroll, and somewhat out of context. Carroll said he liked nearly everything about my book, but had a problem with two passages. I stand by them. I thought both the footnotes and the text were pretty thorough in demonstrating that Eric and Dylan had a healthy circle of friends. I link to much more from my site. The killers' daytimers alone speak for themselves on their social activity. And please reread the author's note, where I say no such thing about conjecture.

        OK, nice to get that out of the way.

        As a librarian, I hope you and/or your readers can help spread the word on something. We’re trying to help teachers and students who have begun using the book in schools. We just created a Columbine Student Guide and Columbine Teacher’s Guide.

        We are giving them away for free. (And I'm also doing two skype sessions to schools a month for free, BTW.) I hope they help. Thanks.

        I created a place in the Instructor Guide for Librarian's Corner, but cannot figure out what to put there. If you or readers have ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.

        Angel, librarian and educator said...

        Mr. Cullen: Thank you for stopping by. And thank you for adding clarifications and further information. I will certainly look at the supplementary materials soon. And I certainly invite readers to visit your site and view them as well.

        Best, and keep on blogging.