Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year end tallies!!! Book Recommendations

Good morning! We head for Portland today to babysit tonight for the kids and then tomorrow L and I go for some quality spa time! After facials, I'm introducing her to pedicures!!! Poor deprived gal has never had one!

I've been working on my lists - and surprisingly enough I don't 'do lists' as much as when I was working. Probably because I'm home and can get up and do what I'm thinking of - don't have to wait 8 hours to get home!

On to the lists: I read 79 books this year. That's up 25 from last year. Of course, I didn't move this year so had a little more time to lounge and read! For the first time in my life I actually don't finish all the books I start! Blasphemy! Now that I have time to read ... I quit when I don't like it! I guess I figured out there is no 'library police' to give me demerits for not finishing! AND I'm not losing sleep over this habit either!

A new resource I heard about this year is BookMarks Magazine. This is an excellent resource. Yes, you can subscribe, but really the best use of it is to make sure your library gets it; then check out the old issues. Crazy like a fox!!! You can see what sounded good from last year or earlier, and usually they are off reserve and free for you to read! Check it out! Especially you book club gals!

I keep track of my books in an old ledger book by hand before I take them back to the library. I rate them from zero stars to 4 stars. Every once in a while I give a 5* rating! I then enter the list into an Access database. I have over 2200 books rated. I've been using this method since 1980! I know it seems like 'over kill' but the reason I love it is - I can sort by star rating. So I can pull up favorite books from years ago and see if the author has written anything recently!

These books rated 4*s last year. My absolute favorite book was "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society " by Shaffer & Barrows. It's great - a quick read. Mainly because I don't think I ever put it down!

Other favorites in the running were:

Winter Study by Nevada Barr. Her 'Anna Pidgeon' series is awesome. If you haven't read her - start at the beginning and read thru them. She's one of my favorite "adult Nancy Drew" writers. Everything we loved as girls - a strong woman character you'd like to be or be friends with and a mystery to solve!

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon. Beth is a quilter, she was married to Geoffrey Gutcheon and owner of the quilt store in NYC. She also wrote (among others) Still Missing. Also a favorite

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg. Elizabeth is prolific. Her books are quick reads, I enjoy them all but every once in a while she really hits home with me and this one did!

Alex Cross's Trial by Patterson & Dilallo. I know, I know - Patterson must be going for some kind of publishing record. Those 1 or 2 page chapters are hilarious. But it can read 'like eating popcorn!' This one was historic - not my favorite venue - but it still rated 4* with me.

Floodgates by Mary Anna Evans. Mystery set in New Orleans post Katrina. Very interesting learning more about the problems in New Orleans.

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I actually rated this 5*! Don't let the size deter you! Yes, it's 1074 pages but I think it's his best writing since his accident. It gets alittle foofy at the end, all those strings to tie back together but all in all 'Well done!' The cover was designed by advertising artists and there's not one word about the author or the book on it!

I found Richard Morgan, a Sci-fi writer, this year. His first book was "Altered Carbon" about 're-sleeving' a person's essence in a new body when killed. Of course, the method is used mostly for soldiers and very rich people. I recommended it to my son. He liked it but couldn't get over the fact that I recommended a book with that much sex in it! Okay - I'd forgotten the sex(!) I usually just retain the essence of the book in my very old, decrepit mind!!! I'm now waiting for the last book in his series from Inter-library loan.

Well, that was fun - I'll do my sewing/quilting lists later!!

Happy New Year!

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