2009 Book List

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2008 Book List

  • Ken Follett: The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club)

    Ken Follett: The Pillars of the Earth (Deluxe Edition) (Oprah's Book Club)
    A great historical novel. Compelling, engaging, and inspiring. A reminder that hard things are time-consuming, but worth doing. (*****)

  • Timothy Keller: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

    Timothy Keller: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
    An incredible book answering the skeptic's questions. Very thought provoking. More importantly, very gracious. (*****)

  • Stephan Talty: Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign

    Stephan Talty: Empire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody Reign
    A very cool read about Captain Morgan. Aaarrrggh! (****)

  • Bill Willingham: Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

    Bill Willingham: Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
    Very interesting but not for young eyes...PG-13/R. (***)

  • Marjane Satrapi: Chicken with Plums

    Marjane Satrapi: Chicken with Plums
    Another great graphic novel. (****)

  • Brian K. Vaughan: Pride of Baghdad

    Brian K. Vaughan: Pride of Baghdad
    Great Graphic Novel. Incredible allegory for the people of Baghdad. Based on a true story. (*****)

  • Ngugi Wa'Thiong'O: Wizard of the Crow: A novel

    Ngugi Wa'Thiong'O: Wizard of the Crow: A novel
    A tremendous novel that reveals incredible insight to the African mind. A "fictional" country with a "fictional" tyrant and the havoc his reign brings to this country. A full analysis is forthcoming. A must-read if you want to better understand why Africans think the way they do. (*****)

  • Shaun Tan: The Arrival

    Shaun Tan: The Arrival
    A Phenonimal graphic novel. Not a single printed word, but oh the story this book tells. See my long analysis from June 4, 2008 for more details. (*****)

  • Bill Bryson: The Mother Tongue

    Bill Bryson: The Mother Tongue
    A much different book by Bill Bryson, but still very funny and very informative. The author takes the reader on a very interesting journey back in time to explain the origins of the English language. He points out the many quirks and beauties of the language. An interesting book. (***)

  • Ceridwen Dovey: Blood Kin: A Novel

    Ceridwen Dovey: Blood Kin: A Novel
    This new novel is extremely well written. It tells the story of a President who is overthrown in a coup. It follows the story of his barber, his painter, and his chef. It shows how pervasive and insidious corruption poisons not only those in power, but those around those in power. It is an intense portrayal of how we all desire power, wealth, and flesh. What makes the story even more interesting is that none of the character's are named, nor is the country. You realize that it makes the story applicable to every person and place. Scary! Well worth the read. (*****)

  • Leo Tolstoy: Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

    Leo Tolstoy: Master and Man and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
    I really enjoyed this book of three short stories by Leo Tolstoy. The first two stories, Father Sergius and Master and Man, clearly show man's fallenness and his attempts at self-redemption (and the subsequent failure in these attempts). They are very thought provoking. I look forward to reading more Tolstoy in the future. (****)

  • Bill Bryson: Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe

    Bill Bryson: Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
    Another funny travel book by Bryson. Again filled with a bunch of LOL antedotes. It was especially funny and relevant since we travelled Europe last year. I wonder how this author got his job..."hey, let me travel all over the world, eat and drink at your expense, and then write about my insights and misadventures." Sign me up! A few "R" rated pages. (****)

  • Jeff Shaara: Gone for Soldiers: A Novel of the Mexican War

    Jeff Shaara: Gone for Soldiers: A Novel of the Mexican War
    This historical novel is about the Mexican War and introduces the reader to a bunch of names that will be intertwined in the Civil War. I have enjoyed Jeff Shaara's previous historical novels but this one took over 50 pages to warm up to...far too many. The dialogue and "inside thoughts" were too predictable. Nonetheless, I did enjoy reading about a subject I knew little about. (***)

  • Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island

    Bill Bryson: Notes from a Small Island
    Another hilarious offering from Bill Bryson. This books continues the theme of my reading so far this year..."books set in a different country than America." The author pokes fun at his adopted country with such subtlety that the English could only agree with his observations. It is hard to read Bill Bryson when Marti is trying to laugh...muffled laughs are louder than I think. (****)

  • John Grisham: Playing For Pizza: A Novel

    John Grisham: Playing For Pizza: A Novel
    This book is a short novel by John Grisham and much different than most of Grisham's novels. It is set in Italy and is about a washed up 3rd string NFL quarterback who rediscovers the joy of playing football when he gets the "opportunity" to be a starting quarterback in an Italian Football League. Nonetheless, it was a joy to read especially since we so enjoyed our time in Italy. (****)

  • Khaled  Hosseini: The Kite Runner

    Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
    A very intense read. A moving and dark story about friendship, betrayal, and redemption. The main characters are Afghani and takes place first in pre-Soviet occupation Afghanistan, then the United States, and then in Taliban controlled Afghan. It is an incredible read. (*****)

  • Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

    Bill Bryson: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
    Another hilarious Bill Bryson offering. He details his experiences of walking the Applachian Trail with his sidekick Steve Katz. You can imagine the trials and tribulations (real and made up) that he faces as well as the triumphs of "making it." The "everyday man" climbs Mt. Everest (er...walks the AT!). Funny, but a few "R" rated pages. (***)

  • Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away

    Bill Bryson: I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away
    This is clearly one of the funniest books I have read. The author had lived in Great Britain for over 20 years and returns back to the U.S. with his family. He writes about his "adventures" with reverse culture shock. His observations are "spot on." My face and sides still hurt (from smiling and laughing so hard). Importantly for me personally, he validates a lot of what I was experiencing coming back "home" after living abroad for period. He is one of my new favorite authors. (*****)

2012 Book List

2011 Book List

2010 Book List

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