Sunday, December 27, 2009

Three 2009 Booklists

I compiled these lists after reading that semicolon is putting a new twist on the first Saturday Review of Books of 2010. Normally one links to a book review on one's blog, or goes to the Review to read miscellaneous reviews. But this time you link to a list of books. I didn't have one, but it sounded like a good idea. So I made three. None is in chronological order.

Making a list of books is way easier than writing a review, and I find the idea of doing something easy to start the new year quite appealing! I will get on with writing some reviews after I finish celebrating at least 12 Days of Christmas.

Books I completed reading in 2009:
  1. The Birds Fall Down by Rebecca West
  2. Ah, But Your Land is Beautiful by Alan Paton
  3. Long Ago in France by M.F.K. Fisher
  4. How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher
  5. The Folding Cliffs by W.S. Merwin
  6. Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff
  7. M.F.K. Fisher and Me by Jeannette Ferrary
  8. The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
  9. The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by Esther Hautzig
  10. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  11. Bread and Water, Wine and Oil by Fr. Meletios Weber
  12. Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
  13. A Good and Faithful Servant (Saint Innocent) by the University of Alaska
  14. At Large and Small by Ann Fadiman
  15. Pig Tale by Verlyn Flieger
  16. Towards the Mountain by Alan Paton
  17. Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney by Paul Johnson
  18. The Inner Kingdom by Bp. Kallistos Ware
  19. The End of Suffering by Scott Cairns
  20. Living With the Laird by Belinda Rathbone
  21. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Books I got into but eventually abandoned:
  1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  2. Diary by Anaïs Nin
  3. Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home by Lynn Freed
  4. Elizabeth Costello by J.M. Coetzee
  5. Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee
  6. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  7. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
  8. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander

Books I am still reading at the end of 2009 and plan to keep reading:
  1. The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton
  2. Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Michael Pomazansky
  3. The Winter Pascha by Fr. Thomas Hopko
  4. For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
  5. Tree and Leaf by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ by St Maximus the Confessor
  7. Mary Through the Centuries by Jaroslav Pelikan
  8. Byzantium by John Julius Norwich
  9. Sister Age by M.F.K. Fisher
  10. The Hacienda by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
  11. The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language by John McWhorter
(The photo was taken in Chinatown earlier this month.)


    DebD said...

    Christ is born!

    I have Birds Fall Down on my TBR pile. How did you like it? I'm interested in the title of The End of Suffering and will go check that one out. I think I'll be re-reading the Melito book this year. I've seen a lot of people reading it this fall and that has inspired me to pick it up again.

    Pom Pom said...

    You are very disciplined to list all your reads, might reads, and still reading reads! I should make lists! I LOVED The Shell Seekers and all her other books. I have Winter Solstice sitting beside be now. I also found Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres fascinating. I have so much grading to do, but I really want to skip off to the library and bring home stacks and stacks of books. Don't you adore the smell, the sight and the beauty of someone's brilliance on the page? I loved reading through your list! Thank you for sharing!

    GretchenJoanna said...

    Deb, I didn't like The End of Suffering--I will write more about it. But The Birds Fall Down was completely fascinating. I want to read it again and find out more about the historic context.

    GretchenJoanna said...

    Pom Pom, it did not take discipline to do that--for me it was the perfect kind of job to provide myself some quiet and restorative time after the busyness of Christmas.

    wayside wanderer said...

    I would love to know which books were your favorites. I am always looking for new titles to read and your list has many I have not ever heard of. Book Lists are a few of my Favorite Things!

    M.K. said...

    Yay! I can post comments again! Thanks :) And thanks also for these great list. It's very good to know what books were started and not finished -- you may well save others some valuable time. I, also, am a lover of MFK Fisher, but haven't read the one you list that is about her. I'd love to read that. Sister Age is one of my very favorites, the first of hers that I read. I never read The Shell Seekers, but I've watched the movie many times with Angela Landsbury, and it is really lovely. Maybe the movie would be better than the book? I tried another novel by Pilcher once, and found it tiresome and sappy. Happy reading!!

    Gumbo Lily said...

    Wonderful list! One of my all-time favorites was among them: The Scent of Water.

    Happy 2010 reading!

    Janet said...

    I enjoyed seeing your list, and seeing which authors rose to the fore.

    The Everlasting Man is on my list for sometime soon... after On the Incarnation and Unspoken Sermons.

    Sherry said...

    I love Alan Paton, but what is Towards the Mountain?
    I've not read that one. Have you read Too Late the Phalarope? Good book, almost as good as Cry, the Beloved Cuntry.

    GretchenJoanna said...

    Yes, Sherry, I read Too Late, and I agree with you, it is almost as good as Cry. Towards the Mountain is the first book of Paton's autobiography, which I mention in this blog post: .

    GretchenJoanna said...

    oops..I just remembered that I am still reading The Power of Babel, also! So I added it to the list.

    Matt said...

    I like your reading list. My imagining you enjoying all those books makes me happy.