Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Reading List 2012

Continuing a New Year's tradition, I'm publishing the list of all the books I read in 2012. Before the list, here are a few observations about this year's books:
  • Reflecting my new stage in life, only 3 of the books are Children/Young Adult.
  • Many of the best books I read this year were non-fiction, including Burying the Typewriter, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking, and Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion.
  • In an attempt to utilize technology to help compile the list, in addtion to my paper reading log I also recorded my books in an excel spreadsheet and online via GoodReads and Library Thing.  While the online methods have some value, I found it easiest to use the paper log and the excel document.
And now, here's the list(edited to indicate my favorites with an *):
1. Berg, Elizabeth - We Are All Welcome Here 
2. Daum, Meghan  - Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in that House 
3. Goodwin,Daisy -The American Heiress 
4. James, P.D.  - Death Comes to Pemberley *
5. Kaling, Mindy - Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
6. Lowe, Rob - Stories I Only Tell My Friends (audio)
7. McPherson, C. - Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains
8. Telgemeier, R.  - Smile
9. Vowell, Sarah - Unfamiliar Fishes (audio)*
10. Wickham, M. - The Wedding Girl
11. Asher, Jay and Carolyn Mackler - The Future of Us
12. Beckwith, Ivy - Formational Children's Ministry: Shaping Children Using Story,
Ritual, and Relationship

13. Cain, Susan - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking *
14. Crombie, D. - No Mark Upon Her *
15. Espach, Alison - The Adults
16. Stuart, Julia -  The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise *
17. Weiner, Jennifer - Fly Away Home (audio)
18. Beaton, M.C.  - Death of a Kingfisher
19. Gaines, Ernest J.  - The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman 

 (re-read for Book Discussion)
20. Lutz, Lisa - Trail of the Spellmans *
21. Garfield, Simon - Just My Type: A Book about Fonts
22. Tyler, Anne - The Beginner's Goodbye *
23. Hely, Steve -  How I Became a Famous Novelist *
24. Hassman, Tupelo -  Girlchild
25. Kimmel, Haven -      A Girl Named Zippy (re-read for Book Discussion)*
26. Christie, Agatha - Murder in the Vicarage (re-read)
27. Fellowes,  - Julian Snobs *
28. Smolinski, Jill - Objects of My Affection *
29. Talley, Marcia - The Last Refuge
30. Ray, Jeanne - Calling Invisible Women *
31. Christie, Agatha -  The Mysterious Affair at Styles (re-read)
32. See, Lisa - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
33. King, Carole - A Natural Woman (audio)
34. Smith, Alexander McCall -  The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection *
35. Cline, Elizabeth -  Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion *
36. Ford, Richard - Canada
37. Gideon, Melanie - Wife 22
38. Walter, Jess - Beautiful Ruins* 
39. Mandel, Emily -  The Lola Quartet
40. MacLachlan, Patricia - The Boxcar Children Beginning
41. Stein, Grant - The Art of Racing in the Rain
42. Shipstead, M.- Seating Arrangements
43. Bugan, Carmen - Burying the Typewriter *
44. Wright, N.T. -  Revelation for Everyone
45. Fitzgerald, F.Scott -  The Great Gatsby (re-read for Book Discussion)
46. Heyer, Georgette -  Footsteps in the Dark
47. Heyer, Georgette -  No Wind of Blame
48. Flynn, Gillian -Gone Girl *
49. Kogan, Deborah - The Red Book
50. Stuart, Julia -The Pigeon Pie Mystery *
51. McKnight, Scot - Fasting
52. Berry, Wendell -  Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community
53. Fuller, Alexadra -  Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
54. Klaussmann, L.  - Tigers in Red Weather
55. Pylvainen, H.  - We Sinners
56. Joyce, Rachel - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry* 
57. Burbery, Muriel -The Elegance of the Hedgehog
58. Bohjalian, Chris -The Sandcastle Girls
59. Straub, Emma -  Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures
60. Semple, Maria - Where'd You Go, Bernadette? *
61. Momaday, N. Scott - The Names: A Memoir
62. De Rosnay, Tatiana - Sarah's Key
63. Maas, Jane - Mad Women (audio)
64. Hoffman, Eva -Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
65. Attenberg, Jami - The Middlesteins *
66. Smith, Dodie -  I Capture the Castle *
67. Dallas, Sandra - Prayers for Sale (audio)*
68. Wouk, Herman - The Lawgiver
69. Liu, Eric -   The Accidental Asian
70. Dilloway, Margaret -  How to Be an American Housewife
71. Platt, David - Radical
72. Kirwin, Mary -  Lou Killer Librarian
73. McEwan, Ian - Sweet Tooth *
74. Goodland, L., et.al (eds.) -Mad Men, Mad World

75. Thielen, Martin - What's the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian
76. Weiner, Jennifer - The Next Best Thing (audio)

Mad Men, Mad World

My "MadMen Creation
The full title of this book is Mad Men, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s.  It is edited by Lauren M.E. Goodlad, Lilya Kaganovsky, and Robert A. Rushing, and will be published by Duke University Press in March of 2013.

I saw this title while browsing through Net Galley, and since I'm a pretty big fan of the AMC series "Mad Men," I thought I'd like to read it.  Knowing that it was published by a university press, I expected that it would be an academic analysis of the show, but that it would also be of interest to the casual reader. I'm sorry to say that  this was not the case. Occasionally I was able to get past the academic posturing and find interesting ideas and thoughts, but on the whole it was a bit too pedantic for this pedestrian reader.

Each chapter  analyzes different issues raised by the show, focusing mostly on class, race, and gender.  Because each chapter was written by a different contributor I found that there was a lot of overlap of subject matter, and many times the same viewpoint was presented more than once.  

It seems that this book is designed to be a textbook for use in media studies classes; if that's the case I can see that it would be valuable as a background to classroom lectures and discussion.  But for your average, not-too-bright TV fan like me, it was a bit overwhelming.