Thursday, December 20, 2007

Toner Mishap
Favorite Books of '07

I always begin at the left with the opening word of the sentence and read toward the right and I recommend this method.
James Thurber (1894–1961), humorist

You will see that my compatriots are avid readers. B2 is a truly a voracious reader. I have mentioned that he and I work together, so I will share this tidbit with you; always around his desk are a stack of books, for him and his family. If I walk into the kitchen at lunch there is a good chance B2 is there reading. If I happen to be outside, the odds are good B2 will be walking to the Library while reading a book.

On The Mark reads in the quiet of the evening. I read more often than not five pages before going to sleep, which I hate. I really get into the book if I can read 50 plus pages in one sitting.

Without further ado just a few of the favorite books the writers at Toner Mishap have read this year.

On The Mark’s list
Non-fiction:
The Creators, by Paul Johnson
Blackwater, by Jeremy Scahill
Covering Islam, by Edward Said (published 1981)
Dispatches from the Edge, by Anderson Cooper

Fiction:
Three Soldiers, by John Dos Passos (published 1921, first edition)
Hadji Murad, by Leo Tolstoy
Exit Ghost, by Philip Roth
On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
Falling Man, by Don DeLillo
Tin Roof Blowdown, by James Lee Burke

Note: I plan on tackling the new translation of War & Peace next summer, so “quantity” will be sacrificed for “quality” next year.

B2's List
Asked how many books he read in a year B2 responded: I’d have to guess about 100, figuring that there are weeks when I read just one and weeks when I read three or four. And possibly more, depending on how you count graphic novels (which can take the same time to get through as a short novel). Of course, I also read at night with each of my kids, so you’d have to add in long stuff like Harry Potter, Inkheart, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as the shorter stuff like The Puppy in the Playground and the Junie B. Jones series and princess stories...

Here are 10 memorable ones from the year... but I go through too many to be able to remember back all the way to January with any real recall – I tried my best. In no particular order:

Non-fiction
Matisse and Picasso by Jack Flam
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Modigliani by Jeffrey Meyers

Mauve by Simon Garfield

Fiction
Ant Farm by Simon Rich
Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket
Geek Mafia by Rick Dakan (self-published fiction)
Overclocked by Cory Doctorow
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
I had to eliminate a bunch more... so this is a whittled-down list, for sure. I must stop thinking about it, or I’ll have even more on the list.

The Misanthrope's List
Non-fiction
Exile in Hell: A Season with the Rolling Stones

Fiction
House of Meetings by Martin Amis
Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss
Exit Ghost by Philip Roth
Ghost by Alan Lightman
The Journal of Dora Damage by Belinda Starling
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Fuiz Zafón

6 comments:

b2's wife said...

Your list makes me wish I had kept a list of all the books I read last year.

I have to agree on the Lemony Snicket book, perhaps the best Hanukkah book ever.

How to Talk to a Widower was a great book about grief

I think that the new Jenny Crusie Bob Mayer book was this year - Agnes and the Hitman -I love everything Jenny write. The Unfortunate Misfortunes was also this year - another book she contributed to that I loved

Harold Kushners book The Lord is My Shepherd was so great that I am teaching a class on it next year

I read all 6 of Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series this year

And, I have to admit that I read a ton or romance novels, at least 100 a year - but I love a love story and a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

On the Mark says: Oh man, I forgot about "The Road." I would put that on my list in place of the James Lee Burke book. I knew I would be forgetting some of the books I've read.

sporksforall said...

I read Shadow of the Wind in 06, but just want to do a shout-out. It's a book I still think about. My two favorites of the year were/are The Udsed world by Haven Kimmel and The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle.

Thanks for the lists.

feefifoto said...

Just found a children's book called "When Pigasso Met Mootisse," when I Stumbled Upon a site called Lookybook. http://www.lookybook.com/index.php

B2 said...

"When Pigasso Met Mootisse" is an awsome kid's book that is based no the relationship between Picasso and Matisse -- a great read; my kids loved it -- they're 8, 6, and 4 years old.

B2 said...

[awesome] -- typo, of course, as opposed to spelling error. How pathetic am I that I need to re-comment to clarify?