Thursday, January 04, 2007

My 2006 Book List

It's been a great year for reading! In 2006, I managed to complete 40 books, and I still have some unfinished that have not yet made the list. The reading highlights of the year were Jane Austen's novels, especially Pride and Prejudice (a long-time favorite) and Persusasion; some great historical fiction (Imperium by Robert Harris and Jeff Shaara's books); compelling biographies (The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Night by Elie Wiesel, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington) and a fascinating venture into WWII through a variety of non-fiction, historical fiction and reference. Disappointingly, I discovered that I don't care for "Christian fiction", though I know many other people enjoy it.

So, now I'm on the lookout for gems for 2007. What favorites would you recommend for 2007?

Here's the 2006 recap, (using a modified Susie scale):

Non-Fiction = 8
General Literature = 8
Historical Fiction = 6
Biography= 5
Christian Fiction= 4
Mystery/Thriller = 3
Marriage & Family= 3
Reference = 2
Humor = 1

* = one of my favorites

I rated the books by how much I enjoyed them- not necessarily their literary merit; 10 is highest

*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (10)

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin (6)

*Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (9)

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (7)

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington (7)

Emma by Jane Austen (5)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (9)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (9)

A Light in the Window by Jan Karon (4)

True Honor by Dee Henderson (4)

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (4)

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick (5)

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (7)

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (6)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (8)

Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley (10)

Flight of the Avenger: George Bush at War by Joe Hyams (4)

Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley (10)

The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw (5)

'Twas the Night Before by Jerry Jenkins (2)

*The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (10)

Night by Elie Wiesel (8)

A Tramp Finds a Home by Corrie Ten Boom (5)

The Assassins by Oliver North (3)

Distinguished Children's Literature: The Newbery and Caldecott Winners by Claudette Comfort (6)

The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won by Stephen Ambrose (5)

Anne Frank in the World by The Anne Frank House (5)

Code Name: Grand Guignol by Ib Melchior (4)

The Haigerloch Project by Ib Melchior (4)

*Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris (9)

Becoming One by Joe Beam (8)

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn (8)

The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (5)

Shining Through by Susan Isaacs (6)

The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden (2)

A Red State of Mind: How a Catfish Queen Reject Became a Liberty Belle by Nancy French (8)

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory (7)

The Collectors by David Baldacci (5)

To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War by Jeff Shaara (8)

The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II by Jeff Shaara (7)


janjanmom said...

Don't judge Christian non-fiction by Jan Karon or Jerry Jenkins! Not my favorites either although I did enjoy Jan Karon's entire Mitford series as a quick easy read. (I was also recovering from geting my tubes tied and was in bed for three days-read the first three.)

I am a little hurt by the 5 next to Dr. Laura's book which should be required reading(IMHO)for all wives. HOWEVER, John cannot be treated as simply as other hubbies-he is not a simple fella like some. ( :

I did love Nancy French. Just curious, what rating did The Red Tent get? I read it on your recommendation and give it an 8. I have never read a Jane Austen book-maybe I should. I did not like Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights and for some reason, I have clumped Austen's work with the Bronte sisters, Emily and Charlotte. I did love love Little Women, which might be the same kind of time frame-genre. Would I like Jane Austen?

Sandy said...

I would give The Red Tent a 7 or an 8... it's been too long since I've read it to decide! I read Wuthering Heights in High School and didn't like it; I don't know if I would feel the same now, but I did enjoy Jane Eyre (different author too... I don't suppose you can just clump them all together :-) ) I loved Little Women also, but Austen's 18th century British is harder to follow than Alcott's 19th century American, imho. Austen's characters are great; she pokes fun at people and the absurdities of "society" (kind of like someone else I know :-) ). I'd definitely recommend starting with Pride & Prejudice, esp. if you liked either of the movies.

I thought Dr Laura's book sounded too much like her radio show, for which I have a low tolerance, even though I usually agree with her completely. I found the same information in His Needs, Her Needs and For Women Only, but without all the whining women :-).

So what Christian fiction would you recommend?

thruchildeyes said...

Wow, how in the world do you make so much time to read. You are incredible. I, too, read The Hiding Place this year and would give it a 10 as well. It makes me feel smart to have just one book in common with you!

janjanmom said...

Interesting comment?? Tabloid perhaps?

I will read Pride and Prejudice, now that I am finished with Bill, of course.

janjanmom said...

I'll get you my list of recommended reading, christian authors. * will indicate the ones I actually read. ( :

Dan said...

Sandy, I feel like such a sluggard when I look at all you've read! I'm wondering how in the world you have time to homeschool, manage five kids, a home, a husband, etc. *and* read all the time!

For those asking about Jane Austen--yes, she's a little harder at first than, say, Little Women, but well worth the effort! I teach Pride and Prejudice in my Brit Lit survey, and though the students complain a little at first, once they get into the novel, most like it (the guys too).

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I would love to know why you don't like Christian fiction. I know there is a lot of bad christian fiction out there but then again there is a lot of bad books out there across the genres. If you're interested I would be more than happy to make some suggestions that you might like. I work with a lot of christian fiction authors. My email addy is in my profile if you're interested.