Archive for the ‘Reading Lists 2010’ category

December 2010 Reading List and Round-up

January 1, 2011

1.  Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery:  This was the first time I had read any of this series by the wonderful author of Anne of Green Gables. For some reason, I was really struck about how much Montgomery used death as a plot device.  I don’t know if it was purely literary license or a reflection of an existing reality of the times.

2.  Reunion by Meg Cabot:  This is book 3 in The Mediator series.

3.  Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot:  This is book 4 in The Mediator series.

4.  Haunted by Meg Cabot:  This is the 5th in The Mediator series.

5.  Twilight by Meg Cabot:  This is the 6th and final book in The Mediator series.

6.  Young Unicorns by Madeline L’Engle:  This is the third book in the Austin Family Chronicles.  This seemed a little darker and more fantastic (not in a good way) than the previous two novels in the series.

7.  The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs:  This is a hilarious series of short articles and essays about various social experiments the author did from being brutally honest, to living according to George Washington’s standards of decorum, to doing everything his wife asks of him for one month without complaint.

8.  Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery:  In this sequel to Emily of New Moon, Emily deals with the ups and downs of being between a child and woman, getting an education, and working hard to reach her dreams.

9.   Emily’s Quest by L.M. Montgomery:  This is the final book in the Emily series in which Emily almost ends up as old maid.

10.  What Would Kinky Do? by Kinky Friedman:  This was an impulse pick-up when I was grabbing the A.J. Jacobs book at the library (they were on the same shelf).  I first became aware of Kinky when he ran for governor of Texas with the help of his good friend Willie Nelson.  This is a fun compilation of short essays full of Kinky’s humorous wisdom.  As Kinky says, the book is “profound and profane” and he’ll leave it to the reader to determine what is profound and what is profane.


*I read 90.5 books in 2010.  This 1/2 book more than I read in 2009.  (I’m so glad that I counted that half of that book about Sesame Street…)

*I averaged  7.54 books per month.

*The largest number of books I read in one month was 13 (November), most of which were juvenile and young adult fiction.

*The least number of books I read in one month was 2 1/2.  Just like in 2009 this occurred in September; Septembers must be very busy around here.

*I read more books during the first six months of the year (48) than the second six months (42.5).  I know that I went through periods since the birth of the baby in June where I was too tired to even think about reading.

*The biggest thing I can’t believe is how fast this year has flown by.  It just seems like yesterday that I was going over the stats for 2009.


ETA:  I totally forgot a book that I read in December.

The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer by Joel Salatin:  Joel Salatin is a quasi-famous farmer in the natural food “industry”.  This was a book about things that make his farm different from most industrial farms, and why everyone thinks he’s crazy because he’s not just about making profit at the expense of everything else.  And I totally want to steal his title when I write my parenting/homeschooling memoir, “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Homeschooler”.

This brings my total for 2010 to 91.5 books.  But most of the other stats remain the same.


November 2010 Reading List

December 9, 2010

1.  Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton:  See a full review in this post.

2.  Meet the Austins by Madeline L’Engle:  I loved reading about the Austin family, especially the chapter “The Anti-Muffins” that was originally edited out.  I can’t help wondering if I identify more with it now that I have four children of my own than I would have if I had read it when I was younger.  But I plan on reading more about this wonderful family.

3.  When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot:  Another addictive Meg Cabot book, I read this in one day.  I love that Jess is a little rougher and tougher than some of Cabot’s other female leads.  This is the first book in the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series, in which a teenager girl is struck by lightning and develops the psychic ability to find missing people.

4.  Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maude Montgomery:  Even though, I had read books 1 through 6 and number 8 in the Green Gables series, I never read this one.  I think it was because the Anne and her family are really supporting characters in this one.  It was still a sweet little story, though.

5. Shadowland by Meg Cabot:  This is the first book of her The Mediator series about a teenage girl, Suze, who was born being able to see, hear, and touch ghosts and is trying to start a new life while helping those who have died move on.

6.  The Ninth Key by Meg Cabot:  This is the second book of The Mediator series in which Suze tries to solve the mystery of how to help another stuck soul move on.

7.  Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery:  This is the 8th and final book of the Anne of Green Gables series and mostly follows the maturation of Anne’s youngest child, Rilla, through the experience of World War I.  It’s a sweet and sad story.

8.  Code Name Cassandra by Meg Cabot:  This is the second book of the 1-800 WHERE-R-YOU series in which Jess tries to work as a camp counselor, reunited a kidnapped girl with her father, evade an angry and murderous kidnapper, and keep the Feds from realizing that she still has her psychic power.

9.  Safe House by Meg Cabot:  This is the third book of the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series, but this time the kidnappings hit very close to home for Jess.

10.  Sanctuary by Meg Cabot:  Book four in1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series.

11.  Missing You by Meg Cabot:  This is book five in the 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series, but it takes place almost two years after the last one.  It has a bit of a different flavor.  This is because her original publisher discontinued what was supposed to be an 8-book series after book four, but her next publisher let her go back and give the series closure with this.  It also has a shout out to the television series that was loosely based on the first four books.

12.  The Moon by Night by Madeline L’Engle:  This is the second book in the series about the Austin family.  I don’t really know how to describe it, although it does kind of offer a snapshot of American family life in the late ’50s and early ’60s.

13.  Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus:  I pre-read this before handing it over to my daughter.  Thankfully it glosses over her controversial photo-shoot and tattoos.  Bailey and I will be talking about how the Cyrus home may not have had any “rules for love” as Miley puts it but the Cobb home certainly does.

October 2010 Reading List

November 3, 2010

I basically went on a bender of re-reading the sub-stories of  Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series.  I don’t feel like linking to all the books, though.

1.  Dragon Song by Anne McCaffrey

2.  Dragon Singer by Anne McCaffrey

3.  Dragon Drums by Anne McCaffrey

4.  Nerilka’s Story by Anne McCaffrey

6.  Dragonseye by Anne McCaffrey

September 2010 Reading List

October 21, 2010

So, I am REALLY late posting this, but…

1.  Street Gang by Michael Davis:  I really only read about half of this.  My husband picked it up in a bargain bin for me.  It quickly became apparent while it was in the bargain bin.  It’s about the people who created Sesame Street, and I swear I learned more about Captain Kangaroo than I did about Sesame Street.  It did give me a hankering to read more about Jim Henson and reread The Tipping Point–have to add that to my reading list.

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:  I hadn’t read this book since the 8th grade (according to the notes on the inside cover of my copy).  While I remembered the gist of the story, I think this is the first time I really appreciated why it is considered a classic.

3. A Miracle for St. Cecilia’s by Katherine Valentine:  This a sweet book about a small town praying for a variety of miracles and how God answers their prayers in unexpected ways.

August 2010 Reading List

September 4, 2010

1.  Better than School by Nancy Wallace:  In some ways it is hard to relate to homeschooling in the pre-internet days.  Although the internet has revolutionized resources for homeschoolers, Wallace makes it clear that many of the issues and concerns remain the same.  The Wallaces mostly did interest-led learning, but I liked the point she made about how formal work daily helped keep them in touch with their kids rather than just leaving them to their own devices every day.

2.  The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner:  Bailey just called this the best book she ever read.  Since I somehow missed this during my childhood, and I can understand why she likes it.  I can understand why this book is considered a classic, and I’m glad that Bailey has found a new series to enjoy.

3.  Homeschoolers’ Success Stories by Linda Dobson:  This is a nice compilation to reassure homeschooling parents that their kids aren’t doomed by their educational choice.

4.  Insatiable by Meg Cabot:  This is Meg kind of poking fun at the whole vampire romance obsession that has taken over lately.  Another fun read.

5. God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero:  Prothero makes a good point about how it is incorrect to say that the different religions are just different paths up the same mountain.  It would be more accurate to say that religions are similar paths up different mountains.  I think he oversimplifies some religious concepts to the point of making them inaccurate (his description of the Nicene Creed comes to mind), but other wise its a pretty good read.  I love that he includes radical atheism as a religion.

6.  The Joyful Homeschooler by Mary Hood:  This was a great book by a Christian homeschooler who uses a relaxed approach to homeschooling.  There were a few times I totally cracked up with her rye observations that sometimes our ideals for homeschooling don’t quite match the reality of our lives.

July 2010 Reading List

August 4, 2010

1.  The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp:  This book was the basis for musical and movie The Sound of Music even though the story has so much more to it.  The two greatest themes of the book and Maria’s life seemed to be “Thy will be done” and “God’s will hath no why”.  Those are two things that we all need to keep in mind.

2.  Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves by Alison McKee:  This is a homeschooling memoir of how Allison McKee came to homeschool her two children and how they excelled at home.

3A Mom Just Like You by Vickie Farris and Jayme Farris Metzgar:  This memoir is as much about Christian parenting as it is about homeschooling.  It’s just what I needed to read right now.

4.  I Learn Better By Teaching Myself by Agnes Leistico:  This is a memoir of how Leistico turned to homeschooling her three kids, specifically using mostly interest-led learning (aka “unschooling”).

Edited to Add:

5.  Teach Your Own by John Holt and Patrick Farenga:  This edition of John Holt’s classic is updated in content and commentary by his associate Patrick Farenga.  I found it interesting that the man who is considered to be the father of “unschooling” really meant the term to be interchangeable with “homeschooling”.  While he advocated interest-led learning, he did not demand interest-led learning alone.  He just felt that formalized schoolwork should be tailored towards the needs of the individual child, not that it should be completely abolished.

June 2010 Reading List

June 30, 2010

1.  Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston:  I love all of Aston’s Pride and Prejudice “sequels”, but this more contemporary book was just OK.  It’s not because it was contemporary.  It just seemed kind of plodding.  I felt that the “romance” was underdeveloped.  And I felt that the wonderful character of Maud was educationally shafted–I know homeschooling is legal in England.

2.  Blood and Gold by Anne Rice:  This is one of the Vampire Chronicles that I never got around to reading.  This book fills in the story of Marius between his creation as a vampire and the events of The Queen of the Damned.

3.  The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:  Another look at the plotting and intrigues of the French Revolution in which the English hero of the French aristocracy must rescue his own wife who is being held as bait to entrap him.

4.  Runaway by Meg Cabot:  This is the third and final book in Cabot’s Airhead series.  I thought it was kind of an abrupt and underwhelming ending to the otherwise wonderful series.

5.  Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid (editor):  This is a compilation of eleven stories from converts to the Catholic faith.  While the stories make a lot of good points, they start to feel dated and redundant after awhile.

6.  Star Wars:  Fate of the Jedi:  Allies by Christie Golden:  Just another expanded universe sequel.

7.  Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish:  I reread this book from my personal collection about once a year.  I should probably reread about it once every three to six months.

8.  Angel Time by Anne Rice:  This book was written after her reversion to Catholicism.  I was less than impressed; it seemed a bit disjointed.