Friday, December 29, 2006

The Year in Review, Part One: Reading

Note: This post is under construction. I intend to include annotations for all of these items. My original idea was to have this done by January 1 but as I made the list I realized that I'd undertaken a huge job so I'm going to work on it a little at a time. Keep checking back for updates.

I have always been embarrassed to admit that I forget the details of most things I read. At the beginning of 2005 I decided to do something about it and started a reading journal. It's a 6 1/2" by 9 1/2 " spiral-bound green med grad recycled notebook in which I jot down my thoughts upon the completion of a book. Most times I am very on top of things and write as soon as I finish something. Other times I'm not so with it, let a few books pile up and then have to reconstruct my thoughts and try to remember when I read what. And sometimes, like the second half of this year, I forget about my reading journal all together.

Earlier this week I read Stephen King's On Writing. He talks about how important it is for writers to read constantly. He says that he reads 80 - 90 books a year. My reaction? Oh man, that's a lot of books. King's book inspired me to look back at what I've read this year and because of my reading journal I am able to present to you, ladies and gents, the following annotated (or currently partially annotated) list.

Wherever possible the links point to the actual edition that I read, not necessarily the easiest to find.
I tend to buy books and let them sit on the shelf for a long time before I read them. I also buy a lot of used books so they may be out of print or older editions. If the book was borrowed then I've linked to what seems to be the easiest to find.

Books read cover-to-cover


January

Alexander McCall Smith
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Detective Agency
(note to mka - OP?)

Sue Monk Kidd The Mermaid Chair

Sue Monk Kidd The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
(note to mka - read library copy)

Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist
(note to mka - different edition)

Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being
(note to mka - read library copy)

February

Thich Nhat Hanh Being Peace

Pamela Duncan Moon Women
(note to mka read library copy)

March

Elizabeth Peters
Naked Once More

Ellen Degeneres
My Point... And I Do Have One

Charlotte Kasl, PhD
if the Buddha dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path

Scott Ely
The Angel of the Garden - Stories

Mark Epstein, MD
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart

April

Barbara Kingsolver
Small Wonder

May

Bryan Peterson
Learning to See Creatively

July

Joyce Carol Oates
Black Water

Barry Lopez
Apologia

Sometime between July and October

**Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life

October


Catherine L. Hobbs
The Elements of Autobiography and Life Narratives

**Anne Lamott
Bird by Bird

December

bell hooks
All About Love: New Visions
Without change, we cannot grow, our will to grow in spirit and truth is how we stand before life and death, ready to choose life. Chapter 11 Loss: Loving into Life and Death, page 205

**Stephen King
On Writing


Books in the study that currently have a book mark in them

Alison Chisholm The Craft of Writing Poetry

Elisabeth W. Schneider
Poems and Poetry

**Julia Cameron
The Artist's Way

Homer A. Jack, ed.
The Ghandi Reader

Anne H. Hoy
The Book of Photography

Erich Schiffmann
Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness

**Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth

** Sarah Ban Breathnach
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Barry Lopez
River Notes

Paulette Mitchell
The 15 Minute Vegetarian Gourmet

**Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson
The Wisdom of the Enneagram

Louise Hay
Meditations to Heal Your Life

Claudia Emerson
Pharaoh, Pharaoh

Sylvia Plath
The Colossus & Other Poems

Coleman Barks with John Moyne, translators
The Essential Rumi

C.F. MacIntyre, translator
Rilke Selected Poems

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet

Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees

And on the bedside table with a book mark

E. Annie Proulx Heart Songs

Donna Ball, Sandra Chastain, Debra Dixon, Virginia Ellis, Nancy Knight, Deborah Smith Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes

Elizabeth Spencer The Southern Woman: New and Selected Fiction

Magazines

Alternative Medicine
#New Yorker
#Ode
Shambala Sun
Spirituality and Health
#The Sun
Utne
#Vegetarian Times

Okay, so I have touched about 1/2 of the number of books that King reads in a year and completed about half of those. There's some magazine reading in there too and since I don't read trashy magazines I think that counts for something. Not too shabby for a commuting, full-time library technical assistant and part-time writer for fun, huh? I must say I am proud of me. Now to just finish the ones I've started and try to keep up with the mags. I hope that your 2007 is filled with good reading.

** = from Christine's Post Retreat Reading List
# = new subscription

4 comments:

LisaJay said...

Wow, lots of familiar titles here! I remember "On Writing" as being way good. "The Artist's Way" inspired me to keep a morning pages journal in a very committed way . . . until I broke my wrist. Haven't been able to get back into it unfortunately. "Simple Abundance" I've not only read but given as a gift. And anything by Anne Tyler is a fav in my book.

Biggest difference: I read lots of trashy magazines! Lots and lots. They are in huge piles in my living room. I hate to use the word addicted. . . but the shoe may fit here. . .

--LisaJay

mka said...

Hi LisaJay,

I picked up the Artist's Way twice this year - the fist time I stopped was when I started preparing to move, the second time was while I was taking a class. I love it and hereby vow to you today to make it through in 2007! Julia Cameron is one wise chick. Morning Pages are my best friend. Seriously. Simple Abundance, I started sometime in June so that won't be finished until the summer. And Anne Tyler - adore her work - I read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant in college and now own most all of her novels in paperback. She's amazing.

If you're reading all this good stuff it's gotta balance out the trashy magazines, right? And we know that it's all about balance. ;)

Hope your day is lovely.
mka

LisaJay said...

Hi, mka, thanks for your note on my blog! Yes, I'm on Delightful Blogs, and I'm DELIGHTED!

The way I found your blog was by following links re: the "5 things you don't know" meme. (Which is a way cool meme, I think. Though I have NO idea what I'd post if I got tagged!)

Happy New Year!

--LisaJay

mka said...

I thought that might be how you found me, LisaJay. Thanks for letting me know. :)