Monday, January 31, 2011

Books Read 2010


Sixty Five Roses - A Sister's Memoir - by Heather Summerhayes Cariou - incredible book about a family dealing with CF. Told from the sister's POV. It was tough to get through emotionally, but the parents were incredible. Their devotion and endurance was something I will never forget. Not sure I will ever live up to their tireless dedication.

The Kid - by Dan Savage - Hilarious memoir about a man and his partner going through the trials and tribulations of an open adoption. David Sedaris has nothing on Dan Savage. It was laugh-out-loud, pee your pants funny and then cry a little kind of book. Not for the faint of heart, so if you're even the slightest homophobic, don't read, and yet, maybe you should.


Parenting Children With Health Issues - by Foster Cline and Lisa Greene - I have to re-read this one. It had fabulous advice for kiddos struggling with treatments and the emotional junk that goes along with CF. It stresses how important natural consequences are and if you protect your child from consequences you're not protecting them, you're robbing them of experience. Loved this book. I hope to live up to it. Not only will I no longer protect my kid from her consequences, but I'll never protect anyone else. This book goes to the heart of the 'enabler,' and says, "knock it off!" Lesson learned.

When Everything Changed - The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960-the Present - by Gail Collins - Wow, this book taught me that I learned nothing in school or college. And I took a ton of women's lit, feminism classes, but still learned so little about the actual history of women... what a great book about how far we've come, and how far we have to go. Even in the 1970's a woman who paid a parking ticket dressed in pants was sent to jail for not wearing a dress! I am so thankful for the brave women who paved the way for jeans, my job and freedom!

The Good Divorce - by Constance Ahrons - You mean I'm not an evil woman going to hell for getting a divorce? Whew. This book was incredibly insightful and helpful about the horrible process of divorce. It sucks by the way, the process, not the book.

Stiff - the Curious Lives of Human Cadavors by Mary Roach - A good book to follow The Good Divorce. Anyway, I'm always keen on the macabre, and this one takes the decomposing cake. A fascinating read on what happens after. Surprisingly funny.

A Case for Creation - by Lee Strobel - I've been meaning to write this play about a man who becomes born again, but three years later I'm still doing the research, anyway.... This was a very interesting book about the miracle of life. It doesn't matter which side you stand on, creation vs. evolution or a combo of the two, how we came to exist is fascinating.

Stranger Danger - How to Keep Your Child Safe by Carol Soret Cope - A great book to keep your kiddo safe.

Short Story Collection

Too Much Happiness - by Alice Munro - Okay, I appreciate the art of the short story. It is one of the most difficult literary forms. But I've found most compilations too easy to put down, unlike a novel. Not so with this one. I read it during Froggy's treatments, doing dishes, walking down the hall. It was beautiful, impossible to put down, one of my all time favorites! Thanks Grandma W. for this wonderful gift.

Bad Dirt - by Annie Proulx - Another incredible book of short stories. Beautiful, dark, stark, simple.


The Lacuna - by Barbara Kingsolver - I've read just about everything Ms. Kingsolver has written. She is a master storyteller. Love, love, love her.

Dear American Airlines - by Jonathan Miles - Very funny book about a father stranded in an airport on his way to his estranged daughter's wedding. What begins as a complaint letter, ends as a life confession that is a wild, funny, meaningful ride.

Away - by Amy Bloom - Very enjoyable novel.

A Separate Peace - by John Knowles - Pretaay good.

The History of Love - by Nicole Krauss - Go, buy, read. My favorite novel this year. Lovely storytelling, interesting characters and a whole lotta lovin'. This was the first book since The Shadow of the Wind that it actually hurt to reach the last page.

One Good Turn - by Kate Atkinson - I know everyone is coo-koo for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I am too. But Kate Atkinson is underrated. Her mysteries are fantastic.

Little Bee - by Chris Cleave - Just okay. Loved the first half, but it lost it's fizzle and believability in the second half.

A Visit from the Goon Squad - by Jennifer Egan - I didn't expect to love this book about a band and it's players as they aged. But it was suprising, funny and the only novel I've read that in one chapter took you on an African Safari and the next, a lesson in powerpoint.

Research for Work:

State of War - The secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, by James Rise

Vice: Dick Cheney the Hijacking of the American President by Lou Doose and Jake Bernstein

Bush at War by Bob Woodward

What Happened: Inside the Bush Administration and Washington Culture of Deception by Scott McClellan

Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President, by Stephen F. Hayes

No comment. I have enough problems. :)


Carol said...

Thanks for the review on the Foster/Greene book. My 2 1/2 year old has CF, and I'm signed up for the teleclass with Greene starting on Feb. 9. I don't have the book yet, but it's on my wish list.

Lydia Russell said...

I've been wanting "Parenting Children With Health Issues" for a long time! Thanks for the list!

PicklePits said...

I'm impressed that you have time to read at all. Great list! Maybe someday Thomas the Train will narrate one of them so I can get a chance to 'read' one or more as I cruise for (more) diapers in my Swagger Wagon.


The DutchMac Tribe said...

How did you not end up spitting nails reading all that research? The titles alone made me want to breath fire. Good on you.

Someday when I can easily find books IN ENGLISH without having to pay a week's salary for each, I'll refer back to your list for some good picks. Damn international living (grumble, grumble, grumble).

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Froggymama said...

If anyone wants to borrow my Foster/Greene book, let me know. Another CF mom/dad have my copy now, but I would be happy to mail it to anyone who needs it.

monika said...

Thanks for the list! It looks like a great list of recommendations. Maybe somethings to interest the bookclub in... (slogging through a very dense Charlie Chaplin autobiography, and am not too into it).

I remember reading A Separate Peace in high school, and it's funny how that book has just stuck with me all these years.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this!!! jcn