Sunday, January 21

2006 books

In the two weeks between when school ended and I left for Korea, I had a few thoughts about blog posting, one of which was to post the books I read in 2006. One cold night while watching a movie at home, I wrote this list in a word document and saved it, planning to post it the next day. I didn't get it posted because of internet issues and I just found it again.

So, here it is. I starred the ones I thought were really great. I was pretty surprised when I realized how many I finished. I read a lot of fiction, which probably contributed to me reading so much, but this year I hope to read more meaningful non-fiction, so I'll probably read less. I also read a lot because I was at home last winter vacation with the almost endless supply of books at my parents' house. I probably read four or five of the books during that time.

Books (fiction and non) about China or Korea:
Waiting – Ha Jin
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie
The Middle Heart – Bette Bao Lord
*Iron and Silk – Mark Salzman
*Still Life with Rice – Helie Lee
In Absence of Sun – Helie Lee

About other countries:
Winter in Kandahar – Steven E. Wilson (Afghanistan)
Jerusalem Vigil – Bodie and Brock Thoene
Thunder from Jerusalem – Bodie and Brock Thoene
*The Gate – Francois Bizot (Cambodia, non-fiction)

About people from other countries adapting to the States:
*Native Speaker – Chang Rae Lee
A Gesture Life – Chang Rae Lee
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents – Julia Alvarez

Random fiction:
Texas – James Michener
The Mermaid Chair – Sue Monk Kidd
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs - Alexander McCall Smith
*Cold Sassy Tree – Olive Ann Burns
9 Stories – J.D. Salinger
*Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
The Alienist - Caleb Carr
Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters and Seymour, an Introduction – J.D. Salinger

Random non-fiction:
The Color of Water – James McBride
Collapse – Jared Diamond
*An American Childhood – Annie Dillard
*Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
Under the Banner of Heaven – Jon Krakauer

One note (in response to a comment): Texas was a huge undertaking. I think I started it somewhere towards the end of 2005 and finished it in 2006. I was near the bottom of the barrel (just before a trip home, had run out of books to read, and found it on the shelf in the office).


Jenni said...

ok, that list is completely overwhelming to me in general because it is pretty long, but when I saw that you read Texas?!? Oh my. Wow.

Elaine said...

thanks for posting this. I also love reading fiction and am always looking for suggestions. I'll keep my eyes open for some of these as I scout the shelves of the used book store!

rachael said...

i was looking for the chinese characters to know where to post a comment, but maybe you fixed it.

anyway, thanks for posting this. i didn't finish 'still life with rice' and had forgotten the author. and i'm glad you read the salinger books!

chinachat said...

I debated whether or not I should post this, because it looks kinda like I did nothing but read last year. Maybe I could have learned a lot more language if I didn't read so much. But, living in a foreign country, it's sorta necessary to keep up with your English or else you start using really simple words and forgetting your articles and stuff.

Rachael, the J.D. Salinger bits are completely owed to you. Thanks for expanding my horizons. (I wanted to use a bigger word there that starts with an r, but i didn't know how to spell it.)

Oh,and I decided that even though the Chinese characters looked nice and I liked them, they were probably just frustrating to anyone else, so I fixed it. :)