- Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff - I am not quite done with this, but I will be by Friday, so it counts. Anyway, I am learning a lot, like the fact that all the accounts we have of Cleopatra were written by her enemies, mostly misogynist Roman men. Instead of being a witch, or just a seductress, she was a highly capable, incredibly intelligent leader of a vast and wealthy kingdom in a very turbulent era.
- The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow - I picked up a signed copy from the author at ALA. I was a little hesitant about it, since it seemed like it belonged on Oprah's book list, and I tend to avoid such things, but I really enjoyed it. There are lots of themes and ideas in it that make it perfect for a book club.
- Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson - a dog book that can tug at your heartstrings without having to resort to a dead dog. A lovely look at what goes into training a search and rescue dog and handler, I read this in less than 24 hours. And I have been pushing on anyone who comes into our library looking for something to read, no matter what they are there for.
- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson - I listened to this on CD in my car during my commute. Again, another of those books I wasn't sure I would like, but which I fell in love with. Major Pettigrew is a very upright, proper British gentleman, embattled by a selfish son, a difficult sister-in-law, and a modernizing world that doesn't seem to have any manners. He starts a friendship with a widowed Pakistani shopkeeper, which turns everything in his life upside down.
- Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires - One of the most adorable children's books I have read in a long time.
- Out on a Limb by Louise Baker - a memoir from the 1940s by a woman who lost a leg in an accident as a child, but didn't let it slow her down. I stumbled upon it during some inventory work here at the library.
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson - I loved this trilogy, and picked up a copy of the third book in Amsterdam, before it came out here. I read it in one gulp, without stopping, on the plane flight home.
- Soulless by Gail Carriger - Book One of the Parasol Protectorate series, all of which are delightful. A felicitous discovery that has become one of my favorite steampunk/SF/mystery series. Alexia Tarabotti is not a young woman to be trifled with!
- The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley - I think I picked this up in wake of the National Parks series on PBS, and it took me a while to read, since it is long and dense, but I really enjoyed it. Theodore Roosevelt is pretty high up on my list of favorite presidents. He had his faults, but he sure did a lot of good for this country.
- The Case for God by Karen Armstrong - Another dense book that took me a while to read. A refreshing book that kept me saying "Aha."
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Some of my top books of 2010
Hey, it is the end of the year, time for making lists. Since I don't have any pictures to share yet (they are off the camera, but not off the external hard drive...), I am going to give you some book recommendations. These are ten of the books I really enjoyed this year, in no particular order. They may or may not have been published in 2010, some are fiction, some are not.