I just finished the unabridged audio edition of Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman. It was a good mystery, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Dark Wind.
I just completed the abridged audio edition of Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The protagonist Xeo recounts his life story among the Spartans in order to give the Presian King Xerxes an insight into the Spartans’ unique character and bravery. The novel uses the stilted language of ancient epic, which made the audio edition particularly enjoyable.
I’ve listened to some pretty heavy audio books lately, so I decided to try something a little less demanding. I just completed the unabridged audio of Tony Hillerman’s The Dark Wind. Katie and Hannah have read a bunch of Hillerman novels, but this was my first.
For its genre, I thought the novel was pretty good. The Native American context is fascinating, and it was a pretty well written mystery.
I just listened to the audio edition of Jewel by Bret Lott. Written in the first person, a southern woman tells her life story throughout the twentieth century. I enjoyed the story and the way the narrator found connections between different parts of her life, but at times, these reflections got a little heavy for me. Also, I listened to an abridged audio edition. Large periods of the narrator’s life were summarized in a few sentences. I found that a little unnerving, and I wonder what details I missed.
I just finished listening to the audio edition of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, read by the author. It is a set of vignettes of semi-autobiographical childhood memories. Ms. Cisneros’ lyrical prose is beautiful, but this was not my type of book.
In my previous entry, I made reference to a book that I’d read in high school, but I have no idea of the title or author. Well, I’m pleased to say that I have at least one reader of this blog. A reader named Kristie emailed me to suggest that the book might be Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank. After a little research, I’m pleased to find that this is indeed the book. I intend to get it from the library or buy a copy at the earliest opportunity and re-read it. It should be interesting to compare a fresh read to what I remember of it. Thanks, Kristie!
My online friend Rafe Colburn challenged me to pick up the book thread. Here we go…
Total number of books I’ve owned: Since I have a Ph.D. in literature, I’d have to estimate thousands. A couple of years ago I gave away almost all of my grad school books, probably several hundred. I’m a purger, so I generallly get rid of books unless I know I’ll need them again for some specific reason.
We currently have a few hundred books (or maybe a couple thousand; it’s hard to estimate) in the house, but most of those are from Katie’s graduate work in English education and religious studies, and Hannah and Samuel have a large library of children’s and young adult books. There are only a few dozen books in the house that I would identify as belonging only to me, mostly language reference (mostly German) and programming books.
Last book I bought: Well, just this morning I ordered four novels off of Amazon, but three of those were for Katie, and the other was a pre-order of the next Harry Potter book. Although I will read the HP book, I pre-ordered it at Hannah’s request. She’ll get first dibs on it.
I’ve recently become an avid patron of the Pflugerville library, so I don’t buy so many books for myself these days (and I only ordered the three books for Katie because they aren’t in the library). However, a couple of weeks ago I bought ChiRunning at the local Barnes and Noble, since the library doesn’t have it.
Last book I read: I’m currently listening to The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and reading The Prodigal Spy by Joseph Kanon. I’m also reading ChiRunning on and off.
Last book I finished: Yesterday I completed the audio edition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
Some books that mean a lot to me (everyone else listed five; I changed that to ‘some’), in no particular order:
- The play Woyzeck by nineteenth-century German playwright Georg Büchner. This play was the primary focus of my doctoral research.
- A book whose name I do not recall that I read in high school. Its plot was about people who survived a nuclear holocaust in the backwoods of Florida. I read this book a couple of times and it occupied my imagination for years. Sometime, I should try to figure out what book it was.
- 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read these my senior year of high school and did a literary analysis paper on them in senior English. The paper earned me a high A grade, and my teacher used my paper as a model for the next year’s class. Also, due to my participation in competitive extemporaneous and persuasive speaking, I had become very well versed in current political events, and these two political novels opened my eyes politically.
Five People I’d like to do this as well: Since I’m a Z-list blogger, I don’t know of any other bloggers who 1.) haven’t already probably received the challenge, and 2.) read my site to find out that I’ve challenged them. However, if one of my (presumed) handful of readers publishes your own book inventory based on reading mine, please let me know. At least I’ll know I have a reader that way.