Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Another book year over, and a new one just begun...

2010 books...

1. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. 
2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson. 
3. Pienin yhteinen jaettava by Pirkko Saisio. 
4. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.
5. Naïve. Super. by Erlend Loe
6. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
7. Doppler by Erlend Loe
8. Sopan syvin olemus by Anna-Leena Härkönen
9. Tatun ja Patun oudot aakkoset by Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen
10. No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
11. Between You and I: A Little Book of Bad English by James Cochrane
12. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
13. Distress by Greg Egan
14. Maata meren alla by Riikka Ala-Harja
15. Semantic Antics by Sol Steinmetz
16. The Art of Compelling Fiction: How to Write a Page-Turner by Christopher T. Leland
17. The Grammar Devotional by Mignon Fogarty
18. When You See an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better and/or Worse by Ben Yagoda
19. The American Girl by Monika Fagerholm
20. Retail Anarchy: A Radical Shopper's Adventures in Consumption by Sam Pocker
21. The Lost Art of Walking by Geoff Nicholson
22. The Sound on the Page: Style and Voice in Writing by Ben Yagoda
23. Bilingual: Life and Reality by François Grosjean
24. The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of "Proper" English from Shakespeare to South Park by Jack Lynch
25. Melua Mekossa by Leila and Annukka
26. Sen Pituinen Se by Leila and Annukka
27. Kutsuvat sitä rakkaudeksi by Arno Kotro
28. Elephants on Acid and Other Bizarre Experiments by Alex Boese
29. The Accidents of Style: Good Advice on How Not to Write Badly by Charles Elster
30. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
31. Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
32. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
33. Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama by Tim Wise
34. Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
35. Don't Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor
36. Colorblind by Tim Wise
37. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
38. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
39. Translation in Practice: a symposium edited by Gill Paul
40. Laulajan paperit by Anja Erämaa
41. How Language Works: How Babies Babble, Words Change Meaning and Languages Live or Die by David Crystal
42. How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid T hem--A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman
43. Totta by Riikka Pulkkinen
44. Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations by Simon Rich
45. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

...and then on to blather about them

I had set aside a pile of books to read during the holidays, but I ended up knitting more than reading. On the craziest knitting day I finished a pair of socks and two hats. Although I don't enjoy snowy conditions in Seattle, I do enjoy the ability to finally knit to my heart's content, and thus be dressed warmly when I go out. This just meant that I did not meet my on-and-off remembered goal of reading one book a week.

Looks like this year was spent reading nonfiction, and I know why: when I read one interesting nonfiction book, I have to check out all the other, interesting books that the author mentions. That's why I have a lot of books on language and writing style in the list this year. The authors just kept on mentioning other good books on the topic, so what could I do but get on the library website, place a hold on them and  read them as soon as they became available? Besides, most of those books were simply smart (and smart-ass) and laugh-out-loud funny, so I wanted to keep on going back for that fun-high I got while reading them.

Other trends are equally visible: I got really into the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, and somewhere along the way we began to watch True Blood and I consequently began to read the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which are ridiculously entertaining snack reading between any other books.

You can also tell when I have been at the library and just grabbed a very random book from the shelf just because of the cover or a funny title. Among these is the Elephants on Acid book.

Although I wrote about them, I did not list any of the editing text books or knitting and crocheting books that I read: I figured that I had to read the editing books, so they did not qualify as fun reading (although they were so much fun), and I never read any of the knitting books from cover to cover. I usually just read the little blurbs about the projects, and left the majority of the book--pages and pages of instructions--unread. I know, my listing rules are very arbitrary.

I see alarmingly little science fiction on this list! For this I have the wonderful Finnish book club to blame: I have probably read more Finnish books in these past two years than I ever did in Finland, which is great. Unfortunately science fiction is not a big genre in Finnish literature, and it's still looked down upon over there as a kind of a "Space aliens and intergalactic wars" type of a pulp genre.

The other culprit is my work: as I've begun to move more and more toward editing fiction, it's natural that I would have read a lot about fiction writing and writing styles.

I do have a Damien Knight collection waiting for me, now that I have no books checked out from the library and can focus on books that are on our bookshelves. Then again, I know that one book that I have been eager to read will soon become active in my Holds list at the library. Unfortunately, library books with their deadlines trump the books at home.

To keep up another tradition, I also messed up the numbering in the entries. The list above has them fixed.

I hope that Santa brought everyone something good to read for the winter chill/balmy Southern hemisphere days. Happy New Year!

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