I have been a bookworm all my life. Bookworm being the old fashioned word for what is now termed a pathology, bibliophile?, loner? I have only recently downloaded my first e-book onto a cheap pad. It's Bleak House for free. I used to have a complete set of Dickens from about 1880. It yellowed and fell to pieces. Couldn't hold the books at all. I collect antique books, nothing fancy just what I like. Bulwers Works, Ben Hur, almost all of Dauphne du Maurier. I would be one of those folks with
shelves cutting through the middle of the living room if I could get away with it, piles of books like towers everywhere. Now I suppose I could collect books on hard drives, but that lacks the aesthetic appeal; or the smell. The new soy inks don't have that lovely off gassing smell of chemical inks. I remember the day I learned how to read, like lightening striking, like learning to breath under water. It was a fantastic, trippy experience as some part of my six year old brain exploded into
awareness. When I would laugh at jokes about Dick and Jane, I would feel a little guilty sadness because they had done so much for me. I won prizes in second grade for reading the most books, could read college level by the age of 12. Granted I can read and comprehend well, but that doesn't translate into writing skills as my high school teachers hated teaching diagramming so any syntax or grammar I have is by accident. I don't know anyone who reads like I do. My daughters have to read
because they are in school but they don't rush home to read like I did, high in the magnolia tree like a strange monkey. I have never caught them reading with a flashlight lost in a world of knights and poetry. They don't lie in bed all Saturday morning finishing up the last of a book that they saved for a morning thrill. None of my husbands read all that much, a magazine, Internet. My second husband was a lawyer so he had to read and he did like Hunter S. Thompson, but other than that.
So for the New Year I wanted to list all the books I read in 2011. I can't make a reading list for 2012 as I don't know where my mind will take me. But I can tell you where I have been. Did you know you can get a list of all the books you have borrowed going back at least five years from your local library?
1.The 2012 story: the myths, fallacies, and truth behind the most intriguing date in history John Jenkins
2. 2012: the return of Quetzalcoatl Daniel Pinchbeck
3. Bill Moyers journal: the conversation continues Bill Moyers
4. Clarence Darrow: attorney for the damned John A. Farrell
5. The Philosophy Book Will Buckingham
6. Pitchforks and Torches Keith Olberman
7. Reinventing Collapse: the Soviet example and American Prospects Dmitry Orlov
8. The Return of Depression Economics and the crisis of 2008 Paul Krugman
9. A Secret Gift: how one man's kindness--and a trove of letters--revealed the hidden history of the Great Depression Ted Gup
10. Shirley Charlotte Bronte
11. Small Plot, high yield gardening: grow like a pro, save money, and eat well.. Sal Gilbertie
12. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Anne Bronte
13. The Truth about Grief: the myth of its five stages and the new science of loss Ruth Konigsberg
14. Unhinged: the trouble with psychiatry--a doctor's revelations about a profession in crisis Daniel Cariat
15. Unscientific America: how scientific illiteracy threatens our future Chris Mooney
16. Crazy like us: the globalization of the American Psyche Ethan Watters
17. Cro-Magnon: how the Ice Age gave birth to the first modern humans Brian Fagan
18. The empathic civilisation: the race to global consciousness in a world in crisis Jeremy Rifkin
19. Empire of Illusion: the end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle Chris Hedges
20. Fractal time: the secret of 2012 and a new world age Gregg Braden
21. Girls on the Edge: the four factors driving the new crisis for girls Leonard Sax
22. The God Delusion Richard Dawkins
23. The great warming: climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations Brian Fagan
24. The green collar economy: how one solution can fix our two biggest problems Van Jones
25. Griftopia: bubble machines, vampire squids and the long con that is breaking America
26. The hidden brain: how our unconscious minds elect presidents, control markets, wage wars, and save lives Shankar Vedantam
27. House of Cards: a tale of hubris and wretched excess on Wall STreet William Cohan
28. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
29. Loneliness: human nature and the need for social connection John Cacioppo
30. The lost symbol: a novel Dan Brown
31. Medium Raw: a bloody valentine to the world of food and the people who cook
32. The other Brain: from dementia to schizophrenia, how new discoveries about the brain are revolutionizing medicine Douglas Fields
33. Passing Strange: a Gilded Age tale of love and deception across the color line
I also bought and read a set of four Ogden Nash, all of Dianna Gabaldons clansmen series, the last of Jean Auels cave bear series, finished Your Brain on Music and The Myst Reader. I read the Nation every week. In this small town this is little else to do.
These aren't exactly in the order I read them and I didn't like all of them, but reading is the most important activity to me and the Internet would not be successful written. Just when you think all the stories have been told, every issue dissected there are still ways to tell it and analyze it. I wish I could be a book reviewer. I think this year I will do that in my blog, just to share my joy of reading. I have started out to write books on several occasions. One was going to be about a girl who could fly and then days later at the movies The Boy Who Could fly came out. Then I started to write a book about all the books that impacted me as a child then I read in the Nation mag. someone has written I Read Books as A child. Damn! I wrote a poem a day for a year once and am still searching for the topic that I can add to that giant mandala called literature.
Happy New Year.