Wednesday, December 30, 2009

State of the Madness, Books of the Year

I haven't consulted a doctor or anything, but I may be dying from boredom. The last two months have reminded me why I don't like being in Redlands. There isn't really anything to do, not really any people in the 20-30 set (for the most part) and I pretty much have no friends. There hasn't been any circus practice to entertain me for the last couple weeks and I am snapping from the boredom and restlessnes.

Otherwise, I have applied to be a language analyst at the NSA, and I hope they get back to me soon. This would involve moving to Maryland, which I am, at this point, pretty okay with. To this end, i've been brushing up on Persian; I claimed to know it (they have a scale for self-reporting, but I still said I know some), so I don't want to make a total fool of myself. And I've made a head start on learning some more media arabic vocab.

I really wish I had some New Year's plans, but I don't. I know I want to drink myself into oblivion, to symbolicly obliterate the shithole that this past year has been. My current conundrum: wine or vodka? I'll have to decide soon, in any case.

And the moment you have all been waiting for, the list of Books I Read in 2009. I'm assuming I won't read anymore between now and the New Year. (listed is the title, author and date that I finished it)

  1. Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde
  2. The Well of Lost Plots - Jasper Fforde 1/11
  3. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman 1/18
  4. Islamic Historiagraphy - Chase Robinson 1/18
  5. Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde 1/30
  6. First Among Sequels - Jasper Fforde 2/9
  7. Coraline - Neil Gaiman 2/11
  8. New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish 2/26
  9. The Princess Bride - WIlliam Goldman 2/27
  10. The Stepford Wives - Ira Levin3/9
  11. A Room with a View - E.M. Forster 3/14
  12. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest -Ken Kesey 3/22
  13. The Golden Trade of the Moors - E.W. Bovil 4/5
  14. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood 4/7
  15. The Scandals of Translation: Towards and Ethics of Difference - Lawrence Venuti 4/19
  16. Malinche (Spanish edition) -Laura Esquivel 5/11
  17. Stardust (Spanish edition) -Neil Gaiman 5/27
  18. Empires of the World: a Language History of the World -Nicholas Ostler 5/28
  19. This Side of Paradise -F. Scott Fitzgerald 5/31
  20. The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women -Jessica Valenti 6/1
  21. The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood 6/7
  22. Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement -Kathyrn Joyce 6/22
  23. Anansi Boys: A novel -Neil Gaimna 6/25
  24. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Ston (Arabic edition) 6/25
  25. American Gods -Neil Gaiman 7/11
  26. Female Chauvinist Pigs -Ariel Levy 7/15
  27. Assassin's Apprentice -Robin Hobb 7/22
  28. Royal Assassin -Robin Hobb 7/30
  29. Assassin's Quest -Robin Hob 8/9
  30. The Mystery of Edwin Drood -Charles Dickens 8/13
  31. Ship of Magic -Robin Hobb 8/31
  32. Mad Ship -Robin Hobb 9/16
  33. El Laberinto de la Soledad y Otras Obras -Octavio Paz 9/22
  34. Ship of Destiny -Robin Hobb 9/27
  35. The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power -Jeff Sharlet 10/3
  36. Fool's Errand -Robin Hobb 10/17
  37. Golden Fool -Robin Hobb 10/24
  38. Fool's Fate -Robin Hobb 10/27
  39. The Magicians -Lev Grossman 11/16
  40. From Eve to Dawn, a History of Women in the World Volume I: Origins: from Prehistory to the First Millennium -Marilyn French 11/7
  41. Lost Boy -Brent Jeffs 11/8
  42. Favorite Wife -Susan Ray Schmidt 11/14
  43. Interworld -Neil Gaiman 11/16
  44. Year of the Flood: A Novel -Margaret Atwood 11/21
  45. Shattered Dreams -Irene Spencer 11/24
  46. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind -Michael Axworthy 12/7
  47. The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future -Vali Nasr 12/12
  48. Harry Potter and the chamber of Secrets (Arabic Editionh) 12/14
  49. Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic -Ray Takeyh 12/21
  50. The Blind Assassin: A Novel -Margaret Atwood 12/28

So these were the goals I set at the beginning of the year:
* 5 books in Spanish
* 4 banned books
* 4 books in Arabic
* 3 linguistics books
* 3 history books
* Read fiction from 3 authors that I haven't read before

In the end, I read 3 books in Spanish (and I'm halfway through Wicked: Memorias de una Bruja Mala), 2 in Arabic, I think one or two banned books, 2--arguably 3--linguistics books and 3 (4 depending on how you count) history books. That is better than I thought I did compared to my goals, so yay.

Trends: There was a lot of fantasy, largely in thanks to the Realm of the Elderlings series (all that Robin hobb). That is a testament to great marketing. I downloaded the first book for my Kindle because it was free, and then I bought EIGHT MORE books. So, good job, publishing house. I also took a pretty big interest in feminism, which is pretty new. A lot of books about fringe religious shit, both from a journalistic/research standpoint and in memoirs (FLDS memoirs, got kind of on a streak there).

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