[Note: I know... this is two long posts in (almost) one day because I wanted to get my book list together, and I wanted to do my Friday Fun Song. Don't miss the post below on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Brian Setzer and Ann-Margret.]
Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books this weekend will be about books read in 2007. I've been looking forward to reading everyone's lists and getting new book ideas. It was easy to put my list together since I keep a log of the books I read, and I star the best ones. Here are my favorites of 2007:
- If Grace is So Amazing, Why Don't We Like It? - Donald McCullough. I read this one over weeks. It's a book for reflection - about our relationship with God and how that relationship is both much simpler and much more challenging than we think. From the Amazon review:
Rather than recognizing our unworthiness to receive this completely undeserved gift from God, we want to believe that, on balance, something in our lives merits the good that comes our way, that we deserve whatever gifts we receive. And if we find it difficult to accept grace for ourselves, how much more unwilling are we to have it handed to others?
- Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son - Peter Manseau. One of the things I love about blogs is being able to read the stories others have to tell of their lives. This is Peter Manseau's story of his parents' lives (starting in the 1950's) and his life- intertwined with the story of the Catholic Church in Boston for those decades.
- Enchantment - Orson Scott Card. I love excellent, fantasy retellings of old stories. This one retells a Russian version of Sleeping Beauty involving Baba Yaga and other Russian legends but also involving airplanes and modern scholarship.
- Sunshine - Robin McKinley. Fantasy and vampires. I'm not usually a vampire fan so it's got to be a good book! My review here.
- Book of Atrix Wolfe - Patricia McKillip. Her books create beautiful, detailed, but not always totally understandable worlds. I ration them out to myself.
- The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges, and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates - Daniel Golden. A very interesting book about elite admissions practices - including things you might not expect. Example: The federal law ruling that women's and men's sports programs should be equal (which I have nothing against, in general), at some elite colleges, meant that men's wrestling programs (which would draw more from the working-class) were dropped in favor of, say, women's polo (which would draw from elite, Northeastern, prep schools) .
- Conversations with the Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age at the American Film Institute - George Jr. Stevens. Fascinating insights into how some of the great directors made their movies.
- Immortal Coil - Jeffrey Lang. Yes, I'm a Trekkie. This is a very interesting, Next Generation, mystery which also deals with the nature of personhood.
- What Would Barbra Do?: How Musicals Changed My Life - Emma Brockes. A wonderful view of musicals. My review here.
- The Good That Men Do - Mangels/Martin. Another Star Trek novel, this one a retelling of the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. For those of us who hated the way that episode turned out, this story gets it right.
- Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men - Leonard Sax. Thought-provoking. I never blogged about it because, the day before I was going to, Breakfast With Pandora had a review with a good summary so I just linked to that (I did add a long comment, though).
- A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder - Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman. Also thought-provoking. How mess can be serendipitous.
- The Eyre Affair - Jaspar Fforde. Another fun romp in a world somewhat like ours, but with a very thin barrier between reality and fiction.
- The Well-Adjusted Child - Rachel Gathercole. About the homeschooling "socialization" question. She looks at it from every angle and with numerous examples. Since she's in my homeschooling group, I know a number of the families quoted which made the book even more fun!
- The Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett. Set in his Discworld - a humorous adventure retelling Macbeth from the point of view of the witches. I also enjoyed one of the sequels, Lords and Ladies, which retells A Midsummer Night's Dream (well, sort of). I'm also rationing his books out to myself.
- Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen. I almost forgot this one because I don't always remember to add books I own to my book log. I loved it, and now we're ready to watch the movie which, at this very moment, is winging its way to us from Netflix.
- Dragon Rider - Cornelia Funke. I also forget to add books I read aloud to my own list (plus we own it). Unlikely heroes on an adventure to save the dragons.
My list is much heavier on fiction than a similar list would have been last year. This makes me happy because, for a few years, I've had a difficult time focusing on fiction so I'm glad to get back to it.