Thursday, January 23, 2014

Books; 2013 in Review

I read 35 books last year, including the Book of Mormon twice. I read quite a bit of fantasy last year, which was, honestly, never a genre that had interested me. However, I think I’m hooked.

I delved into fantasy at the beginning of the year, trying to not have to think too much. Losing our daughter had been tough, and I barely made it through Christmas. January, I read nothing. February started with “How to Kill 11 Million People”; probably not the best one to start off with either, so most of the early months of last year were spent in “Fablehaven”, which I highly recommend.

I had several disappointments in my selections this year. First on the list would be “Phantastes; a Faerie Romance for Men and Women” by George MacDonald; it was dull, and hard to follow. Really hard to follow. I so enjoyed MacDonald’s “The Princess and the Goblin”, that it was a huge disappointment, but his “Light Princess and other Fairy Tales” was only fair, so while he’s the beloved mentor of C.S. Lewis, I cannot agree with Lewis wholeheartedly on MacDonald’s merits.

Another disappointment was “Tarzan of the Apes”. First, I was completely unprepared for the amount of violence in this book; Tarzan follows the moral code of the apes, not man, and kills without remorse. The book ended stupidly in my view, and so I doubt I’ll be reading the subsequent volumes, so I don’t know if Tarzan ever develops a human understanding of right and wrong. The first book didn’t entice me to continue.

The other disappointment was “Beyond the Wardrobe; the Official Guide to Narnia” by E. J. Kirk. There was nothing new in this book; I love Narnia, he didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I was glad it was a free book.

While the year was heavily laden with fantasies, it was almost equally laden with classics.

I read the “Secret Garden” because my family was working as stage crew on a local production of a play of the same name. I found that I love Frances Hodgson Burnett’s writing. LOVE. Shortly after, I read “Little Lord Fauntleroy” and “The Little Princess” and enjoyed them equally. If you haven’t read these three classics, please treat yourself; they are charming and wonderful.

“Call of the Wild”, “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, “Through the Looking Glass” all get top honors. I especially enjoyed learning the WHOLE story of Pinocchio.

Two “modern classics” were “The Giver” and “Ender’s Game”. I have to admit, that I read “Ender’s Game” in preparation of the then upcoming movie, but I enjoyed it, mostly, and it, and some of the other “dystopian” novels that I’ve read, have inspired a book idea of my own. Please don’t hold your breath, but I have begun taking notes.

Of all the books I read this year, “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens takes the top spot of “Oh My Gosh, that’s my favorite book ever” for the year! (I have a new “favorite ever” each year it seems, they have a special list of their own) I laughed, I cried, I SHOUTED; I was listening to it on audio while I was canning, and the reader did all the voices, the perfect inflections, it was just superb.

I’m hoping to get to 40 books this year. How did you do in 2013? What are your book goals for 2014?

1 comment:

Rob said...

I read David Copperfield in 2012 as well as At the Back of the Northwind by George MacDonald, so we had two authors in common but were out of sync by one year. I found your blog by accident. I was looking for info about 'commonplace books' but remembered it as 'commonday'. Anyway, hi and bye. Rob.