I got fabulous Christmas presents this year, but I didn’t get a single book. And that got me thinking. I already knew that I had been reading less books in the past year, because I have started watching DVDs every night. In case you’re curious, I got a pen from my parents (it pays to tell people exactly what you want), the DVD of “Mirrormask” a film David McKean and Neil Gaiman made together, which my sister picked from my Amazon wishlist, and my husband surprised me with – DVDs.
I knew that he had picked a present for me way earlier than usual, because he told me not to check his e-mail, Amazon account or bank account. He then added, “I was able to buy more of them that I thought.” More of what? I concluded that he had either bought me more Buffy-DVDs or sets of oracle cards which are on my wishlist too. Imagine my delight and surprise when I opened the package to find season 1 and 2 of “Deep Space Nine”. Yes, I am into Star Trek too and my husband and I agree on “Deep Space Nine” being the best of all the series. (I know that we might be the only two people in the world to hold this opinion.)
Back to the books. I sat there on Christmas Eve and looked at my wonderful presents and got confused. No book! Well, I thought, I’m just not a book person anymore, I have started to become somebody who watches films. Back home I realized that there still are quite a few books around. There’s a pile on my desk, there are bookshelves aplenty, maybe there was something I had overlooked. So I decided to look into my book database to see how many books I had bought or been given in 2006. Yes, I have so many books that I need to file them on my computer so I won’t buy doubles or never find them again. Okay, are you ready? I got 21 new books in 2006.
Then I thought, “What about ebooks?” That was a little harder to find out, since I don’t record them in my database (which is a little weird, come to think of it, as if they didn’t count.), but finally I got the number down, I acquired 9 ebooks in 2006.
So, how many of those books have I read? I read 11 ebooks in 2006, because I had bought some more at the end of 2005. I read 16 of the real books I have gotten in 2006, I started reading 5 or 6 more. The reason that I thought I no longer am a book person is that most of these books are non-fiction. I read two books on finances, one on abundance, three books by life-coach Cheryl Richardson, one organizational book, two about improving your relationship (“Getting the love you want”, which is excellent and one other that I don’t remember given to me by a friend that wasn’t telling me anything new.), a fitness book about T-Tapp, three books about songwriting (the third is a book of exercises that I only have begun), two books on bipolar disorder, and a parenting book (only one?) “Playful Parenting” that I highly recommend. Oh, and I re-read at least partially “Writing down the bones” and “Creativity rules!” in preparation of NaNoWriMo. Phew. I spare you the titles and details of all these books. Now to the fiction, because that’s what really counts:
“Dark Tort: A Novel of Suspense (Goldy Bear Culinary Mysteries)” (Diane Mott Davidson)
I have loved the Goldy Bear mysteries for a long time, but I have the feeling that they get a little weaker. But then, it is hard to write a series with all strong books. I don’t think, I will re-read this.
“Strange Travelers: New Selected Stories” (Gene Wolfe)
I’m still not quite finished with these. They are marvelous, but not easy reading and it wasn’t the best choice to buy this as an ebook.
“Destroyer (Foreigner Universe)” (C. J. Cherryh)
I love every single book of the foreigner series and they keep getting better. I’m eagerly awaiting the next one coming out in paperback.
“Cat’s Eyewitness (Mrs. Murphy Mysteries (Paperback))” (Rita Mae Brown)
Okay, though I couldn’t say anything about the plot anymore. There seems to be problem with mystery series here.
“First Meetings in Ender’s Universe” (Orson Scott Card)
Good read, but I read it more for the closure of reading everything in the Ender Universe.
“Shadow of the Giant (Ender, Book 8) (Ender’s Shadow)” (Orson Scott Card)
“Mona Lisa Overdrive (Bantam Spectra Book)” (William Gibson)
I decided to buy the whole Neuromancer trilogy again in English. I had only read them in German before and was annoyed with the translator’s habit of putting footnotes in to explain things like “cursor”. One has to keep in mind though that these were originally written in the 80s.
“I Had Brain Surgery, What’s Your Excuse?” (Suzy Becker)
Here we have the biography section. I seem to be reading more and more of these lately. This one is fun and entertaining despite the heavy subject.
“Composing a Life” (Mary Catherine Bateson)
This one I ordered because Suzy Becker had mentioned it.
“With a Daughter’s Eye” (Mary Catherine Bateson)
Well, obviously I had liked “Composing a Life”. This one is a memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Since I once also studied anthropology, it was a must read.
“Shadowmarch: Volume I” (Tad Williams)
I love Tad Williams not least for the fact that his books are huge tombstones. This one was a little slow to get into, but I’m already waiting for part 2.
“Floor Sample” (Julia Cameron)
I have read almost everything by Julia Cameron who is one of my heroes. This memoir (yes, another one) was very interesting to read and showed facets of her that one can’t see through her other books.
“Wintersmith” (Terry Pratchett)
Terry Pratchett is the only author, apart from J.K.Rowling, whose books I allow myself to buy in hardcover because I can’t wait for them. I love, love, love his books. Especially the ones with witches in them and so, of course, I like the Tiffany Aching books too.
I know that I re-read at least the three Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, but I may have re-read a couple of his other books too. I usually re-read the whole discworld series from time to time. When I read C.J.Cherry, I re-read a couple of foreigner books too, and I know that I re-read all of the Mrs. Pollifax novels, two other novels by Dorothy Gilman (about a psychic), and at least “Gaudy Night” by Dorothy L. Sayers. The thing that made me feel like a non-bookish person was the fact that I read less fiction than I used to and that “Until I find you” has been sitting on the shelf for half a year. I remember finding it in a real bookstore (as opposed to Amazon, where I do most of my book shopping), and anticipating reading it. Then, every time I had to pick a new book, I thought, “No, it’s to heavy, I’ll pick something else. Currently I’m reading “Running from the deity” by Alan Dean Foster. I’m not finding it that thrilling, but since it’s part of a series…
Actually I’m lying when I say, the book I’m currently reading, because the books I’m currently reading are: “Take Time for Your Life”, “Ask Your Spirit Guides”, “Head First HTML”, “Handbuch Buddhismus” (wow, one in German!), “Getting Things Done” (highly recommendable) and “History of Early Witchcraft”. Um.
So, how many books did you read last year? Anything interesting? I find it quite amusing that I only read about two books in German. No wonder I’m blogging in English. Sometimes I’m even thinking in English. What do you think, should I write about the books I read? My writing buddy Adrian does this, and I always find it intriguing to see what books the people I like hold dear.