Book Chat

Reading Log: December 2011

I’m still playing catch-up around here, but I didn’t want to leave out my December Reading Log.  There have been so many distracting things going on during the month of December that my reading definitely slowed down as a result.  You could say the same of the entire year of 2011!  I got to catch up a bit during the (four) plane rides, and of course after Christmas I had new presents to read!

So here’s my Reading Log for December 2011, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month of December, even if I started some of them outside of this month.  Also, I like to give a rating to each book I read and I like to keep track of the binding of the book, don’t ask me why.

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.

Word for word, straight from my diary:

Title Start Finish Thoughts Grade/
Eight Cousins,
by Louisa May Alcott
11/23/11 12/31/11 A bit didactic and sickly sweet; it doesn’t age as well as Little Women.  Hard to escape some of the racist and sexist overtones, which were probably radically liberal when the book was written.  Still sweet and wholesome fun, but the characters are just not as memorable as other Alcott stories. C+
100 Questions and Answers About Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: A Lahey Clinic Guide,
by Andrew S. Warner, MD and Amy E. Barto, MD
12/2/11 12/2/11 Finally felt ready to read this book, after my diagnosis over a year ago, two surgeries, and many different medications.  I think my concerns over birth defects caused by some new medications made me finally want to read about my IBD.  This was very informative and answered all my questions—including those I didn’t know how to verbalize.  Very handy for future reference, and calmed a lot of my concerns.  But at the same time, I don’t regret waiting this long; sometimes, ignorance is better than obsession, and I had to be emotionally ready to face my chronic illness in the printed word. A
The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas,
by Madeleine L’Engle,
illustrated by Carl Cassler
12/10/11 12/10/11 Prequel to the Austin Chronicles, with Vicky, only seven years old, as the narrator.  The Austin family does a special Christmas activity each of the 24 days leading up to the 25th, but this year Mother is expecting a baby to come at any time.  Really sweet, and such a realistic depiction of family life, like always–conflicting emotions, interesting characters, parents who don’t talk down to their children or coddle them.  Love L’engle, always! A
Death on the Nile,
by Agatha Christie
12/17/11 12/20/11 Now I understand why Agatha Christie is the master of her craft!  Such excellent writing, and plot, and interesting characters.  Second mystery in a row I’ve read, but this was far superior.  Rec from Dad. A
Operating Instructions: a Journal of My Son’s First Year,
by Anne Lamott
12/20/11 12/20/11 Had some time on my hands, everything clean and packed before the trip, picked this up and couldn’t put it down.  I love Lamott’s nonfiction (not so much a fan of her novels) & her religion.  I laughed out loud and I cried, all over again.  Also, I’d forgotten that she lived near SF, so it was cool to recognize the landmarks she mentioned.  She even gave birth in the same hospital where I had my surgeries!  A great re-read, when not one but now two of my friends are pregnant, but I know it’ll be a few years for me yet. A+
Ender’s Game,
by Orson Scott Card
12/20/11 12/31/11 Almost like the original Hunger Games, full of military strategy but with gifted children trained as commanders.  Great science fiction, might pursue the sequels, but this was a great stand-alone story. A+
by Malcolm Gladwell
12/24/11 12/26/11 Pretty interesting stuff about all that goes into split-second decisions… a researcher who can determine the success of a marriage from a 15 minute conversation by studying facial expressions; snap-decisions and how they effect stereotypes; mind reading; autism… interesting as always! A
Make the Bread, Buy the Butter,
by Jennifer Reese
12/29/11 1/8/12 Really enjoyed reading this book—part cookbook, part narrative.  Author loses job, decides to make everything she eats from scratch (including raising chickens), then tells you if it’s worth the taste, hassle, and money.  I love that part—whenever I find new recipes, I always wonder if it’s really worth the trouble.  Reese is from SF, & she’s also pretty funny—when describing danishes, she says you should “make it—at least (and probably only) once,” and as for Hassle—“You will want to bludgeon yourself with your rolling pin about hallway through this project.”  Wrote down a lot of recipes, & can’t wait to try them out! A+

So that’s what I read during the month of December.  Anyone else reading a good book?

2 thoughts on “Reading Log: December 2011

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