Books Read 2006

I read 69 books in 2006, an average of 5.75 a month. Many were young-adult titles and graphic novels, both of which tend to be fast reads. While I trounced my fifty-book goal, I slowed down considerably at the end of the year, reading less than just after Guppy was born. Making books a priority is a continuous process, not an event. When I have less time for myself, I need to put reading somewhere after sleep and food, and before just about everything else. I liked most of the books I read, so it’s time well spent. I’ve starred the dozen titles that I most enjoyed. I apologize for the lack of italics and links, but all reviews are listed in the 2006 Book Challenge category on the right.

I was disappointed by several sequels: Bangkok Tattoo, Batman Dark Victory, Catwoman: When in Rome, Magic Lessons, Tears of the Giraffe, Scott Pilgrim #3, and Second Helpings. The third book in Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe series was better than #2, though, so perhaps there’s hope for some of those other less-than-stellar sequels.

In addition to the lame sequels, I didn’t care for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I found precious and affected. I didn’t find Allende’s Zorro emotionally compelling, though I thought the history was interesting.

I liked four books enough to purchase after I had borrowed them from the library: King Dork, Reading Like a Writer, Black Swan Green and The Thirteenth Tale.

From the home shelves, I finally got around to Middlesex and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I enjoyed them both a great deal, and will try to go “shopping” on my own shelves more often this year.

I re-read 18 books last year, several in preparation for the sequels. Bangkok 8 and Magic or Madness were fun to read again. And I appreciate Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights more with each reading.

The Thirteenth Tale was an homage to the Brontes, as well as a fun read. Pete Hautman’s The Prop had good characters and a tight plot; I raced through it.

Intuition got a lot of good reviews last year, but I was more impressed by Sigrid Nunez’s The Last of Her Kind. Both were good stories well told, but I felt Nunez did a better job with POV.

Finally, Kathryn Davis’s Thin Place was probably the best modern book I read this year. Davis took some wild leaps in POV, and pulled them together into a lingering, unsettling whole.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens
Baby by Patricia MacLachlan
Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett
Batman Dark Victory by Loeb/Sale
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
*Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
Bungalow Kitchens by Jane Powell
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Catwoman: When in Rome by Loeb/Sale
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Goodnight, Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks
Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard
*How to Read Like a Writer by Francine Prose
Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan
I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Intuition by Allegra Goodman
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
*Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
*King Dork by Frank Portman
Magic Lessons by Justine Larbalestier
Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier
*Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Monkey Island by Paula Fox
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
My Sister’s Continent by Gina Frangello
Persuasion by Jane Austen
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Salvation Run by Mary Gardner
Satellite Down Rob Thomas
Scott Pilgrim v. 1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim v. 2 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim v. 3 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark
The Accidental by Ali Smith
The Elements of Style by Strunk & White
The Explosive Child by Ross Greene
The Film Snob’s Dictionary by Kamp/Levi
The Finishing School by Muriel Spark
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
*The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez
The Memory Artists by Jeffrey Moore
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
*The Prop by Pete Hautman
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
*The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis
*The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Truth and Consequences by Alison Lurie
V for Vendetta by Moore/Lloyd
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
*Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Zorro by Isabel Allende

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