2009 Project

My book list for 2009:

Total pages read: 20,396
Shortest book: 77 pages
Longest book: 1014 pages
Non-Fiction: 19
Fiction: 34
Cookbook: 6
Poetry: 3

Last book read:
62.  Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison. 
The older brother of Augustin Burroughs tells his story of growing up
with Asperger’s (though undiagnosed until he was middle aged).  288
pages.  (Finished 31 Dec 09).

Full list below the cut:

Past Lists:
2008 List
2007 List

  1. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.  With a daughter in critical condition at a hospital, her husband dies of massive heart failure.  This is the story of the following year of recovery.  240 pages. (Finished 6 Jan 09).
  2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.  A memoir of life growing up in a poor nomadic family.  A journey from extreme poverty to Park Ave.  304 pages.  (Finished 14 Jan 09).
  3. The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It by Tilar Mazzeo.  The story of an unlikely early 19th Century industrialist that shaped the future of the wine industry.  288 pages. (Finished  21 Jan 09).
  4. Blindness by José Saramago.  An epidemic of “white blindness” strikes a city.  Only one woman retains her sight.  What happens to society when it can no longer see.  352 pages. (Finished 29 Jan 09).
  5. Virgin:The Untouched History by Hanne Blank.  The history of “virginity” from both a medical and cultural perspective.  All in a relatively short package.  Lots of interesting insights into the roll of women, sex, and of course virginity.  304 pages.  (Finished 4 Feb 09)
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  A boy finds his neighbor’s dog murdered, which takes him on a journey of self discovery.  226 pages. (Finished 6 Feb 09).
  7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  Henry travels involuntarily through time.  Clare does not.  This is their love story.  Oh…and I thought it was pretty amazing.  547 pages.  (Finished 10 Feb 09).
  8. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.  A collection of short stories.  Stories of finding and loosing love, intertwined lives, death, and finding home.  333 pages.  (Finished 19 Feb 09).
  9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz.  A story of an outcast Dominican American boy, and the maybe curse that follows his family.  2008 Pulitzer Prize winner.  335 pages. (Finished 24 Feb 09)
  10. The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño.  Two poets of “visceral realism” search for the lost original visceral realist, while coming of age and growing old. 648 pages. (Finished 09 Mar 09).
  11. The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk.  A man’s wife disappears one day.  He searches for her and his cousin (who has also disappeared) throughout Istanbul, eventually taking over his cousins daily life.  408 pages.  (Finished 30 Mar 09).
  12. Unplugged Kitchen: A Return to the Simple, Authentic Joys of Cooking by Viana La Place.  A cookbook that stresses the freshest ingredients in simple Italian (mostly) inspired recipes.  Oh and doing things by hand.  320 pages.  (Finished 6 Apr 09).
  13. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  The story of the girl who would grow up to become the Wicked Witch of the West.  406 pages. (Finished 8 Apr 09).
  14. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  The story of the building of a cathedral and the monk and craftsmen that made it happen. 976 pages. (Finished 21 Apr 09).
  15. World Without End by Ken Follet.  Two centuries after the cathedral was built, the plague strikes.  1014 pages. (Finished 29 Apr 09).
  16. A Mercy by Toni Morrison.  A story of a mother and daughter in the early day of slavery in the American colonies. 167 pages. (Finished 1 May 09).
  17. Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire.  The story of one of the 14,000 children that left Cuba at the beginning of the Revolution.  Coming from a life of privilege, having it taken away by Fidel’s government, and becoming an “orphan” in the US.  387 pages. (Finished 14 May 09).
  18. 2666 by Roberto Bolaño.  A novel in five parts, where five different stories converge on a city along the US – Mexico Border.  891 pages. (Finished 25 May 09).
  19. Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk.  Chuck is back to shock.  The story of a 13 yr old terrorist sent to the US to wreak havoc on the devil state America.  Told as a series of dispatches in the 13 yr olds broken English.  A quick, but not necessarily enjoyable read.  Probably my least favorite Palahniuk book (including the otherwise dreadful Snuff from last year).  240 pages. (Finished 27 May 09).
  20. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.  A book from the author of the blog by the same name.  224 pages. (Finished 28 May 09).
  21. On Beauty by Zadie Smith.  The story of a mixed race academic family at a small New England Liberal Arts college.  Class, race, & family issues abound.  464 pages. (Finished 02 Jun 09).
  22. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh.  A short treatise on love from a Buddhist prospective and ways to practice it. 96 pages. (Finished 08 Jun 09).
  23. Fool by Christopher Moore.  A retelling of King Lear from the perspective of Pocket (the Fool).  311 pages.  (Finished 11 Jun 09).
  24. Nobody Move by Denis Johnson.  A story of a bunch of low lifes in California, and their quest to find 2.3 million stolen dollars. 192 pages. (Finished 17 Jun 09).
  25. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.  A story of heresy, murder, and a library in a medieval monastery.  552 pages. (Finished 1 Jul 09)
  26. Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faiza Guène. The story of a teen-age girl of Algerian descent in the banlieues of Paris.  192 pages. (Finished 6 Jul 09)
  27. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.  Two magicians bring the art of magic back to England after a long absence.  846 pages. (Finished 20 Jul 09)
  28. L.A.’s Original Farmers Market Cookbook by JoAnn Cianciulli.  I won a copy of this cookbook from Serious Eats.  Nice mix of history and recipes from the LA institution. 260 pages. (Finished 21 Jul 09)
  29. God Is Dead by Ron Currie Jr.  God takes the form of a woman in a refugee camp in Darfur to apologize to the Sudanese.  While at the camp the woman (and God) is killed.  What follows is a collection of stories about the post-God world. 192 pages. (Finished 23 Jul 09)
  30. The Zen of Fish: The Story of Sushi, from Samurai to Supermarket by Trevor Corson.  A story of the rise of sushi culture in Los Angeles (and America) and the California Sushi Academy. 288 pages. (Finished 28 Jul 09)
  31. All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.  John Grady Cole, a 16 yr old Texan, goes to Mexico with his best friend and his horse, finds work on a hacienda, falls in love with the owners daughter, and ends up in prison.  Vol. 1 of McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy”. 302 pages. (Finished 2 Aug 09)
  32. The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy.  Billy Parham is a 16 yr old New Mexican, when he captures a shewolf and decides to take her back to the mountains of Mexico.  He’ll end up making three trips to and from Mexico on his journey to adulthood.  Vol. 2 of McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy”.  426 pages. (Finished 5 Aug 09)
  33. Cities of the Plains by Cormac McCarthy.  John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are working together on a ranch near El Paso.  John falls in love with a girl in a brothel across the border in Mexico.  The violence and tragedy of the border lands continue for these two men.&nbsp
    ; Vol. 3 of McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy”. 292 pages. (Finished 11 Aug 09)

  34. The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon.  A young Jewish immigrant is killed by the chief of police in Chicago in 1908.  This is the story of another immigrant doing research for a book about the killing, and how his story connects.  294 pages. (Finished 13 Aug 09)
  35. Tasting Beer by Randy Mosher.  A book about tasting beer. 256 pages. (Finished 17 Aug 09).
  36. Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany by Bill Buford.  336 pages. (Finished 21 Aug 09).
  37. Twelve Moons by Mary Oliver.  Her 4th collection of poems. 77 pages. (Finished 24 Aug 09).
  38. Q&A by Vikas Swarup.  The novel the movie Slumdog Millionaire was based on.  Very different than the movie.  336 pages. (Finished 25 Aug 09).
  39. House of Light by Mary Oliver.  Another collection of poems. 80 pages. (Finished 26 Aug 09).
  40. Thirst by Mary Oliver.  A collections of poems written not long after the death of her longtime partner.  88 pages.  (Finished 26 Aug 09).
  41. The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring by Richard Preston.  About the search for the worlds tallest tree, and the folks who discovered the world in the canopies of redwoods and other large trees.  336 pages. (Finished 1 Sep 09).
  42. Mystery at Devil’s Paw (The Hardy Boys #38) by Franklin W. Dixon.  I received a Hardy Boys mystery as a birthday gift.  192 pages. (Finished 2 Sep 09).
  43. Wetlands by Charlotte Roche.  A promiscuous 18 yr old goes in for surgery on her bum.  A story meant to shock.  208 pages. (Finished 8 Sep 09).
  44. The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.  I’ve read through the book…now its time to start baking.  Inspired by the BBA Challenge started by my friend Nicole at Pinch My Salt. 304 pages. (Finished 19 Sep 09).
  45. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.  The story of a lit professor and her secret class of female students after the Iranian Revolution.  356 pages.  (Finished 23 Sep 09).
  46. Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell. 1st book club selection for the 10:15 service at church.  208 pages. (Finished 1 Oct 09).
  47. Home by Marilynne Robinson.  Robinson revisits Gilead and the end of the Rev. Robert Boughton’s life.  This time from the perspective of his daughter Glory.  336 pages.  (Finished 13 Oct 09).
  48. Well Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods by Eugenia Bone.  My first KCRW Cookbook Club cookbook!  A nice book on safely canning a wide variety of foods in small batches (nice for those of us with small apartments).  224 pages. (Finished 14 Oct 09).
  49. The Control of Nature by John McPhee.  Three stories of humankind attempting to control nature.  Preventing the Mississippi from changing course in Louisiana (and bypassing Baton Rouge and New Orleans and all the industry in between), Protecting an important fishing harbor on the southern coast of Iceland from a newly formed volcano, and protecting the populations and cities that have grown onto the foothills of the worlds fastest rising and fastest disintegrating mountain range, the San Gabriel Mountains and the city of Los Angeles and its suburbs. 272 pages. (Finished 19 Oct 09).
  50. What Would Jesus Deconstruct: The Good News of Post-modernism for the Church by John D. Caputo. 2nd book club selection for the 10:15 service at church.  A look at the origins of the question “What Would Jesus Do?” and how deconstruction isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Church.  160 pages. (Finished 27 Oct 09).
  51. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.  While waiting for my library hold to come into my local branch, I revisited this book in anticipation of his upcoming reading in Pasadena.  Such a wonderful book.  Its the story of a nine year-old boy searching for memories of his father, who died in the September 11th attacks.  368 pages.  (Finished 2 Nov 09).
  52. Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr.  In the womb Junior is encoded with the knowledge of the exact moment humanity will end.  The story of how he lives his life with that knowledge.  320 pages.  (Finished 4 Nov 09).
  53. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  With the birth of his first child, Jonathan has to decide about what his family will eat.  Not quite journalism, but not fiction either.  Still quite interesting.  256 pages.  (Finished 6 Nov 09).
  54. The English Major by Jim Harrison.  A 60 yr old former English teacher turned farmer is divorced by his wife and looses the family farm in the process.  He sets out on a journey to visit all 50 states to find himself again.  254 pages.  (Finished 10 Nov 09).
  55. The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.  A man from a rich Turkish family is about to get engaged, when he runs into a poor distant relation in a shop.  They quickly fall deeply in love during a torrid love affair that lasts 44 days (until the day of his engagement to a society girl).  He spends the rest of his life trying to find his true love and collecting objects which end up forming his museum.  512 pages. (Finished 20 Nov 09).
  56. Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor.  An Episcopal Priest details her journey to the priesthood and her leaving traditional parish ministry for a teaching job.  256 pages.  (Finished 23 Nov 09).
  57. My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey (with Rick Flaste).  My second KCRW Cookbook Club selection.  The creator of Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC, shares his no-work, no knead bread recipe, along with variations and other bread related recipes.  256 pages.  (Finished 26 Nov 09).
  58. I Thought My Father Was God: and Other True Tales from NPR’s National Story Project edited by Paul Auster.  A collection of brief, true stories from NPR’s National Story Project featured on Weekend Edition.  416 pages. (Finished 7 Dec 09).
  59. The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave.  The story of a man and his sins and possibly his redemption.  A long form Nick Cave song.  Dark, disturbing at times, and beautiful.  278 pages. (Finished 14 Dec 09).
  60. Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles edited by Allisa Park.  I live in Koreatown, but don’t know much about Korean food.  A gift meant to help me along in that knowledge.  170 pages.  (Finished 28 Dec 09).
  61. Livability by Jon Raymond.  A collection of stories set in the northwest (mainly in Oregon) about life and living.  A very nice reminder of the area I consider home in the midst of Los Angeles’ never ending sun (even if it did rain a little today).  272 pages.  (Finished 30 Dec 09).
  62. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison.  The older brother of Augustin Burroughs tells his story of growing up with Asperger’s (though undiagnosed until he was middle aged).  288 pages.  (Finished 31 Dec 09).

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