Tuesday 10th January 2012by Shanti
I thought I’d share with you a list of the books I read last year. I don’t know about you, but for me a good book is one of the best things in the world!
I usually read non-fiction but I’m trying to read more fiction these days. In 2010, I believe the only fiction books I read were The Rosetti Letter and Bookends. Although those books were great (!), I aimed to read more than two fiction books in 2011… and so I did.
Last year (2011), I read 12 books. (Only twelve?! I know! At least I read twelve!) Of those books, four (33%) of them were fiction. P.S. Not included in this list are the seven Harry Potter books that I read every summer. In this year’s case, Cory and I listened to the books on CD while moving from Anaheim to Huntsville and during our month-long motel stay as we sorted ourselves out in Texas.
Living On The Earth — I pored over this book as I dreamed of living off-grid and setting up a homestead on some rural land somewhere :) Overall, the book is a nice read; it’s obvious that the author poured a lot of love into the book. It’s packed with great information about off-grid living and do-it-yourself, frugal advice and ideas.
|Gaia’s Garden — A fantastic book! I am really interested in someday having a huge garden that, for the most part, maintains itself. I love what I learned in this book, especially about using stones, water, and different plants to create tiny ecosystems within a plot of land. This book contains a wealth of information but is not for a novice gardener – readers should have a good understanding of gardening before buying.|
|The New Organic Grower — This book was loaded with great information, but it was really targeted at people looking to run full-scale small farms. I’m more interested in just growing food for myself, my immediate family, and maybe a little surplus, so a lot of the info was superfluous for me. The chapter on marketing was great but way more info than I needed. I wanted so badly to love this book but I ended up just thinking of it as a useful reference book. Oh well.|
|Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming – I read this book slowly and really employed the practices in this book step-by-step as I read along. While reading, I became utterly fascinated by lucid dreaming!! I have a detailed dream diary from the period of time that I was reading this. Over time, I have begun to develop very vivid dreams, great dream recall, better control in my dreams, and many more lucid dreams! I find it thrilling to “wake up” in a dream and maintain the dream, playing around in my subconscious! I will be playing with the ideas in this book for years to come :) I read this in an e-Book format on my old iPhone, but I’d like to get my hands on a physical copy.|
|Shit My Dad Says — Mostly silly – a few of the quotes were really hilarious but overall I’d say it was a “meh” book. I thought the twitter feed was fantastic so I decided to give the book a try – it didn’t quite meet my standards. — I sold it on Amazon for what I paid for it xD|
|Banner in the Sky – This was a book that I LOVED as a child – I think I first read it in sixth grade. It’s about a boy living in Switzerland in the late 19th century who dreams of climbing the Matterhorn (in the book it’s called “The Citadel”). I remember thinking that this was the most EXCITING tale that ever happened… and I hadn’t read it since then. Fast forward to today, I re-read this book for three reasons: 1) I couldn’t remember how the book ended, 2) I remembered it being awesome and wanted to read it again, and 3) I really got into rock climbing in 2010 and quite liked the idea of reading a novel about the Matterhorn!! The book was even better today than back in ’96.|
|Hatchet — This was another childhood favorite of mine; I believe I read it in fifth grade (1995). I hadn’t read it since and I remembered it being just SO dramatic. Reading it again, it WAS dramatic… as in, melodramatic! I thought it was very interesting and entertaining, but also so eighties-novels-for-kids style of writing. Nonetheless, the story is truly great. I still love it, but not as much as I did in 5th grade :P|
|Eat, Pray, Love — Totally took me by surprise. First of all, buying it, I thought Eat, Pray, Love was fiction. It’s actually a memoir and it is AMAZING!! The story follows Elizabeth Gilbert across Italy, India, and Bali after a nasty divorce as she works on finding herself and finding peace and happiness. The first third of the book is completely my-life-in-Italy and I was laughing and crying the whole way through. The rest of the memoir is just unbelievable and so heart-warming and empowering. Worth the read! — P.S. the movie was mostly crap.|
|The Devlin Diary — After reading The Rosetti Letter, I had – for some time – wanted to pick up this second book by Christi Phillips. In my opinion, this book was even better than the first!! The story is about a female doctor in the 1800′s in England who battles against the laws of the time which were against women practicing medicine, all while a great story of murder and intrigue surrounds her life. I fell in love with the main characters and found this to be a lovely tale. The book is a split-story between the 19th-century doctor and a historian working at Cambridge in present day. The historian is a carryover character from the first novel. — Side note: Christi Philips keeps a blog about the books she writes and it’s pretty witty :)|
|White Teeth — This story is EPIC! And hilarious, and slightly disturbing in that awkward British humor sort of way. The story encompasses three generations of three different families, most of whom are immigrants, all living in London. It mostly takes place in the 1970′s, with flashbacks to the 1940′s. Though most of the story’s parts didn’t seem to make sense together (to me), I was so engrossed and entertained that I read straight through to the end anyway. The last few chapters are amazing! The way everything tied together really tickled me — whew, what a great book!|
|Committed — After loving Eat, Pray, Love so so much, I had to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s second memior/non-fiction. Committed wasn’t anything like the former book, but it was very enjoyable in its own way. The book is an exploration of marriage over all time and in many different civilizations – it offers an incredible overview of marriage’s history and she gives many unique insights into the concept of matrimony. I really enjoyed this book, though not for the reasons I was expecting :)|
|The Source Field Investigations — I’m still in the process of reading this book, but I thought I’d list it here anyway as I’ve already begun giving out copies as gifts! This incredible compilation by David Wilcock is a collection of much of the published but under-publicized studies in quantum physics and metaphysics – and theories and research on how they all tie together. Some of the discoveries are absolutely mind-blowing! Just thinking about this book makes me so happy for the future. It’s definitely worth the read if you’re into opening your mind and thinking about fascinating science! ;)|
By the way – I swap books, didn’t you know!
Some of you may be curious about the cost, etc. for these books. Truth be told, I prefer a well-worn book to a new copy any day. That said, it should come as no surprise that I LOVE the book-swapping website PaperBackSwap!!!! It’s very cool. I obtained most of the books above by swapping :)
PaperBackSwap.com allows you to list books on their website to swap with other members. As your books are requested by members, you pack the books up and ship them out. Books that you ship count as credits on your account, which you can then use to request books (for free) from other members. How awesome is that?! The only price involved is the cost of shipping your books to others, and the process of swapping gives old books long lives and many uses!
What did you read in 2011?