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Below are the 3 most recent journal entries recorded in The Book-a-Week Book Club's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
10:59 pm
[dukewhite]
Booklist 2005
I did it. I have just completed my fifty-second book of the year. I was so sure when I set the goal at the beginning of the year that I could do it with a ton of time to spare, but it's much harder to read an average of a book a week than I ever imagined. Anyway, I read enough short books to keep me on track after the stretch of long ones I read over the summer. I am going to start another long one now, since I've had a strong hankering to read more of the Wheel of Time series, so I know that I will not have another book completed by the time the new year comes in a few days. Thus my list for books read in 2005 is complete and follows.

1. Terry Pratchett - The Color of Magic
2. Terry Pratchett - The Light Fantastic
3. Jennifer Toth - Mole People
4. Orson Scott Card - Xenocide
5. Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites
6. Terry Pratchett - Mort
7. Terry Pratchett - Sourcery
8. Lloyd Alexander - The Book of Three
9. Lloyd Alexander - The Black Cauldron
10. Lloyd Alexander - The Castle of Llyr
11. Lloyd Alexander - Taran Wanderer
12. Lloyd Alexander - The High King
13. Orson Scott Card - Children of the Mind
14. Al Franken - Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
15. Neil Gaiman - Stardust
16. Robert Jordan - The Eye of the World
17. Robert Jordan - The Great Hunt
18. Robert Jordan - The Dragon Reborn
19. Robert Jordan - The Shadow Rising
20. Robert Jordan - The Fires of Heaven
21. J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
22. John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
23. Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason - The Rule of Four
24. John Kennedy Toole - The Neon Bible
25. Philip K. Dick - A Scanner Darkly
26. C.S. Lewis - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
27. C.S. Lewis - Prince Caspian
28. C.S. Lewis - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
29. C.S. Lewis - The Silver Chair
30. C.S. Lewis - The Horse and His Boy
31. C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
32. C.S. Lewis - The Last Battle
33. Kurt Vonnegut - God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
34. Thomas Pynchon - The Crying of Lot 49
35. Kurt Vonnegut - Timequake
36. Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
37. John Twelve Hawks - The Traveler
38. Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys
39. Ian Fleming - Casino Royale
40. Ian Fleming - The Man with the Golden Gun
41. Dan Brown - Deception Point
42. J.R.R. Tolkien - Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham
43. Terry Pratchett - Wyrd Sisters
44. Terry Pratchett - Eric
45. MIchael Crichton - State of Fear
46. Charlie Boggs - The Big Question
47. Michael Shaara - The Killer Angels
48. Ian Fleming - Octopussy & The Living Daylights
49. Richard Paul Evans - The Christmas Box
50. Terry Pratchett - Guards! Guards!
51. Alexander Solzhenitsyn - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
52. Annie Proulx - Brokeback Mountain

This is a total of 17,054 pages in just under one calendar year, which averages to roughly 328 pages per book/week, and thus about 50 pages a day. Compared to the 37 books last year and the 21 the year before, I am satisfied with my achievement.

Next year my goal is to read whatever the hell I feel like, when I feel like it, and not let my obsessive tendencies make me read simply to have a longer list at this time in 2006. I now know that I can read a book a week, but won't make myself stick to the same insane regiment next year.

Current Mood: proud
Saturday, December 3rd, 2005
8:01 pm
[dukewhite]
"The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
I have been really bad about posting in this group, even though I've been good about reading a book a week. No wonder there are just two members. (I'm still the only one to post...)

So I finished The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. I had heard from a friend of mine who was a huge Civil War nut in high school that this was one of the greatest books ever, and so it had always been on my list to check out. I saw it cheap on a used book table on the street a few months ago and picked it up. Finally read it this week (and last, to be honest.) I don't know if I'd categorize it as one of the best books ever, but I can certainly see why it won the Pulitzer and why she thought it was so amazing. I have been really into the Civil War and the Old West recently, which is why I finally picked this one up to read.

For anyone unfamiliar with the book, it is a historical fiction novel recounting the events of the battle of Gettysburg in July 1963. Told from the point of view of several key players, such as Lee, Longstreet, Chamberlain and Buford, it gives a well rounded view of not only the historical progression of events but also the motivations of men on both sides. I loved that it was written from so many points of view, and that Shaara did not fall into the usual trap of painting one side as good and bad. Both sides seem justified in their motives and it is hard as a reader to side with either the Union or Confederate soldiers, but with all of them, as they all share a deep sense of humanity rarely seen in literature that I've read. The centering on certain individuals also simplified the events of the battle itself so that it was easier to follow and interesting. Too often I have been confused or bored silly by recountings of battles in any war, and The Killer Angels shows just the most important battles of the engagement while also showing the ones that are key to the arcs of the chosen characters. I got such a strong sense of the difficulty of fighting in that particular war, with friends and families divided, that I now have an even deeper fascination with the war and era.

I followed the book with a viewing of the movie that was based on it, and much prefer the book (as is most always the case, no?) So much of the internal monologue that made the book so poignant was missing and it seemed to move slower than the book did, which is rarely the case in film adaptations. Still, it was interesting to see the locations spoken of so descriptively in the book on screen, as well as the numbers of men involved. Worth a view, but watching the movie might take you as long as reading the book, so if you only have a limited amount of time, pick one or the other.

I hope to make more entries here in the future. Especially since I am five books away from actually averaging a book a week this year. So I should have a few more books under my belt here in the next week.

(x-posted in iheartbooks
Saturday, September 10th, 2005
6:36 pm
[dukewhite]
Welcome!!!
Welcome to A Book A Week!!

Membership's low to start, but I have high hopes for the community. I'm in the middle of this week's book, The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. Should be done by Friday and will post my first real book post then. I'll also list for you the books I've read so far this year, and if anyone wants to discuss them, I'm up for that too. Have fun, and most importantly, keep reading!

The Last 36 WeeksCollapse )

Current Mood: excited
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