2007 Book Log In Review

Books read in 2004: 21
Books read in 2005: 28
Books read in 2006: 40
Books read in 2007: 30

So we see the exponential trend has been broken. I would like to blame the introduction of a new mancub into the household this past year, but more likely the culprit is the introduction of our portable DVD player and the kindly loan of the complete Buffy and Angel series by terracinque, to say nothing of Doctor Who Season 1 via Netflix. So, my lunch hours have slowly been absorbed with mindless television viewing.

In actuality, there were a few more short Wodehouse novels in there, but my reader software on my Palm crashed (Plucker), losing the novels, and I forgot which ones I had read. Which is too bad, because I used the bookmark, note-taking feature on some of them to make notes for my log. Alas.

While I don’t take pride in putting notches in my nightstand and tallying up the books I read as if collecting Frequent Reader Points to exchange for cheap knick-knacks from the AmEx catalog, what I do take pride in this year is how little I spent on books, thanks to PaperBackSwap.com, Project Gutenberg, and the kindness of friends.

PaperBackSwap.com: 12
Purchased: 7
Borrowed: 4
Gutenberg.org: 3
Gifts: 2
Free with Palm Z22: 2

So, if the average price of a book is $10, and each book from paperbackswap.com actually costs ~$2 (because you have to send someone a book in order to get one), then I saved roughly $206.

The list:

1. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
(purchased) Mildly amusing pseudo-orwellian satire.

2. The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them Edited by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannessen
(gift from steakums) Enjoyable short essays on favorite books by People of Note.

3. Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman
(free with Palm Z22) Often amusing and very enjoyable collection of short stories. Some very funny short-short stories about vampires in particular.

4. Superheroes Edited by John Varley and Ricia Mainhardt
(paperbackswap.com) Alternative superhero short stories. Eh.

5. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
(free with Palm Z22) It came free with the Palm Z22, and that’s about the best I can say about it.

6. All the Myriad Ways by Larry Niven
(paperbackswap.com) Some cool essays on science fictiony topics. Of special note is Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex, about Superman’s sex life (or lack thereof).

7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
(gutenberg.org) Read because I enjoyed Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and wanted to know more about the source material. I enjoyed this quite a bit, but then I like Jane Austen as well.

8. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
(purchased) Loved this book on getting organized. I’m still using this system 8 months later with success.

9. Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good: The Madcap Business Adventure by the Truly Oddest Couple by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner
(paperbackswap.com) Interesting account of the rise of Newman’s Own. Very folksy. I don’t know how true it all is, but a good read regardless.

10. The Best American NonRequired Reading 2004 Edited by Dave Eggers
(paperbackswap.com) Awesome mishmash collection of short stories and essays. Aimed at the 15-25 year old, but… well, I enjoy this series an awful lot.

11. Hello Out There by Jack McDevitt
(borrowed from boss) Enjoyable first sci-fi novels by the author, both regarding first contact with aliens.

12. The Best American Science Writing 2001 Edited by Timothy Ferris
(paperbackswap.com) Very interesting essays on testosterone and the invention of The Pill, amongst others.

13. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2006 Edited by Dave Eggers
(paperbackswap.com) The best of the series thus far.

14. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
(paperbackswap.com) Enjoyable mind candy about an anthropomorphic Death.

15. Mugglenet.com’s What Will Happen In Harry Potter 7? by Ben Schoen, Emerson Spartz, Andy Gordon, Gretchen Stull & Jamie Lawrence
(borrowed from friend) Almost none of this turned out to be true, but some interesting guesses nonetheless.

16. Finding Serenity: Anti-heroes, Lost Shepherds, and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly Edited by Jane Espenson
(borrowed from brother) Eh. I should never read fan stuff. It’s just not me.

17. The Best American Essays 1996
(paperbackswap.com) Eh. None of these essays stood out as spectacular.

18. Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren’t as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn’t Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out. Stories by Nick Hornby, Neil Gaiman, Jon Scieszka, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more.
(purchased) Awesome collection of “children’s stories”. Now sitting on my son’s shelf, waiting for him to grow into it.

19. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
(purchased) Awesome, except for the last chapter.

20. The Education of Gregory McDonald – Writings about America 1966-1973 by Gregory McDonald
(paperbackswap.com) Nonfiction from the author of Fletch. Weird… so-so.

21. Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt by Nick Hornby
(purchased) Awesome. I love, love, love Hornby’s columns about reading.

22. The Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend
(paperbackswap.com) Actually ordered this by accident, but still very enjoyable, well-written read. I suspect it’s a young adult’s book, though.

23. The Dark Design by Philip Jose Farmer (third book in the Riverworld Series)
(paperbackswap.com) Book 3 in the Riverworld series. Probably could have done without book 3 and 4, and skipped to book 5.

24. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith and illustrated by Weedon Grossmith
(gutenberg.org) Amusing 100 year old English novel. You can see points where it influenced or is referenced by modern authors.

25. Comedy By The Numbers: The 169 Secrets of Humor and Popularity by Prof. Eric Hoffman & Dr. Gary Rudoren
(purchased) Bleh.

26. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
(loaned from a friend) Funny self-referencial continuation of the Thursday Next series.

27. The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights) By Philip Pullman
(purchased) Wanted to read this before the movie came out. Great novel, but I heard the movie sucked, so I passed on the film.

28. The Magic Labyrinth, book 4 of the Riverworld Series, by Philip Jose Farmer
(paperbackswap.com) I was actually confused when I made my book log entry… I thought this was the 5th novel and I was done with the series. But it turns out Gods of Riverworld awaits me. I thought it ended a little abruptly…

29. Psmith, Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse
(gutenberg.org) Funny! One of the many Wodehouse novels I’ve read from gutenberg this year, but the only one I documented. Psmith is an engaging and silly character.

30. Flynn’s World by Gregory McDonald
(gift) bleh. A disappointing continuation of the Flynn series, which I actually preferred over the Fletch series.