Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

My 2006 in books.

A couple years ago, Adam emailed me a note listing the books he’d read one year. Since then, I started keeping track myself.

To close out 2006, here’s a look back at what I read this year:

The Lust Lizard of
Melancholy Cove
– Christopher Moore

On loan from a
co-worker, I read this one during lunches, while at home, I re-read

Harry Potter and the
Half Blood Prince
– J.K. Rowling

I read this when it
first came out, but didn’t get my own copy until Christmas 2005.

Star Wars: Splinter
of the Mind’s Eye
– Alan Dean Foster

Same paperback edition
I’ve had since Christmas of 1978, when my aunt got me a three-pack that
included the Star Wars novel, the paperback of the Marvel Comics adaptation,
and this, which blew my eight-year-old mind: You mean there’s MORE to the Star
Wars story?!?!

Star Wars: Revenge of
the Sith
– Matthew Stover

Creating the Worlds
of Star Wars: 365 Days
– John Knoll

You see how a little
hit of Star Wars gets me on a roll?

Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman

Not as good as American Gods . I remember reading this on the plane to New York to cover Toy Fair in February.

Going Nucular
Geoff Nunberg

The Keep – F.
Paul Wilson

Recommended to me by
Aaron Archer; quick, addictive read.

Blink – Malcolm
Gladwell

The Tipping Point
– Malcolm Gladwell

Preferred Blink.

The Game: One Man,
Nine Innings, A Love Affair with Baseball
– Robert Benson

Mercury – Ben
Bova

Bova’s literary tour
of the solar system
has become a popcorn favorite over the past few years.

Dealing: The Cleveland Indians’ New Ballgame – Terry Pluto

This was an assignment
for work: I interviewed Terry Pluto for a story about the book. I started
reading his newspaper columns when I lived in
Florida – he was a voice from home.

Harry Potter and the
Order of the
Phoenix – J.K. Rowling

This one was logged as
a read-aloud to my daughter. We started the series back in March 2004. The
night we finished Book Five, I read the first page and a half of the next book.
The next day at
8 a.m., she asked
if we could read some more. We read two chapters before and during breakfast.

Jonathan Strange
& Mr. Norrell
– Susanna Clarke

This monster took up a
big chunk of my summer: I started it on the flight to
Madeira Beach on May 24 and don’t think I touched it again until the flight home. I
cranked through the last 250 pages on July 4, finally finishing up on the back
porch while grilling dinner.

Kafka on the Shore
– Haruki Murakami

Wrote about this one
here.

Donuthead – Sue
Stauffacher

This book came in the
mail out of nowhere, a welcome surprise from my old friend Ivan.

The Bitch Posse
Martha O’Connor

When I was in college,
the best creative writing class I took was a four-person workshop for which we
were expected to turn in one piece of finished writing per week. After the
first day, the professor, Barb McMillen, said it seemed silly for just five of
us to occupy a classroom, so we met in her office and had coffee and donuts on
a regular basis. (She was as demanding a professor as
I ever had, though, and somewhere, I still have the one story I submitted that
she returned to me with nothing but red-inked praise.) Anyway, Martha O’Connor shared
that class with me, so I wanted to read her book.

Manhunt: The 12-day
Chase for
Lincoln‘s Killer – James L. Swanson

I don’t read a lot of
non-fiction, especially historical books, but this one was absolutely a masterpiece.

Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince
– J.K. Rowling

I finished reading
this one to my daughter in September, about three months after starting. (That
was about our typical pace for the Potter series.) We’re caught up now, waiting
together for Book Seven. The question then will be: Do I read it first, or take
it in as I read it to my daughter, something I’ve never had the chance to do? I
think the latter: We saw Revenge of the Sith on opening night together, and I
don’t know how many more chances like that you get. On another note, for the
first time in a year and a half, we didn’t have a Potter book to read. My
daughter’s first suggestion? “The Hobbit.”

Enough to make a nerd
dad cry with pride.

Rocket Boys: A Memoir
– Homer Hickam Jr.

Amazing book. Now I
want to see
October Sky.

And You Know You
Should Be Glad
– Bob Greene

Got this for my
birthday from Adam, because we’ve both read Be True To Your School a few dozen
times over the years.

The Chocolate War
– Robert Cormier

Beyond the Chocolate
War
– Robert Cormier

Somehow, I managed to
grow up in the 1980s without ever having read either of these books. My
sister-in-law teaches kids’ lit, though, and I picked them off her
bookshelf and read them both in the same week as the Bob Greene book.

The Sword of Shannara
– Terry Brooks

Hadn’t read this since
I bought a used copy in
Orlando probably 10 years ago. Didn’t find it as enjoyable as I thought I would, but
then again, I’d only read it once in about third or fourth grade, and once
again as a grown-up in
Florida. Thought this was going to be my last book of 2006, until Christmas,
when I opened up

Sculpting A Galaxy:
Inside the Star Wars Model Shop
– Lorne Peterson.

Obviously, the past few years made this book even more fun than it already would have been.

For fun, I’ve been plugging various titles from this list into The UnSuggester, and for some reason, I find it pleasing that the books I’ve read show up seemingly at odds with each other (at least based on the UnSuggester’s preference protocols.) Because I like Blink, I should dislike a bunch of Star Wars books, for instance. Going Nucular also butts heads with a lot of things I’ve read. And Rocket Boys readers wouldn’t seem to be fans of the entire Harry Potter series.

I have no plans yet for 2007, but I’ve got an ever-growing list of books to read. I think I’ll reach into the drawer where I sometimes throw scraps of paper with those notes on them and see what comes up first….and the winner is: Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge. See you at the library.

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December 31, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Listen for trains and bells. Breathe cold air. Sit in the almost-dark. Look at the sky. Wonder.
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December 22, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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