Best and Worst and Book of the Day

I was at my friend Noah’s last night with my friends.  All nerds and big readers.  Jamie said he was thinking of committing to the 100 Book Challenge.  I told him that if I could (just barely and totally cheating) make 50 in 2009 he could easily make 100.  Right now he is reading the third volume of a biography of Lyndon Johnson.

He asked which of the 50 books I liked least.  I thought of that one I picked up in Charleston a couple of years ago.  This morning, when I got online, I found that I didn’t actually read that book in 2009.  So my official answer is The Dogs of Babel.  The best, of course, would be The Killer Angels.

You might recall that last year, Joy gave me a Book a Day Calendar.  Each day, I would read the page and put it in the Yes or No pile.  There were also plenty of books that I had already read.  I kinda wish I had made a pile for that, also.  Statistics, you know.  I could even have made a pile of “Have it but haven’t read it yet.”  But I didn’t think of that.  Early in the year, I was really worried because the Yes pile was proportionately pretty big.  Either the picks became less interesting or I became more discriminating and in the end it was pretty reasonable.  So.  Just so I have it written somewhere, here is the list To Read.

  1. Dec 21 – The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, by Michael Lewis
  2. Dec 9 – The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, Daniel Mendelsohn
  3. Sept 10 – The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright
  4. Aug 2 – Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books, by Maureen Corrigan
  5. June 16 – Ulysses, by James Joyce
  6. April 19 – The Friendship: Wordswortth and Coleridge, by Adam Sisman
  7. April 3 – The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, by Debby Applegate
  8. Feb 24 – Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak
  9. Feb 16 – The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows, by Gabor Boritt
  10. Feb 6 – Sliver of Truth, by Lisa Under
  11. Jan 17 – Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life, by Allen Shawn
  12. Jan 16 – Forgetfulness, by Ward Just
  13. Jan 7 – Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Austistic Savant, by Daniel Tammet

I purged a few going through that pile.  Wherever I was shopping for calendars didn’t have a Book a Day one, so I picked up 365 Little Ways to Save the Planet.  I just opened it and January 1 says,

“Never throw toxic household waste that may contain solvents, such a paint thinner, down the drain or into your trash.  Check with your community’s hazardous-waste disposal department for information on proper disposal and drop-off sites.”

Hm.  Not impressed.

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