Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In which I quickly update you on books I've read... again

July was a busy month. Housesitting, dogsitting, classes, assignments, work, summer reading program. Mostly it was pure joy. We've loved our adorable dogs and the meow-y cat isn't too bad either. And I've enjoyed every minute of my summer reading--so much so that I haven't post and am now a good 25 books behind. It's really too much for even short summaries so instead I'll just tell you where I'm at and provide a list.

Of my four categories of summer reading, I have finished the Harry Potter list. Of course, that was necessary before we saw the movie the morning it came out. (Not midnight, I'm not a night owl.) However, we last parted I only had one book left so whoop-die-do you say.

Well how about this. Since my last update, I have gotten within a book of finishing the James Bond series. Ian Fleming does some funny self-referential things in books like The Spy Who Loved Me and You Only Live Twice, but there is true and utter heartbreak in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Oh just crushing, and contrasted with Bond's devil-may-care, jaunty attitude, it's just crazy. I'm a little worried to watch the movies whenever I do, because I'm coming to love these stories so much, the movie Bond might be too superficial. (As evidenced by The World is Not Enough which is "loosely" "based" on On Her Majesty's Secret Service--the overlaps contain one hot girl racing Bond in the beginning and the phrase "The World is Not Enough".) Enough on movie adaptations, they really just shouldn't be compared. But the books are great. Read them and ignore all the sexism and racism--it was before the Civil Rights Movement. (The Amazon covers however--skeezy. In this case, library binding is much preferable.)

Also of great success is my L'Engle list. I'm almost 3/4 through the list (43 out of 61). We've now entered the 90s publishing era. It's really been a treat to watch her writing change and grow, to see her little pattern of children's book, adult book, non-fiction work spiral on. Her memoirs are fantastic insights into her life. I especially love Two-Part Invention where she recounts her courtship and nearly 40 years of marriage to Hugh Franklin. Their relationship was not conventional with all the travel for his acting and her speaking, but it was true and beautiful. I have almost finished all her Young Adult books--only Troubling a Star is left and it's one of my favorites--intrigued combined with young love. My only dull spot in the L'Engle ouvre is her religious meditations. I love her dearly and admire how she continues to wrestle with the tough questions on faith, but Madeleine and I come from very different theological positions. In books that are so conversational, I want to respond aloud and see if we can reach any point of agreement.

Finally, a couple non-reading lists books snuck in. Janet Evanovich continues to entertain. I almost took the "I heart Ranger" sticker from the back of my library book, but I refrained. John Adams was our "car book" for our trips that started in June and I finished it driving back and forth to work. I'm full of Adams trivia now and utterly sympathetic to the cries for an Adams memorial on the Mall in D.C. And Divergent was AMAZING!!!! Best dystopian fantasy I've read in a really long time (i.e. in 3 months). Tris is amazing and while I saw a lot of the plot twists coming, the ultimate reveal was still crazy. Definitely looking for the next in the series.

So that's that y'all. The full list (in reverse chronology as I've read them--recent books first) is below:

The Man with the Golden Gun by Iam Fleming;
Certain Women by Madeleine L'Engle;
The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L'Engle;
Sold into Egypt by Madeleine L'Engle;
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming;
Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle;
Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich;
House like a Lotus by Madeleine L'Engle;
The Spy who Loved Me by Ian Fleming;
Journey with Jonah by Madeleine L'Engle;
Trailing Clouds of Glory by Madeleine L'Engle;
Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle;
Everyday Prayers by Madeleine L'Engle;
Prayers for Sunday by Madeleine L'Engle;
The Risk of Birth (anthology);
On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming;
A Stone for a Pillow by Madeleine L'Engle;
A Cry like a Bell by Madeleine L'Engle;
Divergent by Veronica Roth;
And It Was Good by Madeleine L’Engle;
The Sphinx at Dawn by Madeleine L’Engle;
A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle;
The Anti-Muffins by Madeleine L’Engle
Walking on Water: Reflections on Art by Madeleine L’Engle;
Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson;
A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle;
Thunderball by Ian Fleming;
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller;
For Your Eyes Only by Ian Fleming;
John Adams by David McCullough;
Ladder of Angels by Madeleine L’Engle;
Weather of the Heart by Madeleine L’Engle;
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling;
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle;
The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle;

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