Sunday, August 31, 2008


I have been reading the books for 1955 (for My Big Fat Reading Project) since April of this year. My goal was to finish the list by the end of June. Ha. I still have 12 books to go. But I have made some progress since I returned from Michigan.

I read the Marcia Brown version of Cinderella which won the Caldecott Medal in 1955.

Arthur C Clarke died this year and reading about him and his work made me decide to add him to my list of sci fi authors. So I read my first book ever by him, Earthlight, published in 1955, which takes place on the moon. It was great.

The God of Animals, by Aryn Kyle, is a first novel and one of the best books I have read lately.

I power read through an advance readers copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stief Larsson, so I could post my opinion on (a very cool site about new books that come out.) It was entertaining and has a fantastic heroine. It publishes in September.

Falling Man by Don DeLillo was for one of my reading groups. It is about people in the aftermath of 9/11 and VERY disturbing. But finally I have read a book by this author.

For another reading group I read The Savage Garden by Mark Mills. It is supposed to be a literary mystery but it was BORING.

Last weekend I started work on the chapter about 1953 for my memoir, Reading For My Life, and realized that I had neglected to read The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir. She published the book in France in 1949, but it was released in English in America in 1953. At 720 pages, it is a tome, so I started the other day with a target to read 50 pages a day, which I have now done for three days in a row. Definitely not a page turner, but so amazing. She is one of the most intelligent writers I have read. Every woman needs to read this book.

Meanwhile I read The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith. Wow. I loved the movie but the book is so much better. And I had not realized that she wrote it in 1955.

Tonight I will start Andersonville, by MacKinlay Kantor, which was #3 on the bestseller list for 1955 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. This one is 760 pages! Plus it is about a prisoner of war camp in the South during the Civil War. I'll have to read some chick lit after all this.

(Just so you don't think wrongly about me, the above reading was done over a three week period.)

So...what are you reading? Have you read any of the above books? Any recommendations? Can you tell I am hungry for comments?

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