Reading Log: 2010-03 – March

April is more than half over and I still don’t have my list of books read during March posted.
I have been diligently reading and it looks like I am well ahead of my goal of reading a book a week.
If reading is my superpower, then seven books succumbed to me in March and I have vanquished 19 during the first 13 weeks of this year.
This puts me ahead of schedule in one area of my life.

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Germany during World War II. Death is rampant. The story of Liesel Meminger, the book thief, is told by Death, a kind of Grim Reaper figure. This was a very interesting way to tell the story of Nazi Germany, showing those who followed the evil regime, those who secretly fought against it, and those who were broken by it. In the midst of man's inhumanity to his fellow man there are those who are willing to fight against evil.

I listened to the audio book version and enjoyed it tremendously. This was a great book. Highly recommend it to young adults.

Title: Trust Agents
Author: Chris Brogan
Author: Julien Smith
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan & Julien Smith
The book says: "We’ve taken what we’ve learned from our years as "digital natives" (people who have grown up inhabiting the various online haunts of the moment), combined it with our understanding of games, people, and business as a whole, and followed it all up with information and ideas to help you better understand the mindset required to match these actions to your business needs." The authors give a lot of anectotal evidence of why businesses should use social software and build their online brand. The verdict: Be Real, Be Helpful, Be Successful.

Title: Heresy
Author: S.J. Parris
Heresy by S.J. Parris
An excommunicated monk travels to Oxford to seek an old book but instead finds himself entangled in some gruesome murders fashioned after Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

The book does pretty well placing the story in its historical context. I was intrigued by both the story and the history.

Title: Seized
Author: Max Hardberger
Seized by Max Hardberger
This book tells some of the amazing adventures of Max Hardberger. ‘Stealing’ ships out from under the nose of foreign governments, sneaking planes out of East Germany a week prior to reunification, and acting as an intermediary for buyers in some pretty unusual sitiuations. The amazing adventures would be great to hear first hand, sitting at a bar over a beer or two.

This was a fun and interesting read. Sometimes the writing was as rough as the author but that almost made me feel more like i was sitting in the bar with the author listening to him relate the story in his own words.

Title: Absolute Power
Author: David Baldacci
Absolute Power by David Baldacci
Protecting the President. Killing someone who was defending themself from the President. Cover-up. It is a slippery slope that catches you off guard when you start doing the wrong things for what appear to be right reasons. Or is it just rationalization?

Title: Right Ho, Jeeves
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
From The Classic Tales Podcast
This multi-part podcast was well narated and fun to listen to though at times I do begin to wonder if English society is really as vapid as it appears in these stories.

Title: House Rules
Author: Jodi Picoult
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
The story allows us to look at the world from a different vantage point and realize how confusing much of what we take for granted can be, especially for someone who cannot differentiate between literal and figurative speech.

Bible: Contemporary English Version by God
My 30 minutes of audio Bible reading each morning allowed me to finish reading the New Testament and probably half of the Old Testament by the end of the month. I have changed up the order that I am reading the books (decided I needed to simplify) and so lost the exact list of books I finished in the Old Testament.

Reading Log — 2010-02 – February

You would think that I would get more read this month.
I was on a week long cruise down the Mexican coast with lots of ‘dead’ time.
4 books went in to my suitcase, didn’t even finish one of them.

Still, was able to read through 4 books and listen to an audiobook for a total of 5 books this month.
Since February only has 4 weeks, this will be a successful month for my book a week challenge.

I only was able to post one review.
I believe that puts me about 8 books behind on writting up what I have read
Hopefully in March I will set aside some more time to read and write.

So, what did I read in Febrary?

1. The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Summary: Great book on the power of hope and improbability
Reason: Borders Books Most Popular Children’s Book
**Started:** 01/24/2010 — **Finished:** 02/02/2010 — Source: Library
1. [Kindred->Review: “Kindred” by Octavia Butler] by Octavia Butler
Summary: Slavery and prejudice leave scars.
Reason: Recommended as better than Time Traveler’s Wife
**Started:** 02/02/2010 — **Finished:** 02/04/2010 — Source: Library
1. Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War by Edwin Bearss
Summary: All Civil War battles were fought in National Parks — wish I could visit them with Bearss to narrate as he does in this book.
Reason: LibraryThing Early Review copy and I am fascinated but can’t get my mind around all the civil war details.
**Started:** 01/24/2010 — **Finished:** 02/08/2010 — Source: LibraryThing Early Review
1. The Children of Men by P.D. James
Summary: Even with the end of Humanity people seek security over freedom.
Reason: Liked the movie and book was recommended by others.
**Started:** 02/05/2010 — **Finished:** 02/15/2010 — Source: Library
1. The Calligrapher’s Daughter (audiobook) by Eugenia Kim
Summary: Korea comes of age with the fall of the Japanese Empire which dominated it
Reason: Borders Book for Original Voices Award
**Started:** 01/29/2010 — **Finished:** 02/17/2010 — Source: Library

My 30 minutes of audio Bible reading each morning:

– Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, & Habakkuk
– 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
– Leviticus
– Hebrews
– Numbers
– Mark
– Dueteronomy

My [Book Queue->Book Queue 2010] is set for March.
Since I will not be on vacation I will hopefully find a little bit more time to read.

Reading Log — 2010-01 – January

I read a couple things at the end of last year that encouraged me to set aside some time each day to read some books.
Two blog posts I read that got me motivated both pushed the idea of reading (at least) 1 book a week.
[How To Read a Book a Week in 2010]( answers the question: “Why would you want to?” and
[Read One Book a Week]( gives some ideas on how to read more and like it.
Would I be able to do it?

I love books, the problem is ‘finding’ time to read.
The secret appears to be just doing it.
One of my best methods is to take time I may have usually veg’ed out watching TV and instead put in my headphones to listen to some instrumental jazz and read a chapter of a book.

I would really like to write a blog post reviewing each book after finishing it.
Problem is I am not a fast writer, each post would take at least an hour to write (or more) and would mean less time to read!
Still, I have partially finished posts about each of these books and hope to finish them soon.

So, what did I read in January?

1. [To End All Wars->Review: To End All Wars by Ernest Gordon] by Ernest Gordon
This is quite a book, telling the story of Allied soldiers imprisoned by the Japanese during WWII.
**Started:** 01/02/2010 — **Finished:** 01/06/2010 — Source: Library
1. The Time Traveler’s Wife (audiobook) by Audrey Niffenegger
An interesting book. I liked the premise but feel the author went overboard describing sexual encounters that need not have been so explicit.
**Started:** 01/03/2010 — **Finished:** 01/13/2010 — Source: Library
1. Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
What happens to us after death? Wright does well answering the question.
I love the quote: “Heaven is a wonderful place but it is not the end of the world”.
**Started:** 12/26/2009 — **Finished:** 01/16/2010 — Source: Library
1. Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods by Shel Israel
The author gives good reasons and examples of how a business can use Twitter, and use it well.
**Started:** 01/16/2010 — **Finished:** 01/24/2010 — Source: Library
1. The Graveyard Book (audiobook) by Neil Gaiman
A boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard. What kind of trouble can he get into?
**Started:** 01/13/2010 — **Finished:** 01/24/2010 — Source: Library
1. Areas of My Expertise (audiobook) by Jonathan Hodgman
Hodgman’s humor is as vast as his knowledge. I want to go back and read more about Roosevelt’s “Hobo Eradication Plan” aka “The New Deal”.
**Started:** 01/24/2010 — **Finished:** 01/28/2010 — Source: Borrow from Geoff
1. The Woman Who Named God by Charlotte Gordon
Historical fiction speculating what may have been going on between God, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, etc, that the Bible didn’t bother to document.
All I can say is that I am looking forward to reading “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”.
**Started:** 01/10/2010 — **Finished:** 01/31/2010 — Source: LibraryThing Early Review

I also listen to 30 minutes of the Bible each morning.
Currently listening to the Contemporary English Version, which says it is designed to be read aloud and listened to rather than just read.
In January I listened to:

– Genesis
– Luke
– Acts
– Exodus
– Hosea
– Amos
– 1&2 Thessalonians
– Joshua
– Galatians
– Romans
– 1&2 Corinthians

My [Book Queue](book-queue-my-to-be-read-shelf/) is set for the next month.
Not sure I will get through quite so many books, but one can always hope.