Monday, December 15, 2014

Books I Read in the 2014 Campaign to Read More

These books could be in order if I could see a reason for it. But I read in such a random way, random listing seems appropriate. Okay, so the first one was actually first. I thought Alice Walker might lend some dignity to a trove that included a wide variety of material that I picked up at the recycling center in Detroit, or a friend of a friend's moving giveaway or a free pile. 

I embarked on this project for a couple of reasons. First, I could see that I wasn't reading. Wasn't making an effort. So I started this effort on January 1st, 2014. Also, I made this and other resolutions (though it is not my custom) because on January 1, 2014, my life continued to be the mess it had sunk to in 2009/10. I knew that salvation/job was not imminent and I was losing the last of my sense of self-worth. 

In 2014, I did not accomplish or live the life I would expect of myself. But I did read. Here are the books that I finished. I was okay with leaving books or stringing a few at a time. Very okay with both of those. The rule was that every day, I would read at least one chapter. But because I have books that are one page chapters, I wanted to give myself a final goal of 20-25 books. I judged that I would be a decent judge of the accomplishment. And I do not now claim that this is an amazing thing I have done. It is not. It was a piece of a plan that would remind me of my worth and abilities. That has been a lifelong struggle, I am not alone.

I read these books in 2014. 

By The Light of My Father's Smile by Alice Walker

Bossypants by Tina Fey: I listened to this in the van as a work accompanier. Perfect. 

The Guns at Last Light
 by Rick Atkinson: Last of a trilogy written by this Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Thank you to Jasper, IN library for the first two and Portland Libraries for the third. For me, the pure randomness of death is illuminated, as well as a deeper conviction that wars have not been fully exposed for their folly.

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan: Given to me by Zvi Flanders and read in 2006. I reread this account of the dustbowl using the personal stories to emphasize the human element in creating the dustbowl of the southwest in the 1930's. Climate change. Check.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Fourth or fifth time I've read this. It was the best.

Little Man by Robert Lacy. I picked this up from the free box in hopes of a fun distraction book. It had some of that element. But I think this guy was 'made' by the media. An interesting book. The most interesting thread was organized crime's role in securing the east coast during WWII. 

Jerome by somebody. 

This was a free book I had with me when I was stuck somewhere. I tried to have books with me during times like this. This book was clearly targeted toward elementary school aged kids, but I thought one or two of these in the pile would be good.

Travel Team by Mike Lupica

 Free book but it is also a book I didn't finish with my ten year old cousin down in southern Indiana. I claimed it was for a school project but it was the only thing I could think of to do to positively interact with him.  We had been hanging out since I moved to Birdseye in 2005. But this was in 2009 and halfway during the book, he asked me to stop coming.
I wasn't sad. I felt like he was done with me and that it was okay. Two years later he credited me with reading a bunch of books by the author. So when I saw this book, I knew I needed to finish it. 
Good Book.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

This was being given away and I had been watching the series. About like the series for me. Entertaining but not wildly.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (abridged children's book)

Another free pile book. This is a story of a sociopathic uncle who endangers his nephew for some imagined status as an 1800's adventurer. Seriously shows how the real worker/explorer was the hired hand. Whose contributions were total save for the idea. He carried the team. Quite disturbing to ecosystems with no remorse.

Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

Another interesting book by Kurt Vonnegut.

Lilydale by Christine Wicker

 Written as personal research  on the truths and non-truths about a town in New York state that is the home to long established traditions and acceptance of those who practice in the psychic realm.

Ender's Game by 

A science fiction book my niece gave to read. I am not a fan of the genre and this one didn't flip me. The entire book is built on a premise I couldn't accept even in fiction. Ender left his beloved family and especially sister on speculation as to what his parent's would want. A character this intelligent would not go with stranger on his first opportunity to cater to a pessimistic forecast of what other people would think and feel about a situation. I think it is so easily accepted because so many of us have insecurities around our loved ones.

Night by Elie Weisel

I reread this book to remind me the struggles that humans have overcome. Mine is nothing compared.

Lifelines by Ghandi and 

This stack of the books represent a short book using some quotes from Ghandi to frame some of the artists visual works. 

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Bokonon! The 14th book addresses the question: What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Last Million Years? The book has a one-word answer: Nothing!

Tao of Leadership by John 

I reread this book and started a second time. It is a reminder of how much non-leading there is in leading. And how that is the best leading. That's Taoism!

Final Gifts by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley

A book I got from a moving neighbor. It is aptly titled for that reason. But it is a book about dying and being with those people. I can see this as something I do in my next job.

The Art of Listening in a Healing Way by James E. Miller

A book I was given in southern Indiana as part of the Prayer and Presence program at the hospital in Jasper. This book not religious. At all. It is a reiteration of my clinical training in humanistic psychology. I read it twice this year. (So I count it twice in the total too.)

Murder of a Post Office Manager by Paul Felton

Written and self-published by a guy in my ff league.

Part of the pile of books.

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