Just a brief listing of books read, to this point, in 2011:
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood....Jane Leavy
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas...Lewis Black
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland...Patton Oswalt
The Pleasure of My Company....Steve Martin
A Tale of Two Cities...Charles Dickens
American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic...Joseph Ellis
True Grit....Charles Portis
Full Dark, No Stars....Stephen King
First Family: Abigail and John Adams....Joseph J. Ellis
Requiem for a Paper Bag...Davy Rothbart, ed.
Alexander Hamilton....Ron Chernow
Dark Jenny.....Alex Bledsoe
Just a couple of notes: Making a conscious effort to read more. Mostly it involves less television, and less surfing around the internet looking at that video of the monkey smelling his finger after picking his ass.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still looking at that video of the monkey picking his ass. I'm just not devoting the 16-20 hours a week to doing it.
Truth be told, I think I've worked more in the past 12 months than at any other point in my life. And that's saying something, if you're one of the sevens of people who've been reading this blogamathing since 2002. You seven know just what Tommy's Chronic Botardism is.
The one thing that has changed some in 2011 over previous years. I left XM back in November. I don't want to get off on a rant, but East Tennessee radio, but for a few bright spots, is pretty rough. Like I said, a few bright spots, but for the most part, I started filling the 45 minute (or so) commute with books on CD, which I've either traded for, or downloaded. I'm tending toward the nonfiction with those, simply because I'm apt to get wrapped up in a story, and I'm afraid I'll find myself two counties into Georgia on 411 before I realized I missed my turn onto Highway 39 way back in McMinn County....
Anyway. That's the books consumed, to this point in 2011. I recommend both Joseph Ellis's books...his writing style flows well. I enjoyed both American Sphinx and His Excellency, biographies of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington respectively, in the past. Both these books were quite enjoyable.
I also want to recommend Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars, which I call his best book probably since Bag of Bones. The shorter story form has always been his best style, and these stories are very, very strong. It probably doesn't hurt that they are concerned largely with retribution, as a running theme. It's a favorite theme of mine, as a story element, so I dug Full Dark, No Stars. Like I said, probably his strongest since Bag of Bones....
Also? My buddy Alex has his newest, Dark Jenny, coming out later this month. After a false start back in the winter, I took Friday. Read the whole thing in a sitting. It's a fun read, and I recommend it!