Lots and lots of backlog

I just turned 41 and I’m thinking of the “1” as a Fresh Start. Which means trying to get the decks cleared. Which means putting aside the irrational thoughts of getting “caught up” on my book backlog. Which means another listing of everything I’ve read & haven’t written about–alas, those thoughts are gone. Just the sentence for each didn’t work, but rather than leave them completely bare I will just give a letter grade to each, plus a star for those I’d particularly like to write about–someday…. Alphabetical order this time! (per batch–there will be several):

Atkinson, Kate – Case Histories, 2004 – A-

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell – Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Hitler’s Shadow, 2005 – A- (amazing how many foreshadowings there were of what was to come–reassuring in a way that Germany did not just descend into madness overnight)

Baum, L. Frank – Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, 1908 – B

Berendt, John – The City of Falling Angels, 2005 – A-

Best-Loved Poems in Large Print – ed. Virginia S. Reiser – B. Read while on the elliptical trainer. Lots of good classics, lots of sentimental trash (Edgar A. Guest, urk!)

The Best of Oprah’s What I Know for Sure – 2004? – B+

Helen Dore Boylston, all B/B+
Presumably the orginal “nurse story” books, still enjoyable today. The now-familiar cliches, except for Connie Halliday’s skit as a dignified, wistful cockroach who traces the hospital’s history and mission. That you don’t read every day.
Sue Barton, Senior Nurse – 1937
Sue Barton, Student Nurse – 1936

Burgess, Gelett – Goops and How to Be Them – 1900 – B-

Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Emily Fox-Seton: Being The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst – , 1901 – B+ (my third on-my-own book for Project Gutenberg)
The Head of the House of Coombe, 1921 – B+

Byng, Georgia – Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism, 2002 – B

Carroll, Ruth and Latrobe – Runaway Pony, Runaway Dog, 1963 – B

Chicago (Eyewitness Travel Guides), 2003 – A

Cohen, Brad, with Lisa Wysocky – Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, 2005 – C+

Coolidge, Susan
Clover – 1888 – B+
What Katy Did – 1872 – A
What Katy Did at School – 1873 – B+
What Katy Did Next – 1886 – B+

Curtis, Christopher Paul – Bud, Not Buddy, 1999 – A

Dahl, Roald
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – 1964 – A-
James and the Giant Peach – 1961 – A-

De Angeli, Marguerite – The Door in the Wall, 1949 – B+

Druon, Maurice – Tistou Les Pouces Vertes, 1968 – B+

Duriez, Colin – The C. S. Lewis Chronicles: The Indispensible Biography of the Creator of Narnia Full of Little-Known Facts, Events, and Miscellany, 2005 – D

Estes, Eleanor (ill. Edward Ardizzone), The Witch Family, 1960 – A-

Francis, Dick
Proof, 1985 – B+
Smokescreen, 1972 – B-

Frolic, Billy (as “Ronald Richard Roberts”) – The Ditches of Edison County, 1993 – B+ (quite a good parody!)

Gallagher, Tim – The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, 2005 – A

George, Jean – My Side of the Mountain, 1959 – A-

Gladwell, Malcolm – Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, 2005 – A+

Honey, Elizabeth – Don’t Pat the Wombat, 1996 – B+

Hornby, Nick – A Long Way Down, 2005 – A- (Hornby’s reading a lot like Mil Millington these days!)

Ibbotson, Eva–all A-
Island of the Aunts, 1999
Not Just a Witch, 1989
The Secret of Platform 13, 1994
Which Witch?, 1979

Katz, Jon – The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure With Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me, 2004 – A-

Keller, Beverly – A Small, Elderly Dragon, 1984 – C+

Konigsburg, E.L. – The View from Saturday, 1996 – B

LeGuin, Ursula – The Beginning Place, 1980 – A

Lewis, C.S.
The Great Divorce, 1946 – A-
The Horse and His Boy, 1954 – A-
The Last Battle, 1956 – A-
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, 1950 – A-
The Magician’s Nephew, 1955 – A-
Prince Caspian, 1951 – A-
The Screwtape Letters, 1942 – A-
The Silver Chair, 1953 – A-
Till We Have Faces, 1956 – A-
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1952 – A-

McCaffrey, Anne
Dragondrums, 1979 – B+
Dragonsinger, 1977 – A-
Dragonsong, 1976 – A-
Get Off the Dragon, 1977 -B-

Maggin, Elliot S!; both B+. I’m getting rid of these now, though I’ve enjoyed them several times since I was a teen. They make you think about why Superman sticks around on Earth; he comes across as a genuinely nice guy, tortured by his inability to help Lex Luthor grow up into a healthy, honest person. Interesting combination of decent psychological realism with the most detailed and therefore cognitively-dissonant depiction of Supe going everywhere and fixing everything, even the most trivial “problems” (like cat in tree from the movie).
Superman: Last Son of Krypton, 1978
Superman: Miracle Monday

Moehringer, J. R. – The Tender Bar: A Memoir, 2005 – A-

Moore, Judith – Fat Girl: A True Story, 2005 – B-. Very, very depressing.

Morey, Walt – Gentle Ben, 1965 – A-

Nelson, O. T. – The Girl Who Owned a City, 1975 – B- I adored this book as a kid, lost the author and title, and later re-discovered it through a bio of Ayn Rand. Some of the Randite attitudes are a turn-off now; it’s the emphasis on competence and independence that got me then.

Niven, Larry and Jerry Pournelle – Lucifer’s Hammer, 1977 – B+

O’Brien, Robert C. – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, 1971 – A-

Reichl, Ruth – Garlic and Sapphires, 2005 – A- (I couldn’t put it down, stayed up until 2am finishing it!)

Richards, Laura E. – Captain January, 1902 – B

Rothman, Rodney – Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement, 2005 – A-

Rowling, J. K. – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005 – B+

Salten, Felix – Bambi, 1929 (translated by Whittaker Chambers) – A-

Schwenke, Karl – In a Pig’s Eye, 1985 – B

White, E.B. – Stuart Little, 1945 – B+

Wisner, Franz – Honeymoon with My Brother, 2005 – A-

Yates, Dornford – Berry and Co., 1921 – B-

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