Friday, January 27, 2012

An Unquenchable Thirst
by Mary Johnson

Subtitled Following Mother Teresa in Search
of Love, Service, and an Authentic Life
Published in 2011. 526 pages.

I don't think I would have ever picked up this memoir of a former Catholic sister on my own, but I read it for the December meeting of my long-time book club - which we never held because of holiday scheduling difficulties. We did meet last night at Paradise Bakery, and over soup, sandwiches, salads, and chocolate chip cookies we talked about both this book and the pick for January.

Although the book is long, it is definitely readable. I think it's a meaningful read on three different levels: (1) as an example of the power of women telling their own stories, (2) as a critique of the structure and culture of the Missionaries of Charity organization, and (3) as a impetus for personal reflection on (and group discussion about) faith, love, and service.

For more information, check out Mary Johnson's website here.


Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Published in 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books. 262 pages.
2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.
2012 Newbery Honor Book.

A beautifully-written, delightful and moving autobiographical story of a young Vietnamese girl who flees Saigon at the end of the war with her mother and brothers, relocating to the foreign world of Alabama. Well-deserving of its awards!


Monday, January 02, 2012

By the Numbers
For the Year 2011

Total books read: 93. (My goal for the year was 104 books. As late as Thanksgiving, I thought I might meet that goal. Alas. My goal for 2012 will again be 104 books.)

Fiction: 81.
Non-fiction: 11.
Poetry: 1.

Audiobooks: 24. (I'm amazed that one-fourth of my total "reading" happened via my ears!)

On the Kindle: 6. (Obviously, my Kindle - which I've had since May - isn't replacing traditional books, but it is a nice addition.)

Books by male authors: 31.
Books by female authors: 62.
Anthologies: 1.
(Note: These numbers don't add up because one book I read - The Future of Us - was a collaboration between a woman and a man.)

Published in 2011: 24.
Published prior to 1990: 6.

Re-reads: 1.

Historical fiction: 15.

Biography, autobiography, or memoir: 7.

Young adult: 46. (Wow! Almost half of my reading was YA.)
Juvenile: 8.

Read for my Teaching Through Literature class: 7.
Read with the "book lunch girls" (aka Natalie's Book Club): 10.
Read with my long-time book club: 7.

5-star rating: 5. (These were The Handmaid's Tale, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Okay for Now, Open, and Sisterhood Everlasting.)
4-star rating: 66.
3-star rating: 22.

What were your reading numbers for 2011? What are your goals for 2012?