Monday, December 31, 2007

What a list like this means

I held off on posting my 2007 Reading List, thinking I'd squeeze in one more book before Tuesday, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. (Too much cooking and eating and game-playing planned for New Year's Eve.) But as I read back over this list, I'm profoundly grateful. Having a list like this means:

  • I know how to read. (Thank you, Mom and Dad.)
  • I have access to books. (Thank you, public libraries, indie bookstores, and the Internet.)
  • I'm free to read what I want. (Thank you, intellectual freedom, and all who defend it.)
  • There are so many books worth reading. (Thank you, children and YA book authors everywhere. You are truly my heroes and heroines. You write the finest books on the planet, you love what you do, and you inspire me.)

In no particular order, what I read in 2007:

Children's and YA

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Jack Gantos)

Joey Pigza Loses Control (Jack Gantos)

The Twenty-One Balloons (William Pene du Bois)

Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange (Elizabeth Partridge)

Leepike Ridge (N.D. Wilson)

White Time (Margo Lanagan)

The True Meaning of Smekday (Adam Rex)

The Arrival (Shaun Tan)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian (Sherman Alexie)

How to Steal a Dog (Barbara O'Connor)

Robot Dreams (Sara Varon)

Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets (Paul B. Janeczko)

Evil Genius (Catherine Jinks)

Story of a Girl (Sara Zarr)

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County (Janice Harrington)

Punk Farm (Jarrett J. Krosoczka)

Oliver Finds His Way (Phyllis Root)

What Baby Wants (Phyllis Root)

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (Adam Rex)

Flotsam (David Wiesner)

Cassie Was Here (Caroline Hickey)

Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature (Robin Brande)

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)

Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer (Laini Taylor)

D.A. (Connie Willis)

Hattie Big Sky (Kirby Larson)

The Talented Clementine (Sara Pennypacker)

Rules (Cynthia Lord)

The White Darkness (Geraldine McCaughrean)

Flora Segunda (Ysabeau Wilce)

The Plain Janes (Cecil Castellucci)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)

Framed (Frank Cottrell Boyce)

Going for the Record (Julie Swanson)

An Abundance of Katherines (John Green)

Looking For Alaska (John Green)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick)

Notes From a Liar and Her Dog (Gennifer Choldenko)

American Born Chinese (Gene Luen Yang)

Spanking Shakespeare (Jake Wizner)

Frindle *re-read (Andrew Clements)

Adult Reads (Mostly Non-fiction)

Take Joy: The Writers Guide to Loving the Craft (Jane Yolen)

99 Ways to Tell a Story (Matt Madden)

Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up (Patricia Ryan Madson)

Naked reading: uncovering what tweens need to become lifelong readers (Teri Lesesne)

Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)

American Gods (Neil Gaiman)

In addition to

A daily newspaper (sometimes two)

Magazines: Real Simple, Cooking Light, InStyle (no, I'm not embarrassed...I like reading about shoes I'll never own) and Golf for Women

The Horn Book

Professional bulletins for SCBWI and The Authors Guild

Poetry (mostly online or from anthologies I own) Here's one by Mary Oliver, which Endicott Redux reminded me of, just today.

My own manuscripts, more times than I really wanted to

Many, many, many lovely blogs, of such a number that I'm currently refusing to admit it to myself. Thank you all for my daily doses of beauty, wit, wisdom and fun.

The only thing I regret is that my 2007 list seems far too short. In fact, it is much shorter than many of those compiled by you super-hero-powered readers, who I think, must have two extra sets of retractable eyes or simply, more dedication and fierce word hunger than I do. But in my defense, I also launched my first novel, and wrote my second, which must count for something. :)

Hey! Isn't 2008 a leap year? That'll give me one more day to read!


  1. Oh thank you for that Oliver poem, one I'd actually never seen.

    Don't apologize for your great reading list; mine could be way longer, too, if I didn't stop to talk about books at 7-Imp, but talking about them with other book-lovers like you is worth it. Plus, like you said, you did write (and re-write and re-write) a book and all.

    Happy new year!

    -- Jules

  2. Uh, yeah, I'd say launching your first novel and writing a second "counts for something," you goof. I'd also say that you did enough this year by any measure.

    Had to snicker at the line about reading your own manuscript far too many times. Oh, yeah, to that, fellow forced-reviser. But our work is better for it, right?

    I'd still prefer always getting it right on the first draft . . .

    Happy New Year!

  3. No such thing as reading your own work too many times, I think. I mean, we may get freakin' sick of it, but it's part of the journey. Right? Now, onto the leap year. And heck, start tomorrow. Just don't finish your first book 'til Tuesday...

  4. Yes, that counts for a lot!

    You've steered me toward some wonderful books recently, and I'm looking forward to checking out some others from your list that I haven't seen yet. Thanks!

  5. Very impressive list! Lots here I need to check out.

    BTW, made the green chile chicken stew last night and it was awesome (Len had seconds)!

    Happy New Year and welcome back!!

  6. Hee hee. What do you mean you won't be able to squeeze in one more book before Tuesday?

    Love your list. Hope you and your family have a wonderful 2008! Happy New Year!

  7. Happy reading in 2008, Sara. I didn't even try to post a list of all the books I read (apart from the Jane Project books). My brain was too dead. But I saw a lot of the same titles on your list as were on mine. :)


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