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Turning the Page on a Year in Books: 2010

It’s been another great year in books. In varying degrees, they were entertaining, educational or enlightening. Often all three.

I also joined another book club at midyear, bringing my total to three:
Central Exchange (Overland Park, Kan.)
Fairway Book Club (Fairway, Kan., neighborhood group)
BlueStockings (Kansas City, Mo.)

Book group membership encourages you to read a much wider range of books. Plus, it’s fun to discuss books with friends who provide insights you haven’t considered.

Here’s my list of books read in 2010.

Classics (read or reread):
Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
Capote, Truman – A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, The Thanksgiving Visitor
Carlton, Jetta – The Moonflower Vine
Franklin, Benjamin – Autobiography
Golding, William – Lord of the Flies
Lagerlof, Selma – Gosta Berling’s Saga
Sinclair, Upton – The Jungle
Silverstein, Shel – The Giving Tree
West, Dorothy – The Wedding

Philosophical and Life Lessons:
Alford, Henry – How to Live
Cathcart, Thomas and Daniel Klein – Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates
Dosa, David M.D. – Making the Round With Oscar (cat helping Alzheimer’s patients)
Kick, Russ (editor) – Everything You Know About God Is Wrong
Rubin, Gretchen – The Happiness Project
Ulin, David L. – The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time
Welch, Suzy – 10-10-10 (on decision making)

Alda, Alan – Things I Overhead While Talking to Myself
Brown, Helen – Cleo, “the cat who mended a family”
Heimke, Betsy Herold – Bring Cup, Plate and Spoon (Japanese prisoner of war as child)

Barbery, Muriel – The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Bauermeister, Erica – The School of Special Ingredients
Durant Sarah – In the Company of the Courtesan
Horan, Nancy – Loving Frank (about Frank Lloyd Wright)
Larsson, Gtieg – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Maguire, Gregory – Mirror, Mirror
McCann, Colum – Let the Great World Spin
Robinson, Marilynne – Housekeeping
Rowling, J.K. – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Selznick, Brian – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Shapiro, Dani – Black & White
Simonson, Helen – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Dawkins, Richard – The Greatest Show on Earth
Farley, David – An Irreverent Curiosity
Fogarty, Mignon – The Grammar Devotional
Gladwell, Malcolm – Outliers
Gosling, Sam – What Your Stuff Says About You
Gregory, Leland – Stupid American History
Jonnes, Jill – Eiffel’s Tower
Restak, Richard – The Secret Life of the Brain
Rosenberg, Scott – Say Everything (on blogging)

Newspapers and magazines are essential too, including The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal, Newsweek, Smithsonian and The Saturday Evening Post.

I think it’s important to read news on the printed page instead of online. Seeing the placement of stories on the page gives context, so you can see that the vote on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” for example, is more important than Paris Hilton’s latest antics. Online, celebrity gossip and (often intentionally) misleading or mistaken information is impossible to avoid. We still need editors to check the facts, as I was taught in the University of Missouri’s journalism school.

I’m looking forward to another year of reading in 2011!

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