Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reading, etc.

I enjoyed Quid's recent post regarding her top eight books of 2012.  She said she set out to do a "Top Ten" but could only put eight in the "top" category.

I didn't list top books as I have done in previous years. My reading was a lot less in volume last year and toward the end of the year I got to a place where I just wasn't finding anything of the "can't put this down" type. The last thing I read in 2012 was John Grisham's The Racketeer which I really enjoyed, as I do all of his books. I finished it in late November, though, and didn't pick start anything new until New Year's Day when we left for Mexico.

I started the year with a nearly 1000-page tome by Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth, set in the 1100s and interweaving the building of some of the great European cathedrals with a really enjoyable story. It was a good vacation read but for the first time I kind of wished for an electronic reader because it was so big it got a bit cumbersome to hold at times. I still, however, love the look and feel of a real book I hold in my hands. I even love the smell.

As usual, I keep track of the books I read on my "Shelfari" shelf on the right side of my blog page. I won't do a "Top" list but will tell you my favorite fiction reads in 2012 were The Lost Wife, City of Tranquil Light and The Book Thief.  My far-and-away top non-fiction was Love Does and if I could make you read it, I would. And you would thank me.

I am now in the middle of Bonhoeffer, a really interesting biography of German dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I love biographies and this one was recommended to me by a couple of friends. So far I am really enjoying it. Two of the three fiction books mentioned above are set during the holocaust, so it's enlightening to read a true-life account of someone who eventually gave up his life for opposing the atrocities that took place under Hitler.


For the second straight day we awoke to snow. It's almost 8 a.m. I got up a little more than an hour ago to walk Ralph the Dog and it was coming down pretty hard but it's tapered off now and there's probably not more than half an inch on the ground. It's not as cold as it was yesterday (high of 29 degrees) and it's expected to get above freezing later this morning. We have had a much colder winter than last year.

It just dawned on me that it's Groundhog Day and if he got up and looked for his shadow here this morning, he definitely didn't see it, so I guess he's out there strutting around waiting for spring to come.


Speaking of Ralph, it is exactly one year ago that Wife and I were told to take him home and enjoy the "few weeks" we had left with him. That would be 52 weeks, friends, and judging from his walk in the snow this morning, he doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

He doesn't see or hear well and it's not uncommon to trip over him.  His days are spent lounging in some of his favorite spots -- the playroom sofa, Wife's and my bed, Daughter's bed, a blanket on the floor in Daughter's room (where he sleeps at night) or any spot on a rug where he can get direct sunlight.

We pamper him quite a bit these days and after crate-training him only three years ago, no longer require his confinement there when we leave the house.

I hope for the same privileges when I'm older.


Kelly said...

I read "The Book Thief" when it first came out and loved it!

Glad to know you enjoyed "Pillars of the Earth". I hope to get to the sequel at some point this year. Just hope I won't be lost since I read the first so long ago.

I don't read many biographies, but the Bonhoeffer sounds interesting. I used a "daily devotion" book one year based on his writings - inspired deep thinking.

I'm really happy to hear Ralph is hanging in there. Bless his little heart!

Debby said...

This year, I plan to do more reading. My tablet will be a great help. Right now, sitting on a side table is Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. It has come highly recommended by Cara.

Steve H. said...

I've been meaning to read "pillars of the Earth" and "Bonhoeffer"/ Must try to get around to it this year!