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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Reading Wishes

Last week I read this piece by Karl Rove, describing President Bush's love for reading. After an idle conversation between Rove and Bush on New Year's Eve 2005 about Rove's resolution to read a book a week in 2006, President Bush turned Rove's resolution into a reading contest between the two men. In the piece, Rove shares some of the titles and topics that Bush has been reading.

I'm not sure I'll be able to keep pace at a book a week (after all, I have no White House staff to prepare my meals, handle my laundry, and clean my house as our President does), I wish I could. So with the wish of being able to read at least a book a week (not counting what I read to the kids), here are some books I'd like to read in 2009, in no particular order:

  • Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's war in Iraq (Mansoor)
  • Team of Rivals: The political genius of Abraham Lincoln (Goodwin) Because everyone's read it but me!
  • The Forever War (Filkins) A NY Times reporter's book of the war.
  • Understanding Vietnam (Jamieson) Because I don't understand Vietnam. It wasn't yet history when I went through school, but I wasn't old enough to have it in my memory as a current event. 
  • Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's secret White House tapes (Beschloss) Although I always see Beschloss on PBS, I haven't read his books yet.
  • The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khurshchev (Beschloss)
  • Manhunt: the twelve day chase for Lincoln's killer (Swanson) Bush read it.
  • A Deadly Shade of Gold (MacDonald) and other Travis McGee novels by MacDonald. Bush read these and I haven't.
  • Executive Power (Flynn) A Mitch Rapp adventure that I haven't read yet.
  • Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number (Timerman) About Cuba.
  • American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (Meacham) Bush read it.
  • The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam during the Kennedy era (Halberstam) More about Vietnam.
  • The Coldest Winter: American and the Korean War (Halberstam) Bush read it. We are about to learn about the Korean War in our homeschool, so I'm glad for the suggestion.
  • The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Atkinson) Another Bush read.
  • The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam will shape the Future (Nasr) Another Bush read.
  • The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800 (Winik) Bush read it.
  • A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 (Roberts) Bush read it.
  • Atlas Shrugged (Rand) Foundational to conservatism but I haven't read it.
  • Basic Economics: A Citizen's guide to the economy (Sowell) I love economics!
  • On Classical Economics (Sowell)
  • Applied Ecomonics (Sowell)
  • The Kite Runner (Hosseini) Everyone's read this but me.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (Hosseini) 
  • The Quiller Memorandum (Hall) An old--if you call the 1960s old--secret agent novel.
  • Berlin Game (Deighton) More cloak-and-dagger spy stuff.
  • The Confessor (Silva) Another spy story.
  • The Man Who Was Thursday (Chesterton) Because I need to read Chesterton
  • Orthodoxy (Chesterton) Ditto.
  • The Salzburg Connection (MacInnes) More spy stuff.
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (McCall Smith) I just stumbled on this series and thought I would check it out.
  • Tears of the Giraffe (McCall Smith)--more Ladies' Detective Agency series
  • Morality for Beautiful Girls (McCall Smith)--more Ladies' Detective Agency series
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway) From TOG Year 4
  • The Lilies of the Field (Barrett) Ditto
  • Cry, the Beloved Country (Paton) Ditto
  • A Raisin in the Sun (Hansberry) Ditto
  • Death be not Proud: a Memoir (Gunther) Ditto
  • No Exit (Sartre) Ditto
  • What's So Great about Christianity (D'Souza) I read the fascinating Imprimis article by D'Souza; now I want to read the whole book.
  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (Stoppard) TOG Year 4
  • I Shall Not be Moved (Poetry by Maya Angelou) TOG Year 4
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) From the TOG Year 4 list. I haven't read this since high school. Will my perspective be different?
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four (Orwell) Ditto comment on Fahrenheit 451
  • Gilgamesh From TOG Year 1
  • The Analects (Confucius) TOG Year 1 
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey (Homer) TOG Year 1
  • Bhagavad Gita TOG Year 1
  • The Penderwicks: a summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits, and a very interesting boy (Birdsall) I haven't read this yet. It sounds like a wonderful novel for my daughters, but I'm a bit suspicious of recently published children's books, so I want to read it first.
  • The Penderwicks on Gardam Street (Birdsall) A sequel.
Karl Rove's article also says, "Each year, the president also read the Bible from cover to cover, along with a daily devotional." I'll be reading my Bible again this year, too. I may not get to read any of these books that I hope to read, but I will do that.


mom24 said...

I haven't read the Kite Runner either - you're not the only one. But it's on my list too.
Some list you have here! You may have to give up the bloggin' to get these all read at one per week!
Enjoy! Hope to hear which ones are your favorites!

Mrs. Edwards said...

Yes, it is pretty ambitious. That is why I was careful to say that this list is my "wish list" if I am able to read as much as I wish. It is fun to make a plan!

Thanks for leaving your comments. It is good to hear from you!

Laura said...

Atlas Shrugged... loved it and hated it simultaneously. I'll look forward to your take on Ayn Rand!

I did love the beautiful writing in Kite Runner, brought me to tears many times.

Rereading the Iliad and Odyssey as an adult was just a treat!

I'm working away at my lists. Thanks for a few extras for me to consider.

Happy New Year!

Sharon said...

There's a lot of American politics there. Are you going to read anything about the politics of other countries? Not that I have anything to suggest.

My list isn't changing. I'm just starting a little further down last year's list!

And I love the movie of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I'd love to get my hands on a copy of the play script one day.

I read Farenheit 451 for the first time as an adult and just got angry at the book. It had an interesting premise but was pretty lame from the writing end of things. I thought much the same about that other doomsday book (mind blank on the title here) where they vary all the environments of embryos in artificial wombs and "make" them all into little robot-like people. Interesting premise, pity it was written by someone who couldn't write well.

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

I suppose the American politics slant comes from picking books that were mentioned in that article. I didn't set out to make it that way. I ought to study your list again and take some titles from it.

After I read the article about Bush's reading list I realized that I tend to not read recently published books. In fact, I almost never read "best-sellers," so in part I was aiming to correct that.

Fahrenheit 451 has become such a standard reading assignment for American high schoolers that I guess the Tapestry curriculum felt that it had to be covered. Because I didn't like it either, I haven't read it since I was in tenth grade (15 years old). I'm a bit curious, however, if it will be different to read in the age of flat-screen TVs and Kindles and Internet blogging and Facebook. I vaguely remember something about walls that were TVs in the book. It is certainly true that people today don't value reading. There were four letters to the editor of the WSJ complaining about Bush taking time to read books.

It is so good to hear from you!

Sharon said...

I wouldn't mind reading Orthodoxy with you as well, when you get to it, so let me know. I know we have it somewhere on our shelves here.

I don't read so many bestsellers either. Not quite enough time for it somehow! I have read a few McCall Smith books though. I found them frustrating, because of the way they focus so much on arguing around ethical values. But then I have enjoyed books by Jodi Picoult for this same reason, so I'm not totally sure why the McCall Smith books grated. The EQUIP Book Club (a blog with posts from various selected Christian women in Australia, comments open to anyone) will be reading The Sunday Philosopher's Club in March, I think, if you wanted to "join" them with that one.

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

I've noticed the EQUIP book club on your website but never chased it down. I'll have to check that out. I wonder if I'll scan the McCall Smith books and then change my mind. Frankly, I lose patience pretty quickly with most modern fiction, try as I might! I'm trying to branch out a bit in the spirit of knowing what is "out there."

Have you read Chesterton before? I don't know why I haven't, but I'm really looking forward to it!

Sharon said...

No but I keep seeing it on the bookshelf or referred to in things like CS Lewis's Surprised by Joy (as a book which he got a lot out of) and thinking, "I should read that." How about March-ish? When I've finished the DA Carson book?

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

Okey-doke, March it is.

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