Saturday, February 02, 2013

Books and Movies of 2012

Although I didn't do it last year, every year before, I listed all the books I read and the movies I saw the previous year.  It's time to revive the tradition.  I read 69 books, including 25 that I listened to in the car or on my phone.  That double counts Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, because I read it twice.  It made more sense the second time, so I raised my rating from 3 to 4 stars.  I still don't understand it.  I think I'm ready to tackle it a third time to see if I can figure out why the literary experts think it is the greatest book of fiction in the 20th century.  There were 27 nonfiction and 42 fiction books. I watched 46 movies, including 12 that I watched at home, either on Netflix, Amazon or rental DVD's.  Thirteen of the movies I saw were at Ebertfest.  I give stars indicating how much I liked each book or movie, with the highest being five stars and truly exceptional books, or movies, that make me say "wow!" at the end getting five plus stars.


Five Plus Stars

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
The Pickup, Nadine Gordimer

Five Stars

The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
Vanity Fair,  William Makepeace Thackeray
Without Conscience, Dr. Robert O. Hare
The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
Wildlife, Richard Ford
Behind the Beautiful Forevers,  Katherine Boo
March, Geraldine Brooks
The Maytrees, Annie Dillard
Essays From My Life, Miriam Maust

Four Stars

Please Look After Mom,Kyung-Sook Shin
No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy
Dear Husband, Joyce Carol Oates
Anatomy of a Murder, Robert Traver
Middlemarch, George Eliot
A Boy Called "H", Kappa Senoh
Pearl Buck in China,Hilary Spurling
Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
Yours in Truth, Jeff Himmelman
No One Knows My History, Fawn Brodie
By Nightfall, Michael Cunningham
A Visit From The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Half A Life, V.S. Naipul
The Double Bind, Chris Bohjalian
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
The Men Who Would Be King, Nicole La Porte
The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
There Are No Children Here, Alex Kotlowitz
Swann's Way, Marcel Proust
Sybil Exposed, Debby Nathan
Newspaper Days, Theodore Dreiser

 Three Stars

Working, Studs Terkel
Broom of the System, David Foster Wallace
Born Round, Frank Bruni
Pulphead Essays, John Jeremiah Sullivan
Die Free, Peter Rooney
Home on the Prairie, Garrison Keillor 
The Man Who Owns The News,  Michael Wolff
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,  Stieg Larsson
Hijacked:  Responding To The Partisan Church Divide,  Mike E. Slaughter, Charles E. Gutenson and      Robert P. Jones 
Atheist's Mass, Honore Balzac
The Keep,  Jennifer Eagan
The Lady's Not For Burning, Christopher; Fry
The Girl Who Kicked Over the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
Men's Wives, William Makepeace Thackeray
Higher Gossip, John Updike
Hannah Coulter, Wendell Berry
The Girl Who Played With Fire,  Stieg Larsson
Hollywood Hills,  Joseph Wambaugh
The Artist of Disappearance, Anita Kisai
How To Make People Like You, Nicholas Boothman
Alexander's Bridge,  Willa Cather
The Communist Manifesto,  Karl Marx
The Wild Things, Dave Eggers

Two Stars

Talking to Myself, Studs Terkel
The Country Doctor,  Honore Balzac
A Cup of Friendship,  Debra Rodriguez
Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge
Pushups In The Prayer Room,  Norm Schriever
O Pioneers,  Willa Cather

One Star

Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich
Answering The New Atheism,   Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker
Strategic Moves,  Stuart Woods


Five Plus Stars

A Separation  

Five Stars

The Descendants
Higher Ground
Queen of Versailles
Vernon, Florida
Life of Pi
Anatomy of a Murder

Four Stars

Today's Special
Big Fan
Take Shelter
The Exotic Marigold Hotel
Europa Europa
Queen to Play
Moonrise Kingdom
Your Sister's Sister
Hope Springs
The Campaign
Days of Heaven
The Words
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
The Master
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Three Stars

Joe Versus The Volcano
On Borrowed Time
Wild and Weird
Citizen Kane
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Happy, Texas
Guilt Trip
2 Days in New York

Two Stars

The Truth About Beauty and Blogs
Phunny Business
Wuthering Heights
Anna Karenina

One Star

Sherlock Holmes       




At 10:54 AM, February 07, 2013, Blogger forsythia said...

Our daughter kept bugging me for Netflix suggestions. I gave her your list and she's happy.

At 12:58 AM, February 25, 2013, Anonymous Debra Hope said...

Kind of surprised you just now read "The Girl" books. Warning: The books are way better than the movies.

I'm currently reading and recommending "Kill Anything That Moves" by Nick Turse, a terrifying book about Vietnam based on long buried DOD records and actual stories I heard 40 years ago from five friends who fought that god-awful war. It makes me wonder what's going on in Afghanistan, what horrors occurred in Iraq. It makes me cry.


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