January 1, 2011


Hi, I'm Donna Gephart and I'm a book nerd.

I love reading books, writing books and reading about writing books.

To extract me from a library or bookstore usually requires the Jaws of Life and a really cute E.M.T. I have a stack of "to-be-read" books beside my bed that, in the event of an earthquake, would topple over and crush my skull. And I wouldn't even mind. That's how much of a book junkie I am.

This past year, I read/listened to 73 books. As always, there are way too many good books and no one to read them for me. What's with that?

Are you a bookaholic? Does a day or two without a book in hand make you twitchy? How do you prefer your books -- traditional, CD, Nook, Kindle, shaken, stirred? What's your absolutely favorite book from 2010? Or from 2011? C'mon, you've had enough time to read a book or two, right?

Rodman Philbrick was my happy discovery this year. (Thank you, Paul May!) You'll notice I read a lot of books by him.

I also loved, loved, loved listening to The Underneath, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Counting on Grace on CD this year. Excellent books, each.

Other books were fabulous discoveries, too, like April Henry's Girl Stolen -- a nail-biter and Jane Kelley's Nature Girl -- felt like I was on the Appalachian Trail, like with Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.

Donna Jo Napoli's books never disappoint. She's a true pro; loved Alligator Bayou. David Lubar's Punished was a whole lot of fun with the wordplay.

Dave Egger's Zeitoun was an incredible story. Read it. And Malcolm Gladwell's books always fascinate and inspire me. This year, I enjoyed Outliers and Tipping Point. His books help me think differently about, um, thinking.

I also had the great pleasure of reading a couple friend's books before they were released. Thank you Alan Silberberg for sending me Milo and Maria Padian for sending Jersey Tomatoes are the Best.

It's been an awesome reading year.

(Adult books are noted by an asterisk.)

Without further ado, here's the BIG BOOK BLOG-O-RAMA list from 2010:

1. * Girl, Interrupted -- Susanna Kaysen
2. * House of Cards (Love, Faith and Other Social Expressions) -- David Ellis Dickerson
3. * Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir -- Mary Higgins Clark
4. * Fight for Your Money (How to Stop Getting Ripped Off and Save a Fortune) -- David Bach
5. * My Stroke of Insight (A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey) -- Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.
6. * The Wordy Shipmates (CD) -- Sarah Vowell
7. Jumping Off Swings -- Jo Knowles
8. Love, Stargirl -- Jerry Spinelli
9. * The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant -- An Adoption Story -- Dan Savage
10. * The Quiet Room -- Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett
11. Tales from Outer Suburbia -- Shaun Tan
12. Paper Towns (CD) -- John Green
13. Wishworks, Inc. -- Stephanie S. Tolan
14. The Old African -- Julius Lester & Jerry Pinkney
15. The Chocolate War (CD) -- Robert Cormier
16. Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist -- The Frandidate -- Jim Benton
17. Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist -- Attack of the 50-Foot Cupid -- Jim Benton
18. Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist -- Frantastic Voyage -- Jim Benton
19. Dear Dumb Diary, Let's Pretend This Never Happened -- Jim Benton
20. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (CD) -- Paula Danziger
21. Freak the Mighty (CD) -- Rodman Philbrick
22. After Ever After -- Jordan Sonnenblick
23. * The Wisdom of the Wilderness (Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature) -- Gerald G. May
24. * The Jeopardy! Book -- The Answers, the Questions, the Facts, and the Stories of the Greatest Game Show in History -- Alex Trebek and Peter Barsocchini
25. The Young Man and the Sea -- Rodman Philbrick
26. * 84, Charing Cross Road -- Helen Hanff
27. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks (CD) -- E. Lockhart
28. Food, Girls and Other Things I Can't Have -- Allen Zadoff
29. Bronx Masquerade -- Nikki Grimes
30. The Last Book in the Universe -- Rodman Philbrick
31. The Underneath (CD, read by Gabra Zackman) -- Kathi Appelt
32. * Lucky -- Alice Sebold
33. * House rules -- Jodi Picoult
34. The Birthday Ball -- Lois Lowry (This read was great fun!)
35. * Sh*t My Dad Says -- Justin Halpern (This ultra-successful book began as Twitter postings.)
36. * The Marriage Epidemic -- June Portnoy (A good friend of mine from high school)
37. Notes from the Dog -- Gary Paulsen
38. * Prisoner of Trebekistan (A Decade in Jeopardy!) -- Bob Harris
39. Nature Girl -- Jane Kelley
40. * Outliers (CD) -- Malcolm Gladwell
41. Max the Mighty -- Rodman Philbrick
42. * Lift (CD) -- Kelly Corrigan
43. Out of My Mind -- Sharon Draper
44. Stinky -- Eleanor Davis
45. Alligator Bayou -- Donna Jo Napoli
46. * Taming Bipolar Disorder (Psychology Today) -- Lori Oliwenstein
47. The Frog Scientist -- Pamela S. Turner
48. Remembering Raquel -- Vivian Vande Velde
49. * Zeitoun -- Dave Eggers
50. Milo (Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze) -- Alan Silberberg
51. * Flowers for Algernon -- Daniel Keyes (I've read this gem several times.)
52. Love that Dog (CD) -- Sharon Creech
53. Hate that Cat (CD) -- Sharon Creech
54. * Citrus County - John Brandon
55. * Just After Sunset (CD) -- stories by Stephen King
56. Walk Two Moons -- Sharon Creech
57. * The Night Bookmobile -- Audrey Niffeneger
58. The Westing Game -- Ellen Raskin
59. Counting on Grace (CD) -- Elizabeth Winthrop
60. Jerry Spinelli (Biography) -- David Seidman
61. Big Nate in a Class by Himself -- Lincoln Peirce (Great new series!)
62. Schooled (CD) -- Gordon Korman
63. Girl, Stolen -- April Henry
64. Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz -- Beverly Gherman (Excellent biography; thanks Elizabeth Bird.)
65. * War Dances -- Sherman Alexie
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (CD) -- Mildred D. Taylor
67. Acceleration -- Graham McNamee
68. The Van Gogh Cafe -- Cynthia Rylant
69. Punished -- David Lubar
70. The Tipping Point (CD) -- Malcolm Gladwell
71. Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best -- Maria Padian
72. Blank Confession -- Pete Hautman
73. A Christmas Carol -- Charles Dickens


JKW said...

New NickTV series House of Anubus. Sun. 7 (it started last night, but it is a good one). Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Blessings, Janet

thehahalady said...

I often has considered myself a parallel reader as I am reading several books at a time as well as researching books to use with my after school programs. I am trying to compile a book list of the books I use with a program called Tickle Your Funny Book and that is a major undertaking and I know it will get done eventually. I recently read two books that I really enjoyed- one was a novel by Beebe Moore Campbell, one of my favorite authors. It is called What You Owe Me and it was really compelling to me as it was about a black women and a jewish women and business. The other book that I just finished is Do You by Russell Simmons and I started Jane Fonda's book My Life So Far. The most interesting book that I read last year was How To Be Funny by R. L. Stine who writes the Goosebumps books. It is out of print and I found it on Ebay. Donna might remember the day I spoke about it at the Literacy Coaltion meeting. I am also reading some books on manners for my upcoming class Making Manners Fun. One is a non fiction written for parents and the other is about a wolf. I will have to look up the titles as I put them away during winter break. One of my favorite manners books is called Kindness is Cooler about a teacher called Mrs. Ruler. Another favorite books is Too Many Frogs about a rabbit who likes to read and the frog who befriends him. I have used that book for many purposes. I am truly wild about word and since I now have an IPOD touch and found the game Bookworm I am other wise engaged playing that. I do have the nook on there however, I do prefer to read real books and not electronic books. I also don't want to listen to books unless someone is reading it to me. I like the look, feel and smell of books. I am thrilled that in the new year I will be working on Tuesday near one of my favorite books stores.

Wild About Words said...

JKW, sounds like an interesting new show. Happy New Year to you, too.

thehahalady, you've sure been busy reading. What's the bookstore near where you work? See you soon at the literacy meeting.