Reading Wrap-Up for 2007

December 27, 2007 Categories: Books | 12 Comments  

Well, here’s the final list for the year. I may finish reading Arthur and George and listening to All She Ever Wanted before the 31st, so I’ll add them if I do. Right now, the count stands at 111. It was a very good year, book-wise. I read a lot of five-star books. I guess that’s not surprising, since I re-read half of the Harry Potter series and completed my goal of reading all of Austen’s works. (Well, all that she finished anyway.) And there was a relatively small number of stinkers. I can give credit to that for very good suggestions from Michelle, my sisters, and my fellow book-bloggers.

As I look over the titles, I noticed a couple of things. I read more classics this year, and I enjoyed most of them. (A Man Called Thursday was a notable exception.) I also noticed that I need to read more non-fiction. I try to read one non-fiction work for every two fiction works, but I don’t think I succeeded. I’ll try for more non-fiction next year.

How did your reading year stack up? Were you pleased? If you compiled a list, either of what you read in 2007 or what you plan to read in 2008, please leave me a link – I love reading other people’s book lists.

Rating system:

1 star – Terrible
2 stars – Just Okay
3 stars – Good
4 stars – Very Good
5 stars – Brilliant, Wonderful, Excellent, Fabulous

5 star books:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – 5 starsrelated post

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour – 5 starsrelated post

A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary – 5 starsrelated post

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor – 5 starsrelated post

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (audiobook) – 5 starsrelated post

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (audiobook) – 5 stars

The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1957-19825 starsrelated post

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian by Stephen Ambrose – 5 starsrelated post

Eragon by Christopher Paolini (read aloud to the kids) – 5 starsrelated post

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (audiobook) – 5 stars

That Distant Land: The Collected Stories by Wendell Berry – 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling – 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling – 5 stars

River Rising by Athol Dickson – 5 starsrelated post

Night by Elie Wiesel – 5 starsrelated post

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor – 5 starsrelated post

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare – 5 starsrelated post

Emma by Jane Austen – 5 starsrelated post

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – 5 starsrelated post

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – 5 starsrelated post

Persuasion by Jane Austen – 5 stars

One True Thing by Anna Quindlen – 5 starsrelated post

Summer of Light by W. Dale Cramer (audiobook) – 5 starsrelated post

Kristin Lavransdatter I: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset – 5 starsrelated post

The Trouble with Poetry: and Other Poems by Billy Collins – 5 stars

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – 5 stars

Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda – 5 starsrelated post

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde – 5 stars

The Road by Cormac McCarthy – 5 starsrelated post

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (audiobook) – 5 starsrelated post

The Cure by Athol Dickson – 5 starsrelated post

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – 5 starsrelated post

All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin (audiobook) – 5 stars

4 star books:

The Duel by Anton Chekhov (translated by Constance Garnett) – 4 stars

The Children of Men by P. D. James – 4 starsrelated post

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (read aloud to the kids) – 4 starsrelated post

The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction by Kate Chopin – 4 starsrelated post

Great American Women’s Fiction: Ten Unabridged Classics by Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, & Charlotte Perkins Gilman (audiobook) – 4 stars

Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson – 4 starsrelated post

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (read aloud to Natalie) – 4 stars

Super Mom Saves the World by Melanie Lynne Hauser – 4 starsrelated post

My Own Two Feet: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary – 4 stars

Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft by Jane Yolen – 4 starsrelated post

The Breakdown Lane by Jacquelyn Mitchard (audiobook) – 4 stars

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – 4 starsrelated post

The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer (audiobook) – 4 stars

I Went to Vassar For This? by Naomi Neale (audiobook) – 4 stars

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman – 4 starsrelated post

Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community: Eight Essays by Wendell Berry – 4 stars

The Living End by Lisa Samson – 4 stars

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards – 4 stars

Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher – 4 starsrelated post

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman (audiobook) – 4 stars

Echoes by Maeve Binchy – 4 stars

The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy – 4 stars

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – 4 stars

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – 4 starsrelated post

In Search of Eden by Linda Nichols (audiobook) – 4 stars

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde – 4 starsrelated post

Sisterchicks in Gondolas by Robin Jones Gunn (audiobook) – 4 stars

Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell – 4 stars

Austenland by Shannon Hale – 4 starsrelated post

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton – 4 stars

The Teacher’s Funeral : A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck (read aloud to the kids) – 4 starsrelated post

I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock (audiobook) – 4 stars

Rules by Cynthia Lord (audiobook) – 4 stars

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (audiobook) – 4 stars

Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout – 4 starsrelated

Unnatural Causes by P.D. James (audiobook) – 4 stars

Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife by Sigrid Undset – 4 starsrelated post

The Book Without Words by Avi – 4 stars

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier (audiobook) – 4 stars

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke – 4 stars

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi – 4 stars

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde – 4 stars

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs – 4 starsrelated post

The Warden by Anthony Trollope – 4 stars

The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick (read aloud to Natalie) – 4 stars

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide (read aloud) – 4 stars

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes – 4 stars

3 star books:

Bibliotopia Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities compiled by Steven Gilbar – 3 starsrelated post

An Irish Christmas Feast: The Best of John B. Keane3 stars

Proverbs and Sayings of Ireland Edited by Sean Gaffney & Seamus Cashman – 3 stars

Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman – 3 stars

Redemption by Leon Uris – 3 starsrelated post

The Collected Works of Emily Dickinson3 stars

Writers on Writing, Volume II: More Collected Essays from The New York Times3 starsrelated post

The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Krauss & Emma McLaughlin – 3 stars

The Tales of Chekhov, Volume 1 by Anton Chekhov – 3 stars

Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet’s Life by Allan Wolf – 3 stars

The Dragon’s Eye: The Dragonology Chronicles, Volume 1 by Dugald A. Steer (read aloud to Noah) – 3 stars

The Last Girls by Lee Smith (audiobook) – 3 stars

Nerve Damage by Peter Abrahams (audiobook) – 3 stars

Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice From a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant by John Warner – 3 stars

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence – 3 stars

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat: Breaking the Bondage of Destructive Eating Habits by Elyse Fitzpatrick – 3 stars

Plainsong by Kent Haruf (audiobook) – 3 stars

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – 3 starsrelated post

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler – 3 stars

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks – 3 stars

To My Dearest Friends by Patricia Volk – 3 stars

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman’s Guide to Igniting the Writer Within by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett – 3 stars

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham – 3 starsrelated post

Enzymes and Your Health by Howard W. Fisher – 3 starsrelated post

A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow (audiobook) – 3 stars

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan – 3 stars

2 star books:

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston – 2 starsrelated post

Famous Writers School by Steven Carter – 2 stars

Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs – 2 stars

The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G. K. Chesterton – 2 starsrelated post

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta (audiobook) – 2 stars

Books I Started but Didn’t Finish:

Black Girl, White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It by Jim Wallis – related post (comment section)

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon


  1. dumboxacademy

    Merry Christmas! I love your list. I think I’ll print it out as a reference for me when I have trouble thinking of books to read. You inspire me too, to take reading more seriously. Lately, I just have gotten away from reading as much as I used to.

    I have to say though I thought the Jane Austen Book Club was just awful! I would have given it 1 or 2 stars. The only thing good about it was the appendix of quotes!

  2. learningumbrella

    Nice list! I wish I’d kept a list of everything I read last year … Maybe that will be a new practice this coming year.

  3. smallworld

    Wow! That is quite a list! I’ll be adding some of yours to my 2008 TBR list!
    Visiting from Semicolon’s Saturday Review–

  4. Framed

    Great list. I’ve read quite a few of the same books and have added some to my endless TBR list. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews over the past year.

  5. BookGal

    I like how you organized the list by number of stars. I may start a new tradition on my blog this year! Thanks for the idea.

  6. carrie

    Faith – I think it helped that I realized that The Jane Austen Book Club was not a plot-driven novel. It doesn’t have your typical beginning-middle-end structure – more of a “year in the life” character study. But I know many people who didn’t like it.

    Sara – I really liked going through this list – ir brought back some good reading memories from earlier in the year. Without the list to remind me, then I’m afraid I’d just forget them all.

    SmallWorld – thanks for stopping by!

    Framed – I enjoy reading your reviews, too!

    BookGal – that was new this year – I thought it would give me a quick reference when someone asks for a recommendation of a good book.

  7. Sherry

    I really liked I Capture the Castle and RIver Rising, too. And I’m plannng to read The Looking Glass Wars soon. At least it’s on the list.

  8. Lawanda

    I love your lists, Carrie. I have read more varied selections than ever before since I found you! :)

  9. Eileen

    Thanks for sharing your list Carrie! I’m amazed you only have 3 books you started and didn’t finish. I have WAY too many to list!

    My list is at

    Happy New Year!

  10. Cindy Swanson

    Wow! I am really, really impressed. I know I read a lot of books during 2007, but regrettably, except for the ones I blogged about, I didn’t keep track of them. This inspires me to keep track in 2008!

    By the way, other than the Bible, “Jane Eyre” is my favorite book, ever.

  11. carrie

    Sherry – I think you’ll like Looking Glass Wars.

    Lawanda – glad to hear it!

    Eileen – I was pretty lucky this year and almost all of the books I started were worth finishing.

    Cindy – Jane Eyre was wonderful – I don’t know why I put off reading it for so long.

  12. Saturday Review of Books: December 29, 2007 at Semicolon

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