Friday, December 18, 2009

Books I Read in 2009: Part Twee (Dutch for "Two" Which Becomes Important Later)

Remember how I keep track of the books I read all year? Without further adieu, part two.

*11.The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski. This book is a goodie. Here is what my friend and guest blogger Stephen King has to say about it:
"I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and spent twelve happy evenings immersed in the world David Wroblewski has created. As I neared the end, I kept finding excuses to put the book aside for a little, not because I didn't like it, but because I liked it too much; I didn't want it to end. Dog-lovers in particular will find themselves riveted by this story, because the canine world has never been explored with such imagination and emotional resonance. Yet in the end, this isn't a novel about dogs or heartland America--although it is a deeply American work of literature. It's a novel about the human heart, and the mysteries that live there, understood but impossible to articulate. Yet in the person of Edgar Sawtelle, a mute boy who takes three of his dogs on a brave and dangerous odyssey, Wroblewski does articulate them, and splendidly. I closed the book with that regret readers feel only after experiencing the best stories: It's over,and I won't read another one this good for a long, long time.

Sorry. That was kind of long. Stephen King is always like, "Please Kacy, let me write on your blog!" Anyway, you'll like The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Apparently Oprah likes it too, but she was unwilling to guest post for me. Is she getting too big for her britches or what? That's not a fat joke.
*12.The Poet and the Murderer by Simon Warrall. Really, really, interesting book about Emily Dickinson and Mark Hoffman--seem like unlikely bedfellows? Just read it. Mark Hoffman--ew. He's bad.
13. The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine by Mindy Starns Clark. The author says in this book that all her friends couldn't believe that she was writing a cleaning book because, I guess, she's not all that clean. I wrote her an e-mail asking if she secretly hated those friends because I think it's really rude. She was nice and wrote back. She doesn't hate them. I would. This is a useful book. It's about changing your house so it doesn't get so messy. "Got a pile of stuff on the floor? Put a shelf there," that kind of thing. I like it.

14. Stone's Fall: A Novel by Iain Pears. A story about love, deception, greed, lust, and unbridled enthusiasm. You see, Stone was a simple country boy--some might say a cockeyed optimist--who got himself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue. It's just the sort of book I like. You probably would too.

15. Darling Jim: A Novel by Christian Moerk. I don't think this book is very good. That said, I did read the whole thing. There are plenty of books I start and never finish (which are not on this list). So it was worth finishing. The story is set in Ireland and about Irish people. Christian Moerk is Danish. I wrote this on Twitter: "Christian Moerk, Why write about Ireland? You're Dutch." I guess Danish and Dutch are different. I make that mistake all the time. Guess who didn't appreciate my Tweet? But you see, Frank Delaney has ruined me for anyone else who tries to write about Ireland. That's why I wrote him a fan letter and that's what I told him. He did not respond. Weird. Christian Moerk responded to my tweet in like five seconds.

*16. Shannon: A Novel by Frank Delaney. Speaking of Frank Delaney, Hi Frank! Remember when I sent you fan mail and you never wrote back? Why do I keep plugging your books when you won't even respond to my email? Isn't it about time I got on board with Christian Moerk? At least he writes back. The Dutch are really good that way.

*17. The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by Billy Collins. I normally don't go in for poetry. It's just not my bag. But this is great. I love Billy Collins. I like to think that if I wrote him some fan mail he would write back.

*18 Nine Horses: Poems by Billy Collins. Very, very good. You will love.

19. Messies Manual, The: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home by Sandra Felton. If you are a crazy, messy, hoarder--this book will help. And, incidentally, Sandra Felton writes back when you send her a question about an anecdote in her book. She's good people.

*20. Green Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck. This is another one I read for my 2nd Parents Magazine article, which I guess I should stop talking about because it's embarrassing how they are ignoring me in the manner of Frank Delaney. Honestly, this book is really useful. I recommend buying this to have on hand. It's not just about "being green," but also about being cheap and practical and clean.

Wow. That was a good stretch of reading. Look at all those stars! Stay tuned for the next installment. Oh! Can you stand it?

(I wonder if Christian Moerk is Googling himself right now. I hope not.)
He's very handsome. Maybe I should rethink my review of Darling Jim.


  1. Your house must be very clean by now.

    I want to love Frank Delaney, but truthfully, his books just make me really depressed. Does this mean I am shallow?

  2. did it sorta scare you when he wrote back so quick?
    you're brave.

  3. i really love billy collins too. he came and read some poems at byu last year and it was a bit of a dream come true.

  4. I agree with Sue; I love Ireland, I love stories about Ireland and yet, Delaney just makes me sad. Oh well. Also, I hated, I mean HATED the Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I couldn't even finish it...maybe I'm the shallow one...:-) I keep meaning to pick up Billy Collins; now I am even more motivated!

  5. I love Billy Collins. I didn't like Edgar Sawtelle. I wanted to like it, and parts of it I loved, but I just didn't need another dysfunctional family tragedy in my head at the time. Loved the dogs, though, and really liked Edgar. Cleaning books always make me feel like there are answers to how to keep my house clean and organized. And guess what? There aren't. Keep the reviews, coming, though, because I need more books on my To Read shelf on Goodreads...

  6. You don't know me but I love your Seinfeld reference!


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