Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pages From the Past: My 1999 Reading Journal


Welcome to the second installment of my Pages From the Past Series. Today I'm looking back at my 1999 reading journal. It is interesting to see what was I reading in the last century. Some of my tastes and habits have decidedly changed, while others have have remained and even strengthened.

What stood out?

1. I read a lot of mysteries back then... Barbara Vine and Patricia Cornwell were among my favorites in 1999.

2. I also read more women's fiction... but did we even call it women's fiction in 1999? My favorites were:


The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe 



Island Justice by Elizabeth Winthrop 
 I read this on vacation in Hilton Head...could that be why I loved it?


3. For whatever reason, my nonfiction reading skyrocketed in 1999... and I've tried to add more to my reading every year since. My favorites included:


 Personal History by Katharine Graham






A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle



Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes


4. My literary fiction favorites included a couple of new authors that are still among my favorites today.


Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout



The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett


Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett


5. My book club read a lot of Oprah titles back then. They affectionately became known to us as "downtrodden women" books.

Jewel by Brett Lott
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve



6. Elizabeth Berg  -Talk Before Sleep, Until the Real Thing Comes Along, What We Keep - was my most frequently read author of 1999.

7. My least favorite book of 1999 was:


The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
"life -changing" for some in my book club, but I struggled to finish


Do you remember what you were reading in 1999? Have you read any of these books?





28 comments:

  1. Going back to an old chronicle of the books that you read is such a great idea. It lends itself to such great blogging opportunities as well as the chance for personal enrichment. I wish that I had kept a detailed chronicle of everything that I had read.

    It is neat that you discovered authors in 1999 that you are still reading.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I wish I had started keeping a reading log much earlier... particularly my teen years. It is fun to see what books I was enjoying and be able to track changes in habits, taste, etc.

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  2. Oh yes, I read all of those Oprah picks back then as well, along with James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver.

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    1. Diane - Oh yes, all those Oprah books. There must be a complete list somewhere... would love to see how many I've actually read!

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  3. I recently enjoyed books by Mary Alice Monroe. I enjoyed The Pilots Wife. Great list - looking back. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Pat - I know I've read recent blog posts on Mary Alice Monroe. It would be fun to see what she's writing now!

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  4. I've only started tracking my reads in 2008 and I didn't read as much in the years prior. But it is fun when I start looking at the books I read in a certain year and see how my reading tastes have changed over time.

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    1. Athira - I really wish I'd started a lot earlier, but am happy my log goes back as far as it does. I love bookish nostalgia!

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  5. We had similar reading taste even back then except I loved The Poisonwood Bible. This was fun!

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    1. Kathy - I'm still friends with the book club member who thought The Poisonwood Bible was life-changing... we laugh about our different take on that one from time to time!

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  6. I haven't read any of them but I do own copies of The Pilot's Wife and The Poisonwood Bible.

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    1. Vicki - I went on to reach many more novels by both Anita Shreve and Barbara Kingsolver after those two :)

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  7. I was most likely reading mysteries in 1999 as well and Patricia Cornwell was one of my favorites. I loved the one about the serial killer who was targeting couples best.

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    1. Katherine - It's been many years, but that storyline sounds familiar ;-)

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  8. Definitely Elizabeth Berg, and I loved Under the Tuscan Sun!

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    1. Audrey - It's probably been ten years since I last read Elizabeth Berg... no real reason why. I always loved her books.

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  9. Have read several on your list, but my favorite would be Ann Patchett. My shelf holds first editions of all her earliest books, and unless I'm mistaken, I think I've read all that she has written. Just love her style. If you haven't read her latest, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, you must read soon. She strikes me as a person who is extremely happy, particularly since she seems to have found the love of her life. I need to make a little trip up to Nashville and visit her Parnassus Book Store. In the meantime, maybe she will have another great story ready for us soon.

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    1. JudyMac - I think I've read all of Patchett's books, too. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage was one of my favorites last year. I had a print copy from the library and purchased the audio version from audible. She narrates it herself... an amazing book!! Nashville is on my list of places to visit - primarily to visit her bookstore!

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  10. I was reading Oprah's picks back then as well. I have Katherine Graham's book on my shelf but somehow never got around to reading it.

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    1. Monica - I read Graham's book for book club and enjoyed it so much more than expected. It's one of the books that got me reading nonfiction again!

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  11. Reading this post made me wish I'd kept a reading journal before I started blogging! I remember enjoying A Year in Provence. Falling Leaves looks good.

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    1. Belle Wong - I went on to read another of Mayle's books, but didn't enjoy it quite as much as A Year in Provence. My book club was responsible for a lot of my nonfiction that year.

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  12. It's only over the last two years that I've kept track of what I read from year to year, although I have kept a running book list for a long time and highlight each book in colored font after I finish it, but I have no idea when I read each book. I've read Amy and Isabelle, and also the Patron Saint of Liars and I liked both of those. I also disliked The Poisonwood Bible. I read it one summer when I was sick, and reading it made me feel even more sick.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - It's funny, but I think The Poisonwood Bible was the book we had the most varied reaction to over the years... ranging from life-changing to "I hated it".

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  13. I read a few of these! I think I was just getting into reading more about this time. I didn't start tracking until blogging.

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    1. Care - When did you start blogging? Were you Class of 2008, too? Seems like so many of us started them...

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  14. Oh the Katharine Graham book was terrific back then. I worked there back in the 1990s so I'm a little biased, but she was a terrific lady.

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    1. Thecuecard - How exciting! I really think that was the book that turned me into a nonfiction reader.

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