Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pages From the Past: My 2001 Reading Journal


Welcome to this month's (late) installment of Pages From the Past. In recent months, I've been sharing highlights from my old reading journal, one year at a time. 2001 was a big year in reading for me - I read nearly twice as many books as the previous year. At that time, I was a regular member of two local book clubs, but I think the increase was a direct result of my discovery of on-line book groups. Did you ever participate in one of the many Yahoo book discussion groups?


My Favorite Books Read in 2001

Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Berniers
I still consider this an all-time favorite.


The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
 Do you remember the Oprah Book Club drama associated with this title?


The Red Tent by Anita Diamont
I also enjoyed Good Harbor  in 2001.


Middle Age: A Romance by Joyce Carol Oates
My favorite JCO novel to date


Montana 1948 by Larry Watson
This is probably where my fascination with Montana began.


Prodigal Summer  by Barbara Kingsolver
Still my favorite of her novels...


A quirky, fun read for the literary-minded... try it!


The Fourth Hand by John Irving
I've loved John Irving ever since reading The World According to Garp in the 70s.


A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
A book club pushed me into reading this one.


Outstanding nonfiction... I still recommend it often.


Have you read any of these books?
Do you think your reading habits and tastes have changed since 2001?

32 comments:

  1. I love this feature! And - I had no idea there were Yahoo book discussion groups! I had a lot of friends who loved The Red Tent, but I still haven't read it.

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    1. Sarah - Glad you like this feature. It's like a trip down memory lane for me! Yahoo book groups were big back then - I was even co-owner of a classics group.

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  2. I've read FOUR! Not bad. But probably only Red Tent was before I started blogging. (the others are Spirit Catches, Lesson Before Dying, and Montana.) I can't help but see Nicholas Cage when I see the Corelli book and I don't even know if that's accurate. I never saw the movie, either.

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    1. Care - I loved Corelli's Mandoling so much, that when the movie started getting mediocre reviews I decided not to see it. Still haven't...

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  3. I know I've read Prodigal Summer and I think I've read Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast.

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    1. Kathy - Bachelor Borthers' Bed and Breakfast was so charming. I still have my copy and plan to reread at some point.

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  4. I had forgotten all about Montana 1948. I read it probably this same year and enjoyed it. Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast looks like a fun read. I'll have to look for that one.

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    1. Katherine - Bachelor Borthers' Bed & Breakfast would be a perfect slump-busting read... so sweet and charming.

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  5. Wow...many great books and authors on your 2001 reading list. I read and enjoyed two on your list: The Corrections and The Red Tent.

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    1. Catherine - Franzen created quite a stir with Oprah over The Corrections, lol! I loved Freedom, too, and have Purity ready to go now.

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  6. Oh, yes. The Yahoo book groups. I was in several of them. I've read 3 of these books, The Red Tent, A Lesson Before Dying, and The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down. All were good ones. Enjoyed this, JoAnn!

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    1. Kay - I was in quite a few Yahoo groups for a while there, too... wonder if we overlapped? Thanks, once again, for inspiring this series.

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  7. Always so much fun to see these...and to know that we have so much in common even when we read different books. Would you believe that I still have never read Joyce Carol Oates?

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    1. Audrey - JCO can be a little brutal. I remember Middle Age as being slightly more gentle than some of her other novels. I really liked The Falls, too. It is fun to see how much we differ and yet still have common ground :)

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  8. Wait. Yahoo has book discussion groups?! I had no idea! Ooh, The Red Tent and Prodigal Summer are two I really wish I had read.

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    1. Kathy - I'm pretty sure those Yahoo groups are still around. Nowhere near as popular as they were back in the 90s though...

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  9. Oh I missed the discussion groups but I think I probably read The Corrections in this year too! I wish I'd kept track of my reading that far back though.

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    1. Cleo - It's so much fun looking though this journal... wish I'd started it much earlier!

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  10. Those online groups really expanded my reading. I joined many groups and found so many great titles shared there.

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    1. Deb - They really expanded my reading, too. I think we were both in bookgrouplist at the same time.

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  11. It's so interesting to see what everyone used to read!

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    1. Patty - It's kind of like looking at people's book shelves when you go to their house ;-)

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  12. What a great idea, JoAnn! I definitely remember the Oprah book club debacle, now that you've mentioned it; that's hilarious! I love John Irving (can't wait to read the new one!) and A Lesson Before Dying was great. Thanks for sharing these memories!

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    1. Tara - I haven't read Irving's last couple of novels, but I am looking forward to catching up with him again :)

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  13. Have read Prodigal Summer and the "Spirit" by Anne Fadiman. Wish AF would publish more. I continue to read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, but might read more biographies than before. Some of my 2001 favs were: The Hatbox Baby--Carrie Brown (a Chicago World's Fair story); Chang and Eng--Darin Strauss (fiction re the famous conjoined twins); White Teeth--Zadie Smith; Poisonwood Bible--Kingsolver; Ava's Man--Rick Bragg; and On The Gulf--Elizabeth Spencer re the Gulf of Mexico and famous artist and potter Walter Anderson.

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    1. JudyMac - I remember Chang and Eng, read White Teeth with my book club, and Poisonwood Bible, too, but not in 2001. Rick Bragg has been on my 'authors to read' list for way too long.

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  14. I haven't read any of these though I have some of them in my TBR - added long ago. It's interesting how each book is associated with certain memories and they can be recalled years later.

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    1. Athira - It's funny, but I look at some of those titles and can clearly remember reading them (especially if on vacation), but don't remember as much about the plot.

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  15. I loved Prodigal Summer!! And I liked The Fourth Hand a lot, it was my first Irving.

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    1. Stacy - I'm not sure why I haven't read Irving's last couple of novels, but it's time for me to catch up with him!

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  16. Oh, how I love BB'B&B! And gosh, it doesn't seem possible that so much time has passed since yahoo groups. They were such a part of my life. Reading groups, homemaking groups, cooking groups. I'm still friends with some of those people, but there are many I've lost track of.

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    1. Nan - Some day I will reread Bachelor Brothers B&B... still have it on my shelf all these years! Those yahoo groups were great back in the day. I met a group of women from a reading list in Atlanta back in 2002 or 2003. We went book shopping, did a little sightseeing, and saw the most unusual rendition of Hamlet ever!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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