As part of the new year's resolution, I set a goal of reading 50 books in 2009. See my post here: Book reading plan in 2009
I plan to do a summary report every two months. Here are the previous reports of the year: I (January, February) (10 books), II (March, April) (8 books), III (May, June) (6 books), and IV (July, August) (7 books).
Work slowed down a little, but I was really addicted to playing the 'Typing Maniac' game on Facebook. I got a score above one million yesterday and decided to quit for a while. :) I finished 7 books this past two months and now have a total of 38 books for the year. I hope I could get more reading done during the long flights and two weeks of vacation in China (no access to Facebook there).
1. The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
Connelly's books are always good. This one is not among his best but not disappointing either. Both reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling were characters from his previous novels. Here they struggled on their jobs and saved each other's lives. The bad guy almost got away. Also a few interesting issues were discussed along the way - the dying newspaper industry, the risk of putting personal information on the web, the rising need of data storage and security, etc.
2. Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life by Steven Johnson
I learned a few things from this book, but overall it is disappointing. It explained our fear response, attention, memory, laughter and the chemical reactions happening inside our brains. However, I feel it is just a few facts here and there, not at all systematic and not nearly as informative as it should be. Besides, I really can't see how such a complicated and marvelous system could possibly be evolved from reptiles' simple brains, which the author believes to be the case.
3. What Men Won't Tell You but Women Need to Know by Bob Berkowitz and Roger Gittines
Interesting to learn, but how much is applicable to each individual is hard to say. I can't seem to remember much from the book anyway. Probably I need to read the 'Mind Wide Open' book again to figure out what happened to my memory.
4. Heat Lightning by John Sandford
I have never been a big Sandford fan and this novel didn't change the fact. It is about the investigation of a series of torture murder victims found with lemons stuffed in their mouths. There is a trail leading to a gruesome crime committed in Vietnam back in 1975. It is a Virgil Flowers novel, with Lucas Davenport as his boss. An OK read.
5. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
This classic tells the story of the young Gascon D'Artagnan and his three friends from the regiment of the King's Musketeers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis. All the characters in the book were vivid (especially so from the audiobook I have been listening to), and I learned about the power struggles of seventeenth century France. I always wonder though, why the book was titled 'the three musketeers' while it was a story about four.
6. The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
OMG I finally finished this book! I started reading it so many years ago that I no longer remember. I must be really young then, when I still had the courage and energy to start a 550+ page book of small font, a book on a story that I already knew (from the movie). Anyway, I'm just so glad that it is finally done! The fact that it took me maybe nearly a decade to finish speaks for itself.
7. When Night Falls by Margaret Daley
This is the first book that I finish reading on Kindle. A quite plain short story. The mentioning of faith and Psalms 23 was a pleasant surprise to me, as I didn't expect it to be a Christian book.