Now, personally, I enjoy making up my best books reading list at the end of each year. I also enjoying seeing other peoples’ book lists and comparing them to mine. But columnist Meghan Daum is ambivalent about all these “listicles,” as you’ll see here.
Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling series ‘Conversations with God,’ recently posted a personal Christmas essay on the spiritual Web site Beliefnet.com that was nearly identical to a 10-year-old article originally published by a little-known writer in a spiritual magazine. He now says he made a mistake in believing the story was something that had actually happened to him.
Oh dear. People who do this are always sorry–when they get caught. I stand firmly with Candy Chand, the woman whose work was lifted:
“I have strong issue with anyone who would appear to plagiarize my work and pretend it is his own,” said Ms. Chand. “That takes away from the truth of the material, it takes away from the miracle that occurred, because people begin to question what they can believe anymore. As a professional writer, when someone appears to plagiarize, they damage the industry, they damage other writer’s credibility and they hurt the reader because they never know what to believe anymore.”
And the fact that the man who got caught doing this is supposedly a man of God–well, I stand with Candy Chand on that point, too:
She added that it was ironic that Mr. Walsch in particular had been the one to appropriate her writing. “Has the man who writes best selling books about his ‘Conversations with God’ also heard God’s commandments?” she asked. “’Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie, and thou shalt not covet another author’s property?’”
Most of the year’s best books listed compiled by book reviewers cover only books published during the current year. My list, however, includes books that I read during this past year, regardless of when they were published.
Being a full-time student has cut way, way down on my pleasure reading. This past year I only got through 38 books (exclusive of textbooks, of course!). Here’s my list of best reads for 2008, arranged alphabetically by author’s last name:
The Top 10
- Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex
- Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
- Goldberg, Natalie. Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir
- Hood, Ann. Comfort: A Journey through Grief
- O’Farrell, Maggie. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
- Saks, Elyn R. The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey through Madness
- Schwartz, Lynne Sharon. Disturbances in the Field
- Weller, Sheila. Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon–and the Journey of a Generation
- Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief
- Barry, Brunonia. The Lace Reader
- Botton, Alain de. How Proust Can Change Your Life
- Cheever, Susan. American Bloomsbury
- O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried
- Tyler, Anne. Saint Maybe
Happy New Year to all!
Happy Holidays to all,
And to all a good night.
With best wishes to all our friends in New England, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest. Stay safe, happy, and warm.
Here’s a list of some of the things I’m thankful for as this Thanksgiving weekend winds down:
- family and friends, even though they’re scattered all over the country
- the Internet, which, in addition to enabling us to learn anything we want to know, also allows us to keep in touch with family and friends, even though they’re scattered all over the country
- thick, warm wool socks, which I wear all winter long
- the election of Barack Obama
- the abundance on my Thanksgiving table and in my refrigerator
- glucosamine and chondroitin, which–at least so far–are keeping my 60-year-old joints working painlessly
- the next generation, which is turning out very nicely, if I do say so myself
- the approaching end of George W. Bush’s Presidency
- human resilience, especially in children
- audiobooks for listening to while exercising
- the handiwork of my massage therapist and personal trainer (see above reference to glucosamine and chondroitin)
- fuzzy warm pajamas and fleece-lined slippers
- Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
- the fact that Sarah Palin is not going to be the next Vice-President of the United States
- hot cocoa
- the aroma of turkey soup simmering in the kitchen
Comments are not automatically posted; I have to manually approve each one. Any comment that is not substantively related to the topic of the original post will not be approved, so it will do you no good to submit a list of bogus links here.
While it is certainly a tedious task for me to go through a long list of spam comments and delete each one, I assure you that is what I will continue to do.
Did you hear John McCain call Barack Obama “that one” last night?
It’s not quite as bad as “you people,” but it’s close.
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).
Check out the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week Website for information about the most frequently challenged books and about how you can fight censorship in your community.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Check out this site for all kinds of information about breast cancer and how you can help in the fight against this disease.