Well, here's the year in review. Literally.
Or should I say "literarily"? (Yes, I should.) Anyway, what I mean to say is, here's a list of my reading matter (i.e., books) for the year 2006. (Incidentally, do you say "two thousand six" or "twenty-oh-six"? I hear the former, though I wish the latter took hold. I heard "twenty-oh-six" on BBC World Service last night.) The Irish Independent (seen here being perused by an erudite if slightly effeminate-looking Laughorist en route from Malahide to Dublin, last October) doesn't count. Just books.
Do people read actual real books anymore? I fear not too many do. That does not make me better or worse. I'm a slow reader, one who savors a book. Yes, I read magazines and newspapers too -- hard copy -- but I am most faithful to books. I need to read a book before falling asleep (yes, even after THAT). I know, I'm so retro.
Here's my rather short list, unadorned with editorial comment.
1. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (novel)
2. The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster (novel)
3. Attention.Deficit.Disorder by Brad Listi (novel)
4. Blue Angel by Francine Prose (novel)
5. Delights & Shadows by Ted Kooser (poetry; former U.S. Poet Laureate; I shook his hand)
6. McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy (travel; humor)
7. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (novel)
8. Born to Be Mild by Dave Armitage (novel)
9. The Beast God Forgot to Invent by Jim Harrison (three novellas)
10. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (novel)
11. The Pornographer by John McGahern (novel)
12. Praying Like Jesus by James Mulholland (spiritual commentary)
13. A Year to Live by Stephen Levine (psychology/meditation)
14. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (novel) (about 40 pages and I'll be done; I promise, I'll finish by December 31 -- Deo volente).
(Addendum: OK. I did finish it, last night, on December 30. Can I start and finish something short in one day? Perhaps Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company?)
Name one of your books of 2006. Just one.
Happy and peaceful and healthy and blessed 2007. One day at a time.