Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What I read in 2006

Ever wonder what an FBI profiler would make of your public library record? Are there such people doing such profiling? If so, how do they separate the merely curious or the admirably scholarly from the clearly nefarious, anyway? When I was in junior high school back in the days "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." was on TV, I loved to check out library books on spying, espionage, and Russia (remember that cute Ilya Kuryakin?). But I didn't want to be incorrectly typed by my school librarian or anybody else as a junior spy or, God forbid, a nascent traitor. I always figured it was my perfect Constitutional right to read legally-written books obtainable in public libraries about any darn subject I chose, and more power to me for wanting to educate myself about the big wide world. Yet what do our "library cards" and reading lists tell others about ourselves?

Even more troubling these days than the idea that some government officials are secretly snooping into library reading lists is the reality that many in the world want to control what others read and even--as in Afghanistan, for just one example--don't want some people to read at all.

Conscious of and grateful for my freedoms, I thought that, just for the record, I'd post the eclectic list of books this American read for pleasure last year--books I would also recommend to everybody. It's a list heavy with the works of the incomparable Thomas Sowell, punctuated with "parenting" resources and a smattering of good literature, and ending with a study of Islam:

1. A Student’s Guide to Economics (ISI Books) by Paul Heyne

2. Cope With It! by Dr. Laura Schlessinger

3. A Student’s Guide to the Core Curriculum (ISI Books) by Mark C. Henrie

4. Ethnic America: A History by Thomas Sowell

5. Choosing a College by Thomas Sowell

6. A Personal Odyssey by Thomas Sowell

7. A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester

8. Turn Up the Music by Jeff Dess

9. Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullies, Cliques, Popularity, and Jealousy by Rachel Simmons

10. Conquests and Cultures: An International History by Thomas Sowell

11. Plain and Simple: A Woman’s Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender

12. A Deficit of Decency by Zell Miller

13. The Myth of Osteoporosis by Gillian Sanson

14. Life on the Edge: A Young Adult’s Guide to a Meaningful Future by Dr. James Dobson

15. Love & Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation by David A. Price

16. Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent

17. Useful Idiots by Mona Charen

18. Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell

19. Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity by John Stossel

20. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

21. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

22. Band of Brothers: E Co., 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normany to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, by Stephen E. Ambrose

23. Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq

24. American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us by Steven Emerson

25. The City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre

26. The Trouble With Islam: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith by Irshad Manji

27. Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire

28. The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson

29. Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America by Brigitte Gabriel

30. The Truth About Muhammad Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion by Robert Spencer

31. Child Star: An Autobiography by Shirley Temple Black

32. America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It by Mark Steyn

33. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

What would your 2006 reading list say about you? How about your 2007 list?


  • At Sunday, January 07, 2007 6:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi! Impressive reading list .
    If you loved reading Love and Hate in Jamestown you have simply got to read the novel "Mayflower Maid' and the just published sequel ' Jamestwon Woman'. Both are written by an American guy and a Brit woman so give a really great bi national veiw of events unfolding in the early 1600's as America was ceing founded and as to what was happening back in England at the time which led to it all happening. Absolutely facinating! Keep up the blogging! - rtvart

  • At Sunday, January 07, 2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Zabrina said…

    Thanks for those suggestions; I *will* check them out, as I certainly did enjoy the Jamestown history--a lot.

    I also found a copy of David Hackett Fischer's "Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America's Founding Ideas" on the bargain table at Border's on New Year's Day, which looks like a good read for the coming year. His previous history, "Albion's Seed" was excellent.

  • At Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:23:00 PM, Anonymous Bookworm said…

    Your opening sentence is a scary one. My annual reading, which runs to the hundreds, is a bizarre melange of junk novels (romances and thrillers) and heavy-duty non-fiction. I'm probably a mass murderer in the making/ Your reading list, by the way, sounds fascinating. I bet you're a well informed and very good conversationalist.


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