55. The Average American: the extraordinary search for the nation’s most ordinary citizen by Kevin O’Keefe
The author set out to learn more about being average, after a life spent trying to avoid averageness in nearly every way. This was an interesting book, if you like statistics, but despite the fact that O’Keefe really did seem to learn a lot and become less snobby and superior, he somehow seemed to remain out of touch with the average American anyway. The writing didn’t grab me, and the numbers didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. But, the topic was interesting, and I do like statistics, so I enjoyed it.
56. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Fantastic book. I stayed up way too late to finish this because I could not go to sleep without knowing the end. I was really surprised by the end, but it made perfect sense.
This is very different from James’ more straightforward mysteries, and it is very thought-provoking. I will have to think about this one for a while.
Fascinating book on a possible future human evolution. This book postulates a social organism with different people making up a group that functions as a whole. It seems unlikely, especially since the people involved are born into normal families and then have to find each other, and procreation in general seems problematic, but the ideas investigated are intriguing.
59. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brilliant, thought-provoking book. This was a subtle and fascinating exploration into the meaning of life. The non-fiction afterword by Huxley is a little more difficult to take. He makes good points, but his superior tone is not going to win a lot of converts. He was much better off making his points fictionally.
Pulitzer Prize winner. I have read one other book by Shields (Larry’s Party), so I knew that she is a fantastic writer, and this book was not a disappointment. The main character of this book is just an ordinary person, which is refreshing. Very good book.
61. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Book 7 by J. K. Rowling
I enjoyed this book–I read the whole thing yesterday. I pretty much knew what happened already, but it was nice to read it all. I am obviously not an obsessive fan, but I do find these books compulsively readable when I do read it.
I find that I am ahead of schedule suddenly, after spending nearly the entire year behind. Well, not schedule, but pace, I guess. So, maybe I can get even more books in! Probably not, with Christmas at the end of the year, I am sure I will slow down in December.