"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Turning the Leaves of 2019, novels and more

What books have you read this year?
I started taking stock last night as I finished rereading, for the first time in decades, Fahrenheit 451, by Bradbury, thinking I'd not read much and lost track of the books. By the way, my copy is a 50th anniversary, leather bound signed copy by Bradbury, a gift from a great former student and friend, Andy Jensen.
I'd written in the first half of  this year about books choosing you and journeys of imagination at the bedside. I went back and counted 17 books  up through the first of the year. Links to those books are are the end of this post.
Here's the breakdown of 17 more books by genre for the second half of the year: Art books, 3; Inspiration, 1; Non-fiction, 6; Novels, 5; Poetry, 1; Writing, 1. You might add 5 partially read chess books, inherited from my late friend and chess partner John Lawton, who died in June.
Totals by genre from the first half of the year: Art, 3; Inspiration, 1; Non-fiction/Science, 7; Novels, 5.
Year totals: Art, 6; Inspiration, 1; Non-fiction, 12; Novels, 10; Poetry, 1; Writing, 1.
The trend I see is an increase in novels, as I usually gravitate toward non-fiction. I don't know what that says about me. do you?
(I've found much truth in these novels. Both Bradbury and Asimov, for example, are not considered "futurists," but they had, in the 1950s, a chilling ability to predict some of our current lives.)
At any rate, that's a total of 34 complete books for the year, up four from 2018.
This includes the Neil Gaiman novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, that I'm half way through, perhaps the scariest book I've ever read, and will finish before December is finished.
Art books: First Impressions in Watercolor, Edward Ward; Pioneer Arts of Taos, Laura Bickerstaff, copyright 1955, autographed to my Dad; World of Cezanne, Time Life.
A must read for every traveler
Non-Fiction: Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest, Stephen Plog; Blue Highways, Least Heat Moon, rereading; Blue Highways Revisited, Edward Ailor, III, and IV, stunning photos and stories 50 years later, a birthday gift to my @PathsTaken son Travis, a must read; Norse Mythology, Gaiman;  Soul of America, John Meacham; Indian Tribes of North America, Josepha Sherman.
Novels: in addition to Bradbury and Gaiman, Foundation Trilogy, Asimov. 
Poetry, Sunsets and Haiku, Una Belle Townsend. And lots of Whitman.
WritingDraft #4, John McPhee.
Chess books: Common Sense in Chess, Lasker; Art of Attack in Chess, Vukovic; Queen's Gambit Accepted, Gufeld; Center Control.
By the way, I buy most of my new books from Best of Books in Edmond; Used art books, used books where I can find them, if I don't "borrow" them from my daughter's bookstore in Canyon, Texas, Burrowing Owl Books.
Here are links to the first half of year readings: 
Journeys at Bedside
When Books Choose You

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