11 Decades, 22 Books

I saw a challenge on a fellow bookblogger’s sidebar that intrigued me, and so I’m joining. The original challenge is 15 books/15 decades, but I couldn’t pick just one book per decade, so I’m doing 22 books spanning 11 decades.

In selecting my titles, I chose books from only years ending in 00 and 05, listed on Wikipedia’s novels by year search results pages, that I hadn’t read, but had been meaning to, or felt that I should, or just interested me in some way. I used a narrow field of choices because otherwise I’d have been picking novels for days.

This, then, is my list, by year of original publication:
1900 – Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser
1905 – The Lighthouse at the Edge of the World, Jules Verne
1910 – Howard’s End, E.M. Forster
1915 – The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
1920 – The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie
1925 – The Wind, Dorothy Scarborough
1930 – East Wind, West Wind, Pearl S. Buck
1935 – The African Queen, by C.S. Forester
1940 – For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
1945 – The Small Rain, Madeleine L’Engle
1950 – The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
1955 – A Charmed Life, Mary McCarthy
1960 – The Light in the Piazza, Elizabeth Spencer
1965 – Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac
1970 – Jonathon Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
1975 – Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters
1980 – A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
1985 – The Sand Child, Tahar Ben Jelloun
1990 – The Ghost from the Grand Banks, Arthur C. Clarke
1995 – Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman
2000 – Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz
2005 – Comfort Food, Noah Ashenhurst – – Review

I may not read them in order, but reviews will be posted here after each book is finished.

Fool Moon

Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2) by Jim Butcher

Book Two of Jim Butcher’s fantasy/mystery series The Dresden Files mixing it up with werewolves, of which, we learn from Bob (the spirit in the skull) there are many different kinds. Butcher’s novels are designed so that readers who follow the series in order will pick up the continuing relationships between the characters, but so that they can be read as stand-alone stories as well – which is my wordy way of saying that there was enough introduction included to make sure that new readers knew who everyone was, but not so much that it felt at all repetitive.

With the eponymous television series now in its seventh week on the Sci-Fi channel (here in the States, and on Space, I think, in Canada) comparisons are inevitable, but while the feel of the series is sort of “cozy paranormal” the books retain a much more classic detective novel tone, with strong secondary characters like local crime lord John Marcone offering a surprising amount of depth and personality.

Harry, of course, is our main focus, and in this novel we see just how fragile his friendship with cop Karrin Murphy really is, and get a little bit better knowledge of his on-again off-again romance with Arcane reporter Susan.

The action and exposition nicely balance each other, and over all the story does what Jim Butcher does best: entertains, and leaves us wanting more.