January is just about over, so I guess I should stop dwelling on 2008 and move along. So a quick summary of my other favorite books I read last year.
If anyone was reading this, they might notice I haven't got to any novels yet. I read novels last year, just enjoyed the nonfiction more.
Part of the reason for this was political. Authors I've enjoyed in the past kept slipping in their political agenda with views quite different than mine. That's okay, but I'm just not entertained by attacks on my belief, especially unbalanced attacks. John Grisham is not an artist for the ages, but I've enjoyed some of his novels in the past, especially "A Time to Kill", "The Firm" and "The Testament". But "The Appeal" which glorified ambulance chasing lawyers and smeared corperations was stomach turning. I loved everything by Robert Harris including "Fatherland" and "Enigma", but "The Ghost", which had some clever plot twists and interesting observations on writing, was also a mean spirtited attack on Prime Minister Blair and President Bush.
I started reading Lee Child's Jack Reacher books last year and enjoyed many of them, especially "Killing Floor" and "The Enemy", but liberal sucker punches are found throughout them. I've been reading them to know better how I can write action and thrills. But I laughed out loud when Reacher found the tax returns of a dead old friend. His friend had given to PETA. Reacher thought that he didn't know much about the organization, but his friend was so thoughtful and rational, it must be a good organization. Yes, the organization that is trying to end fishing by popularizing the term "sea kittens" for tuna is thoughtful and rational.
So I found much more pleasure reading "Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony's Long Romance with the Left" by Ronald Radosh and "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg that thoughtfully explored and refuted much of what the media has been saying about the history of socialism. Yes, Virginia, there were communists in Hollywood and they did not have our best interests at heart. (And Joe MacCarthy did not pursue them, that was other Democrats in Washington.) And National Socialism was not a far right party, they were, as the name implys, socialists.
So back to reading new books in 2009. Wasn't too impressed with Carrie Fisher's "Wishful Drinking", but more Reacher and Sarah Vowell's "Wordy Shipmates' are to come.