It is astounding to me how much I haven't read in the past seasons. By a combination of not having the time (the brewing and birth of our third child; a teaching career, which is inherently parasitic to one's time in the early years of its practice) and not taking the time (the pervasiveness of other interests: video games, film, worthwhile television (Lost, Mad Men, Heroes, The Wire, The Office), I have only managed to finish the following works.
"Pincher Martin" by William Golding. This was better in retrospect that during its reading. While I was engaged in it I was confused most of the time. The inner workings of the character were hard to follow comprehensively, and it wasn't until the final "twist" of the story at its end, that I appreciated the story as a whole.
"Roughing It" I started this in the Summer of 07, and didn't finish it until Summer 08 - as I took the myriad anecdotes a piece at a time. It was excellent, as Mark Twain is always excellent. The story of the old dog at Mono Lake had me howling with laughter. Though his mining camp chapters were given a darker hue than he infused them with from my experiences watching "Deadwood".
"Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin. Despite my never having been too great a fan of Steve Martin's stand up, I enjoyed this book's chronicling of Martin's career from inception to over-ripening. I loved everything about his chapter at Disneyland - sharing in his perception of beauty and attention to detail in the park; the story of his simply riding up on his bike at getting a job there. Fantastic.
While I was waiting for the audiobook of the next Aubrey-Maturin book to come in from the library, I browsed through and picked up "The Mistress of Magic" by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I enjoyed this lush retelling of the Arthur legend from a woman's perspective - but not enough that I postpone my progress through O'Brian's naval adventures to continue Bradley's series. Perhaps later in 2009...
Patrick O'Brian's book, "The Letter of Marque" came in, and was just as good as his other tales. It only suffered from that fact that the library didn't have the audiobook version recorded by Patrick Tull.
Then, again waiting for the next book in the series to come in - and as it had become football season - I picked up John Grisham's "Playing for Pizza" which was an entertaining departure from his law thrillers.
I then finished my Fall reading with David Sedaris' "When You are Engulfed in Flames". While I missed hearing about his family more in these new essays, he was at his usual hilarious/insightful best; and the titular essay was exquisite.