The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


December 31, 2012

Carol Stark: Start off the new year with list of good books

“The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.” — Mark Twain

I have friends and relatives who say they don’t enjoy reading books. I usually tell them they just haven’t found the right books yet.

Once you discover a book that seems as if it has been written exactly for you, a whole new world opens its doors.

This is the time of year when some of you will be making resolutions and others will be betting on how long it will take you to break them. Give yourself a late Christmas gift — instead of making resolutions, make a book list for 2013.

I did that last year and shared my picks with you in this column. There were about a dozen books on the list and, with the exception of Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast,” I read all of them.

Finding a good book is not my problem. Diversifying my reading habits is the challenge. When left to my own devices, I can read nothing but books by one author in a year’s time, if the author is prolific enough. I still remember the year of Anne Rice and her vampires and witches. That was a very dark year.

Creating a balanced list of good reads sometimes takes a little help. I’ve supplanted my own picks for the new year with some suggestions from a few avid readers.

Joplin author Veda Jones suggested “The Greater Journey,” a nonfiction book by David McCullough. It’s about American artists in Paris in the 1800s. What makes the book fascinating, she said, is that many of the artists’ works are on display at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark.

It’s on my list, Veda.

Next, I turned to co-worker Scott Meeker, the Globe’s enterprise editor. Some of the best books I’ve read have been recommended by Scott. This year he offered up “Defending Jacob,” by William Landay. It is described as “a fast, compelling and compulsively readable courtroom drama,” about a prosecuting attorney whose son is accused of murder.

Then there’s Carolyn Trout’s suggestion: “Bring up the Bodies,” by Hilary Mantel. Carolyn, a retired librarian who worked at Joplin Public Library, reads the best books. This one is historical fiction, and it’s Mantel’s second book in a trilogy. Carolyn loved the first book, “Wolf Hall,” and plans to read the second this year. The sequel to “Wolf Hall” delves into the heart of Tudor history and the downfall of Anne Boleyn.

Tricky, Carolyn. Looks like I will be reading both this year.

I have also selected “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, for my 2013 reading list. I likely will read it first, as I bought the thriller four months ago and just haven’t had time for it. It’s one of those books that my friends say will keep me up all night.

Revisiting old friends is always good. That’s why I will re-read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” in 2013. I saw the first of the three movies that are being planned for release. The movie was riveting, but I’m sure a journey through the pages will be just as exciting and will probably take less time.

In the same vein, I also plan to reread “Call of the Wild,” by Jack London. I hope it’s still as good as I remember.

I borrowed a Jim Butcher novel from my friend, Richard “Stretch” Good, recently and I’m loving it. So, I plan to read several of the Harry Dresden crime novels. By the way, Dresden is a wizard. It’s a bit of a twist. I’m just about finished with “Storm Front,” and will launch into “Fool Moon” next. Some of you may remember the TV series “Dresden Files.” It didn’t really take off, perhaps because it was ahead of its time.

And, of course, I can’t leave Hemingway hanging. So, “A Moveable Feast” it is, just like my 2013 book list.

Happy New Year to all of you.

Carol Stark is editor of The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to her, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email Follow Carol Stark on Twitter @carolstark30.

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Pledge must be priority

    Mike Seibert, after being elected Joplin’s mayor on Monday, immediately pledged that the city will be operating with transparency.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Phill Brooks, columnist: Value of outside fiscal experts for government

    Missouri recently lost a man who had been one of the state’s tax leaders of decades past.

    April 15, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Hate hurts us all

    Investigators say Sunday’s shooting of three people — two at a Jewish community center and another at a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan. — were hate crimes.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: State’s theatrics

    Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have taken advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

     View Results
NDN Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing