Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2009! > Amanda R's 50 in 2009

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message 51: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 41. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin

A great book and one of my favorites from childhood, The Westing Game is a mystery that invites the reader to play along. Four stars!

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 52: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 42. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

This was my final book in the YA challenge. It was a great book! Four stars. A good retelling of one of my favorite fairy-tales, also called The Goose Girl.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 53: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 43. The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, by Vivian Vande Velde

This book had me cracking up. I probably won't read it again, so it only gets three stars, but it was definitely worth a read. Several retellings of Rumpelstiltskin, all of them funny, several thought-provoking.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 54: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 44. The Alienist, by Caleb Carr

What a great book! I'm debating between four and five stars here, but will probably give it four stars. This is an historical murder mystery, set in the late 1800s. The budding science of psychology plays a major role (thus the title - an alienist was a psychologist then). Just an awesome read.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 55: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 45. The Mysterious Benedict Society

A darling book! Definitely a keeper, and at $7, it's going to be on my shelf soon. I love books where a wily group of kids have to solve mysteries in order to save the world (as a general rule) but this book pulled away from most cliches and delivered a solid story with great characterization. I still can't get over Constance, who is a big favorite in my house. Yes, my husband read this book, too, and loved it.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 56: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 46. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, by Trenton Lee Stewart.

(I forgot to add the author to my last post, but both Mysterious Benedict books were by Stewart.)

Another great book. I'm really looking forward to October now, when the next book is said to come out. I don't know how I'll last so long with Constance, but I'll live. I suppose.

Amanda R. in Louisville

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message 57: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 47. Never Mind The Goldbergs, by Matthue Roth

While I will admit that the characters sucked me into this book, overall I was disappointed with it. I don't think it should have been shelved as YA, for one. It had gratuitous sex, language, and underage drinking, and mentioned drug use among minors.

Beyond all that, it just wasn't a great story for me. There was no real story arc. This might have been OK, since it was character driven, except that there was no character resolution, either. I kept getting the secondary characters confused.

Two stars. I won't continue this rant; suffice it to say I was not pleased.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 58: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (MaryTodd) | 924 comments count down to 50!


message 59: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) Mary Todd wrote: "count down to 50!


Mary Todd,

I'm getting very excited. I'm going to plan on 75 this year, because I don't know if I'll slow down or not. I think I'm going to make short goals like 50, then 75... then we'll see.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 60: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 48. Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

This was another gem. I almost gave this five stars, and I might even end up changing my mind, as the book sinks in. I would love to have this for my own shelves... someday. I'm looking forward to seeing what else comes of this author.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 61: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (MaryTodd) | 924 comments you're welcome!


message 62: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 49. Jinx, by Meg Cabot

This was an OK book. I was turned off by the witchcraft theme, but the writing was solid, and it was a good enough story. I much prefer Cabot's Mediator series.

Three stars.

Amanda R. in Louisville

1 to go!

message 63: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 50! Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine

Fairest was a good book. It was a pretty typical fairy-tale re-telling (fairy-telling?). I really enjoy Levine's world, but this book just didn't stand out for me. Maybe it was the timing.

I've started book 51 (American Gospel God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation) and plan to go to the library tomorrow for more. I have a few books on hold. I think my reading might slow down now that I've reached 50. I'm only planning on 75 for the year, though I won't mind if I hit that early. We'll see!

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 64: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 51. Bloody Jack Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy, by L.A. Meyer

This was an OK story. I was hoping for a much better book, based on the reviews I've been hearing. Still, three stars.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 65: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 52. Artemis Fowl The Eternity Code, by Eoin Colfer.

This has been my favorite Artemis Fowl book so far, definitely four stars.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 66: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 53. Silver World, by Cliff McNish.

This was a solid three star book. I really wanted to get through it, mostly just to know how it ended, but it was a bit sluggish getting through. I think the first book was the best in the trilogy.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 67: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) I have NOT been keeping track - in any way shape or form - what I've been reading. I'm going to try some last-ditch re-call here tonight, but I may miss something that I've read since the beginning of July. These are not in the order I read them, but in the order I've remembered them.

54. A Personal Stand Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck, by Trace Adkins

55. Artemis Fowl The Opal Deception, by Eoin Colfer

56. Airman, by Eoin Colfer (five star)

57. Climbing the Stairs, by Padma Venkatraman

58. Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris (disappointing)

59. Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay

60. Tales Before Narnia The Roots of Modern Fantasy and Science Fiction, by Douglas A. Anderson

61.The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

That's all I can remember. If I remember another, I'll add it. I'm definitely aiming for 100+ this year, though.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 68: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 62. A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

This book took me a week to get through, which is a lot, as of late. I just didn't want to read it when I wasn't reading it. When I would get started, though, I wouldn't want to put it down. While a very strange book, I can't say I didn't like it. Three stars.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 69: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 63. You Know Where to Find Me, by Rachel Cohn

This book was recommended to me by the children's librarian at my local library. I didn't want to offend her, so I grabbed it, not sure I would get through it. Nothing personal to her - when I was a teenager, I was suicidal, and I wasn't sure I could handle reading about suicide. The story was alarming, disheartening, and altogether worth reading.

The blurb on the back, by Patricia McCormick, says about You Know Where to Find Me:

"This painfully funny, deeply moving journey is the most authentic portrait of loss and forgiveness I've ever read"

I agree with most of that statement. I didn't find the book funny so much as very sad.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 70: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) I'm slowing down!

64. The Hound of Rowan, by Henry H. Neff

This was a cute book. I think I'll read the second one sometime.

65. Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers

This was a birthday gift, and what a wonderful gift it was! I'm very impressed with this book!

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 71: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 66. John Adams, by David McCullough

Great book! I'm so glad my new book group decided to read this. Five stars!

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 72: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 67. The Family Manager, by Kathy Peel. I can't find the book listed on Goodreads!

This book might end up being useful, but it annoyed me a lot as I read it. I needed to get past my annoyance to get to the useful information.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 73: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 68. The Heretic's Daughter, by Kathleen Kent

This was the first book since the sixth Harry Potter that actually made me weep. Not that I haven't shed a tear at other books, but this book made my husband reach for the Kleenex for me.

I've already been recommending this book to people who probably have no interest, and will continue recommending it until I am shushed by my husband for indecent recommendations.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 74: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) I haven't updated in awhile, I see. Part of this is because I don't have my own computer anymore. I'll be sharing with my husband for a few months.

69. The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit, by Jill Connor Browne

70. The Clan of the Cave Bear, by Jean Auel

71. The Dark Hills Divide, by Patrick Carman

72. Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell

73. Painted Veil, by Beverle Graves Myers

74. Gods and Kings A Novel, by Lynn Austin

75. Prophet, by Frank E. Peretti

76. The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostava

77. Fade, by Lisa McMann

78. 'Who Can Save Us Now? Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories, edited by Owen King

And that's it so far. Looks like I'll make 100 this year!

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 75: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 79. Good Omens The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratcett

80. Football for Dummies, Second Edition, by Howie Long

81. Tomorrow, When the War Began, by John Marsden

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 76: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 82. Under the Black Flag The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates, by David Cordingly

Just an OK book. I loved the pirate topic, but had a few problems with the tone of the writing. Mostly, I felt the author assumed too much prior knowledge for the common reader. This could be a culture thing, since this was first published in England, and I'm American. It was a bit annoying, though.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 78: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) Updating from November 1st through November 28th, 2009:

93. Great with Child Reflections On Faith, Fullness and Becoming a Mother, by Debra Rienstra
94. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
95. A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams
96. Half-Assed A Weight-Loss Memoir, by Jennette Fulda
97. Your Heart Belongs to Me, by Dean Koontz
98. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
99. The Secret School, by Avi
100! Changeling, by Delia Sherman
101. The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen, by Delia Sherman
102. Poison Study, by Maria V. Snyder
103. Sellevision A Novel, by Augusten Burroughs
104. Julie & Julia, 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen, by Julie Powell
105. One Bad Apple, by Sheila Connolly
106. Magic Study, by Maria V. Snyder
107. Fire Study, by Maria V. Snyder
108. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Whew! I think that gets me caught up. I can't believe I've read so much this year. And to think that five months ago (when I hit 50), I was only aiming for 75 this year. One month to go! I can't wait to see how many more I can read.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 79: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 35 comments Amanda - That is great - 108. Did you like them all too. I am as far as 27 for the year, but I still hope I can do 50. I thought of reading Uglies and/or Pretties, but just not sure. Some books, I'm just on the fence about, then I won't dare take the time and read them. Maybe I should tho.
Sarah in Pittsburgh

message 80: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) Sarah,

The Uglies trilogy is one of my favorites. Uglies starts the series, then Pretties and Specials. I haven't yet read Extras, but I understand it to be a standalone set in the same world.

Good luck getting to 50! I'll be rooting you on. I've liked most of the books I've read this year. I've participated in two challenges this year, one with a Young Adult group, and Cynthia's Fall Challenge. If you want more information about the latter, let me know. It definitely pushes you out of your comfort zone with reading, which to me is a good thing.

I recommend Uglies. If you can get it from your library, try it there. I hope you won't regret it.

Thanks for the comment.

Amanda R. in Louisville

message 82: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandaroby) 115. What-the-Dickens The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy, by Gregory Maguire

116. Holy Bible NLT - New Living Translation

I've been reading a once-a-day Bible all year, and finished it, finally!

Amanda R. in Louisville

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Books mentioned in this topic

Galápagos (other topics)
Incident at Hawk's Hill (other topics)
Life Management for Busy Women: Living Out God's Plan with Passion & Purpose (other topics)
Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy (other topics)
The Book of Lost Things (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Haruki Murakami (other topics)
Rachel Cohn (other topics)
Francine Rivers (other topics)
Henry H. Neff (other topics)
David McCullough (other topics)