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message 1: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 12:17PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments Last year I set out to read 25 books including 10 classics and ended with 45 books including 22 classics. (And if anyone cares, I define classics as anything first published before 1950.)

As I'm no longer contending with school reading, this year I'm trying for 50 books including 25 classics. I'll also shoot for some challenges along the way.

Currently reading: The Man Who Made Lists by Joshua Kendall

Totals: 51 books, including 25 classics, 7388 pp., and 57:28:14 hours.

January - 11 books, 9 classics:
1/1. Shandygaff by Christopher Morley (9th)
2/2. The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux (13th)
3/-. Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart (17th)
4/3. Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie (18th)
5/4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (22nd)
6/5. A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie (23rd)
7/6. Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (25th)
-/-. 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut (25th) - too short to count as a book to me.
8/7. A House to Let by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Adelaide Anne Procter (27th)
9/8. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne (29th)
10/9. In the Sweet Dry and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley (29th)
11/-. Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Yorkshire Punch, a Salute in Stories and Drinks

to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar
by David Wondrich (31st)

February - 17 books, 10 classics:
12/-. A Caribbean Mystery byAgatha Christie (1st)
13/10. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous, translated by William Allan Neilson (1st)
14/11. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (2nd)
15/12. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (4th)
16/-. How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett (6th)
17/13. A Doll's House by Henrik Johan Ibsen (6th)
18/-. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis (6th)
19/14. LibriVox's One-Act Play Collection 001 by Various (8th)
20/15. A Florentine Tragedy, A Fragment And Other Works by Oscar Wilde (9th)
21/16. Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde (11th)
22/17. Greek and Roman Ghost Stories by Lacy Collison-Morley (11th)
23/-. Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (13th)
24/-.The Language of Sand: A Novel by Ellen Block (15th)
25/18. The Club Of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton (16th)
26/-. A Ghost In The Machine by Caroline Graham (24th)
27/-. Black Sabbath's Master of Reality by John Darnielle (28th)
28/19. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (28th)

March - 4 books, 1 classic:
29/-. Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie (17th)
30/20. The Stranger by Albert Camus (25th)
31/-. The Family of Man by Edward Steichen and Carl Sandburg (28th)
32/-. Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson (31st)

Decades goal COMPLETED!

April - 1 book, 1 classic:
33/21. Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen (14th)

Jane Austen goal (to read all of her novels) COMPLETED!


message 2: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 01:19PM) (new)


message 3: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 10:01AM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments Title & Author A-Z challenges:
Goal: 20 out of 26 for each challenge with only one challenge per book.

Title challenge:
Status: 19 down, 1 to go

A: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
B: Black Sabbath's Master of Reality by John Darnielle
C: The Club of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton
D: Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie
E: Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie
F: A Florentine Tragedy and La Sainte Courtisane by Oscar Wilde
G: A Ghost in the Machine by Caroline Graham
H: A House to Let by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Adelaide Anne Procter
I: In the Sweet Dry and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley
J:
K:
L: The Language of Sand by Ellen Block
M: The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
N: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
O:
P: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Q:
R: The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
S: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous
T: Through the Looking-glass... by Lewis Carroll
U: Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
V: The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver Curwood
W: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
X:
Y:
Z:

Author challenge:
Status: 12 down, 8 to go

A: The Morning Watch by James Agee
B: How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
C: The Stranger by Albert Camus
D: The Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
E:
F:
G:
H: The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot by Anne Hart
I: A Doll's House by Henrik Johan Ibsen
J:
K:
L: The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis
M: Shandygaff by Christopher Morley
N:
O:
P: Lord Minimus by Nick Page
Q:
R:
S: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
T:
U:
V: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls Before Swine by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
W: Imbibe! by David Wondrich
X:
Y:
Z:


message 4: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 10:41AM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments Genre challenge:
Goal: 20 out of 25 genres; one per book.
Status: 18 down, 2 to go

1. (Auto)biography: The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot by Anne Hart
2. Adventure novel: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
3. Chick-lit: The Language of Sand by Ellen Block
4. Classic: Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie
5. Crime or detective fiction: The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux
6. Fable, fairy tale, folklore:
7. Fantasy: The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis
8. Graphic novel: Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
9. Historical fiction: Perfume: Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
10. History: Imbibe! by David Wondrich
11. Horror:
12. Humor: Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
13. Nonfiction: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
14. Philosophical:
15. Play: Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw
16. Poetry collection, epic poem: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum by Emilia Lanier
17. Political fiction:
18. Romance novel: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
19. (Family) Saga:
20. Satire: In the Sweet Dry and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley
21. Sci-fi:
22. Short story collection: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
23. Thriller: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
24. Tragedy: The Stranger by Albert Camus
25. Young adult: Un Lun Dun by China Mieville


message 5: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 10:15AM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments A various list of challenges...
Goal: 20 out of 26 challenges with one per book.
Status: COMPLETED! (currently, 22 out of 26)

What's in a Name?

1. Name: Through the Looking-glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
2. Location: Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
3. Weather:
4. Color: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous
5. Plant: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
6. Animal: The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis

The Five Senses:

7. Sight/eyes: Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie
8. Hearing/ears: The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver curwood
9. Taste/tongue: The Language of Sand by Ellen Block
10. Smell/nose: Perfume: Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind; translated by John E. Woods
11. Touch/skin:

Variety Is the Spice of Life:

12. Male author: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
13. Female author: A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie
14. Living author: Imbibe! by David Wondrich
15. Deceased author: How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett
16. Translation (into English): The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux (from French)
17. Banned book: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (banned in China)
18. Book made into movie: Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw
19. Author never read before: A Doll's House by Henrik Johan Ibsen
20. Two or more authors: A House to Let by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Adelaide Anne Procter

Continents - Author from/book set in a country in...:

21. Africa: The Curse of the Pharoahs (Amelia Peabody #2) by Elizabeth Peters (Egypt)
22. Asia:
23. Australia:
24. Europe: The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne (United Kingdom)
25. Latin/South America: A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie (fictional St. Honore in the Caribbean)
26. North America: In the Sweet Dry and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley


message 6: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 10:39AM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments Decades Challenge - for original publication date
Goal: 10 consecutive decades or 15 non-consecutive.
Status: COMPLETED! (currently 19 total, 17 consecutive)

2010s: The Language of Sand by Ellen Block (2010)
2000s: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart (2009)
1990s: Maus, A Survivor's Tale: II, And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman (1991)
1980s: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Suskind, Patrick; Woods, John E., trans. (1985)
1970s: The Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter (1975)
1960s: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1965)
1950s: The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis (1954)
1940s: The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)
1930s: Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie (1937)
1920s: The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne (1922)
1910s: Shandygaff by Christopher Morley (1918)
1900s: The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux (1907)
1890s: Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde (1893)
1880s: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
1870s: A Doll's House by Henrik Johan Ibsen (1879)
1860s: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
1850s: A House to Let by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Adelaide Anne Procter (1858)
1840s:
1830s:
1820s:
1810s: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
1800s:
....
1610s: Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum by Emilia Lanier (1611)


message 7: by Laurel (last edited Apr 01, 2010 08:14PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments January:

1/1. Shandygaff by Christopher Morley, 336 pp. (9th) 3/5 stars

Ever since discovering and reading Morley's first book, Parnassus on Wheels, I have been looking for his other publications in every bookstore I enter. I happened to find this one at the library's bookstore by chance while looking through the vintage book section, arranged oddly by year. While it wasn't as good as Parnassus or his second novel, The Haunted Bookshop, it was quite enjoyable. He used so many now rare words and discussed authors of I've never heard, yet were once quite popular, that I couldn't really put it down. I gave it three stars because of the lack of vitality that I found in his other books, though many of the essays did well with including it. Shandygaff, by the way, is a cocktail mixed with beer and ginger ale or ginger beer. My dad and I tried some over the holidays, and it wasn't too bad.

2/2. The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux, 192 pp. (13th) 4/5 stars

I love mysteries, and I loved The Phantom of the Opera, so a mystery by the Phantom's author had to be good. And it was! Very intriguing and a great ending, except for intentionally let the murderer get away! (Sorry if that ruins things for you...) The translator did a wonderful job, and it's only too sad I don't know how to read French.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 3/-. Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart, 256 pp. (17th) 3/5 stars

I was expecting this to be more like a bunch of anecdotes and stories. However, it's written as a guide, but without the color pictures that guides normally have. Still an interesting topic, and better than a proper plant guide.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 4/3. Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie, 191 pp. (18th) 4/5 stars

This edition contained three stories: "Dead Man's Folly," "Murder in the Mews," and "Triangle at Rhodes." The first is a bit long, spending a majority of time describing family and friends and their impressions of the "Dead Man's" character. It was also very predictable, but still interesting. The second novella was the right length, and the end would have been a great surprise (had I not already seen the TV episode with David Suchet). The final story was too short with very little in the way of evidence and clear character development. In this instance, I much prefer the Suchet TV version. Still, I'm a major fan of Poirot and Christie, so I enjoyed the edition overall.


message 10: by Laurel (last edited Jan 22, 2010 08:47PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 5/4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, 2:58:51 running time (22nd) 3/5 stars

This was my first time listening to an audiobook (from Librivox.Org), so I'm sure that had an influence in my overall opinion of the book...I've never read Lewis Carroll before, and I'm not sure how I feel about him. It was certainly creative, and I can see why kids would like it. However, I think it was just a bit too pointless, and Alice was a disappointing main character. She wasn't very smart and was a rude know-it-all. Yet, she did have a great imagination like all kids, and at times she tried to be thoughtful. Maybe had I actually been able to see the drawings, and not been listening to it while working, I would have liked it more. But I don't really understand how it's come down as a classic.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 6/5. A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie, 167 pp. (23rd) 4/5 stars

I was able to guess the who and why, but not the how. Still a good 'un.


message 12: by Laurel (last edited Feb 06, 2010 03:19PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 7/6. Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, read by Adrian Praetzellis, 3:24:13 running time (25th) 4/5 stars

This narrator was the best I've heard so far, which is probably why I liked "Through the Looking Glass..." better than "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". As to the story itself, I thought Alice had become less of a brat, and enjoyed more of the make-believe characters than in the previous book.

-/-. 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut, 00:22:20 reading time (25th) 4/5 stars

This was too short for me to count as a book. Really great look at population control.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 8/7. A House to Let by Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Adelaide Anne Procter, read by Ruth Golding, 4:12:04 running time (26th) 3/5 stars

Great narration, but the story itself is a bit overly dramatic for my taste.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 9/8. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne, read by Kristin Hughes, 6:55:45 running time (29th) 4/5 stars

Not the best narrator - her male voices just sounded hoarse and she kept mispronouncing the word 'vague'. The story was pretty cute and the characters funny.


10/9. In the Sweet Dry and Dry by Christopher Morley and Bart Haley, 168 pp. (29th) 3/5 stars

Written on the eve of Prohibition in the US, this book satirizes the temperance movement, and the extremes people will go to undermine it. The story is full of puns and improbable situations, but it's message is clear - drinking is an art form and prohibition is censorship! Not Morley's best, but still funny.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 11/-. Imbibe!: From Absinthe Cocktail to Yorkshire Punch, a Salute in Stories and Drinks to "Professor" Jerry Thomas, Pioneer of the American Bar by David Wondrich, 317 pp. (31st) 4/5 stars

A great examination of historical drink recipes and lots of helpful tips and suggestions on which brands to use. Being a novice to drinking, I did find some of the discussion hard to follow without knowing the different kinds of liquors, but still a good book overall. Some of the recipes call for a multitude of ingredients, and being broke I can only afford a few items at a time.


message 16: by Laurel (last edited Apr 01, 2010 08:14PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments February:

12/-. A Caribbean Mystery byAgatha Christie, 158 pp. (1st) 3/5 stars

This was my first Miss Marple, although I've long been a Poirot reader. It wasn't too bad, and I may read another Marple. However, it was pretty much a given who did it and why from the start. Christie tried to throw red herrings at the reader, but nothing was good enough to really confuse.

13/10. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous, translated by William Allan Neilson, read by M.J. Boyle, 2:37:28 reading time (1st) 2/5 stars

I'm not sure if it was the reading, or the writing, or the story itself - most likely all three, but I was too bored to listen. Maybe were I to read it, I'd be more impressed, which is why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1.


message 17: by Laurel (last edited Feb 06, 2010 03:38PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 14/11. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Mark F. Smith, 03:08:25 running time (2nd) 4/5 stars

Entertaining and a great mystery. I never really knew the story, except for the connection between Jekyll and Hyde.

15/12. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, 02:54:03 running time (4th) 4/5 stars

Just as cute as the musical. I'm not sure how I feel about Shaw's explanation of what happens to everyone after the end of the play. If he was so anti everyone thinking about Eliza and Higgins getting together, it would have been nicer if he had added another scene with Eliza and Freddy rather than several pages of narration to the reader.

16/-. How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett, read by David Barnes, 01:36:40 running time (6th) 3/5 stars

Pretty funny in parts, but not too insightful by today's standards.

17/13. A Doll's House by Henrik Johan Ibsen, 02:31:11 running time (6th) 3/5 stars

Not sure how I feel about this one. Nora is a very poor character, until the last half of the final act, and she seems to change in an instant, which is unlike anyone I've ever met.

18/-. The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. Lewis, 218 pp. (6th) 3/5 stars

Pretty much the same story as the previous four Narnia books, but still entertaining.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 19/14. LibriVox's One-Act Play Collection 001 by Various, reading time 03:43:24 hours (8th) 4/5 stars

This collection included:
1. The First and the Last by John Galsworthy
- alright but unexemplary

2. A Marriage Has Been Arranged… by Alfred Sutro
- funny and cute

3. The Swan Song by Anton Chekhov
- The perfect length for anything by Chekov, and the only thing I've liked so far!

4. Trifles by Susan Glaspell
- eh...

5. War Brides by Marion Craig Wentworth
- I just don't understand why she decided to kill her child if she didn't think he should die prematurely!

6. Wurzel-Flummery by A. A. Milne
- very funny, but what else to expect from Milne?


20/15. A Florentine Tragedy, A Fragment And Other Works by Oscar Wilde, read by Ruth Golding, reading time 00:56:00 hours (9th) 4/5 stars

If only these had survived to their full potential!


21/16. Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde, reading time 02:05:51 hours (11th) 3/5 stars

I'm a bit sad I didn't like this more, as I usually love Oscar Wilde. I'm sure it was in part because I listened to it rather than saw the play. I guess I disliked it for the same reason that it was reason - the characters were too judgmental and jumped to so many conclusions. Maybe I just thought it was too serious.


22/17. Greek and Roman Ghost Stories by Lacy

Collison-Morley
, read by Timothy Ferguson, reading time 01:55:34 hours (11th) 4/5 stars

This was a wonderful exploration of classical beliefs about the dead and the afterlife. The author provided numerous examples and kept the writing interesting. The reader also had a nice voice and reading style.


23/-. Un Lun Dun by China Miéville, 432 pp. (13th) 4/5 stars

It took me a while to get into this book. Neither of the girls were particularly interesting at first, and the author spent way too long showing us UnLondon before getting to the story. In the end, I really loved the strength of Deeba and all her friends. It was disappointing she was the only female that mattered. Couldn't he have given Rosa more important, perhaps switching her and Jones' roles? I also couldn't help thinking about Harry Potter, but that's just my problem.


24/-.The Language of Sand: A Novel by Ellen Block, 288 pp. (15th) 4/5 stars

This I won from the FirstReads program, and I'm glad for the opportunity. An easy read, full of sweet quirky, albeit slightly stereotypical, characters - the lovable giant, warm-hearted older diner waitress, nutty professor, cheery and a-little-sneaky real estate lady. I loved running into them everyday and their kind cheerfulness washing over me. All the sad stories and ghost talk were just enough to add meaning and depth to the story.

(P.S. I'm very glad the author will be writing a continuation, as long as the Wertzes get something out of it. Their story just disappeared after Nat's got interesting.)


25/18. The Club of Queer Trades by G.K. Chesterton, read by David Barnes, reading time 04:48:47 hours (16th) 3/5 stars

While starting out strong, by the end I was just tired of the way the stories were written - the narrator and Rupert Grant think something rather suspicious is going on while Basil Grant knows everything is fine and doesn't tell anyone why until the end of the chapter. I was nearly ready to just give up on the book altogether. (But I do wish some of these queer trades were real!)

By the way, I love this reader's voice!


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 26/-. A Ghost In The Machine by Caroline Graham, 512 pp. (24th) 5/5 stars

I just love Caroline Graham. She's so wonderful with character development, and this novel has lots of it. Sometimes she gets a little off the point - you know, the mystery, but I forgive her since I love the writing so much.

Barnaby is only incidentally involved. He's barely even there; and when the murderer is caught, it's also only incidental - doesn't seem to really matter in the end. I would still recommend it to all fans of Graham, and will most likely reread it.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments 27/-. Black Sabbath's Master of Reality by John Darnielle, 101 pp. (28th) 4/5 stars

As a huge Mountain Goats fan, I was excited to discover this short book by Darnielle. It's pretty much exactly what I'd expect from him, and listening to the Mountain Goats while reading it was a great experience. Having known someone who went through a similar situation (though not institutionalized for anywhere near as long), it really hit home and made me appreciate the kind of experience that happened to him. It also gave a new light to Black Sabbath, having been one of those people that assumed what the band was about without really knowing anything about Ozzy or the other members. Very enlightening and very entertaining.


28/19. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, 249 pp. (28th) 3/5 stars

I'm a bit disappointed about how predictable some of the stories were. No wonder Holmes looks like a genius when you consider how dumb the people he works with are. Of course, there were some great stories in the mix, and I'm glad to have finally read this story collection.


message 21: by Laurel (last edited Apr 01, 2010 08:49PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments March:

29/-. Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie, 237 pp. (17th) 3/5 stars

I love Hercule and I love Ariadne, so it's always great when they're together. Unfortunately, I thought this book was a bit too romanticized and dramatic but still an interesting story.

30/20. The Stranger by Albert Camus, 154 pp. (25th) 4/5 stars

Although I was hesitant to read this, afraid of the depth, I was quite pleased at the simplicity of the story and its message: if someone doesn't act like you or believe in your god, s/he's not the Antichrist.

31/-. The Family of Man by Edward Steichen and Carl Sandburg, 192 pp. (28th) 3/5 stars

Such a mighty undertaking and a powerful message for the time. Certainly outdated in some points, but moving nonetheless. I wish I had a color version. Sandburg's prologue seems a bit bombastic and not very informational, but if I read something else he wrote, maybe I'd get it.

32/-. Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson, 144 pp. (31st) 3/5 stars

It felt like more time was spent discussing theory of taste than analyzing Dion's album. In fact, only one chapter was dedicated to the album and even that wasn't too clear. I loved how he put her into cultural perspective within the Francophone community and even how she reaches other artists and cultures. I still won't listen to her myself and will tease anyone who does, but I'll keep the message of this book in mind if I ever start doing it in a disparaging way.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments April:

33/21. Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon by Jane Austen, 388 pp. (14th) 4/5 stars

It took me awhile to finally get to Northanger Abbey (it was the only Austen novel I hadn't read). The last chapter was a bit too quick, but I enjoyed the rest of it. The main character reminds me of people today - we're still romantic and full of imagination, although she's a bit more gullible than the real people I know.

Lady Susan. I'm glad to have finally read something featuring an outright bad woman. Too much of the bad in Austen is hinted.

The Watsons was pretty much a combination of Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Probably good it wasn't finished.

Sanditon was an interesting book. It started out very different from the regular Austen, with the young female not becoming the star until several chapters in. Too bad it wasn't finished, could have been great.


message 23: by Laurel (last edited Jul 11, 2010 01:09PM) (new)

Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments May:

34/-. Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns, 56 pp. (2nd) 4/5 stars

I would definitely give this to my nephew if he were old enough for it. A lot of information I never knew about the study of currents and how poorly we take care of the oceans.

35/-. Sleuthing the Alamo: Davy Crockett's Last Stand and Other Mysteries of the Texas Revolution by James E. Crisp, 228 pp. (4th) 4/5 stars

For an archivist in Austin, I sure didn't know much about the Alamo or the Texas Revolution, for that matter! The writing was very entertaining, and I loved the personal bent of the author. Some times the chapters didn't flow too well, but the history was great.

36/-. The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) by C.S. Lewis, 186 pp. (9th) 3/5 stars

This was pretty interesting. Really brought some connections together well with the other books in the series.

37/-. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale, My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman, 159 pp. (9th) 4/5 stars
38/-. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale, And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman, 136 pp. (10th) 4/5 stars

What a refreshing way to learn about the Holocaust and nice touch in bringing the different generations together. It really helps readers to see a connection between the past and the present.

39/22. Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum by Emilia Lanier (10th) 3/5 stars

Although I'm not into relgion, I loved that this was a feminist text showing women of the 17th century could write as well as any man and not just be the one to get people kicked out of the Eden. Slightly hard to follow since it was written so long ago.

40/-. The Goop Directory and More Goops and How Not to Be Them by Gelett Burgess (12th) 5/5 and 4/5 stars

The Goop Directory was a very cute book, and the narrators were wonderful. The little girl did such a cute job! The narrator for More Goops... did a nice job too.

41/-. The Life & Times of Hercule Poirot by [author|Anne Hart|38888:], 286 pp. (17th) 3/5 stars

I expected more, like analysis of the character, information about the culture of the decades in which Poirot operated, or maybe including more about the history of police in Britain and comparisons between real cases and Poirot's cases. The author wrote the biography as if Poirot were real but still maintained that he was Agatha Christie's creation. I'd prefer her to have stuck with one rather than both. On the plus side, I liked her including information about Poirot's friends and collegues, such as Ariadne Oliver and Superintendent Battle being in non-Poirot stories. I'm also glad she didn't include the solutions to cases since I hadn't read some of the cases.

42/23. The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver Curwood (18th) 2/5 stars

Too romantic for my taste. And so much unnecessary drama. I also got very bored at suspenseful parts.

43/-. Lord Minimus:The Extraordinary Life of Britain's Smallest Man by Nick Page, 261 pp. (27th) 3/5 stars

Well written, tho it contains much supposition. It gets a bit off subject, but I do like the cultural references.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments June:

44/-. Perfume:Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind, 272 pp. (2nd) 4/5 stars

The trade history was great, and it really made me interested in smells. I also believed the main character could actually exist. Unfortunately, the end blew the illusion - much too unreal.

45/-. Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie, 256 pp. (7th) 4/5 stars

I always love Ariadne Oliver. Good story too. Very relieving after the last one with them I read.

46/24. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, 173 pp. (7th) 5/5 stars

I can't believe it took me so long to finally read this. Very interesting storyline. My dad pointed out the culprit had a story like the rest of them about getting there when alone.

47/-. Third Girl by Agatha Christie, 218 pp. (13th) 3/5 stars

Another pretty good one. I was a bit tired of the characters though. Kind of annoying.

48/25. The Morning Watch by James Agee, 156 pp. (17th) 2/5 stars

The longest section was the most boring. I'm not Christian, not a boy, etc. But I did like the Tennessee setting.

49/-. Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter, 282 pp. (21st) 4/5 stars

How can you not love Morse? A great story. The romance was wrong, too wrong. But I loved the relationship between the Sergeant and the Inspector.


Laurel (laurea) | 29 comments July:

50/-. The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, #2) by Elizabeth Peters, 285 pp. (1st) 2/5 stars

I really didn't like any character, including Peabody and Emerson. Their child was ridiculous too. The only think I liked was the setting. Even the story wasn't great.

51/-. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, or Pearls before Swine by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., 190 pp. (7th) 4/5 stars

A great satire with wonderful fictional history.


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