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Reading Group Challenge for 2012 > Janet's 2012 Book Challenge

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message 1: by Janet (last edited Nov 26, 2012 06:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi, I am new here. This is my list of 12 + 2 books for my 2012 reading challenge

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand 3/28/2012
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls 5/28/2012
The Art of Happiness Dalai Lama 1998 3/31/2012
Bel Canto Ann Patchett 11/25/2012
Empire Falls Richard Russo - stopped reading
Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism 5/17/2012
One Thousand White Women read 6/15/2012
Saving Cee-Cee Honeycutt -read 3/19/2012
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky read 9/26
Molokai read 10/2/2012
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - read9/24/2012
Shanghai Girls read 9/21/2012

Alternates:

The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison read 9/14/2012
1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion


message 2: by Donna (new)

Donna | 436 comments Hi, Janet! Welcome to the group. Good luck on your reading. You have a few on my tbr (Major Pettigrew, Molokai, and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), so I'll be interested to see what you think of them.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Donna, I am currently reading Major Pettigrew, so that will be the first from our shared list that I will be ready to comment on. Thanks for welcoming me. I am kind of wandering around in this huge group, trying to figure out how it works.


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill | 4729 comments Hi Janet. Welcome to the group and good luck with your challenge. Lots of unfamiliar authors to me; I hope you enjoy.


Ellie (EllieArcher) | 1913 comments Hi Janet & welcome!

I like your list a lot-some books I loved, Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, The Glass Castle, Empire Falls, Thinking in Pictures, Molokai, Shanghai Girls, & The Bluest Eye; and some books on my TBR list- Bel Canto &
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Good luck-I look forward to reading your thoughts on the books you read. :)


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Thanks, Ellie, I will post as I progress through the list. Hi Bill, I just took a quick look at your shelves. Chocolate Wars looks like my type of book... I will add it to my regular TBR shelf.


Gaylinn (cloonangyahoocom) | 551 comments Janet, I gave One Thousand White Women one star. Will be interested in your opinion.


Nancy (nancy154) | 106 comments Janet wrote: "Hi, I am new here. This is my list of 12 + 2 books for my 2012 reading challenge

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls
The Art of Happiness Dalai Lama 1998
Bel Canto ..."


You have a lot of great books. I haven't read the book about the Dali Lama nor the book on autism, but have read all the rest and enjoyed all of them. Hope you do too. You mentioned that the books aren't all your usual reading type - but that is what is so great about this challenge. I have finished books just because they were in my challenge list that I wouldn't have finished otherwise. Welcome to the group and hope you enjoy your list.


message 9: by Alondra (new) - added it

Alondra | 5545 comments Hi, Janet and welcome to the group. That is a wonderful list, and the Bluest Eye is an amazing read. Powerful, and quite emotional. Have your hanky ready; it is a 4-5 star read.

Good luck and happy reading. :)


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Gaylinn, I can't remember who recommended 1000 White Women, but I went out of my way about one year ago to order it online. It has been in a book bag in my closet ever since. I'll let post my rating/review, just as soon as I read it. You can count on an honest opinion!


message 11: by Bill (new)

Bill | 4729 comments Janet wrote: "Thanks, Ellie, I will post as I progress through the list. Hi Bill, I just took a quick look at your shelves. Chocolate Wars looks like my type of book... I will add it to my regular TBR shelf."

It's worth checking out, Janet. :0)


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Nancy,
In recent years I have tended to stop reading a book, if I don't care for it. That is based on my current opinion that life is short. I might as well do something I enjoy when I have a choice. This challenge will give me more motivation to persevere. At the end of these 12 books, I can re-evaluate which approach works best for me. Janet


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Alondra, thanks for the tip on the Blueist Eye. I have borrowed it from the library a couple of times, but didn't get around to reading it. I think I will follow through this time.


message 14: by Joy (new)

Joy (joyful_reader) | 569 comments Good luck with your challenge! Looks like some good books here!


message 15: by Lea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lea (Leaspot) | 2644 comments Janet, your list looks great. I have read and enjoyed Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Molokai and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I want to read many of the other books on the list. Too many good books out there! Best wishes!


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Thanks Joy and Lea, I expect to enjoy most if not all of them. I will post as I go along.


message 17: by Alondra (new) - added it

Alondra | 5545 comments Janet wrote: "Alondra, thanks for the tip on the Blueist Eye. I have borrowed it from the library a couple of times, but didn't get around to reading it. I think I will follow through this time."

Kudos; it will be worth it. very powerful. You will need to reader lighter faire afterwards.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Alondra, maybe I will read it next. I am currently reading something light as well as Major Pettigrew. I was desperately in need of light and I am getting my fix. Thanks


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments First book completed in my 2012 challenge. I picked up a bargain-priced copy of "Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt" over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I rate it 4 stars.

I do not see how to edit my list to show that this has been read. It seems like I cannot activate the screen to edit the listing. The problem may be with my lack of experience with this iPad.

At any rate, I am enjoying the challenge and this group. I am going to return to Major Pettigrew, then I think I will be ready to move onto something more serious.


message 20: by Donna (new)

Donna | 436 comments Congrats on your first one down, Janet!


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Thanks, Donna. I really enjoyed this book and probably would not have gotten around to it, without the challenge.

I know that many people have already read this book, but for anyone who still has it on their TBR list, I noticed piles of this book on the Bargain Shelves at my local Barnes & Noble.

I don't usually purchase books, but I definitely got $5.99 worth of pleasure from this purchase.


message 22: by Janet (last edited Mar 31, 2012 08:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I just completed Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and posted a review. This one took perserverence on my part. I probably would not have finished it, if it was not part of my 2012 Group Challenge.

It is time for me to take a look at the other books on my list. I am all set with "light" for now, but not in a hurry to take on "dark, depressing", or too heavy.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I just finished The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living this eve. It is something that I have noticed in the library on many occasions, but it just never hit the top of my list.

I listened to the audiobook on my kindle, because that was the fastest, least expensive route to go on the day I decided to start it.

This particular audiobook was the 3 1/2 hr. abridged version, which was just right for me as a newbie. I found it fascinating and will likely seek out other writing by the Dalai Lama in the future.

It was a pleasant surprise. If I had not included it in my 2012 Challenge, it is pretty unlikely that it would have gotten to the top of my list.


message 24: by Donna (new)

Donna | 436 comments Janet wrote: "I just finished The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living this eve. It is something that I have noticed in the library on many occasions, but it just never hit the top of my list.

..."


Glad you enjoyed your book, Janet. Congrats on your progress! Wow, his Kindle books are a bit pricey, eh? This particular one doesn't seem to be available at my library either, but I ended up adding another one of his to my list, Toward A True Kinship Of Faiths: How The World's Religions Can Come Together


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Donna, yes The Art of Happiness was expensive on the Kindle which is why I went for the less expensive abridged audio version.

Your choice by the Dalai Lama looks excellent. Today when I was at the library, I was able to pick up How to Expand Love by the Dalai Lama. It looks quite short.

The selection of books at the library was wonderful today.

For my next selection for the 2012 Group Challenge, I think I will stick with non-fiction and read: Thinking in Pictures, My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin.


Butterflycager | 664 comments Janet, you've got three of my favorites on here - Bel Canto, Empire Falls, and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. Sorry you weren't so wild about the Major - my father-in-law didn't like that book either. Hope you enjoy all the others...just noticed you're going for the Temple Grandin book next. I've read a couple of hers and they were very interesting.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Butterflycager, nice to know that you are a fan of a few of my picks.

I might have been too distracted while I was reading Major Pettigrew to enjoy it the way others have. I still feel accomplished about reading a book that has been on my TBR for a long time.

Onward...


message 28: by Lynn A. (new)

Lynn A. Nysse | 36 comments I just finished Major Pettigrew and liked the book very much. The book made for a great book discussion.


message 29: by Janet (last edited May 29, 2012 02:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I just finished "Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism" by Temple Grandin. While the writing style was a bit choppy, the content was excellent. I added this book to my 2012 book challenge, because last year there was a film shown about Temple Grandin at our church. I had never heard of her, but I had in interest in reading about her perspective in her own words.

That said, I think it is a bit tragic that I had not heard of this woman or this book. I have a close family member who is on the autistic spectrum. This author has greatly increased my understanding of many behaviors that have seemed just plain odd to me.

Temple Grandin is an inspiration for a person trying to overcome obstacles in life, because she has certainly done that and she has excelled in her field.

After reading the book, I definitely feel more compassionate about the life experience of my family member. I gained a lot from this book, even though it was just 240 pages, and was last updated 6 yrs. I have a lot of respect for Temple Grandin's effort to explain autism to people who are not autistic.

Thinking In Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life With Autism


message 30: by Janet (last edited May 29, 2012 02:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I have had The Glass Castle on my shelf for about 2 or 3 years now, since I heard the author speak. There was quite a bit of overlap between the author's presentation and the book. I am not sure if that is why several chapters seemed kind of slow going for me. I have written my review of the book on GR. I have the highest respect for this author who has become successful, despite living a tremendously deprived childhood.

Next on my list, I think I will try One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Gaylinn wrote: "Janet, I gave One Thousand White Women one star. Will be interested in your opinion."

Gaylinn, coming right up. I ordered a used copy of the book online about 2 years ago. Last week, when I tried to start reading it, I found out that I was allergic to the book. (One of the downsides of used books...dust, mildew, not sure what).

Never to be discouraged, I have picked up a library copy and I am ready to go. I have seen mixed reviews, but I am honest, so I will let you know what I think.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Janet wrote: "Gaylinn wrote: "Janet, I gave One Thousand White Women one star. Will be interested in your opinion."

Gaylinn, I honestly wasn't crazy about it. As I was reading it, I thought it was a 2 star book. The ending got kind of interesting, so I ended up rating it 3 stars.
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

I wrote a review explaining why it was not a favorite. I can't remember who recommended it to me, but I would say, that person and I have different taste in books.

Onward...I think I might read Molokai next, not sure.

Thanks for asking.



message 33: by Mary (Marbear), Founder (new) - added it

Mary (Marbear) (mbeth45) | 10204 comments Mod
Hi Janet. Luv your list. "Empire Falls," is one of my all-time favorite books. You haven't posted since July. Hope you are still reading.

Marbear


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Marbear, I have been reading a lot. I have just not been very focused on my 2012 Group Challenge. Last night I downloaded 3 or 4 books from my list. I started reading The Bluest Eye last night. At the time, I didn't realize it was one of my alternates. I am going to stick with it because this is a time when I can handle the serious suject matter.

I also downloaded Shanghai Girls and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet . All 3 books are library loans for 3weeks. I own some of the titles in paper books, but like to switch around with formats.

Nice hearing from you


message 35: by Mary (Marbear), Founder (new) - added it

Mary (Marbear) (mbeth45) | 10204 comments Mod
Hi Janet. Great to know your still out there. I have both of the books you just downloaded. I think the book club read "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." But for some reason I didn't read it. I have it on my Kindle. Let me know if you like it.

marbear


message 36: by Janet (last edited Sep 22, 2012 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Mar Bear, I am currently reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. So far it is enjoyable reading. I expect it will be pretty easy to read through.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I read the The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison last weekend.

Originally, I was drawn to this book, because I have an Asian daughter who used to draw her self-portraits with blue eyes when she was a child. (My daughter is adopted, her dad has blue eyes, and she first met discrimination on the play ground at age 3 or 4 yrs old.)

I also thought it would be good for me to read a book by Toni Morrison, since I have never read one of her books.

Reading this book was pretty rough going. I expected the content to be dark. That was not my biggest problem. I think I had problems following the change in point of view. It was kind of hard for me to follow which character was telling the story at any given point.

The Bluest Eye was not a favorite, but I am willing to try Toni Morrison, again. I believe this was one of her earlier novels and often I can see a change as an writer becomes more experienced.

I have no regrets about including it as part of my 2012 Group Challenge. I forgot that it was an alternate selection and read it out of sequence, but again, no regrets.


message 38: by Janet (last edited Sep 22, 2012 06:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Last night I finished Shanghai Girlsby Lisa See. It is my favorite for this reading challenge, so far.

I have seen the new releases by Lisa See in bookstores over the years, and I am not sure why I never read one. This book went on my list of 12 for 2012 to broaden my horizons and that it did. I think I also found another favorite author. When I have a chance, I will read the sequel to this book, Dreams of Joy, and also back up and read other book by Lisa See.

Right now, I am trying to get back on track with this challenge.

Onward....


message 39: by Alondra (new) - added it

Alondra | 5545 comments Janet wrote: "I read the The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison last weekend.

Originally, I was drawn to this book, because I have an Asian daughter who used to draw her self-portraits with blue eyes when she was a c..."


Toni Morrison is hard to read, period; but her earlier works are more tolerable and tell a great tale. Sula, Jazz and Tar Baby were pretty good. Once you start heading into Paradise and later works, is when she makes things difficult to the point of making it unpleasant, tedious and work. Reading is not work. Good luck

Happy reading.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Alondra thanks for your recommendations. Not quite sure what I think of Toni Morrison as a writer, but willing to try another one of her novels.


Ioana | 1229 comments Janet wrote: "Last night I finished Shanghai Girlsby Lisa See. It is my favorite for this reading challenge, so far.

I have seen the new releases by Lisa See in bookstores over the years, and I am not sure why ..."


Janet,
I think Lisa See's best book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, you will probably like it.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Ioana, thanks for the tip. I just added it to my TBR.

I was lucky enough to download a library loan of Dreams of Joy this AM.

For my 12+2 challenge, I am reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I am really enjoying it, and at the same time I see so many other books that I want to read. I feel like a kid in a candy store.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I just finished "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I would rate it 4stars, based on character development, story and the depiction of the historical context.

Next up is "Empire Falls", which I was able to download as a library loan. I chose that book now, because the setting is Maine, and I am headed to New England for a week in October.


message 44: by Donna (new)

Donna | 436 comments Janet wrote: "I just finished "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I would rate it 4stars, based on character development, story and the depiction of the historical context.

Next up is "Empire Falls", whi..."


A week in New England in October?! Lucky you! Enjoy and happy reading!


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Hi Donna, I grew up in New England. Sometimes, I read a book just for the purpose of revisiting my "home territory." Two authors that bring me "home" are Barbara Delinsky and LuAnn Rice.


message 46: by Donna (new)

Donna | 436 comments Janet wrote: "Hi Donna, I grew up in New England. Sometimes, I read a book just for the purpose of revisiting my "home territory." Two authors that bring me "home" are Barbara Delinsky and LuAnn Rice."

Yeh, we can always travel in books, can't we?


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments Right, Donna. I am surprised that I am having trouble getting through the Prologue of "Empire Falls." The sentences seem to go on forever. I may need to "travel" somewhere else for a bit.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments The Girl Who Fell from the Sky I was able to download a library copy of this book. What a treat. I would rate it 4 stars, based on compelling story, well developed characters, and a fresh look at growing up bi-racial in America. The novel is very tragic in some ways, yet the author does a nice job of focusing on the characters who are survivors, literally and figuratively. I would rate it 5 stars, except I had some difficulty following the changing point of view, and transitions back and forth between the past and present. Overall, a very satisfying book.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I am now on a roll with my 12 + 2 Group Challenge. Thanks for the poke, MarBear

Last night I downloaded and started Molokai. I stayed up way too late reading this book. I find the setting, characters, historical context and storyline all very intriguing. Reading this book, definitely transports me to a different time and place.

I am taking a break from Empire Falls. I do enjoy some of the author's humorous descriptions, but overall it seems a bit ho-hum to me. I will get to it in due time, and hope that I feel more engaged in the story as I continue to read.


Janet (goodreadscomJanBookFan) | 1039 comments I just finished Molokaiwhich was an excellent historical fiction book. I rate it a solid 4 stars based on character development, the story line as well as the description of the land, culture, political climate in Hawai'i from the 1890's to 1970's.

Empire Falls seems kind of bland to me. I do see the author's humor in some of the passages. Maybe the characters will grow on me as I continue the book. I expect that I will be able to finish the book on due time.

Then just one more book for my 2012 Group Challenge.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Art of Happiness (other topics)
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (other topics)
Toward a True Kinship of Faiths: How the World's Religions Can Come Together (other topics)
The Glass Castle (other topics)
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (other topics)
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