You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Challenges: Year Long Main 2021 > Gina's High Octane ABC

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message 1: by Gina (last edited Jan 31, 2013 08:03PM) (new)

Gina | 60 comments Okay... so here's the first round list (I know I can get through - the second will come later - thinking positive, here!).

A.Ames, Jonathan Wake Up, Sir!
B.Bull, Emma War for the Oaks
C.Crichton, Michael Jurassic Park
D.Dunlop, Fiona National Geographic Traveler: Spain
E.Eugenides, Jeffrey Middlesex
F.Falcones, Ildefonso La catedral del mar
G.Gaiman, Neil Neverwhere
H.Heller, Joseph Catch-22
I.Irving, John A Prayer for Owen Meany
J.James, Henry The Portrait of a Lady
K.Kearsley, Susanna The Winter Sea
L.Leonard, Elmore Get Shorty
M.Mitchell, MargaretGone with the Wind
N.Nietzsche, Friedrich Beyond Good and Evil
O.Orwell, George 1984
P.Pratchett, Terry Nation
Q.?
R.Roth, Veronica Divergent
S.Smith, Betty A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
T.Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
U.Updike, John Rabbit, Run
V.Vonnegut, Kurt Cat’s Cradle
W.Walker, Alice The Color Purple
X.?
Y.?
Z.Zafron, Carlos Ruiz The Shadow of the Wind


message 2: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments You did it Gina! I'm currently reading Middlesex and I'm enjoying it so far. You have lots of great titles on your list.


message 3: by Almeta (last edited Dec 31, 2012 03:49PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 10475 comments Agreed, lot's of great titles. Looking forward to hearing what you think of some of them.

Have mixed feelings about Middlesex, so am interested in everyone else's thoughts.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a nice organised list.
Be good to see what you think of the Terry Pratchett - I've heard a lot of mixed reviews of it. i wonder if that's because it isn't Diskworld, and so it's not what readers expect, rather than it's not very good.


message 5: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Thank you ladies!

I have so many books on my TR shelf, so this challenge is a great opportunity to just do it!

Middlesex is one of those. As for Pratchett, I'm a fan of Gaiman and recall a collaboration between the two. I tried to choose a stand-alone novel for my first Pratchett experience.

I'll be sure to record my thoughts on both.


message 6: by Pragya (new)

Pragya  (reviewingshelf) | 3615 comments Loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. You're going to plough through Gone with the wind? Good luck.


message 7: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Thanks Pragya,

I'm looking forward to both. I'm currently in Jurassic Park and enjoying it, well except for the creepy velociraptors!


message 8: by Cherie (last edited Jan 11, 2013 11:37AM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20546 comments I have Jurassic Park on my TBR list, Gina, but haven't found an opportunity to read it yet. I love the movie and watch it when it is on TV. How does the book compare? I agree about the velociraptors, though. They are my least favorite, but without them it would not be the same.


message 9: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Cherie wrote: "I have Jurassic Park on my TBR list, Gina, but haven't found an opportunity to read it yet. I love the movie and watch it when it is on TV. How does the book compare? I agree about the velocirap..."

Not surprisingly, the book is thus far better than the movie. I just found Crichton, having recently read Timeline, and find his science, history, and action addictive. He's a very easy read.


message 10: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20546 comments Crichton is great! I have read many of his books, but not all by a long shot.

I go in streaks with authors and then do not read anything at all and fall behind. By then I have forgotten what I read and absolutely hate it when I buy a book only to find out that it was the same book with a different cover THAT I ALREADY READ!

Maybe someday (with enough money and desire), I can get "with it" and carry an iPAD or smart phone around, with a link to Goodreads to see what I have listed and alread read. Someday... :P


message 11: by jaxnsmom (new)

jaxnsmom | 8286 comments Cherie - I don't have an iPAD or anything, but that's the best use I've heard of for one!


message 12: by jaxnsmom (last edited Jan 11, 2013 08:16PM) (new)

jaxnsmom | 8286 comments You've got some great books there Gina! And there's a few more added to the tbr.


message 13: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments The goodreads app is a must on one's smart phone when shopping. It even reads bar codes!


message 14: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments jaxnsmom wrote: "You've got some great books there Gina! And there's a few more added to the tbr."

Thanks! Like Cherie said earlier, I look at everyone else's shelves and end up adding more to my own... uugh! I thought joining a book club would help me reduce my list before building it again... course now that I think of it having a reserve it better than a deficeit.


message 15: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Janice wrote: "The goodreads app is a must on one's smart phone when shopping. It even reads bar codes!"

I love the app (have it on smart phone)! You can alphabetize your reads and double check the list when your shopping. I can't tell you how many times I've scanned the bar codes.


message 16: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Cherie wrote: "Crichton is great! I have read many of his books, but not all by a long shot.

I go in streaks with authors and then do not read anything at all and fall behind. By then I have forgotten what I..."


Obviously, you have read significantly more than I. I haven't forgotten any of the books I've read. Someday, I hope to have that problem.


message 17: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments About a quarter through Middlesex. So far so good.


message 18: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Just finished Middlesex and I liked it. The first two-thirds were engaging and quick, I like history and find it easier to absorb when broken down to individuals' experiences. Part of me likes how much detail Eugenides provides, but at the same time, I found the story did carry on in the last third. The ending, although drawn out, seemed abrupt. That may not make sense, but I guess that's why I gave it 3 stars, I liked it, but...


message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments I thought the ending was abrupt as well, Gina. However, I thought the first half of the book dragged and the second half rushed. It's interesting, and great, that we all have different viewpoints.


message 20: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Too funny!

FYI... I've started Cathedral of The Sea and am enjoying it so far.


message 21: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments Loved Cathedral of The Sea. :)


message 22: by Ava Catherine (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments Gina, you are looking good with all this reading! Congratulations!! ; )


message 23: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Thanks, Connie!


message 24: by Ava Catherine (new)

Ava Catherine | 4258 comments I see A Prayer for Owen Meany on your list, which is a book I really love. I want to find out what you think about it.


message 25: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Owen Meany will be my first Irving... I'll let you know my take when I get there. It'll be nice to compare notes.


message 26: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Finished Cathedral of the Sea last night. I really liked it, lots of Catalan and Barcelona 1300s history. I can't wait to see the cathedral in person this summer - thanks for the recommendation, Janice. I especially liked that Falcones listed the facts, his sources, and where he took liberties in his Author's Notes.


message 27: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments I'm glad that you enjoyed the book. It's always a pleasure when someone else likes the books I like.


message 28: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, want to see the movie in theatre (great cast, love Jeremy Irons), so switched from Gaiman.

I liked it, a little slow in the third quarter, but picked up again to end. The one was enough, I don't feel compelled to read on in the series, as I have with so many other authors.


message 29: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Aaaah, I've slowed waaaaay down. Swapped Heller's Catch-22 for Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. H was a hard one for me, started too many books before finding Tess to my liking. Now I'm on to Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. So far so good, I like his writing (first Irving for me), but I feel like I've been reading for a while and I'm not even 25% through. High Octane may have been too high!


message 30: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Oh, just realizing that I never came back to wrap up Owen Meany - I'd like to try other Irving books. I'm not sure how to sum up my thoughts on Meany. I think I kept reading because there were enough surprises to keep me curious about what was to come, but at times I found it tedious to do so. After all that, I found the ending to be a little anti-climatic, with so much build up, I was dissapointed, sobbing, but still. I'm not sure why Irving felt the need to spell it all out for the reader (in the meeting of the deceased'd family in Arizona), but it seemed unusual with so much other info throughout the story given on the sly.


message 31: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Another swap, my J book. A friend recommended Holly Goddard Jones' The Next Time You See Me so I read that instead of James' The Portrait of a Lady. Interesting characters and how thier lives intertwine in this murder mystery.


message 32: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20546 comments Gina wrote: "Oh, just realizing that I never came back to wrap up Owen Meany - I'd like to try other Irving books. I'm not sure how to sum up my thoughts on Meany. I think I kept reading because there were enou..."

Hmm. I have moved Owen Meany to my "maybe" shelf, Gina. It has never been high on my list to read, but later is still better than never given the number of books I keep adding.


message 33: by Cherie (last edited May 30, 2013 01:13PM) (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 20546 comments I was just looking up at your list again, Gina.

My daughter just added A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to her list. We were talking about for the June Toppler and she was going to see if she could find the movie. I told her that I bought the book on CD and that her sister was listening to it and loving it.
It has been many, many years since I read it, so we may do it together for the toppler week.


message 34: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Cherie wrote: "Gina wrote: "Oh, just realizing that I never came back to wrap up Owen Meany - I'd like to try other Irving books. I'm not sure how to sum up my thoughts on Meany. I think I kept reading because th..."

Yeah, Meany was a mixed bag for me, honestly I would not recommend.


message 35: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Cherie wrote: "I was just looking up at your list again, Gina.

My daughter just added A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to her list. We were talking about for the June Toppler and she was going to see if she could find..."


That is one For which I have heard nothing but good reviews. I'm looking forward to the experience.


message 36: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Just finished K. Loved it! Funny that Moll Flanders is one of this month's reads, as Daniel DeFoe is named in The Winter Sea as a spy for Queen Anne during the 1708 attempt to restore the Stewart King to Scotland.


message 37: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments I've been really bad about updating this thread, oh well! At least I'm continuing to read... although I'm also continuing to swap out what I wanted to get off my "to read" list for other, often not on my list, books.

These past two months I have finished my L, M, and N books and have been reading O and listening to P.

They are as follows:
L. Lisa Lutz' The Spellman Files
M. Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind
N. Elisabeth Naughton's Wait For Me
O. George Orwell's 1984
P. Christopher Priest's The Prestige


message 38: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments You are making progress and that's all that matters. :)


message 39: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Janice wrote: "You are making progress and that's all that matters. :)"

Thanks, I appreciate the support. Again, high octane may have been a hasty choice. Hindsight tells me I'm low on the list of challengers! Regardless, I'm enjoying the challenge and may even continue with the remaining alphabet levels in the years to come. I have been looking forward to the Title and Character guidelines.


message 40: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 51036 comments Even if you finish one alphabet, you will have completed the challenge. It doesn't matter if you have selected high octane or low octane.


message 41: by jaxnsmom (new)

jaxnsmom | 8286 comments Gina wrote: "Just finished K. Loved it! Funny that Moll Flanders is one of this month's reads, as Daniel DeFoe is named in The Winter Sea as a spy for Queen Anne during the 1708 attempt to restore the Stewart K..."

I recently listened to The Winter Sea, and loved it also. The historical info was fascinating.


message 42: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments jaxnsmom wrote: "Gina wrote: "Just finished K. Loved it! Funny that Moll Flanders is one of this month's reads, as Daniel DeFoe is named in The Winter Sea as a spy for Queen Anne during the 1708 attempt to restore ..."

If you like the history of Scotland, you might like Gabaldon's Outlander series. I only read the first three and they lead up to the next and last rising. More romance, but a very cool twist.


message 43: by jaxnsmom (new)

jaxnsmom | 8286 comments I've read several books in the Outlander series, and enjoyed them. Might be time to look for the next one.


message 44: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Finished O!


message 45: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Yeah, about Q, not the most fabulous selection of books to choose from and looking at others' lists didn't make it any easier.

In the end I've chosen Anna Quindlen's Black and Blue. Started it a couple days ago, and so far so good.


message 46: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Finished P and Q!


message 47: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Finished R


message 48: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Although I was set to read Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I still haven't been able to get it from the library. Sooooo, I went with something completely different and liked it, Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races.

On to T.


message 49: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Finished Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That was quite a ride, YIKES!

I'm not sure I'm up for Updike, think I'll try to find something else...


message 50: by Gina (new)

Gina | 60 comments Instead of Updike's Rabbit Run, I read Unger's Fragile. Found it on another Challenge participant's list - I'm glad I found it! Great read!


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