Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2013! Yay! > Jess attempts to read a lot! :)

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message 1: by Jess (last edited Mar 22, 2013 08:09PM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Hi everyone! My name is Jess, I'm 19 and live in Australia. I'm a science student hoping to get more reading done in my daily travels, since last year I got kinda lazy and just sat there in a half-asleep daze.

That's why I'm going to try for 120 books this year. The most I've read before was 86 last year, so I'm gonna try to put in the extra effort to top it, but really, I'm happy just getting past the 50 mark :)

Recommendations are welcome, I'll give just about anything a read! My favourite things to read are horror, science fiction, and fantasy :)

Good luck with your endeavours this year, everyone! :)




JANUARY!
1. The Waste Lands by Stephen King || 584/584
2. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman || 398/398
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky || 231/231
4. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 257/257
5. Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 240/240
6. Dracula by Bram Stoker || 427/427
7. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King || 845/845
8. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper || 196/196
9. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King || 766/766
10. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper || 244/244

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King Good Omens by Terry Pratchett The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Magic of Reality How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins Peter Pan The Original Story by J.M. Barrie Dracula by Bram Stoker Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4) by Stephen King Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King The Dark Is Rising (The Dark Is Rising, #2) by Susan Cooper

Decided to redo my standing reading list for the year, allowing for the facts that a) I am buying books again (I knew it wouldn't last...) and b) I have discovered the wonder of audiobooks and how I can now read when my eyes/hands are too busy or tired to focus on a book.

FEBRUARY!
11. Quidditch Through The Ages by J. K. Rowling || 105/105
12. Song of Susannah by Stephen King || 411/411
13. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins || 145/437
14. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper || 147/147
15. The Dark Tower by Stephen King || 000/???
16. The Grey King by Susan Cooper || 165/165
17. Breed by Chase Novak || 310/310
18. Silver On The Tree by Susan Cooper || 000/274
19. Shark Bait by Justin D'ath || 138/138
20 House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds || audiobook (audible.com) || 18/18 hours

Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King The Greatest Show on Earth The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3) by Susan Cooper The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4) by Susan Cooper Breed by Chase Novak Silver On The Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5) by Susan Cooper Shark Bait by Justin D'Ath House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds

MARCH!
21. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser || audiobook (audible.com) || 09/34 hours
22. The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft || 201/201
23. The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux || 134/276
24. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams || 000/167
25. Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams || 000/230
26. The Plague by Albert Camus || 000/238
27. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle || 321/321
28. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell || 000/???
29. The Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker || 232/232
30. The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan || 000/168

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft The Phantom Of The Opera by Gaston Leroux So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4) by Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5) by Douglas Adams The Plague by Albert Camus The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell The Lair Of The White Worm (Read Red) by Bram Stoker The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque Du Freak, #2) by Darren Shan

APRIL!
31. Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan || 000/???
32. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra || audiobook (audible.com) || 00/36 hours
33. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley || 000/229
34. Blindness by Jose Saramago || 000/309
35. April group read 2 || 000/???
36. Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan || 000/???
37. The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and other stories by Robert Louis Stevenson || 000/329
38. Trials of Death by Darren Shan || 000/???
39. The Vampire Prince by Darren Shan || 000/???
40. Misery by Stephen King || 000/369

Tunnels of Blood (The Saga of Darren Shan, #3) by Darren Shan Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Blindness by José Saramago Vampire Mountain (The Saga of Darren Shan, #4) by Darren Shan The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and other stories  by Robert Louis Stevenson Trials of Death (The Saga of Darren Shan, #5) by Darren Shan The Vampire Prince (The Saga of Darren Shan, #6) by Darren Shan Misery (King Classics) by Stephen King


message 2: by Clint (new)

Clint Murphy (clint_robert_murphy) | 10 comments 120 books in a year, that's a great goal and would be amazing.

Darn, I was thinking 50 would be a fine challenge.

Have you read Patrick Rothfuss's books yet? If you like Fantasy, you'd likley enjoy these.


message 3: by Jess (last edited Mar 01, 2013 02:22AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Hey, Clint! I've got The Name of the Wind on my to-read list, I've heard a lot of good things about those books. I'll definitely have to get onto reading them sometime throughout the year :)

A-Z book titles challenge
2013

A. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
B. Breed by Chase Novak
C. PENDING DECISION.
D. Dracula by Bram Stoker
E. PENDING DECISION.
F. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
G. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
H. PENDING DECISION.
I. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
J. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
K. Killers of the Dawn by Darren Shan
L. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
M. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
N. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
O. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
P. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Q. Quidditch Through the Ages by J. K. Rowling
R. PENDING DECISION.
S. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
T. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
U. Up in the Air by Walter Kirn
V. PENDING DECISION.
W. The Waste Lands by Stephen King
X. PENDING DECISION.
Y. PENDING DECISION.
Z. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle Breed by Chase Novak Dracula by Bram Stoker The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) by Joe Haldeman Good Omens by Terry Pratchett I Am Legend by Richard Matheson Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Killers of the Dawn (The Saga of Darren Shan, #9) by Darren Shan Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Magic of Reality How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Quidditch Through The Ages by J.K. Rowling So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4) by Douglas Adams The Time Machine (Penguin Classics) by H.G. Wells Up In The Air by Walter Kirn The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King The Zombie Survival Guide Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

A-Z authors challenge
2013

A. Mostly Harmless by Douglas ADAMS
B. The Player of Games by Iain M. BANKS
C. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan COOPER
D. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard DAWKINS
E. PENDING DECISION.
F. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FITZGERALD
G. PENDING DECISION.
H. Catch-22 by Joseph HELLER
I. PENDING DECISION.
J. Southern Gods by John Hornor JACOBS
K. Wizard and Glass by Stephen KING
L. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LARSSON
M. Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac MCCARTHY
N. Breed by Chase NOVAK
O. PENDING DECISION.
P. PENDING DECISION.
Q. PENDING DECISION.
R. Area 7 by Matthew REILLY
S. Blindness by Jose SARAMAGO
T. Battle Royale by Kousham TAKAMI
U. PENDING DECISION.
V. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules VERNE
W. The War of the Worlds by H. G. WELLS
X. PENDING DECISION.
Y. PENDING DECISION.
Z. The Book Thief by Markus ZUSAK

Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5) by Douglas Adams The Player of Games (Culture, #2) by Iain M. Banks Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper The Greatest Show on Earth The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Catch-22  by Joseph Heller Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4) by Stephen King The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy Breed by Chase Novak Area 7 (Shane Schofield, #2) by Matthew Reilly Blindness by José Saramago Battle Royale by Koushun Takami Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 289 comments If your horror interests lean toward zombie novels, World War Z, Zombie Survival Guide, and Allison Hewitt is Trapped were some of the better ones I've read. Do you include any Star Wars in your sci-fi selections?


message 5: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments I'll check those ones out, thanks James! I've heard of World War Z/Zombie Survival Guide but never got around to reading them. I haven't read any Star Wars books before, but I really enjoyed episode IV, V, and VI, are there any books in particular that you'd recommend?


message 6: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Starting the year off with The Waste Lands by Stephen King, and Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie


message 7: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Progress Update: January 3rd
The Waste Lands: 341/584
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True: 73/257
Peter Pan: 24/240

I'm planning on doing more regular updates like these this year so that I feel guilty and lame posting an update if I haven't made any progress... unless there's a good reason, that is. Sometimes my attention just wanders! And that is not a good reason, haha.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim | 289 comments If you're going to start with star wars books, I'd start with the Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and Last Command). They take place about 5 years after the end of return of the jedi. After that, I would say it depends on your interests. There are books that take place after the original trilogy up to 40 plus years afterwards. There are also a few books that take place during the original trilogy. There are quite a few clone wars novels that take place between episodes 2 and 3 and a handful that are after episode 3. There are several Old Republic novels that occur thousands of years before Episode 1 and involve the development of the Sith.


message 9: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Sounds cool James, I'll add the Thrawn trilogy to my to-read list so I don't forget :)


message 10: by Jess (last edited Jan 25, 2013 03:44AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK ONE.
The Waste Lands by Stephen King
02.01.13 - 05.01.13,
★★★★☆
584 pages
Total read in 2013: 584 pages

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I found The Dark Tower series a little slow in the first book, The Gunslinger, but it began to pick up quite well in the second, The Drawing of the Three, and by the time I've finished this third book, I can gladly say I am very much looking forward to finishing this series off.

The characters, although each with their own problems and flaws, are very likeable. I found myself on the edge of my seat during the more perilous moments of the book. The plot feels neat and tight. I don't plan on giving anything away to those that haven't read it, but there's some creepy, screwed up stuff in this book, which is super cool. I definitely recommend this to anyone wanting a good read.


message 11: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Celander | 13 comments You may enjoy the Agent Pendergast series of books by Lincoln and Childs. Start with book 1 and read them in sequence.


message 12: by Melody (new)

Melody | 252 comments Great goal! I will be watching your progress and updates.


message 13: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Just looked up the first Pendergast book on here, it sounds good Jeff, I'll have to check it out, thanks!

And thanks Melody, good luck to you this year! :)


message 14: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Progress Update: January 6th

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 124/257
Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 058/240
Dracula by Bram Stoker || 063/427

Pages read since January 3rd: 391


message 15: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Progress Update: January 10th
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 146/257
Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 058 /240
Dracula by Bram Stoker || 309/427

Pages read since January 6th: 268

I didn't get a lot of reading done in the last couple of days. My boyfriend was here and we never tend to get a lot of reading done together. I'm still to finish my second book of the year but I'll likely do a fair bit more reading tonight too.

I'm going to have to put these books on hold (except for Peter Pan, which I am reading on my phone) for the next few days, because I'm going on a trip to Sydney. I've only got carry-on luggage so I've opted to bring books I haven't started so I have more pages to read for the book size, so to speak (ie taking Dracula takes up the room of a 400 page book, but I have only 100 pages left to read) so I'm not doing that :)

I'm taking along these three books:
Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King Good Omens by Terry Pratchett Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper

I kinda feel like it's a lot to take for a 5 day trip, but I always seem to get a ridiculous amount of reading done when I have heaps to do throughout the day, compared to achieving nothing when I've got all day to do things. Weird how that works, huh?

Anyway, my days will be filled with touristing, and three of my nights with concerts (Nightwish, Marduk, and more Nightwish :)) but I will have a lot of airport/plane time in there, so we'll see :)


message 16: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Random update

Chose a book for each letter for the A-Z author & title challenges. Man, it was hard to find X's and Q's, and Y's!


message 17: by Mekerei (new)

Mekerei | 204 comments If you like dystopian novels try the Ender series, the third book (I know you'll have to read the first two) Xenocide starts with a X.

Otherwise try Goodread's Lists


message 18: by Alison (new)

Alison G. (agriff22) | 540 comments i love your challenge of doing alphabetical books by book AND author! Thats gonna take some perserverance! I read 4 of the books last year that you have under the author list. I think you will like them! Although, Blood Meridian does get kind of bloody! :)


message 19: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments I considered Xenocide, Mekerei! I may still do it because I don't want to have to buy my current X book (my library doesn't have it). I may just have to rearrange my reading list a little to fit in the first two Ender books, but thank you for the recommendation! :)

Alison, I can imagine from the title, haha! What other books from my list did you read? :)


message 20: by Jess (last edited Jan 25, 2013 03:44AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK TWO
Dracula by Bram Stoker
06.01.13 - 10.01.13
★★★★★
427 pages
Total read in 2013: 1,011

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This was my second time reading Dracula. The first time I read it, in 2011, I loved it. A second reading made me love it even more, if that’s possible. A five star book if I ever read one.

There are so many things that I love about Dracula that I don’t really know where to begin. I think the fact that it’s written entirely in journal entries, letters, newspaper articles and the like, is fascinating. It gives you a very deep view into the thoughts of the characters. Bram Stoker’s writing reads effortlessly, but beautifully. I may be slightly biased in this respect in that I absolutely love the way of speaking that people had in the 19th and early 20th century, but there you go.

I find that the plot connects wonderfully and by the end of it nothing has been left out. All is wrapped up in a neat little bundle.

Something very important to note about this book is that it is the true, original Dracula. It is not one of those horrid movies of late, claiming a character as Dracula or Van Helsing and having them act nothing like the true characters. Seeing a horrible movie such as this, of which there are far too many, is not a reason to avoid reading this book. It has certainly become one of my favourite books of all time.


message 21: by Jess (last edited Jan 15, 2013 05:50PM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Progress Update: January 16th:
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King || 331/845
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 146/257
Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 058/240
Dracula by Bram Stoker || 427/427

Pages read since January 10th: 449

I didn't end up reading that much on my trip, haha. The first part of it I was with my mum, so I talked to her while waiting for transport, etc. And the factor that I didn't count on was that the hotel room would have the National Geographic Channel. And then that my hotel room in Melbourne would have the National Geographic Channel too. I love documentaries!

So yeah, I started Wizard and Glass on my flight down to Melbourne and read a bit waiting for my flight back, but all in all I only read about 300 pages. But, since I had heaps of fun, I don't mind at all :)

Oh, and the total pages read since my last update is higher because I finished Dracula technically before I left for my trip, but late at night after I had done my January 10th update. Because it's so much easier just counting it since my last update than since that particular day overall.


message 22: by Jess (last edited Jan 25, 2013 03:45AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK THREE
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
22.01.13
★★★☆☆
231 pages
Total read in 2013: 1,242 pages

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is an extremely naive sixteen year old who’s just started high school. He’s a smart kid who is trying to make friends in this new environment and “participate” in social activities. He makes friends with older kids which I don’t really understand because my experience of high school was that younger kids are totally lame.

I don’t think the recent hype for this book really affected my thoughts on it. I tend to take hypes with a grain of salt. And this book was a decent book, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it was fabulous. Maybe things would have been different if I had have read it at fifteen instead of almost twenty, but I don’t know, I don’t really think so. I guess I’m just coming from such a different angle that I can’t really relate to it. This kid turns to smoking and getting high to deal with his problems which is stupid, though not uncommon. It all works out all right in the end, but yeah, I dunno, somehow this book just didn’t resonate with me all that well. The story is a good one but, for me at least, not the perfect relatable book that people seem to make out it is.


message 23: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Progress Update: January 23rd
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky || 231/231
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 162/257
Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 83/240
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King || 688/845

Pages read since January 16th: 629
Average pages per day: 89


╟ ♫ Tima ♪ ╣ ♥ (tsunanisaurus) I agree with you on Chbosky's novel. At almost 25, the book did not have as much magnitude to me as it did when I read it as a young teenager. A decent novel still but not quite to the degree of marvelous.


message 25: by Alison (new)

Alison G. (agriff22) | 540 comments I read War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and in 2011 I read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That series is awesome! My first book last year was The Girl Who Played with Fire, which is the last in the series.


message 26: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Tiffani, I'm glad I'm not the only one to think that :)

Alison I've read War of the Worlds before, quite a few years ago, and I'm hoping I'll enjoy it as much this time :) I'm glad to hear you liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series!


message 27: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments I'd just like to take a moment to say what each rating means to me, generally:

1 star: Couldn't even finish it, it was that bad / it caused me physical pain to read it.
2 stars: Do not recommend to anyone, only finished it because I was too far through (past the point of no return so to speak)
3 stars: Good book, decent read.
4 stars: I recommend it to everyone, it was really good.
5 stars: It was so amazing that I will make you sit down and read it whether you want to or not.

:)


message 28: by Jess (last edited Jan 25, 2013 03:46AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK FOUR
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
13.01.13 - 23.01.13
★★★★☆
845 pages
Total read in 2013: 2,087

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King

I never quite know what to say when reviewing a series. My opinion tends to be based more on the series as a whole than on individual books, but here we go. All I can say is that after reading the fourth book in the Dark Tower series, I’m definitely not going to stop anytime soon.

Wizard and Glass has a different layout than the other books in the series in that a large portion (in fact, almost all of it) is a form of flashback of Roland’s life. While this could easily become boring and stale, Stephen King keeps it fresh throughout, and relates its importance back to the main storyline occurring in the rest of the series, to provide vital background information that is portrayed with depth and emotion. A lot is learned about Roland and the trials he has overcome to get to where he is today on his quest for the Dark Tower.

The characters in Roland’s past are well-developed and real, not the sort of sickly one-dimensional things that some authors would try to get away with. That’s one of the things to be said about Stephen King: his characters feel real, even if they only get a couple of hundred pages of screen-time, so to speak, out of the thousands of pages that make up this series.

I can’t wait to go pick up the next book.


message 29: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK FIVE
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins
03.01.13 - 25.01.13
★★★★☆
257 pages
Total read in 2013: 2,344 pages

The Magic of Reality How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality is the first Dawkins book I’ve read, but I feel like it was a good introduction to his works. Relatively short and easily digestible, this book is perfect for a quick read between tasks. Dawkins addresses a number of things that many people have little scientific understanding about, and introduces each chapter in a very nifty fashion: by describing some of the myths people have come up with over the years to describe the phenomena. After this humorous introduction he goes on to explain what actually occurs in a way that is both scientifically sound and understandable, even for those with no science background.

I may be a little biased, being a science student and overall science geek, but I really did enjoy this book. Dawkins’ writing style flows together quite nicely and even if you know how one of the processes work he writes it in a way that makes it still engaging to read.

Really, I think the thing that makes this book stand out is its wonderful contrast between myth and reality (hence the title!) It very neatly wraps up, too, that everything has a sound explanation, even if we are yet to find out what that explanation is.


message 30: by Jess (last edited Jan 27, 2013 09:53PM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK SIX
Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
24.01.13 - 28.01.13
★★★★☆
196 pages
Total read in 2013: 2,540 pages

Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper

I really don’t read much in the way of young adult books, but I did read this series when I was 14 and felt it was time to revisit the books since my memory of them is horrid past remembering that I enjoyed them.

The first book has not disappointed. Over Sea, Under Stone has an air of adventure, mystery, fear, and of course the nearby ocean. Three siblings (Simon, Jane, and Barney) are on holiday in the village of Trewissick when they stumble across a manuscript that is centuries old and of immense importance. They have no idea what it means, no idea what they have to do, but they must work things out quickly, because others are after what they have found with a far darker intention.

The three children show great bravery throughout the book, and some quick-thinking that gets them out of a couple of hot situations. This really develops their characters, particularly the youngest, Barney’s.

It’s only quite a short book, but it flows together quite well and doesn’t feel as if it skips over things because of it. The writing is easy to follow but rich with description, taking the reader to the perilous village by the sea to explore alongside the children.


message 31: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK SEVEN
Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
24.01.13 - 05.02.13
★★★★★
766 pages
Total read in 2013: 3,306

Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King

When I read a series I usually try to reserve any five star ratings until I’ve finished all of the books. Very rarely, the ratings will not wait, and such was the case with Wolves of the Calla. Perhaps that’s a bit unfair - really, I believe that the other four books I’ve read thus far would not be out of place with a five star rating - but at this point I’ve just been sucked so deeply into this story that a five star rating is the least I can do while I wait to read the next book.

I don’t think it would be possible for me to list all the things I like about this book, and about Stephen King’s writing in general. The characters are all so real, and the Calla a place you can just imagine real people living in. The plot weaves together in a way that makes what is currently happening with the Wolves interesting and important to the storyline, while not forgetting all that has happened in the previous four books.

My goal for 2013 was not to buy any new books - I definitely have enough to keep me going. But after reading Wolves of the Calla, and facing a long wait for the library to have an available copy of Song of Susannah, I believe I will have to break this resolution, because Stephen King is just that amazing of an author.


message 32: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK EIGHT
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
30.01.13 - 06.02.13
★★★☆☆
244 pages
Total read in 2013: 3,550

The Dark Is Rising (The Dark Is Rising, #2) by Susan Cooper

I gave this book three stars. The second of this series, The Dark is Rising lacked something that the first book had, somehow. I don’t really understand why I enjoyed this book less than the first one but I’ll try to put it into words.

The Dark: the bad guys, right? I just couldn’t really understand what made them so bad. I kept having the feeling throughout the book that I was just taking the word of the Light that the Dark was so bad, without really having any evidence of it. Right near the end they did do something bad, but I’m talking in the last 10 or 20 percent of the book. Otherwise I was just supposed to believe they were the bad guys because rooks serve them and the bad guy rides a black horse and has red hair?

The main character, Will, is a young boy who’s just turned eleven and discovered he is the last of the Old Ones, whose purpose is to serve the Light and keep the Dark at bay. I understand that this probably meant some serious changes in the way he thinks, and although it was hinted at that he was struggling to accept himself as both a normal boy in a big English family and an Old One with infinite wisdom, the struggles never really seemed to surface that much.

That said, I did like this book. Maybe my expectations were too high - I remember reading it at 14 and enjoying it more than I did this time at almost 20, and maybe that’s just the doom that most young adult books are sadly destined to: not living up to their reputation when reading them with more life and literary knowledge.


message 33: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK NINE
Quidditch Through The Ages by J. K. Rowling
06.02.13 - 07.02.13
★★★☆☆
105 pages
Total read in 2013: 3,655

Quidditch Through The Ages by J.K. Rowling

A short little book detailing the history of Quidditch. It was entertaining and short enough to keep the reader’s interest throughout. It was nice to learn a bit more about this sport that I really wish existed, but short and sweet is about all I can say about this one.


message 34: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK TEN
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
27.01.13 - 07.02.13
★★★★★
398 pages
Total read in 2013: 4,053 pages

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens is one of those books that when you’ve finished it, you have to sit down and honestly ask yourself why it took so long to get around to reading it. No excuse is really good enough, because this book is simply amazing.

I love both Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman as authors, and I’d heard a lot of good things about this particular book, so I suppose my expectations were quite high from the start. In a lot of cases this leaves room for only one thing: bitter disappointment, but this was not the case with Good Omens. This book was wonderful! It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which isn’t a surprise considering the authors, and by taking this approach it blends humour with plot and characterisation perfectly. So many moments in this book had me stifling laughter in the middle of the night, and at the same time had me reading on to find out how the plot would unravel. I find this combination of pure entertainment and a beautifully woven plot to be very rare, but Good Omens has nailed it.

I don’t really know what else I can say about this book except this: go pick it up, go read it, and do it now. And don’t mind if you drop it in the bath, either.


message 35: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK ELEVEN
Greenwitch by Susan Cooper
08.02.13 - 11.02.13
★★★☆☆
147 pages
Total read in 2013: 4,200 pages

Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3) by Susan Cooper

I was debating whether this book deserved a three or four star rating, but decided on three in the end. It was better than the second book in the series, and really quite similar to the first. While I enjoyed Over Sea, Under Stone, this was essentially the same sort of thing, except that now Will joined Merriman and the children in Trewissick, trying to reclaim the grail from the Dark.

There were a few scenes in this book that came off as quite creepy, which is an improvement over The Dark is Rising. Susan Cooper writes in a very descriptive manner that immerses you in the scenery of the novel, which is nice without being flowery nonsense. I was glad that the dog Rufus appeared in this one again - he’s a cute little guy.

I really don’t know what else to say, though: it's better than The Dark is Rising, and not as good as Over Sea, Under Stone because it all seemed a bit too similar. A decent book, but nothing to go crazy over.


message 36: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK TWELVE
Song of Susannah by Stephen King
07.02.13 - 12.02.13
★★★★★
411 pages
Total read in 2013: 4,611 pages

Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King

Song of Susannah, the next-to-last book in the epic Dark Tower series, is a fine instalment. It’s a bit shorter than the last couple of books and you really feel that by the time you get to the end of it - you really need the next book to continue on, especially because of the nature of the ending.

It’s hard to review this properly without mentioning any spoilers to those who haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but I don’t intend on a spoileresque review so I’ll try to say what I can.

This is a book that focuses, as the name suggests, quite heavily on Susannah. We see her struggles and her determination, her hope and her despair. Eddie and Roland have a decent amount of time in this book too, off on another related quest, which includes talking to Stephen King himself, which was quite interesting to read. This book also includes quite the awesome gun battle, but then again there are a few of them throughout the series, though I have found them all very well written and enjoyable.

Jake, Oy, and Pere Callahan weren’t in this book very much though, which was I suppose a little disappointing, but I sort of view this whole book as an intermediary, if that makes sense. Their place is set up for The Dark Tower, and I greatly await what will happen in that. Susannah’s part was left with a bit of a cliffhanger ending too, and it’s times like these that make me so glad that all the books have been released so I don’t have to face a long wait to find out what happens next! The point is, I guess, I still highly recommend this series to everyone.


message 37: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments BOOK THIRTEEN
Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie
02.01.13 - 14.02.13
★★★☆☆
240 pages
Total read in 2013: 4,851 pages

Peter Pan The Original Story by J.M. Barrie

This one took me a ridiculously long time to read, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I hate reading on my phone (as I have now found out). It was an all right story, but I couldn’t get too into it. I didn’t like Peter and Wendy was quite plain as a character. All she wanted to do was be a mother to the boys, and the book doesn’t really reveal any other defining traits about her but this one.

I just thought Peter was dangerous to be around, even for his friends. Like, nutcase dangerous. At the beginning when he, Wendy, and her two brothers are flying high in the air over the ocean on their way to Neverland, he repeatedly forgets that they even exist, flying off ahead and then coming back and thinking, “oh, who are these people?” On Neverland, he plays make believe a lot, and even has make-believe meals that he forces all the boys and Wendy to “eat” although they don't exist and therefore don't stave off their hunger, and they are not allowed to complain. He’s pretty much just a super controlling guy with a tendency to abuse all his friends. All he wants to do is have adventures, which I suppose is the point - he needs a mother to take care of him and teach him the right ways of the world, but still, I really like to think that most people would turn out better and more responsible than he even without a mother.

I really enjoyed the character of Hook though, and loved the touch of a ticking crocodile.


message 38: by Jess (last edited Jun 15, 2013 04:02AM) (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Just updating my list, and it seemed easier to just do it all again down here. I'll replace it up the top later and replace this with some other post :)

001. The Waste Lands by Stephen King || 584/584
002. Good Omens by Terry Pratchet & Neil Gaiman || 398/398
003. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky || 231/231
004. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins || 257/257
005. Peter Pan: The Original Story by J. M. Barrie || 290/290
006. Dracula by Bram Stoker || 427/427
007. Wizard and Glass by Stephen King || 845/845
008. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper || 196/196
009. Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King || 766/766
010. Quidditch Through the Ages by J. K. Rowling || 105/105


The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) by Stephen King Good Omens The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky The Magic of Reality How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins Peter Pan The Original Story by J.M. Barrie Dracula by Bram Stoker Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4) by Stephen King Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) by Susan Cooper Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) by Stephen King Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling

011. Song of Susannah by Stephen King || 411/411
012. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper || 244/244
013. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper || 147/147
014. The Grey King by Susan Cooper || 165/165
015. Breed by Chase Novak || 310/310
016. House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds || audiobook || 18/18 hours
017. The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft || 201/201
018. The Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker || 232/232
019. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle || 321/321
020. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux || 276/276


Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6) by Stephen King The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2) by Susan Cooper Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3) by Susan Cooper The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4) by Susan Cooper Breed by Chase Novak House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft The Lair Of The White Worm by Bram Stoker The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

021. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins || 328/437
022. The Dark Tower by Stephen King || 000/686
023. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams || 167/167
024. Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams || 000/230
025. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser || audiobook || 34/34 hours
026. The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan || 168/168
027. The Plague by Albert Camus || 000/238
028. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley || 000/229
029. Blindness by Jose Saramago || 000/309

030. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (And Other Stories) by Robert Louis Stevenson || 000/329

The Greatest Show on Earth The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7) by Stephen King So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4) by Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5) by Douglas Adams An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser The Vampire's Assistant (The Saga of Darren Shan, #2) by Darren Shan The Plague by Albert Camus Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Blindness by José Saramago The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

031. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
032. Winter by John Marsden
033. Pharaoh - A Novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
034. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
035. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
036. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
037. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
038. Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
039. The BFG by Roald Dahl
040. Time's Eye by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter


A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin Winter by John Marsden Pharaoh - A Novel by Valerio Massimo Manfredi Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher Nine Princes in Amber (Amber Chronicles, #1) by Roger Zelazny The BFG by Roald Dahl Time's Eye (A Time Odyssey, #1) by Arthur C. Clarke

041. The Guns of Avalon by Roger Zelazny
042. To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer

043. The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
044. In the Ocean of Night - Gregory Benford
045. Relic - Douglas Preston
046. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
047. Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds
048. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
049. Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
050. Hominids - Robert J. Sawyer


051. Chasm City - Alastair Reynolds
052. Sign of the Unicorn - Roger Zelazny
053. The Hand of Oberon - Roger Zelazny
054. The Courts of Chaos - Roger Zelazny
055. Sunstorm - Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter
056. Firstborn - Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter
057. The Fabulous Riverboat - Philip Jose Farmer
058. Fool Moon - Jim Butcher
059. Across the Sea of Suns - Gregory Benford
060. Great Sky River - Gregory Benford


061. Use of Weapons - Iain M. Banks
062. The State of the Art - Iain M. Banks
063. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
064. The Fellowship of the Ring - J. R. R. Tolkien
065. The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien
066. The Return of the King - J. R. R. Tolkien
067. A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin
068. A Storm of Swords I - George R. R. Martin
069. A Storm of Swords II - George R. R. Martin
070. A Feast for Crows - George R. R. Martin


071. A Dance with Dragons - George R. R. Martin
072. Instruments of Darkness - Robert Wilson
073. A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett
074. 'Salem's Lot - Stephen King
075. Adultery - Richard B. Wright
076. 50 Physics Ideas - Joanne Baker
077. Evil Serial Killers - Charlotte Greigg
078. The Husband - Dean Koontz
079. Between Worlds - Charmed
080. Science is Golden - Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki


081. Physics of the Impossible - Michio Kaku
082. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
083. The Rising - Brian Keene
084. The Hundredth Man - Jack Kerley
085. Hell House - Richard Matheson
086. Spiral - Paul McEuen
087. Infected - Scott Sigler
088. The Cryptopedia - Jonathon Maberry & David F. Kramer
089. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
090. The Terror - Dan Simmons


091. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
092. Flood - Stephen Baxter
093. Ark - Stephen Baxter
094. Along Came A Spider - James Patterson
095. Coraline - Neil Gaiman
096. Everything's Eventual - Stephen King
097. The Shadow Garden - Andrew Matthews
098. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
099. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
100. New York Minute


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