Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2013! Yay! > Diane's doing it again in 2013

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message 1: by Diane (last edited Jan 06, 2014 02:27PM) (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments OK. It's time for my 2013 reading goals. And this year I get to be one of those readers with all these amazing goals!!

2013 Reading Goals

Read 50 books (although my number is not changing I plan on reading more difficult and important books this year than last)

20 "dusty books" -- already owned on my "to-read-home" shelf
35 already owned and/or public library
24 from Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die

*** Additional personal challenges***
Read 3 books I should have read before now
Read 3 authors I should have already read
Read 3 genres I have not read before or don't normally read
Read (at least) 3 books my daughters have recommended (I have 3 girls so each gets at least one recommendation.)

**** ABANDONED BOOK PILE **** (Thanks Tiffani for allowing me to appropriate this!)
The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1) by Lilith Saintcrow Forever by Pete Hamill The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl


message 2: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
LOVE your goals and challenges!


message 3: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Tiffany wrote: "LOVE your goals and challenges!"

Thanks Tiffany. I remember this time last year being so jealous of readers in this group with all sorts of challenges and even whole lists of books TBR in the coming year.


╟ ♫ Tima ♪ ╣ ♥ (tsunanisaurus) Good luck Diane! We will be here to cheer you on! If you ever want recommendations, I will be happy to try and drum some up for you. I've also made a list of personal goals this year, in addition to the numbers alone. Should make for an interesting reading year for us!


message 5: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Week One is under my belt and I finished two books:
What′s the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was by Joan Walsh Watchmen by Alan Moore

1. What′s the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was by Joan Walsh
An interesting book that was much more about the Irish American working class experience and their climbing into the middle class and their political alignment with the Republican Party which threatens the tenuous position of whites in the middle class. I gave it 3 stars
my full review
Borrowed from the library

2.Watchmen by Alan Moore
This is only my second graphic novel ever, and I wish I started with this one. I gave it 4 stars.
Borrowed from the library
New genre: Graphic Novel
Boxall book

2013 tally to date
2 books borrowed from the library
1 book on Boxall's 1001 book list
1 genre I do not read: Graphic Novel


message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Revised and Updated Edition by Peter Boxall

3. Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles
A National Book Award finalist for Young People's Literature, this gem was recommended to me by my Littlest, a fifth-grader. The protagonist is a spunky ten year old named Comfort Snowberger who lives above her family's funeral parlor in small town Snapfish, Mississippi. Her family lives with death as an everyday part of life, but Comfort hurts when death becomes more personal. Wow, that makes it sound so sad, but I laughed as well as cried when I read this book. It's lovely and touching. It is recommended for ages 8-12, and I gave it 4 stars. I would highly recommend (5 stars) the book for children in that age group who have recently lost a family member or pet.
Borrowed from the library
Recommended by the Littlest
Not read genre: Children's (I think I only read one children's - not YA - book last year, so I'm going to count this.)

Peter Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die has several editions, and I have looked over both the 2006 and 2010 editions. I can't say I have read every entry, so it's not logged as "read". I would recommend the book for those looking for something different and/or good to read. The books within the List of 1001 books, which really with the 4 editions is more like 1301 books, cross all genres and styles and countries. I think there is a book in there for everyone. If you are looking to expand your horizons, this would be a resource.

2013 tally to date
3 books borrowed from the library
1 book on Boxall's 1001 book list
2 genres I do not read: Graphic Novel and Children's.
1 Recommendation from my girls: Littlest.


message 7: by Kelani (new)

Kelani | 205 comments good luck on your goals! I love your challenges. I never thought to be specific!


message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Kelani wrote: "good luck on your goals! I love your challenges. I never thought to be specific!"

Thanks Kelani!
Last year I was so jealous of Readers with additional challenges (other than 50 books) and some even had the whole reading year planned. So this year, I figured why not?! :)
Nice start on your goals!


message 9: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Love your goals! Good luck this year :)


message 10: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Revised and Updated Edition by Peter Boxall"

Out of curiosity, when you read/skimmed 1001 Books..., did you add a ton of books to your to-read list? When I read *just* the 2006 edition, I added (based on my shelf of books from 1001 Books that I hadn't previously planned on reading) 494 books to read! I thought I was well-read before! But adding 494 books?!? It made me feel like I'd never read a book before in my life! :)


message 11: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Tiffany wrote: "Diane wrote: "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Revised and Updated Edition by Peter Boxall"

Out of curiosity, when you read/skimmed 1001 Books..., did you add a ton of books to your to..."


LOL As my teens would say "I know, right". :) Fortunately, I bought the 1001 book app for my iPhone before it was (temporarily I hope) shut down. so I don't have all those in my TBR on here. :) I have a super special TBR file that I search for at HPB, used bookstore, and library's sale shelf. My to_read and boxall-1001 shelves here on GR are just the ones I own and/or want to get to "soon". so I want to get to about 150 books "soon". LOL
And YES as a former lit major although I switched majors and ended up with a lit minor, I would have thought I was better read!! :)
I will say though, I was very skeptical about recent additions 2009 books on the 2010 edition, 2011 books on the 2012 edition, I mean, seriously, one year old or less, how can these critics and professors know the book will have staying power?? Honestly though, two books like that American Rust and Cain were two of my favorites for the year!!


message 12: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Casino Royale (James Bond, #1) by Ian Fleming The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
4. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
I have a thing for mystery/crime/thriller books, but this is my first espionage book. I have watched many of the Bond films. I was not a fan of James Bond as presented in this book. He is not smooth. He is flawed. His large ego and sex drive cloud his judgement. Not sure why this book launched such devotion. On the back cover, there is a quote by Raymond Chandler that Bond is "what every woman would like to have between her sheets." Umm not this gal. When he ordered his cocktail with a complete recipe, specific glass then criticized the use of potato vodka instead of grain vodka, I'm pretty sure I would have taken my single-malt someplace else to find a real man! :) I gave it 3 stars because I could see how it could spawn a movie franchise and it was interesting to get a glimpse to what is behind the cool, smooth, Bond veneer. (not saying what I found was good but... LOL)
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall 1001 books


5. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Not truly a novel, but a collection of short stories focusing on Jane (Janie) Rosenal and her life struggles. The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing is a seminal work of chick-lit. Yes, chicklit. There was a time when it made up the bulk of my reading, after grad school and at home with 3 small children during the height of chicklit. I think I read one chicklit book last year -- primarily because I still have far too much of it on my dusty bookshelves!! I read The Girls' Guide to hunting and Fishing right after Casino Royale, which could be considered "dude lit". Honestly, Melissa Bank does a much better job with character and capturing a certain kind life at a particular moment than does Mr. Fleming. Yes, I said it. But chicklit gets a bad rap: it's shallow, meaningless, pointless, does not require major brain cells. This book could change one's mind about that. It is a a tiny bit dated; the last story is a parody on the craze and devotion surrounding The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. I have had this book on my shelf for at least 10 years, and I wish I had read it before now. I gave it a generous 4 stars.
Dusty book -- 10+ years
Book I should have read before now


2013 tally to date
1 Dusty Book
5 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
2 Boxall Books
2 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel; Children's Book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


message 13: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1) by Lilith Saintcrow
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
uncle. Uncle. Uncle! UNCLE!
Ok I tried. I gave it 47 pages over the last what seems like 47 days. I don't care about the characters. The action is untethered -- why the heck is any of what has gone on in the last 47 days important or relevant?? And the real reason I am finally dropping this nonsense... I am reading it as a Steampunk Challenge. Umm where is the steampunk?? There is tons of magic but no steampunk elements yet. I am not looking forward to reading Steampunk, but I should at least be reading decent stuff representative of the genre, right?? Any recommendations for good Steampunk out there???
Best part of this book; I borrowed it from the library. :) My first abandoned book of the year.


message 14: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1) by Lilith Saintcrow
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
...Best part of this book; I borrowed it from the library. :)"


hehehehe


message 15: by Diane (last edited Jan 20, 2013 03:56PM) (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Forever by Pete Hamill Red Ink Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget by David Wessel Nasty People How to Stop Being Hurt By Them Without Becoming One of Them by Jay Carter Tricky Business by Dave Barry

Forever by Pete Hamill
Ok, this is another book that I am abandoning. Sigh. I read about 1/2 of this book, and just lost momentum. And I was expecting something different . I've read Pete Hamill and I was expecting something more of a love letter to NYC. His main character did not even arrive in NYC until about 1/3 of the way through the novel. I really feel like this book should have been 2 or maybe even 3 books. The main character's mother is a cryptojew. Why? Because he lands in NYC later in life?? Maybe in a few years, like when I really need the large print edition from my local library I will pick this tome up again, and I will enjoy. For now, it is sadly, abandoned.

6. Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget by David Wessel
An interesting, easy to read, primer on the US Federal Budget. Red Ink was very short and quick to read, and fun. The book gives links to "Balancing the Budget" games. My personal favorite was "Budget Hero".
Borrowed from the Library

7. Nasty People: How to Stop Being Hurt By Them Without Becoming One of Them by Jay Carter
This was also a very short book about Invalidation. It was helpful to recognize the mechanisms and techniques, but the book fell a little short on how to deal with those folks: "raise your eyebrow" "invalidate them back" ummm those do not sound like healthy and/or effective techniques. But maybe that's just me.
Borrowed from the Library

8.Tricky Business by Dave Barry
Fans of Dave Barry's syndicated column may be shocked at the sex, language, violence, and drugs in this novel. It was a quick, entertaining read but to me nothing terribly special.
My review here
Dusty Book

2013 tally to date
2 Dusty Books
8 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
2 Boxall Books
2 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel; Children's Book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The 13 Clocks by James Thurber The Wonderful O by James Thurber Fifty Shades of Chicken A Parody in a Cookbook by F.L. Fowler

9. Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook by F.L. Fowler
Obviously F.L. Fowler is a pseudonym. The cookbook is heavy on whole roasted chicken, and who doesn't need another roast chicken recipe. Overall the book is for novice cooks who loved (or hated) Fifty Shades of Grey. I haven't read it, so the pseudosexual intros to each recipe were a little too much for me. The recipes are all pretty basic, but there are a few gems.
Borrowed from the Library


10. The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
I should have read at least something by James Thurber. I've been to his home many times; I enjoy Thurber House events, which have introduced me to wonderful new authors and allowed me to meet some of my favorite writers in person. This book was in my local library in the adult section, but it could be read aloud to a child. It had a duke, a prince, a princess, magic, and all sorts of wonderful fairy tale elements. It was not laugh-out-loud funny, but witty and comical and throughly enjoyable.
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die
Author I should have already read: James Thurber



11. The Wonderful O by James Thurber
I enjoyed this one more than The 13 Clocks. I don't think one could read this aloud, considering it is about a "pirate" and his conquering an island and removing all the Os. It was a lovely, comical, fun read. After ditching two books and plodding through Life of Pi and trying to start The Sound and the Fury, I really need a palate cleanser or just a book to enjoy and take lightly. I read this one while waiting for my Littlest to get ready for school! Added bonus: it's a Boxall 1001 List book!!
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die


2013 tally to date
2 Dusty Books
11 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
4 Boxall Books
2 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel; Children's Book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
1 Author I should have read before now: James Thurber
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Life of Pi by Yann Martel

12. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Another book that I think I did not enjoy as much because I had already seen the movie. It's really not the movie's fault. I've had this book on my shelf since 2002 or 2003, and I'm not a huge fan of Magical Realism. I did enjoy the background/back story and religious stuff more in the book than the movie.
Dusty Book
Boxall 1001 books to read before you die


2013 tally to date
3 Dusty Books
12 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
5 Boxall Books
2 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel; Children's Book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
1 Author I should have read before now: James Thurber
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


message 18: by Diane (last edited Jan 31, 2013 02:34PM) (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland The Riptide Ultra-Glide A Novel by Tim Dorsey

13. Luncheon of the Boating Party bySusan Vreeland
I've had this on my shelf for a few years. I listened to it as an audiobook.
My review here

14. The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel by Tim Dorsey
The 16th installment of the Serge A. Storm series just came out last week. I am still enjoying this series.
My review here


message 19: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
15. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Wow this book was a challenge for me. I told my other half I wish I read it in college when I was smarter. He said "you mean, 'sharper'." And that's why I keep him around. :) That and he's taking me out for margaritas as soon as I finish this.
Borrowed from the library
Boxall 1001 book to read before you die
Author I should have read before now

**OH I forgot to address #13 and 14.
#13 was a Dusty book
#14 was a Borrowed from the Library book

2013 tally to date
4 Dusty Books
15 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
6 Boxall Books

2 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel; Children's Book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
2 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber and William Faulkner
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


╟ ♫ Tima ♪ ╣ ♥ (tsunanisaurus) Kudos on getting through Faulkner!! He is on my list this year too.


message 21: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru Blindness by José Saramago One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

16. My Revolutions by Hari Kunzru
I've read Hari Kunzru's The Impressionist and really enjoyed it, so when I saw the audio version of My Revolutions, I thought I would give it a go. I gave it 3 stars and passed the CDs on to my other half. FYI, the audioversion is not child-friendly, as it contains some violence, some sexual innuendo, and a whole lotta swear words.
Dusty Book

17. Blindness by José Saramago
The elements of Mr. Saramago's writing style that I enjoyed from Cain were present in Blindness. The story itself though was bleak, which I suppose is a given for post-apocalyptic novels.
Dusty book

18. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Okay, it's been a bleak month of reading. First The Sound and the Fury, then Blindness and now a fictionalized memoir of Mr. Solzhenitsyn's time in the Gulag. Perhaps these were not good choices back-to-back-to-back in the winter months? Mr. S was the favorite of a teacher I had many years ago, and I regret not reading this before now. The book contains no chapter breaks, and I think it would be a good "one day" read if one could stand to read about the cold, the work, the scheming, the hunger, and all the rest, over the course of only one day.
Dusty Book
Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die
Author I should have read before now


2013 Tally to date
7 Dusty books

18 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
7 Boxall books
2 genres I do not read: Graphic Novel and Children's book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
3 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber, William Faulker, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ... Objective Complete!!!
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest

Now on to something light and fun... I Hope! :)


message 22: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "3 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber, William Faulker, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ... Objective Complete!!!"

Wow! Good job! And it's only February!


message 23: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Thanks! I think I'm knocking off the "authors I should have read" pretty quickly! Maybe it's guilt. :)


message 24: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
19. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
Yet another author I should have already read... although not the book I should have read. That honor belongs to The Maltese Falcon, and I have that book waiting for me on my shelf :) However, in reading Red Harvest, I could see his hard-boiled/noir-y goodness and how he influenced some of my favorite crime novelists. Because of the language and tone, I had to look up the car Dinah drove just to NOT envision something modern and to remind myself this book was written in the 1920s. I gave the book 4 stars.
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die



2013 Tally to date
7 Dusty books
19 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
8 Boxall books

2 genres I do not read: Graphic Novel and Children's book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
3 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber, William Faulker, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ... Objective Complete!!!
1 Recommendation from Girls: Littlest


message 25: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Thanks! I think I'm knocking off the "authors I should have read" pretty quickly! Maybe it's guilt. :)"

hehehe... Guilt can be a great motivator ;)


message 26: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) by Carrie Ryan Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett How to Read Literature Like a Professor A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster

20. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
It's been a very difficult time, and I mentioned to my Middle child that I needed some zombie or vampire novel to take my mind off of things. She handed me this book with a "it's really good, Mom." Since I'm not a YA I'm not certain I would call it really good , but it held my interest and was a page turner and I felt compelled to read it. I was less than satisfied with the ending and the "moral" of the story, but overall it was a decent read in the Zombie genre.
I would read the next installment. In fact, I have it on hold at the Library for Middle daughter's Spring Break reading.
Recommended from Girls: Middle Child
Owned and borrowed from my daughter (Dusty book)



21. Electric Barracuda by Tim Dorsey
Have I mentioned how big of a crush I have on Tim Dorsey and his Serge Storms character?? In this outing, Serge's ex-wife catches up to him and drops a bomb in his lap. Meanwhile Serge continues his version of a fugitive tour not realizing the law is actually on his heels. Flashbacks to Serge's grandfather Sergio and his gang during Prohibition color the novel, and Al Capone makes a cameo. Lots of twist and turns and good times in this novel. And Dorsey name-drops Hammett in this book, which was nice as I was in the middle of a Dashiell Hammett reading Marathon.
Dusty book

22. The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
I checked outComplete Novels : Red Harvest / The Dain Curse / The Maltese Falcon / The Glass Key / The Thin Man from my local public library. When I brought the volume home it was well worn, to say the least. The hardback cover was as soft as a trade paperback from wear, and the pages in the middle were stained a tea-colored brown. I have been on the waitlist since October or November so I was determined to read as many of Hammett's novels as possible before the book needed to be returned. Aside of course from the darkened middle passage -- The Maltese Falcon. First, because the novel is already on my shelf at home, Second, reading the lighter areas of the volume made me feel like a rebel. This novel seemed to take me forever to read but it could have been my frame of mind. Overall, I could see again Hammett's influence on modern mystery/crime writing.
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall's 1001 Books to read before you die


23. The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
This was a super quick read for me and in some ways my favorite of the Hammett books I have read this month. The dialogue and witty bater and characterization were wonderful and interesting. The drinking in this novel... where to begin. I wonder how bad drinking and alcoholism was prior to Prohibition because in this novel written and set during Prohibition, drinking was beyond rampant. Characters drank before breakfast, they drank as breakfast, they drank during police interrogations with the Police (but bring your own because apparently coppers' liquor is no good), in speakeasies, and on and on. Instead of saying "drink like a fish" I'm going to say "drink like a character in a Dashiell Hammett novel"!!!
Now for the ways this book "failed" me. I was disappointed with the ending. ugh. Domestic violence was treated as a joke more than once in the novel. At one point, Nick references the Woman-Spaniel-Walnut tree joke: " The more they are beaten, the better still they be." At another point, Nick punches his wife out cold. Albeit to supposedly save her from her hysterical female nature.
Borrowed from the Library
Boxall's 1001 Books to read before you die


24. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster
A great primer on how to get more out of your reading. I would highly recommend this to any reader, and in particular to students at the high school and college level. In fact I picked this up as it was required summer reading for an AP Lit class at my girls' high school.
Dusty book

2013 Tally to date
10 Dusty books
24 Dusty books/Borrowed from the Library
10 Boxall books

2 genres I do not read: Graphic Novel and Children's book
1 Book I should have already read: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
3 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber, William Faulker, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ... Objective Complete!!!
2 Recommendations from Girls: Littlest and Middle child


message 27: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

#25 Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (read as audiobook)
The first disc and story-within-a-story were disturbing, BUT I am glad I stuck it out. The book was horrifying, and I do NOT read horror. But underneath the horrific elements and gross-out vulgarities lies a very biting social commentary. In fact, in the past few weeks since I read the book I find myself referencing the book and its little gems. One of my personal favorites right now is:
Everyone is the hero in his own story.
Kind of puts things in perspective. LOL I gave the book 3 stars, but really it is probably 3.5 or maybe even inching towards 4 stars. A book that has staying power and makes a reader think about their world and life and draw connections from the text is a Wonderful Thing.
Borrowed from the Library
Genre I do not read: Horror



#26 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
A classic in the Sci-fi genre, this book was filmed as Blade Runner, but please don't let that stop you from reading this book. It has been a while since I saw Blade Runner, but the book has much more in it than the movie. The book sets up dichotomies to get the reader to think and to present social commentary. Interesting book to read after Haunted. I created a new shelf "ReRead" just to put this book on it!! I gave it 4 stars, but I am sure that on a reread (when I am in a better frame of mind) it will likely get bumped to 5 stars. Oh, and I passed the book on to my Firstborn who loves Dystopian fiction.
Dusty book
Boxall's 1001 books



#27 Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin
Another genre I do not read: Erotica. I read this for a challenge in another group, and it is on Boxall's 1001 book list. The prose of these short stories is captivating and sensual. I gave it 4 stars.
Dusty book
Genre I do not read: Erotica
Boxall's 1001 books


2013 Tally to date
12 Dusty books
27 Dusty books/borrowed from the Library
12 Boxall books
4 Genres I do not read:
Graphic Novel, Children's book, Horror, and Erotica ... Objective complete!
3 Authors I should have read before now: James Thurber, William Faulkner, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ... Objective Complete!
2 Recommendations from Girls: Littlest and Middle child.


message 28: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons How to Find Your Soul Mate by Neil Clark Warren

#28 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is the group read this month, so I'll try not to give out any spoilers. I liked this book more than I thought I would. I cried several times reading it, but that is just what I needed right now. I think of this book as a very Classic Romance novel, and I gave it 4 stars.
Dusty book

#29 Falling in Love for All the Right Reasons: How to Find Your Soul Mate by Neil Clark Warren
OK, I know. What is a very recently separated woman doing reading a book by the founder of eHarmony on how to find your Beshert?? Umm. Well I saw it at the used bookstore on clearance and thought "why not". Honestly within the first 75 pages I figured out all sorts of HUGE errors I made in picking my husband and all the red flags I ignored and thought were a lovely shade of deep, hot pink. LOL
It helped me realize what I should look for, way way way off in the future when I can think about such things. So, for the time being I gave it to my sister who is doing on-line dating so she can figure things out.

2013 Tally to date
13 Dusty Books
28 Dusty books/borrowed from the library

12 Boxall books
4 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel, Children's book, Horror and Erotica... Objective complete
3 Authors I should have read: James Thurber, William Faulkner, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn... Objective complete
2 Recommendations from Girls: Littlest and Middle Child.


message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #17) by Laurell K. Hamilton Choke by Chuck Palahniuk World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

#30 Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton
This was my first Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novel, although it is the 17th in the series. I was not a fan of this book. I read it for an "Urban Fantasy" challenge, as I have already read all the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Not sure I will try another Anita Blake, although I've been told the earlier ones are much better.
Dusty Book

#31 Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
This is my second Chuck Palahniuk. I hate to call him a "one trick pony", but I found so many similar themes between this book and his other book I read this year Haunted. I read this book as it is listed on the 2006 edition of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I listened to the audio version which was a real treat. It was read by the author himself and had two different "extras with the author". Overall it was worth reading, but I might have enjoyed it better had it been the first book of his I read.
Library book
Boxall's 1001 books


#32 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
My review is here The book was interesting and clearly well researched -- as far as geopolitical contexts not accurate portrayal of Zombies -- and well written. I enjoyed it.
LIbrary book

2013 Tally to date
14 Dusty books
31 Dusty books/borrowed from the Library
13 Boxall's 1001 Books

4 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel, Children's, Horror, Erotica ... Objective Complete!
3 Authors I should have read; James Thurber, William Faulkner, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn... Objective Complete!
1 Book I should have read by now: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing
2 recommendations from Girls: Littlest and Middle Child.


message 30: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz The Wife by Meg Wolitzer The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

#33 This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
An interesting collection of short stories about Yunior and his losses in love. I gave it 4 stars.
Library book

#34 The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
This book was recommended to me by a reading friend, when she realized that I was separated. I had a great deal of sympathy for the titular wife of this novel and could relate in many ways. I probably would have given the book 5 stars but the ending let me down in so many ways. Overall though I was glad I read it and gave it 4 stars.
Library book

#35 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I read this for a Fantasy challenge, and I honestly wish I would have read this in my late elementary/junior high school years. I can see why the book and author have such a huge fandom, and I plan to reread it later.
Book I should have already read
Dusty book
Boxall's 1001 books


#36 Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
I've had this on my shelf for an undetermined amount of time. Probably somewhere between 5-8 years. It made sense to finally pick up this book as I am currently undergoing a similar situation to Rose, the middle-aged woman of the title. I gave it 3 stars
My review here
Dusty book

2013 Tally to date
16 Dusty books
35 Dusty books/borrowed from the library
14 Boxall's 1001 books
2 books I should have read by now: The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing and The Hobbit

4 Genres I do not read: Graphic Novel, Children, Horror, Erotica... Objective Complete!
3 Authors I should have read: James Thurber, William Faulkner, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn... Objective Complete!
2 recommendations from Girls: Littlest and Middle Child.


message 31: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Grrl Genius Guide to Life A Twelve-Step Program on How to Become a Grrl Genius, According to Me! by Cathryn Michon Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy The Selected Poems by Federico García Lorca Beyond Belief The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels

I haven't updated recently because I have not been reading much. Too much going on in Real Life. My divorce attorney would probably not be happy with me putting ANYTHING in writing, even my reading list, so this will be brief. Message me if you want any details on the books below.

#37 The Grrl Genius Guide to Life: A Twelve-Step Program on How to Become a Grrl Genius, According to Me!
This funny and snarky book has been on my shelf for years. It was the right dose of humor and lighthearted encouragement I needed. I read it in June and gave it 4 stars
Dusty book

#38 Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen
Typical CH novel, good summer read. I read it in July and gave it 3 stars.
Dusty book

#39 They Shoot Horses, Don't They? by Horace McCoy
Classic noir novel. Short and easy to read but dark -- obviously. I read in August and gave it 4 stars.
Boxall's 1001 book to read before you die

#40 The Selected Poems by Federico García Lorca
This was a recommendation by another reader and read for a "poetry challenge". Spanish and English translations were set side-by-side in my edition, and I wish I read Spanish. I may learn just to read his poems in their original version. I read in September and gave it 4 stars.
library book

#41 Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas by Elaine Pagels
This was on a reading list for a group at my church. I missed their meetings but I enjoyed reading the book. The book's insights on Church history and the impact of the gospel of John on the formation of the canon was interesting and worth the read. Dense and scholarly, IMO. I just finished it and gave it 4 stars.
Library Book

2013 Tally to date
18 Dusty books
39 Dusty books and/or borrowed from the Library: Challenge Complete!
15 Boxall's 1001 books


Challenges left to complete:
Dusty books: 2 more to go
Boxall's 1001 books: 9 more to go (this year)
Books I should have read by now: 1 to go
Recommendation from my girls: Firstborn to go


message 32: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "I haven't updated recently because I have not been reading much. Too much going on in Real Life. ..."

BOOOO. Real Life is stupid :) I'm sorry you're going through Real Life Stupidness right now, but it sounds like you've read some good books. And I love the idea of the poems with side-by-side translation -- you could teach yourself Spanish that way!

Congrats on making your way through your sub-challenges; you're doing great!


message 33: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments The Crucible by Arthur Miller

#42 The Crucible by Arthur Miller
This book was recommended by my Firstborn who read it over the summer for her English class. Unfortunately I did not read this in High School. What a classic. I gave it 4 stars.
Recommendation by Firstborn

2013 Tally to date
18 Dusty books
39 Dusty books or Borrowed from the Library
15 Boxall's 1001 books
Recommendation from my girls: Firstborn done! Challenge Completed!!

Challenges left to complete for 2013:
Dusty books: 2 more to go
Boxall's 1001 books: 9 more to go
Books I should have read by now: 1 to go

** Not sure if I will get all of the challenges completed or even make it to 50, but we will see. **


message 34: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Even if you don't finish all of your challenges, including getting to 50 books, you're going to be really close! And if nothing else, you've had the fulfillment of reading books you enjoyed, books you never read before but wondered about, and books that you can discuss with your girls. Those are pretty good accomplishments!


message 35: by Diane (last edited Jan 07, 2014 07:07AM) (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments I should clean up 2013 before I begin on goals for 2014

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell Booze Cakes Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer by Krystina Castella The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism by Theda Skocpol Sweet Chic Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion by Rachel Thebault Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse, #13) by Charlaine Harris

The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
I have read several Matthew Pearl books and loved them. This one… nope. This is the second time I have attempted to get through it. It was finally having a friend ask me why I was torturing myself before I put it down again. My friend has also convinced me to remove this from my bookshelves and home so I will not attempt to read it again. LOL Sorry Mr. Pearl.

#42 #43 David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
I borrowed this from the library on audiobook. 5 stars. AMAZING. I cannot recommend this highly enough, particularly for those facing insurmountable obstacles.

borrowed from the library

#43 #44 Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer by Krystina Castella

Genuis. 5 stars. have borrowed it twice from the library already. Yum. Yum. Yum. Mocha rum brownies with mocha run frosting are my favorites thus far. I

borrowed from the library

#44 #45 The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism by Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson

A highly academic look at the Tea Party. I gave it 4 stars.
Borrowed from the library

#45 #46Sweet Chic: Stylish Treats to Dress Up for Any Occasion by Rachel Thebault
I gave this cookbook 4 stars. Great jumping off points and mix and match ideas for baked goods. Enough to keep any baker busy. Everyone raved about the "homemade oreos". Super yummy.

#46 #47 Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
I'm glad this is the last book. Sookie ended up with the man I had hoped from the beginning she would. I'll have to wait and see if the final season of True Blood ends in a similar fashion.

Borrowed from the library

I will do a final tally in another post.


message 36: by Diane (last edited Jan 07, 2014 07:08AM) (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments 2013 Reading Goals

Read 46 books 46/50
Read 47 books!! 47/50 Oh the joy one gets from misnumbering a post! :) Far better than misbuttoning a shirt. :)


read 18 of a goal of 20 "dusty books" -- already owned on my "to-read-home" shelf, and I permanently removed another book from my personal shelves

read 43 out of a goal of 35 already owned and/or public library complete and also means of the books I read this year over 90% were books I already owned or borrowed from the library!
read 13 towards a goal of 24 from Boxall's 1001 books to read before you die

*** Additional personal challenges*** ALL COMPLETE!!
Read 3 books I should have read before now
Read 3 authors I should have already read
Read 3 genres I have not read before or don't normally read
Read (at least) 3 books my daughters have recommended (I have 3 girls so each gets at least one recommendation.)

So I completed many goals and came close -- within 10% -- of my other goals!, aside from Boxall's 1001 books. Overall, given all the changes and chaos and difficulties this year, that is pretty darn good. :)

My favorite challenges were the mini-challenges, particularly of reading recommendations from my girls. I think that helped us bond a little bit more.
It was also wonderful to read books and authors that I have not read but should have by now.


message 37: by Diane (new)

Diane (readingrl) | 130 comments Tiffany wrote: "Even if you don't finish all of your challenges, including getting to 50 books, you're going to be really close! And if nothing else, you've had the fulfillment of reading books you enjoyed, books ..."

Thanks Tiffany for the encouragement!! :)

I got really close. And yes, I could look at the number 46 and think "fail" but the reality is the Additional Personal Challenges were the best part of my reading life this year! I discovered authors I had only heard about; I read books that I wish I read long ago; and I bonded with my girls over books they recommended. How much more could I ask for from a year of reading?!!


message 38: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1790 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "I got really close. And yes, I could look at the number 46 and think "fail" but the reality is the Additional Personal Challenges were the best part of my reading life this year! I discovered authors I had only heard about; I read books that I wish I read long ago; and I bonded with my girls over books they recommended. How much more could I ask for from a year of reading?!"

You had some GREAT side challenges this year! Those definitely count for way more than making it to some arbitrary total.


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