Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Diana's 50 Books

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 09, 2008 06:25PM) (new)

Hi all,

Good luck to everyone in reaching your goals!

My first finished book of 2008 is nothing fancy, the second book of a science fiction trilogy - "Invaders" by CJ Cherryh. However, it has a solid story with well-rounded characters and some interesting insights into human nature. Overall, a nice slide into the new reading year.

message 2: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Thanks Diana. Good luck to you too! My goal this year is to improve my sci fi reading experiences. Let us know what you thought about the book.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

2nd Book - 1/12/08 - The Book Thief

A beautifully written, powerful, haunting book.

message 4: by Peggy (new)

Peggy | 17 comments The Book Thief is, indeed, amazing. Once it caught me, I couldn't put it down.

message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 23, 2008 09:48AM) (new)


Er, I'm so not paying attention here...

Anyway, yes, this is an excellent book. Like Peggy, once I picked it up I had a hard time putting it down. What struck me is the quality of writing. Although classified as a YA book, it didn't talk down to kids and touched on serious issues in very honest ways. On the other hand, had I not known it was a YA book I never would've guessed. Although the writing is straight forward, it's not "childish." All around one of the best books I've read in a long time!

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 23, 2008 09:56AM) (new)

3rd book - 1/21/08: The Death of Vishnu.

The least depressing book I've yet read about India and an interesting look at the Indian middle class. There is quite a bit of humor yet the author touches on serious subjects as well. He does a fine job on both counts. The writing was excellent - smooth and clear.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

4th book - 1/26/08: The Shadow of The Torturer

One of the best fantasy books I've read. Excellent writing. Superb story. Quite dark, however, and not for the squeamish.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

5th book - 2/5/08: The Golden Compass

The first book of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Thought-provoking, imaginative fantasy with wonderful characters and thrilling adventures. A genuine page-turner.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

6th book - 2/17/08 - Seize The Night by Dean Koontz

I've never read anything by Dean Koontz but after being trapped in a hospital waiting room for 7 hours and having exhausted my reading materials, I decided to hit the book rack in the gift shop. This book looked liked the least of the evils.

It's turned out to be pretty good. The premise is interesting, the characters are fairly well drawn, the story moves along quickly and is creepy enough to have given me some goosebumps, the writing is smooth, the dialogue is well done and there is plenty of humor mixed in with the horror.

The only complaints I have is that the protagonists are just a bit too good. Not a one had a seriously bad habit. These people don't even smoke, as far as I could tell. Plus, there was a bit too much philosophizing. A little goes a long way.

Overall, I don't regret having spent $7.99 plus tax for this book. In fact, I may venture into Dean Koontz territory again some day.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

7th book - 2/22/08 - Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Another great entry in the Discworld series. You can't explain Terry Pratchett. You have to read him. It's a great blend of story, satire and fun characters.

message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2008 03:17PM) (new)

8th book - 2/25/08 - Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut

Don't be fooled by the deceptively simple style. This book deserves it's classic status for many reasons, one of of which is that so much is buried in those few pages of "simple" sentences. Definitely will be put on the to re-read list.

message 12: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) Excellent commentary, Diana, on Slaughter House Five. He was an amazing author!

message 13: by Judith (last edited Feb 26, 2008 07:10AM) (new)

Judith (jloucks) I so agree with you on the Dark Matter series!

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

9th book - 2/29/08 - Ratking by Michael Dibdin

Interesting, solid yet not terribly unique story. What gives this book it's edge over other detective fiction is the gritty look at Italy in 1982 and it's primary character, Aurelio Zen. Although I'd recommend this book, I'm not going to rush out and read the rest of the series.

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

10th book 3/4/08 - The Subtle Knife

Excellent follow-up to TGC. The characters expand, the themes deepen, the story develops and there is plenty more breathtaking adventure. Definitely a fun read!

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I'mma gettin' there :-)

message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 09, 2008 11:32AM) (new)

11th book - How Proust Can Change Your Life - Alain De Botton

With humor and affection, Alain De Botton manages to reveal not only Proust the writer but Proust the man.

Despite its short length, this book gives us a good look at the complex nature of Proust and what drove him to not only write In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past but also why he wrote it as he did.

I highly recommend this book to anyone attempting to read Proust for the first time.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

12th book - The Grave Tattoo - Val McDermid

A page-turner mystery with a kernel of genuine history at its core. Plenty of substance and enough suspects to make sure that the reader isn't absolutely certain who is really guilty. A quick but satisfying read.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

13th book - Odd Thomas - Dean Koontz

Well-done supernatural thriller with quirky characters that I actually cared about by the time the book ended. Lots of suspense and even some humor. Overall, an enjoyable quick read.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

14th book - Swann's Way (first volume of Remembrance of Things Past/In Search of Lost Time) - Marcel Proust

A brilliant, insightful book that takes some effort, but is well worth it!

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

15th book - The Claw of the Conciliator by Gene Wolfe

An excellent sequel to The Shadow of The Torturer that delves even deeper into the reality of Urth.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

16th book - Nine Princes in Amber - Roger Zelazny

Wonderful beginning to a huge fantasy series. I'd heard of it generally but was pleasantly surprised by the different approached Zelazny took. Am looking forward to the other nine books in the series.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

17th book - The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John Le Carre

Not at all what I expected! An excellent thriller and book in general. This had much more depth than I would expect from a spy novel. I'll probably read this again some day.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

18th book - The Tiger Ladies: A Memoir of Kashmir - Sudha Koul

A lovely and heartbreaking first-hand look at the Kashmir that used to be and the shattered wreck it is today. Ms. Koul does an exceptional job of bringing the "old" Kashmir to life for us - a world of beauty, ancient traditions, generations of friendships and, most importantly, peace. How the shattering of this world by hate and violence affects her world view, her family and friends, is the core of this book. Truly magical.

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