Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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*Retired* 2008 Lists > R's Book List

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message 1: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments I did this challenge last year on my chat board, but I love being able to track it here!

Here's my list for the year, with newest additions bolded, and the month I read them:

JANUARY
1. Code Name: Bikini by Christina Skye
2. Code Name: Blondie by Christina Skye
3. Hunger Point by Jillian Medoff
4. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
5. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
6. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
7. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
8. Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
9. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
10. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
11. The Ambler Warning by Robert Ludlum
12. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan
13. The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
14. How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life by Mameve Medwed
15. The Birth House by Ami McKay
16. Apollyon by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
17. Assassins by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
18. My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
19. The Indwelling by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
20. The Mark by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

FEBRUARY
21. The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
22. Desecration by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
23. The Remnant by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
24. Armageddon by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
25. Code Name: Baby by Christina Skye
26. Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary
27. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
28. Sisters by Danielle Steel

MARCH
29. The Glorious Appearing by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
30. Kingdom Come by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
31. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
32. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
33. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
34. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
35. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
36. On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
37. Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
38. The Giver by Lois Lowry
39. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

APRIL:
40. The Last Precinct by Patricia Cornwell
41. One For The Money by Janet Evanovich
42. Two For The Dough by Janet Evanovich
43. By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
44. Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lippogrammatic Epistolary Fable by Mark Dunn

45. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
46. Little Town on The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

47. These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
48. The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

49. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
50. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

51. Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich
52. Four To Score by Janet Evanovich

53. High Five by Janet Evanovich
54. Hot Six by Janet Evanovich

55. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
56. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich


I MADE IT! (even though I had to count a LOT of cheesy, easy reads.)


message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments OK, I decided to leave my first post as my overall book list and post reviews below as I go.

Here's what I originally posted review-wise on 1/13:

So obviously, I got my box set of Narnia books finally -- haven't had them since childhood. Great to re-read those.

My first Ludlum that was readable (to be fair, I only ever tried the Omaha disaster) -- a pretty good one! I liked the concept; a top secret agent who is institutionalized and escapes only to discover that his identity does not exist.

The Code Name books are part of a bigger series that I would read more of, for super easy reading -- each one covers a mission for one member of an elite special forces unit, during which (of course!) they meet the woman of their dreams. High action.

Hunger point -- eh. If you need a serious but not terribly well-written book about anorexia and self-hatred. there you go.

SO -- now I'm off to begin reading actual books.


message 3: by Rebecca (last edited Jan 28, 2008 04:02PM) (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Books 12-14:

Atonement -- read for book club. A little slow, but it was such an internal thought process story it made sense that way. I didn't find myself waiting around for the action to happen. But definitely not for everyone; if you don't take the time to analyze it a little and look for themes and clues along the way you're going to finish it and wonder what the point of the story was, or at least miss a whole lot of it.

The Boleyn Inheritance -- I love Pippa's books. Great historical fiction. This one picks up pretty much where The Other Boleyn Girl left off -- follows the lives at court of Anne of Cleves and then Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's 4th and 5th wives. Cool format -- she told the story in alternating narratives by the 2 queens and Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law Jane Boleyn.

How Elizabeth Barrett Brown... -- Eh, it wasn't bad, just (again) a little slow on action. Story of a Harvard "faculty brat" (dad was a professor) who never quite measures up to family and societal expectations and becomes an antique dealer. She takes a chamberpot to Antiques Road Show and discovers she has a hidden treasure, setting off a series of events that break her out of her negative life rut. It certainly wrapped up neatly in the end, but there's plenty of emotional issues and LOTS of her lying around in bed, depressed, along the way.


message 4: by Rebecca (last edited Jan 28, 2008 04:04PM) (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Updates for books 15-18:

The Birth House -- I really like midwife/natural birth stories (fiction & non-fiction). This one is charming, but certainly not action-packed! It is one of the most detailed I've read as far as old mixes, herbs, and applications thereof in the midwife arena.

Apollyon and Assassins -- I read the first 4 books in the Left Behind series last year and now I'm just determined to finish them. It's a cool story; I really like how the authors are portraying a possible vision of how Revelations might play out... if you are at all interested in religious literature, I'd at least read the first 1 or 2 books (Left Behind and Tribulation Force). But from there on out, they get a little preachier and a lot more packed with scripture. The story is still there, trucking along, but there's a lot more to wade through. In general, decent, somewhat thought-provoking, and very quick reads.

My Latest Grievance -- eh. It was okay; I certainly hope this is not her best work. The story was interesting enough, but I guess something about the way she wrote it just dragged for me, until about the last third. It's about a girl whose parents are both professors at a C list women's college in the 1970's, and she is born and raised there in one of the dorms where they are the houseparents. Gives a lot of opportunity for interesting social interaction and perspective.


message 5: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (A_Bishop) | 152 comments Just browsing the lists in this group and...wow...just...wow.

18 books in 28 days has to be some kind of record.

How many hours are in a day where you live? I need to move there...


message 6: by Rebecca (last edited Feb 01, 2008 07:44AM) (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Abishop -- I know, it's almost embarrassing. And I have 3 kids! I do a lot of late night reading, I read on the treadmill, I read during naps... and of course it helps that some of them, while not particularly short, are *very* fast reads.

However, I must admit my house is not as clean as it should be ;)

*********************************************
Books 19-20:

The Indwelling: more of the same :) Halfway through the 7 years following the Rapture, the Antichrist has died and now rises from the dead, "indwelt" by Satan. Things are getting uglier. Bible passages are getting longer.

The Mark: Antichrist is now requiring everyone to get his tattoo or die for their refusal. This one got a little gory.

And that is that for January. Don't expect me to read 20 books a month again! My husband just might divorce me first!


message 7: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Slowing down dramatically -- I only read 1 book this week LOL All those travel guides got in the way (planning a trip to Greece.)

21: The Kite Runner -- This is a seriously great book. And I've now gone back and read some other reviews, and see that people ahve complained left right and center about too obvious plot points and yada yada -- who cares. Yes, the last part of the book is a little predictable, a little too coincidental. That doesn't make it any less astonishing to me.

I just can't believe I waited so long to read it!


message 8: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Books 22-26:

Desecration, The Remnant, and Armageddon: Books 9, 10 and 11 of the Left Behind series. I still really like it, although it's not exactly highbrow -- more like a Christian soap opera in book form. With lots of scripture.

Code Name: Baby: Just a fun read to break things up. Not as good, IMO, as the other Code Name books I read. But I did like hearing about the dog training.

Sister of the Bride: Aw, Cleary writes about such an idyllic time in our society! I was looking for a book I once read, and thought this might be it. It was not, but a sweet family portrayal and some real poignant moments about how the times took a drastic change from previous generations.

Yes, I know, I keep filling my list up with fluff. But it's easier to read on a treadmill than serious tomes. :)


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Books 27-34:

Jane Eyre -- so much better than I remembered. What a great character.

Sisters -- eh, an ok one. Better than some of hers that I've read in recent years. Darn if I didn't start bawling early into the book though -- I am a sucker for sister storylines.

Glorious Appearing and Kingdom Come -- finally, the series is over. Kingdom Come was pretty interesting concept wise; the idea that we'll get to meet all the Christians that ever lived is so intriguing. It was kind of a drain at times, but I am glad I read these.

Little House, books 1 & 2 -- oh, these are just charming. No wonder everyone loves them. I am already reading to my little girl and she so fascinated. She styles herself a near-vegetarian, but she sure did get into the hog slaughter LOL I feel moderately confident that with these books by our side, we could survive for a little while in the wild. heehee

Eyre Affair -- wow! This book was so cool -- I totally cannot wait to read more from the author. I really like how he created this whole alternate world where things are *almost* recognizable, but not really -- sort of the reality shift of looking at the world through wizard eyes in Harry Potter. I realize none of these are actual reviews, but let me just say this: if you were somehow able to go into an original manuscript of a well-known novel and change it, think how the world would all read a different story. OK, no go look up the book for yourself and then read it. But please read Jane Eyre first, because this one spoils the ending.

Double Bind -- I waited a long time to read this one, and now I need a discussion group. It was good, I definitely liked it -- I have always been a Gatsby fan and I love that this novel weaves the Gatsby characters in as real people. But I need more explanation and closure after reading that ending. I still like Bohjalian's stuff a lot.

Still trying to catch up with my book club required reading... it's been going much more slowly lately. I've got one more week to re-read A Separate Peace and tackle A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...


message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Books 35-42:

Farmer Boy and Plum Creek: I really liked Farmer Boy -- the story of Laura's husband, Alfonso, growing up on his family farm. Going back to Laura's poorer family in the middle of nowhere was kind of a drag, although fun to start seeing some of the places and characters that I knew from the show. That horrid little Nellie!

Blood Brothers: The first of a new trilogy, the Sign of Seven, from prolific Nora Roberts. I got into this one; I like all that mystical witchcraft-supernatural abilities being passed down through the ages business. And of course, 3 tidy couples left to pair off, one set for each book. It's formulaic, but it works!

The Giver: This is a tough book -- totally heartbreaking at points and completely thought-provoking the rest of the time. It's listed as a children's/YA book, a Newberry award winner, but if you haven't read it, you should.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: WOW. Loved this -- it's like Little Women and Angela's Ashes rolled into one, but less depressing and less smarmy. Another one I can't believe I've been missing out on for so long, and thank you Book Club for making me read it.

The Last Precinct: I've read most of the Kay Scarpetta books at some point, but hadn't touched one in a while -- this one was pretty good, if you've liked her story. Although as it refers to a lot of events from past books, it's helpful if you at least know the main characters and their relationships.

Janet Evanovich: re-reading these for fun, because I think Stephanie Plum is hysterical. I'm still trying to figure out who should play her in a movie.


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Books 43-56:

Little House books (Shores of Silver Lake, Little Town on the Prairie, These Golden Years, First Four Years) -- I still love the Ingalls family and I'm so glad I read all of these finally. The courtship of Laura and Almanzo is just so sweet, and imagining becoming a part-time schoolteacher at 15 while still attending classes and playing little girl games the rest of the year is mind-boggling. What a different world they lived in.

Janet Evanovich -- still re-reading, but I love these books. They are so fun. Nice and easy to hop in and out of while I'm sitting in the carpool line :)

Ella Minnow Pea -- I wanted to love this book, and I really only liked it. Great concept though -- the fictional island country of Nollop removes and outlaws the use of letters, one by one, as they fall off the stone monument to the island's most famous native -- the man who wrote "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." As the book consists of a series of letters between residents, the writing becomes more difficult and then finally primitive as they lose the use of so many words containing the prohibited letters. Very clever, just didn't get me caught up in it the way I expected to, as a dedicated "wordy" person.

The Picture of Dorian Gray -- another book club choice that I'm so glad I finally forced myself to read. A little difficult to get through, but not anywhere as difficult as, say, Madame Bovary. (A brief pause while I run screaming from the room.) Dorian Gray is a great re-telling of the classic Faust transaction, and I ended up enjoying the characters and pulling some meaty analyses out of it. And, it wasn't too long.

Second Summer of the Sisterhood -- I never read the first book in the series, but I saw the movie. I really do like these girls, and I think the author writes them very well. She catches the internal awkwardness and helplessness of feeling so awful about their own actions -- that "angst" so often referred to. I'll keep reading them for fun. I only wish I had a group of girlfriends with a magical pair of pants to tie us together.


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