Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Joanie's Books for 2008-Done!

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message 1: by Joanie (last edited Aug 29, 2008 05:39AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments I finished book #50 on 8/23/08-Yeah!!

I'm so glad I found this group! I saw one that was doing a 100 book challenge but unless I count "Goodnight Moon" and "The Dog Book" which I read multiple times a day to my son, I'll never get to 100. 50 feels much more manageable. I'm almost done with two books but I won't post them until I officially finish so

#1 Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen.

-I've never read anything by him and I don't know that I would have picked it up on my own but my friend loved it so when I saw it at the library I grabbed it. I really liked it, it was a lot of fun. A woman's husband throws her off a cruise ship on their anniversary. She survives but doesn't let him know and she sets about to find out why he tried to kill her. I'll definitely check out more by Hiaasen soon.

message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laza) Joanie,

Carl Hiaasen is great. I was introduced to his books by a friend as well. I read Sick Puppy first. Once I started I couldn't stop until I'd read them all! His books are just simply fun to read.

message 3: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:41AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments Okay I finished books #2 & #3 yesterday.

#2 "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger

-I actually listened to this on tape (that counts too right?) I loved, loved, loved this book. I had stayed away from it for so long based on some weird bias I had or something and then I saw in in the library and decided to give it a shot, I'm so glad I did. It's wonderful.

#3 "Savannah Blues" by Mary Kay Andrews

-I read this for the "Chick Lit Book Club" and I liked it but didn't love it. It was fun, a little more substantial than a lot of chick lit tends to be, maybe because it involved a murder mystery too. I would definitely read something else by Andrews but I don't feel like I have to run out and read the next book in the "Savannah" series. My husband commented on how I was always reading the book and that I must really like it and I told him it was more that I wanted to finish it so I could read something else. Not a glowing endorsement, I know, I did like it, it's just that there are so many other good books out there!

I just started "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffen last night-my friend raved about it. So far, so good.

message 4: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:42AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #4 "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffen

I actaully made myself late for work finishing this this morning. It was a cute, light, fun chick lit story about a "rule follower" who sleeps with her best friend's fiance. There's a sequel, "Something Blue" that I might see if I can get from the library today, if not I'll have to pick something else from my pile to be my next read.

message 5: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:42AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #5 "A Summer to Die" by Lois Lowry.

I read some of this in 5th grade but I don't think I ever finished it. I was poking through the YA section of my library and found it, same cover and everything. It's about a 13 year old girl whose 15 year old sister gets diagnosed with luekemia. It's a simple book but well done with a big emphasis on nature, the seasons etc. as a metaphor for death.

message 6: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:42AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #6 "Forever in Blue" by Ann Brashares

This was the 4th and probably final book in the series. I really liked this one, better than the 3rd one. The girls have just finished their first year of college and are separated for the summer for various reasons and learn that they need more than the pants to keep them close. I like the whole series overall, cute.

message 7: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:43AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments # 7 "The Guy Not Taken" by Jennifer Weiner

I listened to this on CD. The stories were pretty good overall, some better that others. I got kind of tired of the number of stories where the marraige went bad, the guy was cheating, the women were left to pick up the pieces etc. The first three stories were about the same girl at different points in her life, I liked those the best. Not bad overall but I feel like Jennifer Weiner's stuff hasn't been as good since "Good in Bed" and "In Her Shoes."

message 8: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:43AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #8 "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte

This was my first time ever reading this book and I'm really glad I did. I read it for a book club here and now we're reading "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde as a companion to "Jane Eyre." I don't think I ever would have read these on my own and I'm really glad I did.

message 9: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:44AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #9 "One Hundred Demons" by Lynda Barry

This was a graphic novel so I was able to read it in a few hours. The author calls it a work of "autobiofictionalography" because it's part truth and part fiction. It's based on the Buddhist teaching that we all must overcome 100 demons in our lifetime and the way to do it is to paint them. Barry's demons are things like old boyfriends, first jobs, lost friendships etc. It was funny and sad at the same time. There is a section about Asian brush work at the end that makes me want to learn to paint like that-loved it.

message 10: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:44AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #10 "Love Walked In" by Marisa de los Santos

Read this for book club, it was okay. The chapters alternate between Clare and Cornelia, Clare is 11 and awesome, Cornelia is 31 and annoying. Once they come together the book improves. Not bad.

message 11: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:45AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #11 "The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde.

This was a companion to Jane Eyre, read for book club. I went through a period where I just wanted it to be done but then it ended strong. The book is set in an alternate England in 1985 and they have found a way to steal characters out of the original manuscripts of books which then effects all of the other versions of the book. It's a little sci-fi but not so much that I didn't want to read it. There are 3 or 4 more books in the series, I'd like to read them eventually but right now I'm ready for something different.

#12 "Fun Home: A Family Tragiocomic" By Alison Bechdel

This is a graphic novel, it was great. It's a memoir based on her relationship with her father, his double life, and his death. She also tells about her own coming out as a lesbian and how much she and her father had in common.

message 12: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:45AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #13 "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This was a re-read. The first time I read it I wasn't married and wasn't a mother and I loved it then, but this time I feel like I got even more out of it. Her main message is that women balance so much and we really need to take time for solitude so that we can nurture ourselves and thereby have more to give to the people in our lives. Even though this book is 50 years old it still holds true today, probably even more so actually. Loved it.

message 13: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:46AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #14 "Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult

I love her books and was so excited that she had a new one coming out I ran into the bookstore on my way to the airport so I could read it on my trip to Florida.

All in all, I really enjoyed this one. I don't want to give too much away but it's the story of a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart after he's executed to the sister of the girl he murdered. Picoult always tackles major moral issues in her books, this one was no exception.

message 14: by Joanie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 04:40AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #15 Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I read this one after reading it on a few people's reading lists. It's by Stephen King's son, Joe (loved that he didn't use King so it wouldn't be instantly obvious that he's his son.)

An aging metal star buys a ghost off the internet and all sorts of bad things happen. It's totally creepy and really well written. This is the first "horror" novel I've read in some time and I forgot what's it like to be so freaked out by a book. I was reading it on a plane and the flight attendant asked me if I needed anything else and I jumped and spilled soda all over myself, kind of funny what that happens.

message 15: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (kellyb) That's funny when you can be so engrossed in a book that you jump even when you're surrounded by people. I read this book and really liked it, too. I am always on the lookout for a genuinely scary book, and this one was pretty good with that! I was glad too, that he didn't use his dad's last name; that was smart of him. Of course, you look at the photo of him and the resemblance is there. There's this public access channel that I pass by when flipping through channels, and it's ALWAYS this freaky old guy talking about religion and reading passages from the bible, and I think I'm freaked out because he reminds me of how I imagined the ghost in this book.

message 16: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments I kept picturing the old guy from Poltergiest 2. That guys on public access sounds totaly creepy too!

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Joanie | 335 comments #16 A Separate Peace by John Knowles.

I re-read this for book club. I had never read it in high school so I read it (or maybe listened to it on tape) about 5 years ago. Re-reading it while knowing the ending made me notice more things, more foreshadowing and it also stressed me out and made me sadder than the first time around. It really is a great book though, in some ways I wish I had read it in school.

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Joanie | 335 comments # 17Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume.

This was one of the few Judy Blume books I didn't read when I was younger. I guess it always seemed like a boy's book to me but a friend was going on and on about reading it when she was younger and I felt like I was missing out so I got if from the library. Wasn't there an After School Special about the book too? I know I'm dating myself but I think Leif Garret was in it and he just always seemed like bad news-maybe that was why I stayed away from the book back then too.

The book is kind of like "Are You There God? It's me Margaret" for boys. Tony, the main character, is going through puberty and starts spying on the girl next door. He even asks for binoculars for Christmas so he can watch her. It's weird to read the book and see how it's no big deal that's he watching the girl next door undress. He even tells the psychologist he's seeing for anxiety about it and he doesn't even react! Today the kid would be in a treatment program for juvenille sex offenders but in the book it's no big deal.

It was fun to go back and read a book like this, even if it's kind of warped! It makes me want to read some of my favorite Judy Blume books!

message 19: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments # 18 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I read this for the first time for bookclub, I never read it when I was younger. The book is so good, so simple but so with so many little details.

message 20: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 790 comments I remember reading this book when I was very young and loving it. It stayed with me for many years. I am glad that people still find this a great book.

message 21: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments Hi Meg, it was a big hit with the book club so I'd say the it really stands the test of time. I can't believe I hadn't read it before now.

message 22: by Joanie (last edited Apr 15, 2008 10:12AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #19 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This was for bookclub. I liked it but got tired of some of the "witty" remarks and social commentary. Although I was familiar with the story I had never read the book. It's definitely interesting and I can see how it could be considered quite scandalous for it's time.

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Joanie | 335 comments #20 Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I kept seeing this pop up on lists here so I decided to check it out. Well written, spooky young adult book. Coraline is a great heroine, strong and resourceful.

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Joanie | 335 comments #21 Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Read this for bookclub. I grew up watching My Fair Lady so it was a lot of fun to read this one but of course hard not to picture Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. Fun read even for those who haven't seen My Fair Lady.

message 25: by Joanie (last edited Apr 28, 2008 05:06AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #22 My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews

I read this for the first time when I was 13. Danine and I decided to re-read some of the V.C. Andrews books and start the Totally Trashy bookclub-this one certainly fits the "totally trashy" definition! I remembered the major events of the book but had forgotten a lot of the warped, twisted details or maybe I just didn't pick up on all of it back then. Definitely funny to re-read but man, it's warped!

message 26: by Joanie (last edited May 04, 2008 03:37PM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #23 Fahrenheit 451by Ray Bradbury

This was quite a change of pace after reading My Sweet Audrina! I read this for book club, I knew the basic premise of the story from seeing the movie years ago but the book is fantastic. Guy Montag is a fireman in a futuristic society where books are illegal and a fireman's job is to set fires-burning the books (and homes) when anyone is found in possession. Montag meets a young girl and starts to question why thing are the way they are. Bradbury's writing is amazing, the story is very fast paced and suspenseful.

message 27: by Joanie (last edited May 04, 2008 03:38PM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #24Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)Second Edition: Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures
by Francine Shapiro

I have been reading this book since January for a certification program and I finally finished today!! As far as textbooks go this one wasn't so bad but man, am I happy to be done!!

message 28: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #25 Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (Yeah, halfway there!!!)

I read this for bookclub as a companion to Fahrenheit 451. It was funny and clever and totally enjoyable. Ella lives on an island off the coast of SC that is actually it's own country. The island is famous for being home to the man who first coined the pangram (a phrase that uses all letters of the alphabet) "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Things are peaceful until letters from the phrase begin to fall off the statue in town square. As letters fall off, the elders take it as a sign that those letters should no longer be used and they set up very strict consequences for anyone who speaks or writes the forbidden letters. Lots of fun but also makes you think about just how crazy some people can get when given a little bit of power.

message 29: by Emily (new)

Emily | 74 comments I hear you. Hooray! I was so excited to add Foundations of Library Science to my list because I hated the course so much. Congrats on your completion.

message 30: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments # 26 Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

This was a prequel to Anne of Green Gables-okay but not great. I didn't like this Anne as much as I liked L.M Montgomery's Anne but I give the author credit for being able to write a whole book out of a brief story line about Anne's past.

message 31: by Joanie (last edited May 21, 2008 06:58AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments # 27 The Abstinence Teacher (Hardcover) by Tom Perrotta

I read this for book club and really really liked it. The book goes back and forth between Ruth, a sex ed teacher who has come under fire for some of her teachings and Tim, a recovering addict who has become an evangelical Christian. The story moves fast and totally sucked me in.

message 32: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #28 The Giver by Lois Lowry

Had never read this one, it's kind of a "Brave New World" for kids. Well done-creepy and surprisingly upsetting for a kid's book.

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Joanie | 335 comments #29 Mr. Maybe by Jane Green

I've had this book for years but just finally read it for "Chick Lit Book Club." It was a quick, easy read. I found the main character, Libby annoying but overall it was an enjoyable read.

message 34: by Joanie (last edited Jun 09, 2008 05:24AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #30 Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubenstein

Read this for book club. It's the true story of a Transylvanian man, Attila Ambrus who sneaks into Hungary and becomes a hockey player, a pelt smuggler, and an infamous bank robber. The author does a really good job of making the story entertaining and Attila endearing. Probably wouldn't have picked it on my own but I liked it.

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Joanie | 335 comments # 31 Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen

I listed to this on CD and at first I didn't like it at all but then, in the end, it grew on me.

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Joanie | 335 comments #32 Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

This was my first time reading Sedaris and I was not disappointed. His essays are really funny and really clever, especially the stuff about his family. I definitely want to check out more of his books.

message 37: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments # 33 Gerald's Game by Stephen King

I've heard a lot of mixed reivews of this book but then one night two friends were going on and on about it so I checked it out. Here's the set up.

Jessie and her husband Gerald go to their summer home off season for a little afternoon delight and Gerald handcuffs Jessie to the bed. Jessie decides she wants out but Gerald has a heart attack and dies leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed and with the keys across the room on the bureau. King has a knack for taking something simple and turning it into something totally terrifying. My heart was pounding during some parts- it really freaked me out. Parts of the book are gruesome and it's certainly not a book I would recommend to everyone but if you've got a strong stomach and like a good scare you may want to check it out.

message 38: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #34 The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle

I decided to re-read this before reading the sequel Paula Spencer. I had forgotten just how good this book is, just how well Doyle does a female protagonist. The book is painful and sad and unflinching in it's descriptions of marital abuse and alcoholism but as always, Doyle adds in warmth and humor to make it all hurt less.

message 39: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #35 Cut by Patricia McCormick

Story about a 15 year old girl who is in a psych hospital for cutting. Not bad but it all wraps up a little too neatly but I guess that's why it's a YA book.

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Joanie | 335 comments #36 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

This book was chosen for two different book clubs-gotta love a two-fer. The story was great, eerie and totally engrossing. Margaret Lea is asked to write the biography of Vida Winter, a hugely successful but reclusive author. Vida's tale is dark to say the least but has some good plot twists.

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Joanie | 335 comments #37 A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

I read this for bookclub never having read anything by Moore before and I absolutely loved it! So funny and quirky and strange but all in a good way.

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Joanie | 335 comments #38 Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise

This was my first time reading Cruise-I read it for bookclub. Lots of fun, the interactions between the characters reminded me of an old movie.

message 43: by Joanie (last edited Jul 14, 2008 05:33AM) (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #39 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill

This was a short story collection written by Stephen King's son, Joe Hill. The stories were great, some were really scary, some were just really creepy and others were touching and sad. Hill definitely has his father's talent but is more subtle in a way. I really can't wait to read more by him.

message 44: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #40 Easter Rising-An Irish American Coming Up From Under by Michael Patrick MacDonald

This was a follow up to MacDonald's All Souls-A Family Story From Southie about growing up in the projects in South Boston. In this one he talks about turning away from his family and his neighborhood and getting into the punk scene of the late 70's and early 80's and evenutally learning more about his heritage and "coming home." Not as good as the first but I liked it. I do think that it would be a bit confusing if you hadn't read his first book.

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Joanie | 335 comments #41 Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

I had heard lots of mixed things about this book but it was picked for book club so I read it with pretty low expectation-I was pleasantly surprised, I wound up really enjoying it.

message 46: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments Got some reading done on vacation.

#42 Songs Without Words by Anne Packer

Not as good at Dive From Claussen's Pier but pretty good.

#43 The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse

Read this for Rory Gilmore book club. I wasn't sure about it at first but wound up really enjoying it.

#44 Otherwise Engaged by Eileen Gould

This was for chick lit book club-it was quick, fun, cute-your basic chick lit.

message 47: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #45 The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Read this for book club. I liked it but didn't love it. The story is told from multiplie perspectives, some I liked, some I didn't. There are some good messages in the book (as I understand is often the case with Coelho's books-this was my first) and some of it definitely makes you think.

message 48: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments #46 Perfume-The Story of a Murder by Patrick Suskind

This book was definitely creepy. The main character is a man with an extremely sensitive sense of smell who set out to find and recreate the perfect scent. The ending is so twisted and so strange but also totally unexpected. Not sure that I would recommend this to everyone I know but definitely an interesting read.

#47 The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

This is a collection of his essay published in "The Believer." Each month he charts the books he bought vs. the books he actually read. Great read for book lovers.

message 49: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Did you see the movie, "Perfume....". it was also "tres" creepy?

Ed Hahn

message 50: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 335 comments I haven't watched it yet but heard it was well done. I'll have to check it out.

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