Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Dawn Michelle's Book list

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message 1: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Hello all.
I think I am up to the task of reading 50 books this year. Though I hope that I pick easier ones than the one I am reading now ("The Good German" <--good grief, its taking me forever to get through this book).
I am so glad that re-reading counts as I like to re-read a book I love in-between new books. Just to "cleanse the palate" so to speak! :)
Good luck to everyone!

Read in 2008 (so far)
1. Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte (yes, for the first time)
2. Shoot the Moon: Billie Letts (GREAT book)
3. Bridge to Terabithia: Katherine Patterson

message 2: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 4. The Good German: Joseph Kanon

I was so not into this book at all. I finished it only because I needed to know what happened, but I was kind of disappointed in the ending. The book just didn't do it for me. Oh well.

message 3: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 5. The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I had totally forgotten I had just read this book. Not because it wasn't memorable, because it was, but because it was SO sad to me. There was no happy ending per say. Good book for a first time author, but I read BTT and then this and then The Good German right in a row. I need a happy book!! :)

message 4: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 6. Blood Brothers: Nora Roberts

WELL. This was a good book. More language than I normally like (more in lines with her Chesapeake Bay series and not like some of the others I have read), but good enough to keep me enthralled until the end and pissed off enough that the next in the series doesn't come until MAY and then the third doesn't come until DECEMBER! AHHHHHHHHHH
It also scared the CRAP out of me..hence being up at 2:45AM.....

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Jane Eyre is my next book also for the first time that I am reading it. Have you read Nora Roberts Three Sisters trilogy? I loved them, I have not read Blood Brothers yet but I shall be sure to read it.

message 6: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Ahhhhhhhh...I hope you don't mind wordy and drawn out sequences...because that is what you are going to get with Jane Eyre. I LOVED the story in itself, but how long it took to get from the beginning to the end was CRAZY! And nerve-racking!

I happen to LOVE LOVE LOVE Three Sisters Trilogy! WOW, what a great trilogy. I also like the Gallagher trilogy (the one set in Ireland with the faerie prince Carrick). That was the first series I read by her and it just enthralled and enchanted me!

Blood Brothers is rough. GREAT, but rough. I highly recommend it though. Of course, I read Dean Koontz's "Odd Thomas" series, so I guess I am up for just about anything! :) Let me know what you think about Jane Eyre!

message 7: by Sadaf (new)

Sadaf (saddaf) Jane Eyre is on my reading list for this year too.. for the first time! Or maybe not really because I'v started reading it a couple of times but didn't continue! I hope this time i can finish it.

message 8: by Dawn Michelle (last edited Jan 30, 2008 11:18PM) (new)

Dawn Michelle 7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Ann Brashares

Well, this is the second book I have read in a day(meaning I read one yesterday and then read this one today). LOVED this story. I generally like/love teen books and this was no exception. I had seen bit and pieces of the movie, so I kind of had an idea of what was going on, but it was neat to see it all play out in the book. I am going out tomorrow and getting the second one, reading it and then going out and buying the third etc. The husband is seriously glad that there are only four in the series.

This is the story of 4 best friends and a pair of magical pants. Their stories are sweet, sad and at times very poignant.

message 9: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Good luck with that. It took me like FOUR months to finish it. I finally sat down on New Years Day only like 10 chapters in and decided I was going to finish it THAT DAY! And I did. But jeesh it was hard!

message 10: by Dawn Michelle (last edited Feb 04, 2008 12:46PM) (new)

Dawn Michelle 8. Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen: Julie Powell.

I just wrote my review on this. It was a GREAT book and I just loved reading AND relating to Julie and her attempt to cook her way through Julia Child's first cookbook. HILARIOUS at times. I highly recommend it.

9. The Princess: Lori Wick

I have read this book before, but LOVE it. I hadn't read it on over a year and just needed something light before I go onto my next saga :) Very enjoyable and one of my fav. Lori Wick books.

message 11: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 10. If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation: Janine Latus

WOW. What an intense story. It was so sad and yet at times liberating. I am amazed at how she had the grit to get out of where she was. I read this at the bookstore (glad I didn't give in and buy it as it was SO sad and heartbreaking, that I would never read it again) and was so depressed after, and to be honest am still thinking about it, but I think its a good story and I recommend it to anyone who wants to see what the life of an abused woman is like (and remember, abuse comes in all forms) and also wants to see what true love and devotion for a sibling is like.

message 12: by Dawn Michelle (last edited Feb 15, 2008 02:27PM) (new)

Dawn Michelle 11.The Second Summer of the Sisterhood: Ann Brashares

Good book. Almost better than the second one. Can't wait to go and buy the third :)

message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Wow, I have so many books in common with you! I'm reading Jane Eyre right now too. Picked up Julie & Julia at B&N on the cheap and read that the end of '07; loved it.

I *really* disliked Memory Keepers' Daughter. I felt like the whole thing was just one big emotional manipulation, without much point to the story.

The Sisterhood books are great, aren't they?

message 14: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle It was SO sad too. You just KNEW that there was no happy ending. And yes, I felt that they just drug it out.
I am getting ready to read book 3 in the Sisterhood books. I am REALLY into them.
What other books do you like? AND, how are liking/disliking "Jane Eyre"?

message 15: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 12. "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia" by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a great book. It touched me in so many ways. I think this is an important book for one to read, especially if you feel you have lost "you", even if its only a little bit.

I am struggling with a book I am reading now and have not picked anything up new because of it. I need to get the next Sisterhood book and just enjoy it. And slug my way through this other book. And start "Brother Odd". SIGH.....

message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 25 comments Eat, Pray, Love is very high on my to-read list. I'm really looking forward to that one.

Jane Eyre -- I am loving it. Ten years ago when I read it, I put it down and would have told you I hated it. I'm wondering now if I read the whole thing?!

Let me suggest what may be my all time favorite book -- Colony by Anne Rivers Siddons. The settings are a big hook for me, but she also writes these characters with complexity and their relationships with fantastic nuance. And yet, it's really a mildly heavy beach read. Should be good for that palate cleansing, especially if you've got a tough one you're getting through! ;)

message 17: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle I will add that to my list and look it up next time I am in the bookstore (which will be tomorrow YAY). I have heard of her, but have never picked anything up by her.

I am so glad you are enjoying Jane Eyre. I truly loved the story, but all the "flowery" language really got to me after awhile. That is what disappointed me the most I think. And what took me so long to read it.

I am almost at the end of my "hard" novel. I think its because its just SO SAD and set in a sad place (Vietnam) that I just can't get into it. I should have it done by tomorrow night though. :)

You will LOVE "Eat, Pray, Love". It is such an amazing book. I am actually going to send my copy to a friend and then go and re-buy the book for myself because I KNOW I will want to re-read this book in the future. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

message 18: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 13. The Time In Between by David Bergen

SIGH. It took me awhile to finish this book. While I liked the way the author writes, I wasn't crazy about the story he was telling. It was very sad (which obviously seems to be a theme with me right now) and I didn't understand why the main character did some of the things she did. AND, I hated the ending. It was abrupt. I hate that. I feel you are left hanging, in a way.
I may read another one of his books, only because I really liked his style of writing. It just may have been the story itself that I had a hard time with. I don't know. And I think its one of those that everyone who reads it will have a different opinion about it.

Almost bought "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel" by Lisa See, but know virtually NOTHING about it. We shall see.

message 19: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 14. The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough

I really love this book. I am currently reading a book about Harper Lee and while totally fascinating, it is slow reading at the moment, so I took the opportunity to re-read this book. Its the only book I like by her. Such a great story. It reminds me of the story by L.M. Montgomery called "The Blue Castle". In both, the women are "spinsters" with no hope for a husband, living in poverty and found to be ill but not seriously and choose to take that illness and get husbands because of lies about said illness. They find happiness because of the lies and I truly believe that they remained happy. :) I recommend both of these books to anyone! Maybe I will re-read Blue Castle again now :) YAY!!!

message 20: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 15. The Triplets Try TV by Bertha B. Moore

Just read it because I was listing it here. Cute book. :)

message 21: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 16. I'll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates

Hmmm. I read this book because my friend Aubrey sent it to me. I do not like this author. I tried reading another book of her's (We were the Mulvaney's) and DISLIKED it immensely. But I was game to try and read another one because my friend gave it to me.
I didn't enjoy this book at all. I finished it because I thought I should, but I just didn't get into it or the characters AT ALL. I just didn't see what the story was about or what the point was even. Oh well. Onward and upward.....

message 22: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 17. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields

This was a GREAT book! I love love love "To Kill A Mockingbird". I think if I had a top ten book list this would be number, I KNOW it would be. And this book is all about the author who seemingly faded from public eye.

I think the author does a great job at telling the story of Nelle Harper Lee with what he had to use. She grants NO interviews and refused to talk to him about her life and this book. Yet, I think (if she reads it) she would be pleased with what is said. It it very respectful of her privacy, yet answers MANY questions we all have had about her.
I know, that I think differently about Truman Capote now. He treated her horribly. And she was very loyal to him.

I think that anyone who loves "TKAM" should read this book. It is very good and very engaging.

message 23: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 18. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

I like him as a writer. Been reading him since The Notebook. Took a break (I think I have had this book for over a year) because I was kind of burned out on him and just picked it up today to glance through and read the whole thing.

It was sadder than I expected. And it brought out emotions in me that I am not willing to discuss here :). But I thought it was a good book.

message 24: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 19. Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America by Morgan Spurlock

This was a really great book. I doubt I will ever eat at McD's again, and I am going to re-watch "Super-Size Me" (by the author) again to reinforce it!!!

If you want to know why America is so gar, this is the book to read! Morgan is informative (and a bit scary) and has talked to many people about this subject, including Doctors and other author's (including the author of another great book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan of "The Omnivore's Dilemma"). He checks his facts and delivers them with a no-nonsense approach.

He shows by research and facts he has accumulated just how bad fast-food is for you (no chain is immune, thought the main focus is McDonald's) and just how bad processed food is or you in general.

I think this is an important book for everyone to read. Its time we all took control of WHAT and WHERE and HOW we eat!!!!

message 25: by Becca (new)

Becca (lupingirl) I haven't read this one, but it's on my list. Have you read Fast Food Nation? It's really good and I had the same reaction after reading it - I don't think I'll ever look at fast food chains the same way again!

message 26: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle I have read Fast Food Nation and LOVE that book. It really opened my eyes to what is going on out there in America. I can barely even go by a fast food place without getting nauseous! :)

I think you will like this book. It is very informative. I liked both this and FFN much better than "The Omnivore's Dilemma". That was just too much for me.

message 27: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 20. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

There is so much I could write about this book. I was totally surprised at my reaction to this book as well. It was a really good book and very well written. And though it made me think and made me look at things differently, I am glad that I read it.
I just hope that I stop dreaming about it.

message 28: by Dawn Michelle (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:43AM) (new)

Dawn Michelle 21. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I feel like I have slacked off here. I was reading like crazy and then life intervened and I have slowed down. It also took me 2 days to read "Nineteen Minutes" (I think because of what the book is about. It just takes longer to digest stuff like that).

I started this last night and sat down and finished it in like an hour. It was a great read. I am SO glad that I finally picked it up and read it. I think I must be one of the few who (up until now) had NOT read it.

I like how she tells a story. I find it intriguing. And though there was more language than I normally like (and has been in the past few books I have read), I found it relevant to the storyline. These were not educated people, they were poor people just trying to survive.

Very very good! I highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet read it!

message 29: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 22. Bee Season by Myla Goldberg

WOW. This book was SO not what I was expecting. Not at all. I thought it was about a girl who discovers she is a great speller and goes on to win the National Spelling Bee, but its not. I mean, it is in a way. The character Eliza (Elly) DOES find herself to be a champion speller and DOES find herself at the National Spelling Bee, but what happens because of that and what happens AFTER are what was really surprising to me. And what has been going on in the family that no one talks about or even knows.

This is a crazy story at times. I was amused and shocked at the same time. AND there were parts that I kept saying (out loud) that I just COULD NOT imagine them doing this in the movie (Which is how I came to find this book, was because I saw the trailers eons ago for this, and then saw the book and picked it up. HAVE NOT seen the movie yet, but think I might)

There is minor language in this, but MANY MANY sexual references and situations. I was shocked at that. it would throw me off kilter from the main story line until I realized that IT WAS part of the main story line and I just had to look at it differently.

All in all, this was a good book. Well written. The end is kinda sucky, but that is just me. It wasn't as tidy an ending as I like. I am poopy that way! :)

message 30: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 23. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

OH HOLY COW!!! I really didn't know what to expect when I decided to read this book. So many people here have read it and made it sound so great that when I found it at my bookstore, I HAD TO BUY IT!!

I LOVED this book. This is one of the best YA books I have read in a good long while (and there are LOTS of them out there). I love how he writes, how he describes things...makes them come almost alive. I could almost hear the hand scratching at my window!! AHHHHHHH! :)

I think that everyone should read this. What an awesome book! So glad that I read it!!

message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments Good to know about The Good German. I just bought that not too long ago and it's been on my to-read list, but I think I'll shove it back for now. I'm just beginning A Long Way Gone, but I've been reading Paula off-and-on for the last couple months (because it's really depressing at times), so we'll see how that goes...

message 32: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle It really took a lot out of me and took a lot for me to finish it. I hope though that someday you DO read it.

message 33: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 24. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida

WOW. I REALLY loved this book. I wasn't expecting to when I started it, but it sucked me in and all of the sudden it was done. And I was left spent and sad and happy and a myriad of other emotions that I hadn't counted on.

This book is about searching...for truth, for belonging and ultimetly for the strength to be the person you always wanted to be, even if it means omitting parts of you life to others.

I can't really say what this book was about without giving a bunch away and I hate doing that. So I just suggest that you go out and FIND AND READ this book.

message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments Your review of Water for Elephants has inspired me to move that one up my list, though. :)

message 35: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1972 comments Mod
Bee Season is on my to-read list, put there after reading American Bee, which referred to it. I'm glad I read your review: I won't be too surprised by the book's situations and language (*if* I ever get around to reading it!).

message 36: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Paula:
I think you will really like "Water for Elephants". It is a very moving story.

I think you will like "Bee Season" as well. I would move it up on your list :) It is really well written. I am glad that I was able to help you via my review of the book.

message 37: by Dawn Michelle (last edited Mar 09, 2008 12:01AM) (new)

Dawn Michelle 25. Twilight by Stephenie Myers

Well. I just sat and read the end (the last 200+ pages) of this book in about 1 1/2 hours. WHAT a great story. That is all I did during the day was read this book. I CANNOT wait to go out and buy the next one. WOW!

Bella seems like such a real person to me. I could relate to so many things that she thought and was going through (though I can't say that I have ever known any vampires personally).

I really like how the author writes. I liked how the book flowed and how I am still not sure that I will be sleeping tonight (I unfortunately have a VERY vivid imagination and that is detrimental when I read books like this and say "Interview with a Vampire". I didn't sleep for 3 nights after that one. And I passed on the movie). But I really can't wait to read the next installment.

message 38: by Emily (new)

Emily | 74 comments I really enjoyed Bee Season! It was very well-written and very odd. Generally about a family's perverse ways of God-seeking. I did not find that there was overt language or gratuitous sex scenes. (Maybe there was, but I didn't notice it.) There is one sex scene that is disturbing, so it stuck out for me. But, it was also a very powerful gateway into understanding the deep pain and desperation felt by the characters. I would definitely recommend the book. (However, I should say that I passed it on to a friend who found the content of the novel to be too dark to be enjoyable.) I would NOT, however, recommend the movie. It was TOTAL crap.

message 39: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Good to know about the movie!!! I will refrain from renting it then! :)

I didn't think that there was gratuitous sex in this book (though there was more and more references to sexual acts that I am usually comfortable with...that is just me), it was how the "sexual acts" were preformed that bothered me. And yes, I see the necessity of them, as it really delves into how damaged her psyche really was. Her pain AND desperation was almost palpable in the end.

I too would recommend the book, but only to those who like stories within stories. I really believed this was just a book about a spelling bee! :) And I would recommend it to people who like dark. Because I do feel this was that. But I really liked it. I too, am passing it on to a friend!

message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments You're the second or third person to recommend Water for Elephants to me, so I hope to start reading that once I've finished one of the six or seven I'm reading now. Maybe when I'm done reading the poetry book I'll get started. :)

message 41: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 26. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

I picked this up at the recommendation of some reviews I had read here on Goodreads. I really didn't know what to expect, but as I really enjoyed "Memoirs of a Geisha" and moderately enjoyed "Snow Country" (which I am now planning on re-reading), I thought I would enjoy this book. I am also fascinated with Asian culture and have found myself drawn to books like that anyway.

This book (to me) was AMAZING. I really enjoyed how the author wrote this story. I could feel myself feeling Lily's grief and happiness and also her anger (though I saw things as they were, not as she saw them), which to me was amazing.
The foot-binding was horrible to read about, but also very informative. I KNEW of foot-binding of course, but I really didn't know HOW they did it (I DO now) and how excruciating painful it is to the person it is happening to. Also, it wasn't completely banned in China until 1951. WOW!

I loved the story of Lily and Snow Flower. How they are brought together and how they grow together, even in the midst of really different circumstances. And I can see how things happened to make the end as sad as it was.

I have a friend who I have been friends with since I was in 1st grade (MANY MANY years ago) and we are "estranged" and reading this book just made me sad all over again for my friend and how we cannot be together right now (because of the choices she has made and continues to make, despite my outreach to her)and how I miss her and our talks and such. The book gives me hope. Hope that we will too find our way back to each other.

I highly recommend this book. What an amazing read!

message 42: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments Yet another book I'm going to have to move up on my list! But only after I've finished some of the ones I'm reading right now... ;)

message 43: by *Nan* (new)

*Nan* (nan4471) If you liked Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, you might like the book I am currently reading which is called Women of the Silk by Gail Tsukiyama. It is the story of a girl who is sent off to work int he silk mills.

message 44: by Brianah (new)

Brianah (mrsbrianah) Dawn, I just love reading your reviews! I am just starting on this site and don't feel very confident in writing good reviews on the books I read w/o giving things away. You have inspired several reads on my list...thank you!

message 45: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Thank you Brianah! That means a lot to me. what I started doing (before I found Goodreads) was to keep a small notebook that had a list of books that I wanted (which has now moved to the computer because the list is SO long!) and reviews of the books that I was reading. I listed the book title, author, date started and finished and who recommended it to me and then the review. It built my confidence up in writing reviews (because I share this book with others I learned not to write about everything) and then when I found this site, it just easily transfered here. I still keep the book(I actually carry it with me everywhere. you never know when you are going to find a good book to add to the list), but it has gotten easier here as well.
I hope this helps you.
I am glad that you have found several books to add to your list. What are they might I ask??
Keep reading. And Welcome! :)

message 46: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Nan,
Thank you for that recommendation. I just added it to my list. It sounds VERY intriguing. I can't wait to find it and pick it up! Thank you again! I appreciate it!

message 47: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 27. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

This was a cool YA book. I really enjoyed it through parts were frustrating at times. You really have to THINK when reading this book.

This is the story of Petra and Calder, 2 kids (in the 6th grade) who are kind of on the outside of things at school. Calder had a best friend, but he moved and he feels more alone than normal.
Then, one day, with the disappearance of a valuable Vermeer (who really WAS a great artist)painting, they are thrown together and as their friendship grows, they start to believe that they can solve the mystery, using all the clues they keep finding and all the mysterious "coincidences" that end up not always being coincidences and being important to the "case".

Throw in a game ("Pentominoes"), a "secret language", unexplained disappearances and LOTS of art history, and you have ONE fabulous book!!!

I highly recommend this book!!

message 48: by Emily (new)

Emily | 74 comments I was the Battle of the Books coach at a middle school for two years and Chasing Vermeer was one of last year's selections. It is definitely a thinking book. Because I had to read and make questions for so many books, I didn't really get to enjoy this book the way that I would have liked. Perhaps I'll reread it this year.

I love YA books because they can be so sincere and SO creative. This one is a great example of creativity. It's just so hip. Time Stops for no Mouse is another YA book that was on last year's list that struck me as really original.

message 49: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle 28. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Well. I don't know what I feel about this book. It was interesting. It took me a FREAKING long time to read it (for me). I had trouble getting into it at first.

It is a grand story though. Makes you believe 1. in the impossible and 2. when the reality is presented, makes you not only believe but EMBRACE the impossible.

I think this one will stick with me. I am still thinking about it.

message 50: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulagrin) | 289 comments Well, it could have been worse, right? ;)

I'm still thinking about Life of Pi, even though I read it almost five years ago. (I can't believe it's been that long; time is flying by!) And every time someone asks my what to read, it's always the first book I mention.

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