Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2009! > Carol M's 50 for 2009

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol It seems I took a vacation from reading in January and February, but started again in March! I guess that might as well be my beginning point.

1. Perfect Match by Jodie Picoult - not my favorite author but I seem to end up reading her books.

2. Dewey: The Small-Town Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. I had to read this - I've lived in the town for over 30 years!

3. After River by Donna Milner

4. Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs

5. The Soloist by Steve Lopez

message 2: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) Welcome Carol!

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol Hi, Aprile
Although I have been on Goodreads for a while, this is my first time in a group. Still trying to find my way around in here! Interesting to see what others are reading . . .

message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol 6. Domestic Affairs by Eileen Goudge - This book was okay - it will not be on my favorites list. I have to admit I pretty much skimmed the last 75 pages. I liked her last book, Woman in Red, much better than this one.

message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol 7. Red Knife by William Kent Krueger - Good mystery with unexpected ending.

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol 8. Prayers For Sale by Sandra Dallas - a great story and an excellent writer.

message 7: by Carol (new)

Carol 9. Things I've Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi - Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, writes about her childhood in Iran and her family with her country's political chaos as a backdrop.

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol 10. Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict - A true story chronicling Susette Kelo's fight to save her home from eminent domain. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court which ruled narrowly to uphold government's right to take property from private citizens and give it to another to generate higher tax revenues. I am now know more about eminent domain than anyone in my family! A good read, but very involved.

message 9: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments A little pink yahoo for your first 10!

message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol Hmm . . . half way through the year, one-fifth through 50 books . . . this may not work out . . . LOL

message 11: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments But you will have your list and some people may get some good suggestions from you! (And we celebrate EVERYTHING here!)

message 12: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) But it's summer so you might read more than usual :)

message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Well, I'm on to the next one, but we're having company this week - all little people - so that will probably slow me down a bit. I'll have to sneak in some reading during nap time!

message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol 11. Annie's Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg - Luxenberg, a journalist, digs into his family's history to find his mother's sister, a member of his family who only surfaced after his mother's death and unknown by anyone in his immediate family. Very interesting, very readable.

message 15: by Carol (new)

Carol 12. The Lost City of Z by David Grann. If you like true adventure stories, this book is for you! This turned out to be not quite the story I thought it would be. It is the biography of Percy Harrison Fawcett, an explorer of the Amazon who disappeared in 1925 on an expedition to find what he called the "Lost City of Z" or El Dorado. He was accompanied by his oldest son and his son's friend. Fawcett was undeniably a fanatic, and Grann has done a superb job chronicling his character. The last chapter is perhaps the best one of the book.

message 16: by Carol (new)

Carol 13. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz. Oh, how I wish I was this creative, dedicated and socially aware. Trading in a career in banking, Novogratz started a non-profit organization that invests in people with vision to deliver services - rather than monetary giveaways - to help overcome poverty in African and Indian communities. And it all started with a blue sweater. Good book.

message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol 14. On Agate Hill by Lee Smith. I had a hard time getting started with this book, but it ended up a good read. The story set in the South is a little on the dark side with some strange characters, but I ended up liking Molly Petree.

message 18: by Carol (last edited Aug 01, 2009 01:10PM) (new)

Carol 15. Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold. I did finish this book even though at the half way point I began wondering why I was even reading it. To me, the plot is not really believable - twin 17-year-olds on their own, their mother left them, their father dead, both in love with the same boy. Even in the 1990s, I don't think these girls would have been allowed to live on their own. In Iowa, the Department of Human Services would have stepped in and either placed them with relatives or in a foster home. As for the rest of the plot . . .

message 19: by Carol (new)

Carol 16. A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz. Beginning with the Vikings, Horwitz takes an extensive, often humorous, look at the founding and settling of the American continent. Forget what you learned in school because, believe it or not, Columbus never set foot on North American soil!

message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol 17. Tobacco Sticks by William Elliott Hazelgrove. Reminiscent of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Lawyer father whom the young boy calls by his first name. The book ends with a courtroom scene. Very predictable storyline.

message 21: by Carol (new)

Carol 18. The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan. I had some trouble finishing this book - strange plot with strange characters.

message 22: by Carol (new)

Carol 19. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I read this book for the 50 Books Book Club. It is a series of connected stories ranging from the 1800s to a futuristic society - a difficult read.

message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol 20. Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust and Forbidden Fruit by Adam Schell. Set in Tuscany, this is a story of forbidden love between Davido and Mari, a Jew and a Catholic. Davido raises tomatoes, the forbidden fruit, with his grandfather, Nonno, and sells them in Florence and other cities since Jews cannot enter into free trade in Tuscany. That ban is lifted by papal order ensuring the tomato's entry into the history and cuisine of Italy. Love triumphs as a result. An entertaining, rather bawdy tale with enough description of cuisine to keep you salivating.

message 24: by Carol (last edited Sep 14, 2009 06:49PM) (new)

Carol 21. Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford. One of the best novels I've read in a long time. I had a hard time putting it down - too bad I had to sleep each night! Christmas Truce 1914 - Hal Montgomery receives a photo from a German soldier that begins a deception that lasts through the war and ends in an unexpected way at the Paris peace talks. Great book.

message 25: by Carol (new)

Carol 22. The Last Child - John Hart. Good intricate plot, but lots of implied violence. I know this story could happen tomorrow, and it's sad that our children have to grow up in a society where adults can do these kinds of things. It's also sad that children believe they have to keep an adult's secrets.

message 26: by Carol (last edited Sep 21, 2009 07:27PM) (new)

Carol 23. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson. Murder mystery with financial intrigue set in Sweden.

message 27: by Carol (new)

Carol Neman | 469 comments Carol wrote: "23. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson. Murder mystery with financial intrigue set in Sweden." I have seen this book on several peoples' sounds intriguing, and makes me think I will try to find it in the local library. I love mysteries and dragons, too.
Another Carol

message 28: by Carol (new)

Carol 24. The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly. Crime reporter Jack McEvoy stumbles into the "trunk murders." Good mystery.

message 29: by Carol (new)

Carol 25. Heaven's Keep by William Kent Krueger. A Cork O'Connor mystery - really good reading. Yeah, half way to 50 books!

message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol 26. Etta by Gerald Koplan. A fictionalized account of Etta Place, who she was, how she came to be and her life and times with the Sundance Kid.

message 31: by Carol (new)

Carol 27. The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women & a 40-Year Friendship - Jeffrey Zaslow. I started this book fast, got bogged down in the middle and then finished fast. Ten women now in their 40s chronicle a friendship most women long for. One lives 20 miles from me, works 10 miles from me; another person in the book lives in the same town I work in. Not knowing whether I have ever met either one, I still say "it's a small world!"

message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol 28. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Steig Larsson

message 33: by Carol (new)

Carol 29. The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha. Dark, hidden truths, actions caused by deep pain, and forgiveness - a family learns to deal with it all and heals itself through the ordeal.

message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol 30. The Hour I First Believed - Wally Lamb. Such a good book, unexpected happenings on every page.

message 35: by Carol (new)

Carol Neman | 469 comments Carol, I just re-read you list of previous books and want to thank you for the brief synopses, especially those that told a bit of what the book was basically like. It helped me to decide which ones I'd like to read now, which ones I would probably read in future, and which types I probably wouldn't be able to generate the requisite interest in. Keep it up, please...and thanks again.

message 36: by Carol (new)

Carol Carol wrote: "Carol, I just re-read you list of previous books and want to thank you for the brief synopses, especially those that told a bit of what the book was basically like. It helped me to decide which on..."

This is pitiful, but I haven't had time to really read for about a month now so I'm just seeing this post! I'm glad those little blurbs were helpful to you - most of it just off the top of my head. I do keep a journal of books I read and am totalling the number of pages - over 60,000 since the summer of 2005, and I always write a little synopsis there, too. Hmmm, I wonder who will get that in the will! So thanks for your positive comment - I appreciate it!

message 37: by Carol (new)

Carol 31. The Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg. I read this book for my women's Bible class. It's about why prayer is so mysterious to us and that we need to keep looking for that "sacred echo" wherever it might be - scripture, counsel from others, nature . . . The chapter on surrender came just when I needed it.

Since it's the middle of December already, I can see that I am not going to make 50 books this year. Some personal problems in the last month have kept me from reading as much as I usually do. But what an enjoyable challenge this has been, and I feel that I have been "stretched" in such a great way. I am so looking forward to 2010 - to all the books that I will read then and seeing what everyone else is reading, too. I always find a book that I would like to read when I go through the update. In case, I don't get on here again before December 25, Merry Christmas to each of you . . . and my wishes for a Happy New Year!

message 38: by Carol (last edited Dec 15, 2009 07:22AM) (new)

Carol Neman | 469 comments Carol wrote: "Carol wrote: "Carol, I just re-read you list of previous books and want to thank you for the brief synopses, especially those that told a bit of what the book was basically like. It helped me to d..." Carol, I started listing the books I read (though not as many as you've read!) way back when I was in my early 20's (I'm now 66) and through the years I haven't been able to keep those little scraps of paper together although I wish I had been able to, I would really like to be reminded of the enjoyable things that have passed through my mind. I also listed the date of publication, publisher and address (I might want to buy it someday!) how much it originally cost and the library call number (as well as title and author, of course). Sometimes I wrote a quick synopsis or impression of how appealing it was. Sometimes I had to put down 'Did not read' as I sometimes couldn't finish all of the 10 or 20 books I would take out at the same time, even with a Renew date. Maybe that is why I am coming to love GoodReads so much, it reminds me of those days when I was so focused on keeping the records of the activity that was so important to me. But Sixty Thousand books in almost 5 years...that is incredible.

Oh, silly me...I just reread that...that was 60,000 PAGES...a little different, but still not too shabby if you consider an average book size is about 2 to 300 pages. Hmm, I never thought about counting pages before (or even about counting the books, until I came here). I'm still smiling at my mistake...tee hee!

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