Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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*Retired* 2008 Lists > Kelly B's 50 books!

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message 1: by Kelly (last edited Jan 30, 2008 03:39PM) (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Just finished book number two...

1. The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett.
2. The Cruellest Month, by Louise Penny.

This one was a creepy murder mystery. Not usually my thing, but I enjoyed it and finished it in just a few days!


message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Finished book number three...

3. Black Valley, by Jim Brown.

Kind of lame--it was supposed to be scary, but it wasn't in the slightest. Anyone know of an actually scary book?


message 3: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Now reading All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I don't know what it is about his writing that just keeps my attention. It seems that he purposely witholds information about his characters--we are on a "need-to-know" basis, I suppose. Despite this, you feel that you have somehow internalized a deep understanding of his characters. I don't know how he does this.


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 4. All The Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy.


message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 5. Letters to a Young Therapist, by Mary Pipher.

6. The Temple of my Familiar, by Alice Walker.


My supervisor at my internship gave me Mary Pipher's book, and I was excited because I love her writing, and probably love her as a person. It was a wonderful thing to read when I was feeling discouraged at work. Many times it brought tears to my eyes, as I knew just what she was talking about!

The Temple of my Familiar was a tough read, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Alice Walker has many pearls of wisdom that shine out of this story, and I kept a list of quotes of hers that I loved.


message 6: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Finished book number six in four days flat. The six hundred pager, The Other Boleyn Girl.

6. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory.

This book was delicious and it's vivid imagery has even been invading my dreams. I really needed the escape of this story--stress over writing my thesis drove me to pretending I was living in the 1500's in the court of king Henry VIII. But I'm glad to be back, it's no fun being a woman in those times!


message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 33 comments I hear you about being a woman back then (can you imagine getting married at 13!). I'm on page 300 and I have to force myself to hide the book so I can study during the day! I didn't expect such a big historical book to be such a page turner!! I can't wait to read the second half!


message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess_chitty) If you want a scary book, read Psycho. Unless you've seen the movie, I guess, that might ruin it.


message 9: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) I feel excited for you! I know, I really didn't expect it to be so engaging. These poor women--having to be sexually available at all times, having to be HAPPY and entertaining and beautiful. And how do you do all that with so little bathing? Let me know how you like the other half when you get to it; and good for you for being able to study!


message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) That's a good idea. Embarrassingly, I didn't even know Psycho was a book. Even though I've seen the movie, I think I would still enjoy the book, and maybe it would provide more information than the movie did. Thanks for the suggestion.

Keep 'em coming people--who has read the scariest book?


message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess_chitty) There's actually three Psycho books. The second and third aren't very good, but they are still scary as hell. Hard to put down. Enjoy!


message 12: by Jessicarr (new)

Jessicarr Another scary book you could consider is Chuck Palahniuk's _Haunted_. I have just started it, but so far it seems like it might actually be pretty terrifying.


message 13: by Charity (last edited Mar 07, 2008 05:58AM) (new)

Charity (charityross) And actually, the killers in Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs were all based on one man, Ed Gein. The book about him and his crimes, Deviant: The Shocking True Story of Ed Gein, the Original Psycho, is quite disturbing, to say the least.


message 14: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) I did read Chuck's Haunted--I'm a big fan of his bizarro books. I want to hear how you like it when you finish, and what you think it's all about!


message 15: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Maybe I should go straight to the source and read Deviant; I'm sure that will give me nightmares. You know, I have heard of Ed Gein, but I didn't realize that all of those killers in those movies were based on him. When I was a teenager I used to read all those true crime books; I was obsessed with murderers/sociopaths for some reason--well, I'm a therapist now, so I guess I always knew I wanted to work with people with serious, pervasive mental illnesses. I actually thought I would want to work in prisons until I met an ex-con who told me that I shouldn't because it would change me forever, and I would never smile the same way. I decided to listen to him. Anyway, this is a way long post, sorry!


message 16: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book 8 is finished, Shadowbridge, by Gregory Frost. A nice fantasy book, the beginning of a series about a girl puppeteer who travels around with her drunk friend and an amazing musician, telling the tales of the spans. She tells great stories, too.

1. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
2. The Cruellest Month, by Louise Penny
3. Black Valley, by Jim Brown
4. All The Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
5. Letters to a Young Therapist, by Mary Pipher
6. The Temple of My Familiar, by Alice Walker
7. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory
8. Shadowbridge, by Gregory Frost


message 17: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book number 9 finished. This one was for my thesis reading, but it was absolutley raw and wonderful.

9. What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It, by Trish Wood, with a foreward by Bobby Muller.


message 18: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book number 10 finished.

10. Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy

This is for readers who like Cormac and who can withstand some gruesome stuff. As usual, I liked it.


message 19: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book number 11 finished, a small tome, but beautiful.

11. The Malady of Death, by Marguerite Duras


message 20: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book 12 finished, an easy, entertaining read about vampires, demon hunters, and teenage love.

12. City of Bones, book 1 of The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare


message 21: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Finished book 13, and it's extremely embarrassing, but not embarrassing enough that I'm not going to include it on my list!

13. Ravished, by Carla Simpson. This is a very bad romance novel. The romance is the only reason for reading it because the story is a mystery that is not very interesting. This is the first time I've read a romance novel, one of those bodice-ripping types. I don't think I need to go back for more. If I want some romance, I think I'll go straight for the erotica.

1. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
2. The Cruellest Month, by Louise Penny
3. Black Valley, by Jim Brown
4. All The Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
5. Letters to a Young Therapist, by Mary Pipher
6. The Temple of My Familiar, by Alice Walker
7. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Phillipa Gregory
8. Shadowbridge, by Gregory Frost
9. What Was Asked of Us: An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It, by Trish Wood, with a foreward by Bobby Muller.
10. Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy
11. The Malady of Death, by Marguerite Duras
12. City of Bones, book 1 of The Mortal Instruments, by Cassandra Clare
13. Ravished, by Carla Simpson





message 22: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Well, I feel like it's been a long time since I last posted, although it's been only a week and a half! I have been reading everyone else's posts, though, and everyone seems to be reading interesting stuff! It's been fun to see.

Just finished books 14 and 15.

14. World War Z, by Max Brooks
15. The Man Sitting in the Corridor, by Marguerite Duras

World War Z was AMAZING. Freakin' crazy, and so different from what I expected. I keep trying to explain the premise to my partner, and I just can't get it into words in a way that makes sense! Has this book actually got me speechless? It's unlike anything I've ever read before; the format and the style. Zombies are scary. Especially when you really look at what it would take to fight and win a zombie war. How do you fight against something that needs no weapons, food, water, or rest? Not only that, but for every human they kill, they add to their army of zombies!

The Man Sitting in the Corridor is very deep. That's the only way I can explain it. I think I am going to be a lifelong fan of Duras. You can see my full review in my list of books (I don't know how to create the link directly to it).




message 23: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Now I'm reading Animal Farm. There's nothing funnier than pigs and horses calling each other "comrade".


message 24: by Brianah (new)

Brianah (mrsbrianah) I really enjoyed Animal Farm. I did a paper in high school on Salin and Lenin and having the background made me laugh out loud at certain parts of the book b/c they were so accurate! I do hope you enjoy it!


message 25: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (CelesteLueck) | 54 comments Hi Kelly, How was City of Bones? I see a lot of people reading it here, but I haven't seen any comments on the book.


message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Well, I just finished Animal Farm last night, and I really did enjoy it even though it made me angry! Those damn pigs! What a poignant ending, though. Using the farm system and all the animals who inhabit it to set up the political parallel was very powerful. Orwell, what a smart guy.


message 27: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Hi Celeste,
I really enjoyed City of Bones, and I'm definitely going to go get the next one in the series when I get a chance. It's a YA book, which I didn't know when I got it, and I'm glad because I bet I wouldn't have given it a chance had I known. I really liked it, you should give it a try!


message 28: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book 16. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

I read this simply because I have never read it before, and because I needed something short to read. My birthday is this weekend, and I know I'm going to get a pile of books, so I wanted something to hold me over until then, but that I could finish in time to start a juicy new read next week. Although, now it's thursday and I'm done with Animal Farm. Now I'll have to find something to get me through the next two days. Maybe I'll do some thesis reading....


message 29: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Um, is anyone else disturbed by the advertisement for the Lifetime movie rendition of The Memory Keeper's Daughter? I mean, OF COURSE Lifetime would do this story--it's depressing as all hell and full of family drama. I hated this book and now I'm just annoyed that it's being advertised on goodreads!


message 30: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book 17 was a graphic novel called The Pro.

17. The Pro, by (I can't remember right now)

This is a comic book about a hooker that becomes a super hero. Pretty funny. For mature audiences only!


message 31: by Liz B (new)

Liz B (LizB) | 104 comments I'm so excited that someone else hated the Memory Keeper's Daughter!! It definitely falls right into that Lifetime movie genre.

*musing* I wonder what the difference is for me with stories like The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I liked that one a lot...(also a Lifetime movie, I'm pretty sure, but if not, definitely Lifetime-movie-worthy.)


message 32: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Oh, good, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I don't know what the difference is; I really liked The Dive From Clausen's Pier, which also became a Lifetime movie, and was totally sad and dramatic. I really don't know!


message 33: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) I'm currently reading Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, about the Baltimore homicide department, and it's very good, but is taking so long to get through! The print is veryclosetogether, and I never thought that would bother me until now--when it takes five minutes to read one page.


message 34: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Book 18, another graphic novel, but over 200 pages with a pretty involved storyline!

18. Sandman, Book 1: Nocturnes and Preludes, by Neil Gaiman


message 35: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Finally! I'm back in the game! Homicide took me forever to finish; definitely slowed me down, but hey, that's how it is sometimes, right?

19. Homicide, by David Simon

A journalist follows the Baltimore Homicide Deptartment for a year. The tv shows Homicide: A life on the streets, and The Wire are both by this author.

20. Sandman, Book 2: The Doll's House, By Neil Gaiman (graphic novel, but still around 200 pgs)

21. Sandman, Book 3: Dream Country, By Neil Gaiman

22. The Sadhu, Book 2: The Silent Ones, by Saurav Mohapatra (also a graphic novel, with kickass illustrations)

23. The Killer Inside Me, by Jim Thompson

This one was a story about a deputy sheriff in a small town in Texas, who is also a recovered murderer. Told from his point of view, you follow him as he relapses back into his "sickness". Disturbing and good.


message 36: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Does anyone have a copy of The Glass Castle that is taking too much room on their bookshelf and that they might like to get rid of? Maybe? I would be happy to take it off your hands, because I really want to read it! Or I would be happy to borrow it and then mail it back to you.





message 37: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 24. Last Argument of Kindgs, by Joe Abercrombie

This was the third in The First Law series. So good, a lot, lot, lot of fighting and violence.

25. I Am The Messenger, by Mark Zusak

The author of The Book Thief, which is on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. Really good, it's about a young man who gets playing cards in the mail with addresses or names, and he has to figure out what message he needs to give them. It's about doing good deeds and connecting with strangers.


message 38: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 26. After Dark, My Sweet, by jim thompson

This is the second of jim thompson's books I've read (he doesn't capitalize his name, apparently), and it is similar to the last one in that they are both noir crime fiction, and feature a basically crazy killer as the main character, so the reader is seeing the story from his point of view. Some of the dialogue is weird because they use a lot of sarcasm with each other, and so it can come across as dated, but it's still entertaining.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I just read Homicide this year too. I'm not super into cop-stuff really but David Simon is probably the smartest guy in America. The book was good!

I just saw your comment about Tripmaster Monkey, too--sorry it took forever to respond. Do you know the author Frank Chin? The book basically seems to be about him. Its about an angry Chinese American in 60s San Francisco trying to carve out a place for Chinese Americans in literature. It's pretty good, but I think I like Chin himself better.


message 40: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) Hey, I forgot I even asked about Tripmaster Monkey, but thanks for responding anyway!

Yeah, I agree, Homicide was really good, and really long. I heard David Simon wrote another book about following someone else, do you know about it? Is he following a gang member? Or whoever hangs out on a certain corner? I don't know where I'm getting that from, but that's what's popping into my head right now. Anyway, I don't think I really gravitate toward cop stories too much, but I guess I like true crime--or at least I did when I was a teenager. I liked learning about how they really solve crimes, though, and how difficult a job it must be.


message 41: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 27. Snuff, by Chuck Palahniuk (sp??)

I never can spell or pronounce his name right...anyway, another crazy and slightly gross book by the man who wrote Fight Club. This one is not one of my favorites. I just didn't care about the characters very much, and it seemed kind of shallow--you want more of the back story and you don't get it. Oh well.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

The other David Simon book was just called the Corner (it got turned into an HBO miniseries too, but I haven't seen it). I think it deals with how the drug trade involves a family in Baltimore. Supposed to be good!


message 43: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) That's right! I would be interested, but if it's another 650 pager, I just can't commit right now! Especially if I actually want to read 50 books this year.


message 44: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 28. My War: Killing Time in Iraq, by Colby Buzzell.

I loved this book, I couldn't put it down. Of course, I'm a war narrative junkie, and this is probably the most comprehensive, funny, and honest narrative from an Iraq War soldier. This is the same guy who became famous for his blog of the same title; there were numerous newspaper articles on him, as well as being featured on NPR. Good for him! I hope he continues to write.


message 45: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 29. Chasing Ghosts, by Paul Rieckhoff.

This book was amazing. I could not put it down, and ended up giving up my school reading to read this over the course of four days. The author was in the Army National Guard and was sent to Iraq as an infantry platoon leader in 2003 just after the initial takeover of Baghdad. He was responsible for the lives of 38 men and was stationed in one of the worst, most violent areas of Baghdad.

At times this book is truly scary; to think that these men were sent over there with far from enough equipment is totally fucked up, there is no other way to say it. And the idiocy of Rumsfeld and his asanine ideas about going to war "with the Army you have, not the Army you want" shows that the morons running this war are truly out of touch. However, at other times, this book is really heartwarming--and hilarious. I laughed out loud many times, and the good things that they did for some of the local Iraqi people was really beautiful.


message 46: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 30. Coal Black Horse, by Robert Olmstead

Set during the Civil War, about a fourteen year old boy who is sent by his mother to go find his father on the battlefield. He finds him in the wreckage of Gettysburg. Very explicit and dark, but beautiful writing similar to Cormac McCarthy.


message 47: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 31. The Ruins, by Scott Smith.

This sucked!



message 48: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 32. Gunplay, by Jorge Vega.

This is a kind of complicated graphic novel about a Buffalo Soldier who is cursed with an evil gun that makes him kill one person a day. He rides around on a demonic horse that sprays fire from his nostrils, and neither of them can die. It's good, but sometimes hard to keep track of time. It seems to skip around, but I still liked it.


message 49: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 33. The Kiss, by Kathryn Harrison

This book is so beautifully written. It is a memoir about the author's affair with her father. It is absolutely harrowing and disturbing and yet riveting. She is a courageous woman for be willing to write her story, and share it with the world.


message 50: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (KellyB) 34. Generation Kill, by Evan Wright.

Crazy. In the best way possible.


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