Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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*Retired* 2008 Lists > Leslie's List

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I was shocked that I enjoyed a book that so many of my students loved!

2. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs This was a fun, "Beaches" and "Steel Magnolia's" type of chick book.



message 2: by Leslie (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:34AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 3. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. I was disappointed by this one! It reminded me of when I was in 5th grade and read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (many, many years ago). I totally could believe the rats could learn to read just as I bought into the concept of the vampires. The second books in both series just didn't cut the mustard. The wolves didn't quite have the same allure as the vampires.



message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 4. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. This was better than New Moon. The Vampires are back!!!!

5. Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes One of my students saw that I was reading the Twilight series and thought this book was much better! It's interesting! I found the story line similar to all of the recent vampire books: a family of vampires, vampire siblings attending school together etc.

Clearly, I need some adult books that steer clear of the vampire/vampire hunters/ werewolves!!!


message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 6. The Road I didn't like this book. My son was sick, so I missed work! I just read, and read! This was somewhat depressing!!!

7. The Memory Keeper's Daughter This one was sad! I need a happy book!!!


message 5: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 735 comments I agree with you on The Road. Everyone was raving about so I read it. I thought it was extremely depressing, and I hated the ending. It was an Oprah selection and I should have known, she has a tendency to pick very depresssing books. The reason Oprah picked The Road was because of her feelings of development of father/son relationships. My favorite father/son relationship book (not a good one and not a feel good book either) was The Great Santini by Conway. One of my favorites of all time.

I also was not crazy about The Memory Keeper's Daughter.


message 6: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments I'll put The Great Santini on my summer reading list. When school's out, I have a lot more time to read! Thanks!!!


message 7: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Twilight is on my list...I think I will enjoy it. But I hate when the second book is NO WHERE near as good as the first. How annoying!

Really didn't like Memory Keepers Daughter. I hate books when you know three chapters in that there is not going to be a happy/good ending.

Haven't read The Road, and now I think I will pass. :)


message 8: by Leslie (last edited Mar 17, 2008 07:51PM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments Dawn, I'll bet you'll like the Twilight book series. I'll admit that I did a little skimming on the second one. If you go to the Stephenie Meyer website, you can read a the first chapter of Twilight written from Edward's (the male lead)point of view. That was really interesting! I wish I still taught English...because that would be a great exercise to do with writers!


message 9: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 8. Not ONe Damsel in Distress is a great book for late elementary aged girls (and boys).


message 10: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 9. The Time Traveler's Wife was such an interesting book. About half-way through, I was disappointed because it's been hyped up so much; however, as it progressed, I liked (not sure if that is a correct word for how I felt about it) it more. The author has an extremely creative writing style. That's what I found most important about the book.

It was challenging to keep parts straight (especially the hunting part).


message 11: by Leslie (last edited Feb 28, 2008 11:22AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 10. The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East What a change from my previously listed books - no vampires, werewolves, or time travelers! While not a page turner, this book was an interesting explanation of the turmoil between Jews and Palestinians. The author does an amazing job of weaving in the history of the Jews from the middle ages through the Holocaust. He also gives a great history of the Palestine situation. I really felt sympathy for both sides.


message 12: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 11. Sunshine Back to the vampire books! This was long, but good. Robin McKinley is an excellent author.

12. Wicked-the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West I like the style of writing; however, it's a sad story (dah)!


message 13: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 13. The Historian I loved this book, but it felt like it took me forever to finish! It wasn't a super scary Drakula book! I thought the author did a great job of describing the various cities they visited. I liked her style of telling the story through the different characters' letters.

14. Skinny Bitch This was very interesting! Lots of profanity and I may not eat meat after reading about the processing plants. My favorite quote in the book was "Soda is liquid Satan."


message 14: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 38 comments I'm just starting The Historian, and it has been recommended to me from everyone from my library director to my next door neighbor. Problem is, I can't read more than 2 pages before falling asleep. It is better than alcohol and sleeping pills (probably, that is, I'm not one for mixing). Please, please tell me it gets more engaging. The story is interesting (when I'm awake), and I like the characters... maybe I'm just tired.


message 15: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Hi Leslie!
Read "Twilight" and LOVED it. Am waiting to get to the bookstore to get "New Moon". There was a bit of that book at the end of "Twilight" and I was instantly hooked on that book as well and CANNOT wait to get into it! I think these are the best books I have read since Harry Potter. For me anyway. And I loved Harry. Totally.

I DID not like "Wicked". At all. I started it, and couldn't get into it at all and was really rather annoyed by it. Does it pick up? I may someday go back to it, but right now...UGH. My friend loved it though. And I loved the play. THAT was amazing.


message 16: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments Jennie, it took me a lot longer to get through it than I thought it should! (That's why I read Skinny Bitch- which took no time at all-- next). It helped that I was substituting and got to have 20 minutes of silent reading for 6 class periods a day!

Dawn, for me, Wicked did pick up - when Elphaba gets a love interest! Aren't the Twilight books interesting! I haven't seen girls so into a series for years. It kind of bothers me that some of the girls might be a bit young--lots of sexual tension!!!


message 17: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (kellyb) I know what you mean about Wicked. I really liked it, but there were parts that I read and then had to stop and be like 'what the heck just happened right there?'; some parts just got bizarro! I had to just read it and let judgment go, and then I enjoyed it much more.


message 18: by Leslie (last edited Mar 21, 2008 09:44AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 15. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali . Wow! She is an amazing woman! I am going to have to read more about Islam. I guess that I'd always been taught that Muhammad (the founder) was very into equal rights for women. I'd never heard that he consumated his marriage to a nine year old wife (his 3rd wife)! Ugh!

I'm going to have to verify a lot of the information that was presented. It's amazing that some one, especially a female in an oppressive culture, could come out of such a horrific childhood to become such a voice for the downtrodden of society!



message 19: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 16. Stardust I expected to like this book more than I did. It was interesting, but not quite as exciting as I'd been led to believe it would be. The idea of a fairy tale for adults is unique. Having pictures through the writing made for an enjoyable read.


message 20: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 17. The Thirteenth Tale I was sure I had the book figured out, but I didn't! As I was reading it, I kept thinking 'This is supposed to be so good. Why am I not loving it?' I never 'gave it up', but it took me awhile until I absolutely had to keep on reading even though I was tired! By the end, I really liked it. The best part was the author wrapping up the loose ends of minor characters! Now that I look back on the book, I really loved it.


message 21: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 18. P.S. I Love You This took no brain power to read. The Irish terms and phrases were interesting. I mainly read during the boring parts of the baseball games on T.V. (go Mariners!)Now I'm going to rent the movie--along with Stardust!


message 22: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 19. Atonement I enjoyed reading this on spring break! I just wish I hadn't seen even the advertisements for the movie--Robbie just shouldn't have been played by Mr. Tumnus (from the LIon the Witch and the Wardrobe).

20. Blood and Chocolate Interesting take on the werewolf theme!


message 23: by Leslie (last edited Apr 23, 2008 01:06PM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 21. Three Little Words What a sad commentary of how we, in the US allow the people (children) least able to take stand up for themselves to be treated! The foster care system in Florida is horrid. I am sure other states probably have equally disturbing stories. This girl, Ashley, came through a lot of awful situations with success. We should all support the Guardian Ad Litem/CASA programs.

I tried to read The Eyre Affair; I just can't get into it!!!


message 24: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 22. The Other Boleyn Girl I found this to be an interesting historical novel. Obviously, there were a lot of liberties taken with some of the facts, but it was still interesting! This was a long, long book!

23. Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir I read this for book club...not something I probably would have picked on my own. The McCain family is very patriotic. I'm not sure if this would sway my vote one way or the other! We're reading Hillary's book next (Obama's in June!)


message 25: by Brianah (new)

Brianah (mrsbrianah) That is an excellent idea to read all of the candidates books...I'm sure it will give an interesting perspective and background going into the elections. I think I will add them to my "to-read" list as well. Thanks!


message 26: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 24. Austenland I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I might. It may be that I'm so busy with the end of the school year that I'm forcing myself to read --so it's not really fair. I felt like the main character was a whiner.


message 27: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 25. the Queen's fool I liked this a little more than the Other Boleyn Girl. For some reason, it was quicker to read. I think the author does a good job of dealing with historical fiction!


message 28: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 26. People of the Book I enjoyed this after the first 50 or so pages. It started out slower but picked up. The historical context of the preservation of the Sarajevo Haggadah was interesting.

27. How Reading Changed my Life I almost feel like I shouldn't count this book. It's very short, but it advocates for reading!


message 29: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 28. Living History by Hillary Clinton. This is the second book by a 'candidate' that I've read for book club. While Hillary has had an interesting life, the book shows little emotion. I've got to believe this was calculated to help her run for the white house; however, I'd have liked her to say a little more strongly that she was mad at Bill for his infidelity and/or that she'd like to ring Kenneth Star's neck! She's like Martha Stewart in the 'no emotion' manner!

I've just started Queen of Dragons ! I hope it's good!


message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 29. Queen of Dragons Really good book! I think it helped that I had been reading some 'out there' books --because I'm not sure how believable it would have been otherwise! Mari, the main character, is part of a race of creatures who can be dragons, humans or smoke/mist! Good times!


message 31: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 30. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally Very much along the lines of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable Miracle. It was fun to read since I'm closer to British Columbia.

31. Certain GirlsFun, quick read. Not as predictable as some of her other books. Chick-lit at it's finest!


message 32: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 32. The Appeal John Grisham writes a good book! While maintaining an interesting story line, the underlying point of having our judges appointed, not elected, comes through loud and clear. It was nice to see that there are some lawyers in the world, while fictional, who care about clients and try to do the right thing (although, in the end they get screwed!).


message 33: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 33. Earthly Joys Not my favorite of Philippa Gregory's books. I thought it had potential, but it was too long without an exciting storyline. The introduction of the tulips and chestnuts was interesting. I'd have preferred more information on his trips to find new plant life. If anything, it made me glad I didn't live in the 1600's!!!



message 34: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 34. the Devil's Cup Fun and interesting...I wish, just for a month or two, that I had the carefree life the author appears to have. Follow this lead, follow that lead.....

35. Growing Up Amish: The Teenage Years (Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies) The book gave a lot of good information; however, I felt like I didn't get the 'detailed' information that would clear up misconceptions that I probably have regarding the Amish. The whole concept of their 'running around years' wasn't explained that clearly. I thought I'd read somewhere that the teenagers would live outside of their homes/communities and really get wild. This didn't really expand on this.


message 35: by Leslie (last edited Jul 11, 2008 09:52AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 36. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking This was interesting. While I agree that sometimes you need to go with your gut decision or your 'blink' intuition/interpretation, I also think that sometimes people make one judgement and aren't willing to accept that circumstances could cause some one to act a certain way. I still think "Knowledge is power".


message 36: by Leslie (last edited Jul 11, 2008 09:52AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 37. Shoe Addicts Anonymous O.K. Kind of makes me mad when people are so self-indulgent that they have no will power!


message 37: by Leslie (last edited Jul 11, 2008 09:53AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 38. The Boleyn Inheritance Another historical fiction novel with Phillipa Gregory's twist. The story revolves around Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard rising to be Queens of England. Strange and scary....


message 38: by Leslie (last edited Jul 13, 2008 06:01PM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 39. Escape I highly recommend this book...With the recent events in Texas at the FLDS ranch, Escape is a timely book to read!It's hard to believe that the FLDS church even exists in modern day America! It's more similar to the Taliban than any group/organization/cult I've ever read about!

The writing isn't great;however, the story is pretty scary and amazing that she was able to leave. It's frightening to think of the children and women being abused. Also, we don't hear much about the boys that get kicked out, but there must be lots of them....since it's mainly older men getting to marry lots and lots of women.


message 39: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 40. Away Very, very quick read for a book over 200 pages! It follows Lillian, a Russian Jew who has seen her family slaughtered, through a trip to America where she becomes mistress with a father and his gay son (seperately). She then finds out her daughter, Sophie, may be alive and in Siberia. It goes from there... to Seattle, to Alaska,interesting. I liked how the author gives us a brief synopsis of what happened to characters after they left Lillian's story.


message 40: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jess_chitty) This one sounds interesting... Who is the author?


message 41: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Hi Leslie!!!

Just went back and read some of your posts that I had missed and see that you have read quite a few books that I think will be quite interesting for me to read!!

Sorry you couldn't get into "The Eyre Affair". I LOVED that book and the following two that I have read (or am currently reading lol). There is some weird stuff that you have to try and wrap your head around and I admit you have to have a slightly warped way of looking at things to get into it, but I really enjoyed it. Hope someday down the road you give it another try.

I LOVED the movie "Stardust". It was amazing. I am looking for the book, but so far, it has alluded me. SIGH. I am also looking for a copy of "Shopgirl" that doesn't cost and arm and a leg. Books are spendy here in Canada.

Didn't like Atonement. I may at some point try and go back and read it, but I don't know. It was just SO hard for me to try and get into. May have just been the time as well. We will see.

I lived in Florida. And yes, the system there SUCKS!! Its horrible. When I lived there (1999-2001) there were over 10,000 children in the system. I met a woman that took out a second mortgage on her home to add on so she could take more kids in because she hated what she saw in the system. But there are few like her. I think I will add that book to read as well.

Happy Reading!!! :)


message 42: by Shireen (new)

Shireen | 115 comments Hi Dawn,
Had to add my support for The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book. Once you get into the books you are hooked. My daughter gave me those to read and I can hardly wait to read the third one.


message 43: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments Hey...thanks for the suggestion to try it again! You know, sometimes a book just doesn't work for you and then....down the road, it's just right! I'll give it a try in a few months (or years)!


message 44: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 41. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian My sister, a school librarian, had this in her car on our recent 'mini-vacation' (not so vacationish for her...since I had my two children with me!). Young adult literature that all of the "Abercrombe" crowd should read-- poor, Native American kid leaves the rez school to attend an all white school in Reardon, Washington. He makes it through his freshman year; however, there are hurdles and hurdles! Good Book!!!


message 45: by Leslie (last edited Jul 26, 2008 07:21PM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 42. Stolen Innocence It's a creepy concept that these men are so controlling and that men and women actually buy into it. I guess if you were born into the FLDS, you'd know nothing different; however, this girl, Elissa Walls, was the daughter of a man who joined with his wife. Of course, he picked up a couple of additional wives later on!


message 46: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 43. The Fool's Tale I had heard this was like a Phillipa Gregory book only using Welsh history as the backdrop. It was interesting. The ending was odd; however, I guess it fit! It's definately a book you need to be in the mood for...and it gets better after the first 75 or so pages!


message 47: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 44. Bright Shiny Morning I didn't love this, although it was a very quick read! I hate the 'no punctuation style'--It just makes me have to reread parts to make sure I got it right! Some of the stories woven through the book were interesting, depressing etc. Some were introduced but never re-visited. I wondered why he even put them in (except to make the story longer).


message 48: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 45. The Last Lecture Obviously great and inspirational....my favorite lines/chapter titles were: Don't complain, just work harder; Don't obsess over what other people think; No job is beneath you; Make a decision: tigger or eeyore.

It's probably a book to re-read when feeling sorry for oneself!


message 49: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle Hey Leslie!

So glad that you may someday down the road give "The Eyre Affair" another try. You never know....

Read "New Moon". LOVED it! Funny huh?? Cannot wait to read the next two!!

I am adding "The Last Lecture" to my list as well. How inspiring. I cannot wait to read this book!


message 50: by Leslie (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:15AM) (new)

Leslie | 312 comments 45. The Woman who Loved Reindeer This was kind of weird (I guess it won't seem so strange when I read Breaking Dawn ). It reminded me of a Scandinavian folk tale -esp. since many of their 'words' sounded like Scandinavian words. Good but odd --definitely fantasy!


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