Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2018 > Tiffany's However Many for 2018

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message 1: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
I just barely made it to 50 in 2017, and that was a major "What's wrong with me?!?" crisis, so I'm *hoping* to make it to 50 this year. For whatever reasons, I just slowed waaaay down the last few months. I'm hoping that it was just temporary, and once I complete the projects I've been working on lately, I'll be able to get back into the swing of reading. Plus, I have a stack of magazines, newsletters, pamphlets, and other mailings that I haven't been reading, sooo... Oh, AND the two coursepacks from college that I never finished that I'd like to go through.

SO... it might be a while before I start adding books on a regular basis (other than This Side of Paradise for our group read), but a successful year will be 1) finishing that pile of mailings that's waiting for me right now; 2) not letting the pile re-grow too big; 3) finishing the 2 coursepacks; 4) reading 50 books, a lot of which will be ones I already own; 5) reading some GOOD books!

Happy new year, everyone!


message 2: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie (trippie) | 451 comments Happy New Year! I totally sympathize with everything about your post, and your "however many" title made me smile. I've had 2 years in a row of nooooooot quite making the 50, but I'm as blindly hopeful as ever at the start. Looking forward to seeing what you read!


message 3: by Summer (new)

Summer | 237 comments Congrats on making 50 in 2017!

I love your #5. That's always a great goal! :)


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments Whatever!


message 5: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
The reading pile on the nightstand is done, the major projects are done, and now I can start reading for real!

1. This Side Of Paradise

I don't always Get F. Scott Fitzgerald or The Depth of His Writing, but I enjoy his writing and his flawed characters. I'll be honest: I don't really understand why The Great Gatsby is supposed to be The Great American Novel, but I do appreciate the interesting and flawed characters (I might not like them, but I appreciate Fitzgerald's crafting of them). This Side of Paradise, though, seems to me to be a greater novel than Gatsby.

The rest of my review is here.


message 6: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie (trippie) | 451 comments Tiffany wrote: "The reading pile on the nightstand is done, the major projects are done, and now I can start reading for real!

1. This Side Of Paradise

I don't always Get F. Scott Fitzgerald or Th..."


I agree with you that Paradise is better than Gatsby.


message 7: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
Stefanie wrote: "I agree with you that Paradise is better than Gatsby."

Oh, yay! I'm not the only one :)

Would you care to share why you think that? As I was reading, I kept trying to figure out *why* I liked it more, but I couldn't come up with any reasons; it was more just a feeling that I couldn't put into words.


message 8: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
2. Just Tell Me I Can't: How Jamie Moyer Defied the Radar Gun and Defeated Time

In the introduction, Platt describes this book not so much as the "This is how this athlete started, these are the teams he played for" sports biography, but, as he says, "moments of critical challenge throughout [Moyer's] long career: in short, a chronicle of his continuing education." Not just about Moyer, though, the book "is also the story of what pitching is--the mystery and mastery of it, as seen through the eyes of its most cerebral, seeking student. It's a story deep inside the ever-elusive mental side of sports."

My review can be found here.


message 9: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
My original plan for this year had been to finish that pile of magazines, etc, sitting on my nightstand, then alternate 2 books I own, 1 book from the 1001 list, and 1 book from my recommendedby-a shelf (with weird rules about how to handle any books that are on more than one of those lists). After I circled through that 10 times (meaning 20 books I owned, 10 from the 1001 list, 10 from my recommendedby-a shelf), I could start reading other books, mainly checking out from the library books that are on my wishlist, so that I DON'T keep buying books. *sigh*

I don't really think any of you care about my silly little rules for the year, but sometimes it's fun to track, so I'm going to start including notes about which category each book falls into.

3. Rock and Roll Archaeologist: How I Chased Down Kurt's Stratocaster, the "Layla" Guitar, and Janis's Boa (owned book #2; This Side of Paradise was #1)

A love letter to collectors, fanatics, archivists, curators, and museums.

My full review is here.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments You lost me at the nightstand, but good luck.


message 11: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "You lost me at the nightstand, but good luck."

:) Thanks.


message 12: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
4. Less Than Zero (1001 Books book #1 ... and I'm not sure why)

Criminee, these people are unhappy. (My actual review is here.)


message 13: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
5. The Dream Life of Balso Snell (recommendedby-a book)

Ermmm... I'm sure there were a ton of allusions in here that I just didn't get. What I was able to get, though, was complete nonsense and absurdity. Some of it was entertaining, and some not. It wasn't Terrible, but I was also glad it was a short story.


message 14: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
6. The Partly Cloudy Patriot (recommendedby-a book)


message 15: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
7. The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World (owned book #3 / recommendedby-a book)


message 16: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
8. Steppenwolf: A Novel (1001 Books book #2)

I really enjoyed this. It reminded me of The Master and Margarita, probably because of the trippiness and crazy party scene. ...And maybe also because of the sense that there was more to it than I was getting. I'm sure there were allegories in there that I wasn't understanding or didn't know about.

But I did get *some* of the depth of it (and other times I could tell that it seemed like there was some allegory or metaphor, but I didn't know what. But knowing that there was *something* is half the battle) and I enjoyed it.


message 17: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
9. Around the World in Eighty Days (1001 Books book #3)

Good story! My review is here.


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message 19: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
11. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (recommendedby-a book; owned book #5)

Not bad, not fabulous. An overview of why you can't always trust what you read. (My full review is here.)


message 20: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)


message 21: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
OH MY GOD, I FINISHED A BOOK!!!!!! #(&%#@(&%(*#%*@!)($*

13. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (owned book #6)

Woo!

I think this is finally the *last* textbook from school that I hadn't finished reading. This one, though, I'd barely even started, so I considered it less as a book to finish, and more as a complete book to read. For this class, there were two required textbooks, and one of them was late getting to the bookstore, and kept getting pushed back further and further, so out of 100 or so people in the class, most of us -- at least by the third week of class -- hadn't received a copy of the book, so I decided rather than trying to take a class with only 1/2 of the books required, I'd just drop the class. But now I've finally read the one textbook I did get, so now, I think, my college reading is all officially done :D

And now hopefully I can get back to reading at a faster pace. Dang, that was a big book!


message 22: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
And since that book took me so long to read, I've got a pile of 1001 Books You Must Read books from the library, and the library is wanting them back. So rather than my intended goal of owned book --> owned book --> recommendedby-a book --> 1001 Books book --> and repeat, I'm going to have to go through a bunch of 1001 Books books so the library doesn't hunt me down :)


message 23: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
14. Tarzan of the Apes (1001 Books book #4)

I'm one of the people that Michael Meyer refers to in his Afterword -- people who only know the story of Tarzan from the media depictions (movies, TV shows, spoofs, ... and I assume the Disney movie-version is WAY different from non-kids movie versions), and then are completely surprised when they read Burroughs' actual version. ... Then again, I've never even seen a Tarzan movie, just clips of some black-and-white version and the Disney movie. Still, I was completely surprised when I read this. There's no "Me Tarzan, you Jane," or forest romance (other than a little bit of "Oh, my hero" swooning on Jane's part), and there are pirates?!?


message 24: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
15. Invisible Man (1001 Books book #5)


message 25: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
16. Wings of the Dove (a triple-whammy! owned book #7, a recommendedby-a book, and 1001 Books book #6)

My sad review is here.

17. Freedom Summer: The Savage Season of 1964 That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy (owned book #8)


message 26: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
18. Whatever It Takes: Stories from a Life Behind the Scenes in the Music and Television Worlds

Meh. My review is here, but the gist of it is: I grew up watching the original Degrassi series, now watch the current versions when I can, this is the autobiography of one of the producers of the current series, so I wanted to read his book. However, it wasn't as focused on Degrassi as I thought it was going to be.

19. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1001 Books book #7)

Lovely.

And if anyone's keeping track with me, that whole 2-books-I-own-then-one-book-from-my-recommendedbya-shelf-then-one-1001-book plan has COMPLETELY fizzled. *sigh*


message 27: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
20. Gulliver's Travels (recommendedby-a book)

It was decent. My life would be the same if I hadn't read it, but it wasn't terrible and wasn't a complete waste of time. The satire was funny and makes you think (duh, that was the point); Part IV started off slowly, though, and had a slow section toward the end, but the rest was fine.

(My full review is here.)


message 28: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
21. A Lesson in Secrets

This one wasn't as good as some of the other Maisie Dobbs stories, but it was a lovely read nonetheless.


message 29: by librarian4Him02 (new)

librarian4Him02 | 265 comments Tiffany wrote: "18. Whatever It Takes: Stories from a Life Behind the Scenes in the Music and Television Worlds

Meh. My review is here, but the gist of it is: I grew up watching the original Degra..."


I know the feeling. My goal of reading a book set in each of the 50 states appears to be fizzling out as well. My audio books have been ousted by too many podcasts, but I don't know which ones to stop listening to. They're all really good :) Also by the fact my commute time went from 3 hours a day to 40 or 50 minutes a day. May have to change my goal number for this year.


message 30: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
librarian4Him02 wrote: "I know the feeling. My goal of reading a book set in each of the 50 states appears to be fizzling out as well. My audio books have been ousted by too many podcasts, but I don't know which ones to stop listening to. They're all really good :) Also by the fact my commute time went from 3 hours a day to 40 or 50 minutes a day. May have to change my goal number for this year."

Me, too! Well, my commute is about as long as it was last year, but it's now more walking than busing, so I only get to read a few pages each way. Plus, my new job has half-hour lunch breaks, rather than hour-long breaks, so there's hardly any time to read. So now I'm listening to a lot more podcasts while walking to and from buses (around 60 minutes a day) than I am reading on buses or during breaks. (And yet, the number of podcasts that I still have to listen to doesn't seem to be going down! I think I'm subscribed to WAY too many! :) )


message 31: by librarian4Him02 (new)

librarian4Him02 | 265 comments I know what you mean about the number of podcasts never decreasing. I thought I'd catch up during a recent 12 hour road trip, but it fell on the same weekend as the 24 in 48 Book Challenge. So, guess which one took precedence. :)

The episodes just keep coming! I think I'm subscribed to too many as well. Then, just a day or so ago I added a new one to the mix. It might be time to declare podcast bankruptcy and just delete everything in my feed. Start fresh next week. Lol!


message 32: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
librarian4Him02 wrote: "...It might be time to declare podcast bankruptcy and just delete everything in my feed. Start fresh next week. Lol!"

Agh! What a terrible thought!

I've actually had that idea, too, but I can never bring myself to do it :)


message 33: by Tiffany, Administrator (last edited Aug 12, 2018 09:53AM) (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
22. The Crystal Frontier (recommendedby-a book)

These are good stories, but not "Oh my God, they changed my life!" stories, so I'd give them 3.5 stars. However, since Goodreads doesn't do half-stars, I'll round it up to 4 since I recognize names and places from my family's history.

But I am a sucker for a good wrap-up, so even if I hadn't already bumped this up to 4 stars, the end story, with how all of the previous stories came together, might have moved this up to 4 stars.


message 34: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
Tiffany wrote: "librarian4Him02 wrote: "...It might be time to declare podcast bankruptcy and just delete everything in my feed. Start fresh next week. Lol!"

Agh! What a terrible thought!

I've actually had that ..."


Although, I suppose I did something similar the other day. There's a sports podcast I'm subscribed to (one of many, really) that talks about a specific team, with roster moves leading up to the season and recaps of games and news throughout the season, and I have a couple years' worth that I haven't listened to (I subscribed, then downloaded all the previous episodes). Last week, I decided that these don't really mean much to me now, since they're so old, and I don't remember the games, so I deleted all of them prior to this season. Gasp!


message 35: by Tiffany, Administrator (last edited Aug 16, 2018 10:25PM) (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
23. Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts (recommendedby-a book)

Bleh.


message 36: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
24. Cancan! (owned book #8)

This is a pretty good history of the Can-Can (or Cancan), but it felt to me like it was both too in-depth and not in-depth enough. Price covers the history of the dance, and spotlights some of the major dancers and clubs/theatres/cafes that featured the Can-Can, as well as discusses the dance's representation in movies, musicals, and art.


message 37: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
25. Amsterdam (recommendedby-a book)

Good story. We don't really get to how Amsterdam or "consequences that neither could have foreseen" (from the back cover) figure into the story until the last 20 pages or so, but the story is so good, that I had completely forgotten that I was looking for either of those.


message 38: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
26. The Astronaut Maker: How One Mysterious Engineer Ran Human Spaceflight for a Generation

(Only 26. My work/commute schedule just isn't giving me enough time to read.)


message 39: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
27. Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories (recommendedby-a book)

A good selection of short stories. I didn't think there were any clunkers, but there also weren't any that I necessarily couldn't have lived without reading. 3.5 stars.


message 40: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
28. Murmur (owned book #9)

Sadly, this was a meh book. Review is here.


message 41: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
29. Assassination Vacation (recommendedby-a book)

I am absolutely NOT getting to 50 books this year. :(

I'd give this book 3.5 stars, so rounded up to 4. It wasn't Great, but it was enjoyable.


message 42: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
30. Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays (recommendedby-a book)

As with most collections of essays, this was hit and miss. Some started out strong (in my opinion), but got weaker as they went on (and on and on); some started weak and continued weakly; some were okay; and some were good. My favorites were "Up, Simba" about John McCain's campaign for president, "Consider the Lobster" about the Maine Lobster Fest, and "Host" about talk-radio host John Ziegler.


message 43: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
31. The Great Pumpkin Returns

Not as good as the original It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, but a good follow-up.


message 44: by Tiffany, Administrator (last edited Nov 25, 2018 05:35PM) (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
32. Edgar Huntly, Or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker (recommendedby-a book)

Ooh, a good story from the late 1700s. I really enjoyed this, even though a number of Goodreads reviewers didn't.


message 45: by Stefanie (new)

Stefanie (trippie) | 451 comments It's been a while since I checked in on your thread, and I feel you on not hitting 50. We're around the same number. Solidarity.


message 46: by Olympia (new)

Olympia (oly366) | 21 comments I’m in the same club I put 45 as my goal and I checked last night and it says I’m 25 books behind. I don’t think I’m going to make it maybe to 30 if I apply myself lol. Work has taken me away from my personal reading time ugh!


message 47: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
Stefanie and Olympia --

You know, whenever people in this group lament that they're reading slowly, or they're not going to hit their goal, I always say it's the journey that matters, and whether you're enjoying what you read. But when it's *me*, I just feel like... "Blah! I'm such a failure! Why am I reading so slowly?! What's happened to me?? Why did I take a job that takes away from my reading time, or doesn't give me a good commute schedule or lunch/break schedule so I can read?!?" hehehe


message 48: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
33. Operation Shylock (recommendedby-a book)

Meh. The premise seemed interesting enough -- Philip Roth's double going around the world spouting off about things Roth doesn't believe, confusing the world about Roth's intentions -- but it was just SO long and overdone.


message 49: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
34. The Story of English (owned book #10 [also known as "what does it matter anymore?"])

It was okay. It started off strong, but then it got weak. So it's a decent book, but not the winner it seemed like it was going to be.

As a side note, who thinks I'm going to make it to 50 books this year? A show of hands, please. :D


message 50: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1833 comments Mod
Well, I'm obviously not making it to 50 books in 2018! Time to call it a wrap on this one, and start 2019!


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