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message 1: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary 1984 Orwell, George
-A Confederacy of Dunces Toole, John K.
-A Prayer for Owen Meany Irving, John
-A Separate Peace Knowles, John
-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Smith, Betty
-Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Twain, Mark
Alchemist, The Coelho, Paulo
Alex Cross Mysteries (series) Patterson, James
Alice in Wonderland Carroll, Lewis
Americanah Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
-And Then There Were None Christie, Agatha
Anne of Green Gables Montgomery, Lucy M.
Another Country Baldwin, James
Atlas Shrugged Rand, Ayn
Beloved Morrison, Toni
Bless Me Ultima Anaya, Rudolfo
-Book Thief, The Zusak, Markus
-Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, The Diaz, J.
Call of the Wild London, Jack
-Catch 22 Heller, Joseph
-Catcher in the Rye, The Salinger, J.D.
Charlotte's Web White, E. B.
Chronicles of Narnia, The (series) Lewis, C.S.
Clan of the Cave Bear Auel, Jean M.
-Coldest Winter Ever, The Sister Soulja
Color Purple, The Walker, Alice
Count of Monte Cristo, The Dumas, Alexandr
Crime and Punishment Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
-Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, The
Haddon, Mark
Da Vinci Code, The Brown, Dan
Don Quixote de Cervantes, Miguel
Doña Bárbara Gallegos, Romulo
Dune Herbert, Frank
Fifty Shades of Grey (series) James, E.L.
Flowers in the Attic Andrews, V.C.
Foundation (series) Asimov, Issac
Frankenstein Shelley, Mary
Game of Thrones (series) Martin, George R. R.
-Ghost Reynolds, Jason
Gilead Robinson, Marilyn
-Giver, The Lowry, Lois
-Godfather, The Puzo, Mario
-Gone Girl Flynn, Gillian
-Gone With the Wind Mitchell, Margaret
Grapes of Wrath, The Steinbeck, John
Great Expectations Dickens, Charles
-Great Gatsby, The Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Gulliver's Travels Swift, Jonathan
-Handmaid's Tale, The Atwood, Margaret
-Harry Potter (series) Rowling, J.K.
Hatchet (series) Paulsen, Gary
-Heart of Darkness Conrad, Joseph
-Help, The Stockett, Kathryn
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams, Douglas
Hunger Games, The (series) Collins, Suzanne
Hunt for Red October, The. Clancy, Tom
Intuitionist, The Whitehead, Colson
Invisible Man. Ellison, Ralph
-Jane Eyre Bronte, Charlotte
-Joy Luck Club, The Tan, Amy
Jurassic Park Crichton, Michael
-Left Behind (series) LaHaye, Tim / Jenkins, Jerry B.
-Little Prince, The de Saint-Exupery, Antoine
Little Women Alcott, Louisa May
Lonesome Dove McMurtry, Larry
Looking for Alaska Green, John
Lord of the Rings, The (series) Tolkien, J.R.R.
-Lovely Bones, The Sebold, Alice
Martian, The Weir, Andy
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur
Mind Invaders Hunt, Dave
Moby Dick Melville, Herman
-Notebook, The Sparks, Nicholas
One Hundred Years of Solitude G. Marquez,
-Outlander (series) Gabaldon, Diana
-Outsiders, The Hinton, S.E.
-Picture of Dorian Gray Wilde, Oscar
Pilgrim’s Progress, The Bunyan, John
Pillars of the Earth Follett, Ken
Pride and Prejudice Austen, Jane
Ready Player One Cline, Ernest
-Rebecca du Maurier, Daphne
-Shack, The Young, William P.
-Siddhartha Hesse, Hermann
Sirens of Titan, The Vonnegut, Kurt
Stand, The King, Stephen 1978
-Sun Also Rises, The Hemingway, Ernest
Swan Song McCammon, Robert R.
Tales of the City (series) Maupin, Armistead
-Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston, Zora Neal
Things Fall Apart Achebe, Chinua
-This Present Darkness Peretti, Frank E.
-To Kill a Mockingbird Lee, Harper
-Twilight Saga (series) Meyer, Stephanie
War and Peace Tolstoy, Leo
Watchers, The Koontz, Dean
Wheel of Time, The (series) Jordan, Robert
Where the Red Fern Grows Rawls, Wilson
White Teeth Smith, Zadie
-Wuthering Heights Bronte, Emily


message 2: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Sorry my shelf is not nearly as organized as most others. Plan to come back and post those read before GAR started.


message 3: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary These are the books I’ve read since learning of GAR:

A Separate Peace
And Then There Were None
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Catcher in the Rye
Coldest Winter Ever
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Ghost
Heart of Darkness
Outlander
Siddhartha
The Sun Also Rises
Their Eyes Were Watching God
This Present Darkness


message 4: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Giving you an official welcome to the Great American Read List group, Toni, and thank you for creating a personal bookshelf!

You're plenty organized!
If I'm understanding correctly, those list books in message 1 with a hyphen you've already read—some prior to PBS's Launch Special and others (in message 4) afterwards. That's 68 novels (counting series books individually). Color me impressed!


message 5: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Loretta, is those you listed as also read, I guess The Curious Incident...was my favorite. I’m finding most of these books to be depressing. But today I finished The Alchemist and was pleasantly surprised. Is it strange that it reminded me of Siddhartha?


message 6: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Lavan, You give me too much credit! You’re correct as to the hyphens marking books I had read, but the first list included the books read since GAR began-my second list. I’m not even sure how many I’ve read.


message 7: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary After A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye, The Alchemist was a welcome change. I always meant to read the first two, thought they must be good books. THEY WERE SO DEPRESSING! I can see redeeming qualities in Separate Peace and its message, but it’s difficult for me to do that with Catcher-I was really disappointed in it.

Thankfully The Alchemist was more positive. It’s a fast, easy read. It somehow reminded me of Siddartha.


message 8: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
What did you think of The Godfather? It's an upcoming group read in August for another group of which I'm a member, so I'll be reading it soon.


message 9: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I read it years ago when the movie came out. I had mixed feelings about it. The book was much better than the movie, as is true in most cases. I did not care to read any of the sequels.


message 10: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Another new read for me on the list I did enjoy was The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime. My granddaughters are reading it now.


message 11: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I finished Alice in Wonderland last night and I loved it! It was so clever! There were so many great quotes. I can’t believe I’d never read it before, and it would have been even better with an illustrated version, but I found a free version for kindle on the Project Gutenberg site that Andrew mentioned. There are several of the books from the list available.


message 12: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary While voting this am I took the quiz again to get an accurate count of number of books I’ve read=42. That is just the stand alone, first book of a series, that PBS uses for the quiz and for voting. I still have several lengthy books to tackle. Even with speed reading I don’t think I’ll finish the list! I have War and Peace on Kindle app; the reading time is over 36 hours. I wish someone would take all 100 books and use an app like Kindle to figure the total number of hours necessary to finish them.


message 13: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I just figured out that I have about 13 weeks to read 48 books if I read all 100. I need to read 3-4 books per week to do this. I usually do this-with library books of my own choosing. But I don’t really want to read 50 Shades or Game of Thrones ( and a few others). But I will give ANY book a chance. When I started Coldest Winter Ever I almost put it down several times. I’m glad I didn’t. It was a good book and I learned from it. I want books to entertain me AND to teach me and to reach me. This book did all three.


message 14: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 24, 2018 09:26PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
"I want books to entertain me AND to teach me and to reach me." I love that Toni, and I could not agree more!

I've not had the pleasure of reading The Catcher in the Rye (unless I read that novel in school, but cannot remember) nor A Separate Peace yet.
I don't think I've ever "hated" a book, though I have disliked some for one reason or another, at times.


message 15: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Last Thursday through Sunday I was able to finish 3 fairly fast reads, and I would give every one of them a 5 star rating! The first book, A Color Purple, surprised me. I had no idea that this book contained a mystery. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. The same could be said about my second book, 1984, also. I really enjoyed it because there were so many things I learned. When I picked up Looking For Alaska my librarian told me how good it was. (Think Dead Poets Society in rural Alabama).I’m even considering voting for this book! All three of these were pleasure reads-for some reason I’m having trouble getting through The DaVinci Code.


message 16: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I'm so happy to hear that those were all really good books! I read The Color Purple so many years ago and don't remember anything about it. 1984 was a school read and I'm not sure I want to revisit that one. ;) I'm happy the hear that Looking for Alaska was good, that one is on my radar.


message 17: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
I read The Color Purple a long time ago, and don't remember that much about it either. I remember it being a really good book though. Ditto for 1984, though I remember more of that, probably just because it's such a cultural touchstone that's referenced so often.

As to Looking for Alaska: I've been curious about John Green for some time, but still haven't gotten around to reading anything by him. Maybe I should try that one.

And on The DaVinci Code: I think I started that at one point and dropped it. I just didn't like the writing style. Maybe I'll try it again some time, but probably not soon.


message 18: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I thought Purple had a lot of mystery in it-what happened to Celie’s children; who was her real father -that was my reference. Not necessarily a “whodunnit”, but questions to keep you reading and wondering. And 1984 kept me wondering-could ANYONE be trusted??? Then there’s Winston & Julia-how will that go? Later there’s room 101, and after. That’s just my opinion. Looking For Alaska is great. John Green also wrote Fault in Our Stars and several other young adult novels. He has suffered from anxiety and OCD since childhood and has written and spoken about it.


message 19: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 26, 2018 10:20AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
That's fantastic Toni, and wow you read fast! Been a long while since I was in a devour-a-book-per-day phase, but I know how much fun that is.

It's wonderful that you've rated all three novels so high. I read 1984 so long ago that I don't remember it well and haven't yet read the other two, although now I'm looking forward to them more given your enthusiasm.
Like Andrew, I've wanted to read something by John Green for awhile. Friends have raved about his The Fault in Our Stars.

I really enjoyed books 1 - 4 in Brown's Robert Langdon series (haven't read Origin yet), but they seem to be the type of stories that people either really like or really dislike.


message 20: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary A lot of my work was with young adults in school settings. As part of preparation for teaching study skills I attended a speed reading workshop-one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve been a voracious reader all my life, and now that I’m retired reading is my favorite pastime. Even if I come across a book I really don’t care for, I can usually get through it. I actually haven’t read anything for 3 days as I’m pet-sitting for my son and his family and have been pretty busy!


message 21: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Jul 28, 2018 02:56PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Writing is my favorite solo activity, but reading comes in a close second!
I don't think I read quickly. A speed reading workshop would probably be beneficial.
I never intentionally leave a book unfinished. There are times when I'll become focused on something else and set a book aside for a period of time, but I never purposely give up on a story nor review it if I haven't read it cover to cover. I always want to know how it turns out and if my opinion will change. We're similar in that way!
I haven't read as much as I would like lately. I hope to remedy that soon.


message 22: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’m really enjoying these Books for younger audiences, and really struggling with some of the “classics”. I loved Charlottes Web and stayed up late one night so I could finish Hatchet-I want my grandsons to read this series. But Little Women is boring me to death! I’ve finished Sirens of Titan and Bless me Ultima in the meantime and enjoyed both of those. Sometimes my reading schedule depends on inter library loan and when the books arrive. I’m driving 4 hours round trip to visit my oldest son and family Friday, and have Along Came a Spider by James Patterson on CD.


message 23: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 07, 2018 11:11AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I think it says that you enjoy a good book, regardless of genre. I do too. About half of those that read YA are adults (you probably already know that). Also, for those of us that have youngsters in our family—children, nieces/nephews, grandchildren, etc.—what better way to recommend books that they may like than to read them ourselves? I love talking about books at family get-togethers with members of all ages. It's wonderful when children and teenagers talk excitedly about their favorites and what they're reading!

Hope you enjoy visiting your son this Friday, Toni (and listening to Along Came a Spider during your commute, of course)!


message 24: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Thank you! My two granddaughters are also big readers.
I just finished Little Women and picked up more books from the library. LW did get better after PartI, but I didn’t care if a dress had azaleas and vines and blue painted boots. And the March’s make Donna Reed’s family look like the Kardashians-how perfect and loving could they be? After reading this I have officially read half of the GAR books! If they come up with a second list in October I will be very upset.


message 25: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:00PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
I chuckled at "And the Marchs make Donna Reed’s family look like the Kardashians."

Congratulations Toni, that's wonderful!
I don't think PBS will give us a new list after a winner is announced, but it would be nice if they did this again in ten years. It'd be interesting to see how Americans' reading tastes in a decade compare to now.


message 26: by Parker (new)

Parker | 58 comments Toni, did you see the PBS adaptation of Little Women that aired recently? I find that sometimes watching a movie of the novel helps me understand the novel better (Little Women, anything by Jane Austen, Agatha Christie and Daphne Du Maurier).


message 27: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary The pace of Little Women was just much slower than I prefer. I’m enjoying Pride and Prejudice-it’s pace is much quicker and the characters are more human-not so perfect and pious. Little Woman is almost like a sermon. I do find it hard to believe that this family was so perfect-maybe that’s why I found it boring (I’m a retired therapist)


message 28: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I finished Call of the Wild, and did not enjoy it-too much violence, blood and gore. At least it is a short read.


message 29: by Parker (new)

Parker | 58 comments Toni, what about Jo? By far my favourite character and anything but perfect! Although I agree with you about the rest of them.


message 30: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary You are right, Parker, I was overlooking Jo. She was my favorite character, too.


message 31: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary So, school started and so did helping with grandchildren getting picked up after school, 2 different football practices, soccer practices and games for all three-but I get a lot of good reading time during practices. I finished and really enjoyed Anne of Green Gables-it was such a heart-warming story. And I loved Where The Red Fern Grows! I remember all my children reading it when they were in school. It has such wonderful moral lessons to teach. I guess I think a great book should leave you with a great lesson about life-that’s what I’m finding missing from some of these books. For example: Along Came a Spider-in my opinion this book doesn’t belong on this list James Patterson is a good writer, but I can think of so many others who could have been included instead. I thought that book was drivel. Moving on...When I finally got into The Da Vinci Code, I was hooked. And I recommend the illustrated edition-it really makes the book come to life. I know one of the reasons I liked this book was that I learned so much. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was also one of my favorites, as was Hunger Games-couldn’t put it down. Now I know why my granddaughter loves Suzanne Collins so. I can’t wait to talk to her about it.


message 32: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary And Parker, thanks for recommending LW tv series-I will watch. And everyone, I forgot The Watchers, by Dean Koontz. I can’t believe I’ve never read one of his books-this will change. From the first page I was all in. There was suspense and mystery and a fast pace-until the end. I thought there was a “glitch” there. Seemed the book could have ended 50 pages sooner. And now I am reading what I can get from the library-when I can get it-and reading my own and my son’s books. Since the top 40 came out I may focus on finishing those first. I’m getting into some pretty lengthy ones now. I’ve started Lord of the Rings, Clan of the Cave Bear, and Pillars of the Earth. I still have about half of Pride and Prejudice to finish.


message 33: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Jackpot at my library today! Picked up Lonesome Dove and Grapes of Wrath. Also my local book club has started meeting again, so I got our selection for the month The Sound of Glass (author is from this area). And I couldn’t resist Sunburn, recommend by Stephen King, Anna Quindlen and Lee Child.


message 34: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 29, 2018 05:30PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
"I guess I think a great book should leave you with a great lesson about life ... " — I love that, Toni!

Your schedule sounds busy with all that you do for your grandchildren. I bet they love having you so involved in their daily routines!
I usually have more time to read once the weather turns cool enough that yard work is no longer necessary, but the holidays aren't far off. That's a busy time of year for most people. Unlike the majority, I do my "spring cleaning" in autumn so that my house is ready for lots of company (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Super Bowl ... ). I'll do my best to stay on top of group reads during that time.

Can't wait to hear what you think of The Lord of the Rings, and I'm glad you'll be reading Lonesome Dove with us!


message 35: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary We've been playing football and soccer and clarinet in the school band, doing school fundraisers and even traveling to Mississippi State for their first game with our new coach. I'm trying to recall the books I've finished lately. Pride and Prejudice was one. I love Jane Austen. I was surprised by Pillars of the Earth. I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure about Grapes of Wrath, either. It was another depressing book, but it was beautifully written. I thought I would take my time and read Lonesome Dove throughout the month with the group. Sorry y'all, once I got started it was really hard to stop. I lost several hours of sleep over this one. The characters were so real-I loved Gus and McCall, but I knew from the beginning Jake Spoon was shifty. I recommend renting or buying the miniseries from Amazon Prime after you read the book. I kept putting Clan of the Cave Bear aside, but when I finally focused my attention I was hooked on this story of the "ugly" blonde, light-eyed, tall child found alone after an earthquake by "cavemen" who look completely different. It's only because the childless medicine woman takes the child that she lives and eventually becomes a part of the clan of the cave bear.
This is a series I will return to, and will also recommend to my grandchild who loves this type of book. The book I've read and cared for least was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It seemed too much like a fairy tale to me. I was disappointed, because I am a fan of C.S. Lewis. So now I am tackling The Fellowship of the Ring, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dune (the library sent Dune Messiah #2 and had to return it and get correct book), and have decided to reread Agatha Christie's And Then Their Were None with the group.


message 36: by Andrew, moderator (new)

Andrew (andyhuey) | 332 comments Mod
Wow, you seem to be leading a much busier life than me, and still reading a lot more! I'm enjoying Lonesome Dove more than I thought I would. Still only about at 20% though.


message 37: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Sep 23, 2018 01:20PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
What a wonderful update!

The Grapes of Wrath is such a powerful book. I'm looking forward to rereading it with this group, or I may sooner because another group I'm in has read it recently, but Doctor Faustus is taking me so long to get through that I'm behind in that group.

Don't apologize, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed Lonesome Dove so much that you read it as fast as you could! I'm pacing myself (I feel as though I should, as moderator), but I'm reluctant to set it aside after an hour each day. It's wholly absorbing. I definitely plan to watch the miniseries afterwards.

The Clan of the Cave Bear series is another that I'm looking forward to rereading with the group. I remember reading it before the series was finished. I was impatient for Auel to release the last two books—The Shelters of Stone and The Land of Painted Caves.

How are you liking The Fellowship of the Ring?

I'm glad you're rereading And Then There Were None with us!


message 38: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Andrew, don’t be too impressed. I’m also retired and having a more flexible schedule gives me a lot more time to read.


message 39: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Don’t know if we’re supposed to keep updating our bookshelves, and I’ve been so busy trying to read several inter library loan books so I can get them back to the library. I did not like Things Fall Apart-full of cruelty to women and children, and just not much of a plot IMO.
Then I tackled The Intuitionist and was equally bored with it. It’s difficult to read an entire book about elevators and elevator inspectors. I know it’s supposed to have some deeper meaning, but it was lost on me. Gilead is a sweet, pastoral book, but I don’t understand why it’s on the list. But Swan Song was a completely different experience. Instead of forcing myself to just get through more pages I was hooked from the start. Reminded me of Stephen King. I gave it 5 stars. I have Americanah to read now so I can return it.


message 40: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Please only update your bookshelf when you genuinely want to and have the time, Toni. I would like this feature to be enjoyable for members.

You sound like Andrew with all of your library books. (I'm grinning.) It's a wonderful "problem" to have.

I'm peculiarly curious about The Intuitionist having read your brief description. It sounds bizarre, haha!

Bethany recently read Swan Song and really liked it too. It reminded her of Stephen King as well and she thought it was better than The Stand.

I hope you enjoy Americanah. Let us know what you think of it, please!


message 41: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary I just finished Americanah and really enjoyed it-especially its insights into racism. I thought it was very well written and easy to read.


message 42: by Toni (new)

Toni Gary Sorry for my lengthy absence, but I started having some medical issues in December. I had an aggressive form of breast cancer 20 years ago, and a clinical trial at MDACC saved my life. However, the treatments were so aggressive they have caused many long-term side effects and late effects. The latest late effect requires a pretty serious surgery in June to remove and replace most of my left chest wall. I’m still processing a lot of information and working with doctors and family preparing for this. I’m still trying to read, but I gave up on The Count of Monte Cristo. To be honest, I was bored stiff. My son loved the book when he read it. It may be the first book I’ve ever “abandoned” but will probably not be the last. I have read the latest John Grisham book, The Reckoning. It was an easy, enjoyable read. I just finished Anne Tyler’s latest novel, Clock Dance and highly recommend it. She is one of my favorite authors. I do plan to read more books on the list, but I no longer feel the need to force myself to read every book on the list created by a group of experts.


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