Challenge: 50 Books discussion

*Retired* 2008 Lists > Melynna's 2008 list

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message 1: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 1) Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother's Tokyo Kitchen
2) Esperanza Rising (Paperback)
3) Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
4) Anne of Green Gables (Paperback)
5) The Man Who Planted Trees, 20th Anniversary
6) All Moms Go To Heaven (Paperback)
7) Chocolat
8) Maskerade: A Discworld Novel
9) Soul Music: A Discworld Novel
10) Before the Dawn

I'm reading so slowly! I'm in school and I'm a mom, so I guess I have a good excuse, but I can't believe this is all I've got so far! I've got to pick up the pace!

message 2: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) It's the beginning of the year. You are doing an excellent job :) I will be reading Anne of Green Gables this year. How did you like it? I need to read Chocolat too.

message 3: by Melynna (new)

Melynna I loved it! I can't believe I didn't read it when I was younger. It's an interesting, cheerful read. I'll definitely read it to my kids.

Chocolat was wonderful, too. Absolutely decadent. Read with good chocolates for best result.

message 4: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 11) The Audacity of Hope

message 5: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 12) The Secret Hour (Midnighters, Book 1)

message 6: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 13) Touching Darkness (Midnighters, Book 2)

I've found that I really like reading YA fiction. It's not deep enough to have to wait until my brain works properly to read, it's usually interesting, and it's a fast, easy, and a lot of it is actually pretty well written. Perfect for a mom in school!

message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (kellyb) Whoa, it's taken me all this time to figure out what "YA" means! Finally! I've got it! Well, it just so happens that I picked up a book the other day, and I've been reading it and thinking 'hm, this seems like it's aimed at a teen audience', and then I looked at the spine and it said 'teen fiction'. If I had seen that ahead of time, I probably wouldn't have bought it, however, I am loving this book! City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I'm so glad I didn't know ahead of time--what a snob I once was!

message 8: by Melynna (new)

Melynna I totally understand! I used to think YA stuff was *so* below me. Then a friend lent me Ella Enchanted and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and I was officially hooked. You should totally try Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld. The sequels are okay but get consecutively worse, but the first one is awesome. Also, this series was pretty good. In some ways better -- I don't know if I liked any of them as much as Uglies, but I liked them all about the same, which was nice.

I'll look up that book you mentioned. I hope I can get it at my local library.

14) Blue Noon (Midnighters, book 3) by Scott Westerfeld.

message 9: by Kelly (new)

Kelly B (kellyb) Thanks; i've noticed a lot of people talking about the Uglies, so I'll see if I can find it on my next trip to the library or bookstore. I have Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on my bookshelf right now, too!

message 10: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 15) The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I really liked this a lot. I'd recommend it to just about anyone.

message 11: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 16) Which Witch? by Eva Ibbotson
17) The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Both light and fun. The Goose Girl is YA, so it's longer and more riveting, I guess you could say. Both wonderful reads for the almost-the-end-of-the-semester-and-I'm-gonna-die jitters.

message 12: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 18) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This book is awesome. I recommend it to one and all.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

See? You're having no problem keeping up. You're ahead of the one book per week pace.

message 14: by Jen (new)

Jen Donnelly I loved 'the secret life of bees'! the relationships between the women were fantastic. the little girl learned so much from a group of such different, strong women! great book.


message 15: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle You should read "The Mermaid Chair" by Sue Monk Kidd. I liked that as much as "The Secret Life of Bees". I think she is a great author.

I haven't read "Goose Girl" but I did read "Princess Academy" by Shannon Hale and that is SO good.

I too loved "The Sisterhood" series. I am actually waiting for the 4th to come out in paperback so I can read 3 and 4 back-to-back. YAY!!

Have you read or tried reading "Twilight"? I LOVED that book. Great story.

message 16: by Melynna (new)

Melynna Bryan -- I just realized that today! I guess I'll be fine, especially since I'm not taking classes over the summer. True, some of my books aren't the hardest reads, but I told myself I'd just read what I wanted and not worry about it, so that's what I'm doing. Cheers!

Jen -- I totally agree. I'm recommending it to all my friends and keeping an eye out for a cheap copy.

Dawn -- I've actually read "The Mermaid Chair" and thought it was okay, but I didn't really love it. Her messed up relationships were getting me down and stressed out (I know that's a dumb reason and really says nothing about the book itself).

Go read The Goose Girl and the two others that follow it (Enna Burning and River Secrets) -- you won't be disappointed. Watch out with the sisterhood of the pants, though -- I loved the first two, but the third got worse and the fourth was really terrible, in my opinion. Let me know whether or not you agree after you read them.

As to Twilight, I think the main reason I've been avoiding it is that everyone has been telling me how great it is. I know, that makes no sense. I'll have to pick it up sometime.

message 17: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 19) The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson

message 18: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 20) Austenland by Shannon Hale

I picked up this book knowing nothing about it except that it was written by Shannon Hale, who I've learned to like a lot. For the first little while I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it just got better and better. It was silly and fun. Perfect for mid-finals reading.

message 19: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 21) The Hero and The Crown by Robin McKinley

I really enjoyed this. It was told a lot like a spoken story, like a legend. It was a good read with a great heroine.

message 20: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 22) The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

I enjoyed this one, too. Less like a fable and more like most books you read. It was good enough to keep me up too late. Definitely something to recommend to my kids as interesting reading.

message 21: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 23) My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I got this book from the library less than 48 hours ago and finished it just now. It sucked me in; I couldn't put it down, and it was amazing. I loved it. The characters were very good -- very, very well written. I'm going to have to buy this one. It's the first book I've cried while reading since HP 7 (as embarrassing THAT was to admit) and worth every second. I think this is the kind of book you probably can't fully appreciate until the life of a loved one is placed in your hands, until you've seen a close relative die. This book really hit me hard, but left me feeling hopeful nonetheless. I highly recommend giving it a go.

message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen Donnelly My Sister's Keeper was the first Jodi book I read. I loved it so much...I pretty much became obsessed with her books and I've now read them all.

Oh...and I cried MANY times during HP7. LOL!


message 23: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 24) Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

"But is it not written, 'If you have another one you won't have an appetite for your dinner'?"

message 24: by Melynna (new)

Melynna I'm halfway there!

25) Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

A nice little read, but nothing amazing.

message 25: by Melynna (last edited May 12, 2008 08:46AM) (new)

Melynna 26) Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

I found myself skimming a lot of this book. It was way, way too wordy, going on and on about things that didn't have any pertinence and that I didn't care about. For the first while I just read it all, but when I realized it was far from being an isolated phenomenon, I skimmed. Even parts that were important to pay attention to were so drawn out that I couldn't stand reading through them and ended up just skimming them twice to find out what happened.

I liked the story just fine, though. If it had been told more expediently I think I really could've liked it. It also would have helped if I had not read Beauty just a few months ago, because in some places she even uses the same lines, which is frustrating. The story of this one is better, but Beauty is better written, in my opinion.

message 26: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 27) Deerskin by Robin McKinley

This book really sucked me in. It was well written and interesting, but I really didn't love it. I liked the relationship with the guy in the second half of the book the best, I think. The ending was a little too "REALLY old fashioned fairy tale" for me.

message 27: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 28) Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

It began interesting, lagged in the middle, and got better at the end. I actually really liked the end. I liked this less than the others I've read by Shannon Hale, but it was still good.

message 28: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 29) Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett

message 29: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 30) Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

message 30: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 31) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I haven't felt this ambivalent about a book in a long time. On the one hand, the writing is great, the story in engaging, and I couldn't put it down. I REALLY wanted to know what was going to happen.

On the other had, I spent the whole time saying, "come on! This is slow, overly dramatic garbage!" I rolled my eyes SO many times. None of the characters are very well done. Even the ones that you think are cool (not Edward and especially not Bella) are too flat and predictable.

Now I'm more frustrated than anything because I still want to know what happens, even though a large part of me does NOT want to sit through it. This is really aggravating. I wish she had just wrapped it up in one book and saved me from more of this driveling garbage (because I've heard it only gets worse!)

message 31: by *Nan* (new)

*Nan* (nan4471) I agree with you about the plot at some times but we have to remember that this is a book being written for teenagers and all the kids my duaghters age are loving it. I am looking forward to reading Host which is Stephenie Meyer's 1st book for adults and comparing it to Twilight.

message 32: by Melynna (new)

Melynna That's true, it is YA, so a little slack can be granted. But not enough to cover it, in my opinion. I read a bunch of YA stuff and this is remarkably sub-par, especially as far as characterization is concerned. That's my opinion, anyway.

message 33: by Melynna (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:34AM) (new)

Melynna 32) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Better plot, worse whining.

message 34: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 33) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Easy to put down. Disappointing ending, as predicted.

message 35: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 34) Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett

Awesome. "I find his more-gothic-than-thou attitude extremely irritating."

message 36: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 35) The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

A nice little read. A bit laggy.

message 37: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 36) From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

I liked this. After reading a lot of overly dramatic, whiny novels (think Twilight) I decided to go with children's books for a bit, and this was a good start.

message 38: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 37) Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

I didn't like this one anywhere near as much as the first. Anne's lost that spark she had as a young girl that made the first book so great. Plus, this one was slow and kind of blah. I gave it a three because it did have some good parts.

message 39: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 38) Rules by Cynthia Lord

I really, really liked this book. I've lived with a teenager who had severe autism, and this painted a very realistic picture of life with autism -- the happy times, the frustrating times, the funny times. I would certainly recommend this to kids.

I really liked how clearly it showed that the main character was torn between wanting different things for herself. I love it when kids books deal with good dilemmas in a good way, and this one did just that.

message 40: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 39) Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

This book was freakin' amazing. I recommend it to absolutely everyone.

message 41: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 40) Cat Scratch Fever by Tara K. Harper

I read this because I remembered reading it when I was about 13. I remembered only the basic plot and wondered how good it was, so I got it from the library to see. It was okay. Nothing spectacular, but the second half of the book, at least, kelp me wanting to read on. The first part lags a lot and is just plain stressful. In fact, throughout the book the writing is overly descriptive. I found myself skimming for the meat of the information quite a bit. Another drawback was the way the futuristic technology was described. There were several places where I had no idea what was being said. Overall, though, it's an okay read.

message 42: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 41) Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Very nice.

message 43: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 42) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

I think this book was very interesting to read. It raises the issue of totalitarianism and censorship without being heavy-handed. The read itself is a delight -- reading the letters the people send to each other as they have to be more and more careful what they say is very interesting and fun. A quick and easy read that is worth the time.

maybe I should set a new goal for the year -- 75? 100?

message 44: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 43) The Wish by Gail Carson Levine

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but I ended up liking it very much. I think the characters are well done and the plot is interesting enough. Definitely a book I would recommend to a kid whop was worried about not having friends or not being popular. Or maybe even to a kid who I thought was too popular.

message 45: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 44) Way Down Deep by Ruth White

It was okay. Nothing great, but a nice little read.

message 46: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 45) The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli

I expected more after reading Maniac Magee, so I was a little disappointed.

message 47: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 46) The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

This would be fun to read to a kid, but I thought it was particularly lacking in depth. I'm surprised it's a Newberry winner.

message 48: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 47) A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

Absolutely wonderful. I'm glad I reread it -- it was even better this time around.

message 49: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 48) The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

I enjoyed this. It was really interesting, but sometimes I was like, "come on! All of the vital information in this book could be written in a chapter!"

message 50: by Melynna (new)

Melynna 49) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It was okay. Kind of irritating, but okay.

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