Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2012! > Jennifer A.M's 50 book list 2012

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 1.Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
2.Basic Black by Cathie Black
3.Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
4.Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay
5. 7th Heaven by James Patterson
6. Blasphemy by Douglas Preston

message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 33 comments How were the Dexter books? I am torn about reading them! Half of me wants to see what happens, and half of me doesn't want to ruin it because I LOVE the show so much!

message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments The first book, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter", is really quite fun. It follows the TV series to a "T" at least so far.....I have only seen the first 5 episodes of the Showtime show. Jeff Lindsay is not an excellent writer. Some of his stuff is a little clunky, but the character of Dexter is delicious. The 2nd book "Dearly Devoted Dexter" pulls away from the initial character of Dexter and uses him more as a narrator for other events happening with other killers. The 3rd book I did not care for much, it dips a little too far into the fantasy/sci-fi elements for my taste. All in all I would definitely read the first one, and if it intrigues you, read the rest.

message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 33 comments Thanks, I think I might just read the first one.

message 5: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 7. Double Cross by James Patterson

message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I really enjoyed this book about a high functioning autistic boy who decides to write a book about the mysteries of his life.

message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I picked this up on a whim, but I really enjoyed it. It is not an easy read by any stretch, but the characters are very well thought out and weave in and out of the main story very easily.
I'm only starting book 10 today so wish me the best of luck towards my 50 book journey!

message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 10. Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson
This was such an easy read. I think it took me about 4 hours. It is light and romantic. It does bring up one issue that isn't actually resolved in the end, but it isn't the type of book you truly think about much when it is over. An enjoyable read over the weekend.

message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 11. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. I am not going to go crazy and read everything he has written because I know there are books of his I do not like just after the first 3 chapters. But all in all this was a good book reading experience. I felt like this book was well edited, which I liked - I feel editing is a problem in some of King's more recent novels. To me (and many will not agree with me) I feel like there are too many detailed descriptions of things that don't matter to the crux of the story or do anything to move the plot along.

message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments I better stay home the next few weekends and get reading! I am only finished with 11!

message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 12. The Jane Austen Book Club
Being that I am not a huge Jane Austen fan I am not sure why I picked up this book. I think because it said New York Times Bestseller on it and there was a little tickle in the back of my brain that there was a movie version of it. That said - it was an enjoyable read. It is somewhat predictable and nothing particularly smashing happens to any of the characters - but still each character is interesting in their own way. I recently saw the trailer for the movie and it looks like they added a little spice to some of the characters lives - especially Prudie the French teacher. This book is definitely a beach/backyard read and I would think fans of Austen would enjoy it even more than I.

message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 13. Sail by James Patterson & Howard Roughan
A very quick no brainer read for the backyard. Not a lot to it - easy to get through - no major mystery or plot twists. A simple story written at a fast pace. Fun - not award winning.

message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 14. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart. This book is a YA novel with a lot of pages. A simple classic story moves along with sweet and endearing characters. Very obvious good vs. evil type of plot line - highly recommended for young readers aged 10 ish.
I am starting number 15 this weekend!

message 14: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 15. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi

I am a big fan of all of Douglas Preston's books as well as his co-authored series with Lincoln Child. I went into this book fully aware that it was non-fiction, but I guess somewhere in my subconcious I still thought it would be more like his fiction novels. The Monster of Florence refers to a serial killer who murdered young lovers who had parked their cars in the farm fields. Mr. Preston is a key part to the case as well as his Italian co-author Mario Spezi. Mr. Spezi is arrested on suspicion of being the murderer and the book details much of his trial. The first half of the book details the trials of all of the other "monster" suspects.
While the details of the case are fascinating - much of the book reads at a slightly tedious pace. Sort of like a 300 page newspaper article. Plus - there is no real ending, because it is non-fiction and the killer has not been caught, there is no big wrap up at the end. An interesting read - maybe someone with a law background would find the trials more captivating. I advise only those who want to nitty gritty itty bitty details of this trial to read this book.

message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 16. Fashionistas by Lynn Messina
An easy chick lit read about a young woman named Vig who works at a fashion magazine. She is coerced into a plot to overthrow the editor in chief of the magazine, and of course things go awry. It starts out a little slow - but I thought the ending was kind of fun even though it was pretty predictable. I needed something light and this was a good choice.

message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 17. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
A fascinating look at Frank Lloyd Wright's personal life through the eyes of his mistress, Mameh Borthwick Cheney. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes to read historical fiction, I felt it was very well written and I really cared for Frank and Mameh and all of thier troubles. A good beach read or a good curl up by the fireplace read.

message 17: by Jennifer (last edited Aug 18, 2008 01:06PM) (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 18. All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling Down House by David Giffels

I totally loved this book. I felt like the author had peered into my life and then wrote a fictionalized account of it for his book. Funny then that the book is a non-fiction account of the author's own life. To be quite honest, I think I was in the perfect frame of mind when reading this book. I too am renovating a house though not quite as extensively as the author's project. Much of his relationship with his wife reminded me of my relationship with my own husband and of course our respective families. Those who have never done home renovation may not enjoy the amusing anecdotes that Giffels has to offer, but boy if you've been there, this is a book that will win your heart and an author that will win your sympathies.

message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 19. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Lillian Jackson Braun
I listened to this in my car and it was the perfect type of book for driving back and forth to work every day. Easy to pick up where you last left off and not so complicated that you had to pay diligent attention. Simple good hearted characters with an old fashioned murder mystery thrown in.

message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 20. Tethered by Amy MacKinnon
I read good reviews of this debut novel, but after slogging through all 250 pages, it is just sad, sad, sad. The themes are dark and depressing and deal with murder, loneliness, and child abuse. The characters are very well written and the story moves along well, it is just too much of a downer for me.

At 20 books and only 4 months to go I don't think I have much hope for reaching my goal. I guess 20 isn't horrible for someone with a full time job and a house to renovate......

message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 21. The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
This is a book basically written for a 3rd grade reading level with an atrocious amount of bathroom humor and a relatively uninteresting storyline. The last 40 pages are better than the rest of the book - but that still doesn't make it remotely worthwhile. I had to FORCE myself to finish this and if I wasn't doing this challenge I would have put it down after the first 20 pages.

message 21: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 22. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffen
A sweet, well written, chick lit novel about 30-somethings living in New York. One is getting married to the man her best friend is in love with. An easy enjoyable read and I will definitely read the next one.
(Woe is me - I am not even halfway done with the challenge and there are only 4 months left!)

message 22: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 23. Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
This is a very disturbing book about a female serial killer and one of her cop victims who lives to tell of her tortures. The torture scenes are extremely graphic and not for the faint of heart. There is also the storyline of a young newspaper reporter/ her messed up love life and her accidental involvement in a case of missing teenage girls. The story was compelling enough for me to read in one sitting even though I should have been doing more productive things. It reads very much like a true crime book, the kind with the creepy black and white photos on the cover, but with more character development and detailing.

message 23: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 24. Pledged by Alexandra Robbins
An undercover journalist follows the lives of four sorority girls at a State University. Lots of drugs, sex, violence and mean girls. I'd take it with a grain of salt. I wasn't Greek in college for many of the reasons in this book and I certainly wouldn't try to persuade anyone to join the Greek system after reading it.

message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 25. One For The Money by Janet Evanovich
This was my first foray into this multi novel series. I enjoyed it for the most part as a fast moving murder mystery set in New Jersey. The characters are likeable and I might even read the next one.

message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 26.
Hatter M: The Looking Glass Wars Volume 1
by Frank Beddor, Ben Templesmith, Liz Cavalier

This is a very well illustrated graphic novel. However - I feel it is more of a companion piece than a stand alone. Although I knew the gist of the story - some of the elements and characters were unclear in this graphic novel. I think this piece would be better appreciated if you read it after you read the regular novel.

message 26: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 27. Joe College by Tom Perrotta
I really enjoy Perrotta's books. This one was not as good as Election or Little Children, but it was still an entertaining read. I am still looking forward to reading the Abstinence Teacher.

message 27: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 28. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This was a favorite from my childhood. I read it out loud to my husband while he was sick. It is a great read aloud book. It details the story of two children who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I remember being fascinated by them sleeping in the antique bed and bathing in the fountain (collecting the spare change from the bottom) and finding a mysterious statue. This is still a great read and highly recommended for readers aged 8-13 and adults who enjoy YA lit.

message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 29. Nifkin
30. A Newberry Christmas

Well -It's December 11th and 30 isn't too bad. I will restart my list for 2009. I had fun reading everyones posts!

message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments OK - Starting over in 2009
1. Dangerous Admissions by Jane O'Connor
2. Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy

message 30: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 3. Double Cross by James Patterson
Not bad - I read it over the weekend. Some interesting stuff about Darfur and the political upheaval going on in Africa. Lots of violence.

message 31: by Leshawn (new)

Leshawn | 460 comments I love that you read "From the Mixed up Files" to your husband when he was ill. How sweet is that? I just laid my hands on a copy and I'm excited to read it soon.
I really enjoyed Tom Perrota's "The Abstinence Teacher".
Keep up the good work! Le Shawn

message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 4. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kid

I saw that a lot of people did not really like this book. I thought it was pretty good. Very thought provoking. Many of the complaints are that the protagonist didn't have any "real problems", but that is really a matter of opinion. Maybe she isn't destitute or dying, but she is obviously struggling with something that is making her unhappy. If you spend too many day struggling with unhappiness you become depressed which I would classify as a "real problem". I enjoyed the descriptions of the little island town and although the plot is not all that mysterious or deep, I found it too be very real and interesting. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy a very real every day life kind of feel to their fiction.

message 33: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 5. The Hearse You Came In On by Tim Cockey
I easy read murder mystery where the main character, Hitchcock Sewell is an undertaker. He gets involved in a murder case headed by a beautiful yet disturbed detective named Kate. There is sort of a bizarre sub plot of Hitchcock and his ex wife Julia participating in a community theatre production of Our Town. It didn't bother me, but it seems expendable as a storyline. All in all, I enjoyed the book and will probably pick up the next in the series.

message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 6. Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
I wanted to read this pulitzer prize winning play before I saw the movie. Now I am even more interested in seeing the movie since the play is so short (60 pages) and it ends so abruptly. I felt very much loyalty to one of the characters and totally against the other.

message 35: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 7. Run For Your Life by James Patterson
Not his best, but not his worst. It was C+ thriller that I read in my lazy boy recliner with a cup of tea on a day off from work after I cleaned up the kitchen.

message 36: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 8. I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
A lovely little novel by a British author. I was a little disappointed in the ending, but I did laugh out loud a few times while reading it. While I am no hedge fund manager, I am concerned about going back to work after I have my baby in May. I hope I cope just as well as our protagonist, Kate Reddy. Maybe I hope I cope better.

message 37: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It's not great writing, but it kept me hooked till the end. I may or may not read the sequels.

message 38: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments Read the sequels...I'm not a huge fan, but the last two were truly page turners. I found myself truly hurrying to turn the page...she has excitement down.

message 39: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 10. Something Blue by Emily Giffen
I recommend these chick lit/light romances to anyone looking for an easy afternoon read in the sunshine. I am going to pick up the 3rd book which is "Baby Proof" very soon. The first two, "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" go together, but I think the 2nd two are stand alone.

message 40: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) Yup "Baby Proof" is a stand-alone

message 41: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments Whoohoo for your first 09 ten!

message 42: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments 10. Cemetery Dance by Preston/Child
11. 8th Confession by Patterson
12. Old City Hall by Robert Rutenberg

message 43: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments So - that whole having a new baby thing ate up some of my reading time.
Since I have only 7 days left until 2010, I don't think I am going to make it. Not even gonna do better than last year. Oh well, I'll suck it up, there is always next year! 50 is still the goal!
Here is the rest of my list since July.
13.Swimsuit by James Patterson
14.Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman (did you know she was married to Michael Chabon?)
15. Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno
16. Her Fearful Symetry by Audrey Niffenegger
17. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
18. Heat by Bill Buford
19. Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
20. Stori Telling by Tori Spelling
21. Tourist Season by Carl Hiassen

message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments Well, I only made it to 21 last year. In my defense, I had a baby, and she took up a lot of my time. I am going to start the new year off right again with my 50 book goal. 2008 I was up to 30 books, but I have still never made 50.
Here is 2010's Book Number One.

1. Baby Proof by Emily Giffen

message 45: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments AARRGGHHH!
#2 Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I am so failing in my 50 book goal already! I need to go on a long vacation with a stack of books by my side. (not gonna happen).
OK, I vow to try and use my time more wisely and start reading more books!

message 46: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) Jennifer wrote: "OK, I vow to try and use my time more wisely and start reading more books!"

Sometimes it's hard to make time just for reading. I've had so many distractions this month that I'm even failing on my personal goal of reading four books a month. (Though I hope to squeeze in the "required" two before the week is over.) I wish you good luck on your quest to reading more :)

message 47: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments #3 The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke
I liked this pretty much. I thought it had some drawn out moments that were unnecessary, but still it was enjoyable. I liked the descriptions of Venice, and I thought all the characters that were children were fun. I would have liked a little more wrap up of the merry go round mystery, but all in all I thought it was good.

message 48: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments Yay!
#4 Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
This book is written in three sections. I loved the 1st section, really like the second section, and was left wondering about the third section. The character development is fantastic and the research the author must have done paints a very vivid picture the the time period. It does end very abruptly, and at first I was a little upset, but now I see that the ending is kind of a full circle of the two sisters relationship, so I am a little more excepting. I still would have liked one or two more chapters.

message 49: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments #5 Nerd in Shining Armor
by Vicki Lewis Thompson
The backwoods hillbilly speak is a little much in this book. I did find myself rolling my eyes more than once when Gen spouts out her "scratching like a polecat wearing ridgerunners" types of comments. But all in all it was a sweet totally predictable romance novel which was just what I was looking for after reading some deep and somewhat depressing historical fiction. It only took me two days to read this over a weekend, so I recommend it as a beach read for anyone who likes contemporary romance novels and nerds.

5 books by March 9th is awesome for me! I am excited to face my 50 book challenge!

message 50: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer A.M. (jenniferam) | 106 comments Started the Lost Symbol and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Both are very long, but they have been on my to-read list for a great while. I want to finish at least one of them by the end of this month if not both. I have heard VERY mixed reviews on both of these novels.

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