Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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2010 > Paula Y's 50 Books for 2010

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message 1: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments So far:
"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett



message 2: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments More books read:

The White Garden: A Novel of Virginia Woolf by Stephanie Barron

Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell


message 3: by Paula (last edited Mar 06, 2010 07:14AM) (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 4. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
5. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes
6. Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Enrenhich


message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma | 280 comments Paula wrote: "4. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
5. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes
6. Bright-sided: How the Relentless Prom..."


How did you like Alice, I Have Been? I recently got this as a freebie from the library and am so excited to start it. Should I move it up the list?


message 5: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments I liked it very much. It is historical fiction which attempts to answer the question why did Alice's family and Charles Dodgson end their friendship. It gives great descriptions of Victorian England's manners and mores, dress, and so forth. Move it up on the list.


message 6: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 394 comments I really want to read this book. Its still on my Amazon wish list waiting for the price to come down a bit though!


message 7: by Emma (new)

Emma | 280 comments Thanks! That sounds right up my alley. I am completely immersed in historical fiction right now and can't get enough of it! I also love Victorian England with an absolute passion-so it's good to hear someone give it a good review-it had been bumped up!


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments I haven't read any of the "official" reviews - I have always been fascinated with Alice in Wonderland ever since seeing the Disney movie, which made me read the book, then later on take a English Lit class which went in depth through the book with an annotated copy of the book (really interesting to do, if you can get your hands on a copy). Historical Fiction was a guilty pleasure until I took a class in it for my Master's Degree. Now it is just a pleasure! Enjoy "Alice".


message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments Finally I have finished another book - Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women (John MacRae Books) by Harriet Reisen. This was a wonderful book that corresponds to the program that was shown on PBS this winter. Alcott is shown from child to woman without any sentimentality or dramatics. She is flesh and blood showing all the struggles she and her family went through. This is another highly recommended read.


message 10: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments Hi - I just finished two more books - Piers Dudgeon's "Neverland: J.M. Barrie, The DuMauriers, and the Dark Side of Peter Pan" and "The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club" by Gil McNeil.

After Dudgeon's book, I really needed the "Yarn Club" book. I will never look at Peter Pan the same way again. A childhood favorite is now bizarre and now covered with mysteries and secrets. For example, did you know that the title was once "The Boy who Hated Mothers"? I don't think we have to call Dr. Freud to decipher that one. Barries' family and the DuMauriers were connected through marriages. They shared histories of hypnotism and sharing strange powers over the ones they loved.

The Yarn Club was a piece of fluff. It was easy to read like most knitting books and definitely brought my mind out of conspiracies and into spring again.

So, these two are 8 and 9.


message 11: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 10. Losing Mum and Pup. Christopher Buckley. Memoir of the son of America'a greatest Conservative, William F. Buckley. Well-written book, with anecdotes about his mother and father and their last days. Told with humor and affection. I really liked this book, and saw another side of Buckley. Losing Mum and Pup A Memoir by Christopher Buckley


message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead
by Paula Byrne Wonderful book about how Waugh's life contributed to the novel Brideshead Revisited. I was first introduced to Brideshead through the wonderful BBC production featuring Jeremy Irons. This production inspired me to hunt down the novel. When I saw this book at my library, I knew I had to borrow it. It helps to have a knowledge of the novel in order to make sense out of the book and of the time period. It is enjoyable, not the most easy read you'll come across, but well worth the time.


message 13: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments When You Are Engulfed in Flames (Hardcover) by David Sedaris When You Are Engulfed in Flames Sedaris, David When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

More fun by David Sedaris. I love Mr. Sedaris' writing and whenever I can see him I rush to buy tickets. His writing is quirky, funny, and always gives you something to think about.


message 14: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments The Age of Wonder How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes NOT a book for the faint of heart when it comes to reading. It will take a long time to read. I had to keep re-newing and re-newing it. But it was well worth it and gave me info about discoveries taken for granted and just how terrifying some of the discoveries were - i.e. ballooning.


message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 14. Unfinished Desires: A Novel
I didn't think Gail Godwin was still writing novels when I spied this book upon the shelves of the library. In the usual Godwin way, there are some twists and turns, that can keep the reader guessing. A tad confusing is the way the book goes back and forth from the present to the past. I enjoyed reading a Godwin novel again. Its a perfect summer book. Thank you Gail Godwin for giving us a book for summer 2010!


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 15. Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler The Council of Dads My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could Be Me by Bruce Feiler What a wonderful, thoughtful book. Who would you choose to explain you to your children if you couldn't be here? This is what Bruce Feiler faced when he was diagnosed cancer that had a prognosis that was not so good. Who would help his daughters make decisions when confused the way he would help them? Who would open their eyes to the colors and magic in nature the he could? Thus the Council of Dads was born. With the help of his wife, Feiler decided amongst his friends who would be there for his daughters; who would know him the best and be able to explain him to his girls. He knew his male family members would always be there, but his friends would have a difference experience, view of him. I loved this book. It isn't a tearjerker. It makes you scratch your head and think who would I choose? A definite read for all parents.


message 17: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments The Lace Makers of Glenmara A Novel by Heather Barbieri

16. A quick read of a book, so if you want to add to your list I highly recommend this book. I read it in two days and could have done it in one if I didn't have to do some errands and sleep. It is entertaining and follows the formula of the popular knitting novels. Girl gets inheritence and dropped by boy, has adventures, meets new friends. etc. etc. A very good summer read.


message 18: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 17. Family Album by Penelope Lively Family Album by Penelope Lively Not as quick of a ready like the Lacemakers of Glenmara, but still quick to get through. Follows the story of a woman and her immense family of children and their lives and the 'secrets' that make up their lives. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I would give it a 6. Too bad it isn't it paperback yet. It would be a very good beach book.

18. Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs. Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs Now this is a very easy read, and one should get through it in a weekend. It is one of the Friday night Knitting Club novels. And if you have been reading them, it is number 3 in the series. Not a bad book, not a great one either. Again, a good beach book. Should be a paperback!


message 19: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 19. South of Broad by Pat Conroy by Pat Conroy

I've been waiting for a long time for another book by Pat Conroy and this one didn't disappoint. Again a love song to the South with variety of characters. Violence, sex, humor, and the Catholic church all add up to another interesting book.


message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 20. MiddlesexJeffrey EugenidesMiddlesex Very interesting book. An Oprah selection, which meant I was slow to pick up and read it - but I took it to the beach this summer and enjoyed it.


message 21: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 21. The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen by Lynn Cullen. A wonderful historical fiction about the Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola and the Spanish court of King Felipe II and his young bride Elisabeth. Anguissola is a woman artist who studied with Michelangelo and later served as a lady in waiting to Elisabeth. Many of her paintings were credited to the artist El Greco and are now coming to light and being re-discovered. The book traces her time of study with the Maestro artist and her time in Spain (the fiction part). It is a good read and goes much too quickly.


message 22: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments The Purity Myth How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti A very interesting book and one that needs to be read in order to educate ourselves on just how the media and certain groups are once again setting up our young people to view women as things that need to be controlled. Our daughters are being taught to view morality through the lens of their sexuality. They are "good" if pure, "bad" if sexually active. Mixed messages are given through the media, our sons are given the message that they should "get sex" at all costs and then degrade the women they have sex with, etc. I thought we had changed this - but it is back with a vengeance and now being pushed through abstinence only education to our children in school. I know there are going to be a lot of people who are going to disagree with this - and this is only a review of this book. So - no debating with me. I liked the book and the message. There are other books out there that give a different message and opinion. So - once again - I'm not going to debate anybody.


message 23: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments Above book is 22. for me and is The Purity Myth.


message 24: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 23. The Heretic's Wife by Brenda Rickman Vantrease Another wonderful historical fiction. I have been devouring these over the past few months. This one takes place during Tudor England - Henry VIII is desperately trying to get a male heir and is trying to divorce Katherine to marry Anne Boleyn. The Protestant Reformation has taken hold on the continent and is taken hold in England mainly as a way to obtain Henry's divorce. But many see the reformation as a legitimate movement in which to worship. This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.


message 25: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 24. Still Alice by Lisa Genova by Lisa Genova. A beautifully written, wonderfully thoughtful book about a Harvard professor with early onset Alzheimer's Disease and how it affects her, her husband and children. Genova writes from the point of view of the Alice and what she goes through from the "I have the word on the tip of my tongue" moment to when she starts to recognize one daughter as "the actress". This book will stay with me for a long time.


message 26: by Paula (last edited Oct 10, 2010 05:50PM) (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 25. She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell I needed a quickie read, not too heavy book after "Still Alice" and this was just the remedy. Reminiscent of the Harlequin Romances, it is a 'throw away' book for me. Easy to read, easy to forget. And I'm half-way through!


message 27: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 26. Toward a True Kinship of Faith :How the World's Religions can come Together Toward a True Kinship of Faiths How the World's Religions Can Come Together by Dalai Lama XIV I plan to buy my own copy of this book. It took a while to read - I had to stop and ponder many things; which I think was the point the Dalai Lama was trying to make.


message 28: by Paula (last edited Oct 16, 2010 04:32PM) (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 27. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson Fifth Avenue, 5 00 AM Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson What a great book. It tell the story of how the movie was made and the players involved. One of the most interesting parts that weaves in and out of the book is the role the movie played in introducing the idea of a 'modern woman' to the world. One that lived on her own, had her own life, had sex and didn't live to regret it! Audrey Hepburn wasn't Capote's choice for Holly Golightly, and there were other choices for some of the other characters, too.


message 29: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 28. The Summer We Read Gatsby. The Summer We Read Gatsby A Novel by Danielle Ganek by D. Ganek. This would be a wonderful book to read on the beach. Two sisters together to sell their aunt's home in the Hamptons. Their aunt leaves them instruction to find something of value in the house. This leads the sisters on a search for this object. A light read, but a lot of fun.


message 30: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 29. The Paris Wife by Paula Melain The Paris Wife by Paula McLain This book is one that I won through Goodreads and a good read it is. The Paris Wife is Hadley Hemingway - Ernest Hemingway's first wife and their years together in Paris. Paula Melain book is historical fiction but weaves for me much of Hemingway's life story into the novel. Additionally, Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises" comes into play - Papa's writing of it and the events that may have inspired it. Hemingway was a very complex man who was one of the great writers of American literature. There are many books that trace his life and the lives of his wives, including Hadley's. As a novel, this book draws from those books and is meant to be enjoyed. I loved it and will be passing it around to friends. But I will be asking for it to be returned!


message 31: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 30. Day After Night. Anita Diamant. Day After Night by Anita Diamant Imagine surviving the concentration camps. Being hidden by neighbors, or surviving as a freedoom fighter or against your will as a prostitute in Paris. Imagine surviving the ships that were small, crowded, and stopped by the British Army as they tried to make their way to Israel. Imagine making your way to land and being interned, locked up, in another camp, a prison in Israel. The land that you were dreaming of that would represent freedom. Anita Diamant takes the true story of Atlit an internment camp for "illegal immigrants" in Israel and the escape of more than 200 prisoners in October 1945. She tells this story through 4 women who are interned in this camp - their past and their lives in the camp. Diamant, who wrote the wonderful "The Red Tent" tells another story of women and history. This slice is one that I think a lot of us didn't know and is one that we all should have knowledge of. Well-written, Diamant gives us a book of characters to care about - even when they aren't are their most pleasant. And she gives us a book about hope that can grow even under the darkness of circumstances. I highly recommend this book.


message 32: by Paula (last edited Nov 21, 2010 07:28AM) (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 31. Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt This is another great historical fiction that takes place in 1612 England and the start of the witch hunts. A family of healers become, through fear and ignorance, a a family of witches. A very good book.


message 33: by Paula (last edited Dec 04, 2010 06:29AM) (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 32. The Inheritance.Inheritance: The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles by Robert Sackville-West. A very interesting book about the history of one of the English country homes from its inception to present day. Written by its current inhabitant, its history from medieval times is traced through its owners, from male heir to male heir. One of the most famous it the writer Vita Sackville-West, who grew up at Knole but was unable to inherit it because of her sex. She is well known not only for her writing, but for her famous home, Sissinghurst - which has fabulous gardens. If you like anything English. You'll enjoy this book. Inheritance The Story of Knole and the Sackvilles by Robert Sackville-West


message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 33. I Don't Remember I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron This is the first book I read on my Kindle. Its a fast read and really enjoyable. Short vignettes about her life.


message 35: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments 34. The Queen's Governess by Karen Harper by Karen Harper. Interesting historical fiction about Elizabeth the I's governess. Traces her history within Tudor England.


message 36: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulay) | 200 comments Starting Over for 2011:

In no particular order:

1. Secrets of Paris by LuAnne Rice. Secrets of Paris

2. A Box of Darkness by Sally Ryder Brady A Box of Darkness: The Story of a Marriage

3. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

4. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland Clara and Mr. Tiffany

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca SklootThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

6. I Remember Nothing by Nora EphronI Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections


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