75 Books...More or Less! discussion


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message 1: by Yassemin (last edited Feb 25, 2010 04:19AM) (new)

message 2: by Yassemin (last edited Apr 09, 2010 11:37AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) January:

I've tried to include a few lines on what I liked in the books I've read, or whether I did or didnt like them but I have reviewed most of them fully if anyone wants a more in depth analysis just look the book up.

1/ Agatha Christie: The mysterious affair at styles

Brilliant book! My first by Christie and not my last! 5*

2/Agatha Christie: Peril at end house-

Another good book by Christie, not as good as previous but still good nonetheless. 4*

3/Agatha Christie: One, two, buckle my shoe

My least favourite so far, very complex and too many characters, I lost track several times. Still not a bad book though, Christies writing is addictive and leaves me wanting for more! 3*

4/Emily Bronte: Wuthering heights

Loved this book, really enjoyed it although both the main characters were detestable and so it wasnt for the characters that I liked the book, more the premise. 5*s

5Jane Austen: Emma

My favourite classic so far. 5*s

6/Mammoth book of true horror

A mixed bag really, some parts interesting, some not. So giving it a fair 3*s.

7/William Codington: American Blue Blood

Really didnt like this book. Too Americanized for a Brit like me, so all the names and people in the book I wasnt familiar with at all and it just moved very very slow. 2*s.

message 3: by Yassemin (last edited Apr 09, 2010 11:39AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) February:

8/ Anchee Min: Empress Orchid

This is on my all time favourites list. I rated this one 5*s. It drew me in incredibly quickly and I quite honestly at times could not physically put it down. Loved all the characters well mostly which certainly helped. Would recommend this one highly

9/Peter James: The Prophecy

This book was amazing! Absolutely loved it! Best horror I've read in a while if ever and the first book to ever scare me at all! 5***

message 4: by Karol (new)

Karol Hi, Yas.

I've really enjoyed looking your list over. . . I saw you put Peter James' book on the recommended reads shelf. I added Empress Orchid, too. Both look really good - although I don't know if I'm brave enough to read "Prophecy".

message 5: by Yassemin (new)

Yassemin (yas666) Hey, sorry about late reply! Haven't had much reading time of lately as exams. Prophecy is fantastic, well worth a read unless your not a fan of horror in some fashion. Empress orchid is brilliant though, you'll like that. The Last Empress follows that but haven't read it myself yet!

message 6: by Yassemin (last edited May 03, 2010 01:31AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) March/April (a slow couple of months...exam time atm..will make up in the summer!:

10/ Peter James: Twilight

4*s. Really good book. Thoroughly enjoyed it, relates to a suspicious cover up in regards to someone being buried alive. Kinda horror/Kinda thriller...got one star less than previous as I preferred the other but this is Definitely worth a read!

11/ Patricia Cornwell- Body of evidence

3*s. A good read but not as good as Postmortem at all. Too many characters, sometimes confusing in parts, but wasn't a bad book just good as opposed to very good!

12/ Patricia Cornwell- All that remains

5*s!. This has been my favourite one so far although the ending wasn't particularly fantastic but still an ace book!

13/ Patricia Cornwell- Cruel and Unusual

4*s. Really liked this book and like the fact that its now developed a storyline which appears to continue into further books. I am looking forward to the continuance of it. All out of Cornwell books for now so gonna have to wait until I've read all my TBR on my shelf before I get the next bulk *sob*. She's really very very good! All these books have a certain addictiveness to them, I find it hard to stop reading and its a case of "just one more chapter" which never seems to work!

message 7: by Yassemin (last edited Jun 03, 2010 06:57AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) May

14/ Dan Brown- Angels and Demons

4*s! This book was superb! Enough said! Minus the one star due to the slightly boring scientific overdose bits at the beginning. That wasn't a flaw as such however. Read this book, end of! Might take a while to get into it as it did me but when you get into it, you really get into it

15/ JK Rowling- Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone-

5*s! I reread this for the first time in several years, I noticed as I didn't back then that it is fairly juvenile in parts but the sense of humour and adventure still made it a fantastic read. Now onto the next!

16/ JK Rowling-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

5*s!!! Just as good as the first time I read it, I loved this book!

17/ Dan Brown- The Da Vinci Code

3*s. A pretty good book but not as good as Angels and Demons by a mile. Some parts I skipped as it bored me a little but I kept reading anyway and overall it was good, just not brilliant.

18/ Peter James- Dreamer

4*s! Really enjoyed this book; it seems I have found a new favourite author! Would highly recommend!

19/ JK Rowling- HP and the prisoner of Azkaban-

5*s. Loved rereading this book and unbelievably my perceptions have changed so much since I originally read it. Before now, I always had this one down as the HP book I liked the least with #5- The Order of The Phoenix but after rereading this time around, it is my favourite one so far that I have reread. I wonder if it will continue to do so when I finished rereading the rest.

20/ JK Rowling- Goblet of fire-

Superb book. This is definitely where the general mood starts to change, more adult themes being introduced, a more dark/edgier plot coming to the fore. Makes for brilliant reading. Can no longer at this point see them as just juvenile books. Loved it!

21/ JK Rowling- Order of the phoenix.

5*s. Very good book although could have been shortened by a fair few pages by omitting some less interesting and over the top details/information. Also introduced me to one of my most detested characters EVER, Professor Umbridge.

22/ JK Rowling- The half blood prince-

5*s, one of my faves of the series although undoubtedly a much darker book than previous with many sad and vengeful themes introduced. Brilliant book.

23/ JKR- The deathly Hallows

5*s. Amazing book, the darkest out of the entire series and a lot more grief, sadness and anger, making this book an emotional rollercoaster!

message 8: by Yassemin (last edited Jun 28, 2010 06:08AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) June

24/ The Pillars of the Earth

OMG! This book was Amazing!! ... I absolutely loved it, gave it a fully deserved 5*s!! I felt such hatred and empathy towards different characters as they were brought to life so realistically, it almost felt as though I was there, in medieval England watching all the events unfold. I will be picking up the sequel asap!!

25/ James Herbert- The Dark

2*s.I really like this author, most of the time.
This book however just wasn't my cup of tea. I have never been a fan of zombie based novels or films and so when I discovered this book was kinda along those lines, it was a struggle to get through, as I quite honestly find zombies boring.
The low rating is NO reflection on his ability as an author, he writes and develops his characters fairly well but I just really struggled with this book. I will pick up more of his work but avoid the zombie themed novels!!

26/ Jodi Picoult- Handle with care

4*s.Really liked this book, although by now I'm aware Jodi uses the same way of telling the story all the time and therefore might be seen as boring, I would have to disagree. In the case of this particular book though, its let down was its ending. I didn't like it at all.

This author is one of my favourites, she really writes so well, I was unable to put this book down for large periods of this time and I often find this is the case with all her other books (apart from MSK which I detested and TSHW which was blatantly an early and poorly written novel).

On that basis, I will continue to read her books as a long as she writes them, same old stuff she may be, but good writer also.

27/ Ralph Ellison- Invisible Man

2*s. The first few chapters were boring, full of overt description, lack of decent plot and lack of relation to the character, I at this stage became tempted to put it down, I perservered and it did get better, introducing a plot of sorts and more substance to the character. However, I bypassed so many paragraphs because either they were incoherent or just plain irrelevant which hampered my enjoyment of this book. So, an okay book but I believe better ones that cover this period of 1940s racist America exist. I wouldn't reread this by any means.

28/ Mary Shelley- Frankenstein

4*s! I seriously cannot believe it took me this long to get around to this book. I absolutely loved it and think it fully deserves its classification as a classic. It was quite creepy too and well executed for a gothic book (I sometimes find them hard to read~). Will probably reread in future!

29/ Bram Stoker- Dracula

3*s. Fairly good book, but it dragged in several parts and was a lot longer than it could have been, causing me to skim a couple of times, however a good book nonetheless and would/maybe reread.

30/ Patricia Cornwell- The Body Farm
4*s. As good as usual by this author!

31/ Patricia Cornwell- From Potter's Field
3*s. Didn't enjoy this as much as any of the previous ones and would go as far as to say it was my least favourite in the series so far. Not sure why but it kinda dragged a little. Not bad, but not brilliant.

message 9: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4150 comments Mod
yas, May was a great reading month for you!

message 10: by Joy (last edited Jun 04, 2010 03:56PM) (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Wow! Glad someone had a productive reading month in May, cause it sure wasn't me, with my sad 'lil 4 books read...=/...good Job Yas!! I have the Da Vinci code in my TBR pile your 3 stars give me pause, but I'm still looking forward to it!! I like how you have done your list here, categorized by month and then a little blurb next to each one! Very nice!

message 11: by Yassemin (new)

Yassemin (yas666) Lol Andrea, it was cause I finished my exams at beginning of May so took advantage of free time straight away!

Joy- Thanks!! Well the Da Vinci code WAS good hence but just not brilliant and I definitely preferred Angels and Demons- couldn't put that one down!

message 12: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Yas wrote: " June

24/ The Pillars of the Earth

OMG! This book was Amazing!! ... I absolutely loved it, gave it a fully deserved 5*s!! I felt such hatred and empathy towards different characters as they ..."

I have this one in my TBR stack for this year...I don't know if I will get to it this year, as I have already sorta tackled my quota of chunksters for the year already, but It is on my TBR shelf!! Glad to see you gave it a 5 star rating!

message 13: by Yassemin (new)

Yassemin (yas666) Yeah it was really good! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get to it!

message 14: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4150 comments Mod
I loved both Da Vinci Code and Pillars of the Earth! I'm working myself up to buying and reading World Without Ent. Did you ladies know Pillars is being made into a mini-series.....


I was so excited to discover this after reading the book. I think the sets will be AMAZING!

message 15: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Andrea wrote: "I loved both Da Vinci Code and Pillars of the Earth! I'm working myself up to buying and reading World Without Ent. Did you ladies know Pillars is being made into a mini-series.....


Wow!! Now i really got to get to the books, I always like to read them before I "watch them".

message 16: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4150 comments Mod
I am the same way! I've missed many good movies because I won't watch until I read if I'm planning on reading. Another reason I'm more of a nut case!...lol

message 17: by Yassemin (new)

Yassemin (yas666) Yay I can't wait to see that!! :). Sounds awesome!

I don't know what to do when movies come out like should I read the book first or watch the movie first. Most don't live up to expectations of the book usually either..

message 18: by Yassemin (last edited Jun 07, 2010 12:53AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) It will be interesting to see who play/portrays Hamleigh, I hated that guy so much! *edit* OH WOW, THE guy is soooooo hot lol!

And one of my favourite actors is playing Phillip. I'm so excited! Andrea do you know when this will be released?

message 19: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Andrea wrote: "I am the same way! I've missed many good movies because I won't watch until I read if I'm planning on reading. Another reason I'm more of a nut case!...lol"

Yay for nut cases!! I am SO like that too!!! lol...I just think I want to read how it was supposed to be first, and like in my head how I see things when I read it and I like to compare to see how Hollywood sees it...weird! lol...

message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan Joy wrote: "Andrea wrote: "I am the same way! I've missed many good movies because I won't watch until I read if I'm planning on reading. Another reason I'm more of a nut case!...lol"

I read this so long ago that I may need to pick it up and do a quick reread (is it possible to do a quick reread of a book this long???) before the mini-series airs. I like to read the book first because usually gives you a much deeper understanding of the characters and the events as they unfold. (It make me feel somewhat superior to those who are watching that haven't read the book :) Just checked the link and am sorry to see that it is on Starz, which I don't get. The premier will be July 23rd with a two hour episode and then 6 one hour episodes. But I do subscribe to netflix which has an arrangement with starz and ususally you can stream Starz offerings directly to your computer - don't know if that will apply to original programming and also don't know if I want to watch such an epic on my laptop screen.

message 21: by Yassemin (new)

Yassemin (yas666) Hmm I might have to wait for it to come out on dvd. Can't wait though. Yeah I get and agree with your point about reading beforehand. I would try and skim it before watching again if its been a while for you!

message 22: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4150 comments Mod
Well, I'm glad that you guys understand my rule even if other people don't...lol

message 23: by Yassemin (last edited Jul 31, 2010 11:02AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) July

Most likely going to be a slow going month for me. I'm currently reading woman in white and plan to read Anna Karenina!

32/ Wilkie Collins- Woman in White

5*s! Loved this book. Tells the victorian story of the mystery surrounding the "woman in white", from a variety of different characters perspectives. A very enjoyable read as I both liked some and disliked some of the characters and no feeling of apathy existed as to my feelings towards the characters as I get with some books. The book was extremely well developed! Now onto Anna Karenine!

33/ Ross Kemp- Gangs

4s*. Loved it! This book was an awesome insight into the various gang cultures of different countries in today's society. Ross Kemp struck me as a man of such bravery and courage and extremely admirable, he took many risks trying to interview various gang members and none of which he avoided. I would certainly recommend this book if your interest lies with true crime.

34/ Ian Mcewan- Enduring love

4*s. Having not enjoyed Atonement, I wasn't betting on this book being particularly good and probably wouldn't have picked it up, had it not been one of the more appealing options of the 1001 books. It surprised me, I found that I really did enjoy it, so much so, I got it yesterday and finished it today! I therefore am not put off by reading any more of this authors work despite not liking atonement.

35/ Murakami- Kafka on the shore

2*.I previously read and loved this authors Wind Up Bird Chronicle so it was a disappointment for me when I had to give up trying to enjoy this book.. His writing style is brilliant and extremely readable but the lack of plot at page 300 was enough to make me go, this really is boring now. I will pick up more work by him though simply because I love his writing style and loved the previous book. This was just one of those incredibly overrated books that to me, just didn't deserve the hype.

36/ Kazuo Ishiguro-Nocturnes

3*s. A small collection of 5 stories relating to music in some form or another. I particularly liked 3 of them but found the last two more tedious. Not my usual book though, picked it up at random. Would try more of Ishiguros work as it comes recommended but overall this wasn't my kind of book.

37/ Joy Fielding- Still Life

4*s.A sign of a good book is usually an incredibly good first chapter, drawing you into the story leaving you wanting more.

This wasn't the case with this particular book, the first chapter introduces 3 girls who could be perceived as "airhead", rich, beautiful, good standards of living and perfect lives (well in the case of Casey). It sounded initially as though it was the start of a chick lit book (I HATE chick lit) and took me a while to get past that. However, I persevered and found myself enjoying the book and read it in one sitting! This was my first try of this author and I would probably try some more.

38/ Kazuo Ishiguro- Never Let me go
5*s!!!I picked this book up for the 1001 reads before you die, it was always one of the ones, I most highly anticipated reading and I sure wasn't disappointed. The story is told from the persective of Kath H, one of many "clones" that live a secluded and sheltered existence in a place called Hailsham. They exist, never being fully aware of their purpose.

Their purpose is quite simple, to eventually leave Hailsham and become a donor, donating vital body organs for the sick and dying, until their stage of completion, where they die.

This book is definitely not a feel good book, it is extremely dark, twisted and depressing but that doesn't retract the fact that it is an awesome book

39/ Leo Tolstoy- Anna Karenina

5*s!At just over 800 pages, this book requires a lot of effort and time, I consider it to have been worth it.

It took me a while to read (approx 2 weeks) but simply because it was a book to savour rather than its length, I felt in no dire need to rush my reading of it and didn't want to.

message 24: by Yassemin (last edited Aug 28, 2010 03:10AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) August

40/ Jodi Picoult- Tenth Circle

4*s. Usual good stuff from Jodi! Not my favourite one though.

41/ Jodi Picoult- House rules

3*s. Okay so if the ending hadn't disappointed me, this would have been a four star book, it had the usual good stuff typical of Piccoult novels, a good premise and good, well developed (if not sometimes cliched characters). I enjoyed the book mostly though I did think it was unnecessarily long and could have been shortened somewhat but then it ENDED. Yes, it just suddenly ended, I felt quite annoyed actually, no resolution had been given to the story at all, no verdict to the trial that was the whole purpose of the damn book. A very shitty ending, for that reason this is a 3 star book. Not happy with that ending whatsoever!! Shame as I usually can't criticise any of Jodi's work.

42/ Joe Hill- Heart Shaped Box

5*s. Knowing that Stephen Kings son wrote this made me feel a bit wary. I wasn't quite sure what to expect to be honest. All I can say is that you can tell this guy is as talented as the rest of his family.

This was a good old fashioned ghost story and it was very very good. It kept the pages turning very quickly after I got through the first couple of chapters. To begin with and throughout a couple of times, it seemed the writing was quite amateurish at times, at first it put me off but then I managed to see past it.

43/ Mark Haddon- Curious incident of the dog in night-time

4*s.When I first picked up this book for the 1001 books to read challenge, I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. I imagined the writing style would frustrate me and I generally wouldn't like it. This was not the case.

For the first ten pages or so, it took a while to get used to the very "black and white" writing style of the protaganist, a boy with Aspergers, but after that point, I no longer was bothered by it.I found the writing style eventually to be extremely readable and it became hard to put it down.

Predominantly this book is not so much about the murder of a dog that Christopher is trying to solve but about his family and his relationships and how he interacts with them, with his Aspergers.

This is definitely one of the better books on the 1001 books list and also gives us an education at the same time, an education into the mindset of a kid with Aspergers. A good book!

44/ Haruki Murakami- Norwegian Wood
5*s..After recently reading Kafka on the shore and being very disappointed (I hated it!), I was hesitant to pick up another Murakami so soon after (despite adoring my first- Wind up Bird). However, I was far from disappointed!

I wasn't aware when I began this book, that Norwegian wood is quite unlike his other works, it is not magic-realism in the slightest, its quite an ordinary, straight, romance novel....

At first, this put me off and I believed that this would be another 2* or 3 * book, but once I got into the book, I got into it big time. Murakamis writing has a way of fully immersing me inside his stories, making me care about all of the characters he creates.

Whilst I loved this book and would definitely re-read...The Wind Up Bird is still my favourite, regardless, I can't wait to get my hands on some more Murakami

45/ Stephen King- Skeleton Crew

4*s. Not a bad book! This would have been a 3 star book had it not been for 2 or 3 outstanding stories which deserved to boost the rating up.

I liked the majority of the stories, although as usual with most of SK's short stories, there are always a couple of duds! In terms of ratings;

1/The Mist (5*s)- Loved this one. Good character development, good plot.

2/Here there be tygers (1*s)- didn't get it, didn't like it. Pointless.

3/ The money (4*s)- Liked it! Good premise, still doesn't beat the mist though.

4/ Cain Rose up (1*)- Again, didn't get, didn't like, pointless.

5/ Mrs Todds Shortcut (3*)- Okay but quite boring after a while.

6/ The jaunt (4*s)- Great! More sci-fi than horror but still pretty cool!

7/ Wedding gig (2*s)- Boring but not completely pointless.

8/ Paranoid (1*s) WTF??

9/ The raft (3*)- Most people seem to rate this one highly, liked the premise but couldn't stand the characters, just plain annoying.

10/ Word processing of the gods (5*s)- One of my favourites with The Mist.

11/ The man who would not shake hands (4*s)

12/ Beachworld (3*)- Dragged in the end a bit.

13/ The reapers image (2*)- Okay. Nothing special.

14/ Nona (3*s)- Good start but dragged on too long.

15/ For Owen (1*)!!!? Obviously only Owen would see the point to this one...

16/ Survivor type (5*)- Fantastic, probably my favourite out of all.

17/ Uncle Otto's truck (3*s)- Okay, got boring though.

18/ Morning deliveries (4*s)

19/ Big wheels (2*)

20/ Gramma (4*) Another favourite!

21/ Ballad of flexible bullet (3*) Started off good but ended up skipping bits, dragged on too much. Interesting premise though.

22/ The reach (2*s) No point?

Overall a good collection.

message 25: by Yassemin (last edited Sep 17, 2010 06:15AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) September

46/ Rose Tremain- The colour
5*s. Loved it, definitely one of my new favourite authors! Didn't expect to like this as the premise sounded dull and picked it up for 1001 books challenge. BUT it seems I was pleasantly surprised! :)

47/ Peter Ackroyd- Lambs of London
5*s. I have discovered a new favourite historical fiction author!!

48/ Julie Gregory- Sickened

2*s. A good insight into Munchausen by proxy but that's its only redeeming feature as such.

The books writing itself was very amateurish and in some places wasn't in a very coherent order, it kind of jumped in places.

Also disappointed in the fact that the book wasn't as centred around the syndrome as I thought it would be, and went into detail over many other irrelevant things.

Wasn't bad by all means but only barely kept my interest really, I wasn't particularly dying to finish this book off.

49/ Fydor Dostoevsky- Crime and Punishment
2*s. I didn't completely finish this book if I'm honest but I read most of it so am including it. This book started off really well, and for the first few chapters I believed this was going to be a 5* book. Wasn't to be. From the half way point, it started to get boring, the plot that had been pretty thin in the first place had amounted to nothing and the book really started to drag to the point where it felt like a chore to pick it up so it was time to say enough is enough.. Not what I was hoping for at all.

50/ Steve Berry- The Alexandria Link
4*s. First book by this author (didn't realise it was a series), but it was awesome. Will have to read some more of his books for sure!

message 26: by Karol (new)

Karol Yas, I'm glad to hear you like Steve Berry. I've been teetering on the edge of a fence - will I read his stuff or not? I probably will dive in if not this year, then next.

message 27: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4150 comments Mod
Steve Berry writes a lot with James Patterson right?

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