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2010 Lists > JOE's 100+ Book Challenge in 2010

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message 1: by Joe (last edited Feb 25, 2010 10:42PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments Noble directive that I hope to complete:

A worthy challenge: this will probably include audiobooks, short stories, novellas and graphic novels as well; on average 4 books per month. The main challenge for me is that I read more than one book at a time, so when I finish, I'm finishing 3 or 4 books...

January 2010
1. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
2. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker, a graphic novel page turner!
3. A Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka
4. A Country Doctor by Franz Kafka
I wasn't quite ready for this one. A solid classic that stays with you longer than you expect it to.
5. 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut; a quick startling read. Well worth it.
6. The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flakel audiobook; coming of age piece of a young African American girl in urban America.
February 2010
7. The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King; an audiobook that was a great listen.
8. The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemmingway; brilliant Hemingway prose.
9. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala; refreshing read.
10. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In its true fairy tale format, I found this more on point than the movie. Audiobook & Kindle version. I found both rewarding.
11. The Wild Things by Dave Eggers: quite a wild and bumpy ride; glad to be done with it.
12. The Angel Experiment by James Patterson; a long wait for nothing. All promises fall flat. I read about five books a time. Looks like they are all coming home to roost.

February 2010
13. The Help by Kathryn Stockett; Let them "hep" themselves to some of your time. It will be time well spent. I absolutely loved this book and I look forward to the second trip through... Wow!
14. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Just finished the Outliers and it was a great read. My only regret is that I took so long to finish it. I didn’t realize how insightful all of his discoveries would be. I found myself dumbfounded at the end of each of the nine chapters. The major discoveries lie in the first third of the book. Gladwell personalizes his writing by sharing his own lineage in the epilogue which of course lines up with the sightings he presents.
15. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.
A lot of fire and an enlighteningly eye opening reading of life in the early part of the 20th Century for a black man.
16. My Father, Maker of the Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide by Eric Irivuzumugabe. Genocide. What a mind blowing experience to have survived and overcome... a heartwrenching read.
17. Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk; a super charged book; loved it.
18. The Lady with the Little Dog by Anton Chekov. Good story and better than average character development. I cared when I didn't think I would.
Good stuff and a worthwhile read.

message 2: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 19. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. What a western. Bloody, vivid and somewhat depressing.

message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 71 comments Thanks for your comments! They were short and to the point which really helped me navigate through books that I thought might be worth adding to my TBR list! I look forward to your future recommendations!

message 4: by Joe (last edited Feb 26, 2010 11:42AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments Thanks Stephanie. I'm glad it's helping you. I hope others can do that. It really does make a difference.

20. Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. I read this short story as a child and I don't quite remember it being this "grown up"; its nuances would be lost to those under high school age. A cool 40 minute listening experience that is very Washington Irving.

message 5: by Joe (last edited Mar 02, 2010 06:27PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments March 2010
21. The Remnant by Larry Stockstill. It was even better the second time around. The premise of the book says it all. We need solid integrity and accountability throughout the church. To effect that change, start with one: You. 'nuf said.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 22. Fasting: Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God. I'm so glad I got a hold of this book. The author shares and demonstrates how his church embraced a 21-day prayer and fasting period at the beginning of the year and found it became the key to a miraculously eye opening Christian walk for them.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 23. The Most Dangerous Game Wow! What a great read. This by far beats out any movie adaptation I’ve seen to date. I can still feel the humidity from the swamp, feel the bits of the insects, here the barking of the pack of dogs. So much story in so few pages. You owe it to yourself to read this one. What an adrenalin rush!

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 24. Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health I read this book about 10 years ago and I can honestly say that I was yet pleasantly surprised how much this book opened the eyes of my understanding regarding a healthy Christian walk.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 25. My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience Terrific set of essays that the author has gathered to open our eyes to what took place during the civil rights heyday from the mouths of many of its participants.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 26. Even Eagles Need a Push: Learning to Soar in a Changing World somewhat inspirational, but I was left wanting more from this streamlined version of What Color is Your Parachute? A few good nuggets.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 27. Roots: The Saga of an American Family: 30th Anniversary Edition, a blisteringly well done story that despite the controversy surrounding its authenticity is well worth reading (I listened to the 30 hour audiobook).

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 28. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, It's an interestingly sad and morose tale of a Dominican family's demise. The story I find is obscured by excessive swearing. You should also speak some Spanish because about 10% of the book is in Spanish or Spanglish. Diaz is a talent, but prepare yourself: the excessive writing and excessive swearing may be a turn off.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 29. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest; Wow! I’d seen the movie some time ago in the 20th Century, but the book is electric. Told from the half Indian’s point of view and not Jack Nicholson’s McMurphy character, (which makes far more sense considering the story's outcome). Kesey is a brilliant folk story teller/writer who's writing is tight and riveting. I recommend this one.

message 14: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 30. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life; Insightful and informative. For a Christian, these principles are absolutely priceless and will do much in helping to establish positive spiritual growth and a practical walk. Highly recommended.

31. The Penal Colony; A short story about a machine used for the slow deliberate execution of its clientele and the strength and valor of a man of principle. I had to read this twice to really get into it.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 32. Entering the Presence of God: Moving Beyond Praise and Thanksgiving to True Worship; Effectively fulfills the desire for more detailed information on worship for the Christian. I enjoy all of Prince’s writings. This one's no different.

33. Too Much Happiness: Stories; Dealing with real life can be mind boggling, but Munro glibly shows us how people make the best of it. Her prose smoothly and swiftly transports the reader into the time and era of each of the 10 stories in this collection. They are well worth re-reading.

message 16: by Joe (last edited Apr 02, 2010 09:01AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments April 2010
34. The Master Plan of Evangelism with Study Guide; Christ's plan for evangelism, simply set out and shown by his example. Doesn't get any more clear cut than this.

35. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West; This is the story of the life and death of that broom flying green gal from Oz told in a sprawling epic. If you don't keep the end in sight, you will definitely lose your way (if not your patience). Good, but I wouldn't read it again.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 36. Slumdog Millionaire; My review is based on the audiobook masterfully read by Christopher Simpson, Having just visited India, I found I was pulled right into the vivid storyline.

I loved the movie but I found the stories in the book far more moving. It’s originally entitled Q&A which is actually the story’s format. I haven’t been teary-eyed over many stories, but these really touched my heart. I wish the movie used a few more of these stories (while politically, I can understand why they didn’t). . It’s heavy at times, but a powerful read. I loved it.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 37. Meeting Dad; A very short story by a Goodreads author about two boys who finally meet the dad who abandoned them when they were kids.

38. The Poets' Corner: The One-and-Only Poetry Book for the Whole Family; A strong introduction to classic poetry read by very strong actors. Worth a listen. I wish it were more diverse, but it really does rekindle the thirst for poetry.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 39. The Cost of Discipleship; Those who are marginal Christians, will be put off by much of Bonhoeffer's writings, but if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then this work will be quite an eye opener.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments May 2010
40. Dune; Now this was really enjoyable and a great read. This is solid science fiction. (Amazing how well the TV mini-series stuck to the book.) Well done.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 41. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath; A blisteringly straightforward accounting of the surrender of US troops to the Japanese in the Philippines during the beginning of the WWII and their treatment thereafter. Harrowing!

42. Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community; Insightful and encouraging words on cherishing what God has given us. Bonhoeffer, a Christian many compared to Paul, was martyred for his beliefs by the Gestapo during WWII.

message 22: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 43. Wild Child: and Other Stories; You don't have to know much about the author's life or background to realize how many aspects of his character and experiences shine through the lives, attitudes, emotions and timber of the characters and plots of these 14 stories. They will leave an effect on you as well. There's a story here for almost every palate.

message 23: by Joe (last edited May 20, 2010 01:56PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 44. The Road; a well-written page turning journey down the road of a post nuclear USA. It’s bleak. It’s morose. It’s brutal and the story’s characters find they are definitely not in Kansas any more. It’s a Cormac McCarthy masterpiece that spares no punches. Intense, graphic and a worthwhile read. Their journey will stay with you for a long time.

45. A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer; Another good book for Christians on fasting and prayer although he does take a detour into the political, but it only strengths the points he makes about fasting and prayer. Yes it could have been said in less words, but then it wouldn’t be John Piper.

message 24: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 46. Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits; Lalani’s first novel reads like a free flowing expose of the lives of four desperate people who attempt to leave their plight in Morocco to illegally cross the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain for a better way of living. While it ends somewhat abruptly, it's a satisfying quick read -- well worth it.

message 25: by Joe (last edited Aug 17, 2010 08:17AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 47. Going to Meet the Man: Stories; These eight short stories will leave you hungry for more writing by Baldwin. They are all powerful and each one a different perspective on the issue of race in America. Increasingly intense, they give the reader a first hand view of what racism does to its practitioners, its recipients and the indifferent. Each story leaves quite an impression upon the psyche.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 48. Fast Sketching Techniques; Solid technique on sketching (as opposed to drawing); for a visual artist, the technique comes in handy sooner rather than later. Author gives many exercise to sharpen this skill. Highly recommended.

message 27: by Joe (last edited Aug 17, 2010 08:18AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments June 2010

49. Shantaram; An exciting epic novel about an Australian prison escapee who ends up etching out a life for himself in Bombay’s slums, and then within its Mafia. This saga is rough, nerve-racking, funny, inspiring and long winded (with lots of pontificating by its main character/author. I alternately read the 933-page tome and listened to the 43 hour audiobook. The characters will live with you for a while afterwards. (Johnny Depp was slated to do the film version. I wonder if that'll happen any time soon.)

message 28: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 50. Secret Son; I actually enjoyed this novel; (it just took me longer to get through than I had planned, but not due to any fault in the writing); it's a quick emotionally charged read, (however Lalami's first short story laced novel is clearly more exciting), but the plot in this one moves well and the dialogue is tightly written and gives the reader a strong flavor of Moroccan life on both sides of the fence. It's a solid YA book. I would recommend it.

message 29: by Joe (last edited Jun 23, 2010 02:52PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 51. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet; touching story that flits between 1986 and life in Seattle during wartime period of the 1940s and the relationship between a Chinese American and his Japanese American classmate and childhood sweetheart.

message 30: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 52. Cross Country; an action thriller starring who else but Alex Cross doing his detective thing again in the U.S. and in a few countries in Africa. Mind boggling cruelties abound. Peter Fernandez and Dion Graham give keen performances in this lightning fast audiobook.

message 31: by Joe (last edited Aug 17, 2010 08:20AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 53. Three Wrecked Men; These three novellas plunge into the lives of young men who have been dealt a strong hand in life and show how they choose to play it. Most times these stories are raw, shocking and intense, but at no time do you feel sorry for them. They play the hand they’ve been dealt the best way a wrecked man can. They survive. The narrators do a decent job with the material, the strongest delivery is that of Dion Graham.

Note: The language and subject matter may be offensive to some.

54. The Journal Junkies Workshop: Visual Ammunition for the Art Addict: A quick read but potent visual smorgasbord, this manual is a sudden jolt into the world of visual journaling. It's not a manual of how-to-do, but a TO-do reference book full of ideas and triggers to get you journalling on a ViSuAl bAsIs. I am both a writer and a visual artist, so this was like caffeinated candy for me. It really is visual ammunition for the art addict.

message 32: by Joe (last edited Aug 17, 2010 08:22AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments July 2010

55. The Good Earth; It’s an almost 80 year old classic epic depicting life in rural China written by the daughter of missionaries about the life and times of a farmer in pre-communist China where inhumane feet binding and land ownership were all the rage. It was written in the third person, through the voice/thoughts of the main character, which can be a little distancing, but the moral fiber of this classic tome shines through.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 56. The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are: This was very inspiring and it's going to be a reference manual for me; the author's definitely onto something with using drawing as a means to help tap into our creativity. I read it twice.

57. Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun: 52 rock solid fun and creative assignments, projects and exercises that will take the visual artist's creativity to new levels. For all skill levels. A fun reference manual with a year's worth of work.

message 34: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 58. Brick Lane: A Novel: The story of the life of an illiterate woman from a Bangladesh village who moves to London’s Brick Lane in an arranged marriage. Unfortunately, I found the storyline to be like a never ending diatribe.

message 35: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 59. Absolute Surrender: Murray sums up how the entire Christian life should be lived, should we ever decide get serious, in this simply written enlightening straightforward book.

60. The Power of Simple Prayer: How to Talk with God about Everything: If Meyers knows anything, she knows how to motivate believers to pray; this practically written, word specific book will totally change your view of prayer.

message 36: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments August 2010

61. The School of Obedience; simply stated pastoral manual on obedience to God and its benefits to a deeper Christian life.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 62. The Book Thief: A simple bittersweet story of how a German girl survives during Nazi Germany through the books she steals and learns to read and how this affects the lives of the people she comes to know.

message 38: by Joe (last edited Aug 31, 2010 01:59PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 63. Through the Psalms with Derek Prince: Great devotional walkthrough of the familiar passages of the psalms; great commentary by Prince.

64. Wise Blood: A quick wild ride of intensely written prose, doused with some pretty vivid characters who will enthrall you with their obnoxious ways, and whom you will likely forget soon after you finish this tale. Bronson Pinchot gives
this a brillant read.

65. I Am Legend: This is an intensely riveting, tightly woven piece of sci-fi that delivers quite a punch and is a nice departure from the movie featuring Will Smith; it’s a worthwhile read and the audiobook was expertly narrated by Robertson Dean.

message 39: by Joe (last edited Sep 04, 2010 04:24PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments September 2010

66. The Hunger Games A riveting action packed YA sci fi featuring a 14-year old heroine and a post war North America that you won’t soon forget.

message 40: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 67. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Powerfully written coming of age narrative by a Native American reflecting on his early life, its good times and bad will make you laugh and cry enough to read this book again.

message 41: by Joe (last edited Sep 13, 2010 01:56PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 68. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi: A wonderful classic about the brave character of a reluctant hero--even if that hero happens to be a mongoose.

69. There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America: A shocking sociology documentary that was written 20 years ago, but it is still unfortunately pertinent in our society.

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Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 70. Gideon the Cutpurse: Being the First Part of the Gideon Trilogy: An engaging YA time travel scifi trilogy. Look forward to more.

71. In a Strange Room: Bleh! This lost traveler’s trips weren’t worth reading about. The writing and storyline don't improve until two thirds of the way through. Pass on this one.

72. Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales: The stories are a nice assortment sampled from all parts of Africa, but the main event is found in the 19 narrators who bring these folk tales to life. Definitely worth a listen.

73. Catching Fire: So far this is my winner for YA scifi trilogy of the year. Part 2 takes place immediately after Hunger Games. You want to read this series.

message 43: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 74. Mockingjay: A brilliant ending to a very intriguing young adult sci-fi trilogy. Get all three books because the characters and storyline will demand it. Good work.

75. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven: A hodgepodge of short stories, many connected in some way, but all speak of Spokane Indian life on the reservation. The good thing: each of the 24 stories is better than its predecessor; the bad thing: most are very melancholy. Still a worthwhile reading.

message 44: by Joe (last edited Oct 07, 2010 10:20AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments October 2010

76. Life of Pi: The survival story of an Indian teen and a Bengal tiger in a boat in the Pacific Ocean on a long and torturous ride that is intriguing--at the very least--especially the last 20 pages... check it out.

77. Birdland: A depressed teen finds a way to overcome the loss of his older brother and recovering family. Touching.

78. The Candy Shop War: An action packed eye-opening small town war with kids, magicians and candies that make strange things happen when you eat them.

message 45: by Joe (last edited Oct 26, 2010 01:11PM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 79. The Monkey King: A Superhero Tale of China, Retold from The Journey to the West: a super Chinese fable of the infamous Monkey King. A worthwhile story to read. Stands the test of time.

80. The Yellow Wallpaper: Insanity has a new name and her is written in this book. A classic short story.

81. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: If you loved the movie, you'll love the book; if you don't know the movie (inconceivable!), then check this out first.

82. Glorious: A fictional account of the life of a writer from the Harlem Renaissance. A quick and riveting storyline that will stay with you long after you finish especially the author’s imaginative use of historical figures.

message 46: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments November 2010

83. I, Robot: Futuristic urban sci-fi. This reads like a graphic novel, but I got caught up in the stampede of a storyline. This is my first Doctorow book and merits another read through. It won’t be my last.

84. The Worshiping Artist: Equipping You and Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship: Strong refreshing teaching/study on the inner and outer life of a worshipping Christian artist. Also for the layman, Noland shares very revealing and enlightening information that will help artists who minister in the church grow and prosper in the walk. Highly recommended.

message 47: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 85. The Master's Indwelling: powerful heartfelt writing by Murray of sermons he's given that are still on point.

86. Reading Like a Writer; It was a long read, but provided a worthwhile examination and reintro to the classics for your troubles.

message 48: by Joe (last edited Dec 06, 2010 10:24AM) (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments December 2010

87. Patti LuPone: A Memoir: Lupone gives an apt reading on her survival in the treacherous waters of the entertainment industry. Very revealing and at times rewarding delivery. Her fans will love it.

88. Girl in Translation: Hong Kong immigrant coming of age novel that vacillates between being a fictionalized narrative and romance novel. Would have been quicker to read this than listen to it. Writing is a little choppy, but enjoyed the narrator.

89. The Daydreamer: Seven short stories sewn together as one foray into the life of a daydreamer. A children’s book for all ages. McEwan’s writing is excellent and he makes every word count. These imaginative stories will stay with you for a long time. If you’ve ever daydreamed, this is a must read.

message 49: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 90. The Time Thief: Solid middle book of the time travel trilogy. Storyline pulls me right into the final book.

91. Gregor the Overlander: Really loved the premise and the storyline of Collins' first YA series. Looking forward to more adventures in the Underland.

message 50: by Joe (new)

Joe (joewig) | 70 comments 92. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Nothing new here, but Elijah does a great job of narrating this period piece of Antebellum folklore.

93. Rogue Male: an old British thriller that still stands the test of time. I enjoyed this short novel about a hitman who is thwarted from completing his assignment and then tortured.

94. Invisible Man: Waited a long time to read this one. The storyline is shockingly riveting even nowadays. The long soliloquies are somewhat distracting though. Morton's reading is brilliant.

95. A Christmas Carol: An Original Performance by Tim Curry: A classic read and performance by Tim Curry. He adds nuances I've never heard before that take this familiar tale up a new level. Loved every moment.

96. Holiday Classics By O. Henry: Nice reading of three short tales “The Gift of the Magi", but I wasn't moved by any of them.

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