Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2011 > Alanna's 50 beginning Aug 2010

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message 1: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments I'm an English student and I often get distracted by my school books during the year and don't read for pleasure. I challenge myself to read 50 books this year, ending Aug 2011. I am going to include the novels that I read for my classes though!

message 2: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:28PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments Alright, so here it goes!

1) The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

This book was recommended to me a couple of years ago and I only just now got around to reading it. I love dystopian novels and am finding that there are some really great books in the 9 - 12 age group.

message 3: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:29PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 2) The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau

The People of Sparks is the sequel to The City of Ember. It follows the characters as they attempt to assimilate to the new culture they find themeslves thrown into. Another great book!

I definitely plan to finish the next two books in the series but I'm going to leave that for later.

message 4: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:30PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 3) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read Jane Eyre for the first time in my early teens. I'm going to be reading it for two of my English classes this year, so I re-read it now. I'm unsure of how I feel about this book, I enjoyed reading it but Jane isn't my favorite of literary heroines. It should be interesting to hear what my professors have to say about it.

message 5: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:31PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 4) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

I read this book in July, but I'm adding it simply because I finished reading the series this month and it only seems right to include the entire trilogy.

I was weary when I picked up this book because of its huge popularity but was pleasantly surprised. I found it quite enjoyable and it left me wanting more.

message 6: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:33PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 5) The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson

I enjoyed getting to learn more about Lysbeth Salander (the protagonist of the book), but I didn't find this book as interesting as the first.

message 7: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:33PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 6)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson

The final book of the Millenium Trilogy, assuming the other planned novels don't get published. I liked the preparation for the trial but I found myself losing interest as the book progressed.

message 8: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:34PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 7) Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

I'm going to be taking this book in a class later this year, so I got a jump on things and read it now. I enjoyed it. The plot isn't exactly thrilling; it's the protagonist who draws one in.

message 9: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:35PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 8) Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Almost everyone I know has already read this book and loved it and I'm glad to follow suit. Excellent book. Beautifully written. Heartbreaking.

message 10: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments Almost the end of August and I've read 8 books. It's obviously summer, I can't keep this up once classes start. Well, it's a strong beginning anyway!

message 11: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:36PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 9) The Divine Ryans by Wayne Johnston

School book. Not all that interesting, but I enjoyed the conversation it involved.

message 12: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 05:45PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments I haven't added to this for a while, so here goes:

10) Passing by Nella Larson

11) The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

12) Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

13) Beloved by Toni Morrison

The above books were all for my Feminist Literature class.

14) When Panic Attacks by David Burns

15) Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns

16) It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

17) Slam by Nick Hornby

18) How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond by Cesar Millan

19) 26a by Diana Evans

message 13: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments Well, it's been almost 4 months since I started this and I've already read 19 books. I'm thinking it shouldn't be difficult to do another 31 in the remaining 8 months. But one shouldn't get too cocky...

message 14: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 20)The Glass Castle

I read this book quite a few years ago, but I was browsing through my bookshelf looking for something interesting to read and decided to revisit it. I never really understood why this book is so popular so I was hoping to gain something more in a second reading. It's a decent read but nothing worth raving about, I enjoyed it both times but there isn't anything that in it that I found particularly memorable. I'm sorry to everyone who adores this boook, but it's nothing special in my opinion.

message 15: by Alanna (last edited Dec 13, 2010 03:05PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 21)Never Let Me Go

I picked up this book quite a while ago after reading a recommendation online but I didn't read it until now. I loved it. It was beautifully written and horribly sad. I could go on but I won't. Loved it, enough said.

message 16: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 22)Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

I read this a couple months ago and forgot to add it. Not very good, but one of my guilty pleasure reads.

message 17: by Alanna (last edited Dec 18, 2010 11:47PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 23) The Romantics by Galt Niederhoffer

I appreciate what the author was trying to accomplish: the idea of a group of old friends holding onto each other despite none of them truly liking each other anymore. I just don't think the author succeeded in adding the humanity to the characters she needed to make the book work and as such they didn't come across as likable. The subject matter doesn't work when the reader doesn't care about the happiness of the characters or appreciate the tragic circumstances of their lives. They all come across as spoiled children determined to make each other miserable. Good concept but lacking in emotional honesty.

message 18: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I also loved Never Let Me Go. Our book club had a wonderful discussion about it.


message 19: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 24)Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

I have a bias against Paulo Coelho for reasons I won't attempt to explain here and this book did nothing to change my opinion of him. I didn't hate the book but I didn't like it either.

message 20: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 25) Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

I was putting books away from the stack beside my bed and found this one that I had forgotten to add to this list.

I read this book for a class and I really liked it. I love memoirs, especially ones about women who live with different types of disabilities. I'm looking forward to the discussion we'll have in class about this book.

message 21: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I loved Autobiography of a Face. I remember when the author first referred to her face, and how I read and re-read the passage. This book should be read in conjunction with Ann Patchett's Truth and Beauty. Patchett was Grealy's friend--and did way more for her than I would ever have done. It puts a new perspective on Grealy's story.


message 22: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments Obsessedreader wrote: "I loved Autobiography of a Face. I remember when the author first referred to her face, and how I read and re-read the passage. This book should be read in conjunction with Ann Patchett's Truth and..."

I must admit I've never read any of Ann Patchett's writing. I'll have to pick up Truth and Beauty. Thanks for the recommendation!

message 23: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 26) An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

I've read this book before and picked it up again this week. It always comes highly recommended from doctors but it's not one of the better Bipolar memoirs I've read.

27) Manic: a memoir by Terri Cheney

I liked this book the first time I read it but liked it even more the second time around. Highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.

message 24: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 28) Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

This is a book I'd wanted to read for a while but I never got around to picking it up. I finally read it and LOVED it. It made me want to find the book of photography the author mentions in the Author's Note at the end of the book. Great read.

message 25: by Alanna (last edited Jan 19, 2011 12:12PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 29) Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher

This book is one of my all-time favorites. It's so intense. I just reread it for the third time.

message 26: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 30) The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I really didn't know what this book was about going into it. I've had a couple friends who've read it in the past and really liked it. It was really well done and I loved all the detail he put into the description of his burns. Generally this isn't the type of story I get into but I couldn't put it down. Really well written, especially for a first time author.

Also, I didn't realize Davidson was Canadian until after I was finished it. Always a plus to support prairie writers.

message 27: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 31) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I first read this book when I was in my early teens so I thought I should pick it up again to see how my perspective has changed. I think I got more out of it this time around and I understand why it is so beloved but I have mixed feelings about it.

message 28: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 32) Room by Sara Donoghue

I convinced my sister to buy this book because I really wanted to read it but my bank account didn't permit me to buy it haha. I loved this book. I stayed awake all night reading it. I wasn't sure about it when I first read reviews because first person narrative has been bothersome to me recently for some reason but I thought it was fantastic. Really well done.

message 29: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 33)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

message 30: by Alanna (last edited Jun 01, 2011 08:51AM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments After a strong start I've slowed down a bit over the year. Here are a bunch I haven't added here yet.

These were for my Canadian Lit class:

34) Wild Geese by Martha Ostenso

35) Monkey Beach: A Novel by Eden Robinson

36) Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

These were for my Feminist Lit by Women:

37) Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey Through Depression by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

38) In Search of April Raintree: Critical Edition by Beatrice Mosioner

These weren't for school:

39) Shampoo Planet by Douglas Copeland

40) The Birth House by Ami McKay

41) A Song in the Daylight by Paullina Simons

message 31: by Alanna (last edited Jun 01, 2011 08:50AM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments Since classes have ended I've been doing some reading FOR PLEASURE. Crazy concept, eh?

42) Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

43) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

44) Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

message 32: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 45) Bossypants by Tina Fey

message 34: by Alanna (last edited Jul 07, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 47) Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

48) The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

49) Dysfunctional: The Rick Langlais Story by Andrew Fehr and Rick Langlais

message 35: by Alanna (new)

Alanna | 84 comments 50) Left Neglected by Lisa Genova


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