Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2011 > NATUI's 50 in a year

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message 1: by NATUI (last edited Sep 04, 2010 01:57PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments This is my book list for Sept 2010 to Sept 2011. I'm glad to have found this group!


message 2: by NATUI (last edited Sep 10, 2010 07:39AM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Shack, William P. Young.

I finished it last night and reviewed in under my books. I think I need a lighter read this go round. :)


message 3: by NATUI (last edited Sep 27, 2010 09:01AM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Zookeepers Wife

This book took longer to finish than I thought. It was a good book and a great story; however, the story lines wandered a bit. I understand that the author wanted to include as much background information as possible. Unfortunately, it was distracting at times and stalled the flow of the narrative. If you are interested in history and the role of women in famous and trying times this should be on your to-read list. It really gave me a new sense of the suffering families endured during WWII and makes me want to visit Warsaw to see some of these places.


message 4: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments My Sister's Keeper


message 5: by NATUI (last edited Oct 12, 2010 08:10PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Between, Georgia

I wasn't sure if I would like this book if it was too "redneck", but the story lines were interesting. It was a good read.


message 6: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Off Season

Read it in one day at the airport. I enjoyed the read, and I look forward to reading more by this author.


message 7: by NATUI (last edited Dec 01, 2010 09:44PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Lucky, Alice Sebold

I thought this was a powerful book. I've read reviews that accuse her of a holier-than-thou attitude. I just didn't see it. I thought there was a good balance between how she felt at the time and how she feels differently so many years later. Nei ...more I thought this was a powerful book. I've read reviews that accuse her of a holier-than-thou attitude. I just didn't see it. I thought there was a good balance between how she felt at the time and how she feels differently so many years later. Neither did I find her to "paint" all rape victims in the same light as others have said. I am glad I read it, and for all the statistics that show rape victims can't or won't press charges, it was so wonderful that someone did it and did it well.


message 8: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir

This was an interesting read. I received it off a the GR Book Swap, and it was nice to read a story of middle-of-the-road neglect/abuse and not some of the more extreme cases that are out there. It was painful reading at time because you really felt for the three sisters that were sloughed off on strangers rather than their own family taking them in. I hope they are all doing as well now as they were portrayed in the book.


message 9: by NATUI (last edited Dec 01, 2010 09:43PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Trauma

The story was well written, but I hated the fact that one never got a more in-depth look at the character. It was more about the focus on other people, and I suppose that is supposed to be the irony of the story. Overall, for as much as I enjoyed the writing style I found the story itself dissatisfying.


message 10: by NATUI (last edited Dec 01, 2010 09:42PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Miss New York Has Everything

Apparently the time between purchase and reading was long enough for my moron side to come out. I didn't realize it was a "memoir" until halfway through the book. Coming from an airline family myself, I thought I would relate more, but no ...more Apparently the time between purchase and reading was long enough for my moron side to come out. I didn't realize it was a "memoir" until halfway through the book. Coming from an airline family myself, I thought I would relate more, but no. The book was an okay read, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you were from an airline family and could appreciate the vignettes. I didn't quite get the point of the book. It just kind of rambled on, just like this review.


message 11: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Alibi Man

It's been a while since I read a Tami Hoag book,and this novel was much better than I had anticipated. I liked how it switched between first and third person, but Elena's whole bitterness shtick did get a bit old by the end. Still, it was a good, quick read.


message 12: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Midnight Voices

This is only my second John Saul read. I didn't love it, but it was still interesting enough to keep my attention. I would have liked a second book to explore the ending a little more--there was definite possibility for revenge/tracking down, but Saul unceremoniously ended it in one sentence. I probably should give it only three stars for the brick wall of an ending, but it was still a good read.


message 13: by NATUI (last edited Feb 07, 2011 09:21AM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 24-Karat Kids: A Novel

This was a good vacation book. It was predictable, but it was good for a few chuckles and perfect for an afternoon lounging by the pool.


message 14: by NATUI (last edited Feb 07, 2011 09:21AM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy

I liked this book. Sometimes you definitely questioned her choices, but it was interesting to read a woman's insider point of view. She is very upfront about how disenchanted she was, nearly from the beginning. I think a lot of us end up in careers that seemed like a good idea at first, but we have those nagging doubts during our work week if could have/should have done things differently. An easy, quick read that I definitely would recommend. Especially if you have lived in Northern Virginia or the DC area.


message 15: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Dark Paradise

I really enjoyed this book until I reached the halfway point. The storyline was good, but how many times does Hoag have to tell me that the character is stubborn/lonely/loyal/a misfit? I get it already! I didn't lose my memory from the prior chapter. Or the one before that, either. I would have rated this book much higher if not for the annoying repetition.


message 16: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Girl, Interrupted

This was a quick read for me. I don't quite know what I expected. I haven't seen the film, so I had no expectations. I suppose I thought it would be more gripping seeing as they made a movie out of it, but it was just so-so for me. I'm glad I read it, but I wasn't bowled over.


message 17: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Flush

I read this for a book club. It was better than I anticipated. I haven't read a YA book in a while; however, I liked the subject matter and the flow of the story. It was a nice surprise of a read.


message 18: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

I got this book for my husband, but I really wanted to read it, too. It was a very open and "here I am" story of his entrance into the cycling world and his journey through cancer. I like that he makes no apologies for his boorish and asshole behaviour. He is who he is, take it or leave it. I wasn't very up to speed on him as an athlete or a person, so I'm glad I read the book, and I have to say I'd never want to be on his bad side.


message 19: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Out Of the Blue, by Isabel Wolff

I enjoyed most parts of this book. The author clearly states that the main character is naive, but she drew a very fine line upon which to walk. The character was so naive and blatantly blind and stupid at times that it was hard to stomach. However, if you could convince yourself to read her actions and thoughts as your own inner narrative, I can see what the author was trying to accomplish. All of us have some self-doubt regarding aspects of our lives. If our thoughts were written out verbatim we'd all seem a bit nuts at times. It was just rather a lot to wade through.

Overall, the story held my interest, even if it was predictable in places. Will definitely try another novel by this author. As this was my first one, I'd like to try one or two more to see if all her characters are similarly written.


message 20: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Sleepwalkers, John Saul

I read the digital edition of this book. I have to say I missed the feel of the book in my hand. Still, it was a good read, and not nearly as "out there" as some of the John Saul books I've read. After having spent time in New Mexico, it was interesting to read a book set there.


message 21: by NATUI (last edited Jun 12, 2011 10:35PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Twilight

I started this book in April for the sole purpose of irritating my MIL while she visited. She cannot stand anything sci-fi or supernatural in content, so I felt this was the perfect time to start the series. I have to say I liked the book much more than I thought I would. I have avoided it mainly because of the hype; however, I was pleasantly surprised by the novel, and it was good escapist reading during my in-law visit from hell.


message 22: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Eclipse


message 23: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments New Moon


message 24: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Breaking Dawn


message 25: by NATUI (last edited Jul 05, 2011 12:33PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Unbreakable Child

Sounds crazy, but I read this book because I missed my grandmother. She loved kids above anything else, and her love of true crime did not extend to abuse of children. I found myself wishing she were still alive so we could discuss the book together.


message 26: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key

This book absolutely WRECKED me. It was given to me for a book club read, and when I started it this morning I had no idea that I would whip through the entire book in one day. I have spent the day crying my eyes out, and I think I will have nightmares about some of the events portrayed in this book. My son is the same age of Sarah's brother, and I cannot think of any other way to describe how I feel except for wrecked.


message 27: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

I read this book ages ago, and when my children showed interested in the story I picked up my copy and began reading it to them. They have been absolutely enthralled, and it has been fun to see it through their eyes.


message 28: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Secret Life of Bees

This was another book I read in one day. I found it very intriguing, the whole black Madonna storyline. I am interested to see the movie, but I had such a strong visual of what I thought the Calendar Sisters to look like that I don't want to mess that up until the images fade out a little.


message 29: by NATUI (last edited Jul 05, 2011 12:40PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Little Princes

It isn't very often I feel a connection to an author on a personal level. The story, yes. The author, not so much. I read this book for an upcoming book club discussion, and within the first few pages I was wishing that I knew him in person. His sense of humor was right up my alley, and it made me enjoy his incredible journey all the more. I loved this book and cannot wait to follow up on his progress in Nepal.


message 30: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments The Murder Book

Just finished this one and after a rough first chapter start was absolutely sucked in to the storyline. I'd never read anything by Kellerman before, and honestly I found myself constantly humming the stupid Kellermans song from Dirty Dancing. I was a bit let down by the ending, but I will definitely read something else by this author.


message 31: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Devil's Waltz

This book deals with a sick child and the suspicion of Munchhausen by Proxy. As this is now the second book I've read by Kellerman, I am getting more into the groove of his writing style and end-of-book closure, or lack thereof. I enjoyed the book and just picked up another by him at a local thrift store. It is a relief to read a thriller/mystery novel with vocabulary that is higher than a 5th grade level. The author uses words I haven't seen since college, and I love it. It was a great book to finish on my plane ride, and now that I'm on vacation I look forward to reading more.


message 32: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Back in the day Jonathan Kellerman was a child psychologist who wrote a great study on chronically ill children. I used it as a source in several papers I wrote in college (I said it was BACK in the day). Years later I was on his third Alex Delaware book before I made the connection. And I agree, I love an author who doesn't assume his audience needs the vocabulary simplified.


message 33: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Deep Freeze

So, I'm kind of pissed. I read this book on vacation, and the interim sections with "the stalker" were mostly just irritating. Hiding and heavy breathing. Naked, nasty shit. We get it. He's creepy, he's fucked in the head, and it's only a matter or time. Yeah yeah move it along. Once the background of the dude was fleshed out a bit, it was much more interesting. However, that should have taken place in the first quarter of the book, not saved until nearly the end.

Worst of all, when I was finally wrapping the story up, the author throws you in for a loop in the last two paragraphs. Turns out you've got to read another damned book to get to the bottom of things. I guess it is my own fault that I didn't know it was supposed to be a semi-two part story, but crap. Now I'll have to track down the next installment sometime in the future.

This book was a decent vacation read, but all the hiding in the woods nonsense could have been edited down.


message 34: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Blood Test

So, still on the Kellerman kick. Also found this one in a thrift shop while on vacation. It was much shorter than the others I have read. It was a good, quick read, and I am finding that I enjoy these characters immensely. Ironically, I had to have blood taken while I was reading this book, and there was a perverse satisfaction sitting in the hospital blood lab reading a book titled Blood Test while waiting.

I will say I felt the book went a little apeshit on the sneaking around no-one-will-see-me-I'm-a-one-man-show ending. My suspension of disbelief is pretty strong, but even I had to roll my eyes and mutter to myself a few times. It seemed a bit out of character for the character, but what the hell do I know.


message 35: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Midnight Sun, by Stephenie Meyer

This text is available on Meyer's website, and after having read the rest of the series I was interested in reading this version of the companion novel. In the prior novels, the level of writing at times left much to be desired. In this case, I have to say that I was much more impressed, and therefore enjoyed, this story immensely. I loved reading this parallel story, and because Meyer was writing from the viewpoint of a more sophisticated character it was a huge improvement in the storyline. I hope in the future the author completes this rough draft and has it published as a proper novel. It is by far my favorite of the Twilight series.


message 36: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Best Friends

I can only give this book three stars and am pissed I have to do so. It started off SOLID. As the plot line progressed, it got darker, more convoluted, and more irritating. I am absolutely one for a dark story. Usually even in darkest character one find a quality that is redeeming enough to continue the read. As much as I loved the girls in the beginning, their life choices continued to spiral out of control, and all you could do was sigh and think "For the love of Pete, will one of you stand up and do one tiny redeeming thing in your life?" It was completely irritating, and I'm only giving it the three stars because the beginning was so promising. I'm not sorry I read it, but I'm left at the end with a very dissatisfied feeling. Maybe that is what the author wanted, but I'm not dissatisfied in a good way that makes my brain tingle, just an irritated one.


message 37: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Twenties Girl

Holy crap. This book rocked. I thought it would be a fluff, vacation read, but I found myself laughing aloud in several places--much to the chagrin of people around me. This book has depth, emotion and a flawed character who eventually sees and admits many of her own flaws. It was a VERY satisfying read, and I was sad to come to the end.


message 38: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments When The Bough Breaks

Oops. Read this one after Blood Test because I was still on vacation and forgot to add it to this list. This definitely had a few good twists to it without as much of the home-grown James Bond wannabe vibe going on. Perfect airport read, and I was glad I had it with me.


message 39: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

We've finally finished this book with my kids. We won't be going any further than this because they aren't old enough yet, but it was nice to see them enjoy this story so much. We made sure to read the original UK version as I want my children to read the book as it was intended and to expand their vocabulary. I refuse to insult my intelligence by reading the "Americanized" version. They didn't do it for Narnia when I was a kid, why do it for Harry Potter for this generation?


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

NATUI wrote: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

We've finally finished this book with my kids. We won't be going any further than this because they aren't old enough yet, but it was nice to ..."


I'm just curious why you think that the Americanized version would "insult your intelligence"? I'm not quite sure what the differences are between the two books, but when I looked some information up it looks like it is mainly British vocab vs. English vocab based on words and terms we don't use here in the states (e.g. sherbert lemon vs. lemon drop or holiday vs. vacation). To me, that's not dumbed down at all, just a kind of translation.


message 41: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Lindsey wrote: "NATUI wrote: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

We've finally finished this book with my kids. We won't be going any further than this because they aren't old enough yet, but i..."


Hi Lindsay,

Thanks for asking! There are several points to this. First, I guess I have to say that I feel like it is "dumbing down" because why in the world would the publisher think I would be confused if they used the word "holiday" instead of "vacation"? I'm a language teacher by trade, and for the life of me I cannot understand why knowing that holiday and vacation can mean the same thing is a negative and should be changed for the reader's "benefit". Granted some of the words in the books were unfamiliar to me, but I felt that my vocabulary was enriched for having read it. Nearly everything was understandable within the context of the story. Why not allow American children to expand their vocabularies?

Also, several of the British spellings are the basis upon which Rowling created some of the characters, spells, etc. Cellotape, which is Scotch tape for Americans, made a natural transition to Spellotape that the kids use in the series. Was it necessary for me to make that connection and have that a-ha moment? No, but it sure was cool to see how some of the stories came together.

In reading the UK versions to my kids, I feel they are learning double the vocabulary and are the better for it. I want them to be aware that some families say "couch" and some say "sofa". Neither are wrong, just different. God forbid anyone try and "translate" Monty Python. Or force the dad on The Nanny to speak "American". Where does it end? Here in New Mexico, people don't say ya'll , but just because we don't use it in our state doesn't mean I am going to have my friends in Georgia "translate" it for me. It's the same for me when it comes to books. I find it insulting for someone to assume that I don't know how to use a dictionary or am too lazy to do so. Does that make sense?


message 42: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Year of Wonders

Read this for a book club, and the subject matter was right up my alley. I found the story enjoyable and properly depressing considering the content. However, three-quarters of the way through it felt as if the author were trying to cram in every single possible event that may have happened in that time frame into the main character's storyline. It interrupted the flow of the story for me. Overall, though, an excellent read. I can't wait to discuss it at our meeting.


message 43: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Over The Edge

Back to my Kellerman. This book far and away was my favorite of the series so far. There were no crazy heroics, and the science content was on a high enough level that I felt challenged without becoming brain dead from pedantic lecturing. Can't wait for my friend who is a chemist to give it a go.


message 44: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Mystery

It was weird to read these characters in current time. I've been chuckling a. it at all the 80s references in the early part of the sieries. Having the characters mention Whole Foods kind of freaked me out. LOL These books are obviously becoming my go-to books at the gym and when I need down time from the heavier book club reads. It was. good read, and I'm glad to say I am finding fans in my friends around the neighborhood.


message 45: by NATUI (last edited Feb 05, 2012 06:33PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments Starting new for 2012:

2012:01

Death du Jour


This was not quite as good for me as the first book. It was a little more convoluted in its story lines, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Once again, I am very glad that this series in no way resembles the TV series, and I cant' wait to get on to the next installment.


message 46: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 2012:02

Deadly Décisions

I'm still enjoying the series, but seriously--how many family members of Tempe are we going to go through? It was a good read, and I feel like I am learning a lot about Montreal.


message 47: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 2012:03

Garden Spells

I just read this for a book club, and I absolutely loved it. I want to read it again now that I know the ending so that I can relax and enjoy the characters a little more. I can't wait to discuss it with my group club because it was really that good for me.


message 48: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 2012:04

Certain Girls

It was nice to catch up on this character though I did n ot remember the specifics of the original novel. As usual, I was quite irritated with the entitled attitude of the daughter character. God help me if 12 year olds are actually that spoiled & awful. I didn't have patience for that whiny crap when I was that age, & I don't think I've gotten softer with as I've gotten older. I did hate the ending which is why I only gave it three stars. I cried my eyes out. I hate sucker punches like that. S...moreIt was nice to catch up on this character though I did n ot remember the specifics of the original novel. As usual, I was quite irritated with the entitled attitude of the daughter character. God help me if 12 year olds are actually that spoiled & awful. I didn't have patience for that whiny crap when I was that age, & I don't think I've gotten softer with as I've gotten older. I did hate the ending which is why I only gave it three stars. I cried my eyes out. I hate sucker punches like that. Specifically because of that I probably won't read another of these books for a while.


message 49: by NATUI (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 2012:05

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I really enjoyed this book, and I was only halfway through when I knew that this is one I want to hang on to and reread several times. It was a bit predictable in places, but it has been a long time since I've had such good feelings about a book. The other thing I loved about this book were the one-liners that would crop up unexpectedly. I actually highlighted several of them because they cracked me up. It's not often that happens to me, and I appreciate it when it does.


message 50: by NATUI (last edited Feb 05, 2012 06:36PM) (new)

NATUI | 63 comments 2012:06

The Thing About Jane Spring

This book cracked me up. I read it with a big, dopey grin on my face. It felt a little slow in the beginning, but once she hit the movie marathon I could not put it down. I could not wait to see what the reactions to her transformation were going to be. Most people do not see me as a conservative person, but Doris Day holds a special place in my heart. I wish I had had the idea for this book because I have had moments like Jane's, but on a much smaller scale. I am so glad my book club chose this for us to read as I don't know if I would have come across it otherwise. We had a Doris Day movie night with my family because of it and watched That Touch of Mink. Great read, and I will definitely read it again in the future.


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