Challenge: 50 Books discussion

2010 > Susan T.'s 50+ Books for 2010

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message 1: by Susan (last edited Dec 22, 2010 07:51PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 11. The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen **** (I was looking for another Kavalier & Clay, but this wasn't it)
12. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (audiobook) ***
13. Sonata for Miriam by Linda Olsen **
14. Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler *****
15. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery ***** (with my French translation book class, and got so much more from the class discussion than I would have on my own).
16. An Equal Music by Vikram Seth (audiobook) *** (for both my book club, and my book class, and completely different viewpoints from each).
17. The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson *****
18. The Last Town on Earth (audiobook) by Thomas Mullen * (completely different from Firefly Bros.)
19. Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler ***** (very well-written for a "how a famous author's life affected her work" novel.)
20. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova ****

message 2: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I read a huge (800+ pages) biography of the Brontes, and it's amazing little truth is contained in the Sheila Kohler book.


(By the way--LOVED The Swan Thieves!)

message 3: by Susan (last edited Dec 21, 2010 08:43PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments I'm sure it wasn't true at all. The books that annoy me (although for some reason I keep reading them) are the book that take plots lines from a famous author's works, and then write a "biography" about the author alleging that these things happened to the author, because it could not have come from his or her imagination. However, I liked how Sheila Kohler wove these certain plotlines into the basic story of the Brontes and made a well crafted novel.

I loved The Swan Thieves, too. Doesn't it seem that when the subject of a mystery is a well known painting or a work of a great author, that it elevates the story from the usual who-done-it plot?

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 21. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (audiobook) by Jamie Ford ** (for my book club. Too elementary a treatment for my knowledge of the subject).
22. Jane Eyre (audiobook) by Charlotte Bronte *****!(reread) (This book certainly stands the test of time!)
23. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout *****
24. Sleeping With Schubert by Bonnie Marson **** (reread for my book class) (I love the first half of the book, but the author didn't have a clear view on how to end it).
25. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer by Seth Grahame-Smith ** (Amusing at first, but quickly grew tedious. Personally, unpalatable as vampires seem to be, I cannot believe that they are responsible for EVERY wrong perpetrated in the world).
26. This is Where I Leave You (audiobook) by Jonathan Tropper ****
27. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson ***** (Charming).
28. The Soloist by Steve Lopez *** (for my book class)
29. Tipperary (audiobook) by Frank Delaney ***
30. Bloodroot by Any Greene *** (my pick for my book club)

message 5: by Susan (last edited Dec 22, 2010 08:24PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 31. Wolf Hall (audiobook) by Hilary Mantel ***
32. Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich ***
33. The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt ***** (I love a big book with a lot of intertwined characters!)
34. The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald ***(I kept thinking at some point this book would make a point) (for my book club)
35. Every Man Dies Alone (audiobook) by Hans Fallada ****
36. The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell ****
37. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell ****
38. The Help by Kathryn Stockett ***** (for my book club)
39. The God of Animals (audiobook) Arun Kyle ***
40. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry ****

message 6: by Susan (last edited Dec 22, 2010 08:17PM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 41. The Quickening by Michelle Hoover ** (this is one of those books whose characters seem to have more of a connection than is actually shown to the reader, and leaves the reader (me) thinking, "Huh?")
42. The Condition (audiobook) by Jennifer Haigh **** (informative about a little known physical condition, but goes beyond that)
43. The Magicians by Lev Grossman *** (a Harry Potter book brought to the next level)
44. Songs Without Words (audiobook) by Ann Packer **
45. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman -* (simplistic, unrealistic treatment of a difficult problem. I HATED it) (for my book club)
46. The Outlander by Gil Adamson ***** (Not to be confused with the Gabaldon series. This book reminded me of The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney that I read last year, and got me interested in seeking out books where people must confront the wilderness to discover truths about themselves)
47. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant **** (Enjoyed this very much, but felt cheated by the ending)
48. An Echo in the Bone (audiobook) by Diana Gabaldon **** (I LOVE this time travel series. This installment ended very abruptly, and there is a lot of 'splaining to do.)
49. Wanting by Richard Flanagan ***** (Fascinating book connecting the real histories of Charles Dickens and a famous British polar explorer whose name eludes me at this moment, with sidesteps into the Australian outback and the English stage. One of my "wilderness" readings (see No. 46))
50. Widow of the South by Richard Flanagan **** (reread for my Book Class. I found it much better reading the second time through, when I did not put so much emphasis on one particular scene involving a woman hitting a recent amputee with his crutch)

message 7: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I appreciate both of your comments concerning the Kohler book (you're right--despite the untruths, she did do a beautiful job) and The Swan Thieves (the subject matter does indeed elevate the mystery involved).

Also, you have an impressive book list!


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments Thanks. I am something of an obsessed reader myself. Just ask my husband, and my dogs. Luckily my dog Raven likes to sit and read with me, but years ago one of my dogs would come up to me and push my book closed with his nose.

message 9: by Susan (last edited Dec 24, 2010 09:27AM) (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 51. Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollstrad * (Although I could understand the backstory presented in this survival memoir, I could understand not one word of the explanation of what was going on during his harrowing experience.) (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
52. Through Black Spruce (audiobook)by Joseph Boyden. **** (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
53. Cold Earth by Sarah Moss ** I guess I'm too literal minded for the suggested inuendo of this book. (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
54. The Wild Girl: A Novel by Jim Fergus. *** Not as good as his One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
55. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan **** (reread for my Book Class.) (Well done, but brutal book that was difficult to read twice.)
56. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters **** (Read for my book club). Clever.
57. The Known World by Edward P. Jones ***** (reread for my book class) (The interesting writing technique added to the enjoyment of this book for me)
58. The Third Man Factor by John Geiger **** (Non-fiction study of phenomenon that has always fascinated me.) (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
59. Astrid and Veronika by Linda Ollson **** (Far superior to Sonata for Miriam: A Novel by the same author. (Could possibly be added to my wilderness series, since the characters lived so remotely.)
60. Mad Shadows by Marie-Claire Blais * (Read for my French in translation class, and as always the book is just a starting point for a good discussion, but the book was awful.)

message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 61. A Long and Happy Life: A Novel by Reynolds Price ** (For my book class)
62. Ingratitude by Ying Chen * (For my French in translation class)
63. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender *** (For my book club) (I got the point, but it went a bit too far for me; not liked by many in the club)
64. Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay (audiobook) ** (Read as part of my own wilderness series, see No. 46).
65. The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy ***** (Read for my French in translation class -- And I actually LOVED it. Harsh themes, but they struck a cord.)
66. Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg **** (Read for my book class, whose theme was Southern Fiction. The teacher was mortified that she chose it, but everyone in the class enjoyed it as a sweet, happy ending to the class)
67. The Breaking of Eggs: A Novel by Jim Powell ***** (I loved this book, since it gave insights to a mind set that was taboo when I was a child. Not wanting to be unnecessarily titilating, I am referring to communism).
68. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard ***
69. The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz ** (audiobook) (To my dear friend who recommended this book: I don't care how many dogs are in it; I don't like Dean Koontz)
70. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (audiobook) **

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments 71. Drawing in the Dust by Zoe Klein ** (Based on its storyline, I should of loved this, but the writing was a disappointment)
72. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta (audiobook) *** (for next semester's book class. Thought provoking.)
73. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay **** (For next month's book club. I liked the way the two stories converged.)

This officially ends my books for 2010.

message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments I mistakenly deleted my first ten books, which were:

1.The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood *
2. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon *** (A big disappointment after the wonderful The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, one of my favorite books ever.
3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese ***** (for my book club)
4, That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo (audiobook)*** Not one of his best.
5. Let the Great World Spin by Column McCann (audiobook) ***
6. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (audiobook) ***
7. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Assassin ***** (Loved it!)
8. The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway *** (For my book class, theme: music)
9. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedes (audiobook) (reread for my book club) ****
10. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin *

message 13: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I love The Abstinence Teacher. I read one other book by Perrotta and enjoyed that as well. I need to check out his other books.


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments This is my first by him, and it was well done.

message 15: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments I am definitely going to read the rest of Perrotta's books this year!


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments My 2011 Reading List will be called:

Susan & Raven's 2011 Reading List

message 17: by Lillie (new)

Lillie | 246 comments Loved reading through all of your reads. Some I've read, others are on my TBR pile and others will be added. What was your favorite book of 2010?

message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan (chlokara) | 846 comments Thanks, Lillie --

I have to say three:

The Breaking of Eggs: A Novel by Jim Powell, because the subject is a bit unusual for me.
The Children's Book, by A. S, Byatt, because I love long books with a lot of characters, and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, because I was terribly surprised that I liked something by Margaret Atwood.

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