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Monthly "READS" > December 2010 reads

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JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Please post here about the books you read in December. Comments are welcome.

I would love it if some people would come out of the woodwork and post here...or anywhere, for that matter.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
here is a link to my book list.....and my reviews

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

the only memorable book in December was Left Neglected by Lisa Genova


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (AliasReader) Here are my reads for December 2010

~~ Rating scale 0-5 plus/minus

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi PicoultNineteen Minutes~Jodi Picoult
Fiction
Rate 2+
If you want to read a book about Columbine I recommend the excellent Columbine~Dave Cullen and skip this work of fiction. Picoult sensationalizes the murders and doesn't cover any new ground.

Jimmy Carter The American Presidents Series The 39th President, 1977-81 by Julian E. ZelizerJimmy Carter: The American Presidents Series: The 39th President, 1977-81~~Julian E. Zelizer
Non fiction
Rate: 3 minus
This is part of the American Presidents Series by Holt. The books in the series are only 200 pages. However, the few I've read in this series are very dry. The Carter book was slightly better but not much. If you want to learn about the Carter Admin. I am sure there are better books out there.

I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora EphronI Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman~~Nora Ephron
Non fiction
Rate: 3 minus
The book is an amusing take on getting older. Though many of the jokes were predictable.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey NiffeneggerHer Fearful Symmetry~~Audrey Niffenegger
Fiction
Rate: 2 plus
I read this for my F2F book club. This normally is not my genre but I thought I would give it a go for the book club. I did like the writing and the first 75% of the story. Then the plot just became plain ridiculous. Thus the sub par rating.

Zeitoun by Dave EggersZeitoun~~Dave Eggers
Non fiction
Rate: 4
I read this for our BNC group read. I thought it was excellent. It's a harrowing tale not only of the Katrina hurricane but what happened to an innocent man. The story is told in a very plain straightforward manner. I think this makes the story even more powerful. Things like this simple should not be happening in this country. Kudos to Eggers for bringing this to light. For only when stories like this are told, can we avoid shameful events like this in the future.


We Were There by Robert FoxWe Were There~~Robert Fox
Non fiction
Rate 3
I am 3/4 done with this book and should finish soon. As the title implies, it covers the events of the 20th century. Each event has an eyewitness account. Some reports are from diary entries, newspapers, or letters. Having the events told in this manner makes the stories quite compelling. If you like history, this book is for you.


I finished 2010 having read a total of 67 books.
30 Fiction
37 non fiction.


message 4: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments >>I Feel Bad About My Neck And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora EphronI Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman--Nora Ephron
Non fiction
Rate: 3 minus
The book is an amusing take on getting older. Though many of the jokes were predictable.
<<

I just downloaded this to my MP3 player. The author does the narration and since it is only around 4 hours long unabridged I thought it would be a nice change of pace. Glad to see that you thought it was amusing.


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Sandi, I liked Ephron's book too. Here is what I wrote in June 2008

Wow, could I ever identify with much of what Ephron wrote in this book. Her essays on aging were so on-target...I kept thinking "I could have said this". But the thing is, I could not say it in such wry, lively, entertaining prose. Ephron excels at this kind of writing, poking fun at herself and at the world in which she lives. She shows us that a bit of humor and learning from our past goes a long way toward making life easier and fuller.

I loved what she had to say about maintenance, her purse, and losing friends. I only wish the book had been longer...more essays. maybe there will be a sequel?!?!

So much of this rang true that I went out and bought several copies for friends. It is the perfect gift!


I bet it will be great listening to her read it.


message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments x-posted at M/T Reading Friends

Happy New Year!!!

Here are my December reads:

Top Read

Hard Frost (Inspector Frost, #4) by R.D. WingfieldHard Frost
R.D. Wingfield
The Denton police division is shorthanded after a car crash involving several tipsy policemen so Inspector Frost is called in early from his vacation and has to cope with, among other things, blackmail, dead bodies, and a kidnapper. I always enjoy the books in this series and while Frost is not the most likable character he does get the job done even if it takes a few tries.

Good Reads

Now I Can Die in Peace How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox by Bill SimmonsNow I Can Die in Peace: How ESPN's Sports Guy Found Salvation, with a Little Help from Nomar, Pedro, Shawshank, and the 2004 Red Sox
Bill Simmons
ESPN's Sports Guy's account of the Red Sox finally winning the World Series. I enjoy Simmon's style, you can tell he really does care, and for the most part thought the book was quite good. I just wish I would have read it a couple of years ago, back before the whole Red Sox Nation thing became so annoying.

CryoBurn (Vorkosigan Saga, #14) by Lois McMaster BujoldCryoBurn
Lois McMaster Bujold
Finally, after eight years, Miles is back and, while a bit older, still is able to stir up everything and everyone around him. This has always been my favorite science fiction series because of the great characters and the way Lois McMaster Bujold is able to show how her future technology really affects society. While I would not rank this book as one of the best in the series, it was a fine addition and I hope there will be more sooner than later.

Sharpe's Prey (Sharpe, #5) by Bernard CornwellSharpe's Prey
Bernard Cornwell
Richard Sharpe manages to get himself in the middle of the action during the bombardment, by the British, of Copenhagen. As always, an enjoyable listen. I did not know anything about this particular battle so found the history very interesting. Listened to the audio version read by Patrick Tull.

The Most Dangerous Game by Gavin LyallThe Most Dangerous Game
Gavin Lyall
Combination aviation and espionage thriller set in Finland and published back in 1963. Engaging first person narrative and lots of well written action scenes made this a fast, entertaining read.

A Whisper to the Living (Inspector Rostnikov) by Stuart M. KaminskyA Whisper to the Living
Stuart M. Kaminsky
What will probably be the final book in the Rostnikov series since the author passed away in 2009 though I would be overjoyed if there was a secret cache of further books somewhere. I love the characters in this series and was glad to see certain things finally play out. I will very much miss Rostnikov, Karpo, and all the others but luckily I have plenty of more of Stuart M. Kaminsky's work to read.

A Smattering of Ignorance by Oscar LevantA Smattering of Ignorance
Oscar Levant
I became intrigued with Oscar Levant after seeing a clip of him from a television talk show that was included in the documentary about Fran Lebowitz so I decided to seek out this book which was published in 1939. Most of the book was about classical music conductors and musical composers, which I know nothing about, but the writing style and witticism kept me interested. I did throughly enjoy the two sections on his friendships with Harpo Marx and George Gershwin.

Vertical Run by Joseph R. GarberVertical Run
Joseph R. Garber
From the first page the action starts and does not let up. David Elliot is a successful middle-aged executive who goes into work just like every weekday morning but what happens next is anything but normal. The present day narrative switches off with scenes from David's past in Vietnam which helps the believability factor. A real page turner.

Six Bad Things by Charlie HustonSix Bad Things
Charlie Huston
At the opening of this book Hank Thompson is enjoying his life in the Yucatán Peninsula with the only downside being his narrower than usual ear canals but, if you read the first book, Caught Stealing, you know that will not last long. Like the first book, lots of gritty action and wild circumstances. Overall though, I did not think this book was quite as good as Caught Stealing mainly because the supporting characters just did not seem as interesting and some of Hank's actions did not seem logical. Listened to the audio version which was read by Christian Conn.

Things That Must Not Be Forgotten A Childhood in Wartime China by Michael David KwanThings That Must Not Be Forgotten: A Childhood in Wartime China
Michael David Kwan
An interesting memoir about the author's childhood, which was very different than most Chinese since his mother was European and his father was an executive with the Chinese rail system, during World War 2 in China.

Love Among the Chickens (Sound Library) by P.G. WodehouseLove Among the Chickens
P.G. Wodehouse
One of P.G. Wodehouse's first published books in the States, the story is narrated by a young writer who somewhat hesitantly agrees to help out an old friend with newly hatched plan of running a chicken farm even though the friend, Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, is described as "the sort of man who will ask you out to dinner, borrows the money from you to pay the bill, and winds up the evening by embroiling you in a fight with a cabman." Lots of laughs, romance, chickens, and golf. Listened to the audio version read with great enthusiasm by Jonathan Cecil.

OK Read

The Strange Files of Fremont Jones (Fremont Jones Mysteries) by Dianne DayThe Strange Files of Fremont Jones
Dianne Day
First in a historical mystery series set in San Francisco during the early 1900's. I liked the main character, though I doubt if she was historically appropriate, but the various plot elements were just OK and there was a bit too much romance.

I ended up reading or listening to 146 books in 2010 (up from 134 in 2009). Of those, 96 were on the page and 50 were audio. I read a total of 28,782 pages (299.81 average pages per book) and listened to 474.75 hours of audio (9.49 average hours per audio).


JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Sandi, I really enjoy Garber's thrillers. They really grab you and hold on!


message 8: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 54 comments My December Reads:

The Same Sweet Girls Cassandra King rsting 3/5 good story but somewhat predictable by Pat Donroy's wife
Dashing Through the Snow Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark rating 3/5 cute fast holiday themee mystery
Hot Flash Holiday Nancy Thayerrating 3/5 silly but fun and quick read.
Fleece Navidad Maggie Sefton
rating 3/5 okay holiday entry in this series

Meredith


message 9: by RNOCEAN (new)

RNOCEAN | 93 comments December was a slow month for me, I only read:

Catching Fire

Mockingjay

finishing the trilogy of The Hunger Games.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 123 comments I can hardly believe that I completed only two books in December.

Dead Weight, by Batt Humphreys -- A novel based on a true story of an innocent black man convicted of a white man's murder in Charleston, SC, in 1910. The New York reporter who came to cover the trial is a fictional character, but provided an interesting way to present all the trial facts, which are accurate. This was read for a book group discussion, which was enhanced by one member's account of a talk by the author, who explained what parts were fictional.


Birds of a Feather, by Jacqueline Winspear -- The second book in the Maisie Dobbs series. I enjoy the characters, the setting, and the time period (post World War I in England).

I expect reading habits to become more normal now that DH and I are the sole occupants of our home again (although I do miss DD and the little grandchildren).


message 11: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments >>Birds of a Feather, by Jacqueline Winspear -- The second book in the Maisie Dobbs series. I enjoy the characters, the setting, and the time period (post World War I in England). <<

I enjoyed the first two books in the Maisie Dobbs series too. Have you the John Madden books by Rennie Airth? They are set in post World War I England too and are really well written. I also like the Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd which are also set during that time period.


message 12: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
I have read all of the Maisie Dobbs book except the most recent. I have been waiting to get the audio from the library. Really enjoyed them.


message 13: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Sandi, I really enjoy Garber's thrillers. They really grab you and hold on!"

Luckily my library has Whirlwind on c/d so I will be able to listen to it. I tend to enjoy thrillers more in the audio format. When I read them I start turning the pages too fast to find out what happens and miss some of the atmosphere.


Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 123 comments No Sandi, Rennie Airth is an author new to me. I'll have to check on him. It often amazes me how many writers there are out there that I am totally unfamiliar with. Thanks for the recommendation.


Lynne in PA/Lineepinee (Lineepineeaolcom) | 17 comments The only book I read in December was SHANGHI GIRLS/ Lisa See. I rated it a B-. I think it fell flat towards the end and I could barely wait to be finished with it. I enjoyed another of her books-PEONY IN LOVE much more.


message 16: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Lynne in PA/Lineepinee wrote: "The only book I read in December was SHANGHI GIRLS/ Lisa See. I rated it a B-. I think it fell flat towards the end and I could barely wait to be finished with it. ..."

so funny to read this comment at this moment. My daughter and I are sitting in a hotel lobby and she is almost finished Conroy's South of Broad and just 10 seconds ago looked over at me and said "I just hate to finish a good book". LOL

This is the first book of his she has read and she said she is lucky to have all of his others to look forward to. I agree!


message 17: by R. (new)

R. Honey | 142 comments We just spoke to my 89 year old aunt in DC,Mom's sister. She is reading South of Broad on my recommendation! I have not read it. I just heard it was good from this board! Gotta get this book!


message 18: by Leo (new)

Leo | 45 comments My Nov-Dec reads were slow:

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
It provided me the fast pace and page turner that I needed after so many unsatisfying and non-finish titles (B+)

Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope
The title is kinda soapy. Misleading in a way.
It's hard to leave your safety cocoon but coming back after you have left the very house that you've grown up in proves even harder in this book (B-)

The Outcast by Sadie Jones
Domestic violence, comes in many forms and it will not stop if you keep quiet about it. I felt for the protagonist from the young age of 10 when he lost his mom and later when he was 19 where he's about to lose everything, everybody and to some extend his mind (B)

A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
Jonathan lost his younger sister at birth when he was 5; Bobby lost his 16yr old brother when he was 9 and their path crossed. Can't say I really like the story but it got me engaged (B)


message 19: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Leo wrote: "My Nov-Dec reads were slow:

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
It provided me the fast pace and page turner that I needed after so many unsatisfying and non-finish titles (B+)
."


I liked this book too. I think his older books are his best ones,


message 20: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Leo wrote: "My Nov-Dec reads were slow:


Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope
The title is kinda soapy. Misleading in a way.
It's hard to leave your safety cocoon but coming back after you have left the very house that you've grown up in proves even harder in this book (B-) "


I always enjoyed Joanna Trollope's work with the exceptions of Girl from the South and A Spanish Lover: A Novel both of which I thought were dreadful.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Left Neglected (other topics)
We Were There: An Eyewitness History of the Twentieth Century (other topics)
Zeitoun (other topics)
Her Fearful Symmetry (other topics)
Nineteen Minutes (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Robert Fox (other topics)
Jodi Picoult (other topics)
Nora Ephron (other topics)
Audrey Niffenegger (other topics)
Dave Cullen (other topics)
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