Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2011 > Deb's 2011 reading extravaganza

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message 1: by Deb (last edited Sep 20, 2011 05:02PM) (new)

Deb Setting myself back to the zero for another rollercoaster reading experience in 2011.

I'm still tracking my 50 books by next Bastille Day challenge ( July 2010 - July 2011). I'll show the number for that challenge in brackets in this post.

Rules for this year?
- Write a review for every book I read.
- Read all the books on my physical TBR shelf (that's not necessarily all the unread books I own, just the ones that are on display.
- Try ebooks - I don't have a reader yet, but planning to pick up a Sony in the post Xmas sales.


message 2: by Deb (last edited Jan 04, 2011 10:41PM) (new)


message 3: by Deb (new)

Deb I now have the chance to try e-books. The Sony e-reader was a very welcome birthday present. It's all loaded up and ready to try out when I feel the urge.


message 4: by Deb (new)

Deb 2: (28) The Tree - Judy Pascoe
4 stars


message 5: by Deb (new)

Deb 3: (29) Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
2 stars


message 6: by Deb (new)

Deb 4: (30) The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

wow - what is this, a children's book?? I will definitely read more.

Well written, entertaining, but black. Death, orphans, child abuse. Really well painted characters. But written as a kids book. Interesting.

I've read a few reviews that have been somewhat offended by the content, but I wonder if familiarity has made them forget the rather alarming content of some favourite fairy tales...


message 7: by Deb (new)

Deb 5:(31) Gilgamesh - Joan London

Great book. 5 stars.


message 8: by Deb (new)

Deb 6: (32) Tar Baby - Toni Morrison

4 stars

Fabulous writing. Loved this book. Knocked off a star for a slow start that caused me to put this book down and read Gilgamesh before getting back to finish it.

That dinner scene got me to thinking how it would be if everyone at my last Christmas dinner had revealed their deepest darkest secrets, their ugliest thoughts.


message 9: by Deb (new)

Deb Toni Morrison is without a doubt the most talented writer I have read this year. Reading this felt like moving from high school to uni.


message 10: by Deb (new)

Deb 7: (33) The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett

Phew!! 3 stars - too many rape scenes


message 11: by Deb (new)

Deb 8: (34) We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

5 stars - amazing, chilling writing.


message 12: by Deb (new)

Deb 9: (35) Visitation - Jenny Erpenbeck

4 stars - Lovely poetic, rhythmic prose. Very German.


message 13: by Deb (new)

Deb 10: (36) Still Alice - Lisa Genova

4 stars - a moving story of a 50 year old woman struggling with early onset Alzheimers - a good read that really gives you insight into this terrible disease.


message 14: by Deb (new)

Deb 11: (37) Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult

3 stars - not a bad read, but not really my thing.


message 15: by Deb (new)

Deb 12: (38) Left Neglected - Lisa Genova

3.5 stars. Interesting read, not as good as Still Alice.


message 16: by Deb (new)

Deb 13: (39) All Our Worldly Goods - Irène Némirovsky

3.5 stars. Small town France from WW1 to WW2. See the wars from a different, more human point of view.


message 17: by Deb (new)

Deb 14: (40) Green for Life - Victoria Boutenko
3 stars greens are good


message 18: by Deb (new)

Deb 15: (41) Eucalyptus: A Novel - Murray Bail
4 stars - an Australian fairy tale?


message 19: by Deb (new)

Deb 16: (42) A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

3 stars - a gentle wartime tale


message 20: by Deb (new)

Deb 17: (43) Smart Permaculture Design - Jenny Allen
4 stars - beautiful and inspiring book


message 21: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) You haven't followed all of the rules for this year.


message 22: by Deb (new)

Deb Which of the rules did I miss John?


message 23: by John (new)

John David (nicholasofautrecourt) The reviews.


message 24: by Leshawn (new)

Leshawn | 460 comments I love Toni Morrison as well, Deb!
I think about "Tar Baby" whenever I eat a mango!


message 25: by Deb (new)

Deb Yum, love that mango scene!


message 27: by Deb (new)


message 28: by Deb (new)

Deb 20: (46) Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton

4 stars - some stunning writing, unresolved sexual tension, beautiful depiction of midwinter. The ending could give you nightmares.


message 29: by Deb (new)

Deb 21: (47) A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small New Mexico Farm - Stanley Crawford

4 stars - Garlic, politics, philosophy, a celebration of the joys of a simple, agricultural life.

Review: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 30: by Deb (new)

Deb 22: (48) The Shape of Water Andrea Camilleri

3 stars - detective in Sicily solves the mystery of a local big dog found dead in dodgy circumstances.

I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected, finding the translation a little stilted.


message 31: by Deb (new)

Deb 23: (49) Love - Toni Morrison

Love in all its guises from Toni.


message 32: by Deb (new)

Deb 24: (50) Light on Snow - Anita Shreve

Good light read for my 50th book since I joined this group.


message 33: by Deb (new)

Deb 25: (51) The Genesis Flaw - L.A. Larkin

A white-knuckle ride through a near future where genetically modified food has alarming side effects. Our heroine seeks to out the multinational corporate behind it and save the world! A great eco-thriller.


message 34: by Deb (last edited Jul 08, 2011 04:45AM) (new)

Deb 26: (52) The Unknown Terrorist - Richard Flanagan
4 stars. Terrorism strikes Sydney and fear flames up in the hot summer air, fanned by the media circus after bombs are found at Homebush Bay. Finally fear and hate ignite in a blazing finale.


message 35: by Deb (new)

Deb 27: (53) The New Optimum Nutrition Bible - Patrick Holford

4 stars - change the way you eat, be healthy and live long


message 36: by Deb (new)

Deb 28: August - Gerard Woodward

3 stars - Beautifully written. A story of an English family that visits Wales every August for their Summer holiday. Some sections were enthralling, in others I lost interest.


message 37: by Deb (new)

Deb 29: Jasper Jones - Craig Silvey

4 stars - dubbed the Australian "To Kill a Mockingbird", it's not quite that but a good read about growing up in small town Western Australia.


message 38: by Deb (new)

Deb 30: The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography - Sidney Poitier

3 stars - Sidney Poitier muses on his life and what he has learned in his 70+ years. Poitier is not just a black actor. He is the black actor, the first real star to break through in Hollywood. He acted in iconic roles that he carefully selected as depicting the sort of man he wanted to be, the role model he wanted to present. His history is therefore of interest as a personal story but also as a glimpse into what it was like to live in his skin in those times.


message 39: by Deb (new)

Deb 31: Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

4 stars - Great classic sci fi about a fireman who burns books for a living, then begins to wonder why people hide books and are even prepared to die for them. The fireman, like a moth, gets drawn towards the flames, becoming discontented with the anaethetized soundbite, advertising jingle world he lives in and fascinated with the words and phrases he finds in the forbidden books.


message 40: by Deb (new)

Deb 32: Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

4.5 stars - Fabulously written rollercoaster ride through six different interlocking voices, stories, times and contexts. Brilliantly written. Mitchell is a real talent.


message 41: by Deb (new)

Deb 33: A Gardener's Log - Edna Walling

3 stars - lovely collection of articles on landscape design from one of the iconic figures of Australian landscape design. This edition includes many of Walling's evocative photographs. Recommended reading for gardeners.


message 42: by Deb (last edited Oct 01, 2011 01:17PM) (new)

Deb 34: Kinglake-350 - Adrian Hyland

4 stars - An account of the Black Saturday bushfires that took place in February 2009 in Victoria, Australia. The events are told from the point of view of the local CFA and policeman from Kinglake, a small town located in high country to the north of Melbourne. This is essential reading for anyone who lives in a fire prone area. It will bring you to tears, both of sadness for those who perished and of awe for those who showed incredible courage and acted to save others while their own homes and families were in danger. Hyland not only brings these human stories to life, but also reflects on our 21st century culture, where we live so divorced from the natural world that for some the first indication that their homes were on fire was looking up from the TV and seeing the firefighting foam dripping down their walls.


message 43: by Deb (new)

Deb 35: Growing Great Garlic: The Definitive Guide for Organic Gardeners and Small Farmers - Ron L. Engeland

4 stars - Lots of interesting facts about garlic, the plant's history, and how to grow it. I liked the diary log of his own experiences. I have much to learn about this garlic growing game and it's great to have this as a reference book.


message 44: by Deb (new)


message 45: by Deb (new)

Deb 37: Bel Canto - Ann Patchett

4 stars. I picked this one up from a second hand book stall at the local market. I didn't know quite what to expect, but loved the unusual mix of hostage scenario and music. Has Ann Patchett written a female fantasy?


message 46: by Deb (new)

Deb 38: The Man Who Planted Trees - Jean Giono

3.5 stars - lovely little fable about a shepherd who selflessly plants thousands of trees and brings back life to a desolate landscape.


message 47: by Deb (new)

Deb 39: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks

3.5 stars - an interesting collection of stories from Dr Sacks casebook


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