Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2011 > Lindsey's 50 in 2011 (Starting Fresh)

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I started late last year, so I only got to about 20. This year I'm starting by finishing two books I started the last week in Dec: Cutting for Stone and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 05, 2011 07:26PM) (new)

1) Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, Vol. 1) by Joe Hill by Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez

Stephen King was my favorite author until I read his son, Joe Hill. I'm not always that into graphic novels but I ate this up in less than a day of reading. The story is engaging, the pictures are purty, and I'm having trouble waiting til payday to run out and get the 2nd one.
This is a must-read, even if you're not into graphic novels, especially if you are.

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2) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese by Abraham Verhese

I'm never going to finish if I keep reading books that are this long in length and take this long to read.

HOWEVER, if every book I read is as good as this one, I will not be disappointed. It was beautifully descriptive and engaging. Loved it.

message 4: by Nance (new)

Nance (nabpurple12) | 279 comments Lindsey wrote: "2) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese by Abraham Verhese

I'm never going to finish if I keep reading books that are this long in length and take this long to read.

HOWEVER, if every book I rea..."

I loved, loved, loved this of the best I've ever read! In fact, I've given it to a few people to read, and they loved it too!

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Nance wrote: "Lindsey wrote: "2) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese by Abraham Verhese

I'm never going to finish if I keep reading books that are this long in length and take this long to read.


Exactly. I loved his pictures of Ethiopia. It made me want to be at Missing with the family and the twins, despite the hardships. I felt even more strongly about it when the setting switched to America.
I plan on passing my copy on as well.

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3) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

Starting the 3rd book was like falling in love with an old friend again. Yes, the books get long and drag a bit, but I love the writing and I love the characters.

So it's the end of January and I'm only at 3 books. We'll see if I finish this year. At least I'll have a record of everything that I've read.

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4) G is for Gumshoe (Kinsey Millhone, #7) by Sue Grafton By Sue Grafton

I'm slowly working through this alphabet series. I've read most of them when I was a teenager, but I really like these books. They're a good way to just turn off my mind for a while.

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5) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3) by Stieg Larsson by Steig Larsson

I am really sad that the series is over. I found myself rushing through this one a little more. The mystery wasn't as new as it was in the first book or as engaging as the 2nd book. I still think that the 2nd book is my favorite of the trilogy so far.

6) Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls by Jeanette Walls

I've had this on my list to read for a while and someone finally picked it for my bookclub.
I think I had a little biased view of it. Glass Castle was one our favorite book club books of all time, and it was an excellent memoir. While a lot of really interesting things happened in this book, I was thrown off by the emotional distance between the events and the people. I understand that this may have been a fact that she was writing a novel about her grandmother and she didn't have the facts. I'm wondering if it would have been better to write from third person rather than first.

I'm lagging way behind but I have several started at this point. Hopefully thing will start coming together soon and I'll start reading faster. Honestly, once I finish the complete Sherlock series I can add 9 books to my list!

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Oops, I guess I'm only at 5 because I added Girl with the Hornets Nest twice. Guess that's what I get for not looking back at my previous posts.

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6) (again, with the miscount) Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) by Jim Butcher by Jim Butcher

I read this because I had heard a lot of hype about it. It was good, yes, and an easy read. I wasn't enthralled or even interested enough to continue with the rest of the series. I'd say it was a solid 3 star read. Entertaining, but that's about it.

message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 20, 2011 07:13AM) (new)

7) The Stuff of Legend Book 1 The Dark by Mike Raicht

Graphic novel.
Again, I'm new to the whole graphic novel genre. This book was set up like a kid's book but with adult themes. The story is unsettling and scary and the visual that go with it are unbelievable. I ran through it in less than a day, but I'm sure I'll read through it again.

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8) The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) by Stephen King by Stephen King

A re-read for book club (my pick, of course). This has been my favorite series every for a very long time. Re-reading the book from a new perspective--to introduce my friends to my favorite series--has given me a fresh look on it. Since I've read through so many times I know the characters and where they are going. I can see how it won't be appealing to everybody, but it's definitely my favorite of King's work.

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9) Head Games (Locke & Key, Vol. 2) by Joe Hill by Joe Hill

I'm completely addicted to this series of books. I can't say more right now, but I am really looking forward to where this goes.

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10) Horns by Joe Hill by Joe Hill

This book was absolutely incredible. I couldn't put it down and when I had to, I was thinking about the next time I'd get to read it. Joe Hill just keeps getting better and better--can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
My favorite part about it is how he dealt with the absurdity of situations without making it a big deal. So you grew horns out of your head? Dealt with it.
This is a must read for anyone who hasn't already.

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11) Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4) by Dennis Lehane by Dennis Lehane

Wow. As soon as I started this I KNEW why his books make such great movies. There were parts where the story dragged, but I always was curious as to what was going to happen and HOW everything was going to work out in the end. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I can't wait to!

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12) The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye

Another graphic novel! I wasn't sold like I was with Locke & Key, but it totally won me over in the end. I have the DVD of the first season from a friend so I can't wait to read that this weekend.

13) Wil Wheaton Hunter by Wil Wheaton

More of a short story/novella. It was very dark/sci fi. I kind of wish it was longer.

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14) Remembering Raquel by Vivian Vande Velde by Vivian Vande Velde

It was mediocre. I think that I thought it was such a good idea for a book that I expected more from it, and it could have been a lot better. In the end, I felt that the conclusion was a little quick and there could have been SO much more to the story. I enjoyed the way it was told, though multiple stories but it seemed incomplete.

On a side note... it's the end of April and I'm only at 14! I hope that I get a whole lot more done over summer break that I have been in the school year. I'll have to choose some quick n easy reads for a while to knock a few out, because I've been reading Outlander and it's taken me forever to finish.

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15) Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon by Diana Galbodon

There have been many splendid reviews of this book, so I was really excited to finally get around to it. I was really disappointed, in the end. It wasn't a terrible read, but the length of it is EPIC. And it could have probably done with shaving out a bit of the sex scenes. I'm all about a bit of romance in a book, but every time you turn around the main characters are naked again. It was a very inconsistent read for me. I'd fly through 50-100 pages like it was nothing, and then be stuck for days not wanting to read it. The last few chapters were fantastic, but then I mired again with some gratuitous nudity. I'd say 3/5 stars, maybe. I'm in no rush to continue with the series but I may pick it up in the future.

16) The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

After reading Outlander I wanted something fresh... and short, so I could feel like I was accomplishing something. House on Mango Street was the thinnest on my bookshelf so I picked it up.
This is a must-read for everyone. I don't understand how this is a "story" as there's no plot. It's told in a story of what seems almost like journal entries about life on Mango street. The language is poetic and there's a beat to the words.
This is truly a beautiful work of art. I can see why it's a required read in so many schools.

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17) H is for Homicide (Kinsey Millhone, #8) by Sue Grafton by Sue Grafton

Work has been insane lately and while I am working other, more heavy-hitting books, I did need to clear my mind with something else. I call these my "train books" because I just load them all onto my Kindle and read then when I'm on the train in and out of the city.

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18) The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth Popularity, Quirk Theory and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins by Alexandra Robbins

This is a must-read for anyone who has ever working in a school, had kids, or been in high school. This was really really good.

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19) The Looking Glass Wars (The Looking Glass Wars, #1) by Frank Beddor by Frank Beddor

I'm still going back and forth about how I feel about this one. It didn't blow my mind, but it definitely kept me reading the whole time. And when I finished, I wanted to check out the next in the series, unlike when I read Outlander and needed a break.
It's pretty violent for (what I think is) YA. But so was Hunger Games and that was a better read. I think that IF I find the second one for cheap I'll read it, but I'm not sure how invested in the series I am.

20) When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris by David Sedaris

I really liked this one. It wasn't as laugh-out-loud funny as some of his other works but I do think it's a more mature book than some of his older collections.
The short essay format really worked for me, because I could read a section, then put it down, and continue to read everything else that I had going at the same time without interrupting the story. (I was reading both Looking Glass Wars, AND Geeks, AND I've started The Historian)

Next up: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
I've just started (100 pages in is "just starting" for this one) but I really like it already.
One and a half weeks til beach time, so I have to start picking out my beach reads now.

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21) Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Ok. This book was good. Really good. I kind of liked how it ended. I wanted to know what was going to happen NEXT but I was rooting for an ending like that.

22) I is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone, #9) by Sue Grafton by Sue Grafton
I really do love these series, although if I read them too close together they kind of blend together and I end up thinking things have happened before. This is especially true because I read these book about 15 years ago.

23) The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie by Hugh Laurie
I have to admit, I bought this book because it was written by Dr. House. I ended up really enjoying it, in parts. It was witty and funny and wry. And the writing just sounds so British I was reading it with an accent in my head. It was a very charming book.

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Mid year update:
I'm about halfway to my goal, which is surprising for me. I have the rest of the summer months to read and read and read. I didn't get as much beach/pool reading as I thought I would this last week, but I was scuba diving all week so I'll cut myself some slack.

Books in Progress:
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Stuff of Legend, Book 2 The Jungle by Mike Raicht
J is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone, #10) by Sue Grafton

message 24: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 22, 2011 08:09AM) (new)

24) The Stuff of Legend, Book 2 The Jungle by Mike Raicht by Mike Raicht and Brian Smith

I just love this series. It ended on a huge cliffhanger and now I can't wait to see what happens next.

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25) J is for Judgment (Kinsey Millhone, #10) by Sue Grafton by Sue Grafton

Not really much to add about the series. They are good pool-side reading for the summer.

26) The Help by Kathryn Stockett by Katheryn Stockett

I loved this book. It was another one that I just could NOT put down for the life of me. So after days of ignoring my family and friends, I finished it.

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27) Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Collins by Suzanne Collins

With the power out all day yesterday (hooray for Chicago storms), I got to finish this book in one sitting. I'm a huge Collins' fan after reading this book. I loved the Hunger Games as well. The writing is not beautiful or sophisticated but something about her stories draw you in immediately and hook you until the end. I'll probably continue with this series.

I know that several of the complaints about Hunger Games was that it was a rip-off of Battle Royal (which I have not read). That is my one complaint about this book as well. There were parts where it felt a LOT like the Mossflower/Redwall series or even The Hobbit. It didn't keep me from enjoying the story, however.

28) The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

I've had this on my shelf forever and never got around to finishing it. It's deals with jealousy very well, but I liked Othello a bit better. The first half of the play really kept me going. There were several very strong female characters. Unfortunately, this being a drama, they all died. It took longer to finish the 4th and 5th Acts than the first 3 together.

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29) The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides by Jeffery Eugenides

After reading this book, I can see why people either love this author or hate him. It was not an easy book to get through, but I do love his writing and the way he structures his words. I liked Middlesex a little bit better, because it had more of a story but I was sucked into this one.
Time to re-watch the movie.

30) The Walking Dead (Volume 2) Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman

Easy easy easy. I love this series. I can't wait for the 2nd season to come out to watch that, even though they strayed far from the book at the end of last year.

31) Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach by Adam Mansbach

Ok since everyone else is adding it, I guess I will too. I listened to it, so I feel like I'm doubly cheating. It was funny, and I've certainly felt that way before (as a babysitter, but not as a parent--yet) but I felt that I had bought into the hype too much. It wasn't as hilarious as I thought it was going to be.

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32) The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) by Rick Riordan By Rick Riordan

On my complete YA kick lately. I really loved this book. I thought Percy had the right kind of attitude for a 6th, going into 7th, grader who'd struggled with school his whole life. The story was engaging, and it was quick, fun read.

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33) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I finished this book, and though "FINALLY?" I really really wanted to like this book and it was an interesting concept. I felt like the author just tried to do too much. There was so much in the book that the exciting story kind of got lost along the way. Way too long for it's own good.

34) Locke & Key Crown of Shadows, Volume 3 by Joe Hill by Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez

Love, love, LOVE this series.

message 30: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) Lindsey wrote: "33) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

I finished this book, and though "FINALLY?""

I hear ya. I felt the same way. I just didn't buy the whole vampire thing the whole way through although I knew going in what the book was going to be about. It just didn't engage me at all.

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35) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Part of the 50 Books discussion. I had forgotten how much I just loved this book. It was a good idea to re-read it.

36) Summerland by Michael Chabon By Michael Chabon

Very different from Wonderboys, which is the other book by this author that I read. I really was absorbed by the story and I really enjoyed it.

I completely have book ADD right now and can't settle on one thing. I'm working on finishing Neverwhere, which I'm really enjoying right now. But I also have War and Peace and Stuff (my hoarding book). Hopefully I can finish something and keep working toward my 50 books.

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Oops. I haven't updated in a while, but I have been reading.
37) Bossypants by Tina Fey by Tina Fey.

I loved it, and I snorted out loud a few times. It wasn't as funny as I expected. I had seen people laughing out loud on the train while reading this, but I never got to that point (not like when I read Bryson's A Walk In the Woods and read whole sections aloud to my parents while one vacation). I have a whole new respect for Tina Fey now. It was really a strong book.

38) The Long Walk by Stephen King by Stephen King

This was a re-read for me. It's my very favorite stand-alone King book (Dark Tower is my favorite series ever). I think that, in this book, he does great things with what your mind can do when under stress because not much happens during the book.

39) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman by Neil Gaiman

This is my 3rd Gaiman. I read (and adored) Graveyard Book, but then I was a little turned off by American Gods because I just couldn't get into it.
Didn't have that problem with this book... I loved it!

Doubtful I'm going to finish this year, but I've still made it farther than I did last year and I am proud that I am reading more than I was--or I'm more conscious of reading more than I have in the past. This is a good challenge!

message 33: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) Considering not much happens in The Long Walk, it is a strangely engaging read. I was amazed by it.

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40) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein by Garth Stein

I was lent this book with a high recommendation from a friend of mine. She kept asking me if I had read it so I moved it up my list of to-read a little bit.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. At times, I was completely engaged by it and emotionally involved, although most of that time I was disgusted by the actions of some people in the book. At other times, I thought that the dog was being a little preachy--especially at the beginning of the book. It took a while to get used to the racing metaphors as well.

Overall, I'd say maybe 3.5 out of 5 stars for me. But the lower rating is possibly because my friend built it up so much that it didn't live up to expectations.

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Susanna wrote: "Considering not much happens in The Long Walk, it is a strangely engaging read. I was amazed by it."

I know. I'd love to see it turned into a short film, or something, but i know that they wouldn't. It's one of the books that makes me think that King is under-rated. (Although there are others that make me think he is over-rated)

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41) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin by George RR Martin.

Ok... so I jumped on the bandwagon because of the show BUT I haven't actually watched the show yet.
I have been recommending this book to all my friends since I was about halfway through it. I think that it takes an incredibly talented author to juggle this many voices and story lines well--and that's exactly what Martin has done.
I love all the characters. Even the awful and mean ones because they seem like real people. There are so many characters and all of them are well-developed and 3-dimensional.

I have SO MANY THINGS on my to-read list so I'm trying to hold myself off of running off and starting the 2nd book right away but I'm not sure I can do it. Highly recommended!

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42) The Walking Dead (Volume 3) Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman

I had picked this up MONTHS ago at Comic-Con and it took me a while to get into the mood to read it again. I knew it was going to take me about one night to read so I just kept putting it off.
This series is really very good. I haven't been a big graphic novel person before this, but falling into the book again is like listening to my favorite singer. I really care about what's happening with these characters.

I also LOVED the first season of the TV show. I no longer have cable, so I'm going to have to wait on the 2nd season but I'm excited to see where they take it.

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43) The Walking Dead, Vol. 4 The Heart's Desire by Robert Kirkman

Yup, another one. I almost wish I had already picked up the 5th one because I really need to know what's going to happen next.
And I can't even look at my facebook lately because I haven't seen the premier of Season 2. Argh.

message 39: by [deleted user] (last edited Nov 22, 2011 04:55AM) (new)

44) The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2) by Rick Riordan by Rick Riordan

I liked it, and I'll keep reading the series because I can find them for cheap at Half-Price Books. It wasn't as funny or engaging as the first one, but I do get really attached to the characters.

45) Watchmen by Alan Moore

This actually took me a lot longer to read than I expected.
It was VERY good. Blew-my-mind good. The story is intricate and engaging, but very dark so I had to keep putting it down in order to finish it all.
I can see why people disliked the movie now, because it took a lot of the meaning out to make it popular.

NOW I have a dilemma because I have all kinds of books on my shelves to read (and a few started already) but I just got the Clash of Kings in the mail and it's calling my name.

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46) K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone, #11) by Sue Grafton by Sue Grafton

Not my favorite by this author but this series is all comfort books for me.

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