75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2011 Challenge) > Penny's 2011 75 Books

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message 1: by Penny (new)

Penny Looking forward to another year of reading!


message 2: by Penny (new)

Penny 1. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Although I found this book easier to read and better written than its predecessor Crime and Punishment, I think Dostoevsky could have used fewer words. My slowly moving bookmark was a downside. But, the storyline and characters were engaging. The social and psychological aspects of the book made for an interesting discussion with my book club.


message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 134 comments All two of us!! :)


message 4: by Penny (new)

Penny 2. The Church Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll: This is one of the most important books I have read. Swindoll provides strong evidence for the erosion prevalent in churches and the lives of believers. Although his audience is mainly pastors and lay leaders, believers of all types will appreciate his candid reflections about his own experience in ministry. I constantly marked quotations from Swindoll and well-known theologians as I read. I highly recommend it.


message 5: by Penny (new)

Penny 3. Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton: After reading more challenging material, this was a nice break. But, it's fairly contrived, and I doubt I'll read the rest of the series.


message 6: by Penny (new)

Penny 4. Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers: I finished this book in 24 hours! As with just about every Francine Rivers book, I found it relevant, timeless, and poignant. This book will inspire you to appreciate your family, to bridge relationships with forgiveness, and to break destructive generational cycles. A must read!


message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 134 comments Maybe this will be my next book after Seeds of Turmoil. I still haven't gotten to it (I tried to bring lightweight (physically - in other words no hard covers) when we went to California.


message 8: by Penny (new)

Penny 5. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes: I first read this book when I was in eighth grade from one of my toughest history teachers. Looking back, I'm so glad he pushed us to think toward college, but it was a challenging class! Every time I read/listen to it, I discover something new.


message 9: by Penny (new)

Penny 6. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare: I loved the cultural and historical aspects of this book. It reflects how we need one another to survive. When I read books about children the same age as my own, I realize how tantamount the tasks of early settlers were. Imagine leaving a thirteen-year-old alone for more than two months to defend the homestead! Gulp!


message 10: by Penny (new)

Penny 7. Blue Hour by Carolyn Forche: Because I was teaching a poetry lesson today on color and acrostics, I pulled this book from my shelf. Forche's "On Earth" encompasses more than half of this volume. It's incredibly rich with details and word patterns. I was just as fascinated about how she used every letter of the alphabet as I was by the unfolding of the story. Don't let its thinness fool you! You'll get lost in the thickness of its depth.


message 11: by Penny (new)

Penny 8. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson: I enjoyed reading Mr. Revere and I as well as Ben and Me more than Rabbit Hill. It just didn't grab me. But, my boys seemed to enjoy it, so I'm glad we read it together.


message 12: by Penny (new)

Penny 9. The Fighting Ground by Avi: The style and structure of this novel was unique and engaging. I can't give it five stars because I felt it was a bit too graphic for children. It is more appropriate for young adults and up. Even so, my boys enjoyed it as did I.


message 13: by Penny (new)

Penny 10. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I think many have stereotyped the positive Pollyanna world view. But, this book is truly deeper than I suspected. I am excited to discuss it with my book club.


message 14: by Penny (new)

Penny 11. Winter Danger by William O. Steele: This was a well-written fictional account of a young boy braving a bitter winter during the early pioneering days. Full of adventure and epiphany, it kept the interest of my boys. (Although one did ask if we could read a book called Summer Danger. He said he's a bit tired of winter. :))


message 15: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 134 comments Penny wrote: "10. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I think many have stereotyped the positive Pollyanna world view. But, this book is truly deeper than I suspected. I am e..."

I thought you would be!!


message 16: by Penny (new)

Penny 12. The Rifle by Gary Paulsen: I loved this book! Historical significance and ultimate message--5 stars! The boys and I also used the discussion questions in the back of the book. Looking forward to reading more of Paulsen.


message 17: by Penny (new)

Penny 13. Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen: We started listening to book two in this series right away. Guess that's a good endorsement!


message 18: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1814 comments Penny wrote: "13. Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulsen: We started listening to book two in this series right away. Guess that's a good endorsement!"

I haven't read those two from Paulsen, I guess I should track them down since I really enjoyed his books Hatchet and The River!


message 19: by Penny (new)

Penny 14. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson: The historical aspects of this book are well done. The only reason why I gave it four stars is because I felt the dialogue was a bit too modern at times. Otherwise, I learned just as much as my kids! Must read!


message 20: by Penny (new)

Penny 15. Call Me Francis Tucket by Gary Paulsen: Another action-packed adventure! Planning to start book three tomorrow!


message 21: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 595 comments Penny wrote: "1. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Although I found this book easier to read and better written than its predecessor Crime and Punishment, I think Dostoevsky could have used fewer words. My slowly ..."

So you liked the Idiot better than Crime and Punishment? I've been debating which of the two books I wanted to read. I had almost decided on C&P, because it's shorter and I think the premise sounds more interesting, but now I'm not so sure...


message 22: by Penny (new)

Penny Amy wrote: "Penny wrote: "1. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Although I found this book easier to read and better written than its predecessor Crime and Punishment, I think Dostoevsky could have used fewer wor..."

I liked his characters and writing style better in The Idiot, but I didn't enjoy the length. ;) Crime and Punishment is definitely a worthwhile read. It's just obvious that Dostoevsky improved as a writer between Crime and Punishment and The Idiot, which is what any author hopes to achieve. I also think I understood the Russian names easier because I had already read one of Dostoevsky's books. (Most characters are referred to by three different names, so it can get very confusing!) So, I would recommend either one, even both. :)


message 23: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 595 comments Penny wrote:"I also think I understood the Russian names easier because I had already read one of Dostoevsky's books. (Most characters are referred to by three different names, so it can get very confusing!) So, I would recommend either one, even both. :) "

Yes, I struggled with that when I read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina earlier this month!


message 24: by Penny (new)

Penny 16. Tucket's Ride by Gary Paulsen: We are still enjoying this series. What I like best about Paulsen's books is that he places young people in challenging situations and teaches history at the same time. Excellent!


message 25: by Penny (new)

Penny Amy wrote: "Penny wrote:"I also think I understood the Russian names easier because I had already read one of Dostoevsky's books. (Most characters are referred to by three different names, so it can get very c..."

That's still one on my list! :)


message 26: by Penny (new)

Penny 17. Still Life by Louise Penny: I enjoy mysteries when I want a light read, but often find them too predictable in plot and too shallow in character development. This series might just surprise me on both counts. The author kept me guessing all the way through and actually gave her characters depth. I highlighted several thought-provoking statements as well. She used several literary references, which only made her story more endearing. The only thing that bothered me was the scattered use of swearing. I never like that! Even so, I'm looking forward to reading book two!


message 27: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Penny, I really enjoy a good mystery that is done so well you are focused on the story and not actually thinking ahead to solve it!


message 28: by Penny (new)

Penny This one does both! You become involved with the characters as you are trying to figure out who did it. Because it's a series, some characters reappear in the other books. My understanding is that they get better and better.


message 29: by Penny (new)

Penny 18. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller: What I didn't like about the book in the beginning made me like it in the end, especially the not-so-funny situations that made me laugh, which pretty much summarizes the book without any need for a real explanation. ;)


message 30: by Penny (new)

Penny 19. Tucket's Gold by Gary Paulsen: I enjoyed learning more about the Pueblo Native Americans in this one. On to Tucket's Home this week!


message 31: by Penny (new)

Penny 20. Tucket's Home by Gary Paulsen: This was an excellent conclusion to Paulsen's series. I highly recommend this series for children who enjoy adventure and historical fiction.


message 32: by Penny (new)

Penny 21. Lord, I Want to Know You: A Study on the Names of God by Kay Arthur: I enjoyed learning more about the names of God, but the study structure was not my favorite. There was not a consistent format, so it was difficult to pace the study. Some days were all reading and others all study; I would have liked an equal combination. The Kindle version also had missing text; fortunately I was doing the study with others who had the book. But, I did learn more about God's names and like the resources in the back of the book for future reference. I will probably do another Arthur study in the future, but I will plan for a variety of length and structure each day.


message 33: by Penny (new)

Penny 22. Dancing with Max by Emily Colson: I wish I could meet Emily and Max. I think my son and I would have a lot in common with them. Emily describes with candor and grace the difficult task of raising a child with autism. I highly recommend it for anyone who know a family affected by autism or if you are that family. You will be reminded over and over why these kids are truly God's gift!


message 34: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Amy wrote: "Penny wrote: "1. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Although I found this book easier to read and better written than its predecessor Crime and Punishment, I think Dostoevsky could have used fewer wor..."

have you started any of those?


message 35: by Penny (new)

Penny Not yet...I have to finish James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales first!


message 36: by Penny (new)

Penny 23. The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper: I remember picking up this book when I was in high school, but abandoned it for some reason. I wish I hadn't! I have added another favorite author to my list!


message 37: by Penny (new)

Penny 24. Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling: I love the whimsy of this tale. It's easily enjoyed in an afternoon, but a journey to be remembered for a lifetime.


message 38: by Penny (new)

Penny 25. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink: I remembered bits and pieces from this story, but I don't think I read the whole book as a child. This is another "read more" book according to my sons. I wasn't aware there was a sequel, so it is now in the library bag ready to read!


message 39: by Penny (new)

Penny 26. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: I read this book when I was about 12. But, listening to Tantoo Cardinal read it made it come to life. I highly recommend listening to it even if you have read it.


message 40: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Penny wrote: "26. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: I read this book when I was about 12. But, listening to Tantoo Cardinal read it made it come to life. I highly recommend listening to it even if you..."


I LOVED this book as a child! We had to read it in fourth or fifth grade, I think, and I had the entire thing read DAAAAYS before the rest of the class. I loved it, and now it makes me want to go back and read it again!! Maybe in audio this time! =)


message 41: by Penny (new)

Penny 27. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper: Definitely lighter fare than The Deerslayer since the vernacular is not as strong. I like the historical resonance of these novels. Looking forward to the next.


message 42: by Penny (new)

Penny 28. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich: I love Erdrich's poetic storytelling voice!


message 43: by Penny (new)

Penny 29. Shoeless Joe and Me by Dan Gutman: Lots of history in this book. My boys are captivated!


message 44: by Penny (new)

Penny 30. Babe and Me by Dan Gutman: Another intriguing baseball adventure!


message 45: by Penny (new)

Penny 31. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence: Not my favorite. The sexuality was overdone. But, the character study is fascinating. I can see the same destructive tendencies in our society today.


message 46: by Penny (new)

Penny 32. Magdalene by Angela Hunt: This is a fictional account of Mary Magdalene, but it reflects surprising depth through character development.


message 47: by Penny (new)

Penny Okay, I may be behind in my posts, but not in my reading. Here's the belated list.

33. Faith Like Potatoes by Angus Buchan
34. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
35. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
36. Embraced by the Spirit by Charles R. Swindoll
37. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
38. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
39. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
40. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
41. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
42. The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker


message 48: by Penny (new)

Penny I knew I forgot a few...

43. Call of the Wild by Jack London
44. White Fang by Jack London
45. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller


message 49: by Jocelin (new)

Jocelin | 274 comments Penny wrote: "I knew I forgot a few...

43. Call of the Wild by Jack London
44. White Fang by Jack London
45. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller"


#45 "A Shepard Looks at Psalm 23"is one of my favorite Christian books. I have read it at least 3 times. Very inspirational, very comforting.


message 50: by Penny (new)

Penny I agree! I read it out loud to my boys, and they all seemed to enjoy it. I was impressed with Keller's spiritual insights, and we certainly learned a lot about sheep. It will hold a permanent place on our shelf.


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