75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2011 Challenge) > Kay's 75 in 2011

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message 1: by Karol (last edited Dec 03, 2011 04:33PM) (new)

Karol Looking forward to another year! Aiming for 100, but that's because I'm counting some children's books - the ones that take me an hour or more to read. I also have a sub-goal of reading 40 from my "To Read" list. And another sub-goal of 30,000 pages.

1. "The Happiness of Kati", by Jane Veggagiva
2. "The Kalahari Typing School for Men", by Alexander McCall Smith
3. "The London Eye Mystery", by David Siobhan
4. The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
5. To Catch a Cat by Marian Babson
6. The Highly Suspicious Halo by Eileen M. Berger
7. Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O'Reilly
8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
9. My Life as a Smashed Burrito by Bill Myers by
10. Haunted Waters by Jerry B. Jenkins
11. Stolen Secrets by Jerry B. Jenkins
12. Missing Pieces by Jerry B. Jenkins
13. Wild Rescue by Jerry B. Jenkins
14. My Life as a Broken Bungee Cord by Bill Myers
15. Uncle Fedya, His Dog, and His Cat by Eduard Uspensky
16. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
17. This Time Together: Laughter and Reflections, by Carol Burnett
18. The Man Who Was Poe, by Avi
19. Iron Thunder, by Avi
20. The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini
21. The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
22. Room at the Inn: The Tiny Zehnder Story by Jerry McEwen
23. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
24. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
25. State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy
26. A Family Living Under the Sahara Sun by Ruth Long
27. The Immortal by Angela Elwell Hunt
28. Paradise Lost by J.A. Jance
29. Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson
30. Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden
31. In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving by Leigh Anne Tuohy
32. Dracula by Bram Stoker
33. The Brotherhood by Jerry B. Jenkins
34. Sinner by Lino Rulli


message 2: by Karol (new)

Karol The Happiness of Kati by Jane Vejjajiva

The Happiness of Kati, by Jane Vejjajiva, 4/5 stars
139 pages


message 3: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Kay, I like all your goals! I wasn't sure how to work in the children's book so I did it as another 75...lol I think I'm going to regret that and should do something more like your system.


message 4: by Christy (new)

Christy (christy_t) Kay, I agree with Andrea that this sounds like a wonderful system. I didn't opt into the childrens challenge, but since I am forever buying books faster than I can read them they are starting to pile up around here. I might add a goal of reading a portion of the books from what I already own. LOL!


message 5: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
I should really do that too as I have so many books just sitting here!


message 6: by Merri (new)

Merri I have vowed to start reading all the books sitting and waiting that I have bought over the years- I will try but of course I bought 2 more last week- amazon sent me a $5. coupon what's a girl to do-had to use it!


message 7: by Michelegg (new)

Michelegg (mggoertzen) Merri LOL of course you must use the coupon!

I have the same goal, to read from my bookshelves. But then I wound up at Borders today. Now I have two more books to add to the bookshelves. Could I have any control at all? Lol!


message 8: by Karol (new)

Karol Absolutely! If we have a coupon, gift card or whatever, we MUST use it. NOW.

2. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith

The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith, 4/5 stars

224 pages

(363 pages so far this year)


I feel like I'm off to a slow start - BUT, I've got several books in the process right now. This includes "War and Peace" which I tried, but failed, to read last year. I'm at it again with a different translation and I am enjoying it a lot more.


message 9: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Kay wrote: "Absolutely! If we have a coupon, gift card or whatever, we MUST use it. NOW.

2. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith

The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith..."


I'm with you on the War and Peace thing, Kay!! I still have about 500 more pages left to get through of that monster!!! Good luck!! =)


message 10: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Sometimes a bad translation can really take the enjoyment out of reading the book! War and Peace is hard enough with a good translation!...lol


message 11: by Karol (last edited Feb 09, 2011 09:21AM) (new)

Karol Joy and Andrea, thanks for the well-wishes with W&P! I am enjoying it quite a lot, using the Peaver and Volokhonsky translation.

3. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd

The London Eye Mystery, by David Siobhan, 4/5 stars.
323 pages

(686 pages so far this year)


message 12: by Karol (new)

Karol 4. The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel

The Man Who Knew Infinity, by Robert Kanigel, 4/5 stars.
436 pages

(1,122 pages so far this year)


message 13: by Karol (new)

Karol 5. To Catch a Cat by Marian Babson

To Catch a Cat, by Marian Babson, 4/5 stars.
190 pages

(1,312 pages so far this year)


I've been in a reading funk - unable to concentrate much. (Two deaths in the family within the space of 6 days has knocked me out physically and emotionally). This book was engaging and relatively short. Well written suspense - not really a mystery as an 11 year old boy witnesses a gruesome murder. The suspense comes from whether the killer will figure out who the person was he saw fleeing the scene. Interesting characters. Makes two British fiction reads for me this year with this (for adults) and "The London Eye Mystery" (for older kids).


message 14: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 595 comments Kay wrote: "Absolutely! If we have a coupon, gift card or whatever, we MUST use it. NOW.

2. The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith

The Kalahari Typing School for Men, by Alexander McCall Smith..."


Which translation are you using now? And which did you try before?


message 15: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Kay, I'm so sorry to hear that you've been through so much. Please let me know if I can do anything to help, I'm thinking of you and hoping that things get better.


message 16: by Karol (new)

Karol Andrea, thanks. I am starting to feel like a human being again. Having trouble concentrating, still - but am starting to at least read fluff again.

6. The Highly Suspicious Halo (Church Choir Mysteries #5) by Eileen M. Berger

The Highly Suspicious Halo, by Eileen Berger, 3/5 stars
243 pages

(1,555 pages so far this year)


message 17: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Anything is better than nothing right! I'm glad you are doing better, I miss seeing you around here :)


message 18: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Just wanted to drop by and send you some virtual hugs!!


message 19: by Karol (new)

Karol Thanks, Andrea and Joy!

7. Pinheads and Patriots by Bill O'Reilly

Pinheads and Patriots, by Bill O'Reilly, 2/5 stars
242 pages

(1,797 pages so far this year)


message 20: by Karol (new)

Karol 8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, 4/5 stars
533 pages

9. My Life as a Smashed Burrito (The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle) by Bill Myers

My Life as a Smashed Burrito, by Bill Myers, 5/5 stars
128 pages

10. Haunted Waters (Red Rock Mysteries) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Haunted Waters by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry, 4/5 stars
200 pages

11. Stolen Secrets (Red Rock Mysteries) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Stolen Secrets, by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry, 4/5 stars
198 pages

12. Missing Pieces (Red Rock Mysteries) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Missing Pieces, by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry, 4/5 stars
204 pages

13. Wild Rescue (Red Rock Mysteries) by Jerry B. Jenkins

Wild Rescue, by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry, 4/5 stars
240 pages

14. My Life as a Broken Bungee Cord (The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle) by Bill Myers

My Life as a Broken Bungee Cord, by Bill Myers, 4/5 stars
128 pages

(3,428 pages so far this year)


message 21: by Karol (new)

Karol 15. Uncle Fedya, His Dog, and His Cat by Eduard Uspensky

Uncle Fedya, His Dog and His Cat, by Eduard Uspensky, 5/5 stars. Hilarious!
136 pages

(3,564 pages so far this year)


message 22: by Karol (new)

Karol 16. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, 4/5 stars, 224 pages.

Such an interesting book . . . much slower-paced than today's writing, but in some ways that added to the horror. I was pretty familiar with the story before I started reading, so I wasn't expecting any surprises. I was surprised, though, by the detailed descriptions that made me shudder, and the inventive genius behind the writing.


17. This Time Together Laughter and Reflections by Carol Burnett

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflections, by Carol Burnett, 4/5 stars, 266 pages

I laughed out loud so many times during this book - some of the behind-the-scenes stuff was just hilarious. And it was a great tonic for me to remember some of my favorite skits from Ms. Burnett's show and learn more about what was behind them. Lots of creative genius here.

Warning though - there are some portions that are likely to make you cry, also. I shed buckets of tears twice. And then there were a couple of things that sort of made my skin crawl. (Joan Crawford was one creepy character).

I liked the focus of the book - so much of it was focused on the people around Carol, vs. "I did this and then I did that". It's obvious she has been a fan and observer/student of many people during her lifetime, even as others have been fans and students of hers. Great book.

(4,074 pages so far this year).


message 23: by Charleen (new)

Charleen (charleenlynette) | 1596 comments I tried reading War of the Worlds once and I just couldn't get into it. I haven't written it off completely, but for now I have a cutoff date of 1900. It's just so hard for me to get into older books that I figure I'll put my time and energy into things that will be easier for me to appreciate and hopefully enjoy.

Key words: for now.


message 24: by Karol (new)

Karol Charleen, I totally get what you're saying! Victorian and pre-Victorian era writing is difficult to wade through, usually for me because of the verrry slow pace. I have to really be in the mood for it!


message 25: by Karol (new)

Karol 18. The Man Who Was Poe by Avi

The Man Who Was Poe, by Avi, 5/5 stars, 208 pages.

19. Iron Thunder (I Witness) by Avi

Iron Thunder, by Avi, 5/5 stars, 224 pages.

I absolutely love Avi, especially when he writes historical fictions. My all-time favorite is Crispin: The Cross of Lead, but these two rate very highly with me also.

The story about Poe does an absolutely wonderful job shedding some light on the heaviness of Poe's mind. Insanity, maybe. In school when I learned about Edgar Allan Poe, the teachers glossed over all the stuff about his heavy drinking but in this novel it is depicted for what it was. Not pretty. On top of insights into the personality of this author, Avi does a brilliant job of writing a mystery of his own.

In Iron Thunder, the main character is the "captain's boy" on one of the first two ironclad ships, built during the Civil War. He was aboard the Union's ship (the Monitor) and witnessed its battle with the southern ironclad (the Merrimac). Through his eyes, Avi shows the many problems experienced in both building and navigating the Monitor and paints a realistic picture of how challenging life on board must have been.

Two fascinating reads!


message 26: by Karol (new)

Karol 20. The Lost Quilter (Elm Creek Quilts, #14) by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Lost Quilter, by Jennifer Chiaverini, 5/5 stars, 336 pages

21. The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #5) by Alexander McCall Smith

The Full Cupboard of Life, by Alexander McCall Smith, 4/5 stars, 198 pages

(5,040 pages so far this year)


message 27: by Karol (new)

Karol 22. Room at the Inn: The Tiny Zehnder Story, by Jerry McEwen, 3/5 stars, 183 pages

23. In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #6) by Alexander McCall Smith

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith, 5/5 stars, 233 pages

(5,456 pages so far this year).

I am not at all sure I will hit any of my goals this year - but it is nice to feel like reading again.


message 28: by Charleen (new)

Charleen (charleenlynette) | 1596 comments Kay wrote: "...but it is nice to feel like reading again."

I've SO been there! I just hate it when I'm in a reading slump.


message 29: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Last year it was struggle to the end for me and then I picked up the pace and ended up with 100. This year I'm flying, next year I'm thinking snail pace...lol Who cares, it's all fun that matters in the end :)


message 30: by Karol (new)

Karol Charleen wrote: "Kay wrote: "...but it is nice to feel like reading again."

I've SO been there! I just hate it when I'm in a reading slump."


This has been kind of a bad year, but not my worst ever. One year, I only read SIX books.


message 31: by Karol (new)

Karol Andrea wrote: "Last year it was struggle to the end for me and then I picked up the pace and ended up with 100. This year I'm flying, next year I'm thinking snail pace...lol Who cares, it's all fun that matters i..."

Andrea, I agree with you 100%. The fun for me is just as much about seeing what everyone else is reading.


message 32: by Karol (new)

Karol 24. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, 386 pages, 2/5 stars.

I didn't enjoy this book very much. Not a typical read for me. I certainly learned about the seedy side of Savannah.


message 33: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
I've been dying to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for ages, I think I even own it. I wish I read it while we were in Savannah. The Garden with the statue on the cover was right across the street from our hotel. I tried to take a picture but it didn't come out good because it was too dark.


message 34: by Karol (new)

Karol Andrea wrote: "I've been dying to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for ages, I think I even own it. I wish I read it while we were in Savannah. The Garden with the statue on the cover was right across..."

Andrea, for me, the book got off to a fascinating start. But then it degenerated into an expose' of the degenerate people in Savannah. Still, it was interesting enough for me to stick with it to the end because of the aspect of a trial - I am always interested in books that have any kind of legal aspect to them. I find our nation's practice of the law intriguing. There were places that made me laugh out loud, also. All in all the book was memorable - so maybe I should rate it higher than 2 stars. But on the other hand through much of it, I felt like I was wasting my time.

A long, rambling post - when that comes from me it's almost always indicative of mixed feelings!


message 35: by Karol (new)

Karol 25. State of the Onion (White House Chef Mystery, Book 1) by Julie Hyzy

State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy, 336 pages, 4/5 stars.

Returning to my comfort genre of choice, I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. Perfect for the genre, with layers of assassins, the white house kitchen staff, and the secret service making it both fun and interesting.

(6,178 pages so far this year).


message 36: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
I like you long rambling posts Kay! :)

I know what you mean about rating the book though. Sometimes I'm just so on the fence that something either sways me higher or lower. I'll get to this one eventually and I'll have to get back to you on my thoughts.


message 37: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Kay wrote: "20. The Lost Quilter (Elm Creek Quilts, #14) by Jennifer Chiaverini

The Lost Quilter, by Jennifer Chiaverini, 5/5 stars, 336 pages

21. The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #5) by Alexander McCall Smith

The Full Cupboard of Life, by Alexander Mc..."


Oh! I love the elm Creek Quilters series!! Nice, light and fluffy!!


message 38: by Karol (new)

Karol I have been in a deep, deep funk! I apologize for being absent for so long . . .

It has been a very tough year so far. I'm trying little by little to get back to my old self. Not sure that will ever happen! But maybe the "new me" will be better in some ways.

I have continued reading with my son, but aside from those books (which I will try to post soon), there hasn't been much. I am currently reading a self-published book by the mother of a friend of mine. It is quite interesting, really, but also quite long (about 600 pages).


message 39: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Kay wrote: "I have been in a deep, deep funk! I apologize for being absent for so long . . .

It has been a very tough year so far. I'm trying little by little to get back to my old self. Not sure that will ..."


I hope things get better for you soon, Kay ::hugs::...it's been a rough summer for me too, lots of dark days and tearful nights! Hang in there, and come back whenever you can! You're in my thoughts and prayers!


message 40: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle | 2935 comments Kay, you are always in my thoughts. I pray that things get brighter for you soon!!! I too have had a rough year and totally understand that "funk". HUGS to you my friend!!!


JanB(on vacation till October) | 980 comments Kay wrote: "I have been in a deep, deep funk! I apologize for being absent for so long . . .

It has been a very tough year so far. I'm trying little by little to get back to my old self. Not sure that will ..."


Kay, I'm sorry your year has been so tough. I hope things are looking brighter soon. (((hugs)))


message 42: by Karol (new)

Karol Joy, Dawn Michelle, and Jan - thanks!


message 43: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Kay, I'm so sorry to hear that you are having a hard time. It hasn't been the best year for me either. So I know just what you mean when at times you go through the motions and that is all you have to give for that day. I do hope things get better for you and always know that I'm here if you need an ear. :)


message 44: by Karol (new)

Karol Andrea wrote: "Kay, I'm so sorry to hear that you are having a hard time. It hasn't been the best year for me either. So I know just what you mean when at times you go through the motions and that is all you have..."

Thanks, Andrea. I'm here for you, too. I appreciate the encouraging words.


message 45: by Karol (new)

Karol 26. A Family Living Under the Sahara Sun by Ruth Long, 628 pages, 4/5 stars.

This book isn't great literature - but it is just so REAL that I've giving it pretty high marks. It's the memoirs of a woman from the U.S. who lived in Africa on the Sahara in the 1950's through the 1970's. She returned on several trips in later years also. It's a life that I am not sure I could have lived.

(6,806 pages so far this year)


message 46: by Karol (last edited Sep 03, 2011 05:31AM) (new)

Karol 27, The Immortal by Angela Elwell Hunt, 400 pages, 4/5 stars

This was a re-read of a book that I read in 2007. Funny thing, although I gave it 5-stars then, I didn't remember very much about it. Didn't even realize I was re-reading it until I got to about the 4th chapter. (Thought I was having deja vu at first!).

(7,206 pages so far this year).


message 47: by Karol (last edited Oct 04, 2011 09:27AM) (new)

Karol 28. Paradise Lost by J.A. Jance, 432 pages, 4/5 stars

I REALLY like the Joanna Brady series by Jance!

29. Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson, 350 pages, 2/5 stars

Trite fluff where it is expected that every gal finds a fella'. Not my cup-o-tea.


(7,988 pages so far this year)


message 48: by Karol (new)

Karol 30. Jeannie Out of the Bottle by Barbara Eden, 288 pages, 4/5 stars.

There were a few things in this bio that were over the top and perhaps bordered on what makes "Hollyweird" what it is. But in general it was an enjoyable read. Near the end, Ms. Eden dealt with the tragic consequences of drug addiction in her son's short life. I found myself crying through that part.

(8,276 pages so far this year).


message 49: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4124 comments Mod
Kay, when I was little I wanted to live in a bottle just like from the I Dream of Jeannie show...hahaha


message 50: by Karol (new)

Karol Andrea wrote: "Kay, when I was little I wanted to live in a bottle just like from the I Dream of Jeannie show...hahaha"

Me too, Andrea. I also wanted to marry an astronaut!


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