75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2011 Completed) > Amy P.'s 2011 challenge Complete!

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message 1: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 28, 2011 08:14AM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments I have no idea how many books I read in 2010, so I don't know how attainable 75 is going to be. It seemed like a good starting point.

Progress Tracking:


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1. Lover Revealed Finished 01/07
I love the series, but I didn't have high hopes for this one at the beginning. Butch has never been my favorite male. I was pleasantly surprised and ended up really enjoying this one.

2. Stolen Finshed 01/09
I had really enjoyed Bitten and was excited to read this book, but I was very disappointed. Not enough Clay or the Pack. I don't know that I'll continue this series

3. Valiant Finished 01/11
Another book I was disappointed with. I don't get offended easily but I found this YA book distasteful. The main characters did way too many drugs for my liking. Couldn't relate to any of the characters.

4. Lover Unbound Finished 01/15
I really enjoyed V's story. His is a close second for my favorite book of the series.

5. Mirrors Finished 01/16
Recommended by my officemate. It was a challenging read. The "story" is told through vignettes about various people in the narrators life. As such, the story involves multiple conflicting view points about common events. In order to understand what was happening, I had to do some background reading on Egyptian politics.

6. The Last Bridge Finished 01/16
I I had trouble putting this book down. I read it in one sitting. Very enjoyable, but the ending left me wanting more.

7. Heartsick Finished 01/20
I enjoyed it, but I figured out the " who-done-it" fairly early on. Still I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

8. Covet Finished 01/27
After reading the BDB series, I was anxious to read more by Ward. I was not disappointed. I like the idea that the series is built around the seven deadly sins. I also enjoyed that it took place in Cadwell, NY just like the BDB. But reading this before I finished the BDB series may have been a mistake. Contains some spoilers.

9. Lover Enshrined Finished 01/29
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I think its the weakest of the BDB series I've read. Not a fan of Phury.

10.Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character Finished 01/31
Another book recommended by my officemate. A very funny read.


message 2: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1738 comments Amy wrote: "I have no idea how many books I read in 2010, so I don't know how attainable 75 is going to be. It seemed like a good starting point.

Well, you're certainly off to a good start :) The math works out to something like 6 1/4 books a month to hit 75.


message 3: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments Yes, but I've spent the last 2 weeks on Anna Karenia and I'm still not finished. I feel like I'm falling behind


message 4: by Stacie (new)

Stacie (stacieh) | 1738 comments Amy wrote: "Yes, but I've spent the last 2 weeks on Anna Karenia and I'm still not finished. I feel like I'm falling behind"

Couple of things to keep in mind... First, if January is a fair representation of your reading volume you would normally finish the challenge in 7 1/2 months, so- in theory- as long as Anna Karenina doesn't you longer than 4 1/2 months to finish you should still be able to hit 75! Second, AK is a monster of a book (not sure of the exact page count off-hand but it's over 800) and really should be worth bonus points, LOL! It's on my list of 'Classics to read sometime before I die'... but I must admit I'm horribly intimidated by Russian Lit.


message 5: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby 10.Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character Finished 01/31
Another book recommended by my officemate. A very funny read.


I can't remember who recommended this book to me, but it's been on my list for awhile. This is the second really positive thing I've heard, so I'll definitely give it a go.


message 6: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 15, 2011 12:08PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 11. Anna Karenina Finished 2/15
I'm finally finished. It rarely takes me this long to read a book I've enjoyed. Granted it's really long, but I found it hard to read the book for an extended period of time. I had to take breaks every hour or two. As others have stated, the Russian names can be hard to keep straight, but it was well worth the effort. I loved the characters; they were richly drawn. And though flawed, I loved most of them. There were parts that I wish I could have skipped (e.g., the philosophy of farming), which is why I give the book 4 stars rather than 5.


message 7: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 12. The Scarlet Letter Finished 2/17
The second book depressing adultery book I've read in a row. I need a change of pace. The book was okay. Nothing too exciting. Still, a solid read. I might have enjoyed it more if I had read it at a different time.


message 8: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 18, 2011 05:50PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 13. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake Finished 2/18
I thought that the idea behind the book was great, but that it wasn't what it could have been. It wasn't what I wanted it to be. There wasn't a whole lot of story/ plot there. And the characters weren't that well developed. It was really just snapshots of a family's life at three point in time. We only got the smallest hint of why all this was happening in the first place and very little development in how the characters are going to deal with it. I felt like I was told about events, but I wasn't shown anything,


message 9: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 19, 2011 12:54PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 14. Original Sin Finished 2/19
It's been well over a year since I've read my last James novel, and I keep wondering why I waited so long. She is by far my favorite mystery author. I don't want to give anything about this novel away. It was one of my favorites.


message 10: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
Amy, I really like the Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake! However, it was very odd at times and made me wonder if it was going to go some place or just around and around.


message 11: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 15. Ivanhoe Finished 2/21
Once I got comfortable with the style, I really loved this book in the beginning. But it kept dragging on and on and on. And eventually, I began to tire of it. By the end, I was very happy to be done. I'm longing for a light fluffy read.


message 12: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 23, 2011 04:53PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 16. Spirit Bound Finished 2/23
This book was like a breath of fresh air. I felt so weary after reading Ivanhoe. This book made me feel refreshed. Its one of my top three vamp series and wasn't disappointed with it at all. What I had been hoping for actually occurred, even though it's consequences weren't exactly what I had had in mind. There is one more book in the series. Hopefully, both Lissa and Roza will get there HEA.


message 13: by Shawn (new)

Shawn | 287 comments Nice graphs!


message 14: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments All thanks to you, Mollie.


message 15: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
Wow fancy stuff!


message 16: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Hey, you've got some graphs there! :)


message 17: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 25, 2011 08:18PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 17. Neverwhere Finished 2/25
I loved this book. It's hard to describe, because it was quite unique. I loved his descriptions and the characters were well drawn. I was caught off guard several times and enjoyed the twists and turns of the story. I'll be reading more of Neil Gaiman in the future.


message 18: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 26, 2011 09:22AM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 18. The Hound of the Baskervilles Finished 2/26
My first S. Holmes novel. Different than most of the mysteries I read. This one didn't give the reader the clues needed to solve the mystery for themselves. Not that I'm ever able to, but knowing all the information was presented to me makes me want to try again. Good use of suspense and pacing. I enjoyed it tremendously. A classic indeed.


message 19: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 26, 2011 02:57PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments The Battle for One Elect 2/26
I won this book through first reads so I felt compelled to try and read it, I got through the first half. But it was a real struggle, and I wondered why I was making myself read this book when my house is full of books I WANT to read. So I quit.
The novel is extremely preachy. The author is incredibly judgmental. And I couldn't stand how he explained medical conditions in terms of demonic possession. At one point his daughter is having a grand mal seizure and he writes "It was a most gruesome, satanic thing to observe". The author/ narrator is supposed to be a medical doctor... That was the beginning of the end for me. I didn't last to the end of the chapter.

Since I didn't finish the book, I'm not going to count it as one of my 75.


message 20: by Amy J. (last edited Feb 28, 2011 08:15AM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 19. Little Women Finished 2/28
I've tried to read this book at least twice before with no luck. But this time I got into it and really enjoyed it. Sometimes you just have to be in the mood for a certain book. Anyhow, I found it charming. There were several times I was moved to tears. It was a wonderful read. I'll probably revisit the book again and again and again.


message 21: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 20. I, Robot Finished 3/2
The book was nothing like I thought it was going to be. First off, it's a collection of short stories. I don't usually like short stories. I don't like the pacing. And I find it frustrating that they tend to end just as I'm getting into the story. So I was worried that I might not enjoy the book. Plus, it's about robots. Not really my cup of tea. However, none of these issues were a problem in the present case. And although each was a separate story they tied together nicely. so I didn't feel things were ending just when they were starting to get good. In short, I loved the book. It's the best thing I've read this year (so far).


message 22: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 21. Shiver finished 3/3
I didn't like this book at all. It was a huge disappointment as it came highly recommended from several friends. The most annoying aspect in my opinion were Sam's lyrics. They were painful and out of place. I stopped even looking at them about a third into the book.

Throughout the book, I found myself thinking that the novel was trying to be Twilightesque but doing a bad job of it. I didn't feel there was any chemistry between Sam and Grace. Their "love story" was hard for me to buy into. I didn't feel any emotional connection between them or between myself and the story.

I also didn't like how the author kept switching back and forth between Sam and Graces' perspectives. It broke the tone and the pace for me. I got so bored with the novel that I wanted to sit and read it until I was done, so that today I could read a better book during my lunch break.


message 23: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 03, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 22. The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman Finished 3/3

This was a reread. I read The Almond for the first time about 6 years ago. I loved it then and I love it still. I came back to this book with a slightly better understanding of Muslim culture, having once been engaged to an Egyptian man. Crass, crude, bawdy, overly explicit to be sure. However, I still love it. It is an unadulterated celebration of female sexuality.


message 24: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 05, 2011 09:34PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 23. One Hundred Years of Solitude Finished 3/5
I'm not quite sure what to make of this book. It was a strange reading experience. A rambling tale that seemed directionless most of the time. And yet following the lives of the Buendía was entertaining. I wasn't as disturbed by the incestuous themes as I thought I would be. Perhaps because the entire work was surreal. Or perhaps I just got used to it. It seemed to happen a lot. The naming conventions were annoying and I had to keep referring to the family tree to keep the generations straight in my head.

I found the last chapter the most enjoyable. It made the story more cohesive. And it was so utterly unexpected that I kept exclaiming out loud as I read it.


message 25: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 24. The Strain Finished 3/7
Vampirism as a virus transmitted by contact with the worm like parasites in infected blood? It's definitely a new idea. However, the resulting vampires seemed more like zombie to me. The newbies just didn't seem very vampire-like to me. The older ones were better. Some of the battles were interesting, but they seemed to get a bit redundant toward the end. I wonder where the del toro can go with the next two books in the series.


message 26: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 09, 2011 01:21PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 25. The Fall Finished 3/9
Slightly less enjoyable than The Strain, but I often find that true of the second books in a trilogy (e.g., The Girl Who Played with Fire). However, it was still a good read and it won't keep me from buying the third book when it's released in november.


message 27: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 10, 2011 03:01PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 26. Pomegranate Soup: A Novel Finished 3/10
Such a beautiful story. It reminded me a lot of Chocolat, but I suppose that's because food is blended perfectly into the story of these three Iranian sisters. And as a wonderful surprise the book contains recipes for many of the foods mentioned, including one for dolmeh, which is my favorite middle eastern dish. I can't wait to try out some of these recipes and I look forward to reading the next book.


message 28: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 27. The Picture of Dorian Gray Finished 3/11
I went in thinking I was going to love this novel. That it was going to blow me away. I did enjoy it, but my expectations were too high. The story was fantastic, but there were times that I became bored and inundated by the details of Dorian's life. There was one chapter in particular that was awful. It told, in what i felt was minute detail, of all the subjects that Dorian took an interest in. I was forced to skim that section, and therefore, I cannot give the novel 5 stars.


message 29: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) you are going pretty good, i have been adding a lot to my tbr thanks to you :)


message 30: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments I'm glad you've been finding books you'll enjoy.I know that My TBR pile is growing too, despite the fact that I'm reading more than ever. I've gotten some of my new books from you too.


message 31: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
It's hard reading the posts because I find I always add another couple of books to my list!...lol


message 32: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 28. Lover Avenged Finished 3/13
Strangely enough, the best part of this book was the Wrath/Beth story-line. This book was supposed to be about Rhevenge and Ehelna, right? And they were there, and they were entertaining enough, but I forgot how much I like Wrath and Beth. This book illustrated that. Catching back up with them was great. I didn't really enjoy Xhex and John. So, I'm a bit nervous about book 9. I'm going to read it hoping for more development of the John & Tor relationship and in the hope that Lash gets what's coming to him and finally exits the story-line once and for all. Though I doubt the latter is going to happen.


message 33: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) What I love most about BDB is,this. In every new book it is never only about the hero/heroine alone, like in this one, there were alot of Wrath and Beth and all the rest are also in the book, you are not just reading about the main characters.


message 34: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 18, 2011 08:32PM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 29. The Metamorphosis Finished 3/14
I'm not exactly sure what I think of this story, even after reading the critiques and analyses. It was a very strange. But I can't even decide if I enjoyed it. I'm still trying to figure out what happened and what it means. Is it merely an analogy for illness? Is it a dream, despite Kafka explicitly saying it's not? Is Gregor experiencing a psychotic episode? I don't know. Having read Metamorphosis, I think I have a better understanding of the term "Kafkaesque", which is something, right?


message 35: by Amy J. (last edited Mar 19, 2011 06:15AM) (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 30. The Elegance of the Hedgehog Finished 3/18
I rather enjoyed this book. However, there was a stretch towards the beginning that was almost intolerably dull. About 50 pages in, some of the novelty, which made the beginning enjoyable, wears off. And the book didn't become interesting again until Kakuro moved into the building (about 100 pages later). A lot of the reviews of this book have said it's pretentious or arrogant. And there were times I'd have agreed. The characters seemed amused with their own intelligence. Thought they were pretty witty and unique.

Renee often annoyed me. With her focus on class division. If you purposefully act like a stereotype, and have low expectations of people in general, why should you be surprised when people treat you in a stereotypical manner. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The ending of the book left me a bit teary eyed. I was surprised by my own depth of feeling for these characters.


message 36: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
Ohhh! I have this one to read too.


message 37: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 31) Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story Finished 3/19
My first ever ebook! I don't have a Kindle or a Nook, but both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have versions of ereaders you can download onto your Mac for free, which is good because I've only been able to find this title for Kindles.

I can't get enough of Bella and Z, so obviously I loved this story.


message 38: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 32) Candide Finished 3/19
Highly amusing! And not what I was expecting. I didn't think humor from the 1700's would transfer all that well to the 21st century. But I was chortling (if not outright laughing) the entire time I was reading it.


message 39: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) Amy wrote: "31) Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story Finished 3/19
My first ever ebook! I don't have a Kindle or a Nook, but both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have versions of ereaders you can do..."


So you are a Bella and Zadist fan too :)


message 40: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby Amy wrote: "32) Candide Finished 3/19
Highly amusing! And not what I was expecting. I didn't think humor from the 1700's would transfer all that well to the 21st century. But I was chortling (if n..."


This is a great book. I talk about it all the time, butt eating cannibals! How can you get better?


message 41: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments I don't think you can. There were so many great moments where I couldn't believe what I was reading.


message 42: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 33) The Bone People Finished 3/23

It took me a long time to get into this book, but once I did I enjoyed it, even though it made me very uncomfortable a lot of the time. The subject matter was heart-wrenchingly painful.


message 43: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 34) Of Mice and Men Finished 3/25

I loved this book when I had to read it in high school, but for some reason I haven't read it since then ( 13 years). I very happy to find that this is still one of my favorites.


message 44: by Tuğçe (new)

Tuğçe Gökırmak (tugcenidasevin) I haven't read this one (well I am not counting the shortened version they forced us to read in high school) and got the book but don't know why I was staying away.


message 45: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4070 comments Mod
I just reread this recently and I liked it much more than in high school.


message 46: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 594 comments 35. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Finished 3/27

I'm a bit undecided. There were times I was really into the story and times when I got really bored with it. There were some parts that seemed like filler. They could have been removed without detracting from the story. I enjoyed the nerdiness of Oscar but I often felt overwhelmed with pity.

I did feel like the author dropped the n-bomb far too often. I was jolted out of the story every time he used it. It was distracting and I'm not convinced it added any authenticity to the narrative.

An interesting book, and I learned quite a bit about the DR's history (thank you footnotes) but how did it manage to a Pultizer?


message 47: by Gnatalby (new)

Gnatalby Amy wrote: "35. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Finished 3/27

I'm a bit undecided. There were times I was really into the story and times when I got really bored with it. There were some p..."


Huh, I'm surprised, I really loved this book. The n word didn't bother me, since both the author and the characters are people of color, and you're definitely allowed to decide what words about yourself you want to reclaim.

I did wish the story were about his sister. It seemed like all the women in his life were more interesting than Oscar, who sometimes seemed to think he was entitled to certain women's attention.

I felt like I learned a lot about the Dominican Republic.


message 48: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Amy wrote: "26. Pomegranate Soup: A Novel Finished 3/10
Such a beautiful story. It reminded me a lot of Chocolat, but I suppose that's because food is blended perfectly into the story of these th..."


Gotta add this one to my "TBR one day" list! I'm lovin' your reviews!!


message 49: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Amy wrote: "35. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Finished 3/27

I'm a bit undecided. There were times I was really into the story and times when I got really bored with it. There were some p..."



I've been wanting to read this one for awhile...another one to add to the "To read one day" list! =/ Boy is that list getting long!


message 50: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Tugce Nida wrote: "you are going pretty good, i have been adding a lot to my tbr thanks to you :)"

Yeah, my TBR list is benefiting from Amy's list too!! Her reviews just make a girl wanna run out and buy, buy, buy!! =)


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