Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2011 > Jess -- 2011 booksssss!

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message 1: by Jess (last edited Feb 20, 2011 01:02AM) (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments I think this group is perfect as I'd been planning to read 50 books this year, how convenient to find others endeavouring this too! :D
My name is Jess, I'm 18 in about a month and am in my final year of high school. It's going to be busy, but of course I'll need something to relax with, and what better way to relax than with some good old-fashioned books :D I haven't been consistent enough with my reading in the last year so here's to changing that :D

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I wasn't sure at first whether I liked the book or was just entranced by the difference in the character's lifestyles in the book compared to my own, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was feeling all happy and yayful by the time I read the end of it (:


message 2: by Jess (last edited Feb 20, 2011 01:01AM) (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 2. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
I had to read this as part of my senior English course. I'd read it in year 10 and hated it, but reading it again now I realised it wasn't so much the book I hated, it was the main character. Ignore her utter whinyness and the book's not too bad. This is my interpretation of the main character:
"Hi Josie, how was your day?"
"UGH GET OUT OF MY LIFE YOU'RE SO RUDE!"


message 3: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I'd had this one on my shelf for a few months and am terribly glad I finally read it. Brilliant, fun, I loved it. I found myself caring about the characters and what happened to them and by the time I got to the end of it I was flying through it. Excellent read. More Neil Gaiman shall definitely be on this list this year ;D


message 4: by Jess (last edited Feb 20, 2011 07:19PM) (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 4. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night time by Mark Haddon
17.02 - 18-02, ****
One of my friends recommended this to me and kindly lent it to me. I didn't expect to only have it for a day, but once I'd started reading I was entranced. The author has done a frighteningly convincing job of entering the reader into the mind of a 15 year old boy with Asperger's, and he's just such a loveable little guy too. The second half of the book made me feel a little cringey and uncomfortable, but after reading some reviews on here I realise that I'm not alone, and the author probably intended it to be that way. Still, awesome :D


message 5: by Jess (last edited Feb 20, 2011 07:17PM) (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 5. Pharaoh by Valerio Massimo Manfredi
18.02 - 21.02, ****


message 6: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 6. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
19.02 - 21.02, ****


message 7: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (directorsherry) | 434 comments Jess wrote: "3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I'd had this one on my shelf for a few months and am terribly glad I finally read it. Brilliant, fun, I loved it. I found myself caring about the charac..."
This is one of my all-time favorite books! I am currently reading The Graveyard Book. A wonderful tale right away.


message 8: by Carrie (new)

Carrie After the comment you left on my thread, I poked in to see what kinds of things you were interested in, and imagine my pleasure at seeing Pride and Prejudice on your list, and that you liked it. Here's reiterating my wish for success with your own reading challenge this year.

And Sherry: I agree with you about The Graveyard Book (or what you've read thus far). I really enjoyed that one. If you haven't already done so, try Neverwhere.


message 9: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (directorsherry) | 434 comments Carrie wrote: "After the comment you left on my thread, I poked in to see what kinds of things you were interested in, and imagine my pleasure at seeing Pride and Prejudice on your list, and that you liked it. He..."I will put Neverwhere on my list.


message 10: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments Carrie, Pride and Prejudice was so awesome, I will definitely have to read more Jane Austen this year! And thank you for the success wishes! :D

Yay Sherry, The Graveyard Book was so good, I feel like reading it again now!

Also, exciting news, I have convinced one of my friends to do the 50 book challenge with me this year :D She doesn't have Goodreads though... I will have to change that. But cool to have someone in person I can talk to about these endeavours (:


message 11: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 7. The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
21.02 - 02.03, ****

This is pretty much the book of my childhood. I read it with my class in grade four or so and I remember I loved it, especially the Yorkshire accents! It's one of maybe two books I actually enjoyed reading in primary school as part of our schoolwork. Hell, it's one of maybe two actual novel books that I enjoyed in general in primary school.

When I was browsing the iBooks library and saw it there for free, I knew I couldn't resist... I had to read it again, and it's just as good at nearly-18 as it was at 9/10.

So enjoyable!


message 12: by Carrie (new)

Carrie I've found myself reading a lot of what I've been calling "Austen spin-offs" and if you're interested, some of my favorites have been:

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy (Mary Street)
Austenland (Shannon Hale)
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Laurie Viera Rigler) [Note: I liked the first, this one, much better than the second]
and By a Lady (Amanda Elyot)


message 13: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments Cool cool, that will be handy if I end up exhausting the rest of her novels and am all sad about it, I can go track these down (: Thanks!


message 14: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 8. Four Weird Tales by Algernon Blackwood.
01.03 - 05.03, ***

I thought I'd enjoy this one a little more given how I absolutely loved his ghost stories collection. He has tremendous descriptions and style, but I don't know, I just couldn't really find myself getting into it. Maybe it's just to do with my mindset at the moment as I'm also having trouble getting into the other book I'm reading. My favourite of these weird tales was "The Man Who Found Out."


message 15: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 9. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
01.03 - 09.03, **

Had to read it for school, didn't really enjoy it. Brain did not enjoy the workout of trying to understand it. Seemed pretty boring, though the pound of flesh concept seemed pretty cool. Got to go write a 5 minute speech on it now, fun fun.


message 16: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
01.03-11.03, ****

I was a little slow at getting into this book, probably for reasons totally unrelated to it, but once I was into it I really liked it. I like Terry Pratchett's style of writing, and the idea of the Discworld is one that interests me, and I'll be sure to pick up the next of the Discworld novels when I find it.


message 17: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 11. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
11.03-12.03, ****

This was my second time reading this book, and I enjoyed it the second time through. Clearly I enjoyed it the first time or I wouldn't bother reading it a second time. It paints a wonderful picture in my mind and it's just overall a great and spooky story.


message 18: by Jess (last edited Mar 24, 2011 02:34AM) (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 12. Under the Dome by Stephen King
12.03 - 24.03, *****

It gets five stars because it simply drew me in so much and made me FEEL something, concern for the characters, actual fear and apprehension at times. It's not a particularly common thing for me to find, so I'd class it as very well written, and very relatable, given the oddness of the whole event in the story.

Wonderful.


message 19: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 13. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein
24.03 - 06.04, ****


message 20: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 14. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein
07.04 - 07.05, ****


message 21: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 15. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
12.05 - 12.05, ****


message 22: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 16. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein
07.05 - 19.05, *****


message 23: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 17. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K Rowling
19.05 - 20.05, ****

Philosopher's Stone, damn it, Sorcerer's Stone sounds weird!


message 24: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling
20.05 - 25.05, ****


message 25: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling
25.05 - 26.05, ****


message 27: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 21. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
30.05 - 04.06, ****


message 28: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
05.06 - 08.06, ****


message 29: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 23. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
09.06 - 13.06, *****


message 30: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 24. The Taking by Dean Koontz
13.06 - 15.06, ***

I'm not really sure of my thoughts on this book. The idea was a gripping one but the plot itself seemed a little weak somehow. His descriptions of it all were rather amazing but yeah, I don't know... I mean I liked it, but I think I just expected a bit more from it once it had established such an interesting idea. Still, good!


message 31: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 25. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
15.06 - 18.06, *****

I loved it. Purely beautiful, magnificent, wonderful... Arthur C. Clarke is a literary genius.


message 32: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (directorsherry) | 434 comments Jess wrote: "25. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
15.06 - 18.06, *****

I loved it. Purely beautiful, magnificent, wonderful... Arthur C. Clarke is a literary genius."
I loved the book when I read it. More than the movie.


message 33: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments I haven't seen the movie, I need to get around to it now! But yes... sometimes words just do their thing in the way picture cannot (:


message 34: by Donna (new)

Donna | 1350 comments Do yourself a favor: DON'T see the movie. No matter what anyone tells you, it wasn't that good.


message 35: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments I think it would be difficult to capture the essence of it now, perhaps, in pictures... but I feel like I need to see it, it's a classic nevertheless! That said I probably won't get around to it for a while so it's safe xD


message 36: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 26. The M.D.: A Horror Story by Thomas M. Disch
18.06 - 21.06, ****

Well, this book was screwed. Very twisted at times. Explaining the plot to my friends bought some very interested looks. But I loved it nevertheless. I am usually put off by too much religion in a book, but here it was essential to the story and characterisation, so it worked.

It covered the life of William, jumping through time: at one stage he was 14 and the next you know he's 32 and you're piecing what his life's been like since but it all makes complete sense. I doubt that any old author could do that. Very nice.

I'm keen on reading his earlier science fiction novels, as I've worked out for myself that Disch writes fabulously and science fiction is fun! Not to mention, of course, the rest of the Supernatural Minnesota books! Woot!


message 37: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 27. Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen
21.06 - 21.06, ***

I picked this one up at sale price, mostly because the title amused me. While it's not a literary masterpiece, it's quick and fun and the evolving relationship of the two protagonists does draw you in. I'd recommend this for a train ride or flight, something easy to absorb and keep out the boredom (:


message 38: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 28. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
21.06 - 22.06, ****

A few things intrigued me about this book. First of all, it's set in the Norwegian Arctic, during winter no less. I am completely in love with Norway so even the minor Norwegian characters were enough to make me stick with it.

At first, I'll admit, I was a little put off. It's set in the 30s and written in a journal-style and I was unsure of how authentic it sounded... some of the journal sounded like something I would write, a modern style, if you know what I mean. But maybe that was just me, and in any case I got used to it as I went on and had forgotten about it by the time I'd read a few chapters.

The descriptions of the harsh winter with its endless night are gripping and frightening in themselves. And although the malevolent being that marks this story as indeed a "ghost story" doesn't do anything particularly nasty in most of its visits it chills even from its first appearance.

So, basically, it creeped me out a bit, but that's the point.

Also, I'll admit that the reason I probably gave this 4 stars instead of 3 is because a) Norway! Norwegian stuffs! and b) I fell in love with the husky Isaak and really cared more about his wellbeing than the main character, Jack's.


message 39: by Arlene (new)

Arlene | 388 comments Donna wrote: "Do yourself a favor: DON'T see the movie. No matter what anyone tells you, it wasn't that good."
I remember when the movie came out (lol) and going to the theater in Laramie (Wyoming), college student, there was a slight odor of mj in the room. The movie was amazing - but I didn't understand it! After I read the book, the movie made sense, so we went back to see it again. I will say that I don't think that the movie would be very good on a small screen, it needed a wide screen and was even better from seats up close!


message 40: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments Arlene, I'll have to make-do by putting it on my average-sized widescreen TV and sitting close in front of it! xD That sounds really cool though, how you can remember it in such detail (:


message 41: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 29. Dracula by Bram Stoker
22.06 - 06.07, *****

The length it took for me to read this was nothing to do with the book itself -- circumstances in my life kept me from reading as much. With that said...

I loved it. So beautiful <3


message 42: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 30. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
07.07 - 13.07, ****


message 43: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 31. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
09.09 - 11.09, ****

Watched the movie, enjoyed it, figured it was about time I read the book 8D


message 44: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 32. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
11.09 - 12.09, ****

Beautiful, love H. G. Wells <3


message 45: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 33. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
11.09 - 19.09, ****

Although Heathcliff seems like a major dick throughout most of the novel I did quite enjoy it.


message 46: by Jess (new)

Jess (jesscatt) | 217 comments 34. Pencil Of Doom! by Andy Griffiths
25.09 - 25.09, ***

Saw it on my boyfriend's shelf from when he was younger, the name intrigued me, and it was a cute little funny book xD


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