Challenge: 50 Books discussion

Finish Line 2009! > Megan's 2009 Books

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message 1: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments I did this challenge last year but lost track of the books that I read. I think I read somewhere between 40 and 50. I want to keep track this year and therefore joined goodreads. I try and balance out "quality books" with easier reads. I am also trying to increase the number of classics that I read. I love the 1001 books to read before you die list. Good luck to everyone for the challenge. So far this year I have read Faith of the FallenThe Pillars of Creation

message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments Ok, lately I have read
3. Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind
4. "The Morning Gift" by Iva Ibbotson (children's lit) 5. "The Song for Summer by Ibbotson which was fairly terrible.
6. The Book Thief which was excellent.

Right now I am working on Saturday by Ian McEwan, Smoke and MIrrors by Niel Gaiman, The Serpent's Tale by Franklin and The Ugglies by Westerfield.

message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 7. Serpent's Tale by Franklin

I finished this novel in 24 hours. It was entertaining and the historical setting was convincing.

message 4: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 8. The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.

Fairly well written, if predicable children's novel. I liked it better than Hale's The Princess Academy.

message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 9. Beauty by Robin McKinley

What can I say? I am a sucker for fairy tales and romance. :)

message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 10. Spindles End by Robin McKinley

I was torn between giving this a 2 and a 3. I enjoyed it, but it was too ambitious perhaps. There were too many things going on and I didn't love the two protagonists.

message 7: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments congrats on 10!

message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments Mary Todd wrote: "congrats on 10!"

Why thank you! :)

message 9: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 11. "Drop City" by T.C. Boyle

from the 1001 books to read before you die list. One of the less academic, more fun books on the list. I really enjoyed it.

12. Smoke and Mirrors by Niel Gaiman

Very well written. This collection of stories made me want to read more.

13. White as Snow by Tanith Lee

A version of Snow White for grown ups. It is a bit overlong, but interesting and well written.

message 10: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 14. Brier Rose by Yolen

I expected more out of this book. I didn't feel like there was very much going on below the surface.

15. Ever by Gail Carson Levine

This was alright I guess. Levine has become a one hit wonder for me. I loved Ella Enchanted. It is one of my favourite Children's novels, but none of her other novels have even come close. The only ones I have even liked other than Ella Enchanted are the Princess Tales, but they are not real novels. Her characterization and pacing seem poor. I think I should just stop reading her books b/c they are such a disappointment.

message 11: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 16. East by Edith Pattau

A well written children's/YA fairy tale adaptation. It is one of the better adaptations I ave read recently (I am still on my fairy tale kick). The characters are round and it is inventive and engrossing. I gave it 4 stars.

message 12: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 17. Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

I love the choppy way the novel is written. It works to reflect the frantic nature of the story. I have now read 2 Oates novels and am becoming a fan. The title could mean many different things, but none of them obvious, or callous.

18. Summer of My Amazing Luck by Miriam Toews

Another author I am falling in love with. She is funny and poignant. One of my new favourite Canadian authors.

message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 19. The Body Artist by Don Delillo

I actually read this earlier on in the year and forgot to add it to this list. It was an interesting book and was well written, but I came away from it wondering if I really understood it or if I was missing something. I wish I had read it for school so that I could discuss it. That being said, I really enjoyed it and it gave me a lot to think about.

message 14: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 20. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

21. Ophelia by Lisa Klein

22. Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

All YA books. Skin Hunger was the best. Ophelia was a retelling of Hamlet, but I thought it was fairly weak. I don't feel like it was very well done, or added anything to the play.

message 15: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 23. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseinni

Heartbreaking and well written.

message 16: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 24. Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides

Interesting, thought provoking and well written.

message 17: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 25. Beasts by Joyce Carol Oates.

I didn't like it as much as some of her other novels, but it was still alright.

Half way there!

message 18: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments Half-way mark!!!! Way to go!

message 19: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) You are doing so well!

message 20: by Megan (last edited Apr 15, 2009 12:06AM) (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 26. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

About two generations of an Indian family and their experiences in America. It is interesting, though the pacing seems a bit off in places. I would recommend it.

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement!

message 21: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 27. The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

28. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

29. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

30. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

message 22: by Megan (last edited May 29, 2009 10:54AM) (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments I doubt anyone reads this, but if you do, sorry my reviews have become more sparse, and now non existant. I will try and review the books without reviews eventually.

31. A Student of Weather by Elizabeth Hay
Interesting characters, well written. I would read more Hay.

32. The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison. Not one of my favourite fairy tales for children/teens. The author said she had always wanted to write a love story, and listed a bunch of classics that she read to help her as she wrote it. It didn't come through in the novel.

message 23: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 33. Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I did not like this novel at all. Maybe it is because I have been reading a lot of Fairy Tale adaptations for young adults lately, but this novel fell very flat. The character wasn't very interesting, the story wasn't very innovative, and the love story was boring.

message 24: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 34. The Naming (The Gift) by Alison Croggon.

Fantasy for young adults that is much more original than more ya fantasies out there.

message 25: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 35. Incantation by Alice Hoffman

YA book about Spanish Inquisition. A little sparce in terms of character development, but an interesting read non the less. Young teens would probably like it.

message 26: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) Megan wrote: "35. Incantation by Alice Hoffman

YA book about Spanish Inquisition. A little sparce in terms of character development, but an interesting read non the less. Young teens would probably like it."

I'm surprised someone else read this! It totally wasn't my kind of book at all.

message 27: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments Aprile wrote: "Megan wrote: "35. Incantation by Alice Hoffman

YA book about Spanish Inquisition. A little sparce in terms of character development, but an interesting read non the less. Young teens would pr..."

It wasn't really my thing either, but I do love historical fiction and am a teacher...

message 28: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 36. The Riddle by Alison Croggon
37. The Crow by Alison Croggon

These are the second and third books in the Books of Pellinor and are sequels to "The Naming." I am really enjoying the series in general. The third book was from the point of view of a different protagonist and I didn't like it nearly as much, but the series is excellent, though in many ways it is standard fantasy. I never used to be a big fantasy fan, but it has grown on me. It is for Young Adults.

message 29: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 38. The Singing by Alison Croggon.

A good end to the series, but none of the sequels were as good as the first one; The Naming.

message 30: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 39. The Countess Below the Stairs by Iva Ibbotson

40. The Reluctant Heiress by Iva Ibbotson

I used to like Ibbotson's books, but they have become so repetitive. All the characters are the same and the story lines and settings are the same as well.

41. The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn

I read this while on vacation, so maybe that's why I just wasn't into it. It is a YA fantasy novel. It is just too much like so many other books that I have read.

42. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

Another YA fantasy. This one is based in an imaginary feudal state. It was fairly good, but nothing special.

43. The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers

I hated this book with a passion. I didn't know what I was getting myself into, and it read like religious indoctrination. It was too preachy and poorly plotted to boot. There are so many books that use themes of childhood guilt and family much more effectively and artistically. I guess I can't emphasize enough how much I disliked this novel.

44. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I really liked this novel. I am a bit embarrassed to say so, b/c in some ways it was a romance novel and I am a book snob, but the mix of history, adventure, time travel and romance made it hard to put down.

message 31: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 45. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Interesting book. It would be an excellent novel to recommend to kids in their early teens and could lead to a lot of interesting discussions.

46. On Fortune's Wheel by Cynthia Voigt


message 32: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 47. Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

The best book I have read in a while. It is well researches and filled with interesting characters. I never thought I would like a book that took place at the circus, but it was really very good.

message 33: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 48. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

49. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Both re-reads. I love HP, but the 3rd book is still my favourite.

message 34: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 50. The Story of Lucy Gault

51. In the Forest

52. The Murder of Roger Ackroid'

53. An Earthly Knight (YA)

message 35: by Anaiis (new)

Anaiis | 3 comments I read about four or five books every month so I should be able to read 50 books in a year I've already read around 40 so ten more shouldn't be a problem.

message 36: by Anaiis (last edited Aug 19, 2009 01:19PM) (new)

Anaiis | 3 comments 1.Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway

2.Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things

3.Sammy Keyes and the Art of Diseption

4.Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy

5.Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf

6.Shredderman Attack of the Tagger

7.Lucky T

8.The V Club

9.The People of Sparks

10.The City of Ember



13.The Birchbark House

14.Ella Enchanted

15.The Mysterious Benidict Society and the Perilous

16.Kiki Strike Inside Shadow City

17.Kiki Strike The Empresses Tomb

18.The Goose Girl

19.The Maid or The North

20.The Runaways

21.The Headless Cupid

22.Romona Quimby Age 8


24.Johnny Tremain

25.Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone

message 37: by Megan (last edited Sep 09, 2009 05:48PM) (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 54. Snow White and Rose Red by Patrici C. Wrede (YA)

Not my favourite fairy tale retelling, but well executed in many ways. The setting of Medieval England on the border of Faery was compelling, but the characters fell flat.

55. Grass for his Pillow by Lian Hearn (YA)

Good sequel to Hearn's first Tale of the Otori. It is beautifully written and the setting is realistic. The characters are compelling. The first book is superior in many ways, however. The female character is interesting, complex and strong.

56. Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn (YA)

Better than the second book. It is well written, poetic and exciting. It was well written and satisfying.

57. The Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Hearn (YA)

This book did not live up to the other books in the series. The characters were less realistic and some of the more likable characters from the earlier books were changed unrealistically. It was disappointing.

58. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (YA)

Poorly written and dysfunctional. I am not much of a Meyers fan, but will probably read the last novel. There is a certain amount of guilty pleasure involved in reading this cheesy love story. Very over-rated however.

message 38: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 59. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Celtic story of the fairy tale the Six Swans. Loved it. Well written, well crafted, nice mix of historical fiction and fantasy.

message 39: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 60. Son of the Shadows

61.Child of the Prophecy

by Juliet Marillier

A very well written trilogy. The last book was my least favourite, but still a thoughtful and satisfying conclusion to the story. Fantastic strong female characters make this historic fantasy a book to be recommended.

message 40: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 62. Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

Good follow up to the trilogy, those this novel comes across as more YA than the others. I enjoyed it.

message 41: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 63. The Dark Mirror

64. The Blade of Fortriu

65. The Well of Shades

by Julliet Marillier

message 42: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 66. Wolfskin

67. Foxmask

by Julliet Marillier

message 43: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 68. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

These books are awful. They are poorly written. I am not quite sure why I finished the series.

message 44: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments 69. Chainfire by Terry Goodkind

70. Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough

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