Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2009! > Renata's So far this year....2009

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message 1: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 1. The River of Darkness, Rennie Airth - came across this recommendation in New York Times. Really good murder mystery, although you meet the killer fairly early in the book, so not much of a mystery. I wish the author had explored the evolving concepts of psychology in crime detection during the period (early 20th century). This reminded me of The Alienist, although it's not as good, I think.


message 2: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 2. Accidental Light, Elizabeth Diamond - not sure what made me pick this one up except it was brand new at the library. It was OK, but I found some really lame bits (ghost visions, etc). It was kind of insightful into the deterioration of a life after tragedy strikes. What makes you you?


message 3: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 3. Blood Dimmed Tide, Rennie Airth - more of the same in this second book in the series (I guess it's going to be a series). Nothing really new or more interesting. Granted, it was more of a surprise as to who the killer is, but why is he? Are there just evil people out there?


message 4: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 4. Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett - I love Neil Gaiman, but this one was a struggle to get through. I know there are people out there who really love this book, but after the initial draw, the humor just got irritating. I thought of abandoning it with 100 pages or so to go, but I kept with it, and it did not redeem itself. Maybe it's Pratchett's influence that I don't appreciate.


message 5: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 5. Standing Still, Kelly Simmons - I really liked this book, although I have to say that the ending is somewhat ambiguous. Did he or didn't he? But it was a gripping and fast-paced read.


message 6: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 6. Paths of Glory, Jeffrey Archer - I liked it; typical Archer, but good story based on true events. Amazing how tough the early Everest climers were (no Gortex in sight).


message 7: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 7. Dreamers of the Day, Mary Doria Russell - finally finished it! Kept putting it down to read other books, but finally had to see it to the end. It was really a good book; very educational in an entertaining way (isn't that what historical fiction meant to be?).


message 8: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 8. A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick - wow, wow, wow. I loved this book. Read it in three days, which is amazing for me. Even once you figure out what's going on, it's still exciting until the very end. Such things happen.


message 9: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 9. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins - I don't know what to say - I'm not an YA genre fan at all (never read Harry Potter or Twilight, or any of that) nor do I often read science fiction/fantasy. But I just really enjoyed this book. Maybe it was because the main character was so lovable; but the story was really good, too. I am most definitely waiting for the second book come September.


message 10: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 10. Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen - it was OK. Cute story, but so predictable. Very light read.


message 11: by Mary Todd (new)

Mary Todd (marytodd) | 924 comments hats off to ten!


message 12: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 11. Serena, Ron Rash - I loved this book, although it took me forever to finish it. Great history and characters (although I really wanted to know what Serena's past was all about - in the end, it didn't really matter, I hate her anyway). I liked feeling like I was eavesdropping on conversations to get some of the story to fit together. Oddly enough, the Smokie Mountains National Park is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and I came across an article in the paper about its history - good to have the background from the book.


message 13: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 12. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn - it was OK. Having read her previous book (Sharp Objects), I wasn't surprised that none of the characters had any redeeming qualities. It was hard to like any of them.


message 14: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 13. The Cradle, Patrick Somerville - very short and easy read. Read in in two days. Story moved along quickly except in a couple of spots, where I thought the author was a bit self-indulgent. Could tell he was going through the exercises from his creative workshop or something. Overall, not a bad book, but certainly not unforgettable.


message 15: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 14. Lake Overturn, Vestal McEntyre - pretty heavy stuff for a young writer. He really must know and understand this little town life, otherwise, he couldn't have written it so believably. Good book, but I can't see sitting through it again. I was kind of glad it was over because nothing was ever going to change for these people. Also, interesting point of view on religious fervor in this part of the country - do these people really exist? I know they do, but why?


message 16: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 15. Security, Stephen Amidon - good, but not great. Slow start, but I did want to keep reading to find out what was going on. Not much of a shocker once it all comes out. And the ending was a complete cop out - we could have had another 40 or 50 pages and really gotten some satisfaction.


message 17: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 16. The City of Thieves, David Benioff - this was great. It took me a long time because I kept putting it down and picking it up in order to read library books. I should have just read it straight through. Although the topic is pretty heavy, the writer's style was so light, it reminded me of picnic conversations with my relatives who survived the war. I know it must have been a nightmare, but to hear them talk, it was just no big deal with a few funny bits thrown in. No, this is not great literature and you won't learn anything new, but it's a good read.


message 18: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 17. Far North, Marcel Theroux - I picked it up at the library without really hearing or reading anything about it. Kind of surprising, considering I have so many books to read already. But I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed the story (tried to ignore all the typos and mis-edits). I like this author's writing style - kind of lets little morsels of information out about the character a bit at a time. the end left me a bit confused - I must have missed a key detail that made it make sense. Overall, a really good read.


message 19: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 18. Out, Natsuo Kirino - don't know what to say - it was creepy, gruesome, gritty. But I did like it. Some of the translation was a bit off, but nothing really offensive. One thing is for sure - don't want to be a woman in Japanese culture.


message 20: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 19. The Crying Tree, Naseem Rakha - very good book. Picked it up at the library after reading a brief write up in the Boston Globe. It's a quick read and a bit of a tear-jerker, but nothing new or revolutionary.


message 21: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 20. Catching Fire, Suzanne Collins - considering how much I liked The Hunger Games, I could not wait to dive into this one. It was good, but not nearly as good as the first one. The first half almost felt tedious, and then things picked up a bit. I did figure out was was going on behind the scenes, although the main character was clueless. I will most definitely read the third book, though.


message 22: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 21. Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver - well, I think I may be the last person in the world to have read this book. I have such mixed feelings about it. I'm glad I read it, but man, am I glad it's over. Once I got into it (after about first 100 pages), it was great, but it was about 100 pages too long - she just went on and on with nothing really new to add. This is definitely a "thinking" book. It will stay with me a while, but I'm glad to move on to something else.


message 23: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 22. The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein - had no intention of reading it, really, but picked it up at the library, and.... It was a good quick, easy read. Made me look at my dog every once in a while and talk to her like she's human. Very cute story.


message 24: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 23. The Owl Killers, Karen Maitland - I really liked it. A little slow in parts, and I didn't love the ending, but I guess that makes it more historically accurate. It was great to learn (once again)that corruption within organized religion was alive and well in those times. I will read another book by this author.


message 25: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 24. Day After Night A Novel- it was OK. It wasn't high on my list, but saw it at the library and grabbed it. It's a mildly interesting story about the early post WWII immigrants to Israel (before it was even a country). I loved this author's Red Tent, so this was really a disappointment.


message 26: by Renata (new)

Renata | 52 comments 25. This Is Where I Leave You- I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that my own father just died a few months ago, and all the family "uglies" seem to come out at times like these. I liked the main character - he was human, and messed up, and sweet, and kind of dorky. I know I can't even begin to understand what goes on in the male mind, but what an interesting insight.


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