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May 2009 Book Challenge - Page 2

post #21 of 192
#50 The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne

I'm just finishing this one up. Certainly is a lot to think about and a lot of good prodding to think about the way one lives life. There is a lot I like about what Claiborne has to say.
post #22 of 192
34. Big Green Purse-Diane Maceache

Lots of internet links, background infos on companies who are green/not green...All in all, a nice reference book for shopping. Alas, I have no spare money for shopping right now but it's good to know for the times when I DO need to make purchases.
post #23 of 192
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Great book - my dd and I both read this and loved it. I knew right away it was going to be good when it started out about a girl and her dad who love books -- but there are some dark secrets -- how did her mother mysteriously disappear and why won't her dad read aloud to her? My dd is reading the sequel Inkspell which I am looking forward to.
post #24 of 192
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post
Rope Burns by FX Toole
this book of 6 short stories about boxing includes "million dollar baby", which was made into a film with Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood. they are not for everyone, for sure.
i am a bit embarassed and confused by the allure of boxing for me. eventually i will write an eloquent collection of literary essays about how a granola-eating, peace-loving, meditation-practicing mama like myself can get immense pleasure out of slamming a heavy bag.
meanwhile, please PM me if you know other good boxing books

kangamitroo, DS boxes and recently got this book as a gift:

Boxing's Most Wanted: The Top 10 Book of Champs, Chumps, and Punch-Drunk Palookas by Mike Fitzgerald

i haven't checked it out yet, but your post made me think of it. we have speed and heavy bags @ our house and i like using them too.
post #25 of 192
#20 Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doira Russell

I was loving this book. Really, great characterizations. Only needed a minor suspension of disbelief that this ordinary woman would have been in Egypt in 1920 and bumped into Churchill. The historical accuracy was fantastic!

Then, we reached the end. Honestly, this book would have been perfect for me if the last chapter had just been excised.

So, I'd still recommend it--just be warned.
post #26 of 192
35. Thin is the New Happy- Valerie Frankel

I respect her struggle and heartache but I don't agree with where she ended up. She is still fixated on size no matter what she says to herself about her journey. It's all there, in her own words.
post #27 of 192
3. Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

I was really excited to read this book, because I LOVED her first novel The Dogs of Babel. I wouldn't say this was disappointing, because I genuinely was interested throughout it, but it wasn't as good as her first book.

It did have an interesting premise - contestants on a reality tv show, similar to The Amazing Race. It was primarily about a mother and daughter who were a team on the show, and, of course, had some issues between them. And the book explored some of the other characters as well.

I think my biggest reservation about the book was that it didn't delve deep enough. It could have been.... more.
post #28 of 192
#17 Gossip of the Starlings by Nina de Gramont

I enjoyed this book, it moved quickly and the writing really took you right into the heads of the teenage characters. It's a story of boarding school upper crust teenagers in 1980's New England, how one group of kids got involved with drugs, and how they all navigated their lives. Fun read. Apparently inspired by a true story.
post #29 of 192
40. Harry, a History by Melissa Anelli

This chronicles the journey of how Melissa came to be the top Webmistress at the #1 Harry Potter Fan Site, The Leaky Cauldron. It's the story of a young journalist who goes from being kind of a loser to a real somebody because of Harry Potter. It's also the play-by-play account of Harry and how he started off rejected by nine publishers and then skyrocketed to fame. Wizard Rock, the Pottercast, the Christian fundamentalist Harry bookburning movement, Potter Puppet Pals, the advent of midnight book release parties at bookstores nationwide, how the NY Times bestseller list was split apart because of Harry Potter hogging the top slots, the movies, the relationship with fans to the WB, fan sites, fan fiction and shippers, and a foreword and interviews with JK Rowling are all included. The excitement everyone had over Harry Potter really comes across in this book and it's like you are experiencing it all for the first time. I personally waited until Deathly Hallows was published before I cracked any of the books so I could read them all straight through from the first time. So for me, a lot of the information in this book was new. I loved this book, thought it was hilarious and I think every Harry Potter fan should read it.
post #30 of 192
subbing. have to go back to April and get my last books, and update. i havent been on here much lately so im behind.

Just finished:
18. Harry Potter Book #2 (audio).
yeh, i know. i never read the books..though i have them all. its fun listening to the books now though.

1. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris. #3 of the Southern Vampire Series.
2. Dead to the World #4 of the Southern Vampire Series.
3. Dead as a Doornail, book #5 of teh Southern Vampire Series.
4. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris.
5. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.
6. Life as We Knew It
7. Definitely Dead #6 of the Southern Vampire Series.
8. A Thousand Splendid Sunsets
9. All Together Dead #7 of the Southern Vampire Series
11. David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall.
12. Star Beast, Robert Heinlein
13. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
14. When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris
15. From Dead to Worse, #8 Southern Vampire Series
16. Animal Vegetable Miracle
17. Pride and Prejudice, Austin
18. Harry Potter #2
post #31 of 192
#24 - The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

This was a good read, very rich, although a bit flaccid in parts. It's magic realisim, weaving together a loosely historical fantasy about the histories of Renaissance Florence and the Mughal empire, through a traveler who arrives at Akbar's palace with a tale to tell the emperor.

Hm, flaccid. Interesting choice of adjectives on my part. I felt it was a very male book (though pretty). The women were all unidimensional objects of male desire. Some of them literally bore the names of objects: the Skeleton, the Mattress, the Mirror. Others only existed and were brought into being as male fantasies. And there's a whole lot of male fantasy in the book. Perhaps Mr. Rushdie was feeling a little...flaccid...when he wrote it.
post #32 of 192
36. In My Skin-Kate Holden

I know memoirs are meant to be self-absorbed yet this woman is over the top smug about her descent into heroin and prostitution. She seems very detached from her struggles and you get a lot of pretty description without any substance and understanding. I did not feel sympathetic towards her as I suspected I would (and as I have been before when reading about such struggles). You don't get any inkling of how hard it is to come clean from heroin. (My SIL is an ex-h addict) We see that she returns to H after being clean for some time but at the end of the book, her recovery is glossed over and you don't get any sort of picture of what H has done to her soul. You come away thinking she'd go right back to prostitution as well because it made her feel beautiful and loved... Yet in her descriptions of her childhood, you don't see what made her feel UNloved. In that part of the book, you are left wondering, "Why were you unhappy?" I would think an author would Do the Work to figure out what exactly was inside her that made her restless. I dunno...I was disappointed in this book. As you can tell! LOL
post #33 of 192
37. Wishful Drinking- Carrie Fisher

Quick read. Hilarious. So very different from the previous book I read (see above). It's about her trying to keep some sanity and finding humor in her life. And man, there's a lot of humor (and craziness! LOL).
post #34 of 192
#6 - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

17-year-old Catherine travels to Bath with friends of her family and meets some other people she likes, including a young man named Henry who seems to like her. She is invited to visit his family at Northanger Abbey, things go well, then badly, then there is a happy ending. Liked it, but didn't love it.

Other books I've read recently that don't count (according to my own idiosyncratic rules), but that I liked, include Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and all the Harry Potter books, which I read to my daughter. I had never read the Harry Potter books before, and I give them a , although I was bothered by various confusing or illogical parts of the plot. (DD says they are the best books she's ever heard.)
post #35 of 192
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
#6 - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
I'm 2/3 of the way through Pride and Prejudice right now, and I am seriously reconsidering my previous stance on Jane Austen (perhaps it helps that I am not being "forced" to read it for a class), and am interested in reading Northanger Abbey since it is considered her "gothic" novel and part of my focus/fields of interest in my studies are Gothic novels.
post #36 of 192
Originally Posted by NewCrunchyDaddy View Post
I'm 2/3 of the way through Pride and Prejudice right now, and I am seriously reconsidering my previous stance on Jane Austen (perhaps it helps that I am not being "forced" to read it for a class),
Or perhaps it's enlivened by the images of zombie mayhem you recall from the zombie version?

Northanger Abbey doesn't actually have anything gothic in it (except the old abbey, which turns out to be less exciting than Catherine imagines), but it makes fun of gothic novels and Catherine's expectations that she might run into the kind of situation she's read about in gothic novels.
post #37 of 192
The Begotten (The Gifted Series, Book 1) by Lisa T. Bergren

The first book in a Christian trilogy focuses on the coming together of the Gifted, a group of people possessing spirtual gifts. The group must come together to fight the forces of darkness that threaten the Church.

This is a slow-moving book that could have been alot better. The premise is great but I think the author didn't quite know how to execute it. There also seemed to be some thinly veiled digs at the Catholic church but I could have been reading into it. I will read the other two in the series if only to see how it all comes together.
post #38 of 192
#51 The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar

I read this book in less than 24 hours -- circumstances allowed for that -- and I think that may affect my review -- reading in in a big chunk may have made me more connected/into it than I might have been reading it spread out over several days. But man, I *was* into it. I recommended it to DH -- he's on Ch. 7 and said he just finished a depressing book and didn't need another. Even though it is certainly a bleak book, I didn't find it depressing, or at least, I didn't find myself depressed by it -- I'm not sure why -- maybe partially because there were substantial bright spots in relationships throughout the book. I appreciated the portrayal of people who are trying to love each other and do well and sometimes succeed and sometimes fail.

Set in largely in India. Frank and Ellie's 7 year old son dies. They move to India for Frank's job. Frank develops a fondness for Ramesh, son of their cook and maid. There are labor issues at Frank's factory and issues with the trees his company now "owns". Ellie is very aware of the failings of "America" and this, in addition to what she sees as Frank's obsession with Ramesh, causes conflict in her relationship with Frank.
post #39 of 192
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell

Powell is an uninspired secretary for a government agency in New York when she decides to cook her way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and blog about it. The blog becomes popular and Powell finds herself in her fifteen minutes of fame.

Several reviewers found Julie to be whiny in this book. While I can see what they mean, I am not sure if I totally agree. I think that complaining is part of her humor and I can relate. What I can't relate to is wanting to eat any of the food from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Gak. What inspires people to want to eat brains, kidneys and livers? It bothered me that Child was very dismissive of Powell because she (Powell) seemed to have a lot of admiration for her (Child).
post #40 of 192
jen, I think if you visit the TF forum there will be a lot of recipies for kidneys and livers!!

Anyway, I just finished...

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Kingsolver

This has been reviewed a lot recently, so I won't bother to summarize, but as many others have stated, I LOVED it and highly recommend it.

#1 Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, #2 Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, #3 Autobiography of God, #4 The Ghost Orchid, #5 The Poe Shadow, #6 Knit One Kill Two, #7 Citizen Girl, #8 The Fourth Bear, #9 The Third Secret, #10 Change of Heart, #11 Guardian Angels, #12 The Gore, #13 The Undomestic Goddess, #14 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil T. Frankweiler, #15 Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, #16 Blood Memory, #17 A Thousand Splendid Suns, #18 Then we Came to the End, #19 - Feed, #20 - Paper Towns, #21 - The Sparrow, #22 - Swim, Bike, Run, #23 Field Notes from a Catastrophe, #24 Pillars of the Earth, #25 The Geographer's Library, #26 Lady Killer, #27 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
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