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January 2010 Book Challenge

post #1 of 185
Thread Starter 
HAPPY NEW YEAR Y'ALL!


Hard to believe that a whole decade has come and gone and here we are on the verge of a whole new slate.

Now, repeat after me...

So, just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), new and improved guidelines for the Book Challenge Thread are as follows:

1) Post the books you read ... or not
2) Post a recommendation ... or not
3) Number your book ... or not
4) Make a goal ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY)



So, with that, avante, allons-y and a happy reading January and a very happy 2010 in Books to everyone!

2009's Thread can be found HERE
post #2 of 185
subbing. my goal for 2010 is better balance between fiction and nonfiction. no special number in mind in this moment.

happy new year, every one!
post #3 of 185
No clever spelling for the post title ... I am disappointed. I was hoping for Januairy or something.
post #4 of 185
Since I finished this last night, it should technically go in December's thread. But I'm anxious for a new year full of new books.

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (audio)
I think this could have been a great book, but the reader just didn't work for me. It is my first of the Canada Reads 2010 selections.

Quote:
A sprawling saga about five generations of a family from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is the impressive first fiction from Canadian playwright and actor Ann-Marie MacDonald. This epic tale of family history, family secrets, and music centers on four sisters and their relationships with each other and with their father. Set in the coal-mining communities of Nova Scotia in the early part of this century, the story also shifts to the battlefields of World War I and the jazz scene of New York City in the 1920s.
post #5 of 185
Hurray! I'm still so grateful that I was able to finally get back into reading in a big way in 2009, and can't believe I read 80 or so books (and watched almost no tv, hmmm....). No particular goals, but lots of books I'm looking forward to reading in 2010.

#1 - A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

This was a re-read, but it was so long ago that I read it that it felt fresh. Although cozy and familiar, of course, since it's Christie. I really enjoyed it, and think it may have been the best of the handful of Christies I re-read in the past year. I like Miss Marple ones better than Poirot, I believe.
post #6 of 185
Happy New Year everyone . . . it's also my anniversary today. Twelve years for dh and me!

Looking forward to another year of sharing books with all of you.
post #7 of 185
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
Happy New Year everyone . . . it's also my anniversary today. Twelve years for dh and me!
Congratulations! 12 years is quite an accomplishment in this day and age. We just hit the 10 year mark in December ourselves.
post #8 of 185
Well, this one should probably go into December's thread, but I'm also excited about a new year of books. My goal for this year is 100, which I just made at the wire this year.

Also, today is my birthday!

#0 The Unit: A Novel by Ninni Holmqvist
What would the world be like for someone who is deemed "dispensable"? Set in the near future where people who haven't had children or have other dependents are sent to centers where they become fodder for scientific experiments and organ donation when they turn 50, this book is really less about the future and more about community and belonging. It was very engaging. It is a translation; originally written by some sort of Scandanvian.
post #9 of 185
Wow -- lots of special occasions today. Happy birthdya Kbond!
post #10 of 185
I just finished this book the end of December but did not post it:
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/.../awakening.htm
I don't usually like horror fiction because I get frightened easily and this book is scary. It is very well written so I kept reading on to see what would happen next getting more and more frightened a long the way!
post #11 of 185
#1 Under the Dome~Stephen King

King's return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the smalltown of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King's earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn't have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it's a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.

Totally digging this book, not quite done with it though. Got it on Saturday night and am on page 750 give or take. Should be noted I own every Stephen King book so I am a biased reader, lol.

Goal is to read at least 100 books in 2010!
post #12 of 185
Subbing.

I'm going to aim to read 30 books this year - not many, I know, but I have 2 littlies and a whole lotta knitting, sewing, and self education that I want to get done this year.
post #13 of 185
1. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

A housekeeper takes on a job caring for a man whose memory lasts only eighty minutes. He's a math whiz and he spends his time solving number puzzles, helping her son with his math homework, and finding all kinds of insightful links between numbers and relationships with the people around him.

2. Asta in the Wings by Jan Elizabeth Watson

Two children grow up locked inside their house - their mentally disturbed mother won't let them go outside for fear of germs. She doesn't return home one night and they go off in search of her, seeing the world for the first time.

You would think this would be a disturbing book and some parts of it were, but mostly it was funny and touching. The little girl compares everything she sees to the stories in her old-fashioned primer that her mother had been homeschooling her with and the result is hilarious. I wish I could post all their funny observations about the world (kind of like how Winnie the Pooh talks), but I would be typing out the whole book. The parts with the two older cousins were completely spot-on, I'm sure the author had older brothers to be able to write about them so accurately. Leon was also very real and reminded me of someone I know.

I wonder why this book didn't get more attention. It was published almost a year ago and only has 4 (5 star) Amazon reviews. What a waste...
post #14 of 185
"The Heroines" by Eileen Favorite

I loved this book! While the ending leaves you wondering "how would that happen" the whole book is based on a fantastical premise anyway - so why not!

Penny lives with her mother in their bed and breakfast in rural Illinois. She has never known her father but is told he was a high school football star who died at 17 never knowing he had a daughter. Hard enough for a young girl but her life is further complicated by the unusual guests of their bed and breakfast -- heroines from various novels throughout history.

While the mental hospital scenes are disturbing, it was necessary to provide some fragility to Penny's character. Penny is - in effect - one of the heroines who visit the house. And aren't all heroines at some point driven to brink of sanity? She stands in strong contrast to her mother who seems to be a passive bystander of all the events. (Except, of course, until the end when the reasoning for her passivity is explained.)

A lot of reviews I read complained that the heroines weren't utilized enough. I say hogwash. Their presence was there to merely further Penny's story. She is the heroine of this novel, not them. I say if you want to know more about them, read the original books in which they appear.
post #15 of 185
I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Wow! What a book. It grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end. The best-selling story is set in the politically charged world of Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s. A book like this could have easily gone wrong, but Stockett anchors the story by focusing on the relationship between several black maids and their white employers. The stories ring true. It's not overly sentimental or overly harsh, and only one character seemed stereotypical. I couldn't believe this was the author's first novel. Her pacing, writing, story development are really quite good for a novice writer. I recommend this to anyone especially young adults who need to get a feel for this historic period in American history.
post #16 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by friendtoall View Post
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (audio)
I think this could have been a great book, but the reader just didn't work for me. It is my first of the Canada Reads 2010 selections.
i liked that one a lot. now i have bookmarked the Canada Reads list, too
post #17 of 185
#2 - Matilda by Roald Dahl

Catching up on books my daughter says I have to read! Good, dark fun.
post #18 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
#1 - A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie

This was a re-read, but it was so long ago that I read it that it felt fresh. Although cozy and familiar, of course, since it's Christie. I really enjoyed it, and think it may have been the best of the handful of Christies I re-read in the past year. I like Miss Marple ones better than Poirot, I believe.
I keep saying I'd like to re-read some of my Christies sitting on the shelf...maybe during Lent, when I give up putting books on hold at the library.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
Happy New Year everyone . . . it's also my anniversary today. Twelve years for dh and me!
Congratulations, Cathe! How fun to have your anniversary on the first day of the year.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbond View Post
Also, today is my birthday!
And happy birthday and how cool as well!


I'm glad to be starting another year with ya'all. It's certainly been a crazy one for me -- the 23rd marked 6 months since I was hit by a car and who knew it would take over my life so much!? But I'm so glad to be slowly but steadily recovering. DD has started reading like a fiend, and DH finished coursework and has started dissertation work as well as beginning to teach on Monday!

My first book of the year:
#1 NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Ashley Merryman and Po Bronson

From Amazon:
Quote:
From Publishers Weekly
The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluation methods for giftedness and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer). Grownups who trust in old-fashioned common-sense child-rearing—the definitely un-PC variety, with no negotiation or parent-child equality—will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innate parenting instincts. The chatty reportage and plentiful anecdotes belie the thorough research backing up numerous cited case studies, experts' findings and examination of successful progressive programs at work in schools. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Who else has read this? Very not dry.
post #19 of 185
I got Nurtureshock to read myself, but my DH took it, and I haven't gotten it back from him yet. He's been very engaged with it.

#1 The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm
This is a memoir about the author's last 3 weeks with her mother during her mother's hospice care at the end of a 9 year battle with cancer. It was raw and emotional and well-written. It wasn't more than that though.

#2 The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan
A YA novel with the premise that the Greek Gods are real. Demi-gods are common, and Percy is one of them. This was pretty good. A quick read, which is what I need right now, and I can see that as an 8 or 9 year old, I would have really loved this book.
post #20 of 185
Happy New Year everyone! I just stumbled upon this and am subbing! I need some ideas. I am in a bit of a book rut lately, dying to try some new authors, and love the idea of this thread.

No real goals or numbers - just to read an occasional book all by my lonesome, not out loud, that is sold in the adult section of the store - perhaps even a new book. LOL And by new I mean, one I have not read before, I generally only buy books at the used bookstores - why get one when I can get 5 for the same price

That said, we have recently branched out into basic chapter books for my son's bedtime reading and that has been super fun. Revisiting some of my childhood faves (some of which are different thru the eyes of an adult) and catching up on new books that I missed out on.

The most recent books I have read include (they are kiddo books so I will spare you the summary - unless you want to hear about them!):
the Phantom Tollbooth by (gotta double check the spelling) - LOVE LOVE LOVE this book, even better as an adult. So witty!
SuperFudge by Judy Blume
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Tonight we started The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder, haven't read it before but I loved her Below the Root triology as a kid myself. Excited to read this one too.
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