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February 2010 Book Challenege

post #1 of 132
Thread Starter 
February already? Where does the year go to?

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 February to everyone!

2009's Thread can be found HERE
January's Thread can be found HERE
post #2 of 132
I know! I can't believe it's February already!!! I have a bunch of books to post, but am swamped at work, so will have to come back in a couple days.

Happy reading everyone.
post #3 of 132
subbing. and another invitation to join me for the African diaspora reading challenge.
post #4 of 132
well, pooh! i have been so inconsistent in subbing/posting to these threads the last couple years and i told myself i would be on EVERY month this year...but here it is february and i missed january. at least i kept track:

what i've started or will read this month:
6. Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower (Deborah Gray White)
7. This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women (Jay Allison & Dan Gediman)
8. Marcelo in the Real World (Francisco X. Stork)
9. Gifted (Nikita Lalwani)
10. Keeping You a Secret (Julie Anne Peters)

and what i read last month-
1. The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
2. Because I Am Furniture (Thalia Chaltas)
3. The Chocolate War (Robert Cormier)
4. It’s All About the Shoes: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Search for the Perfect Pair (Yvonne L. Williams)
5. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

i think i'll make a goal of 50 books for 2010.
post #5 of 132
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves.
An excellent sequel to the first book. While it did not have the same amount of suspense, I still found myself caught up in the story. I look forward to the next in the series coming out this summer.
post #6 of 132
#10 The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation #5) by Lauren Willig

This was okay. This whole series is a guilty pleasure and exercise in schadenfreude for me. When the first book came out (Secret History of the Pink Carnation), I read it and then I read the author bio, and I felt seriously inadequate. Ms. Willig, at the time, was my age, pursuing her PhD in History AND her law degree at Yale AND AND AND had a book on the New York's best-seller list.

The books are chick-lit, pseudo historical romance. The whole conceit is that there is this grad student who is researching 18th and early 19th century English spies. She goes to England, discovers new secret letters, and the novel is her story of finding the letters interspersed with the romantic tale of the Pink Carnation in the first book, and the Pink Carnation's friends and compatriots in subsequent books.
post #7 of 132
I just finished Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler. I love her writing style, but she is the queen of anti-climactic endings!

And there are a couple of annoying typos. For example, on the "About the Author" page, it says that this is her 17th book, but the back cover states it's her 18th book. Take your pick, I guess.
post #8 of 132
Aspire by Kevin Hall

I choose this book to review becaue from the subtitle "discovering your purpose through the power of words," I had the impression that this book would be on writing and using words effectively. Well--it wasn't. It was a self-help book with each chapter centered aroudn a word that can change your life. I did get some inspiration from it.
post #9 of 132
I have read nothing in the last 2 weeks but I do have a new nephew and we got a real snow for the first time in 7 years!!! So I've been busy cuddling and racing down hills on the sled.

DS has asked me to read Harry Potter (I know, I'm probably the only person on earth who has yet to read them) so, I am starting book 1 tomorrow. I hope to get through the first 2 this month, and maybe a classic and a non-fiction.
post #10 of 132

#3 Sole Sisters ~ Jennifer Lin & Susan Warner
A bunch of short stories about women and running. Very inspiring.
post #11 of 132
Let's see, I've got a lot to post..some from January that I'm sneaking in here...

#21 When the Whistle Blows by Fran Cannon Slayton
Set in West Virginia mid 1940's -- 7 Halloweens in a row, one for each chapter, in the life of Jimmy Cannon whose father and brothers both work for the railroad. pretty short. I think I'm not the exact target audience (I tend to skim long football scenes but I was involved enough to cry a little.

#22 Hold Still by Nina LaCour
YA. Girl's best friend commits suicide, girl finds friend's journal under her bed. I liked this book and enjoyed the characters. Lots about photography in here, too. Another one I cried at the end of. (I'm just enough of a grammar snob to notice and be slightly bothered when I end a sentence with a preposition and just lazy enough (and/or have limited internet time) to just leave it.)

#23 The Man in the Picture: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
fun. short. by the author of a series I've been reading. involves a painting that changes not quite a la Dorian Grey, but interesting.

#24 The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
I read this one and am now reading it with my 5 yo. From Amazon:
Watching helplessly as her father is taken off to jail, Groovy Robinson, 11, is convinced that there has been a terrible mistake. When her mom admits that she turned him in because he gambled away the $25,000 savings account that Groovy's great-grandmother left her, the child shrinks into herself-disappointed, hurt, not caring about anything. Not until Groovy-now wanting to be known as Eleanor-heeds the advice of the homeless old sailor Mr. Tom does she grasp that people we love can hurt us, but that only through forgiveness can we become whole again. This first novel is peopled with three-dimensional characters whose imperfections make them believable and interesting. Groovy's big-talking, ne'er-do-well dad donates a trailer to Mr. Tom. Her beautician mom is guided by astrology, but her boundless love for Eleanor is totally grounded. And Groovy's perceptive friend Frankie is unable to grasp the real reasons that his immigrant mother left him in his stepbrother's care. The well-structured plot is underscored by clear writing and authentic dialogue, and short chapters keep the story moving. The book draws a parallel with the birds of Capistrano, and a novel that encourages understanding, tolerance, and forgiveness is as welcome as the returning swallows.
#25 Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Good stuff. Told from the point of view of a 12 yo boy with autism. lots about his relations with peers, younger brother, parents. I felt that the author was pretty perceptive, but I'm not sure how those with more knowledge of/experience with autism would feel.
post #12 of 132
subbing - need to post two, will tomorrow... sick kid
post #13 of 132
Me, me, me!

I'm just joining in. Here are the non-work books I plan to read for February. I will post the work ones later, but I'm still researching some of them.

1. Protecting the Gift (I know, I know. I just haven't gotten to it.)
2. Parenting Beyond Belief
3. Raising Freethinkers
4. Heat Wave by Richard Castle (guilty pleasure)
5. To Hell With All That by Caitlin Flanagan
6. Everything Your Kindergartener Needs to Know
7. Mommy & Daddy's Guide to Kindergarten
post #14 of 132
#3 The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans
- simple read, about a guy who has an ah-ha moment and tries to change his ways,
it was OK, easy to read, but nothing earth shattering

#4 Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
- fast read, similar to a Jodi Picoult book, about teen pregnancy, and i did like the discussion about parenting, can you control what your teens do, if they make less than stellar decisions is it your "fault", etc.

on to a local author, will post when i finish
post #15 of 132
#11 - The Four-Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright

I'm enjoying reading books recommended by my kiddo! This is a sequel to The Saturdays, in which the 4 Melendy siblings move to the country. They explore the countryside, one learns to ride a bike, they fix up the playroom and discover a hidden room, they put on a show, etc. Good clean fun, and very cozy.
post #16 of 132
Originally Posted by konamama View Post
subbing - need to post two, will tomorrow... sick kid
i hope your kiddo feels better soon.
post #17 of 132
#26 Hardball by Sara Paretsky
I appreciate when the main character in a detective novel is aware of (and dismayed by) the School of the Americas -- you don't always get those kind of politics in a detective novel, if you know what I mean. The V.I. Warshawski series is set in Chicago, female protagonist.
post #18 of 132
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

After reading Heartburn a while ago and loving it, I thought I'd try this book of essays by Ephron. It was okay . . . some were very funny, some so-so. I definitely love her outlook on things.
post #19 of 132
Originally Posted by panamama View Post
and what i read last month-
1. The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
2. Because I Am Furniture (Thalia Chaltas)
3. The Chocolate War (Robert Cormier)
4. It’s All About the Shoes: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Search for the Perfect Pair (Yvonne L. Williams)
5. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
panamama, was Because I am furniture agonizing to read? or was it empowering for the protagonist? i had noticed the book but thought, no, i can't go there.
post #20 of 132
"Stupid and Contagious" by Caprice Crane

The story is told in alternating chapters by 29-year-old indie record producer Brady, who could have stepped right out of a Nick Hornby novel, and 26-year-old PR maven turned surly waitress Heaven, a veritable modern-day Lucille Ball. The two meet when they become neighbors, and Heaven keeps receiving Brady's mail, which she promptly opens and reads. But irritation soon turns into attraction as the two eventually take a wacky road trip to Seattle, where Brady waxes enthusiastic about signing a young band and attempts to land a meeting with the founder of Starbucks about his idea for a new drink.

At first, I found Heather to be annoyingly daft and Brady to be self-absorbed - which usually means I will disinterested in the fate of the characters by chapter five (like "Family Affair" also written by Crane). But I have to admit she created them in a way that you grow to like them in spite on their flaws. I found myself thinking I'd like to meet them for drinks one night. The humor was perfect throughout the book - touching the boundary of silliness that can turn a good book into a bad piece of fluff but never going past it.
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