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May 2010 Book Challenge Thread - Page 4

post #61 of 93
Normally I update every Sunday but seeing as how it's only Thursday and I already had five books to update I thought I would post them now (ETA: I forgot authors I the first time so I updated my post).

33. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

*I read this book for the first time and loved it. I wish I had read it earlier as many of my peers did when we were in high school but it wasn't on the reading list for my school and I didn't own a copy myself until recently. A wonderful, classic story that had me in tears. I will read it again for sure.

34. The Gluten Connection by Sheri Lieberman

*This book came recommended by my ND. I'm glad I read it as it opened my eyes to a whole world of symptoms that could be tied to gluten sensitivity or intolerance in individuals and made me more aware of how important it is for me to consider them considering the family history that I have of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. It also gave a great section on preparing foods and meal plans that were gluten free.

35. How to Cope with Mental Illness in Your Family by Diane Marsh and Rex Dickens

*What a wonderful book! It laid out the common threads in the journey that siblings or children of people who have mental illnesses often go through. I found that I identified myself and my own journey within the stories that were shared. It also shared ideas for ways to cope and move forward through the steps on the road to healing. I recommend it as a good read for anyone dealing with or that has dealt with in the past a family member with mental illness.

36. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

*I had heard so much about this book that I had to read it for myself. I actually wasn't that impressed with it, although I do agree with some of the principles in the book. It was a quick read though and easy to get through.

37. The Magicians Nephew by CS Lewis

*I've read through the Narnia series before but I decided that it was time to do so again. This book once again drew me into the magical world and I almost felt as if I was there. I am looking forward to reading the rest of them as well.
post #62 of 93
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
Funny! Actually, "ass" = "donkey" in British English, still, and not offensive at all, to my knowledge. Dd reads a lot of British children's lit and knows the distinction. If she hears her dad use the 'a'-word by accident, she always says "you mean donkey, right?"
It was just kind of jarring... There were lots of, "You are such an a--!" constantly, all throughout the book! I could see a kid picking up on that and saying it in public.
post #63 of 93
Originally Posted by Traci mom23boys View Post

#18 *The Lacuna* by B. Kingsolver
I am trying again to get into this. She is one of my favorite writers but this one hasn't grabbed me yet.

This wasn't one of my favorites either. It had good parts, but most of it was slow. If I hadn't purchased it, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it.
post #64 of 93
Blergh, 2 books I didn't care for in a row...

#26 - In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore

You'd think I'd like it - I'm kind of slow-paced in my approach to a lot of things, but this was mostly lame and shallow.

# 27 - More by Austin Clarke

Prize-winning novel about a Barbadian -Canadian woman in Toronto, who reflects on her life as she stays in her basement apartment for 4 days, paralyzed with worry about her missing teenage son, who, she worries, is involved with gangs. Not my thing. At all.
post #65 of 93
#90 The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

I enjoyed this book and read it pretty quickly. From the back cover:
When a mysterious letter lands in Hallie James's mailbox, her life is upended. Hallie was raised by her loving father, having been told that her mother died in a fire decades earlier. But it turns out her mother, Madlyn, was alive until very recently. Why would Hallie's father have taken her away from Madlyn? What really happened to her family thirty years ago?
In search of answers, Hallie travels to the place her mother had lived, a remote island in the middle of the great lakes.
It also made me want to visit Mackinac Island.
post #66 of 93
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
Blergh, 2 books I didn't care for in a row....
Don't ya hate that!
post #67 of 93
#9 Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5

Summary: 16-year-old Cameron doesn’t care much about anything. But being diagnosed with mad cow disease solves that problem.

Review: Utterly, positively funny. The wit and sarcasm drips off every single page of this book, so much so that I became immune to it after a while. I tend to prefer the brand of funny that hides around the next corner and startles a laugh out of me.

Maybe I would have felt differently if I had started out liking the main character. But he is so incredibly apathetic at the beginning that I didn’t feel compelled to care in return. Then about halfway through, I did start rooting for him.

Because guess what? When Cameron started to care about what was going on around him, I started to care too. And it didn’t hurt that the Don Quixote parallels meant I could relive my English major days.

I enjoyed this book, although it was just alright for me. Could be I wasn’t in the right mood when I read it. Here’s a taste so you can decide whether it’s right for you:
The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.

I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.

Like Career Day? Really? Do we need to devote an entire six hours out of the high school year to having “life counselors” tell you all the jobs you could potentially blow at? Is there a reason for dodgeball? Pep rallies? Rad soda commercials featuring Parker Day’s smug, fake-tanned face? I ask you.

But back to the best day of my life, Disney, and my near-death experience.

I know what you’re thinking: WTF? Who dies at Disney World? It’s full of spinning teacups and magical princesses and big-assed chipmunks walking around waving like it’s absolutely normal for jumbo-sized stuffed animals to come to life and post for photo ops. Like, seriously.
post #68 of 93
City of Bones, Clare

Clary Fray witnesses three tattoo-covered teenagers murder another teen, she is unable to prove the crime because the victim disappears right in front of her eyes, and no one else can see the killers. She learns that the teens are Shadowhunters (humans who hunt and kill demons), and Clary, a mundie (i.e., mundane human), should not be able to see them either. Shortly after this discovery, her mother, Jocelyn, an erstwhile Shadowhunter, is kidnapped. Jocelyn is the only person who knows the whereabouts of The Mortal Cup, a dangerous magical item that turns humans into Shadowhunters. Clary must find the cup and keep it from a renegade sector of Shadowhunters bent on eliminating all nonhumans, including benevolent werewolves and friendly vampires.
I've had this on my shelf for a while and kept pushing it back in line. I picked it up this week while home sick, and I must say it definately kept me well-entertained. While I don't think the series will be nearly as memorable as Harry Potter or even Percy Jackson, it is a fun fantasy world to explore.
post #69 of 93
Sunday check in for me. Three more books to add. I made a commitment to staying off the computer and reading more in April and I'm so glad I did!

38. Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James Clapp

*This book was actually quite an enlightening read for me. I have been hit with various opinions from everyone I talk to it seems now that I've started working out more during my pregnancy. This book followed women in studies done by this doctor to figure out the role of exercise in a healthy pregnancy. It covered exercise started within pregnancy as well as established fit women and athletes who continued their programs during pregnancy. It gave me more confidence continuing what I'm doing... that is what feels good for my body without going past that.

39. Body, Soul, and Baby by Tracy W. Gaudet

*I am going to be running a book discussion on this for school so I read it now to get a heads up on what the contents were. It is written by an OB and she is pretty open minded to the mind-body connection and making sure you aren't just taking care of your physical needs, but also your emotional and spiritual needs as well. It has it's limits though as she is still medical minded when it comes to homebirth (which she could never recommend in her own words), and certain medical interventions (such as ultrasound, she points out you should consciously make a decision whether or not to find out the sex of your baby, but never considers ultrasound elective, it just is what is done). Overall on the scale of I love it to I hate it for a pregnancy book it was not bad. Not my favourite by far (or even in the same league) but so much better than What to Expect it's awesome.

40. Brainfood by Jean-Marie Bourre

*This was an impulse grab from the library and it turned out to be an interesting read. It went into great detail about how what we eat, specifically the parts the food we eat are broken down into, and how they effect our brains. Vitamins, minerals, different toxins, the role of water (hydration), it was broken down and discussed piece by piece. There is also at the end of the book a fascinating discussion about the senses and their role in our eating. I won't likely read it again, but I'm glad I read it once.
post #70 of 93
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
This wasn't one of my favorites either. It had good parts, but most of it was slow. If I hadn't purchased it, I probably wouldn't have stuck with it.
I read this last month I believe- I really wanted to like it as well but I found it painful!

I have so neglected this thread. I have been reading some for myself, tons for the kids, but I doubt anyone wants reviews for Secret of Droon and Magic Treehouse

I just finished the series Uglies by Scott Westerfield. I almost gave it up, it took half-way through the first book to become intriguing to me. However, it became pretty interesting after that point. Not my favorite, but had some interesting points about technology and beauty driven culture. I do have to say though the ending, to me, was wretched, so anti-climatic.
post #71 of 93
The Vanishing of Katharine Linden by Helen Grant

Got an ARC of this one to review. I liked that it was set in present Germany and had a lot of the language and customs, but I didn't really find the main character compelling and the solution to the mystery seemed a little overly explained at the end . . . I was like: if they knew all that, why didn't they get the killer 40 years ago. I thought it was an okay read.
post #72 of 93
The Fate of Katherine Carr, Thomas Cook

George Gates, who once toured the world as a travel writer, churns out fluff pieces for his local paper and spends his nights alone, imagining what he'd do to the person who murdered his eight-year-old son seven years before and is still at large in Cook's eerily poignant novel. When Arlo McBride, a retired missing persons detective, tells Gates about the unsolved disappearance of reclusive poet Katherine Carr 20 years earlier, Gates is intrigued.
I found this book difficult -- likely because the age of the writer's son is the same age as my son, and it made me feel like one missed parenting decision was all it took for eternal tragedy. I had a hard time getting by that into the actual story of the book, especially because it wasn't really just a backstory, it was mentioned constantly.

Just After Sunset, King

In the introduction to his first collection of short fiction since Everything's Eventual (2002), King credits editing Best American Short Stories (2007) with reigniting his interest in the short form and inducing some of this volume's contents. Most of these 13 tales show him at the top of his game, molding the themes and set pieces of horror and suspense fiction into richly nuanced blends of fantasy and psychological realism.
Some of these stories are fantastic -- I especially loved N. Others, not so much.
post #73 of 93
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/.../darkfever.htm
In spite of the cover, there is actaully no sex!
I got hooked and read the second Bloodfever immediately after. http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/...bloodfever.htm
post #74 of 93
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. A fantastic book about circus life during the Depression era.
post #75 of 93
#91 Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
from Amazon:
When Ruby replaces her ailing mother in the tough, meatpacking Yards of 1940s Chicago, the feisty teen can’t stand the job’s grimness and poverty wages: I spent eight hours a day stuffing hogs’ feet in jars, and we still ate beans. When handsome bad-boy Paulie urges her to try the Starlight Dance Academy, and get paid to dance with men who show up each night, she can’t resist this far more lucrative prospect. Although her mom believes Ruby has changed jobs to become a nightshift telephone operator, Ruby sashays into the wee hours as a dance-hall girl looking for glamour and adventure. Readers will be riveted by Ruby’s journey as she leaves one desperate existence for another and finds herself drawn deeper into a world that is hard-edged and even dangerous—especially when she begins to let Paulie lead her down a dubious path. Blatant racism, crime, and the swing-era music scene permeate the backdrop of Fletcher’s absorbing wartime novel, which will have readers rooting for its spirited, soul-searching heroine.
post #76 of 93

my May reads

Hi! I recently got the nook app for the iphone, so if anyone has that and wants to lend each other books, pm me

I recently finished:

1. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
- I read this for my June book club. It's a Holocaust book and extremely heart wrenching. Not as graphic about the actual camps as Five Chimneys was, but a follow up. It's actually two stories, once of a present day journalist in a crappy marriage given a writing assignment and another of a young girl name Sarah during the Holocaust who, when her family was ripped from their home, locked her 4 year old brother in a cabinet to save him. I read it in two night shifts and it kept my interest and made me cry several times. A good read, but I like more uplifting book generally. I guess I would say it reads like a lifetime original movie.

2. Didn't I Feed You Yesterday by Laura Bennett
- This was fun & quick, I managed to finish it in a few hours on a long car trip. Hysterical and laugh out loud parts. The author has an extremely relaxed, hands-off parenting style. Many times I just couldn't fathom living the way she does- forgetting where her kids are, letting the pets run wild in the house approach with no litter box, starting fires for fun, a staff of nannies and personal assistants all while being a project runway star. I really enjoyed her writing and would recommend it as a hilarious, easy weekend read.

3. Sippy Cups Aren't for Chardonnay by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
- Now I am a big Chelsea Handler fan and loved her book Are you there vodka? It's me Chelsea. Stefanie is friends with Chelsea and they are both comedians so I thought for sure I would love this book. And actually I really want to love this book because Stefanie is so funny, crass and down to earth. Not to mention it got some really great reviews. Almost every page made me actually laugh out loud hysterically. MY problem with this book is I really don't like the way she handled the breastfeeding and doula chapter. Which was chapter 2 I believe, kind of jaded the whole thing for me. "whether you breastfeed or not, you need to be prepared to encounter the Tit Terrorists" or "If you are going to breastfeed, take lesson from experienced folk:You and your baby should work out a 'safe' word to deal with this kind of self imposed pain" And other things like "If you want to stop breastfeeding you must never call the LLL, they keep you on the line for a creepy amount of time and you almost think they are trying to trace the call to dispatch a lactation consultant right over" That said, if it wasn't for that chapter I would absolutely LOVE this book and give it to all my pregnant friends. I don't have anything against people who choose to FF but, I just don't think something that portrays breastfeeding so inaccurately and negatively is something I would give to a first time mama.
post #77 of 93
Hi all! It has been months and months since I was on a Book Challenge thread! But I'm trying to get back into reading... so here are my May books.

Gone - Michael Grant One day in a town in California, everyone over the age of 14 disappears. What happens? How do kids organize themselves? Who's in charge? This is sort of a The Stand meets Lord of the Flies - it took me several chapters to get into it, but I enjoyed it. I have the second in the series, Hunger, but haven't started it yet.

New and Selected Poems, Volume Two - Mary Oliver I discovered Mary Oliver a few months ago and can't believe it took me this long. She combines nature, philosophy and psychology... something like Robert Frost, but she's in a category of her own. Highly recommend, if you enjoy poetry.

Missing - Karin Alvtegen - I was looking for something similar to Tana French's novels, since her new one isn't coming out until July. Alvtegen is Swedish and her protagonist has "gone underground" in Sweden, jobless and homeless. Little by little, we discover why, and her anonymity is threatened by a murder. This is not a standard mystery... it's somewhere between a novel and a mystery, I'd say. I liked the writing style and the strong characters and would read more by this author.

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson - About a high-school freshman who has a traumatic summer experience that changes her, and her relationships. Anderson's first novel, and IMHO her best.

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs - Ron Koertge - This is apparently a sequel to Shakespeare Bats Clean-up, but I didn't read that one and wasn't lost. Another YA book, this one centering on Kevin, a 14-year-old who loves poetry, baseball, and not so much his girlfriend. It's written entirely in poem format, which you'd think would be limiting and get old, but neither happened for me. The characters were great (though Kevin's girlfriend is something of a stereotype) and I laughed out loud more than once.

Clapton: The Autobiography - Eric Clapton - I had high hopes for this, but I skimmed most of it. It had a very plodding style to it... "This happened. Then this happened. Then this. Then this..." I felt like I didn't get much insight into Clapton's head or heart. It was interesting to learn about his life and where some of his better-known songs came from, though.
post #78 of 93
Welcome back Nancy.
post #79 of 93
#92 The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller

I recently read While I Was Gone by the same author. This one was interesting -- told from the point of view of four different people -- I like that kind of stuff because it makes me think about how true to life that is -- how people can experience the exact same day/event/other person/place in very different ways. Probably a good reminder.

Billy was getting ready to leave her boyfriend, Gus, (unbeknown to anyone else) when September 11 came -- he was on one of the planes. She has written a play about a terrorist attack on a train (The Lake Shore Limited) as it arrives in Chicago's Union Station.

Leslie is Gus' older sister who very much feels his absence and thinks it must be so hard for Billy as well. Pierce, her husband, feels like she should just move on.

Rafe, the main character in Billy's play, has a wife who is very ill with ALS and who is largely confined to the house.

Sam is a friend of Leslie and Pierce who goes to dinner with them after the play. He meets Billy and find himself drawn to her.

One of the strongest elements of the story, for me, was that notion of how very mixed one's feelings can be at the death of someone we know intimately. Rang very true for me.
post #80 of 93
I just read House Rules by Jodi Picoult. I had the mystery figured out very early on, but I kept reading to get to whatever plot twist I hadn't figured out, because she wouldn't have made the foreshadowing THAT simple, right? Wrong. Nothing new happened at the end that I hadn't already figured out in entirety. Disappointing.
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