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May Book Challenge

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I hope y'all don't mind, I went ahead and started up May's thread Sheepish.gif



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 for how many books you want to read in 2011 ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY


Happy reading everyone!

post #2 of 26

Hoping to get at least 5 more read this month.  I'm moving this week, no where far just a few miles to a new apt (no roomie) so things are busy.



1. Only Son - Kevin O'Brien

2. Planning To Live - Heather Wardell

3. The 7 Wonders That Will Change Your Life - Glenn Beck/ Keith Ablow

4. Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tatoo - Heather Wardell

5. Carved In Bone - Jefferson Bass


6. Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher

7. The Abstinence Teacher- Tom Perrotta

8. One Fine Day Your're Gonna Die- Gail Bowen (90 pgs)

9. Term Limits - Vince Flynn

10. Scars - Cheryl Rainfield


11. After- Amy Efaw

12. Hold Still- Nina LaCour

13. Pretty Little Things-Jilliane Hoffman

14. Happen Every Day- Isabel Gilles

15. School Days- Robert B. Parker


16. I Am Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World - Eve Ensler

17. Plea of Insanity- Jilliane Hoffman

18. Unsweetined- Jodie Sweetin

19. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants- Ann Brashares

20. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood - Ann Brashares


21. Vicious- Kevin O'Brien







post #3 of 26

I know that I am totally dropping in out of nowhere, but do y'all use goodreads.com? I love it for keeping track of my lists and for looking in on my friends' lists, too.

post #4 of 26

I recently joined good reads but have not found the mothering.com group on it. I just kind of post what I read and read reviews, but do not really interact yet.

post #5 of 26

61.The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye by Nancy Springer
62. A Smart Girl's Guide to Friendship Troubles by Patty Kelley Criswell
63. Running the Books:  The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
64. Remembering Hypatia by Brian Trent
65. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

post #6 of 26

Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende  http://www.isabelallende.com/ines_frame.htm

If I were forced to choose an absolute favourite writer, something that would be difficult for me as I appreciate many types of literature, I would probably name Isabel Allende. I loved this historical fiction set in the 16 hundreds based on the life of a real woman, Inés Suárez, who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors and help found the nation of Chile. I am still living in the 16th century 2 days after I read it!


post #7 of 26

at the moment i am reading:


Journey to the end of Islam, by Michael Muhammad Knight.  very, very interesting so far.


The Egypt Game and Cat Running, both by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.  i had never read her books, and i am excited about these.


April = lots of unfinished books.  here's to more pages turned in May.

post #8 of 26








1) A Falcon for a Queen, Catherine Gaskin

2) Peace Like a River Leif Engel

3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel

4) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

5) Little Bee Chris Cleave

6) The Lost Gate, Orson Scott Card

7) Gail Carriger does some great steam punk, "Blameless" was recent read

8) The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman

9) In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming

10) Guardian Of The Darkness (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehashi with the kids

11) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: A really great book to help you get out of a rut or to challenge you to just help yourself be happier.

12) Quest For The Spark Tom Sniegoski with the kids. Very fun. Some of the characters are from the "Bone" graphic novels.

13) Love in the Time of Cholera  Gabriel García Márquez

14) The Return of Merlin by Deepak Chopra

15) Never Eat Alone  Keith Ferrazzi - skimmed the last part as it became a bit redundant

16) All the Pretty Horses- Cormac McCarthy

17) Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk- David Sedaris

18) House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home -by Mark Richard- This was such a beautiful book. Written in a very interesting way, a second person memoir. It was so easy to totally launch myself into the story. I work full time and have two very busy children and an injured husband AND I still read it in three days! I just loved that it is a true story, but there were certain parts of the story where I was just thinking, how could anyone live through that! I cannot wait to read another one of his books.

19) "Hard Times Require Furious Dancing" by Alice Walker. What a treat. I read these poems while I sat in the library. She says so much with often very few words.

20) "Light In August" William Faulkner

Edited by Igraine - 5/14/11 at 2:54pm
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

I'll come back and post my latest reads in a bit.  I'm reading a deliciously long book right now, An Echo in The Bone by Diana Gabaldon.  I'm approaching the end with a tiny bit of dread, b/c I read that she isn't done with the following book yet, and apparently there is a cliff hanger ending.....


I do Goodreads.   I didn't know there was a mothering group!  I like it.  Waaaaaay way better than Visual Bookshelf.

post #10 of 26
Originally Posted by fremontmama View Post

I'll come back and post my latest reads in a bit.  I'm reading a deliciously long book right now, An Echo in The Bone by Diana Gabaldon.  I'm approaching the end with a tiny bit of dread, b/c I read that she isn't done with the following book yet, and apparently there is a cliff hanger ending.....



There is always a 3-5 year wait between her books. I started reading them in high school, I graduated in 1995 if that tells you anything. I love them though. And yes, there is a HUGE cliffhanger ending!


post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Miasmamma View Post

There is always a 3-5 year wait between her books. I started reading them in high school, I graduated in 1995 if that tells you anything. I love them though. And yes, there is a HUGE cliffhanger ending!


Oh yes, I'm painfully aware of those waits.  I have in the past regularly checked her website for updates on when the next book is coming out lol.gif  Thankfully I have a HUGE list of books I'm looking forward to reading.  And if I really need a fix, I'll start from the beginning again with her books.  It's been about 12 years since I read the first one.


post #12 of 26

Ive lost my passion for reading these past couple weeks.... I hope I find it again soon... hummmmm

post #13 of 26




Going Bovine, Bray




Cameron, a 16-year-old slacker whose somewhat dysfunctional family has just about given up on him, as perhaps he himself has, when his diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jacob, "mad cow" disease, reunites them, if too late. The heart of the story, though, is a hallucinatory—or is it?—quest with many parallels to the hopeless but inspirational efforts of Don Quixote, about whom Cameron had been reading before his illness. Just like the crazy—or was he?—Spaniard, Cam is motivated to go on a journey by a sort of Dulcinea. His pink-haired, white-winged version goes by Dulcie and leads him to take up arms against the Dark Wizard and fire giants that attack him intermittently, and to find a missing Dr. X, who can both help save the world and cure him. Cameron's Sancho is a Mexican-American dwarf, game-master hypochondriac he met in the pot smokers' bathroom at school who later turns up as his hospital roommate. Bray blends in a hearty dose of satire on the road trip as Cameron leaves his Texas deathbed—or does he?—to battle evil forces with a legendary jazz horn player, to escape the evil clutches of a happiness cult, to experiment with cloistered scientists trying to solve the mysteries of the universe, and to save a yard gnome embodying a Viking god from the clutches of the materialistic, fame-obsessed MTV-culture clones who shun individual thought. It's a trip worth taking, though meandering and message-driven at times.


I wasn't crazy about this...was it that I never read Don Quioxte? 


Shades of Grey, Fforde




imagines a screwball future in which social castes and protocols are rigidly defined by acuteness of personal color perception. Centuries after the cryptically cataclysmic Something That Happened, a Colortocracy, founded on the inflexible absolutes of the chromatic scale, rules the world. Amiable Eddie Russett, a young Red, is looking forward to marrying a notch up on the palette and settling down to a complacent bourgeois life. But after meeting Jane G-23, a rebellious working-class Grey, and a discredited, invisible historian known as the Apocryphal man, Eddie finds himself questioning the hitherto sacred foundations of the status quo. En route to finding out what turned things topsy-turvy, Eddie navigates a vividly imagined landscape whose every facet is steeped in the author's remarkably detailed color scheme. Sometimes, though, it's hard to see the story for the chromotechnics.



a bit slow to start -- but I think if you like the Thursday Next Series, that this book will be up your alley. 

post #14 of 26

We are reading the magic tree house series for my 5.5 y/o dd. My son who is almost 9 is enjoying hearing the stories again.


21) The Knight at Dawn (#2) Mary Pope Osborne

post #15 of 26

The Alchemyst – The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

  This book seemed so promising. The author Michael Scott is supposedly an authority on mythology and folklore and that is exactly  the kind of literature  I usually love. So I don’t understand why I did not like this book at all and had to force myself to continue to see if it got any better.  I guess I feel it is too contrived, like the author is trying to take all the qualities that make Harry Potter and Percy Jackson popular and create a new story but it just ends up  being boring.  I don’t plan on reading the other books of the series unless someone tells me they get better. This book is not to be confused with the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which is brilliant.

Oh and I forgot to mention this is a YA book but I won't bother givng it to my son.


Edited by raksmama - 5/19/11 at 5:38am
post #16 of 26

In Defense of Food, Pollan




What we want to eat has been ousted by the notion of what we should eat, and it's at this nexus of hunger and hang-up that Michael Pollan poses his most salient question: where is the food in our food? What follows in In Defense of Food is a series of wonderfully clear and thoughtful answers that help us omnivores navigate the nutritional minefield that's come to typify our food culture. Many processed foods vie for a spot in our grocery baskets, claiming to lower cholesterol, weight, glucose levels, you name it. Yet Pollan shows that these convenient "healthy" alternatives to whole foods are appallingly inconvenient: our health has a nation has only deteriorated since we started exiling carbs, fats--even fruits--from our daily meals. His razor-sharp analysis of the American diet (as well as its architects and its detractors) offers an inspiring glimpse of what it would be like if we could (a la Humpty Dumpty) put our food back together again and reconsider what it means to eat well. In a season filled with rallying cries to lose weight and be healthy, Pollan's call to action—"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."--is a program I actually want to follow.




Very interesting and well-written...

post #17 of 26

1) The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel-- Wonderful series but I wanted more as always. I spent my time reading this book since I knew it would be the last one in the series or that she would ever write for that matter. I actually met her and shook her hand at a book festival in April! energy.gif


2) Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris--- Much better than the last one. Short, uncomplicated read. Nice break after spending time on this ^^ book.



In the process of reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I am having a hard time getting into this one. I plan on finishing it before the end of the month, though.

post #18 of 26

Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez


Engaging book about four slave women who accompany their white owners to a summer resort in Ohio, which happens to be in free territory. They are all wenches--or mistresses--to their owners. As the women get to know each other, the reader gets pieces of their heartbreaking lives. If you enjoyed The Help, you will most likely love this one too.

post #19 of 26

22) Mummies In The Morning Mary Pope Osborne

23) Wise Blood is a novel by American author Flannery O'Connor. Her first novel, it was published in 1952.


I have never read any Flannery O'Connor. I was inspired to read her after reading "House of Prayer No 2". He talked about a few southern writer's and I just felt it was time to explore some American writer's I have either never read or read very limited works for HS. I like the way she writes. The was she focuses on the relationships between characters, how she describes the behavior and thoughts of people, very interesting. I will be reading more. 


post #20 of 26


Bossypants, Tina Fey


Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation. Some of the funniest chapters feature the differences between male and female comedy writers ("men urinate in cups"), her cruise ship honeymoon ("it’s very Poseidon Adventure"), and advice about breastfeeding ("I had an obligation to my child to pretend to try"). But the chaos of Fey’s life is best detailed when she’s dividing her efforts equally between rehearsing her Sarah Palin impression, trying to get Oprah to appear on 30 Rock, and planning her daughter’s Peter Pan-themed birthday. Bossypants gets to the heart of why Tina Fey remains universally adored: she embodies the hectic, too-many-things-to-juggle lifestyle we all have, but instead of complaining about it, she can just laugh it off.



I really enjoyed this book.  Fey writes with humor and grace about the struggles of working moms and women in general.  Laugh out loud funny.


The Warmth of Other Suns, Wilkerson

da Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.



Non-fiction, about the migration of millions of African-Americans from the South to Northern cities.  Interesting combination of individual stories with historical research.

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