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July 2011 Book Challenge

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Happy 4th of July :) 

 

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 39

 

 

Mockingbird, Erskine

 

Quote:

Ten-year-old Caitlyn hates recess, with all its noise and chaos, and her kind, patient counselor, Mrs. Brook, helps her to understand the reasons behind her discomfort, while offering advice about how to cope with her Asberger’s Syndrome, make friends, and deal with her grief over her older brother’s death in a recent school shooting. She eschews group projects in class, claiming that she doesn’t need to learn how to get along with others, but solitude is neither good for her or her grieving father, and when Caitlyn hears the term closure, she turns to her one trusty friend, her dictionary, and sets out on a mission to find it for both of them. Along the way, Caitlyn makes many missteps, but eventually she does achieve the long-sought closure with great finesse, which is another of her favorite vocabulary words. Allusions to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the portrayal of a whole community’s healing process, and the sharp insights into Caitlyn’s behavior enhance this fine addition to the recent group of books with narrators with autism and Asbergers.

 

 

Unique, emotionally touching book about a young girl with Asperger's syndrome.  Her brother, her link to the world, who was helping her interpret social cues and learn behavior strategies, is killed in a school shooting.  The narrator's voice is remarkable, and the book is an honest portrayal of her and her community.

post #3 of 39

 

January

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

February

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

March

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

April

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

May

21. Vicious- Kevin O'Brien

22. Listen- Rene Gutteridge

23. No Time Left- David Baldacci

24. Throwaway- Heather Huffman

25. Plan B- Joseph Finder

June

26. Saving Rachel- John Locke

27.Buried Secrets- Joseph Finder 

28.Vanished- Joseph Finder

29. The Abbey- Chris Culver

30. Life's A Beach- Claire Cook

July

31. Brenin- M.B. Forester-Smythe

32. Now You See Her- James Patterson

33.

34.

35.

post #4 of 39

I ordered this from the library. I should have it in a couple days.  Thanks for the great suggestion!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

 

Mockingbird, Erskine

 

 

 

Unique, emotionally touching book about a young girl with Asperger's syndrome.  Her brother, her link to the world, who was helping her interpret social cues and learn behavior strategies, is killed in a school shooting.  The narrator's voice is remarkable, and the book is an honest portrayal of her and her community.



 

post #5 of 39

Happy July everybody!!!

 

I'm happy to start out the month with a book I really liked:

 

One Day by David Nicholls

 

I was at the movies with friends watching Midnight in Paris (very fun movie btw) and they showed previews for the movie One Day. We  noticed it was based on a book so we decided to all read it and then see the movie when it comes out. I just loved the book -- very unique premise. Two college students hook up one night and spend the next day together and then the rest of the book is what happens on that one day each year later. Sounds weird but it really works. I loved the characters of Emma and Dexter, not to mention all the secondary characters. The book is funny but also very sad. Just one of those books you lose yourself in and enjoy.

 

post #6 of 39

 

 

 

Galore, Crummey

Quote:

Out of the belly of a whale, Michael Crummey pulls the marvelous story of Paradise Deep, a remote settlement on the northern Newfoundland coast, a place "too severe and formidable, too provocative, too extravagant and singular and harrowing to be real," teeming with fierce rivalries, affections, and loyalties spanning five intertwined generations. His tale opens in a hungry winter, when a beached humpback arrives as an unexpected gift and the townspeople convene to claim their piece. From a slit in its gut spills a man--white, mute, and eerily alive--who assumes a central role in the lineage of the Divine family. Alternately feared as a devil and revered as a healer, Judah fathers a fish-scented son with the raven-haired Mary Tryphena. Their family comprises the heart of the town's rich mythology, with all its ghosts, mermaid trysts, strange accidents, miraculous babies, and impossible loves, rendered in language so gorgeously raw, it will transport you to a land whose sky is "alive with the northern lights, the roiling seines of green and red like some eerily silent music to accompany the suffering below

 

 

It's been years since I gave up on a book, and this is the one.  It got such great reviews, I don't know what I'm missing, but I got 1/3 of the way through and still couldn't figure out what I was reading...

post #7 of 39

thank goodness for summer!  seems I have read more (for pleasure) in the past week than in 9 months of teaching.

 

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan.  I loved this novel.  really, thoroughly enjoyed it.  not at all preachy, and yet taught so much about social justice, just by telling Esperanza's family story.  so good.

 

The Power of Play by David Elkind (author of The Hurried Child).  why do school administrators not read this man's work?  he talks so much sense.

 

Creative Homeschooling for Gifted Children by Lisa Rivero.  an excellent resource book, which I will likely buy whether we are able to unschool or we stick with our present Montessori plan (with me teaching in a different school....but that complaint is for another thread)

 

The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith.  good ideas, lots of testimony from unschooling families

 

What do I do on Monday?  by John Holt. a re-read.  he was a very, very insightful and inspiring teacher.

post #8 of 39

 

So Cold the River, Kortya

 

 

Quote:

and it all begins with a check and a bottle of water. Filmmaker Eric Shaw had a knack for getting the exact right shot--an unexplained tug that unerringly put him on the right path--until his temper killed his Hollywood career. He gets a shot at redemption when a wealthy young woman commissions a video tribute for her father-in-law, a dying millionaire named Campbell Bradford. A man with a shady past, a town with a rich history, and an antique bottle of water claiming to "cure all ills" lead Shaw to small town West Baden, where things quickly go sideways. Shaw finds himself at odds with Bradford's only surviving family, a bitter and violent great-grandson named Josiah, and that once familiar tug of Shaw's becomes something darker and more dangerous. At its deliciously creepy core, So Cold the River is about two men facing down their demons, and what happens when those demons fight back.

 

Creepy, enjoyable ghost story!

 

 

Relic, Preston & Child

 

Quote:

A monster on the loose in New York City's American Museum of Natural History provides the hook for this high-concept, high-energy thriller. A statue of the mad god Mbwun, a monstrous mix of man and reptile, was discovered by a Museum expedition to South America in 1987. Now, it is about to become part of the new Superstition Exhibition at the museum (here renamed the "New York Museum of Natural History"). But as the exhibition's opening night approaches, the museum may have to be shut down due to a series of savage murders that seem to be the work of a maniac-or a living version of Mbwun. When the museum's director pulls strings to ensure that the gala affair takes place, it's up to a small band of believers, led by graduate student Margo Green, her controversial adviser and an FBI agent who investigated similar killings in New Orleans, to stop the monster-if the culprit is indeed a monster-from going on a rampage. Less horror then action-adventure, the narrative builds to a superbly exciting climax, and then offers a final twist to boot. With its close-up view of museum life and politics, plausible scientific background, sharply drawn characters and a plot line that's blissfully free of gratuitous romance, this well-crafted novel offers first-rate thrills and chills.

 

post #9 of 39

The Changeling by Terri Wendling

 From the site: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/terri-windling/changeling.htm

 Convinced that his sister, Polly, is really a changeling whose soul has been stolen and replaced with the spirit of a mountain faery, Charlie must find a way to save her without being dispirited himself”

I read this book to see if it would be something my son might like. While I don’t think he would I myself enjoyed it quite a lot.

 

post #10 of 39

42) A Game of Thrones is the first book in A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of epic fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin. It was first published on 6 August 1996. The novel won the 1997 Locus Award,[1] and was nominated for both the 1998 Nebula Award[2] and the 1997[1] World Fantasy Award. The novellaBlood of the Dragon, comprising the Daenerys Targaryen chapters from the novel, won the 1997 Hugo Award for Best Novella. In January 2011 the novel became a New York Times bestseller[3] and reached #1 on the list in July 2011.[4]

In the novel, presenting various points of view and plot-lines, Martin introduces the noble houses of Westeros, the Wall, and the Targaryen plot-line. The novel has lent its name to several spin-off items based on the novels, including a trading card gameboard game, and roleplaying game. The novel comprises the first season of a television series created by HBO, which premiered on April 17, 2011.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a while. I could not put it down and it is a rather large book (over 800 pages paperback). And I have watched most of the HBO series which was very well done. I have the next book and will be jumping into it after I finish this post. If you enjoy fantasy with lots of characters, conflicts and a rather intense pace (through some sexy and serious battles in the mix) then you cannot go wrong!

post #11 of 39

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

 

Another in her Jackson Brodie series which I love . . . this was a little more confusing than the rest, but still very good. 

post #12 of 39

 

January

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

February

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

March

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

April

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

May

21. Vicious- Kevin O'Brien

22. Listen- Rene Gutteridge

23. No Time Left- David Baldacci

24. Throwaway- Heather Huffman

25. Plan B- Joseph Finder

June

26. Saving Rachel- John Locke

27.Buried Secrets- Joseph Finder 

28.Vanished- Joseph Finder

29. The Abbey- Chris Culver

30. Life's A Beach- Claire Cook

July

31. Brenin- M.B. Forester-Smythe

32. Now You See Her- James Patterson

33. The Reading Promise- Alice Ozma

34. Mockingbird- Kathryn Erskine

35.

post #13 of 39

I have been reviewing the books that I have read this year on a blog.  I started it to participate in another blog that is a read 52 books in a year challenge.  I figured I probably read more than that in a year but had never counted them before.  So far, I am at #68.  The book that I just finished reading is The Faith Club, about 3 moms - a Muslim, a Chrisitan, and a Jew, trying to learn about one another's religions.  I thought it was great!  Here is my blog w/ all of the books that I have read so far this year - http://becauseisaidsothathswhy.blogspot.com/ 

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 

I have a ton of books to post, but things are hectic here!  Hope summer is treating you all well!  love.gif

post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post

Happy July everybody!!!

 

I'm happy to start out the month with a book I really liked:

 

One Day by David Nicholls

 

I was at the movies with friends watching Midnight in Paris (very fun movie btw) and they showed previews for the movie One Day. We  noticed it was based on a book so we decided to all read it and then see the movie when it comes out. I just loved the book -- very unique premise. Two college students hook up one night and spend the next day together and then the rest of the book is what happens on that one day each year later. Sounds weird but it really works. I loved the characters of Emma and Dexter, not to mention all the secondary characters. The book is funny but also very sad. Just one of those books you lose yourself in and enjoy.

 



Oooh!  Sounds good!



Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

thank goodness for summer!  seems I have read more (for pleasure) in the past week than in 9 months of teaching.

 


I know!  I love summer reading.  My schedule doesn't even change much, there's just something about reading in the summer that's so nice.  Plus, I love the library summer reading programs!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by jalilah View Post

The Changeling by Terri Wendling

 From the site: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/w/terri-windling/changeling.htm

 Convinced that his sister, Polly, is really a changeling whose soul has been stolen and replaced with the spirit of a mountain faery, Charlie must find a way to save her without being dispirited himself”

I read this book to see if it would be something my son might like. While I don’t think he would I myself enjoyed it quite a lot.

 


Oh, that sounds good too!

 

 

 

I don't have time for reviews, but here are my latest reads.  I'd give a thumbs up to all of them, but some were for work not for fun, and served their purpose.

 

#34 The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno

 

#35 Zen of Social Media Marketing by Shama Kabani

 

#36 Great House by Nicle Krauss

 

#37 Linchpin by Seth Godin

 

#38 All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin

 

#39 The Art of Non-Conformity by Chrib Guillebeau

 

#40 Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

So Cold the River, Kortya

 

 

 

Creepy, enjoyable ghost story!

 

 

Relic, Preston & Child

 

 


I'll have to look up So Cold the River and I LOVE Relic ... so much better than the movie.

 

post #17 of 39

Hiroshima by John Hersey

 

Though I read this in high school, when I spotted it at the library last week I picked it up to reread since I'm doing my library's summer reading program and one of the categories is a nonfiction history of another country. This account follows six people in Hiroshima who lived through the atomic bomb. We get their accounts of before, during, and after the bomb is dropped. The book is just horrifying and their are so many vivid images that I actually remember from my original read of this book in high school. This version added what happened to each of the six people later in life. I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults.

 

 

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by christianmomof3 View Post

I have been reviewing the books that I have read this year on a blog.  I started it to participate in another blog that is a read 52 books in a year challenge.  I figured I probably read more than that in a year but had never counted them before.  So far, I am at #68.  The book that I just finished reading is The Faith Club, about 3 moms - a Muslim, a Chrisitan, and a Jew, trying to learn about one another's religions.  I thought it was great!  Here is my blog w/ all of the books that I have read so far this year - http://becauseisaidsothathswhy.blogspot.com/ 


Yes!  I liked The Faith Club, too.

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post

Hiroshima by John Hersey

 

Though I read this in high school, when I spotted it at the library last week I picked it up to reread since I'm doing my library's summer reading program and one of the categories is a nonfiction history of another country. This account follows six people in Hiroshima who lived through the atomic bomb. We get their accounts of before, during, and after the bomb is dropped. The book is just horrifying and their are so many vivid images that I actually remember from my original read of this book in high school. This version added what happened to each of the six people later in life. I highly recommend this book for older teens and adults.

 

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post

Happy July everybody!!!

 

I'm happy to start out the month with a book I really liked:

 

One Day by David Nicholls

 

I was at the movies with friends watching Midnight in Paris (very fun movie btw) and they showed previews for the movie One Day. We  noticed it was based on a book so we decided to all read it and then see the movie when it comes out. I just loved the book -- very unique premise. Two college students hook up one night and spend the next day together and then the rest of the book is what happens on that one day each year later. Sounds weird but it really works. I loved the characters of Emma and Dexter, not to mention all the secondary characters. The book is funny but also very sad. Just one of those books you lose yourself in and enjoy.

 


These both sound good, and the ghost story kofduke read as well -- Sadly, I just re-filled my library holds account! 

 

87. The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier
88. Mind in the Making:  The 7 Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs by Ellen Galinsky
89. The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfeld
90. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

 

post #19 of 39

Midsummer Night by Freda Warrington

http://fredawarrington.freehostia.com/midsummer.html

This is the second book of Warrington’s” Ethereal “series and I’ve become a big fan!

 I liked this book slightly less than the first, “Elfland” but still enjoyed it. This series perfect if you like fantasy fiction set in the real world with character driven stories. Like Charles De Lint,( who wrote a great review about this book, that’s how I found out about it), Warrington creates likable and believable human (or part human) characters. There is something about her works that remind me a little of the Bronte sisters, but less dreary and more comtemporary  and colorful.

 


Edited by raksmama - 7/15/11 at 6:37am
post #20 of 39

Half a Life by Darin Strauss

 

Novelist Darin Strauss tells his own traumatic story of accidently killing a classmate with his car when her bike swerved into his path. While I thought the writing good and the way the accident affected the rest of his life sad, the book was not very compelling. It's very much about Darins feelings and his trying to deal with the guilt, but really there's not much information about his life and what it was like--the reader just mostly gets in his head. It feels like the author is using the book to work through the trauma of the accident, and while I hope it was cathartic for him--it just didn't make for a very interesting read--though it might appeal to those who like to analyze thoughts and emotions and aren't really looking for a story. I will probably try his fiction though.

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