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Book Challenge February 2012 - Page 2

post #21 of 45

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex

 

A middle-grade novel about a cereal company stealing the magic from real leprechauns, rabbits, and vampires to make it's cereal addicting and eventually take over the world . . . I liked the premise but the book wasn't for me.

post #22 of 45

9) The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar

 

"Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar's extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture."

post #23 of 45

10) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

 

Such a sweet book. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the many comments that recommended it.

post #24 of 45

Jesus Freak: feeding healing raising the dead by Sara MIles.

I loved this. the author runs a food pantry in San Francisco at an Episcopal church. she writes passionately about serving others, finding religion in loving each other. she is very unconventional in her views, and this book would be interesting, I think, to people who are not religious as well as to those who embrace the teachings of Jesus. she became christian in her 40s (and wrote an earlier book about her conversion); she writes about how surprised she is to find herself a "Jesus freak" and how puzzled her friends are, too.

post #25 of 45

 

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
 
Mr. Terupt is a new fifth grade teacher whose compassion and innovation capture the admiration and love of all of his students and it seems like it will be the perfect year as the students work to make their teacher proud. But after a tragic accident, his lessons are really tested when the students have to decide if they have really learned the lessons of compassion and forgiveness.
 
This was a wonderful book that gets behind the stereotypes of the brain, the bully, the fat kid, the class clown, the kid that doesn't care about school . . . to see that everybody has a story and that they are not always just how they appear. I also love the message about how our words and actions affect others . . . but that some things are just out of our control. I'm going to recommend this as a read-aloud to the fifth grade teachers at my school.
post #26 of 45

 

Darkfever, Moning

 

Quote:

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

 

 

 

Intruiging start to a series -- while there were some flaws in the story, it was interesting enough for me to have already downloaded the next one in the series.  Doesn't hurt that it's a super-fast read.

 

 

The love of our Youth, Gordon

 

Quote:

Miranda and Adam, high-school sweethearts now in their late fifties, arrive by chance at the same time in Rome, a city where they once spent a summer deeply in love, living together blissfully. At an awkward reunion, the two—who parted in an atmosphere of passionate betrayal in the 1960s and haven’t seen each other since—are surprised to discover that they may have something to talk about. Both have their own guilt, their sense of who betrayed whom, and their long-held interpretation of the events that caused them not to marry and to split apart into the lives they’ve led since—both are married to others, with grown children. For the few weeks they are in Rome, Adam suggests that they meet for daily walks and get to know each other again. Gradually, as they take in the pleasures of the city and the drama of its streets, they discover not only what matters to them now but also more about what happened to them long ago.
 

 

 

This was beautifully written and very evocative of Rome...but I couldn't get past the feeling that something more should be happening. 

post #27 of 45

The Other Life by Ellen Meister

 

Interesting premise of a women who can go through portals to an alternate life. Unfortunately, I didn't really like the book. The writing was uneven and the story slow--plus there were too many unanswered questions. Is there just one other life she can go to or a whole bunch of them for every choice she's made? What about the other people affected, do they have other lives? 

post #28 of 45

 

January

1. Skipped Parts - Tim Sandlin  (Nook)

2. The Mill River Recluse - Darcie Chan (Nook)

3. I Used to Know That - Caroline Taggart (Nook)

4. Mom Still Likes You Best (audio book) - Jane Isay (Library)

5. The Snow Angel - Glenn Beck  (Library)

6. Hurricanes in Paradise - Denise Hildreth (Nook)

February

7. I Didn't Ask to Be Born - Bill Cosby (Library)

8. From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler (DS Copy)

9. House Rules - Rachel Sontag (Library)

10. On a Dollar a Day - Christopher Greenslate (Library)

11. Ella Enchanted - Gail Levine (Library)

12. House of Secrets - Tracie Peterson (Library) 

13. 

 

I didn't like Ella Enchanted, I just could not get into the story.  House of Secrets was a bit better. I liked the story line but didn't realize the author was a 'Christian writer'.  Honestly at this point in my life I could do with out the references to 'G-d'.  This turned into a very fast read since I was skipping every other paragraph it seemed.  Hoping #13 is better.

post #29 of 45

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

 

 

Liam is 12-years-old but looks like he's 30 . . . so when he wins a contest to be the first to try a new amusement park, he gets a friend to pose as his daughter, tricks his parents into thinking he's on a GATE field trip (didn't really buy how easily he did that), and heads to China. Then when he finds out only the "kids" get to ride--with one adult chaperon, he tries to get voted as the best dad to accompany the kids on the rocket ride.
 
Having loved Boyce's book Millions and given the rave reviews this book received, I expected to love Cosmic--but it was just a so-so read for me. The first chapter tells us he got on the rocket and then the rest of the book was about him trying to get on it, which took away the suspense. Boyce is a good writer but I wanted more of a pull to keep me turning page . . . maybe more of an internal motivation would have helped, since we already knew he was getting the ride he wanted. 
 
post #30 of 45

11) CAT'S EYE  By Margaret Atwood. Audiobook. 

 

 

I loved this story. I will need to go back and read it. Audio books are not as enjoyable for me I found. So much of the story rung true with me and my relationships with female friends over the years. I love how she describes how she was at different ages throughout her life and how she interacts with the world and people of that particular time. The details are beautiful, painful at times and very comforting at other times. I did not grow up during the same time, but I felt like I knew exactly what she was talking about throughout the entire book. 

 

An old and very detailed review of the book. 

http://partners.nytimes.com/books/00/09/03/specials/atwood-eye.html

 

I will be reading more of her books. 

post #31 of 45

10. The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right by Arthur Goldwag

11. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

post #32 of 45

In the Neighborhood by Peter Loenheim

 

Great food for thought in this book about a man who endeavors to get to know his neighbors and see if they can create a real community.

post #33 of 45

 

 

Bloodfever, Moning

Quote:
in Dublin the walls are coming down between Man and Faery. That means that the Buffy-like services of MacKayla Lane—the 22-year-old Georgia-born sidhe-seer (or one who can see the Fae) and slayer—are required. Mac is determined to kick the nasties back to faeryland and to avenge her sister Alina's murder by the Fae's dark Lord Master. She's also seeking the sinister Sinsar Dubh, a book of black magic. Jericho Barrons, Mac's enigmatic protector, is a purveyor of books and antiquities (and of course, is a major hunk). As Mac takes direction from Jericho, she must resist the sexy dangers of V'lane, a death-by-sex Fae, and learn about her true family of Irish sidhe-seers. Moning's delectable Mac is breathlessly appealing, and the wild perils she must endure are peppered with endless conundrums. The results are addictively dark, erotic and even shocking.

 

 

Faefever, Moning

 

Quote:

When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shapeshifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, a lethal Fae prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man of deadly secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

 

 

Apparently, I'm just going to try and read all this series together...not my original intent, but it really does get better and better.

 

Hold Tight, Coben

Quote:

 A sadistic killer is at play in suburban Glen Rock, N.J., outside New York City, but somehow he's less frightening than the more mundane problems that send ordinary lives into chaos. How do you weigh a child's privacy against a parent's right to know? How do you differentiate normal teenage rebelliousness from out-of-control behavior? When and how do you intervene if suicidal signs appear? Other issues include single parenting; career versus family; marital honesty; and how much information you should share with a child at what age. Coben plucks each of these strings like a virtuoso as Mike and Tia Baye try to deal with the increasing withdrawal of their 16-year-old son, Adam, after a friend's suicide. A pair of brutal, seemingly senseless killings, punctuate the unfolding domestic troubles that ratchet up the tension and engulf the Baye family, their friends and neighbors in a web of increasing tragedy.

 

I didn't really like this very much...there were 3 different story lines, and I didn't find the way they tied together believable at all.  Brings up interesting questions about teenager's privacy, though.

post #34 of 45

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

 

 

Quote:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

 

I enjoyed this book.  It wasn't a grab-me-by-the-shirt-and-force-me-to-finish-you-in-one-sitting book, but it held my attention and kept me guessing.  Definitely going to read the next one in the series. 

 

 

post #35 of 45

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

 

Sweet middle-grade novel about a Chinese-American girl named Lucy who's sixth grade year does not go according to plan. Her grandmother's long lost sister visits from China and Lucy has to share her room with the old woman. She feels like no one understands her and her love for basketball and puts up a wall both literally and figuratively to isolate herself from her family and her great aunt. But little by little, the wall crumbles and maybe the year won't be so bad after all.

post #36 of 45

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls by Mary Downing Hahn

 

Creepy story about two teen girls murdered based on a real life event in the author's life.

post #37 of 45

12. The Frightened Man by Kenneth Cameron

13. The Bohemian Girl by Kenneth Cameron

post #38 of 45

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

 

Excellent book about three African American girls in the 60's who are sent to spend the summer in Oakland, CA with the mother who abandoned them. The girls are spend their days at a Black Panther summer camp or on their own, while there mother writes poetry and basically wants the least to do with them possible. This was a wonderful, original view of a tumultuous time and I just fell in love with the three daughters. This would be a great book to read aloud to children ages 9-12.

post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igraine View Post

9) The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar

 

"Poignant, evocative, and unforgettable, The Space Between Us is an intimate portrait of a distant yet familiar world. Set in modern-day India, it is the story of two compelling and achingly real women: Sera Dubash, an upper-middle-class Parsi housewife whose opulent surroundings hide the shame and disappointment of her abusive marriage, and Bhima, a stoic illiterate hardened by a life of despair and loss, who has worked in the Dubash household for more than twenty years. A powerful and perceptive literary masterwork, author Thrity Umrigar's extraordinary novel demonstrates how the lives of the rich and poor are intrinsically connected yet vastly removed from each other, and how the strong bonds of womanhood are eternally opposed by the divisions of class and culture."


I read this last month, for book club. I really enjoyed it :)

 

post #40 of 45

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

 

 

Quote:
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.

 

OMG... if you have not read this book, please do! 

 

This book was absolutely flippin' amazing!!!  It was so authentic, especially the dialogues... these are the dialogues I hear in the hallways in my high school and the intimate thoughts and feelings I hear from my teen clients in my office.  The characters, all of them are so beautifully full, rich and - again - authentic.  I want a Tiny Cooper in my life! 

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