April 2009 Book Challenge - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Drip drip drop little April showers. : Hard to believe it's already April (almost ... 45 minutes to go in my neck of the woods). Then there's all that stuff about April showers bringing May flowers. We'll see. March has been in like a lion and out like a lion we had a snowstorm blow through at the beginning of the week, so ... so much for May flowers.

Anyway...

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 and a happy reading April to everyone!


2008's Threads can be found HERE
January's Thread can be found HERE
February's Thread can be found HERE
March's Thread can be found HERE

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#2 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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Well, you spelled it right! Way to go!

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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#3 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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for those of you recommending PDJames, where do you recommend starting?

i was in the car for 3 hours yesterday....got through alot of David Sedaris's book. I think perhaps laughing so hard you are a danger to others causes me to rethink my suggestion to listen to him while driving.
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#4 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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happy april everyone!

april reading:
15. The House At Sugar Beach: A Memoir (Helene Cooper)
16. The Audacity of Hope (Barack Obama)
17. Reiki: Hands That Heal (Joyce J. Morris)



jan - mar 2009
1. Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case For A More Joyful Christmas (Bill McKibben)
2. Waiting (Ha Jin)
3. The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella)
4. Sisterella At The Well: What Happens When a Woman's Well Runs Dry (Kelly Lynn Spencer)
5. Trinidad Noir (Jeanne Mason)
6. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life (Twyla Tharp)
7. How to Read a French Fry: And Other Intriguing Stories of Kitchen Science (Russ Parsons)
8. Homeopathy: How It Really Works (Jay W. Shelton)
9. 72 Hour Hold (BeBe Moore Campbell)
10. Segu (Maryse Conde)
11. Dreams from My Father (Barack Obama)
12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (John Berendt)
13. The City of Ember (Jeanne Duprau)
14. Fit and Fabulous in Fifteen Minutes (Teresa Tapp)

semi-crunchy mama to 1 unschooly, sometimes unruly, but mostly sweet and cool DS (17)
student reiki practitioner and aspiring /
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#5 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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I'm in. I've been reading these threads for the last month and got lots of book recommendations and I've actually been making time to read lately.

My goal - one book a week. I can get through them faster but I don't want to go overboard. I went to the library yesterday and got The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Red Scarf.


March books:
Twilight
New Moon
Eclipse
Breaking Dawn
Revolutionary Road
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#6 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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We got hit by the flu last month, so I didn't get much reading done. I did finish a few books at the end of March:

16. In Montgomery (Gwendolyn Brooks)
17. Bridge to Terabithia
18. A Thousand Splendid Suns
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#7 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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These will probably do it for April. The first book is a series and the newest book out

Deadly Desire - Keri Arthur
I Know This Much is True - Wally lamb
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
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#8 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 04:34 PM
 
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Happy April everybody!

The Condition by Jennifer Haigh

This was kind of a slow book but it grew on me. Parents discover their daughter has Turner's Syndrome (basically she doesn't get puberty and develop). I thought it would be more about the disease and how it affected her but really the story is about the family--their various problems and inability to communicate.

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#9 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
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for those of you recommending PDJames, where do you recommend starting?
I liked The Skull Beneath the Skin, but it's the only one I've read. I'd also like some recommendations. I'm not a big mystery buff, but I like the way she writes.

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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#10 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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my last book for march was unfinished: the YA novel Schooled by Gordon Korman. the main character had been homeschooled forever and was entering a public high school. it painted him as someone who had been living under a rock, totally naive, and i found this a big turn off. it might have gotten better?

just starting John Dominic Crossan & Jonathan Reed's In Search of Paul.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#11 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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While I did enjoy reading that book, I was really annoyed at how homeschooling was portrayed . . . give me a break huh!

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#12 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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It snowed here today in Seattle, I thought it was a fitting April Fool's Day joke.

I just started Kristin Lavransdattir The Bridal Wreath. Has anyone else read that? I'm finding the translation a little quirky.



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Frankly, the ending confused me just a little bit. I sort of had to read and then stop and think about it and then read and then stop and think about it again. There were some aspects I thought seemed a little predictable or whaddaya call it? a deus ex machina or something? a machine to fix the story? am I totally butchering the terminology?
I can't stop thinking about this, did I get the term right? What exactly is that called?
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#13 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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It snowed here today in Seattle, I thought it was a fitting April Fool's Day joke.


I can't stop thinking about this, did I get the term right? What exactly is that called?
Not sure - - - NCD do you know?

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#14 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It snowed here today in Seattle, I thought it was a fitting April Fool's Day joke.
I miss those days ... kinda. We were always stranded at the top of Dravus when it snowed, all the hills were too steep in the snow and ice.


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I can't stop thinking about this, did I get the term right? What exactly is that called?
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Not sure - - - NCD do you know?
If you're talking about deus ex machina then I think you've used it right. It's latin for "god from the machine" and according to my Penguin book of literary terms: "is a plot device in which a surprising or unexpected event occurs in a story's plot, often to resolve flaws or tie up loose ends in the narrative. Neoclassical literary criticism, from Corneille and John Dennis on, took it as a given that one mark of a bad play was the sudden invocation of extraordinary circumstance. Thus, the term deus ex machina has come to mean any inferior plot device that expeditiously solves the conflict of a narrative."

Don't know if that helps...

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#15 of 216 Old 04-01-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Thanks NCD -- see you were right Fremontmama. That's exactly what the ending was.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#16 of 216 Old 04-02-2009, 03:44 AM
 
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I miss those days ... kinda. We were always stranded at the top of Dravus when it snowed, all the hills were too steep in the snow and ice.


If you're talking about deus ex machina then I think you've used it right. It's latin for "god from the machine" and according to my Penguin book of literary terms: "is a plot device in which a surprising or unexpected event occurs in a story's plot, often to resolve flaws or tie up loose ends in the narrative. Neoclassical literary criticism, from Corneille and John Dennis on, took it as a given that one mark of a bad play was the sudden invocation of extraordinary circumstance. Thus, the term deus ex machina has come to mean any inferior plot device that expeditiously solves the conflict of a narrative."

Don't know if that helps...
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Thanks NCD -- see you were right Fremontmama. That's exactly what the ending was.
Sweet! I thought that's what I meant! Thanks NCD!

And Cathe, glad I wasn't alone in thinking the ending was that way. I still kinda liked it, but did feel it was a little too too.


Oh, and the snow!!! The snow is rough on these hills, NCD, are you talking Dravus in Magnolia? B/c that is one monster hill over there.
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#17 of 216 Old 04-02-2009, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and the snow!!! The snow is rough on these hills, NCD, are you talking Dravus in Magnolia? B/c that is one monster hill over there.
Yup. We had an apartment on 25th Avenue West. Just shy of the top of the hill.

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#18 of 216 Old 04-02-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Sweet! I thought that's what I meant! Thanks NCD!

And Cathe, glad I wasn't alone in thinking the ending was that way. I still kinda liked it, but did feel it was a little too too.
Oh I totally loved the book -- the writing was just so delicious . . . and really the old gothic novels I used to read always had those kind of endings. I would definitely still recommend the book.

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#19 of 216 Old 04-02-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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Oh I totally loved the book -- the writing was just so delicious . . . and really the old gothic novels I used to read always had those kind of endings. I would definitely still recommend the book.
Oh yeah, I agree wholeheartedly, I couldnt wait to pass on the book to someone else to read. I meant I still liked the ending even though it did feel a little "manufactured".
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#20 of 216 Old 04-02-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Two sisters Pearl and May were brought up in Shanghai in the 1930's -- they are well off and live a modern, carefree life. When their father gambles away all the family's money, however, the girls are suddenly forced into marriage to two Chinese boys from L.A. to pay off their father's debts. When the Japanese attack, the girls are forced to make their way alone to America and start a new life with their husbands.

Although this is a fascinating historical novel about Chinese immigrants in the mid-1900's, it's also a timeless tale of sisterhood -- the jealousy and the love. I enjoyed this.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#21 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Two sisters Pearl and May were brought up in Shanghai in the 1930's -- they are well off and live a modern, carefree life. When their father gambles away all the family's money, however, the girls are suddenly forced into marriage to two Chinese boys from L.A. to pay off their father's debts. When the Japanese attack, the girls are forced to make their way alone to America and start a new life with their husbands.

Although this is a fascinating historical novel about Chinese immigrants in the mid-1900's, it's also a timeless tale of sisterhood -- the jealousy and the love. I enjoyed this.
Is this fiction or nonfiction?

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#22 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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historical fiction

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#23 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 12:25 PM
 
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Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Two sisters Pearl and May were brought up in Shanghai in the 1930's -- they are well off and live a modern, carefree life. When their father gambles away all the family's money, however, the girls are suddenly forced into marriage to two Chinese boys from L.A. to pay off their father's debts. When the Japanese attack, the girls are forced to make their way alone to America and start a new life with their husbands.

Although this is a fascinating historical novel about Chinese immigrants in the mid-1900's, it's also a timeless tale of sisterhood -- the jealousy and the love. I enjoyed this.
She wrote Snow Flower and The Secret Fan right? And did she write Peony in Love too? I'll have to check this one out.

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Yup. We had an apartment on 25th Avenue West. Just shy of the top of the hill.
Oh the top of the hill! man. Have you ever walked that hill? It is no joke!
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#24 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh the top of the hill! man. Have you ever walked that hill? It is no joke!
You're telling me!

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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#25 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris
nothing really new to add IRT a review of this writer. He's witty and simply makes one laugh out loud. I particularly found his section re: quitting smoking hilarious, considering i have gone through that ordeal several times in my life, the last of which was almost 5 years ago. He quit as I did..cold turkey...but he moved to Japan in order to "change his environment", as all the self help books suggested. He's so quirky and funny!

1. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris. #3 of the Southern Vampire Series.
2. Dead to the World #4 of the Southern Vampire Series.
3. Dead as a Doornail, book #5 of teh Southern Vampire Series.
4. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris.
5. Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins.
6. Life as We Knew It
7. Definitely Dead #6 of the Southern Vampire Series.
8. A Thousand Splendid Sunsets
9. All Together Dead #7 of the Southern Vampire Series
10.Graceling
11. David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall.
12. Star Beast, Robert Heinlein
13. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
14. When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris
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#26 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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#5 - The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty

Liked it, but didn't love it.
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#27 of 216 Old 04-03-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Based very loosely on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Frog Prince, and vampires tales of Romania, five sisters in Transylvania travel through a portal every full moon to dance with creatures of the Other Kingdom. Trouble occurs when one of the sisters falls in love with a Night Creature. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the strong female characters.

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#28 of 216 Old 04-04-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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for those of you recommending PDJames, where do you recommend starting?
I just finished:

#41 Innocent Blood by P.D. James
It was, imo, the most intense of any of hers I've read so far. It's a stand-alone, separate from any series. About a young woman who was adopted who decides she wants to learn about her birth parents. published in 1980. Beyond that, I started with the Adam Dagliesh series and have been reading them in order.....
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#29 of 216 Old 04-04-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
EEEEEEEE! : She has a new book out!

30. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I read this in almost one sitting. This was such a fluid story to read. Sometimes it's so hard to get into a book, but this one was just so easy to like. It's about a race car driver... the story is told from his dog's point of view. The dog witnesses all the struggles in the man's life and the dog understands so much, yet he hates that he can do hardly anything for his owner other than to be a companion. It was a very good story.
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#30 of 216 Old 04-04-2009, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For all of you bibliophiles in the Seattle area, I just got this email from Half Price Books, and thought I'd share, since it won't do me a lick of good right now:

Quote:
Half Price Books prices just got better. Join us at our Washington Warehouse at 9241 Greenwood Ave. N. in Seattle on April 25 and 26, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a fantastic book sale. Everything will be $1 or less. Merchandise will be restocked on Sunday. So come to the Spring Sale and fill your shelves with great books, movies and music at great prices. See you there!

Accepted Tender: Cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover ($20 minimum purchase for credit card transactions). We are sorry, but we are unable to accept coupons, other discounts or gift cards at the warehouse sale. All sales are final.
Here's the link: http://halfpricebooks.com/760.html

"A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister

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