June 2010 Book Challenge Thread - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 86 Old 06-23-2010, 12:48 AM
 
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43. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
This was a little bit like Lisa See's writing. It starts off with a group of women who meet to play may jong but that just seems like a premise to fill the book with short stories. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the women or their daughters. I thought all the stories were interesting, although it was hard to keep track of who's who so I just enjoyed the book as a novel of short stories.

44. The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart
A little girl spends her vacation at her great-aunt's house in the countryside. She finds a broom and a black cat that take her on an adventure to a witch's school. This would be a good book for a child who is too young for Harry Potter. It looks like the author has also written some fantasy novels for adults as well! Does anyone know if they are any good? They get a lot of solid 4.5 and 5 stars on Amazon.
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#62 of 86 Old 06-23-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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The Rock & the River by Kekla Magoon
a YA novel set in 1968 Chicago, narrated by 13yo boy. his father is a civil rights leader, his 17yo brother is getting involved with the Black Panthers. really enjoyed it. i have a longer review on my blog.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#63 of 86 Old 06-23-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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44. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I didn't like this at all. The whole premise of the teen in the book dating 19 Katherines, all spelled with a K, was ridiculous. I know Katherine is supposedly a common name, but I only know of one and her name is spelled with a C. The main character was not at all likable. The road trip they were supposed to take ended abruptly when they decided to hang out in a boring town for the rest of the summer. If you are going to read a John Green novel, read Looking for Alaska and skip this one.
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#64 of 86 Old 06-24-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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44. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I didn't like this at all. The whole premise of the teen in the book dating 19 Katherines, all spelled with a K, was ridiculous. I know Katherine is supposedly a common name, but I only know of one and her name is spelled with a C. The main character was not at all likable. The road trip they were supposed to take ended abruptly when they decided to hang out in a boring town for the rest of the summer. If you are going to read a John Green novel, read Looking for Alaska and skip this one.
Isn't taste a strange thing! I felt the way you describe about Green's book Paper Towns while I thought An Abundance of Katherines was brilliant and it's my favorite of his books.

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#65 of 86 Old 06-24-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

OMG what an amazing book! I can't believe all the stuff this guy goes through. I could not put this book down. Thanks to whoever recommended it. I can't wait to pass it on.

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#66 of 86 Old 06-24-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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Can't believe how long it's been since I've posted here. I've had very little reading time lately, but hoping to get caught up soon. I did finally finish the Dark Tower series, so I did at least accomplish something.

26. Song of Susannah by Stephen King

27. The Dark Tower by Stephen King

I will say that I loved, LOVED this series. I really liked the way that he revealed so much about himself as a writer in the last book. It was well worth the second read, but I'm glad to be done with the series so I can move on to something else.

28. Secrets to Drawing Heads by Allan Kraayvanger

Great little art book about drawing the human head. Really helped me work on my technique and one of the few art books I've read cover to cover.

29. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligous Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald ******

I'm about halfway through this one, and really enjoying it. It's refreshing to hear a Christian author be so honest about his thoughts and feelings about religion. Interesting book.
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#67 of 86 Old 06-24-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

OMG what an amazing book! I can't believe all the stuff this guy goes through. I could not put this book down. Thanks to whoever recommended it. I can't wait to pass it on.
Wasn't it fun? I just love it when a really really really good book comes along.

Just finished Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That was really fun. I have a few books to post, swamped at the office though. I'll come back soon.
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#68 of 86 Old 06-24-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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#21 *The Passage* by Justin Cronin

Here is a review from Amazon:

ou don't have to be a fan of vampire fiction to be enthralled by The Passage, Justin Cronin's blazing new novel. Cronin is a remarkable storyteller (just ask adoring fans of his award-winning Mary and O'Neil), whose gorgeous writing brings depth and vitality to this ambitious epic about a virus that nearly destroys the world, and a six-year-old girl who holds the key to bringing it back. The Passage takes readers on a journey from the early days of the virus to the aftermath of the destruction, where packs of hungry infected scour the razed, charred cities looking for food, and the survivors eke out a bleak, brutal existence shadowed by fear. Cronin doesn't shy away from identifying his "virals" as vampires. But, these are not sexy, angsty vampires (you won’t be seeing "Team Babcock" t-shirts any time soon), and they are not old-school, evil Nosferatus, either. These are a creation all Cronin's own--hairless, insectile, glow-in-the-dark mutations who are inextricably linked to their makers and the one girl who could destroy them all. A huge departure from Cronin's first two novels, The Passage is a grand mashup of literary and supernatural, a stunning beginning to a trilogy that is sure to dazzle readers of both genres. --Daphne Durham

Good read! Looking forward to the next installment. I will be interested in hearing what others thought of this one. It is well written and complex, with great characters but somehow I expected it to be more moving. I just finished it last night so I may revise my opinion in the next few days as I sit with it.

~traci

~Traci, wife to DH 4-88. Mom to 3 homebirthed sons, 22,20&17

The Blue Door Farmhouse & traci.mymomentis.biz

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#69 of 86 Old 06-25-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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#103 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
#104 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (a re-read)
It was interesting to read these two one right after the other

#105 Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
A friend really really wanted me to read this so I did. I'm not sure if I've read it before or only seen the movie, but either way it's really just an okay story for me.

#106 If I Stay by Gayle Forman
YA. Short. Main character is in a car accident -- her mother, father, and younger brother are all killed and she is in a coma, but can watch what is happening. She has to decide if she wants to stay with all the
goodness that is still in her life (grandparents, boyfriend & best friend, a love for music) or let herself die because of how hard she knows it will be to go on without her family.
Someone else who has read this book give a better description, eh?
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44. The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart
A little girl spends her vacation at her great-aunt's house in the countryside. She finds a broom and a black cat that take her on an adventure to a witch's school. This would be a good book for a child who is too young for Harry Potter. It looks like the author has also written some fantasy novels for adults as well! Does anyone know if they are any good? They get a lot of solid 4.5 and 5 stars on Amazon.
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29. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligous Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald ******

I'm about halfway through this one, and really enjoying it. It's refreshing to hear a Christian author be so honest about his thoughts and feelings about religion. Interesting book.
added these two to my list

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Just finished Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That was really fun. I have a few books to post, swamped at the office though. I'll come back soon.
Talk to me more about why these are such a hit, fremontmama -- I'm not sure I even finished the first one -- maybe they are just too gritty for me?
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#70 of 86 Old 06-26-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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#107 Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

I'm about halfway through this and think it's excellent.
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#71 of 86 Old 06-26-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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45. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
I love Little Women and re-read it every year at Christmastime. I didn't know much about Louisa May Alcott's life and this novel was pretty fascinating to me. The author pulls information from Louisa's journals, facts about the time period, and then imagines a romance between Louisa and a "Laurie". Louisa is Jo and her 3 sisters are caricatures of the March sisters. The writing is a little plain and I don't think it would be as interesting if it were about a fictional person and not Louisa May Alcott. I recommend it if you like Little Women.
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#72 of 86 Old 06-27-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was an adult English mystery novel with an 11-year-old main character, Flavia, who finds a dead body in the cucumber patch. Sort of an English Nancy Drew. Though this got wonderful reviews, I found the main character annoying and the book only so-so, though keep in mind I'm not a big fan of whodunits so maybe I am just the wrong audience.

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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#73 of 86 Old 06-27-2010, 02:43 PM
 
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19. Burned, A House of Night Novel by PC & Kristin Cast
- another chapter in this series. I liked it better than the last few installments – wondering how many there will be ☺

20. Childhood Favorites, A Collection of Stories
- read this with my dd, lots of classics that I had forgotten all about, a good taste of many.
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#74 of 86 Old 06-27-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was an adult English mystery novel with an 11-year-old main character, Flavia, who finds a dead body in the cucumber patch. Sort of an English Nancy Drew. Though this got wonderful reviews, I found the main character annoying and the book only so-so, though keep in mind I'm not a big fan of whodunits so maybe I am just the wrong audience.
I felt the same way. I thought it was a lot like The Mysterious Benedict Society, what with the kids being so clever and precocious, but I'm not about to read the whole series. I thought the book itself, small with an apple-green cover and the title and everything, was really appealing. They sure knew how to package and market that book because it got a lot of hype.
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#75 of 86 Old 06-28-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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#108 The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food-- to Protect the Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously by Alexandra Zissu

Just starting this one and I think it's going to be good stuff. Very short, small book.
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#76 of 86 Old 06-28-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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Three Sisters by Bi Feiyu

This book tells the stories of three sisters in a Chinese family of seven sisters and one brother. The story of Yumi, the eldest sister was great. She was such an interesting character who took a stand against her father's philandering. This section of the book brought in the family dynamics and really showed how the village worked which was hilarious. That section gets 5 stars. The second section was about the third sister, Yuxio, who after being gang raped, wants to escape the gossip of the village. This portion was not quite as complelling but still enjoyable and the family connection continued. Four stars for that one.

The last section about the sister who went to teachers' school was like a completely different book. The family and other sisters was not referenced at all, but the part that bothered me most was that the book just stopped. By that I mean, it didn't 'end' it just stopped. I looked for the next page, the next paragraph but that was it. Totally abrupt. No tie in to the rest of the book. No hint of a wrap up. Like the author got interrupted in his writing and never came back.

I was also a little confused how or why he picked these three sisters out of the seven to choose from and what about the brother. It didn't make sense to me that the other siblings were barely mentioned. Were these three sisters more interesting than the rest? Why even have the other sisters if you're just going to ignore them--just make the family have three sisters.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the writing in the book and the individiual stories . . . I just didn't think they were put together right for a book. Either take out the third section or tie it in to the rest . . . and give us stories of all the siblings. But the main reason I gave this three stars was because of the infuriating ending . . . or I just say the infuriating lack of an ending.

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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#77 of 86 Old 06-28-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Talk to me more about why these are such a hit, fremontmama -- I'm not sure I even finished the first one -- maybe they are just too gritty for me?
Good question. It was grisly and gritty. I really liked that I wasn't able to easily predict the story line. I kinda like a whodunit book. And the detail was pretty extensive. Plus, I know very little about Scandinavian culture, but am interested in it, so that helped too. I'm also really curious about the back story on "The Girl". So, looking forward to the next one.

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#107 Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

I'm about halfway through this and think it's excellent.
Hmmm, that does sound interesting.

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was an adult English mystery novel with an 11-year-old main character, Flavia, who finds a dead body in the cucumber patch. Sort of an English Nancy Drew. Though this got wonderful reviews, I found the main character annoying and the book only so-so, though keep in mind I'm not a big fan of whodunits so maybe I am just the wrong audience.
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I felt the same way. I thought it was a lot like The Mysterious Benedict Society, what with the kids being so clever and precocious, but I'm not about to read the whole series. I thought the book itself, small with an apple-green cover and the title and everything, was really appealing. They sure knew how to package and market that book because it got a lot of hype.
Definitely packaged well And I do like a whodunit, but if you don't, I can see why you wouldn't like the book. For me, I could sort imagine being a kid like that.....biking my way around the country roads, imagining mischief. It was like a loner girl's Stand By Me.

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#108 The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food-- to Protect the Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously by Alexandra Zissu

Just starting this one and I think it's going to be good stuff. Very short, small book.
Oh, that sounds good too!

Okay, I seriously need to get down to business posting my books, I have a half dozen or so. I will come back as soon as I write a few more blog posts for my work.
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#78 of 86 Old 06-29-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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just back from the library . i have Beloved by Toni Morrison (which i have never read because i thought it would be just too sad and hard to read), and The Thing around your Neck, short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

i'm presently re-reading Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry by Mildred Taylor. i have never read the sequel and will read that one soon.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#79 of 86 Old 06-30-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Letters to Judy by Judy Blume

I scored this at a thrift shop this weekend and I was so excited. I was paying for it and I'm telling the guy how excited I was. "These are actual letters written to JUDY BLUME!" I told him and he's like, "Who's Judy Blume?" My mouth dropped. "Are You There God It's Me Margaret?, Deenie, Blubber . . . you know Judy Blume!" Then again, I suppose Judy didn't have the same impact on guys she did on girls.

Anyway, my 11-yo daughter and I both LOVED this book. Some of the letters kids wrote to her were quite heartbreaking, some were funny. I'm going to read some of the letters to my older kids at the library in school next year and talk about Blume's books.

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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#80 of 86 Old 06-30-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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Letters to Judy by Judy Blume

I scored this at a thrift shop this weekend and I was so excited. I was paying for it and I'm telling the guy how excited I was. "These are actual letters written to JUDY BLUME!" I told him and he's like, "Who's Judy Blume?" My mouth dropped. "Are You There God It's Me Margaret?, Deenie, Blubber . . . you know Judy Blume!" Then again, I suppose Judy didn't have the same impact on guys she did on girls.

Anyway, my 11-yo daughter and I both LOVED this book. Some of the letters kids wrote to her were quite heartbreaking, some were funny. I'm going to read some of the letters to my older kids at the library in school next year and talk about Blume's books.

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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#81 of 86 Old 06-30-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Just finished Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. That was really fun. I have a few books to post, swamped at the office though. I'll come back soon.
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Talk to me more about why these are such a hit, fremontmama -- I'm not sure I even finished the first one -- maybe they are just too gritty for me?

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Good question. It was grisly and gritty. I really liked that I wasn't able to easily predict the story line. I kinda like a whodunit book. And the detail was pretty extensive. Plus, I know very little about Scandinavian culture, but am interested in it, so that helped too. I'm also really curious about the back story on "The Girl". So, looking forward to the next one.
That makes sense. I have this vague sense that whatever is keeping me from loving it is the same thing that keeps me from loving Smilla's Sense of Snow -- but I don't know what that thing is.

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#107 Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

I'm about halfway through this and think it's excellent.
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#108 The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food-- to Protect the Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously by Alexandra Zissu

Just starting this one and I think it's going to be good stuff. Very short, small book.
I'd definitely recommend both of these.
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#82 of 86 Old 06-30-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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good to see that Cathe and I had the same double-posting issue...
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#83 of 86 Old 06-30-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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30. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

I was looking for Shutter Island based on a recomendation from this board, but since it was checked out I tried this one. I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Lehane.

31. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I've read this one a number of times and enjoy it every time I re-read it.
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#84 of 86 Old 07-01-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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good to see that Cathe and I had the same double-posting issue...
Glad I could help.

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#85 of 86 Old 07-01-2010, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's July's Thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...php?p=15579228

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

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#86 of 86 Old 07-02-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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I can't believe it's July!!!!!!!!!!
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