August 2010 Book Challenge - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, NCD must be away so I'll take a stab at starting the thread. It's been a while for 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)

I don't have all the links to previous threads but here's the link to July.

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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#2 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron R. Hawkins

To avoid a summer job working at the scrap yard for a bullying boss, 13-year-old Jackson lets his weird neighbor, Mrs. Nelson talk him into getting her apple orchard up and running--even though he has no idea how to do it. He signs a contract that he will pay her $8,000 and she promises she will leave the orchard to him in her will. With the help of his siblings and cousins--plus lots and lots of hard work--it looks like he will have a bumper crop. But . . . he's not sure he will earn enough money to pay Mrs. Nelson, never mind his cousins and siblings. To make it worse, Mrs. Nelson's not sure she will leave him the orchard after all . . .

This was an okay middle-grade novel. It moved along nicely but I had a few problems with it. Check out my goodreads review if you want the whole scoop.

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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#3 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Joining and subbing here!

Mama to two lovely boys and a new baby due mid-May 2011
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#4 of 60 Old 08-02-2010, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As you can see, I am cramming with a bunch of middle-grade stuff before school starts in 2 weeks so I'll have recommendations for my students.

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

This was a sweet book about a twelve-year-old girl Izzy who spends the summer with her grandmother in New Mexico while her mother finishes her studies. While she is there, she becomes immersed in the Mexican culture that her mother had surpressed out of grief after the death of her husband. Izzy searches for answers about her father's death and she may find them if she can find the voice in the wind.

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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#5 of 60 Old 08-03-2010, 04:54 AM
 
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Well, NCD must be away so I'll take a stab at starting the thread. It's been a while for me . . . .
Not away ... at least not physically. Just totally spaced that we're in a new month and apparently I haven't been getting updates from July ... so I'm totally out of it.

Sorry.

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

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#6 of 60 Old 08-03-2010, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not away ... at least not physically. Just totally spaced that we're in a new month and apparently I haven't been getting updates from July ... so I'm totally out of it.

Sorry.
Glad you're around . . . enjoy your month off

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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#7 of 60 Old 08-03-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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Happy August, everyone.

#126 Locked Rooms by Laurie R. King

#127 Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers

#128 The Language of Bees by Laurie R. King
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#8 of 60 Old 08-03-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Not away ... at least not physically. Just totally spaced that we're in a new month and apparently I haven't been getting updates from July ... so I'm totally out of it.

Sorry.
I wanted to ask for the new thread but I kept thinking he is going to post it any minute now.

57. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

If you are like me and have ever wondered what on earth goes on in that black hole known as North Korea, you'll find this pretty fascinating.

The author found North Koreans who had managed to escape to South Korea and got them to tell their stories. They only get two changes of clothing a year issued to them through the government. Their jobs and place of residence are assigned to them and their homes are randomly inspected by the government. They don't get paid to work - instead they get tickets that they can redeem at the food distribution center for so many grams of rice and such. Everyone is completely brainwashed from birth and it's amazing that some people even thought of escaping and managed to go through with it.

It was nice reading about all of the things South Korea does to help the people who have escaped. They train them how to live in a high-tech, free society, give them a good amount of money to start with, and fully embrace them as fellow countrymen.
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#9 of 60 Old 08-04-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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subbing
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#10 of 60 Old 08-05-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Not away ... at least not physically. Just totally spaced that we're in a new month and apparently I haven't been getting updates from July ... so I'm totally out of it.

Sorry.
No worries! I'm usually surprised by the beginning of the next month when I see you link to the new thread.

I have a bunch of books to post. One of these days I will do it! Slammed at the office, so I gotta go. But hi everyone Hope you are all having an awesome summer!
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#11 of 60 Old 08-05-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Hi everyone. I've been hooked on Sudoku lately. But I'm getting back into my books.

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

Me afro.jpg reading.gif Wife and Mom to modifiedartist.gif cat.gifdog2.gif.
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#12 of 60 Old 08-05-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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58. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

The main character in this book reminded me of the English butler from Remains of the Day. Major Pettigrew is in love with the local Pakistani shopkeeper, Mrs. Ali. He wants to do everything the proper way and so he takes a painfully long time to get to know her. It was pretty good, but the anti-American comments and the two American characters who were portrayed as complete dunderheads seemed unnecessary.
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#13 of 60 Old 08-06-2010, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mallory Goes Green by Laurie Friedmen

Mallory takes her elementary school's mission to go green seriously--maybe a little too seriously as she soon alienates her classmates, friends, and family. She learns that if she really wants to help others to go green, she will have to work with them rather than tell them what they must do. Fun, easy chapter book with a good message for 2nd to 4th graders.

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 60 Old 08-06-2010, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

This is one of those middle-grade books that is as enjoyable to read for adults as it is for kids. Not only does the book answer all of those nagging questions about how Peter Pan is able to fly, why he doesn't grow up and how he and the lost boys came to live on the island of Neverland, but it is full of action, great characters, and absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend this for 4-8th grade readers and it would be a great read-aloud as well.

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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#15 of 60 Old 08-06-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

This is one of those middle-grade books that is as enjoyable to read for adults as it is for kids. Not only does the book answer all of those nagging questions about how Peter Pan is able to fly, why he doesn't grow up and how he and the lost boys came to live on the island of Neverland, but it is full of action, great characters, and absolutely hilarious. I highly recommend this for 4-8th grade readers and it would be a great read-aloud as well.
As for being read aloud ... the audiobook edition is read by Jim Dale, the same gentleman who read the Harry Potter books, and it is awesome!

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

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#16 of 60 Old 08-07-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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59. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Re-reading one of my favorites. It's about a head demon who is training his underling nephew on how to keep humans away from God. It means something different to me every time I read it. Reading this book is like having a cool drink of water when you didn't even know you were thirsty.

60. Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Wow, this was depressing. It was also a page-turner and the storyline that followed the Jewish women made my heart race.
From Amazon:
Quote:
In his 12th novel, Bohjalian (The Double Bind) paints the brutal landscape of Nazi Germany as German refugees struggle westward ahead of the advancing Russian army. Inspired by the unpublished diary of a Prussian woman who fled west in 1945, the novel exhumes the ruin of spirit, flesh and faith that accompanied thousands of such desperate journeys. Prussian aristocrat Rolf Emmerich and his two elder sons are sent into battle, while his wife flees with their other children and a Scottish POW who has been working on their estate. Before long, they meet up with Uri Singer, a Jewish escapee from an Auschwitz-bound train, who becomes the group's protector. In a parallel story line, hundreds of Jewish women shuffle west on a gruesome death march from a concentration camp.
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#17 of 60 Old 08-07-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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#129 Heist Society by Ally Carter

This was a read for Tattooed Books' YALSA Challenge. It was a lot of fun to read -- just what I needed right now. Katarina Bishop wants to leave the only world she's ever known -- thievery and con games with her family -- to lead a normal life -- after one last con, getting herself into a high profile boarding school. Once in, though, she learns that her father has been accused of a crime he didn't commit. She finds herself assembling a team to save her father's life and re-steal some extremely valuable paintings.


I love all the names she and her friends have for the various cons -- Mary Poppins, Five O'Clock Shadow, Smokey the Bear, etc., and the one line comments about them. The whole book reminded me of Oceans Eleven but with a much younger cast -- just as much fun and just as much not like my life.
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#18 of 60 Old 08-08-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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American Gods, Gaiman

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Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired.
I know this has been recommended quite a bit...I loved it!

Push, Sapphire

Quote:
A courageous and determined young teacher opens up a new world of hope and redemption for sixteen-year-old Precious Jones, an abused young African American girl living in Harlem who was raped and left pregnant by her father.
I don't know why the amazon summary focuses on the teacher...this book is really about the girl. It follows her growth and maturity as a person, and understanding of who she is and what she wants to be. It's an easy read, but very challenging to digest. It really could be any of the girls I work with on a daily basis. And I think Push is a much better title than Precious, which was the movie title.

Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer

I was really disappointed by this...I expected the recipies to be about cooking the dishes and then freezing them -- not marinating chicken, then freezing it, and then needing to bake it for 45 minutes anyway. One or two of the recipies look good so I guess I'll try them.
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#19 of 60 Old 08-09-2010, 12:52 PM
 
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#130 Falling In by Frances O'Roark Dowell

My six-year-old daughter and I have been staying with friends this past week. I read this in the space of two evenings and a short span of afternoon, to my daughter, her five-year-old friend, and her almost 12 year-old friend. All four of us enjoyed the story -- which, in my opinion, is a real feat for any single book.

Though Isabelle Bean is the type of child who is always ready for something magical to happen, she doesn't expect to fall into another world on the way to the principal's office. But that's exactly what happens when she opens the door to the nurse's closet. Isabelle makes her first friend, encounters a witch, cares for an entire campful of sick children, meets the grandmother she didn't know she had, and is surprised to learn that her mother has some magic of her own. All in all, a very fun read.
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#20 of 60 Old 08-10-2010, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Countdown by Deborah Wiles

This was an interesting mix of historical fiction novel and 1962 history bytes and pictures. The main story was about 11-year-old Franny dealing with a stressed out mother, mostly absent father, crazy uncle, perfect younger brother, and an older sister who is in college and not around for her much anymore. Franny's school life is also full of problems as her best friend becomes increasingly hostile to her and Franny seems to be invisible to her teacher.

I found the mix of history and coming-of-age story very original and enjoyable but I wonder if elementary school kids will like it as much as I did. My hestitation is that the interruption of the history bytes will take them out of the story and cause their interest to flag. I will pass this to my 11-yo daughter to see what she thinks.

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 60 Old 08-10-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The Dead and Gone by Susan Beth Ffeffer

In this companion book to Life As We Knew It, we follow 17-yo Alex and his younger sisters in NYC who try to survive after the meteor hits. I love this series. Can't wait to read the third book to see how it all comes together.

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#22 of 60 Old 08-10-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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Countdown by Deborah Wiles

This was an interesting mix of historical fiction novel and 1962 history bytes and pictures. The main story was about 11-year-old Franny dealing with a stressed out mother, mostly absent father, crazy uncle, perfect younger brother, and an older sister who is in college and not around for her much anymore. Franny's school life is also full of problems as her best friend becomes increasingly hostile to her and Franny seems to be invisible to her teacher.

I found the mix of history and coming-of-age story very original and enjoyable but I wonder if elementary school kids will like it as much as I did. My hestitation is that the interruption of the history bytes will take them out of the story and cause their interest to flag. I will pass this to my 11-yo daughter to see what she thinks.
This one has been on my Amazon recs for a while. I'll probably try to check it out soon.
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#23 of 60 Old 08-10-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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The Dead and Gone by Susan Beth Ffeffer

In this companion book to Life As We Knew It, we follow 17-yo Alex and his younger sisters in NYC who try to survive after the meteor hits. I love this series. Can't wait to read the third book to see how it all comes together.
Oh, good, I am going to read this one then. I kept hearing that the second book wasn't worth reading! If it's anything at all like the first one it will be good enough for me.
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#24 of 60 Old 08-10-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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61. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
This was about a young girl who immigrates from Hong Kong to New York with her mother. Her mother works long hours as a seamstress in a factory and they live in a disgusting, roach-infested apartment. The girl, Kimberly, proves she is a math and science genius and she really works her way up through life. I enjoyed this a lot.

62. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

I realized as I read this that I have read it before, maybe 5-10 years ago. It's about people on Hell who get on a bus to go to Heaven and they poke around in Heaven and get into long conversations with the people there and most decide they don't want to stay.

63. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I read somewhere that this is a good book on the theme of suburbia. There was a little bit of that, but this was so much more. It's about a guy in the 50's who leaves his wife and all the consequences that follow. There's lots of fascinating stuff about the 50's in here. Parenting styles, what childbirth was like, religion, social conventions, etc. There's even a list of all the radio jingles and commercials and songs the guy listened to on the radio. It was nice that the author included that - almost like a time-capsule. There's several more Rabbit books that continue the series that I'm going to pick up. John Updike just died last year.
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#25 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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#131 Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Brutal, intense, and relentless. YA fiction from the author of Speak. Lia is 18 yo, cuts herself, and is anorexic. When her once best friend dies, how does Lia stay in control?
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#26 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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heavens, Bufomander--Laurie Halse Anderson does not do light, does she?

i have been visiting with family and have not read much more than Harry Potter books with dd. we are on #3 The Prisoner of Azkaban.

i won Knots by Nuruddin Farah from the BrownGirl Speaks blog and it will be waiting for me at home when i return!

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#27 of 60 Old 08-11-2010, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cinderella (as if you didn't already know the story) by Barbara Ensor

My younger daughter read this one over and over last year after she got it from the book fair so wanted to check it out. Cute, easy chapter book telling Cinderella's story from her point of view. Good for 3rd-4th grade girls.

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#28 of 60 Old 08-12-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I'm sorry to say I was utterly disappointed in this book. I loved the first book and liked the second and was so looking forward to how the stories would come together. This book was just too . . . contrived, plus not much happens.

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#29 of 60 Old 08-12-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I'm sorry to say I was utterly disappointed in this book. I loved the first book and liked the second and was so looking forward to how the stories would come together. This book was just too . . . contrived, plus not much happens.
I had such high hopes for this series, after reading the first one. I was really disappointed too!



Some really fun YA lit, that I have read lately:

Birthmarked

Ship Breaker

The Line


~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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#30 of 60 Old 08-13-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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Children of God, Russell

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Having returned from a disastrous, 21st-century expedition to the planet Rakhat, Jesuit Father Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor of the mission, faces public rage over the order's part in the war between the gentle Runa and the predatory Jana'ata?fury more than matched by the priest's own self-hatred and religious disillusionment. In the sequel, he is forced to return to Rakhat with a new expedition more interested in profits than prophets. When they discover the planet in turmoil and the Runa precariously in power, the temptation to interfere is more than they can withstand.
A follow-up to Russell's first book, The Sparrow. The theology in this sequel hits you over the head a bit harder -- nevertheless, so worth reading. I'm up right now because I finished it this evening and can't stop thinking about it.
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