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#1 of 48 Old 02-28-2011, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll be out all day tomorrow so figured I better get this set up tonight (thanks Purple*Lotus for the reminder).

 

 

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!


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#2 of 48 Old 03-01-2011, 04:24 AM
 
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1) A Falcon for a Queen, Catherine Gaskin
2) Peace Like a River Leif Engel
3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel
4) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
5) Little Bee Chris Cleave
6) The Lost Gate, Orson Scott Card
7) Gail Carriger does some great steam punk, "Blameless" was recent read
8) In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming
9) Guardian Of The Darkness (Moribito) by Nahoko Uehashi with the kids- such a beautiful story. Very powerful imagery, the characters are developed in a way where the reader truly cares about what happens to them. My family cannot wait for more books to be translated into English. "Nahoko Uehashi is the author of ten books in the Moribito series, which have sold more than a million copies and won many major literary awards in her native Japan. An associate professor at a Japanese university, she has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and studies indigenous peoples in Australia. She lives near Tokyo, Japan."

10) The Zoo Keeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman. This is a non-fiction about a zoo in Warsaw Poland during the 2nd World War and how this family assisted in the hiding and thus rescuing of several hundred Jews. Diane Ackerman writes so beautifully and talks about some of the Nazi goals around bringing extinct animals to life. Some pretty wild thinking and, of-course, heart wrenching cruelty.

11) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: A really great book to help you get out of a rut or to challenge you to just help yourself be happier.

12) Quest For The Spark Tom Sniegoski with the kids. Very fun. Some of the characters are from the "Bone" graphic novels.



Reading three books right now:

Love in the Time of Cholera’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Places that scare you, Pema Chodron (taking my time with this one as there is lots to practice and think about)

Never Eat Alone Keith Ferrazzi



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#3 of 48 Old 03-01-2011, 05:20 PM
 
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Hello everyone.  I am looking forward to reading again this month.  I am Jaime, in case I never bothered to mention tha in the old thread.

 

My books for February:

February 2011

1. Room by Emma Donoghue- I enjoyed this book, especially seeing how a Mother could keep a child entertained in such a small space for so long.  A must read, in my opinion.

2.  Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen- I dislike the circus to the point where I will not entertain the idea of doing a circus unit in my classroom.  Still, a friend suggested that I read it.  It was hard for me to read some sections, but overall I did enjoy the book.  It still makes me dislike the circus. 

3. Unsweetined by Jodie Sweetin.  I wasn’t expecting much, but she is a good writer and it flowed really well.  I enjoyed it.  The pictures in the back were really nice of her and her little girl. 

 

I am still reading A World Apart.  I am about 25% done with it right now.


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#4 of 48 Old 03-02-2011, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

 

Doug Swieteck, a 14-year old boy whose father has lost his job once again, moves to upstate New York to a house he calls The Dump. In the new town, he tries to fit in but his older brother is accused of robbing several businesses and Doug's brother returns from Vietnam, blind and without legs. And to top it off, Doug's father is a real jerk. These problems are not only affecting how other see Doug, but his own attitude as well. Somehow, he makes some good friends and a discovers his artist talent, and he ends up helping not only himself, but others as well. This is a pretty dark, sad book (especially compared to the author's other book The Wednesday Wars) but is was really touching and hopeful as well. I liked it.


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#5 of 48 Old 03-02-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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I have some books to post, cruising through my closet pile.....sort of.  I'm getting to the point where there is a lot of non-fiction left in there! lol.gif  Slower going with those!  I've stalled at The Satanic Verses.  I'm not sure I want to read it......I mean I want to read it b/c of the notoriety....but I started it, and find it....confusing?  doesn't grab me?  How much of a chance should I give it do you think? 

 

I have Bel Canto and 100 Years of Solitude next in the pile......After this confection of a book called Table Manners.  It's like reading a people magazine at the dentist office. lol.gif

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#6 of 48 Old 03-03-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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Catching Fire, Collins

Quote:
this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves. Slower paced than its predecessor, this sequel explores the nation of Panem: its power structure, rumors of a secret district, and a spreading rebellion, ignited by Katniss and Peeta’s subversive victory. Katniss also deepens as a character. Though initially bewildered by the attention paid to her, she comes almost to embrace her status as the rebels’ symbolic leader. 

 

 

Love, love, love the series.  The audio is fantastic.

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#7 of 48 Old 03-03-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

Catching Fire, Collins

 

 

Love, love, love the series.  The audio is fantastic.


I enjoyed the audio books, too.

 

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#8 of 48 Old 03-03-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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River Marked by Patricia Briggs - awesome urban fantasy series
The Road by Cormac McCarthy - haunting Pulitzer prize winner

Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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#9 of 48 Old 03-04-2011, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Life Over Forty by Dora Heldt

 

Given the book description and that this was supposedly a bestseller in Germany, I was expecting an entertaining, poignant read but I struggled through 100 pages and finally gave up. Life is just too short to spend on such bad writing. I don't know if it's the translation or the original book, but this is just painful to read--the dialogue especially. But even more than the bad writing, it's rather hard to feel so much sympathy for the main character. Yes, she is going through a divorce which I know is painful, but she has all these friends, gets a gorgeous apartment with all new furniture. She has a great job making more money than her ex. She and her husband had grown apart so so it wasn't that much of a shock. The character and the writing just did not engage me at all. I just had to put it down. 

 

This is the third book I've reviewed with an amazon.com imprint and I have been disappointed in all of them. I think amazon should stick to bookselling and stay out of publishing.


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#10 of 48 Old 03-04-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Has anyone else read the Satanic Verses?  Should I keep trying?  Is it worth powering through?  innocent.gif

 

Just started Bel Canto, I promise to come back soon to post my recently finished books!

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#11 of 48 Old 03-04-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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I am still hanging in here with you all.  I have had a virus this whole week so I have not done any reading at all.  I have been sleeping through my regular reading times, my body needs the rest.  I am feeling better already, though, so hopefully I will be all rested up this weekend and back to my daily reading.


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#12 of 48 Old 03-05-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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The Painted Boy by Charles De Lint

http://www.sfsite.com/charlesdelint/painted-desc01.htm

I love Charles De Lint because of his characters. Because many of them seem so real and likable, you start believing in the fantastic circumstances they live in. This is a YA and I highly recommend it.   Here is an interview with Charles De lint in case anyone is interested:

 http://oneclericshort.blogspot.com/2011/02/ocs-talks-to-canadas-master-storyteller.html

  I find it to be true about CDL writing fantasy for people who don’t normally read fantasy.   I know for myself that his appeal is the magic combined with the contemporary world and it’s problems.   

 

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#13 of 48 Old 03-06-2011, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison

 

While the premise of the book sounded compelling--niece Stella tracking down her wild, runaway aunt , the writing seemed to get in the way of the story. Every paragraph was packed with similes and description like an imagery assignment for a creative writing class. I kept thinking enough already, let's get to some story, some action. I appreciate good writing and creative use of language but this book contained just too much. As for the story, there wasn't much of it. If you like a character study, than perhaps this book would appeal to you. 


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#14 of 48 Old 03-06-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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Hi! I'd like to join in. I used to post in these book challenge threads some years back.

So far in the month of March, I've read

1. Wench by Dolen Perkins- Valdez
-- Definitely recommend it. A reviewer on the back of the book says that it is a good follow up to The Help by Kathryn Stockett (which I read last year) and I agree I suppose. I loved it all on its own.

2. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
--Loved it. Definite page- turner, finished it rather quickly. If you like Picoult's style, this one doesn't disappoint.

I guess my (doable) goal for 2011 is to read 25 books. Hopefully, I'll exceed that. I will be back to update my reading from Jan/ Feb.
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#15 of 48 Old 03-07-2011, 06:32 AM
 
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Mockingjay, Collins

 

 

 

Quote:
gainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

 

 

I couldn't wait to get my hands on the audio version (how I read 1 and 2), so I borrowed a copy from a friend and read it all weekend.  I really do like the characters in this trilogy.  I know from reviews a lot of people were disappointed in Mockingjay and how the series concluded.  Honestly, I really liked it and thought it stayed very true to the series.

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#16 of 48 Old 03-07-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/t/amy-tan/hundred-secret-senses.htm

I ordered this from the library not realising that I’d already read it about 15 years ago. I am so glad I  did, because re-reading this book  made me remember now how much I really like Amy Tan’s works. This book follows her tradition telling stories of Chinese American’s looking for their roots. Tan always pulls me deeply into her world. This book is  spell binding.

 

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#17 of 48 Old 03-08-2011, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I liked it too.

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by kofduke View Post
 

 

Mockingjay, Collins

 

I couldn't wait to get my hands on the audio version (how I read 1 and 2), so I borrowed a copy from a friend and read it all weekend.  I really do like the characters in this trilogy.  I know from reviews a lot of people were disappointed in Mockingjay and how the series concluded.  Honestly, I really liked it and thought it stayed very true to the series.



 


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#18 of 48 Old 03-08-2011, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

 

Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old criminal mastermind with a plan to be the first human to successfully steal millions of dollars worth of gold from the fairies. The mixture of technology and fairy folklore was ingenious and the characters were hilarious. My daughters and I listened to this on CD and thoroughly enjoyed it. 


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#19 of 48 Old 03-10-2011, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Legend of a Suicide by David Vann

 

I recently read Caribou Island and liked it so much, I wanted to read more of this author. Legend of a Suicide contains several short stories and a novella. While the short stories were well-done, it was the novella "Sukkwan Island" that really knocked my socks off. A father and son are dropped in a remote part of Alaska, to homestead in a small cabin and live off the land. The father has some serious emotional problems he's trying to work out and his son Roy is just kind of stuck there with him in the middle of nowhere, where there are absolutely no people. All they have is an intermittently working ham radio to keep in contact with the rest of the world. It's an amazing, heartbreaking, horrifying story that I could not put down. If you're looking for a feel-good book, this is not it, but if you are looking for great writing and surprising twists, and aren't afraid of the brutal side of life, don't miss this book--or his other one Caribou Island.


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#20 of 48 Old 03-10-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fremontmama View Post

Has anyone else read the Satanic Verses?  Should I keep trying?  Is it worth powering through?  innocent.gif


i really wanted to love that book.  it is on my list of books to try again, in case my first attempt was just bad timing.  you have my permission to give up if you need to ;).

 

another one i wanted to love:  The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif.  i can't do the constant bouncing back and forth in time. it confuses me.  i can't finish it.

 

reading The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr (on Shiism and Sunni-Shia conflicts),

re-reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver,

& attempting the Táin bó cúailnge, Ciaran Carson translation—an Irish epic that might be too bloody for me.


mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#21 of 48 Old 03-11-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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Ah, thank you!  I think I wanted to give it up, but just needed the encouragement.  I may just sell it, so that I won't have it languishing in the closet, making me feel like I should try again. lol.gif

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Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post




i really wanted to love that book.  it is on my list of books to try again, in case my first attempt was just bad timing.  you have my permission to give up if you need to ;).

 

another one i wanted to love:  The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif.  i can't do the constant bouncing back and forth in time. it confuses me.  i can't finish it.

 

reading The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr (on Shiism and Sunni-Shia conflicts),

re-reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver,

& attempting the Táin bó cúailnge, Ciaran Carson translation—an Irish epic that might be too bloody for me.



 

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#22 of 48 Old 03-11-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole - trashy novel
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway - short Pulitzer winner

Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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#23 of 48 Old 03-13-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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Yiddish Policeman's Union, Chabon

 

 

 

 

Quote:
They are the "frozen Chosen," two million people living, dying and kvetching in Sitka, Alaska, the temporary homeland established for displaced World War II Jews in Chabon's ambitious and entertaining new novel...what if, as Franklin Roosevelt proposed on the eve of World War II, a temporary Jewish settlement had been established on the Alaska panhandle? Roosevelt's plan went nowhere, but Chabon runs the idea into the present, back-loading his tale with a haunting history. Israel failed to get a foothold in the Middle East, and since the Sitka solution was only temporary, Alaskan Jews are about to lose their cold homeland. The book's timeless refrain: "It's a strange time to be a Jew."Into this world arrives Chabon's Chandler-ready hero, Meyer Landsman, a drunken rogue cop who wakes in a flophouse to find that one of his neighbors has been murdered. With his half-Tlingit, half-Jewish partner and his sexy-tough boss, who happens also to be his ex-wife, Landsman investigates a fascinating underworld of Orthodox black-hat gangs and crime-lord rabbis.

 

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#24 of 48 Old 03-13-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/neil-gaiman/anansi-boys.htm

I was somewhat let down by this book.  I was really expecting to like Neil Gaiman,  but  had a very hard time getting into this book. Towards the end I liked it more, but it won’t be my favourite. I wanted to give Gaiman’s works another chance so I then read his novel Stardust http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/g/neil-gaiman/stardust.htm

But I liked this one even less than Anansi Boys; in fact I really had to force myself to continue.

I don’t know why exactly. Gaiman is obviously a very original and creative writer but his characters just don’t seem believable to me, so I have a hard time getting pulled into his stories.

Maybe I am just not used to his style.

 

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#25 of 48 Old 03-13-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Oh, that sounds good!  I'm adding it to my list, although, I can't remember if it's already on my list or not....lol.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

Yiddish Policeman's Union, Chabon

 

 

 

 

 


 

I'm slogging through the books left in my closet pile.  Not feeling enthusiastic about them right now....I find myself longingly thinking of other books I could be reading right now if I weren't trying to finish the rest of these books lol.gif  I think I may cherry pick what's left of the pile that I really want to read and then skip the rest. 

 

I haven't been tracking it, but I've been reading out loud at bedtime Little House in the Big Woods with dd, and then Harry Potter 1 and Harry Potter 2.  Next is Little House on the Prairie and Harry Potter 3.  I should number them and count them I think.  Anything over 100 pages oughtta count for my list I think winky.gif 

 

I'm also reading a bunch of books for work on social media and maximizing our facebook and twitter capital, seo, excel, access, etc.  I think I'll try and keep track of those too.  It's taking up my reading time, so it counts I think. thumb.gif

 

 

I can't remember what number books I am on, so I'll post my recently finished books and come back and add my numbers later.  These are all from my closet pile I think.  Except the Jamie Ford one, that was a loaner from my friend.

 

#9 Table Manners by Mia King

 

Total brain candy.  Super quick read about a business woman in Seattle that used to have a local tv show.  It was cancelled, and now she is trying to make her own cookie line to sell.  She's dating one of the sons in an old school wealthy family from the city and his sister can't stand her.  Nothing to jump and down about, but easy to finish.

 

#10 Are You Mine? by Abby Frucht

 

I ended up skimming a bunch of this.  Not very engaging story about a couple with 2 children who get pregnant by accident and how they wrestle with whether to have a 3rd child or not.

 

#11 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

 

Really wonderful story about a Chinese boy in Seattle who lives in what was called the Chinatown neighborhood (and is now known as the International District).  He develops a deep friendship/love with a Japanese girl who lives in Japantown.  Then the Japanese internment camps happen.  The story alternates between him as a child and also grown up, still living in Seattle. Loved it!  Although, I live in Seattle, so it was really fun to read about our history.

 

#12 The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

 

Beautiful magical realism story about a young woman who is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy rancher in Mexico.  It's the late 1800s ( I think?) and she is a shaman and has a magical connection to the earth.  She performs miracles and people travel from all over Mexico as a pilgrimage.  Really cool story, plus I think the author bases the story on a real woman. 

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#26 of 48 Old 03-14-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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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

 

I think I need to order that Jodi Sweetin Book from the Library...My last 3 books were YA fiction,  #13 is back to my usual mystery/thriller.

I couldnt find this thread... I've missed you guys!


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Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#27 of 48 Old 03-20-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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I am slacking this month.  I just finished A World Apart but I still have to decide on my next book.


ribbonpurple.gif  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
   
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#28 of 48 Old 03-20-2011, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please Look After Mom by Shin Kyung Sook

 

A woman goes missing one afternoon in Seoul and as her family searches for her, the children/husband rethink their treatment and feelings about their mother/wife. There were aspects I really liked about this book such as getting a feel of life in Korea and the way the family realized how important their mother/wife was. But other aspects bothered me--especially the second person point of view which was distracting and confusing. I also did not understand what happened to the mother . . . it was pretty unclear, which may be what the author intended but I felt kind of cheated at the end not to have found out. 


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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#29 of 48 Old 03-21-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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The Book Thief, Zuzak

Quote:
Death himself narrates the World War II-era story of Liesel Meminger from the time she is taken, at age nine, to live in Molching, Germany, with a foster family in a working-class neighborhood of tough kids, acid-tongued mothers, and loving fathers who earn their living by the work of their hands. The child arrives having just stolen her first book–although she has not yet learned how to read–and her foster father uses it, The Gravediggers Handbook, to lull her to sleep when shes roused by regular nightmares about her younger brothers death. Across the ensuing years of the late 1930s and into the 1940s, Liesel collects more stolen books as well as a peculiar set of friends: the boy Rudy, the Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife (who has a whole library from which she allows Liesel to steal), and especially her foster parents. Zusak not only creates a mesmerizing and original story but also writes with poetic syntax, causing readers to deliberate over phrases and lines, even as the action impels them forward. Death is not a sentimental storyteller, but he does attend to an array of satisfying details, giving Liesels story all the nuances of chance, folly, and fulfilled expectation that it deserves. An extraordinary narrative.

 

Narrated by death himself, this is a compelling and human story of Nazi Germany, and of people who wanted to hope and love despite the circumstances.  I'm really glad I read this.

 

The Windup Girl, Balcigalupi

Quote:
In a future Thailand, calories are the greatest commodity. Anderson is a calorie-man whose true objective is to discover new food sources that his company can exploit. His secretary, Hock Seng, is a refugee from China seeking to ensure his future. Jaidee is an officer of the Environmental Ministry known for upholding regulations rather than accepting bribes. His partner, Kanya, is torn between respect for Jaidee and hatred for the agency that destroyed her childhood home. Emiko is a windup, an engineered and despised creation, discarded by her master and now subject to brutality by her patron. The actions of these characters set in motion events that could destroy the country. Bacigalupi has created a compelling, if bleak, society in which corruption, betrayal, and despair are commonplace, and more positive behavior and emotions such as hope and love are regarded with great suspicion. The complex plot and equally complex characters require a great deal of commitment from readers. Even the most sympathetic people have darker sides, and it is difficult to determine which character or faction should triumph. This highly nuanced, violent, and grim novel is not for every teen. However, mature readers with an interest in political or environmental science fiction or those for whom dystopias are particularly appealing will be intrigued. If they are able to immerse themselves completely into the calorie-mad world of a future Bangkok, they will not be disappointed.

 

Alternately terrifying and all too believable...

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#30 of 48 Old 03-23-2011, 12:03 AM
 
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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

 

Isabel Giles is the actress who playes the wife of det. stabler on Law and Order SVU.(lucky lady)

I can't believe I'm almost 37 and haven't read any of the series by Robert Parker... I now have 30 some new books to read LOL...


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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