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#1 of 45 Old 02-04-2012, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, just by way of clarification (for comers both new and old), 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 2012 ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY

 

Happy reading everyone!

 

Can't believe it's February!!!  I took the liberty of starting the new thread.  :)   I'll come back soon and post books, I have a bunch!

 

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#2 of 45 Old 02-05-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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Happy February!

 

The Paris Wife by Paul McLain

 

Wonderful, wonderful novel about Ernest Hemingway's first marriage -- told from the point of view of his wife Hadley Richardson. It was all about life in Paris (and Europe) while Hemingway tried to make it as a writer. and his relationships with the other expatriates there (Stein, Pound, Fitzgeralds, etc.). Beautifully written and so interesting and heartbreaking . . . I'm going to recommend this book to my book/movie group to read and then watch the movie Midnight in Paris (which I want to see again anyway).

 


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#3 of 45 Old 02-06-2012, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Happy February!

 

The Paris Wife by Paul McLain

 

Wonderful, wonderful novel about Ernest Hemingway's first marriage -- told from the point of view of his wife Hadley Richardson. It was all about life in Paris (and Europe) while Hemingway tried to make it as a writer. and his relationships with the other expatriates there (Stein, Pound, Fitzgeralds, etc.). Beautifully written and so interesting and heartbreaking . . . I'm going to recommend this book to my book/movie group to read and then watch the movie Midnight in Paris (which I want to see again anyway).

 


I had a hard time with the book b/c I knew how it was all going to end.  I had a feeling of dread throughout.  However, I did find the atmosphere of Paris fascinating, everyone's pursuit of expressing their artistic vision, and the writing was nice too.  I did enjoy Midnight in Paris after reading this book.  I think they complement each other nicely. 

 

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#4 of 45 Old 02-06-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

 

Teen novel about a girl Isobel who's mother suddenly marries and the move to a creepy mansion on an island. Isobel starts getting ghostly visitations and has to find out what the ghost is trying to tell her before her new stepfather has her committed to a mental institution. Didn't do much for me.


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#5 of 45 Old 02-06-2012, 06:09 PM
 
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8) Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. More in the Tiffany Aching story. A nice, funny, enjoyalbe read.

 

http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/index.php/us/books/wintersmith

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#6 of 45 Old 02-07-2012, 05:41 PM
 
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Just subbing.  Will be back soon with some books to post!

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#7 of 45 Old 02-07-2012, 11:11 PM
 
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January

1. Skipped Parts - Tim Sandlin  (Nook)

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

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

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

5. The Snow Angel - Glenn Beck  (Library)

6. Hurricanes in Paradise - Denise Hildreth (Nook)

February

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

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

9. House Rules - Rachel Sontag (Library)

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

 

 

Hi- I made it over!blowkiss.gif

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#8 of 45 Old 02-08-2012, 09:18 PM
 
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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin (Audiobook)

 

 

Quote:
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss.
She wouldn’t have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn’t have hit her head on the steps.
She wouldn’t have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia.
She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.
She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her “Chief.” She’d get all his inside jokes, and maybe he wouldn’t be so frustrated with her for forgetting things she can’t possibly remember.
She’d know about her mom’s new family.
She’d know about her dad’s fiancée.
She wouldn’t have to spend her junior year relearning all the French she supposedly knew already.
She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her.
She wouldn’t have wanted to kiss him back.
But Naomi picked heads.

 

I absolutely loved this book!  It was such a wonderful ride with amazing, beautiful characters.  I listened to it on audiobook, but I am also going to buy the book!   

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#9 of 45 Old 02-09-2012, 06:46 AM
 
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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

 

 

Quote:

Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.  Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

 

A very imaginative story with great, well-developed characters.  I liked that it was told from two points of view; Sean's & Kate's (aka Puck).       

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#10 of 45 Old 02-09-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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8. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Ostuka

9. Once in a Promised Land by Laila Halaby

 

 


~Daisy~

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A Storm of Swords, Martin

 

Quote:
Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

 

 

I have been really enjoying this series.  I had to read this one split up, as it was a library loan on my nook and it expired before it finished...took me a few weeks to re-renew.  I liked the first half, but found the second half to be very exciting.

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#12 of 45 Old 02-09-2012, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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8. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Ostuka

9. Once in a Promised Land by Laila Halaby

 

 



Oh, The Buddha in the Attic is on my list.  What did you think?

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Oh, The Buddha in the Attic is on my list.  What did you think?



I found Buddha in the Attic to be a good but heartbreaking read, more an epic poem than a novel. The story was different than what I expected, told from the point of many rather than just one narrator, but not disappointing in the least. I finished the book in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down. 


~Daisy~

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mrsmischief, how did you like Once in a Promised Land? it sounds very good.

 

I just read Simplifying the soul: Lenten practices to renew your spirit by Paula Huston. read through it for a review and found it had a lot of good suggestions, and I like the writing style. it has daily readings to take you through Lent, so I did not apply the book as it should be. my complete review is published at my blog.

 

related: I have been using goodreads to get reading suggestions, and have begun posting reviews. I'm not clear on how to find others—e.g. fremontmama, we like lots of the same things, and if you were on goodreads, I could "friend" or "follow" your book ratings? well, i'm on there as kanga and the url should say: http://www.goodreads.com/readingpilgrim.


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Divergent, Roth

 

Quote:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

 

This is the next must-read for hunger games fans.  I was fully drawn into the dystopian society Roth created, and found myself completely involved with Tris, the main character of the book. 

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Divergent, Roth

 

 

This is the next must-read for hunger games fans.  I was fully drawn into the dystopian society Roth created, and found myself completely involved with Tris, the main character of the book. 


I loved this book!  And, I'm so excited for the next one, Insurgent, to come out in May!

 

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#17 of 45 Old 02-10-2012, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I found Buddha in the Attic to be a good but heartbreaking read, more an epic poem than a novel. The story was different than what I expected, told from the point of many rather than just one narrator, but not disappointing in the least. I finished the book in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down. 



Sounds intriguing!  When I get through this next stack, I'll have to see if the line at the library shortens any.  I think one of her books was a recent Seattle Reads library pick, so the lines for her stuff have been long.



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Divergent, Roth

 

 

This is the next must-read for hunger games fans.  I was fully drawn into the dystopian society Roth created, and found myself completely involved with Tris, the main character of the book. 



Fun!!!!  I love a good dystopian novel. 

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mrsmischief, how did you like Once in a Promised Land? it sounds very good.

 


 

I liked Once in a Promised Land enough to accidentally stay up to 1AM to finish it in one sitting. lol.gif


~Daisy~

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Graveminder, Marr

Quote:

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville. While growing up, Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual at every funeral: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words, “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”

Now Maylene is gone and Bek must return to the hometown—and the man—she abandoned a decade ago, only to discover that Maylene’s death was not natural . . . and there was good reason for her odd traditions. In Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected—and beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. From this dark place the deceased will return if their graves are not properly minded. And only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk. . . .

 

 

Clayville is a small town that's made a pact with death.  If the pact is withheld -- if the dead are tended -- none of the residents will suffer a natural death before age 80.  Children will grow strong and healthy.  Folks can leave town for short periods of time, but must always come back.  If the pact is not withheld, the hungry dead will rise.  The pact has been upheld by Maylene and William for many years, but now Maylene has been killed by one of the hungry dead.  Her granddaughter, returning home to bury her grandmother, is in for a shock when she realizes that the task of keeping the dead in their graves has now passed to her.

 

I really enjoyed this book a lot.  The town and the way the pact is kept with death is fascinating, especially with regard to what different townspeople can know and remember.  The world of the dead is wonderfully imagined and drawn.  This isn't a horror book that's going to keep you up at night, but it's pleasantly creepy.

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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post

mrsmischief, how did you like Once in a Promised Land? it sounds very good.

 


 

I liked Once in a Promised Land enough to accidentally stay up to 1AM to finish it in one sitting. lol.gif

 

that's just the kind of endorsement i like to hear thumb.gif.
 

 


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#21 of 45 Old 02-11-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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Cold Cereal by Adam Rex

 

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


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#22 of 45 Old 02-12-2012, 06:43 AM
 
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9) The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar

 

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

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#23 of 45 Old 02-17-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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10) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

 

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

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

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


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#25 of 45 Old 02-17-2012, 06:30 PM
 
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Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
 
Mr. Terupt is a new fifth grade teacher whose compassion and innovation capture the admiration and love of all of his students and it seems like it will be the perfect year as the students work to make their teacher proud. But after a tragic accident, his lessons are really tested when the students have to decide if they have really learned the lessons of compassion and forgiveness.
 
This was a wonderful book that gets behind the stereotypes of the brain, the bully, the fat kid, the class clown, the kid that doesn't care about school . . . to see that everybody has a story and that they are not always just how they appear. I also love the message about how our words and actions affect others . . . but that some things are just out of our control. I'm going to recommend this as a read-aloud to the fifth grade teachers at my school.

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#26 of 45 Old 02-18-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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Darkfever, Moning

 

Quote:

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

The love of our Youth, Gordon

 

Quote:

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

 

 

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

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#27 of 45 Old 02-18-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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The Other Life by Ellen Meister

 

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


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#28 of 45 Old 02-19-2012, 02:59 PM
 
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January

1. Skipped Parts - Tim Sandlin  (Nook)

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

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

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

5. The Snow Angel - Glenn Beck  (Library)

6. Hurricanes in Paradise - Denise Hildreth (Nook)

February

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

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

9. House Rules - Rachel Sontag (Library)

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

11. Ella Enchanted - Gail Levine (Library)

12. House of Secrets - Tracie Peterson (Library) 

13. 

 

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


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#29 of 45 Old 02-20-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

 

 

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

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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#30 of 45 Old 02-21-2012, 03:52 PM
 
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11) CAT'S EYE  By Margaret Atwood. Audiobook. 

 

 

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

 

An old and very detailed review of the book. 

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

 

I will be reading more of her books. 

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