October 2012 Book Challenge - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 10-03-2012, 10:27 AM - 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

 

 

So, I think I'll just stop saying how surprised I am that it's the beginning of the month already, b/c I think I say that every thread! :)

 

Happy October reading friends!

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#2 of 28 Old 10-03-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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What fun!  I use Goodreads, and I am doing the reading challenge on there.  I committed to reading 35 books this year.  So far, I am on track to accomplish my goal.  I can't remember how many I have read.

I read the first 3 Twilight books most recently.  Right now, I am reading The Host which is also by Stephanie Meyer.  It's interesting by rather slow.




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#3 of 28 Old 10-03-2012, 10:50 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) 

April

13. Victims - Jonathan Kellerman (Library)

June (no May, not much in April)

14. These Things Hidden - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

15. The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

16. The Help - Kathryn Stockett (library)

17. Live Wire - Harlan Coben (my copy) - this maybe titled something else as it's the canadian edition from a second hand shoppe

18. Sickened - Julie Gregory (library)

19. Maine -  J. Courtney Sullivan (library)

July

20. Who Do You Think You Are? - Alyse Myers (library)

21. One Breath Away - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

22. Swallow The Ocean- Laura Flynn (library)

23. Dead Reckoning - Linda Castillo (library)

24 Corpse on the Cob - Sue Jaffarian (library)

August

25. Come Home- Lisa Scottoline (library)

26. Save Me- Lisa Scottoline (my copy) second hand shoppe

September

27. Too Big To Miss - Sue Jaffarian (library)

28. The Curse of the Holy Pail - Sue Jaffarian (library)

29. The Last Lie - Stephen White (library)

30. Trust Your Eyes - Linwood Barclay (library)

October

31.

32.

33.

34.

35

 

Unfortunately #30 was so slow and predictable I stopped 3/4 of the way through.  Oh well onto #31- GO ME!


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#4 of 28 Old 10-05-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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The Flame Alphabet, Marcus
 

 

Quote:
A terrible epidemic has struck the country and the sound of children’s speech has become lethal. Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people are going into hiding. All Sam and Claire need to do is look around the neighborhood: In the park, parents wither beneath the powerful screams of their children. At night, suburban side streets become routes of shameful escape for fathers trying to get outside the radius of affliction.
 

 

The premise for this one is so fascinating to me, but I felt something was lacking in the execution...the book felt like it was trying so hard to be literary that the characters and plot got a little lost to me.

 

Night Swimmer, Bondurant

Quote:
n a small town on the southern coast of Ireland, an isolated place only frequented by fishermen and the occasional group of bird-watchers, Fred and Elly Bulkington, newly arrived from Vermont having won a pub in a contest, encounter a wild, strange land shaped by the pounding storms of the North Atlantic, as well as the native resistance to strangers. As Fred revels in the life of a new pubowner, Elly takes the ferry out to a nearby island where anyone not born there is called a “blow-in.” To the disbelief of the locals, Elly devotes herself to open-water swimming, pushing herself to the limit and crossing unseen boundaries that drive her into the heart of the island’s troubles—the mysterious tragedy that shrouds its inhabitants and the dangerous feud between an enigmatic farmer and a powerful clan that has no use for outsiders.

This book is beautifully written and so creepy.  The main character is well developed and the details - distance swimming, bird watching - are both fascinating and integral to moving the story along.  Only problem is -- I'm not entirely sure I know what happened at the end.

 

Grave Goods, Franklin

Quote:
When a fire at Glastonbury Abbey reveals two skeletons, rumor has it they may belong to King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. King Henry II hopes so, for it would help him put down a rebellion in Wales, where the legend of Celtic savior Arthur is strong. To make certain, he sends Adelia Aguilar, his Mistress of the Art of Death, to Glastonbury to examine the skeletons.

At the same time, the investigation into the abbey fire will be overseen by the Bishop of St. Albans, father of Adelia's daughter. Trouble is, someone at Glastonbury doesn't want either mystery solved, and is prepared to kill to prevent it...

I've been back and forth with whether I liked this series, and this is by far the best, I really enjoyed it. 

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#5 of 28 Old 10-06-2012, 05:17 AM
 
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I have been extremely busy as of late, but I am back to reading for pleasure again.

 

42) The Enthusiast by Charlie Haas

"Henry Bay has his own America going. If there's an offbeat interest or extreme sport that's poised to sweep the nation, chances are there's a magazine for its enthusiasts, and chances are also good that Henry has worked there. He's a modern nomad, associate-editing his way from state to state, exploring the small worlds that make up modern America from "Spelunk to Ice Climbing, to Cozy, The Magazine of Tea."

But those are other people's interests--Henry's still looking for his own enthusiasm. He ends up finding more than he ever imagined in this energetic, hilarious debut novel from a surprising and promising new voice.
"
 
I enjoyed this book. It was not too heavy or too light. It was very funny at times and tender at others. A good book to get me back to reading for joy.
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#6 of 28 Old 10-06-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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48. What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East by Bernard Lewis

49. Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas by Kevin G Stewart


~Daisy~

Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif

 

 

 

 

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#7 of 28 Old 10-06-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

2. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

3. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

4. Most Talkative by Andy Cohen

5. You're Not Doing it Right by Michael Ian Black

6. Sleepwalk with Me by Mike Birbiglia

7. Stop Dressing Your Six-year-old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark

8. Does this Baby Make me Look Straight by Dan Bucatinsky

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth

10. Insurgent by Veronica Roth  This is a great series.  The third book is not out yet.

11. Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

12. Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster

13. Why be Happy When you Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

14. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin  This was really disappointing, not as interesting as I thought it would be.

15. My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster

16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

17. Beyond the Sling by Mayin Bialik

18. Lit by Mary Karr  I highly recommend this book.  It was wonderful.  Her other memoirs are great too.

19. Where's my F*cking Latte - not really worth typing out the author's name

20. My Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand

21. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

22. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

23. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

24. The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris

25. Bossypants by Tina Fey

 

I generally enjoy reading non-fiction especially memoirs by funny people with odd lives.  I don't read a whole lot of fiction and what I do is mostly science fiction or a type of fantasy, hence the Sookie Stackhouse books.




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#8 of 28 Old 10-10-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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@ pokeyAC...

 

I am on a non-fiction kick myself.

 

How was #22 The Psychopath Test? Oh my and #7 looks very interesting!

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#9 of 28 Old 10-10-2012, 04:35 PM
 
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The Psychopath Test was really interesting.  The same author has another book that's good, it's about extremists.  I think it is called Them.  #7 was disappointing.  She has a series of memoirs.  I didn't find it that funny or interesting unfortunately.  She came up on Amazon because I like Jen Lancaster, but I think Lancaster's books are much funnier.




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#10 of 28 Old 10-12-2012, 05:21 AM
 
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43) Dancing Dogs: Stories by Jon Katz

 

A group of short stories about humans and their canine (and one feline for good measure) friends. I enjoy how Jon writes. I enjoyed the stories which ranged from tear-jerkers to laugh out loud moments.

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#11 of 28 Old 10-12-2012, 11:59 PM
 
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AC- just ordered #7 from the library - thanks!!


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#12 of 28 Old 10-13-2012, 12:01 AM
 
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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) 

April

13. Victims - Jonathan Kellerman (Library)

June (no May, not much in April)

14. These Things Hidden - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

15. The Weight of Silence - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

16. The Help - Kathryn Stockett (library)

17. Live Wire - Harlan Coben (my copy) - this maybe titled something else as it's the canadian edition from a second hand shoppe

18. Sickened - Julie Gregory (library)

19. Maine -  J. Courtney Sullivan (library)

July

20. Who Do You Think You Are? - Alyse Myers (library)

21. One Breath Away - Heather Gudenkauf (library)

22. Swallow The Ocean- Laura Flynn (library)

23. Dead Reckoning - Linda Castillo (library)

24 Corpse on the Cob - Sue Jaffarian (library)

August

25. Come Home- Lisa Scottoline (library)

26. Save Me- Lisa Scottoline (my copy) second hand shoppe

September

27. Too Big To Miss - Sue Jaffarian (library)

28. The Curse of the Holy Pail - Sue Jaffarian (library)

29. The Last Lie - Stephen White (library)

30. Trust Your Eyes - Linwood Barclay (library)

October

31. Line of Fire - Stephen White (library)

32. Terrified - Kevin O'brien (Library)

33.

34.

35

 


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#13 of 28 Old 10-13-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Bird Cloud, Proulx

 

Quote:

“Bird Cloud” is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen.

Proulx’s first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house—with its solar panels, Japanese soak tub, concrete floor and elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets. It is also an enthralling natural history and archaeology of the region—inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho and Shoshone Indians— and a family history, going back to nineteenth-century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.

 

 

 

I thought this was okay...some of it was a lot of complaining about things most people would love to complain about.  I also think it must be difficult to have a house listed on the market for 2.6 mil when you've written a whole book about its problems...

 

http://fayranches.com/ranches-for-sale/wyoming/bird-cloud-ranch

 

the library, kitchen, and soak tub do look utterly amazing...

 

Running the Rift, Benaron

Quote:

Running the Rift follows the progress of Jean Patrick Nkuba from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life. A naturally gifted athlete, he sprints over the thousand hills of Rwanda and dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medal winner in track. But Jean Patrick is a Tutsi in a world that has become increasingly restrictive and violent for his people. As tensions mount between the Hutu and Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream that running might deliver him, and his people, from the brutality around them.

 

Amazing book about a tutsi runner hoping for the olympics during the time of the rwandan civil war.

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#14 of 28 Old 10-14-2012, 04:12 AM
 
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The Flame Alphabet, Marcus

 

The premise for this one is so fascinating to me, but I felt something was lacking in the execution...the book felt like it was trying so hard to be literary that the characters and plot got a little lost to me.

 

 

My book club read this in Sept, and I decided to skip that month, after seeing all the negative reviews. Plus, I had just entered Outlander world, and wasn't ready to take a break from those books yet!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kofduke View Post

 

Running the Rift, Benaron

 

Amazing book about a tutsi runner hoping for the olympics during the time of the rwandan civil war.

 

This sounds like a great book! I work in the refugee resettlement world, and am always looking for uplifting stories that come out of conflict and war. Did you hear about the Sudanese refugee that ran in the London Olympics marathon this year? Also, if you google "Abebe Fekadu", he is a friend/former client of mine who has now been to two Paralympics. 

 

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1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

2. Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

3. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

4. Most Talkative by Andy Cohen

5. You're Not Doing it Right by Michael Ian Black

6. Sleepwalk with Me by Mike Birbiglia

7. Stop Dressing Your Six-year-old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark

8. Does this Baby Make me Look Straight by Dan Bucatinsky

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth

10. Insurgent by Veronica Roth  This is a great series.  The third book is not out yet.

11. Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

12. Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster

13. Why be Happy When you Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

14. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin  This was really disappointing, not as interesting as I thought it would be.

15. My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster

16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

17. Beyond the Sling by Mayin Bialik

18. Lit by Mary Karr  I highly recommend this book.  It was wonderful.  Her other memoirs are great too.

19. Where's my F*cking Latte - not really worth typing out the author's name

20. My Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand

21. My Booky Wook by Russell Brand

22. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

23. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

24. The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris

25. Bossypants by Tina Fey

 

I generally enjoy reading non-fiction especially memoirs by funny people with odd lives.  I don't read a whole lot of fiction and what I do is mostly science fiction or a type of fantasy, hence the Sookie Stackhouse books.

 

There are a lot of interesting books on your reading list! How was "Where's My F*cking Latte?"? 

 

I am also a lover of books reading.gif, treehugger treehugger.gif, and occasional soapbox stander! soapbox.gif

 

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September was an incredibly busy month, so I was only able to finish one book. I didn't realize beforehand just how huge DG's books are!

 

August

23. Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

24. Abarat - Clive Barker (re-read)

25. Days of Magic, Nights of War - Clive Barker 

26. Absolute Midnight - Clive Barker

27. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

 

September

28. Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon

 

October

29. Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

 

Currently reading The Origins of Humankind by Richard Leakey, but had to take a break from it to start Cutting for Stone for my book club. I'm hoping the next book in the Outlander series comes in from the library soon!


 

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#16 of 28 Old 10-15-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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nyssaneala - Where's my F*cking Latte was a quick read about assistants in showbiz.  It wasn't quite as scandalous as I thought it would be, but it was a fun read.




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#17 of 28 Old 10-21-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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44) The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

 

This was a great book! Interesting, funny and very thought provoking...especially since I work in mental health. Thanks for the recommendation pokeyAC!

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#18 of 28 Old 10-21-2012, 01:42 PM
 
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Cypress House, Kortya

Quote:
Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before-a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong.

So when he awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he abandons the train with 19-year-old Paul Brickhill. Soon, they stranded at the Cypress House-directly in the path of a hurricane. There are much deadlier threats than the storm in this place, and Arlen's eerie gift warns that they'll never leave. From its chilling beginning to terrifying end, The Cypress House is a story of relentless suspense from "one of the best of the best" (Michael Connelly).

 

I really liked this spooky historical tale.  Interesting as there were paranormal elements, however the threat never came from them...the threats were all human.

 

 

A Murderous Procession, Franklin

Quote:

In 1176, King Henry II sends his daughter Joanna to Palermo to marry his cousin, the king of Sicily. Henry chooses Adelia Aguilar to travel with the princess and safeguard her health. But when people in the wedding procession are murdered, Adelia and Rowley must discover the killer's identity, and whether he is stalking the princess or Adelia herself.

 

 

Really enjoyed this one...the continuing development of the relationship between Adelia and Rowley, the twist with the Cathars, the relationship between Adelia and the church.  It would have set up such an interesting conclusion as they had returned to england, however sadly I believe this is the last book written in the series as the author passed away.

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#19 of 28 Old 10-22-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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44) The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

 

This was a great book! Interesting, funny and very thought provoking...especially since I work in mental health. Thanks for the recommendation pokeyAC!

 

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!  He is a pretty funny writer.




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#20 of 28 Old 10-22-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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45) Ender's Game Orson Scott Card. I read this years ago. I know a movie is being made so my dh bought it as a read aloud with the kids. There is a fair amount of swearing in this book so I had to censor it. There also is a lot of violence that I forgot about which led me to stop it as a read aloud. I finished it on my own.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/375802.Ender_s_Game

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#21 of 28 Old 10-23-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Finally updating my list!!! 

 

#38 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger

Pretty good, creepy.

 

#39 The Shining by Stephen King 

That was really good!  LOVED it!
 

#40 White Like Me by Tim Wise

Anyone who is anti-racism should read this.  Actually, anyone should read it.  Tim Wise is wise.

 

#41 How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Funny feminist manifesto for the modern age.  Another read for everyone.

 

#42 The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

 

#43 The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

 

#44 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling

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#22 of 28 Old 10-28-2012, 05:55 AM
 
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46) Scat by Carl Hiaasen. Another read aloud with the kids. Very enjoyable for all of us. This makes us want to travel to Florida for a nature trip, not a trip to Disney.

 

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3276072-scat

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#23 of 28 Old 10-28-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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True Believer, Wolff

Quote:

When LaVaughn was little, the obstacles in her life didn't seem so bad. If she had a fight with Myrtle or Annie, it would never last long. If she was mad at her mother, they made up by bedtime. School was simple. Boys were buddies. Everything made sense.

But LaVaughn is fifteen and the obstacles aren't going away anymore. Big questions separate her from her friends. Her mother is distracted by a new man. School could slip away from her so easily. And the boy who's a miracle in her life acts just as if he's in love with her. Only he's not in love with her.

Returning to the characters and language she explored so profoundly in Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff rises to the occasion in this astonishing second of three novels about LaVaughn, her family, and her community.

 

 

This Full House, Wolff

 

Quote:

Each discovery disturbs the arrangements of the known world, and it is our job to stay alert to all possibilities.

LaVaughn believes she is keeping alert to all possibilities. She has made it through the projects, she's gotten over heartbreak, she's grown up, and now she's been admitted to the Women in Science program that might finally be her ticket to COLLEGE. But the discoveries she makes during her senior year in high school--two girls pregnant, with very few options--disturb everything in her known world. And in an effort to bring together people who should love each other, she jeopardizes the one prize she has sought her whole life long.

When do you know whether you're doing the right thing? What happens when you can't find a way to make lemonade out of lemons? Virginia Euwer Wolff takes on the biggest questions--about life and love, certainly, but also about girls and women, sacrifice and compassion--and has something quite rev-elatory to say about them in this full house.

 

 

 

These books are really, truly beautiful.  They speak to me so much of the young women I work with, the challenges they face, and the support they need to achieve those dreams.  I would like to speak with whoever chose a cover photo featuring a young blond woman in a fancy, clean, light-infused school, however...

 

Before I go to sleep, Watson

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Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis--all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she's written three unexpected and terrifying words: "Don't trust Ben." Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted? At the heart of S. J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep is the petrifying question: How can anyone function when they can't even trust themselves? Suspenseful from start to finish, the strength of Watson's writing allows Before I Go to Sleep to transcend the basic premise and present profound questions about memory and identity.

 

Suspenseful, kept my interest throughout!

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#24 of 28 Old 10-29-2012, 05:37 AM
 
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47) Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones. We read this one aloud yesterday afternoon with the rain and wind going on outside. It was a fun one to read with Halloween coming.

 

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9951114-earwig-and-the-witch

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#25 of 28 Old 10-30-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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The Last Dragonslayer, Fforde

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In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

 

Another fabulously funny story by Jasper Fforde...written for a younger audience than the tuesday next series.

 

 

Orientation and Other Stories, Orozco

 

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“Orientation” is a story from Daniel Orozco’s critically acclaimed collection of the same name, which leads the reader through the hidden lives and moral philosophies of bridge painters, men housebound by obesity, office temps, and warehouse workers. He reveals the secret pleasures of late-night supermarket trips for cookie binges, exceptional data entry, and an exiled dictator’s occasional piss on the U.S. embassy. A love affair blooms between two officers in the impartially worded pages of a police blotter; during an earthquake, the consciousness of the entire state of California shakes free for examination.

 

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#26 of 28 Old 11-04-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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48) Slaughterhouse 5 Kurt Vonnegut. I am not sure if I had to read this in HS or not. It was an interesting book. I forgot how much I enjoy Vonnegut's style. I will be reading more of him.

 

49) The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech as a read aloud with my kids. Such a sweet, funny story. We all enjoyed it (10 y/o son and 7 y/o daughter). We will read more of her books too!

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#27 of 28 Old 11-10-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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Tales of the Madman Underground, Barnes

 

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September 1973: The beginning of Karl Shoemaker's senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl's been part of "the Madman Underground"- kids forced to attend group therapy during school. Karl has decided that he is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act-and be-Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has two after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.

 

I really enjoyed this book.  Winner of the Printz award in 2009, it details the life of Karl Shoemaker, known as "psycho shoemaker" to his classmates.  Karl's goal for his senior year of high school is to work at his 4 jobs, see his friends, but primarily to stay out of the therapy groups his school has had him attend since the fourth grade.  Known as the Madman Underground, these group of children share a depressing home life, but a warm concern for each other. 

 

 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Greene and Levithan

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One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.
 

 

 

Not really about either of the Will Graysons -- but about Tiny Cooper, the best friend of one of the Will Graysons.  Very funny and classic John Greene.

 

Kingdom Keepers Power Play, Pearson

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For the five teens who modeled as Disney Hologram Imaging hosts, life is beginning to settle down when an intriguing video arrives to Philby's computer at school. It's a call for action: the Overtakers, a group of Disney villains, seem to be plotting to attempt a rescue of two of their leaders, both of whom the Disney Imagineers have hidden away somewhere following a violent encounter in Epcot. A staged attack by new Overtakers at Downtown Disney, startles the group.  One of their own, Charlene, is acting strange of late. Has she tired of her role as a Kingdom Keeper or is there something more sinister at play? When caught sneaking into Epcot as her DHI, acting strictly against the group's rules, Finn and Philby take action.

Has the "impossible" occurred? Have the Overtakers created their own holograms? Have they found a way to "jump" from the Virtual Maintenance Network onto the Internet, and if so, what does that mean for the safety of the parks, and the spread and reach of the Overtakers? Are they recruiting an army from outside the parks?

 

Okay, I really enjoy the plot of these books.  But honestly, the writing just isn't that great.  After about the fourth time it came up -- in this installment in the series, never mind the others -- I wanted to yell,  YES I KNOW THEY AREN"T SUPPOSED TO GO INTO THE PARKS WITHOUT PERMISSION.  AND THEY COULD GET IN TROUBLE.  Also, I listened to this one in audio (I had read the others) and I really hated how the narrator voiced the girls' voices.  It couldn't have been whinier.  That said, I'm sure I'll still read the next one to find out what happens.

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