2014 Book Challenge Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 01-02-2014, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We kind of fell off on the monthly book challenge threads for 2013, so I thought I'd start the year off right with a 2014 thread and if it gets too long we can break it up, but if not it will be good for the whole year. Now I need to go back to 2013 and list all my books there.

 

(copying & pasting)

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 2014 ... or not
5) Have fun with books (This one, unfortunately, is MANDATORY)

 

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#2 of 44 Old 01-02-2014, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Currently, in 2014, I am reading "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. I know I am about 30 years behind the times on this one, but I had never gotten around to it before. It's both dated and relevant. Pretty enjoyable. It's not dragging me away from the computer or other stuff I should be doing, but I am enjoying it. I read her newest ones last year out of order (Year of the Flood first then MaddAdam, but still haven't been able to snag Oryx & Crake from the library).

 

Also, the kids and I are listening to the last Artemis Fowl book in the car. They love them. I don't think they're as well-written as Harry Potter or Septimus Heap, but they're fast-paced, magical, and funny — three things my kids love.

 

I just finished The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon, but I think that was really 2013. I liked it, but I don't think I'm a huge Michael Chabon fan. I liked Kavalier and Clay a lot (first one I read by him) and forced myself to slog through Telegraph Avenue, but did not really love it. I liked the Yiddish Policemen much better than Telegraph Ave, but I'm looking for something with really compelling characters that will draw me in next. Open to most genres if y'all have any suggestions.


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#3 of 44 Old 01-03-2014, 11:58 AM
 
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Started last month but will soon be finisted with Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. An easy read filled with some really good tips and ideas.  Now on to some fiction!

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#4 of 44 Old 01-06-2014, 04:26 AM
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Just finished "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell.  It has been on several best book lists for 2013.  It is YA fiction, listed as 14 and up, I believe.  It was a good read and I really enjoyed the book.  I have recommended ti to my dds bookclub.  However, I don't think I would go so far as to say it is one of the best of 2013.  I did love the characters though.  I loved a lot about this book, I am just hung up on it being listed on a top ten chart (at number two, I think) for children's & YA books of 2013.  

 

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#5 of 44 Old 01-06-2014, 05:19 AM
 
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Joining the thread! I probably wont be publishing reviews but i may post a few recommendations. I'm brazilian and this may be a chance to suggest some books that most people here dont know or never heard of. I'm also accepting sugestions from you all. I will also number and count my books as i go through them. My goal is to read a book every week. I love reading and when i was a teen and had some more spare time, i would read 3 or 4 books a week. Because i read portuguese, english and french, i've decided to translate all book titles to english so i can post them here. I'm a portuguese speaker, so most titles will be from books written in portuguese and there will be many brazilian and portuguese authors.

I've read, so far:
1- Darwin and the Evolution - Paul Strathern ( I liked this one. It's one of those easy-to-read books that are meant to be read by college and maybe even high school students. It took me less than an hour and i've learned the main facts on Darwin theory and his life)

PS. Feel free to correct any bad spelling or grammar errors of mine. The foruns help me to practice my english. I promise to help anyone who needs help with portuguese too... lol... innocent.gif

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2014 in 2014 : 131/2014
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#6 of 44 Old 01-10-2014, 11:51 AM
 
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I tend to read more than one book at a time.  Here's what I'm reading so far:

 

1. The Witches of Snyder Farms (Book 2 of The Wicked Garden Series) by Lenora Henson

2. The Old Magic of Christmas by Linda Raedisch

3. The Good Food Revolution by Will Allen

 

 

I am also challenging myself to read the books on my shelves.  I often pick up books and never read them.  If I'm not interested in them, they need to go.  I need space for new ones!  :-)


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#7 of 44 Old 01-12-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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milagras: Its usual for me to read 2 or 3 books at a time. I too have some books that are just gathering dust on the shelves because i don't think i'll ever get to read them although i did find them interesting when i got them - wich is one of the reasons i've decided not to buy any new books before reading/donating what i already have. In fact, i'll try to buy only those books i absolutely love or else we'll have to start pilling the new ones in strange places eyesroll.gif

I've read:
1- Darwin and the Evolution - Paul Strathern
2 - The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch ( This is not something i would choose as it has a self-help vibe to it but as it got gifted to me i just went throught it really fast. It's a sad, sad book and i didn't like it really, although the author's personal jouney is touching and interesting. I wouldn't recommend it, but i'm aware that many readers would love it.)

Currently reading:

- The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury (i'm completely entertained by this; it's like reading vintage sci-fi. Really curious and lots of fun)
- A uterus is the size of a fist - Angélica Freitas (this was gifted to me by one of the authors friend. It's a poetry book in wich the main theme is women. The title got me a bit confused, but it's actually really good!)innocent.gif

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2014 in 2014 : 131/2014
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#8 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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I dropped the ball in 2013 as well! After getting a Kindle for my birthday in the fall, I started reading more. I have continued to read paper books at the same time, especially ones where I need to flip back and forth to review information. Somehow my brain doesn't click with doing that on a Kindle. It's nice to have something small to carry around when I need to wait for kids, appointments, etc., though.

 

My goal is to read 24 books this year (2x month). Marina Brasil, I am also fluent in German, so I will have some foreign books on my list as well! I need to broaden my reading in German because I normally just skim through the newspapers online. I also read a lot of cookbooks from the library, but those I mainly skim, so I'm not counting those.

 

JANUARY

Currently, I am reading "Angel of Darkness" by Caleb Carr. Historical mysteries are really interesting, and I liked "The Alienist." When I finished that, I scored a big, fat hard-cover version of "Angel of Darkness" for $0.75 at a thrift shop, so I kept going with that author. His time-period detail is amazing, and I enjoy (most of) the characters and plot. Another one I'm currently reading is "I Like You: Hospitality under the Influence" by Amy Sedaris. So inappropriate, so funny! I want to try some of the recipes. Those would be #1 and #2 for January.

 

Other books on my Kindle/bookshelf I plan to read, in no particular order:

* The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin

* A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin (have been saving this one! might take more than a month to read)

* Wool - Hugh Howey (rec by my sister; this is a compendium of 5 books)

* Clementine - Cherie Priest

* Der Schwarm (The Swarm) - Frank Schätzing, in German

* Eine Billion Dollar (A Trillion Dollars) - Andreas Eschbach, in German

 

That would take me through at least another 4-5 months.

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#9 of 44 Old 01-15-2014, 01:21 PM
 
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PS Adding two more to my list. I forgot a couple of library holds. Might have to read these first:

 

* Fat Dad by Jim Gaffigan, a very funny comedian and

* an oldie, but goodie: White Noise by Don DeLillo (heard of a band called Airborne Toxic Event & it made me think of the book)


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#10 of 44 Old 01-15-2014, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just finished "The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon. It's sorta YA-ish, dystopian, clairvoyant, British fiction. The author is _very young_ — 23 I think. And I thought it showed, actually. The book as gotten a LOT of hype and she's planning a whole series. I really wanted to get sucked into something, but I have to give it a 3 out of 5. It just wasn't all that for me. I'm not a huge fan of the sci-fi/fantasy genre although I do like authors like Neil Gaiman, so some of it. I think fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series, maybe Hunger Games, etc might like this one. It doesn't have any vampires in it, but has that sort of feel. 

 

Currently I'm reading NW by Zadie Smith. It's interesting, but not as quick of a read. She writes very stylistically with lots of sentence fragments and different fonts for different characters so it's takes me a minute or two to get back into it when I pick it up again. It's life in the NW section of London. The main character is a 30-something red-headed pale white woman married to an African (black) man. Pretty gritty, but a nice slice of the UK, which I am always up for. I also just picked up the mystery that JK Rowling did as Robert Galbraith, "The Cuckoo's Calling". I enjoyed her other non-Harry Potter book, "The Casual Vacancy" so I am expecting to like this one, too. I do like mysteries, especially British mysteries (although I think her main character leaves the UK in this one, haven't gotten very far yet.)


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#11 of 44 Old 01-15-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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:treehugger Woot woot!  Thanks Beanma!!  :joy 

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#12 of 44 Old 01-16-2014, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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:D:lurk


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#13 of 44 Old 01-31-2014, 12:21 PM
 
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How is everyone doing at the end of month #1?

 

I am halfway through a couple of books. Still reading Angel of Darkness - will finish that. Read most of I Like You - probably won't finish straight through, but will go back to it for a recipe or two. Started Fat Dad - won't finish; my library loan expired, and it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be (Jim Gaffigan is a comedian, and I do like his comedy - BTW, he and his wife have 4 kids and have done homebirth!) Am halfway through Do You Believe in Magic?, a book about - debunking, I should say - alternative medicines/supplements (interesting and makes some good points, but leans too heavily toward the negative about certain things and certain figures in the industry in my opinion).

 

So, I am actually changing track for February-April and abandoning my original list for a while. My grandfather was an author in another language, and we are going back to the "old country" in May where they are holding some events to celebrate what would have been his 100th b-day, so I am going to read/re-read some of his books.

 

Happy reading!


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#14 of 44 Old 01-31-2014, 03:32 PM
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How is everyone doing at the end of month #1?

 

I am halfway through a couple of books. Still reading Angel of Darkness - will finish that. Read most of I Like You - probably won't finish straight through, but will go back to it for a recipe or two. Started Fat Dad - won't finish; my library loan expired, and it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be (Jim Gaffigan is a comedian, and I do like his comedy - BTW, he and his wife have 4 kids and have done homebirth!) Am halfway through Do You Believe in Magic?, a book about - debunking, I should say - alternative medicines/supplements (interesting and makes some good points, but leans too heavily toward the negative about certain things and certain figures in the industry in my opinion).

 

So, I am actually changing track for February-April and abandoning my original list for a while. My grandfather was an author in another language, and we are going back to the "old country" in May where they are holding some events to celebrate what would have been his 100th b-day, so I am going to read/re-read some of his books.

 

Happy reading!

 

I have spent a lot of the month reading tax stuff--I was testing to become an EA.  

I read "Kizzy Ann Stamps" (children's book done as a journal/letter style primarily about school integration and race issues).  I enjoyed it, but was really reading it to see if it would be a good addition for our homeschooling.  I also read "Liesel and Po"--a children's fantasy book.  It was intriguing enought to finish, but I can't say that I really liked the book.  I have just started "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" and am really enjoying it so far.  

 

I also like Jim Gaffigan, sorry to hear that his book wasn't very funny.  I think it is really cool that you will be reading your grandfather's books.  :-)

 

Amy


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#15 of 44 Old 02-01-2014, 06:13 PM
 
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I have so many books on my shelf I have never read. I read The Black Stallion in Jan and half of The Diary of Anne Frank. Upon finishing Anne Frank I will be reading The Cat who Covered the World.
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#16 of 44 Old 02-02-2014, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I gave up on NW halfway through. It was good, but it's sort of vignettes of different characters in that section of London and the second one was going to end with the main character dying (not a spoiler since it said as much in the first vignette) and I just wasn't in the mood for that. I don't beat myself up about finishing books now if they're not suiting my mood. Maybe sometime I'll go back to it.

 

I really liked JK Rowling's (Robert Galbraith) The Cuckoo's Calling. It was set in London after all (the main character had just been in Afghanistan prior to the book). It wasn't groundbreaking or anything, but just a nice mystery with the highly detailed characters and setting that she does so well. No magic!

 

I also read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Enjoyed it, easy read, but not too fluffy. I'm reading another Alice Hoffman now, Here On Earth, and although I think it got more critical acclaim I'm not liking it as much, but I'm almost done with it so I will finish it.

 

The kids and I have listened to The Supernaturalists by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl author). It was pretty good  dystopian middle grade fiction but had some violence and death. We're now listening to Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner. I'm enjoying it more although it is also dystopian middle grade fiction. Interesting premise of a society that is wholly focused on the safety of its children such that they are chained to their parents or a caregiver until they reach the age of separation.


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#17 of 44 Old 02-12-2014, 01:26 PM
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Well, I finished "Tell the Wolves I am Home" over the weekend.  I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't "all that" for me.  I don't know what I will read next, perhaps "One Summer: America, 1927."  I bought it for my dad for Christmas and he really enjoyed it.  It is on my bookshelf now.  We don't often read the same stuff, but I really like reading some of the same stuff because he is a great person to discuss a book with.  I really thought I would enjoy it too when I picked it out and am glad that he enjoyed it. 

 

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#18 of 44 Old 02-13-2014, 09:22 AM
 
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AAk, thanks for reminding me of Bill Bryson. Read a few of his books long ago and really enjoyed them. I'll have to put that on my list.


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#19 of 44 Old 02-13-2014, 02:55 PM
 
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I finished Anne Frank, Diary of a young girl and also The Cat Who Covered thevWorld by foreign corresponded Christopher Wren. It was ok, but after reading Anne Frank I discovered all these books I have by Primo Levi, an Italian Jew who spent 20 months in Auschwitz. I finished If This Be A Man which is about his time there and am now reading The Truce about his life immediately after and his road back home to Italy. Extremely good books.
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#20 of 44 Old 02-15-2014, 11:19 PM
 
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So I gave up on NW halfway through. It was good, but it's sort of vignettes of different characters in that section of London and the second one was going to end with the main character dying (not a spoiler since it said as much in the first vignette) and I just wasn't in the mood for that. I don't beat myself up about finishing books now if they're not suiting my mood. Maybe sometime I'll go back to it.

 

I really liked JK Rowling's (Robert Galbraith) The Cuckoo's Calling. It was set in London after all (the main character had just been in Afghanistan prior to the book). It wasn't groundbreaking or anything, but just a nice mystery with the highly detailed characters and setting that she does so well. No magic!

 

I also read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. Enjoyed it, easy read, but not too fluffy. I'm reading another Alice Hoffman now, Here On Earth, and although I think it got more critical acclaim I'm not liking it as much, but I'm almost done with it so I will finish it.

 

The kids and I have listened to The Supernaturalists by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl author). It was pretty good  dystopian middle grade fiction but had some violence and death. We're now listening to Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner. I'm enjoying it more although it is also dystopian middle grade fiction. Interesting premise of a society that is wholly focused on the safety of its children such that they are chained to their parents or a caregiver until they reach the age of separation.

 

Oh, NW by Zadie Smith?  That's on my list!  It was on my short list for suggestions to my book club last meeting, but we went with something else instead.  Wasn't super awesome?

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Well, I finished "Tell the Wolves I am Home" over the weekend.  I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't "all that" for me.  I don't know what I will read next, perhaps "One Summer: America, 1927."  I bought it for my dad for Christmas and he really enjoyed it.  It is on my bookshelf now.  We don't often read the same stuff, but I really like reading some of the same stuff because he is a great person to discuss a book with.  I really thought I would enjoy it too when I picked it out and am glad that he enjoyed it. 

 

Amy

 

Tell the Wolves I am Home is on my list too!  :o)

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#21 of 44 Old 02-16-2014, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, NW by Zadie Smith?  That's on my list!  It was on my short list for suggestions to my book club last meeting, but we went with something else instead.  Wasn't super awesome?

 

 

NW was very good, but I just realized I wasn't in the mood for it. It had a little bleakness in the slice of life vignettes and I was just in a place where I wanted more happy endings and less true to life, y'know? I'd recommend it, though. It did take me a few pages to get used to her style.

 

Ive been reading more since then, but I'll have to update later. Got to get ready for an ice-skating birthday party today.


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#22 of 44 Old 02-16-2014, 11:45 PM
 
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NW was very good, but I just realized I wasn't in the mood for it. It had a little bleakness in the slice of life vignettes and I was just in a place where I wanted more happy endings and less true to life, y'know? I'd recommend it, though. It did take me a few pages to get used to her style.

 

Ive been reading more since then, but I'll have to update later. Got to get ready for an ice-skating birthday party today.

 

Totallly understand that feeling!  Sometimes it's just not the right time for a book, even if it's a good one.  

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#23 of 44 Old 02-20-2014, 03:21 PM
 
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Started reading one of my grandpa's books. It's very good so far. Need to start one of his kids' books with my kids before we take our trip.


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#24 of 44 Old 02-20-2014, 03:22 PM
 
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NW was very good, but I just realized I wasn't in the mood for it. It had a little bleakness in the slice of life vignettes and I was just in a place where I wanted more happy endings and less true to life, y'know? I'd recommend it, though. It did take me a few pages to get used to her style.

 

Ive been reading more since then, but I'll have to update later. Got to get ready for an ice-skating birthday party today.


I hear you! I have been looking for happy endings or non-true-to-life stuff myself, both in books and movies/tv. We're so innundated with the bad stuff.


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#25 of 44 Old 02-20-2014, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to make myself finish books because I thought I ought to, but I dropped the martyr act and now I just finish them if I like them. I would recommend NW, it just wasn't the right time for me.

 

Lately I have been reading Alice Hoffman and Charles De Lint. I seem to be going on a bit of a magic realism/urban fantasy/what do you call it kick. I've always been drawn to slightly magical stories, but not really full-on sci-fi, fantasy since I was a teen. I like the ones where the protagonist has a foot in the real world too. 

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#26 of 44 Old 02-23-2014, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beanma View Post
 

I used to make myself finish books because I thought I ought to, but I dropped the martyr act and now I just finish them if I like them. I would recommend NW, it just wasn't the right time for me.

 

Lately I have been reading Alice Hoffman and Charles De Lint. I seem to be going on a bit of a magic realism/urban fantasy/what do you call it kick. I've always been drawn to slightly magical stories, but not really full-on sci-fi, fantasy since I was a teen. I like the ones where the protagonist has a foot in the real world too. 

 

I gave up making myself finish books too.  I give it about 50 pages, and if it's not working, I let it go.  Life's too short to read books you don't like!  

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#27 of 44 Old 02-26-2014, 05:14 PM
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Read one of the recent Newbery Honor books, "Paperboy," and really liked it.  The main character has a stutter, which is unique.  It was done very well; the author also stutters and mentioned that the book was part fiction and part memoir.  I would love to know which was which.  

 

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#28 of 44 Old 03-06-2014, 09:17 PM
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I finally read "Divergent" this last week.  I enjoyed it; it was nice to have a quick read.  It wasn't the best example of YA dystopian fiction, but fun anyways.  

 

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#29 of 44 Old 03-11-2014, 10:56 PM
 
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Divergent has been on my list forever!  One of these days.......  :wink

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#30 of 44 Old 04-07-2014, 07:19 AM
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Ok, first I am turning my earlier reads into a list so it is easier to keep track.  

 

1. Fangirl

2.  Kizzy Ann Stamps

3.  Liesel & Po

4.  Tell the Wolves I'm Home

5.  Paper Boy

6.  Divergent

 

 

7.  Insurgent

8.  The Grimm Collection

 

The Insurgent and The Grimm Collection have been my latest reads.  Insurgent, of course, is book two of the Divergent trilogy.  It is still just not a great example of dystopian fiction.  I will finish it out though, but I am disappointed so far.  The Grimm Collection was a fun read.  It was for my 11 year old dds book club.  It isn't written particularly well, but I enjoyed it anyways.  It is fun to think about which magical object (from the Grimm tales) you would want to borrow from a library.  The book wraps up at the end, but I think it also left it possible for a sequel.

 

Currently though, I am reading Emma (Jane Austen).  I haven't ever read it before, and was needing something different.  

 

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