Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update on challenges

I decided to look at my progress so far with my reading challenges. As of Monday, I was halfway through the 100 book reading challenge. The books in orange are completed. For reasons of my own insanity, I moved number one down to where it was actually completed. I've stopped adding "to read" books to the list, because I may not get them read this year and they make it too confusing.

So at this point in the year I have read 51 books. Sixteen of them are non-fiction. A number of those are memoirs. The largest number, seventeen are mysteries, thrillers, cop, spy, or something else of that sort. There's way more Chick Lit than I should read in a year, if ever, but it got me through February and March.

2. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
3. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper (finished 2/20/2009)
4. Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fisher
5. A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffery Archer (finished 1/27/2009)
6. A Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein (finished 1/3/2009
7. The Reagan I Knew by William F. Buckley, Jr. (finished 2/12/2009)
8. Grace Upon Grace by John W. Kleinig
Cruel and Usual Punishment: The terrifying global implications of Islamic Law by Nonie Darwish (finished 1/15/2009)
10. Bones by Jonathan Kellerman (finished 1/7/2009)
11. Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis (finished 1/7/2009)
12. Homeschooling: A Family's Journey by Gregory and Martine Millman (finished 1/8/2009)
13. Heat Lightning by John Sandford (finished 1/12/2009)
14. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (finished 1/12/2009)
15. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (finished 1/17/2009)
16. Cross Country by James Patterson (finished 1/19/2009)
Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (finished 1/22/2009)
Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell (finished 1/23/2009)
19. How the Missouri Synod Was Born by Rev Dr. William Gustave Polack (finished 1/23/2009)
20. King's Blood Four by Sherri Tepper (finished 1/25/2009)
21. Terrorist by John Updike (finished 2/2/2009)
22. Die in Plain Sight by Elizabeth Lowell (finished 2/4/2009)
23. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (finished 2/7/2009)
24. Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe (finished 2/8/2009)
25. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich (finished 2/10/2009)
26. Red River by Lalita Tademy (finished 2/15/2009)
27. Run for Your Life by James Patterson (finished 2/18/2009)
28. A Red State of Mind by Nancy French (finished 2/23/2009)
29. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (finished 2/24/2009)

30. The Survivor's Club by Ben Sherwood (finished 2/28/2009)
31. Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger (finished 3/2/2009)
32. The Next Big Thing by Johanna Edwards (finished 3/4/2009)
33. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb (finished 3/11/2009)
34. Class Matters by Correspondents of the New York Times (finished 3/12/2009)
35. Holly Would Dream by Karen Quinn (finished 3/13/2009)
36. Sullivan's Law by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (finished 3/15/2009)
37. Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto (finished 3/19/2009)
38. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult (finished 3/21/2009)
39. Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger (finished 3/26/2009)
40. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (finished 4/1/2009)
41. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R.C. Gutzman, Ph.D., J.D. (4/7/2009)
42. The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn (4/8/2009)
43. True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman (4/13/20089)
45. Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb (4/17/2009)
46. Food Matters by Mark Bittman (4/19/2009)
47. Certain Jeopardy by Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky (4/22/2009)
48. Divine Justice by David Baldacci (4/27/2009)
49. Rapture in Death by J.D. Robb (4/30/2009)
50. The 8th Confession by James Patterson (5/2/2009)
51. A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America by Shelby Steele (5/4/2009)
52. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (5/7/2009)
53. The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (5/9/2009)
1. Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster (5/11/2009)
54. The Convenient Marriage by Georgette Heyer (5/13/2009)

I have completed my Support Your Local Library Challenge and have three more books to read for my Suspense and Thriller Challenge. I need to get back to work on my World Citizen Challenge. I have some books picked out for this one. I just need to read them. Right now I have read two of seven, so I am behind.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Book Review: Pretty in Plaid

I almost never buy hardback books, but I was not waiting for Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster to come out in paperback. This is the fourth book of her memoirs, and is a prequel of sorts, carrying us back to her '70s and '80s childhood. I put it at the top of my reading list for the year when I found out back in January that it was coming in May.

I'm sure that Jen isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I love her books. Maybe it's because I can identify with so much of her background. Maybe it's because she has done a lot of things that I would have liked to do, but didn't. Maybe it's because she can be so honest about her failings and still have such unfailingly high self-esteem.

Or maybe it's just because she is absolutely hilarious.

I laugh out loud when I read her books, and that is a rare thing. And it was totally worth it to go ahead and buy the hardback.