Sunday, December 19, 2010

Victorian reading challenge

This challenge is for reading books written from 1837-1901, or by authors who are considered Victorian.
I am taking part at the "Great Expectations" level, which is 5-9 books.

1. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (4/5/2011)
2. East Lynne by Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood (6/18/2011)
3. Introducing Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton (10/6/2011)
4. Lady Audley's Secret by M.E. Braddon (10/16/2011)
5. The Man with Two Left Feet by P.G. Wodehouse (10/27/2011)
6. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (10/29/2011)

2011 100+ Challenge

Of course, I want to do the 100+ Reading Challenge again this year. It turned out to be more of a challenge this year than I expected, and has become my favorite way to keep track of my reading. This is where I will keep track of my reading from January1-December 31, 2011. I like to note the title, type of book, and any other challenges it fits into.

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1/7/2011)(Fiction) (Gothic)(Myst & Susp) ( Gaps)
2. Cross Fire by James Patterson (1/8/2011) (Fiction)
3. Blackout by Connie Willis  (1/12/2011) (Time Travel/Historical Fiction)
4. All Clear by Connie Willis  (1/15/2011) (Time Travel/Historical Fiction)
5. Death at La Fenice  by Donna Leon (1/24/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery & Suspense)
6. The Confession  by John Grisham (1/26/2011) (Fiction)
7. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. (2/9/2011) (Post-Apocalyptic Fiction)
8. The Foundling by Georgette Heyer (2/13/2011) (Historical Romance)
9. At Home by Bill Bryson (2/13/2011) (Non-fiction)
10. The Reversal by Michael Connelly (2/23/2011) (Legal thriller)
11. High on the Hog by Jessica Harris (2/27/2011) (Non-fiction/Food/History)
12. American Assassin by Vince Flynn (3/2/2011) (Political Thriller)
13. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (3/6/2011) (Science Fiction) (Gaps)
14. Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison (3/9/2011) (Nonfiction/Memoir)
15. Dune by Frank Herbert (3/19/2011) (Science Fiction) (Gothic)(Gaps)
16. Life at the Bottom (3/20/2011) (Non-fiction) (Gaps)
17. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  (3/27/2011) (Fiction) (Gothic) (Mystery)
18. The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer (4/3/2011) (Fiction)
19. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (4/5/2011) (Fiction) (Victorian)
20. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (4/12/2011) (Fantasy) (Gaps)
21.  Feel Bad Education  by Alfie Kohn (4/23/2011) (Non-fiction)
22. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (4/28/2011) (Fiction) (Legal Thriller)
23. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (4/29/2011) (Fiction) (Gothic) (Gaps)
24. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (5/2/2011) (Fiction) (Gaps)
25. Tick Tock by James Patterson (5/3/2011) (Fiction)
26. If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster (5/5/2011) (Fiction)
27. Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns  by T. David Gordon (5/7/2011) (Non-fiction)
28. Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford (5/7/2011) (Non-fiction)
29. Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card (5/11/2011) (Time Travel/Historical Fiction)
30. Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer (5/12/2011) (Non-fiction) (E-book)
31. The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus by Sonia Sones (5/12/2011) (Fiction) (Poetry)
32. Love and Friendship by Jane Austen (5/14/2011) (Fiction) (E-book)
33.  The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier (5/19/2011) (Time Travel/Historical Fiction) (Gothic)(Gaps)
34. Warped by Maurissa Guibord (5/21/2011) (YA Fantasy Fiction)(Gothic)
35. A Question of Death by Kerry Greenwood (5/23/2011) (Short Stories) (Mystery)
36. The Saint of Daybreak by Bill Kte'pi (5/26/2011) (Fiction)(Fantasy/Horror)(E-book)
37. 10th Anniversary by James Patterson (5/27/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery)
38. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (5/31/2011) (Historical Fiction) (Gaps)
39. Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman (6/1/2011) (Mystery/Suspense)
40. Naming the New World by Calvin Baker (6/2/2011) (Fiction/Historical)
41. Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry (6/5/2011) (Historical Mystery/Suspense)
42. The Two Wes Moores by Wes Moore (6/8/2011) (Non-fiction/memoir)
43. Onward by Howard Schultz (6/10/2011) (Non-fiction/Memoir) (Audiobook)
44. East Lynne by Mrs. Henry (Ellen) Wood (6/18/2011) (Fiction) (Gaps) (Victorian)
45. Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown (6/22/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery) (Ebook)
46. In Praise of Prejudice by Theodore Dalrymple (6/27/2011) (non-fiction)
47. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Fiction) 6/29/2011
48. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (7/3/2011) (Fantasy)
49. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (7/7/2011) (Mystery) (Ebook)
50. Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy (7/9/2011) (Nonfiction)
51. Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Nonfiction) (History) (Ebook)(7/10/2011)
52. Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It by Gary Taubes (7/15/2011) (Non-fiction) (Ebook)
53. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (7/18/2011) (Fiction) (Gaps)
54. Killer Move by Michael Marshall (7/21/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery & Suspense)
55. Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (7/24/2011) (Juv. Fiction) (Ebook)
56. Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (7/29/2011) (Mystery) (Ebook)
57. Troika by Alastair Reynolds (8/3/2011) (Science Fiction)
58. Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer (8/20/2011) (Regency Romance)
59. Now You See Her by James Patterson (8/23/2011) (Thriller)
60. The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (8/28/2011) (Fantasy)
61. Going Wrong by Ruth Rendell (9/6/2011) (Psychological Thriller) (Ebook)
62. Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (9/9/2011)
63. The Red House Mystery by A.A.Milne (9/16/2011) (Mystery) (Ebook)
64. The Abbey by Chris Culver (9/20/2011) Ebook
65. Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve (9/24/2011) (Juv. Fiction)
66. One Hundred Years of Solitude (9/28/2011) (Fiction) (Gaps)
67. Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt (10/2/2011) (Fiction) (Gothic)
68. Introducing Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton (10/6/2011) (Mystery) (Short Stories) (Gaps) (Victorian) (Ebook)
69. Lady Audley's Secret by M.E. Braddon (10/17/2011)  (Mystery) (Victorian) (Ebook) (Gothic)
70. Adopted Jane by Helen F. Daringer (10/17/2011) (Young Adult Fiction)
71. The Man With Two Left Feet by P.G. Wodehouse (Short Stories) (Victorian) (Ebook)
72. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (10/27/2011) (Fiction) (Victorian) (Ebook)
73. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (11/14/2011) (Young Adult Fiction) (Ebook)
74.The Affair by Lee Child (11/16/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery)
75. Buried Prey by John Sandford (11/21/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery)
76. Flashback by Dan Simmons (11/28/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery)
77. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Young Adult Fiction)(Gothic)
78. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (12/5/2011) (Fiction) (Mystery) (Gaps)
79. Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs (12/8/2011) (Mystery)
80. The Complaints by Ian Rankin (12/12/2011) (Mystery)
81.  The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois (12/13/2012) (Non-fiction) (Gaps)(ebook)
82. Summer by Edith Wharton (12/14/2011) (Fiction) (ebook)
83. A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse (12/19/2011) (Fiction) (Ebook)
84. Night Road by Kristin Hannah (12/20/2011) (Fiction)
85. The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (12/26/2011) (fiction)
86. The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (12/30/2011) Mystery
87. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (12/31/2011) Fiction

Gothic challenge

I thought this sounded like a fun little challenge. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to try the five book level or the ten book level, but then I decided that five really isn't a challenge, so I'm going to read 10 novels with gothic elements this year.

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1/7/2011)
2.  Dune by Frank Herbert (3/19/2011)
3. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  (3/27/2011)
4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (4/29/2011)
5. The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier (5/19/2011)
6.  Warped by Maurissa Guibord 5/21/2011)
7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (7/3/2011)
8. Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt (10/2/2011)
9. Lady Audley's Secret by M.E. Braddon (10/17/2011)
10. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (11/2011)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Filling in the gaps: 100 books/Five years

The idea behind this challenge is to read 100 books in five years that are books that I've been meaning to read, feel that I should read, want to read, or--in my case--that my kids and friends have suggested. So, I have until December 17, 2015 to read these 100 books. This is the blog where I got the idea, and I went ahead and signed up there, too.

Note from Sept 2013: I've been at this challenge for two years and nine months now and have fallen a bit behind, having only read 47 of my 100 books. I have decided that I am going to take the liberty of swapping out up to five books, two for books that I have attempted and decided that I am just not interested in, plus up to three others. I subbed a book once before, when I decided that Three Cups of Tea needed to go because of the dishonesty in the book.

  1. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (11/18/2013)
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (2/13/2012)
  3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  4. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  5. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  6. North and South by Gaskell
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert (3/19/2011)
  8. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (9/21/2014)
  9. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
  10. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  11. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (1/26/2014)
  12. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (3/16/2012)
  13. Law and Gospel by CFW Walther
  14. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (3/17/2013)
  15. Beach Music by Pat Conroy (3/22/2012)
  16. The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien
  17. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  18. Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (4/2015)
  19. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
  20. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (12/5/2011)
  21. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2/21/2012)
  22. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (3/2014)
  23. The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (1/27/2012)
  24. The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov (2/5/2013)
  25. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (4/29/2011)
  26. Death Comes for the Archbishop  by Willa Cather (10/30/2014)
  27. Churchill by Paul Johnson
  28. The Conquest of Gaul  by Julius Caesar, subbing The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
  29. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  30. The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther
  31. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas (11/4/2012)
  32. Summerland by Michael Chabon (6/25/2012)
  33. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (5/16/2014)
  34. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (10/10/2014)
  35. The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier (5/19/2011)
  36. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (6/28/2012)
  37. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (3/24/2014)
  38. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Miller (2/9/2011)
  39. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson 12/10/2013)
  40. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1/18/2014)
  41. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (4/12/2011)
  42. A Life Worth Living by John Holt (1/15/2014)
  43. Defenders of the Faith: Charles V, Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe, 1520-1536 by Reston (10/9/2014)
  44. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  45. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois (12/13/2012)
  46. Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple (3/20/2011)
  47. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1/7/2011)
  48. Desolation Road by Ian McDonald (7/10/2012)
  49. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (9/25/2012)
  50. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (4/3/2012)
  51. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  52. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  53. Faust by Goethe
  54. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (5/29/2013)
  55. Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington (4/7/2013)
  56. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (4/24/2012)
  57. Redwall by Brian Jacques (11/22/2014)
  58. The Guns of August by Barabara Tuchman (just can't get into the military history), subbing Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
  59. Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
  60. Life of Pi by Yann Mertel, subbing Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  61. Aeneid by Virgil
  62. The Complete Poetry of  John Donne
  63. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, T.S. Eliot (4/23/2012)
  64. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  65.  My Antonia by Willa Cather (1/15/2013)
  66. Dead Souls by Gogol
  67. The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
  68. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (9/28/2011)
  69. East Lynne by Ellen Wood (6/18/2011)
  70. Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
  71. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery (1/6/2012)
  72. The Hobbit JRR Tolkien
  73. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (12/26/2010)
  74. Robinson Crusoe (9/9/2013)
  75. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  76. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (7/18/2011)
  77. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (4/30/2015)
  78. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  79. Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (3/25/2013)
  80. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  81. The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton, subbing Middlemarch by George Eliot (12/13/13)
  82. Introducing Father Brown by GK Chesterton (10/6/2011)
  83. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (5/2/11)
  84. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper
  85. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  86. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  87. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (5/6/2013)
  88. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (7/2/2012)
  89. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1/20/2013)
  90. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (10/4/2014)
  91. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (3/6/2011)
  92. The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes (12/30/2012)
  93. The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1/28/2013)
  94. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  95. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  96. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  97. Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin, (I have read other works by LeGuin this year) subbing The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  98. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  99. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
  100. The Histories by Herodotus

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The best

I've been asking friends and family members for their must-read books. It got me thinking about my own must reads, which made me think about the books I've read over the last three years, since I started keeping track of what I read. I wanted to go back and see which books were really memorable. I wanted to look at which books I would absolutely read again if I had the hours that I spent on them back. These are the books that I've suggested to my friends or passed on to my kids. I decided that that is a list that needs to be made.

So here, in no order other than roughly that in which I read them, are the best of the books I've read in the last three years. It ends up amounting to about 10% of what I read.

Sweetsmoke by David Fuller
The Jumping Off Place by Marian Hurd McNeeley
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper
A Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein
Boone by Robert Morgan
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Red  River by Lalita Tademy
Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
King's Blood Four by Sheri Tepper
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
 The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
 Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Kindred by Octavia Butler
One Second After by William R. Forstchen 
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
 The Stand by Stephen King
My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster (But you really need to read all of hers in order)
Second Nature: A Gardener's Education by Michael Pollan
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
 Our Culture, What's Left of It by Theodore Dalrymple
All of The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Low Country by Bill K'Tepi

I find it interesting that over half are from this year. I have made a serious effort to improve the quality of the books that I am reading and it is paying off. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My first challenge of 2011

Twelve Mystery & Suspense books. What could be easier? This is my no-challenge challenge for 2011!

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (1/7/2011)
2. Death at La Fenice  by Donna Leon (1/24/2011)
3. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  (3/27/2011)
4.  A Question of Death by Kerry Greenwood (5/23/2011) (Short Stories)
5. 10th Anniversary by James Patterson (5/27/2011)
6.  Mystery by Jonathan Kellerman (6/1/2011)
7. Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry (6/5/2011)
8.  Dixie Divas by Virginia Brown (6/22/2011) (Fiction)
9.  The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (7/7/2011) (Mystery)
10. Killer Move by Michael Marshall (7/21/2011)
11.  Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (7/29/2011)
12.  Introducing Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton (10/6/2011)
13. Lady Audley's Secret by M.E. Braddon (10/16/2011)
14. The Affair by Lee Child (11/16/2011)
15. Buried Prey by John Sandford (11/21/2011)
16. Flashback by Dan Simmons (11/28/2011)
17 The Complaints by Ian Rankin (12/12/2011)
18. The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (12/30/2011)

100+ Completed

I completed the 100+ Challenge this week, about a month later than I had anticipated. The late fall has been so busy that my reading has really slowed. I have read nine of 12 books for the TBR Pile Challenge and only four of 10 in the Read Before I Die Challenge. I need to read one more work of historical fiction this year for the Historical Challenge.

I'm picking next year's challenges, having learned from this year's challenges that I need to leave room in my reading for the recommendations of friends, early reviewer books, and unanticipated new books and authors. I'll do my complete year in review in January.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Progress report

I decided it's time to take a look at where I am with my challenges for this year. I finished the Support Your Local Library Challenge in July. The largest challenge that I have, numerically, is the 100+ Challenge. As of today I have read 83 of the 100+ books I need to read for that challenge. Another 17 this year shouldn't be any problem.

However, I may lose some numbers because I need to start cracking down and reading the books for a couple of the other challenges. In the To Be Read Challenge, I am currently at 7/12, a couple of books off of the one-a-month-pace I had intended to set. In the Books to Read before I Die Challenge I am even further behind, at 4/10. Both challenges tend to feature books that I need to be in the mood for or concentrate a bit more on, not the kind of books that I can squeeze in five minutes if while I'm waiting for a train to pass. But I'll keep plugging along.
The Historical Challenge is a piece of cake. I am at 9/12 in that challenge, and the only reason that I haven't finished it is that I'm being picky about what qualifies and I'm trying to read a bit more variety.
So, all in al,l I'm doing okay. My reading has become more eclectic. So far this year I've read eight memoirs, 11 other works of non-fiction, two volumes of short stories, eight speculative/post-apocalyptic/sci-fi, a couple of historical/time travel hybrids, plenty of murder mysteries, political thrillers and historical novels, plus a good mix of classic novels and books by authors from and about various countries.

Friday, July 23, 2010

One down, four to go

I've finished my first reading challenge of the year, and have four left to go. This one was definitely the easiest. All I needed to do was read 50 books from the library. I am going to go ahead and record the books that I read from the library for the rest of the year, because I am curious to see how much use I make of the library.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Book Review: In the Name of Honor

In the Name of Honor  by Richard North Patterson tells an engrossing story of the trial of an Army officer charged with killing a fellow officer with whom he had served in Iraq. There are complications of family and romance, for both the accused and for his lawyer, who is the main character in the book. The book provides an enlightening look into the military justice system and into what has been endured by members of our military in Iraq.  There were two things that I thought kept this from being a really good book. The first was a plot twist that I found to be unbelievable and inconsistent with the characters. The second was the fact that the middle of the book really dragged. I felt like the book would have been stronger if there hadn't been as much repetition.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Three book review

I need to write a review of three books together. I don't have time this morning, but I'm putting this up so I don't forget. The last three books I read all tie together: The Known World, The Kingdom of Ohio, and Kindred. It was an interesting string of books and I need to talk about them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Second Nature

For a really good review of the book Second Nature by Michael Pollan, go here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry (Hardcover) by Audrey Niffenegger Her Fearful Symmetry

This was one of those books I grabbed off the shelf at the library because it looked intriguing. And it was. I was even liking it pretty well for the first half, even though the characters aren't very likeable. During the second part of the book, I kept reading because I felt like I had to know what was going to happen, even though I had a really bad feeling and wasn't sure that I wanted to know.

I suppose I'm not sorry I read it. It wasn't bad. The writing was good, and it did keep me engrossed during a couple of hours waiting in the car, but I can't say I liked it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book Review: Powder and Patch

I love Georgette Heyer, and this book was a lot of fun, very light and comedic. Set earlier than many of her books, in the mid-eighteenth century, and partially in pre-revolutionary France, Powder and Patch had a slightly different feel than her many Regency romances. I especially enjoyed her description of the men's clothing.

I am not generally a fan of romances, but Heyer's books, written in the early 20th century are good, old-fashioned fun.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: Julie and Julia

I've have been wanting to read Julie and Julia by Julie Powell for months, and have had it on hold at the library for quite a while.

What a disappointment it was. I love food & cooking. I love memoirs. But I found Julie so grating and her writing so uninspired that I could hardly stand to finish the book. I did it, but by the end I couldn't wait to be finished.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Book Review: Second Nature

Second Nature: A Gardener's Education is a book Michael Pollan wrote in the early '90's. I'm very grateful to the friend who recommended it, because I really enjoyed it. It makes me long for spring and the opportunities to improve my garden, get rid of more grass, and just stick my fingers into the dirt. It makes me almost want an old farm house on some acreage.

I love the way the book is written, his descriptive passages and turns of phrase, and the interweaving of literature, philosophy, history, politics and art as they touch on nature and man's relationship to it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Review: One Second After

One Second After (Hardcover) by William R. Forstchen One Second After

One Second After by William Forstchen left me feeling overwhelmed. A work of what Newt Gingrich calls possible "future history," it looks at what might happen in America in the wake of an EMP. It was an engrossing story that makes me wish for acreage, a well, some chickens, and a cow.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Book Review: The Speed of Dark

The Speed of Dark (Mass Market Paperback) by Elizabeth Moon The Speed of Dark
This was an incredible book. It's about, Lou Arrendale, an autistic man, in the not-too-distant future, who has the opportunity to have a procedure done that could make him "normal." The character is well-developed and the story is engrossing. The book delves into questions about identity, good and evil, and societal expectations. You will find yourself rooting for Lou and at the same time questioning his decisions.

Book Review: The New Frugality

This was an adequate book on frugality, but he almost lost me at the beginning by connecting frugality and a greener lifestyle with global warming. He lost credibility and it automatically made me question everything else he had to say. This is definitely a book for those who have resources and want to use them more frugally. It isn't for those who NEED to live frugally because they have no choice. I have read many books on frugality and didn't get any new ideas from this one.

Friday, January 1, 2010

We're off!

I managed to finish my partially-done Ruth Rendell novel this morning. Then I picked up what proved to be a quick read for my first book of the year:
Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life... by Byron Pitts Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges

Byron Pitts is a correspondent for 60 Minutes who was functionally illiterate as a young teen and stuttered into his college years. It is an inspirational story about the power of family, hard work and determination. It is also a story about the importance of faith. I enjoyed it and will enjoy seeing Pitts' work in the future because of the book.