Books to read / Books I’ve read

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this list will surely evolve. But when I hear / read of a book that sounds like a good candidate for the list, I have to put it down somewhere or that idea will be long gone when I need it.

Update: I think I will just keep this post ongoing beyond the completion of whatever number of books I put for my 101 things list. Maybe it will inspire me to read more (books, that is. I read plenty on the ‘puter)

Books read starting 10/2009 (numbered books are for the day zero project list)

1. Hell’s Gate, Stephen Frey

Your run of the mill mystery with some politicians, lawyers and rugged mountain men. It was good enough, no better or worse than most of the books you’ll find on the display table at the library (which is where/why I picked this up).

2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards

I thought this book was really good even though I have some friends who find the story implausible.  I thought that the author did a good job of developing the father’s history with his sister to explain how an otherwise decent person could send away their daughter.    The ending did feel a bit like it could’ve been developed a bit more.  It was like the author got tired of writing the story and just wrapped it up in a style that was far more rushed than the rest of the book.  I don’t think I will see the movie, though.  At least I won’t make a point of doing so.

3. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

Well.  I certainly could’ve lived my life w/o reading this book.  What a big yawn.  I think coming of age / teenage angst type stories and movies are just not my thing.  At all.  I will say, though, that I think Holden Caulfield is ADD.

4. A Mercy – Toni Morrison

This book was a bit difficult to get started as it jumps around a lot and it takes a bit to piece together the story.  But once I got into it, I thought it was a great book.  In fact, I stayed up till 2 a.m. after Thanksgiving dinner at the inlaws reading it.  My trouble with getting into it in the beginning may also have had something to do with the fact that I was attempting to do so while riding in the van with the whole family on the way to the inlaws.

It is short but moving.  I felt much the same after (and many times during) reading this book as I did after reading her book Beloved.  Even though I am technically aware of the era of slavery, to read such first person accounts of the evil inflicted by people on another really affects me.  It’s just incomprehensible to me that this was so many people’s reality not so long ago (Well, long in terms of one person’s life but from a historical perspective.)  In particular, I thought about my life compared to the lives of the women of that time.

I may reread this book at some point.  I think there is likely some significance to words and events earlier in the book that would come through the second time that I missed the first.

5. The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent

I loved this book.  I think she does a great job of giving the reader a sense of life back then as well as developing a sense of the underlying forces and fears in play in the society which converged to allow an atrocity like the Salem Witch Trials to happen.  Another book that makes me think to myself “you can keep the ‘good old days'”.  This book made me realize that I really knew very little about this chapter in history.  I think now I will read up on it some more.  I may even visit some of the sites next time I am up that way.

This is a book that definitely stays in your mind and changes your perspective on things.  An interesting note that I didn’t realize till I was finished the book is that the author is a direct descendant of the mother who was hanged (and I *think* the daughter who narrates although I’m not positive on that now without the book handy – and too lazy to check Amazon.  She might be a descendent of one of the narrator’s brothers.)

6. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffennegger

7. The Kite Runner –  Khaled Hosseini

8. The Lovely Bones –  Alice Sebold

9. Angela’s Ashes –  Frank McCourt

10. Strength In What Remains –  Tracy Kidder

11. The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson

12. The Help – Kathryn Stockett

13. The Life of Pi  – Yann Martel

14. Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini

15. The Lotus Eaters – Tatjana Soli

16. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry (unfinished)

17. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adam

18. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adam

19. East of Eden – John Steinbeck

20. Getting to Happy – Terry McMillan 

This book was just okay.  I really read it by accident – all the other books on my list were unavailable at the library and I didn’t have a book that was of interest (even though there is a perpetual stack on my nightstand) and I was going to be sitting at a few soccer practices so I wanted something.  I expected more from this book and expected to relate to it a lot more.  But I found the writing and character development to be, for the most part, somewhat cliche and superficial.  I didn’t hate it but I wouldn’t recommend it.

This completes the 101 thing.  But I think I’m just going to keep on with this.

21. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Books to Read

For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Outlander Series – Diane Gabaldon
The Bone People – Keri Hulme (not @ library) (Capper)
Wheel of Time series – Robert Jordan (Amanda)
Katherine – ? (Amanda)
Jane Austen (Cindy)
Terry Pratchett DiscWorld series (Cindy and Jenny)
The Rice Mother (Danielle)
The Forgotten Garden (Danielle)
Message In a Bottle (and others) Nicolas Sparks (April)
The Power of One – Bryce Courntey (Michelle/Smurf)
A Prayer for Owen Meany – Irving (Amy B)
The Pilot’s Wife – Shreve (Amy B)
Joan Aiken books (Amy B)
The Bean Trees (Amy B)
Pigs in Heaven – Kingsolver (Amy B)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Cindy)
A Fine Balance (Sara)
I Know this Much is True (Sara)
Savage Inequalities (Sara) (non-fiction)
Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood (Capper)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski (Capper)
City of Thieves – David Benioff (see below)
Sleepless – Charles Huston (from the 5 star reviews of someone on Amazon that liked what I liked)
Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Power and The Glory – Graham Greene (rec’d by Scott Turow on the NPR FB feed)
Night – A Holocaust Memoir by Elie Weisel (pub)

Other books (just for me to keep track – this seems like as good a place as any) that I’m not including in the count for the 101

When you Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win – Carol Leifer
Healing the New Childhood Epidemics

Peace Is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh

Positive Energy – Judith Orloff

Chapter books read with the boys
A Wrinkle in Time
The Secret Country (Eidolon Chronicles, Jane Johnson)
Over Sea, Under Stone (audiobook) (The Dark is Rising series, Susan Cooper)
The Shadow World – Jane Johnson
The Dark Is Rising (audiobook) Susan Cooper (series)


Chapter books to read with the boys
Dark is Rising Series: The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, Silver on the Tree
Eidolon Chronicles: The Shadow World, Dragon’s Fire
Tom Sawyer
Huck Finn

Percy Jones series

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2 responses »

  1. The Outlander Series I have heard from I think 3 different people, are really really good. I think you will like them.

    Lovely Bones, is good, I enjoyed it alot. Its told from a unique perspective which is nice.

    One I would add to this list is The Gargoyle by andrew Davidson. Also unique perspective, unlike anything I have ever read before. I still think about this one alot actaully.

    http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/The-Gargoyle-Andrew-Davidson/9780307356789-item.html?ref=Books%3a+Search+Top+Sellers

    • I looked that book up on Amazon. Looks interesting. Based on the other reviews, I think I will either love it or hate it. I’ll let you know. I’ve got The Heretic’s Daughter and For Whom the Bell Tolls out now, though. And The Lovely Bones and … I can’t remember – one other one, on hold. So, it’ll be awhile.

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