shootingstarr7's 100 books for 2009

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shootingstarr7's 100 books for 2009

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1shootingstarr7
Dez. 12, 2008, 2:56pm

After just getting to 50 books in 2008, this may be a touch ambitious. But since 2009 will be my first full year of being out of school (finally), I should have a lot more time to read. I only work part-time, so I'm hoping this will all work out.

I will also be posting to the 75 book challenge group, as I'd already joined in there. I haven't decided yet about the 50 books. My posts will all start to seem redundant. Anyone else planning to post to multiple groups?

2LA12Hernandez
Dez. 12, 2008, 3:04pm

How about posting the first 50 books to the 50 challenge, then move to the 75 challenge and finish the year in the 100 book challenge?

3shootingstarr7
Dez. 12, 2008, 3:46pm

I thought about doing something like that, but I also like to have everything in one place.

4teelgee
Dez. 12, 2008, 7:55pm

I think it's good to keep it all in one place too. Plus, other people like to follow your progress and you could get lost in the shuffle!

5shootingstarr7
Dez. 13, 2008, 12:56am

I wonder how many people are members of all three groups? I mean, it doesn't bother me to post similar information to two or three groups (possibly four, given that I'm also trying to tackle the 999 Challenge). I don't want to spam people's talk lists, but I think each of the groups (50, 75 and 100) each has something different to offer.

6shootingstarr7
Dez. 13, 2008, 1:03am

Here's my ticker for this challenge.


7LA12Hernandez
Dez. 13, 2008, 1:56am

Actually I meant to move them as you move but I can see where that might be a lot of trouble and as you said others like to watch your progress. So forget >2 LA12Hernandez:.

8judylou
Dez. 25, 2008, 6:51pm

shootingstarr7, I'll post to both the 75, 100 & 999 challenges. As you say they each have something different to offer.

9hemlokgang
Dez. 30, 2008, 7:00pm

Wherever you post, just enjoy the reading!!!

10shootingstarr7
Jan. 2, 2009, 6:57am

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green

It was nice to kind of start off the year with something quick to read. Looking for Alaska was everything I'd hoped it would be; I'd say it's worth the buzz it's gotten. I've reviewed it on my blog, Reading and Ruminations, here.

I think next, I'm going to start on War and Peace. I intend to read other things concurrently, so that I don't fall behind.

11aslikeanarnian
Jan. 2, 2009, 12:24pm

John Green is easily my favorite YA author. If you liked Looking for Alaska you would probably enjoy his other two books as well (if you haven't already read them). Some people don't like how all three are stylistically similar, but if you don't mind that they're pretty great.

Good luck with War and Peace!

12shootingstarr7
Jan. 2, 2009, 2:16pm

>11 aslikeanarnian:,
I haven't read the others, but I think I have Paper Towns out from the library right now. I should probably return it, because I know I'm not going to get to it right away (I try not to read the same author too close together).

I'm definitely going to give the rest of his books a try, though. I did read the story he wrote for the collection Let it Snow with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, so I wasn't completely new to him. I thought that was a good story as well.

Thanks!

13lenereadsnok
Jan. 4, 2009, 2:07pm

>12 shootingstarr7: You should definitely try to get to Paper Towns. I started it yesterday, now on page 179 and can hardly put it down. In fact I'm going to go read it now.

I haven't read Looking for Alaska yet but can't wait to.

14seekingflight
Jan. 5, 2009, 3:13am

Good luck with War and Peace - I'm hoping to finally read that one this year too, although I imagine for me also, it will be read concurrently with other books over a rather protracted period.

15shootingstarr7
Bearbeitet: Jan. 8, 2009, 5:28am

2. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell

This was a very good book, but I don't know if it was a great book. I'm going to have to think about the ending for a few days, I think. I'll post a link to my official blog review later.

Still poking at War and Peace. I seem to be approaching it rather cautiously. We'll see how it goes the next few weeks.

16shootingstarr7
Jan. 8, 2009, 5:29am

Okay, my review of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is up at Reading and Ruminations. You can find it here.

17shootingstarr7
Jan. 18, 2009, 4:24pm

3. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

This was a quick, easy YA read that was desperately needed to help shake some of my reading funk off. I'm really hoping things start to move along at a better pace now.

18shootingstarr7
Jan. 23, 2009, 2:40am

4. The Rose of York: Love and War by Sandra Worth

Sandra Worth is quickly becoming one of my favorite historical fiction novelists. Worth has a way of bringing her subjects to life that makes me want to throw myself into the book. This is the first book in a trilogy about Richard III and Anne Neville, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books at some point this year.

19shootingstarr7
Jan. 23, 2009, 7:32pm

5. Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane

This novel was hilarious! Waverly Bryson is a fairly stereotypical chick lit heroine (though thankfully she doesn't name-drop designer brands, for the most part), but what was different about this book was how funny it was. I laughed out loud several times, which doesn't happen much for me when I read chick lit. This was a fun, light, very fast read.

20shootingstarr7
Jan. 29, 2009, 10:45pm

6. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

World War II has ended, and Evie Spooner is glad to have her stepfather home from the war. Evie and her mother are surprised when he insists on taking the family on vacation in Florida in September. However, what follows on their trip to Florida changes Evie forever.

Okay, so I'm not doing a great job of explaining the plot without giving anything away, but I liked this book. It won the National Book Award for young people last year. It has a very noir quality, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I found out today that I'm going to have an increase in reading time after tomorrow, so hopefully I'll start moving right along on this quest to read 100 books this year.

21shootingstarr7
Feb. 9, 2009, 5:13pm

7. Canvey Island by James Runcie

Canvey Island is the story of a boy named Martin, who loses his mother in a flood while his father, aunt, and uncle are dancing on the mainland. Over the course of the novel, the reader discovers how the death of his mother has affected Martin for years to come- well into his adulthood.

As I read the novel, I kept finding myself wondering how Martin's life would have been different if his mother hadn't died when she did. Would he have made different choices if she had been around to influence him? As a boy, Martin was a sympathetic character, but as he got older, I wasn't nearly as sympathetic.

This was a good book, and it was interesting, but I don't know if I could say it was a great book.

22shootingstarr7
Feb. 10, 2009, 2:03pm

8. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

I've had this book on my shelf for awhile, and I think I was a little concerned that it wasn't as good as the hype seemed to suggest. Alas, my fears were unfounded. It was a very good book. I found it in turns hysterical and alarming. Obviously, it was funny to see how the residents of Nollop would substitute words in order to avoid using illegal letters. But I was certainly alarmed by the idea that any seemingly democratic government would feel the need to institute such totalitarian measures in the name of "preserving" the country's founding figure or ideals.

23jfetting
Feb. 10, 2009, 8:48pm

The more I hear about Ella Minnow Pea the more I want to read it!

24shootingstarr7
Feb. 10, 2009, 9:12pm

>23 jfetting:, It's definitely a good book, and it's a really fast read. I read most of it yesterday and finished it when I got up this morning.

25shootingstarr7
Feb. 23, 2009, 7:46pm

I've been doing a fair amount of re-reading recently, and I haven't decided yet whether or not I want to count re-reads in my goal of reading 100 books this year. So for now, I'm going to list the books I've re-read recently, but not count them in the overall total. The books are:

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
The Masque of the Black Tulip
The Deception of the Emerald Ring
The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

All are by Lauren Willig- they're the first four books in the Pink Carnation series. The fifth book, The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, was released last month, but I only made it a few pages in before discovering I needed a refresher on some of the characters.

26brendaholmes
Feb. 24, 2009, 12:02am

I have the first two in the Pink Carnation series and was considering the 2nd 2 a couple of weeks ago. Thought I ought to try the first 2 before I spent more money on the others. Do you like them? I assume that you do if you're going to reread them to catch yourself back up. Maybe I'll go ahead and start them.

27shootingstarr7
Feb. 25, 2009, 1:00am

>26 brendaholmes:,
I like them for what they are, but I wouldn't say they're my favorite books ever. I've been reviewing them as I re-read them on my blog, Reading and Ruminations, if you want to read the reviews to get a better sense of the books.

28shootingstarr7
Feb. 28, 2009, 5:49pm

9. The Temptation of the Night Jasmine by Lauren Willig

This is the fifth book in the Pink Carnation series (I mentioned above that I was re-reading the first four books, which did not count toward my hundred-book goal for the year). This book was one of my favorites of the series thus far. Willig and the story are both starting to really grow and develop; I noticed it more in this novel than I did in any of the previous novels.

29shootingstarr7
Feb. 28, 2009, 9:54pm

10. Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

This was a really, really quick read, and I tend to really appreciate books I can fly through but still enjoy. I read this one over the span of a few hours (and I put it down a few times while I did other things). Deanna was thirteen years old when her father found her in the backseat of her brother's friend's car, and her life hasn't been the same since. Her father won't look at her or talk to her, in spite of the fact that it's been three years. Over the course of the novel, Deanna realizes that everyone needs to learn to let go of the past and move on.

30shootingstarr7
Mrz. 9, 2009, 7:00pm

11. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Wow, this was a fantastic book. I was a little afraid it wouldn't live up to all the buzz it received last year when it was released, but for the most part, I wasn't at all disappointed. I did find the ending to be a touch predictable, but other than that, I really enjoyed it.

31shootingstarr7
Mrz. 10, 2009, 6:34pm

12. Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

This book reminded me of everything I loved about the Jessica Darling series when I first read Sloppy Firsts in 2007. In Second Helpings, Jess is back for her senior year of high school. She still misses her best friend Hope and still struggles to deal with her clueless classmates and He Who Must Not Be Named. She makes it through as only she can, with her own special brand of snark and neurotic narcissism. I very highly recommend this series, for those who haven't already read it.

32shootingstarr7
Bearbeitet: Mrz. 23, 2009, 9:21pm

13. Palace Circle by Rebecca Dean

Dean's debut novel is billed as a historical fiction spanning thirty years- from England in 1911 until 1941, where the action finally concludes in Cairo. The story is interesting, but 30 years is a lot of time to pack into 400 pages, so I definitely felt like there were some major gaps in the story. Overall, it was good, but not great. I wouldn't rule out reading another novel from her, but I'd certainly like to see some progress in her writing style.

(edited to give a better comment on the novel and my thoughts on it)

33judylou
Mrz. 24, 2009, 1:29am

Hi shootingstarr, You have two wonderful books on your list. I read both ella minnow pea and The Gargoyle last year and thought they were great too.

34shootingstarr7
Bearbeitet: Mrz. 29, 2009, 12:46pm

14. Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

This is the third book in McCafferty's Jessica Darling series, and though I didn't think it was as good as the first two, it was still really good. The whole of Jessica's college experience is in this novel, which is a lot to cram into a book that's really not all that much bigger than the first two novels in the series (each of which ran a year). The book basically only covered the times Jessica was home for break: summers and winters, and we were left to wonder about her actual college experiences (except for the few Jessica herself reminisced about during said breaks). At times Jessica wasn't a very good person, but at other times, she seemed to finally make some adult realizations that she hadn't made before. It's nice to see the characters growing, and this series is definitely headed out of YA territory.

35shootingstarr7
Mrz. 29, 2009, 12:47pm

>33 judylou:,
They really were great, and I'm so glad I read them this year.

36avatiakh
Apr. 1, 2009, 5:23am

oK, so I'm definitely going to have to read The Gargoyle- just have to track down a copy.

37shootingstarr7
Apr. 1, 2009, 2:52pm

15. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

I've been a huge fan of the movie for a long time, but was always afraid the book would disappoint me, so I put off reading it. Turns out, of course, my fears were for nothing. Many of the things I loved about the movie were taken straight from the book (such as Holly's description of the mean reds). And though the book doesn't end on the romantic note the movie does, I think both endings work really well.

38shootingstarr7
Apr. 15, 2009, 12:52pm

16. Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

For me, this book was a big improvement over the third book in the series, but it still wasn't the same caliber as the first and second novels. I've reviewed it on my blog here.

39shootingstarr7
Apr. 24, 2009, 11:26pm

I'm several books behind on updating this thread, but I'm hoping to stay better on top of it for awhile.

17. Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty

I try not to read too many series books in a row, but this was the final book in the Jessica Darling series, and I was ready to know what happened. I found it to be a satisfactory conclusion to the series, and there wasn't much about it that disappointing. For Barry Manilow fans, it would be a real treat. My full review of the novel is at my blog, Reading and Ruminations, and you can find it here.

18. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I've had this book on my shelf for a long time, but didn't get around to reading it until the read-a-thon this past weekend. I am so sorry I waited. It was a beautiful book, definitely worthy of all the buzz it's received.

19. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

A cute, quick read about a reunion between two old friends, both outcasts. Jenna believes that Cameron, her only friend in elementary school, died shortly after moving away. Now, in her senior year of high school (where she's fairly well-adjusted, and has friends), Cameron comes back into her life- and the two must learn how to reconcile their past with the present.

20. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida

After her father's death, 28-year-old Clarissa learns a surprising family secret- one that sends her on a journey to the top of the earth (literally). While there, Clarissa's past comes back to haunt her, and everything she thought she knew about her life is thrown into turmoil, and her discoveries ultimately influence her choices for the future. It's a compelling look at family and how they influence our lives.

40shootingstarr7
Bearbeitet: Jun. 7, 2009, 4:52pm

21. Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund

This is the final book in the Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund, and for me, it had a satisfying conclusion. After joining Eli University's most prestigious secret society, Amy Haskel and the rest of her tap class have faced their fair share of misadventures and trouble. But the worst is yet to come: graduation is approaching, and now her class is required to tap the next class of Diggers. Some choices are easy, others are more complicated, and the trouble culminates in an initiation night that makes everything else they've experienced so far seem tame.

22. Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler

Dr. Charles Anderson is in desperate need of a change following the death of his terminally ill wife. So when he meets someone looking for funds and volunteers to assist earthquake victims in a remote region of an impoverished Muslim country, he jumps at the chance to go. But where he expects to provide medical care for refugees, he instead finds himself waiting- waiting for refugees who never arrive, waiting for a renewed sense of purpose, which also fails to arrive.

One of the things that really got to me was the unrelenting bleakness of this novel. But in spite of this bleak feeling, I really liked this novel. I don't think enjoyed is the right word for it, but it left me feeling pensive, that's for sure.

23. Take Me There by Susane Colasanti

Rhiannon, Nicole, and James are high school juniors, each going through their own romantic upheavals while trying to support the others. It's not particularly extraordinary as far as young adult novels go, but it's certainly better than some of the alternatives. I liked this book, but didn't really love it. I think part of the reason for that was that I wasn't given a reason to really love any of the characters- there was too much time jumping between points of view and not enough time really investing in them and fleshing them out.

24. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

This was a powerful look at the life of a young Pakistani in America in the months leading up to and the months following September 11. The story is told by the protagonist to an unnamed and unidentified American male who has come to Pakistan in 2004 or 2005 as he explains how he graduated from Princeton at the top of his class in 2001, took a job at a high-powered consulting firm in New York, and eventually found himself living in Pakistan again. Though I had an uneasy feeling throughout the novel, the reason why didn't reveal itself until the final pages. This is definitely one book I'm going to have to think about for a time. It was pretty powerful.

41shootingstarr7
Bearbeitet: Jul. 26, 2009, 3:19am

I am way behind on my updates here. So for now, I'm just going to bring the list up to date, and then go back to sharing my thoughts with future books.

25. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter

26. Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

27. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

28. Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton

29. The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan

30. Frenemies by Megan Crane

(cross-posted to my thread in the 75 book challenge as well)

42shootingstarr7
Aug. 19, 2009, 3:19pm

31. The Tory Widow by Christine Blevins

The Tory Widow is the story of a woman torn between two sides during the American Revolution. This was an easy to read, but ultimately satisfying historical fiction that made me want to spend more time researching the era (which, as someone who has studied history, is an important selling point for me). Recommended for fans of historical fiction with a romantic element (but I'd hesitate to call it a historical romance outright).

43shootingstarr7
Sept. 2, 2009, 9:07pm

32. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

When I found out this book was being released this year, I was very excited for it, as Fingersmith was one of my favorite books of 2008: well-written, with a compelling storyline and a surprise twist that literally made my jaw drop. Like Fingersmith, The Little Stranger is well-written, and the storyline is interesting, but it lacked the punch of Fingersmith (and yes, I realize that it is totally unfair to compare two novels that have nothing in common but their author). However, that doesn't mean it wasn't a good book. Waters is an excellent writer and a very good storyteller, and I love the fact that the novels are so different stylistically, and I can't wait to read her other novels.

44shootingstarr7
Sept. 7, 2009, 6:57pm

33. Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer

After taking as long as I did to finish The Little Stranger, I wanted to read something that was quick, and Seeing Me Naked certainly fit the bill. It was quick, entertaining and light, and a great late-summer read.

45shootingstarr7
Sept. 21, 2009, 6:05pm

34. After by Amy Efaw

This is a powerful fictional account of a teenage mother who threw her baby in a dumpster and left it to die. This was less about the baby and more about the mother, and what led her to do something so atrocious. I had a hard time putting this book down.

35. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

On one hand, I really enjoyed this novel, and found myself continuing to read even when I really did have to put the book down and go about my day (it may have even made me a few minutes late for work one day). On the other, I felt like there were some places where the writing was much weaker than in other places, and the inconsistency threw me off balance. Overall, though, I thought it was a good story.