MKS1977's 100 books for 2009

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MKS1977's 100 books for 2009

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Jan. 9, 2009, 9:52am

Ok, so my first two books were very easy reads. But I needed a break after final exams and the holidays, so I picked them because they are also on the 1001 books list.

I think I enjoyed them both more as an adult than I did when I was a child anyway. :)

3. Just After Sunset by Stephen King

I find King's short stories more enjoyable than many of his novels, so I was excited to start this one. But I must say, I'm a little disappointed. It's still a very good read, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as his other collections. Maybe my expectations were too high. One story did stand out - "The Gingerbread Girl" was excellent.

I see many of your are on track to read many more than 100 books. I'm impressed, and jealous.
With my work and school schedules, 100 books is a true challenge for me. But it sure will be fun!

Jan. 12, 2009, 7:38pm

4. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop

- a book on the causes and effects of increasing geographic polarization over the past few decades. It was a little dry, but very interesting if you're into sociology, statisics and politics.

Jan. 14, 2009, 8:02pm

5. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

This book has been on my tbr list for a long time, but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Dark, creepy, and incredibly enjoyable!

Jan. 14, 2009, 10:05pm

I felt the same way about The Handmaid's Tale - I actually read it all in one go, sitting on the floor of Borders (and didn't buy it. I'm a bad person). I'm glad you liked it!

Bearbeitet: Feb. 22, 2009, 2:11pm

jfetting - you must be a fast reader. I'm trying to work on reading faster. It seems I slow down even more when I'm truly enjoying a book. I guess I'm trying to savor it. :)

6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I finally caved to the peer pressure. All of the women I work with raved over this series, and told me I'd love it. It just didn't appeal to me (most YA and chick-lit doesn't). One of my co-workers kept telling me I wouldn't know I didn't like it until I tried it... similar to the way my mother tried to coax me to eat vegetables.

So, I read it. And while it was certainly more enjoyable then eating peas, I fail to see what all the fuss is about. It was cute enough, and a quick enough read that I will probably finish the series. If I'm going to read 100 books this year... they can't all be Tolstoy. I'll probably pick up the next one when I need something I can get through fast.

Overall I'd give it 3 stars. (Although I must admit, I might have liked it more had I read it when I was 12.)

Bearbeitet: Jan. 17, 2009, 9:44am

I've tried to edit the above message a few times to fix the touchstones, but I can't seem to get it to work. The title of the book comes up on the right hand side, as usual, but when I post the message the title doesn't appear as a link. Is anyone else having a problem?

Jan. 19, 2009, 4:06pm

7. The Golden Apples of the Sun and R is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury

- a great collection of classic sci-fi. It includes "The Sound of Thunder", in which a man travels back in time to hunt dinosaurs, inadvertently steps on a butterfly, and alters the future - aka 'the butterfly effect'.

Jan. 21, 2009, 11:19pm

8. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut

I love Vonnegut - witty, weird, and poignant.

Jan. 30, 2009, 10:56pm

9. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

-Dragged a little bit at some points, but overall very good. I especially liked the last 100 pages or so.

Feb. 1, 2009, 8:49am

10. Oxymoronica: Paradoxical Wit and Wisdom From History's Greateast Wordsmiths by Marty Grothe

- a book of interesting paradoxical quotations, some hilarious, others incredibly insightful. A quick, fun read.

Feb. 1, 2009, 9:21am

In the month of January I read:

3787 pages (122/day)

10 books: 2 Non-fiction, 8 Fiction

6 were books off the 1001 list
3 were short story collections

Favorites: The Handmaid's Tale and Slaughterhouse-five

Bearbeitet: Feb. 22, 2009, 2:13pm

Sigh. This month has been crazy for me. My classes are very challenging, and I just haven't had the time to read. (Actually, I've read hundreds of pages of Foundations of Nursing, but that doesn't count.)

I'm not worried, I'll still get to 100. Next month is spring break, and I have the whole summer to catch up.

11. The Strongest Tribe; War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq by Bing West. (400 pg)
- a very comprehensive account of the 6 years of the war in Iraq, the incredibly knowledgable author criticizes the failures while praising the successes and heroes of the war. Excellent.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 27, 2009, 12:12am

I have been very, very stressed lately and I needed some serious comfort reading.

12. The Empire Strikes Back by Donald F. Glut

Laugh it up, but it took me away from my troubles, at least for a while. I was surprised at how different it was from the movie, particularly in the dialogue. (And trust me, I would know!)

Touchstones not working.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 26, 2009, 6:05pm

13. the Assistant by Bernard Malamud

I chose this book from Time Magazine's List of 100 All-Time Best Novels.
It takes place in 1950's Brooklyn, where a man Named Frank Alpine takes a job in a small, struggling to survive grocery store owned by a Jewish couple. Frank begins to fall for the couple's daughter, but he is hiding shameful secrets. Very descriptive writing and extremely fleshed out characters, but a very depressing story

Mrz. 1, 2009, 10:31pm

14. Freedom Evolves by Daniel C. Dennett

-a philosophical argument of free will vs. determinism with regard to the evolutionary process. Interesting and well written.

Mrz. 1, 2009, 10:38pm

Totals for February:

1320 pgs/ ~ 47 per day

4 Books: 2 Fiction, 2 Non fiction

Favorite: The Stongest Tribe

I really can't wait for spring break.

Mrz. 4, 2009, 12:39pm

15. Ella Minnow Pea

- Adorable. Thank you to all who recommended this book. I loved it.

Mrz. 6, 2009, 12:00pm

16. Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston

- A very exciting title for a mostly boring book. (Although the last essay on self-cannibals was interesting.) I was expecting something more like The Hot Zone, and was disappointed.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 14, 2009, 12:12am

17. Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd

-difficult to describe. It shifts back and forth between 20th cetury and 18th century London (including using 18th century English). Murders occuring in both time periods are somehow connected. I was hoping things would be explained a bit better in the end, but it was still a very suspenseful and enjoyable read.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 14, 2009, 12:21am

18. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

-I liked this one better then Twilight. I still don't understand why these books are so hyped, but it was fun and quick. In fact, I read it all in one day. I'm on Team Jacob. :)

Mrz. 15, 2009, 11:20am

19. Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

- Hilarious, as expected. Not quite as great as the first two, but very much I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.

Mrz. 16, 2009, 10:36pm

20. The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

-a very informative and quite funny account of the first Puritan settlers in New England. This is the first book I read by the author, I loved her style and will surely read more of her books.

Mrz. 19, 2009, 3:47pm

21. The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands by Stephen King

-Excellent. Definitely my favorite of the series. (so far, anyway!)

Mrz. 20, 2009, 5:49pm

22. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

-a graphic memoir about growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution. Highly recommended.

Mrz. 21, 2009, 10:31am

23. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

-somewhat predictable, but still a good mystery.

Mrz. 26, 2009, 9:56pm

24. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

- I liked the style and can understand why it's considered a classic, but I found the characters too selfish and spiteful to appreciate any romantic aspects.

Mrz. 27, 2009, 12:29pm

25. Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

-I found this one a bit weaker from a mystery standpoint, but still very funny.

Mrz. 27, 2009, 4:02pm

You got it MKS1977. One has to go after Evanovich for the fun of it because that is pretty much all there is to it. That is not to say it doesn't have it's place, but you need to be in the right mental place and open to just having fun when you read her. At that point you can really enjoy her writing. I probably hadn't laughed out loud whilst reading until I picked her up a couple of years ago. She proved to be just the ticket for me for a few weeks. So just try to enjoy and not get anything of lasting benefit out of her books because you will be disappointed every time if you do. (or you won't read her at all)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 31, 2009, 9:38am

Thanks for the input nannybebette, I always look forward to and enjoy the Stephanie Plum books. I just thought that last one fell a bit below the bar set by her previous books, I certainly didn't mean to imply that I didn't enjoy it immensely!

26. How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School by Kell S. Dunham

-I orignally wasn't going to include this in my 100 book quest, but it wasn't required reading, so it counts. :)
Lots of tips on studying and managing stress. I still feel incredibly overwhelmed.

Mrz. 31, 2009, 9:46am

March totals:

12 books read (Thanks to spring break!)

~124 pgs/day

8 fiction
4 non-fiction

2 books were from the 1001 list.

Three months in, 26 books down. Perfect.

Apr. 1, 2009, 7:43am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Apr. 2, 2009, 12:48pm

Favorites from March were The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands and Persepolis

27. The Legal Limit by Martin Clark

-an imprisoned drug dealer is angry that his hot shot lawyer brother won't pull strings to get him out or prison, so he threatens to destroy him with a secret buried in his past. It got a little slow in the middle, but overall very good.

Apr. 5, 2009, 12:05pm

28. Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult

- Loved it. I intended to read for just a little bit on a study break, and I just couldn't put this book down. It's a heartbreaking tearjerker, like most of her books. But I was sucked in by the fairy tale romance, and I'm not the type who usually enjoys romance. My only complaint was the inevitible way it ended, which I hated even though I knew it was coming.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 30, 2009, 3:01pm

I've had some family drama over the last 2 weeks, which ultimately resulting in me having to move. It's ok, I'll catch up again, summer's coming.

29. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Someone remind me why I keep reading these? I just don't get it. Am I the only one who would take Jacob over Edward in a heartbeat? Every time Bella describes Edward's cold marble-like skin I just laugh. Yuck.
I also found it funny that there were so many Wuthering Heights references, since I just read that book and couldn't stand those characters either. At least that book was far better written. I've heard many spoilers about the final book in the series, and I don't think I can stomach it. I think I'm done with this series, I gave it my best shot. She should have picked Jacob.

(Touchstones for Eclipse not working.)

Apr. 19, 2009, 6:22pm

I think you are wrong, considering the fact that I found Bella to be a very weak character. That given, I felt she did not deserve Jacob. I am a huge Twilight fan, and I think you should continue with the series. It is worth it for the other characters, though not so much EdwardxBella. Maybe a lot of people feel that way about their relationship, but maybe it's because they expect Edward to be as perfect as Bella describes him, and he's not godly or perfect at all. Just some random vampire guy who was unfortunate enough to become a random vampire guy. The series is worth it to continue.
I think maybe you are looking at this from a very werewolf point of veiw. Eclipse felt like a filler, because mostly they argue alot about how the opposite (Edward and Jacob) is dangerous, and towards the end, she packs a whole bunch of plot into it.
Great series, although I think you are finished with the first, and the best, two.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 26, 2009, 7:16am

Interesting comments, Brightest. I definitely agree with you that Bella is a weak character. Maybe I will finish the series at some point.

Right now I'm too busy with my last three weeks of school to find much time to read at all!

Apr. 30, 2009, 3:12pm

Only one more week of final exams and then my life will calm down for the summer... I hope.

April totals:

3 books, all fiction
1392 pages/~46 pages per day

Favorite: Picture Perfect

Mai 15, 2009, 10:13am

30. Watership Down by Richard Adams

I enjoyed it, although it seemed to drag a little bit in between adventures.

Mai 23, 2009, 12:24pm

31. Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster

I read this old Star Wars novel a long time ago but I didn't remember anything about it. Now I know why... there was nothing memorable about it.

Mai 24, 2009, 4:53pm

32. Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller

-I've heard very good things about this author, but this book didn't quite live up to expectations. I liked it enough to try another one of her books at some point.

Mai 25, 2009, 12:38am

This wasn't a great one for me either, but I really like Sue Miller. She has some excellent work out there. I definitely would give her another try sometime.

Mai 25, 2009, 8:57am

I feel the same way. I think Sue Miller is great, but Lost in the Forest left me cold. I just couldn't stand the characters. I will keep reading her books, though.

Mai 25, 2009, 2:36pm

I didn't like the characters either. I also didn't like that what the book jacket described as "a damaging love affair" turned out to be nothing more than creepy sexual abuse. Not what I was expecting.

Could either one of you recommend one of the author's better works?

Mai 25, 2009, 5:06pm

That's exactly how I felt - the story was creepy - and I found the parents irresponsible - the girl unbelievable in that she would be interested in him - but it is a novel! It just wasn't my cup of tea.
However, that said, I loved While I Was Gone - I definitely plan to reread that one.

Mai 25, 2009, 5:18pm

I agree with dihiba. While I was Gone was most excellent. I didn't want it to end.

Mai 27, 2009, 8:30pm

Thank you both for the recommendation!

33. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

- This book is absolutely wonderful, compelling and captivating from cover to cover. An absolute must-read for any lover of American history or politics. A five star masterpiece.

Mai 29, 2009, 1:56pm

34. Lucky Jim by Kinglsey Amis

-another book crossed off the 1001 list. I hadn't read one from that list in a while, and I picked this one simply because it was short. I wasn't expecting it to be laugh-out-loud funny, and was pleasantly surprised.

Bearbeitet: Mai 31, 2009, 1:57pm

35. The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire our Country by Howard Fineman

- very interesting and well written. The author presents topics of constant conflict, with examples from early American history to present day. My only criticism is the liberal slant in every chapter. The author is certainly entitled to his opinions, as he is no doubt highly informed and makes excellent, fact-based arguements. But based on the title and book description, I expected more of a 'debate', with both sides of the issue being presented equally. It would have been interesting if Fineman had chosen a conservative co-author, and presented each arguement in two parts. Just my two cents.

Jun. 1, 2009, 5:35pm

36. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin

- Interesting enough if you like evolution, but I couldn't say I really enjoyed it. It wasn't bad, just ok.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 6, 2009, 9:46am

37. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

- another 1001 book checked off the list. I'm not sure if I liked the story itself, but I did enjoy the philosophical references and musings that permeated the book and brought all the characters and storylines together. So I guess that means I liked it.

Jun. 8, 2009, 5:49pm

I just realized I never added up my total for May:

6 books
4 fiction, 2 non-fiction
1 book over 500 pages
1 1001 book

2142 pages/~69 pages a day

Bearbeitet: Jun. 10, 2009, 5:15pm

38. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

-This book lived up to all the hype. An exciting page turner, highly recommended.

Edited to try to make touchstone work.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 18, 2009, 9:13pm

39. High Five by Janet Evanovich

- A fun piece of fluff, the Stephanie Plum series just cracks me up.

Bearbeitet: Jun. 21, 2009, 8:01am

40. How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq by Matthew Alexander

-an interesting look at alternative interrogation techniques using psychological manipulation. It's one man's account, and not very in-depth, but still good.

Jun. 21, 2009, 8:00am

41. Wizard and Glass: THe Dark Tower IV by Stephen King

-I was excited to start this since I really enjoyed books II and III of this series, but I was disappointed to find the most of the book is backstory. It wasn't a bad backstory, I was just missing the other characters and couldn't wait to get back to them. It was very good, just not what I expected. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Jun. 29, 2009, 8:06pm

42. Blindness by Jose Saramago

- I should've liked this book, I liked the story. However, the lack of proper punctuation and endless run on sentences were interesting in the beginning, frustrating toward the middle, and so maddening by the end I almost didn't finish it.

Jul. 1, 2009, 3:16am

So, perhaps he had a crappy editor or none at all. Hmmmmm.
Too bad for just those simple things to ruin a book for you and you are not the first I have heard that from.
Hopefully your next book will be a great read!~!

Jul. 5, 2009, 9:54am

Totals for June:

7 books
2 non-fiction, 5 fiction
1 book over 500 pages
1 1001 book

2525 pages/~84 pages a day

Favorite: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I've picked up the pace, but I'm still behind. I'm starting to think I may not make it to 100.

Jul. 5, 2009, 11:05am

Saramago is big on the lack of punctuation and run on sentences in all of his books. It's why I love him, but I can see how it can ruin a book.

I'm looking forward to finishing the rest of the Dark Tower books, too. Did you read 2 & 3 right before reading 4? I'm just wondering because I haven't read them in years, and am trying to figure out if I should do a re-read of the early books before I tackle the last few.

Jul. 9, 2009, 7:56pm

jfetting - I didn't dislike Blindness, I just found I had to read it slower, otherwise I couldn't always tell which character was speaking. I wouldn't say it ruined the book, it just didn't flow well for me.

As the for the Dark Tower books, this is my first time reading the series. I read the first one last year and 2 and 3 earlier this year. The 4th book takes quite a departure in the storyline, so I don't think a re-read is necessary. (Unless you want to because they just so good!)

43. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- this was a very weird book. I'm not even sure how to describe it, I don't know that I completely understood it. I do know that I liked it.

Jul. 16, 2009, 2:51pm

44. The Mental Floss History of the World; An Irreverent Romp through Civilization's Best Bits

- Kind of boring. Definitely not up to par with other mental floss titles. ( Forbidden Knowledge is my favorite.)

Jul. 22, 2009, 5:20pm

45. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

-Sometimes when I read a book that gets alot of buzz I set expectations high and wind up being disappointed. It took me a few chapters to really get into this book, but I certainly was not let down. It's excellent.

Jul. 26, 2009, 7:05am

46. 1984 by George Orwell

- A re-read from high school. I didn't care for it then (as was the case with all books I was 'required' to read), but this time, I loved it.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 27, 2009, 11:32pm

47. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

-A children's classic that I never read before. It was just ok. Perhaps I would've liked it better as a child. I was surprised that God was mentioned so often. Not that I have a problem with that, I just wasn't expecting it in a sci-fi/ fantasy story.

Aug. 2, 2009, 11:26am

48. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

-very good mystery. It became a little predictable towards the end, but it was still quite a page-turner.

Aug. 9, 2009, 2:12pm

49. Mercy by Jodi Picoult

-I do love the way this author writes, but I just can't believe her endings sometimes. Good, but not great.