Thursday, October 30, 2008

Books read this week

Rather than try to start ten months ago with my reviews, I am going to start with the most recent and go backwards. Hopefully I will better be able to remember those which are fresher in my mind.

So, for my most recent reads:

Bookends by Jane Green
Rating: 3.5/5
Grade: D (18 and up: language, sex, and heavy themes)

A December Wedding by Anita Shreve
Rating: 4/5 (for good writing though I probably won't read it again)
Grade: D (18 and up - no language or graphic sex, but themes of adultery, cancer, accidental death, and graphic disaster images)

I read these two books at the same time. The very interesting thing to me was that both of these books I started on the day I had been thinking about an old college friend whom I have not been in contact with for nearly ten years; and both of these books were about that very thing. A very strange coincidence, I thought.

A Wedding in December is a very beautifully written book about a group of highschool friends who are reunited - after twenty-seven years - for the wedding of two of the group who had been a couple in highschool, but had married other people. The book was slightly difficult for me to get into at first, mainly because there are so many narrators and veiwpoints, and there was a long, short story woven through the book; which I at first found to be distracting, yet later was compelled by. Tragedy ran through the book, disolutionment was one of the key themes, and yet I felt that it ended with a feeling of hope that life can be good even though it is not what we thought it would be when we were young.

Bookends was much heavier in subject matter than I had expected. Homosexuality was a major theme, as well as HIV. Jane Green always has more sex in her books than I would prefer, and some profanity. And yet with all of this, she is able to pull together a good story, with laughter and lightness, as well as life lessons. Even if the book had been less deserving of credit, I have to give it something for the life dream and job of the main character; she opened up a great little bookstore with a coffe shop. A dream which I myself have had fullfilled and lost. As I mentioned before, the beginning and a large theme of this book is the freindships forged in college days, and the story revolves around the reunion with one of the friends they have not seen in ten years, and how this changes and disturbs everything. In this book it is in a funny way that this happens, instead of a grave and tragicish way as in A wedding in December.

And that is all that I have time to say, because it is way past my bedtime, I have a full day with taking five kids trick-or-treating tomorrow, and I hear the baby waking up on the baby monitor and must go get her back to sleep before she really wakes up and I am up all night.


Books Read in 2008

Books completed so far this year:

Memoir/ Biography:
1. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (completed 1/25/2008)
2. Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (completed 4/24/2008)
3. An Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue by Mary Lynn Archibald (completed 04/28/2008)
4. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (completed 1/4/2008)
5. The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson (completed 12/27/2008)
6. The Magician's Book: A Skeptics Adenture in Narnia Laura Miller (completed 12/10/2008) This book is actually critisism, but has many aspects of memoir/biography.

1. Diet for a poisoned planet by David Steinman (completed 7//15/08)
2. Genetically Engineered Food by Ronnie Cummins (completed 6/23/08)
3. The Jerusalem Diet by Judith Besserman (completed 2/01/08)
4. Lazy Person's Guide to Better Nutrition by Gordon S. Tessler (completed: 1/2/2008)
5. How to Find Morels by Milan Pelouch (completed 2/29/2008)
6. The Blue Zone by Dan Buettner (completed 05/07/2008)
7. Safe Trip to Eden: Ten Steps to Save Plaent Earth From Global Warming by David Steinman (completed 7/1/2008)

1 Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit(completed 1/27/2008)
2. How to Behave So Your Children Will, Too by Sal Severe, Ph.D (completed 1/7/2008)

Classics - Fiction:
1. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (completed 1/10/2008)
2. My Antonia by willa Cather (completed 1/21/2008-
3. The Professors House by Willa Cather (completed 7/1/08)

1. Love's Labor Lost (completed 1/13/2007

1. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (completed: 1/1/2008)
2. The Theif Lord by Cornelia Funke(completed 1/15/2008)
3. Uglies by Scott Westefeld (completed 8/2/08)
4. The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett (completed 7/25/2008)
5. Notes from the midnight driver by Jordan Sonnenblick(completed 05/04/2008)
6. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Straton Porter (completed 6/1/08\
7. Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson (completed 2/18/08)
8. All American Girl by Meg Cabot
9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (completed 8/25/08)
10. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (completed 8/29/2008)
11. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (completed 9/01/2008)
12. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (completed 9/05/2008)
13. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
14. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (completed 2/27/08
15. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
16. The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
1. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver (completed 05/05/2008)
2. The Soul of the Indian by Charles Alexander Eastman(completed 2/17/2008)
3. Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson (completed 1/6/2008)

Authors Who Are New To Me:
1. Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith (completed 1/24/2008)
2. Atonement by Ian McEwan (completed 1/29/2008)
3. Changes at Fairacre by Miss Read (completed 2/12/2008)
4. Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym (completed 2/15/2008)
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke (completed 3/05/2008)
6. The Mommy Club by Sarah Bird (completed 3/07/08)
7. The Good Wife Strikes Back by Elisabeth Buchan completed 4/20/2008
8. Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells (comleted 4/24/08)
9. Little Earthquakes by JennifereWeiner
10. Good Harbor by Anita Diamont
11. Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper

New category in the spirit of the season:Christmas:
1. Cowboy Santa by Judy Christenberry (completed 10/15/2008)
2. Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber (completed 10/25/2008)
3. When Christmas Comes by Debbie Macomber (completed 10/19/2008
4. Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanna Fluke (completed 11/16/2008) Review
5. A Night Like No Other by Chip Davis (completed 11/6/2008) Review
6. Where Angels Go by Debbie MacComber (completed 11/5/2008) Review
7. Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber (completed 10/30/2008)

Just for fun:
1. A Pocketful of Rye A novel by A.J. Cronin (completed 1/4/2008)
2. The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (completed 3/21/3008)
3. The Parting by Beverly Lewis (completed 2/22/08)
4. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella (completed 3/05/08)
5. Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai(completed 1/13/2008)
6. The Long Walk Home by Will North (completed 1/19/2008)
7. Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym (completed 1/23/2008)
8. Bidding for Love by Katie Fforde (completed 2/21/2008)
9. Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (completed 3/09/08)
10. Blueberry Muffin Murder by Joanne Fluke (completed 3/11/08)
11. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanna Fluke
12. Lucy Sullivan is getting married by Marian Keyes (completed 4/22/2008)
13. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells (completed 4/27/08)
14. The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett (completed 05/01/2008)
15. Size 12 is not Fat by Meg Cabot (completed 5/15/08)
16. Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot (completed 5/19/08)
17. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot (completed 5/17/08)
18. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (completed 5/27/08)
19. Big Boned by Meg Cabot (completed 5/29/08)
20. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot (completed 6/03/08)
21. Austenland by Shannon Hale(completed 6/3/08)
22. Cocktails for Three Madeleine Wickham(completed 6/4/08)
23. The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham (completed 6/5/08)
24. I love Claire by Tracey Bateman (completed 7/20/08)
25. Claire Knows Best by Tracey Bateman (completed 8/16/2008)
26. Battles at Thrush Green by Miss Read (completed 8/19/2008)
27. Gossip at thrush green by Miss Read (completed 8/19/2008)
28. Queen of Babble gets hitched by Meg Cabot
29. Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter
30. Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter
31. Mrs. Perfect by Jane Porter
32. Frog Prince by Jane Porter
33. Love and other natural disasters by Holly Shumas

1.Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver (completed 1/17/2008)
2. Second Thyme Around by Katie Fforde (comopleted 1/9/2008)
3. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (completed 2/7/2008)
4. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery (completed 2/8/2008)
5. Theodora's Baby by Penny Culliford
6. Leave it to Claire by Tracey Bateman (completed 3/01/2008)
7. Watermelon by Marian Keyes (completed 4/22/2008)
8. Pride's master by Jessica Steele
9. Silver Wedding by Maeve Binchy (completed 7/28/08


Booking Through Thursday Question of the week

Mariel suggested this week’s question.
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I believe that books can be read and enjoyed while not being destroyed. And if they can be kept nice, why would you put them in any other condition? Books to me are an investment, something that I keep, and will hopefully pass on to my children. I absolutely do not break spines, or fold pages. Admittedly the nicer the book the better I treat it. I tend to not be so careful with mass market paperbacks. I am also more careful with books I have paid actual money for. I don't really care how other people treat their books -their children or pets, yes - let's remember that books are inanimate objects. But I can't stand it when people bend the cover back on my books, and there are people I try not to lend books to for this very reason.


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