Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 75 Book Challenge


Warning.  This post contains blatant braggadocios behavior.

You’ve been warned.


I entered Library Thing’s challenge earlier this year.  It was a little difficult to go back and dredge up all of the books I had already read.  Luckily, I catalog books once I’ve read them.  I may have missed a book or two, but I don’t think I have.

I have read 76 books so far this year!

I usually don’t blatantly brag like this, but I’m proud of this.

Now.  I counted audiobooks.  If you are a purist/puritan/eyeball-only-reader, that number would drop significantly. 

You can find the list of everything I read this year here.

Some of my favorites of the year are as follows.

The Monsters: The curse of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler.  This is a book about Mary and Percy Shelley and the contest that started it all, as well as Mary’s sister that had an ongoing, lifelong affair with Percy, and the themes from Frankenstein mirroring Shelley’s life.  It was very interesting.  I read it, then Frankenstein.  I wish I had done it the other way around.  This book summarized Frankenstein, so it was a bit of a let down reading it, knowing what was coming next.

The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova.  This is a very intriguing novel about Dracula still existing today, and the hunt to find him and destroy him.  It delves into the history of Vlad the Impaler.  Dracula has over the years left clues to only the best researchers in the literary field.  I felt very smart reading this.  I have discovered that I like dark fiction.  Not overly creepy, or gruesome, but dark-ish.  This fits the bill.  And it’s delightfully long.  I love a good, thick book that’s not over too quickly.

We are all weird, by Seth Godin. This short little book is all about how weird is taking over.  Most people have weird in them somewhere, and are less and less ashamed of weirdness.  I identified with this book.  I’m weird.  It’s ok.  I like weird. 

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.  This book is very quirky, witty, and all clever.  (I realize that sentence isn’t proper, I’m making a point, but I did have to point that out.  Sad.  I know.) An island idolizes the man that coined “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.” They have this tiled in the square with his statue.  As tiles start falling, letters get outlawed in oral and written form.  The book is written in letters.  Letters about letters.  It’s like the inception of the alphabet.  I loved it!

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron. I love her.  She’s funny and real.  I too, remember nothing, except that I loved this book.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. This WWII novel made me sob.  Literally.  I’m telling you.  If you read this and get to a train, get tissues ready.  Chest heaving, snot running snubs are coming.  I’m assuming that you aren’t a robot and have human emotions, of course.  But it’s so good.  So good.

Dune by Frank Herbert. I’m a geek.  That’s part of my weird.  I have read the Harry Potter books twice, am getting through The Lord of The Rings, I love Star Trek (Next Gen) and Star Wars (3-6), and Eragon.  I love fantasy as well as sci-fi.  I don’t know how I haven’t read this before now.  I actually listened to this during The Great Paint (my in-laws’ entire house, ceilings and 14 rooms.)  And there are many, many more sequels to this waiting on me.  Yay! 

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. This book has made me a Kate Morton fan.  I can’t wait to read more of her books.  A book crossing generations, the daughter trying to learn about her mother, but learning much much more in the process.  It’s set primarily in a manor house, so what’s not to love?

A Perfect Mess by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman. I’m messy.  A little mess is ok.  This book says so.  It’s easier and less time consuming to have important things near to hand, and out (messy) than to spend time putting away and finding (hyper organized.)  Hey.  Don’t look at me.  It’s science.  I didn’t write it, but I TOTALLY agree! Now, they do say that in moderation, messes are more efficient.  I’m not giving you permission to be on Hoarders. 

The Millennials by Thom and Jess Rainer. The generation born between 1980 and 2000 is the biggest generation America has seen.  This book studied and interviewed many Millennials to find out more about this generation.  This is a very interesting and eye-opening book regarding the American church and the biggest generation we’ve seen.  Hopeful, challenging, affirming to me personally, this was a great read.

 A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Probably my most challenging book.  It was LONG, and packed with so much info, that I had to check it out from the library twice on my kindle to finish it.  It is a secular (evolution) history.  But.  There was so much informative stuff.  And it wasn’t all about evolution.  It covers the Universe, Atoms, microbes, the Hadron Collider.  It also tracks the history of science and who discovered what when, and what led to that discovery, what that discovery led to, on and on and on.  It was long and technical, but not too much so, and it kept my interest.  Hence the second check out.  I had to finish it.  It really felt like an accomplishment when I did.  It also was my 75th book and ended my challenge, and this list.

I can honestly recommend all of these books. 

If you’ve read any of these (or any on my list), leave me a comment, please.  I just love to talk books!