Sharon's 50 Book Challenge 2012
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Here we go again!
1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
2. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com
5. 77 Shadow Street by Koontz. Quit halfway through!
6. Private #1 Suspect by James Patterson
7. Death Benefit by Robin Cook
8. Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger
9. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
10.Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
11. The Pox and the Covenant by Tony Williams
12. The Accident: a Thriller by Linwood Barclay
13. My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie
14. Private Games by James Patterson
15. Defending Jacob by William Landay
16. Lost December by Richard Paul Evans
17. To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
18. The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
19. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark
20. The Hunger Games by Suzanna Collins
21. Home Front by Kristin Hannah
22. 11th Hour by James Patterson
23. Calico Joe by John Grisham
24. Fall from Grace by Richard North Patterson
25. Robert B. Parker's Lullaby a Spenser book by Ace Atkins
26. The Killing Floor by Lee Child -- 1st in the Jack Reacher series
27. I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson
28. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
29. A Big Little Life: a Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
30. Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly and Jason Dugard
31. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
32. Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees
33. Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith
34. The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House by Edward Klein
35. Answer as a Man by Taylor Caldwell
36. The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge
37. Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde
38. Against the Wind by Virginia Kelly
39. I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson
40. Heartbroken by Lisa Unger
41. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
42. The Likeness by Tana French
43. Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
44. Invisible first Ivy Malone mystery series by Lorene McCourtney
45. Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice a Jesse Stone book by Michael Brandman
46. Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
47. The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
48. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
49. The Submission by Amy Waldman
50. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
51. Nothing Like it in the World by Stephen Ambrose
52. Christmas Homecoming by Anne Perry
53. The Paris Wife: a Novel by Paula McLain
54. The Racketeer by John Grisham
55. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
56. Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay
57. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
My first book of 2012 was 11/22/63 by Stephen King. What a great book! Reminds me of King's earlier books that I loved, especially It. Some of his later books have just been too weird for me to appreciate. But this one was exceptional. It's history, time travel, suspense, a love story, and just a bit of typical King horror. Since I graduated from high school in 1959 the time frame was a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It brought back so many memories, both good and horrible (the assassination). King first started out to write this in 1972, but it didn't work for him. Now was the perfect time for its publication.
I just finished Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle. It was not an easy read due to the stilted language and incredibly long sentences. This is my first Jane Austen book, so perhaps I am just not used to this style of writing. I know it's a classic that is beloved by so many. Perhaps I will "get there" in my opinion also. The characters are certainly memorable.
Hi, Sharon! I sort of felt the same way about P&P the first time I read it (in high school, centuries ago) -- just didn't see what others saw in it. But years later, I re-read it and loved it. I'm still not a huge Jane Austen fan, but I guess I just needed to give her another chance.
Glad to hear that 11/22/63 is a good read -- I've got it on my "must read" list for this year.
Hope you have a great year of reading!
Thanks, jlshall. I'm sure I will read it again sometime and probably enjoy it more.
I just finished One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com on my Kindle. It was interesting. Now I'm on to "real" books from the library before they are due.
I made it halfway through 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz before finally giving up. I just could not get into it. Too many characters, and I didn't care about any of them. Too much weird horror stuff for me.
My latest book was Death Benefit by Robin Cook. It took quite a while for me to get involved in this book. But the last half was much more exciting. Cook always has strong female characters. I was glad to see Laurie and Jack Stapleton involved in the last half.
I finished Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger that I had downloaded to my Kindle from the library. It follows Fragile in that some of the characters are the same. Many story lines interesect in this story of people in a small town near New York City. Jones Cooper is a retired police detective who gets drawn into the story lines. One of the major characters is teenager Willow who has moved to The Hollows from NYC with her mother Bethany, a writer.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman is about four women who come to Masada by different means after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. The story is told from the viewpoints of these four women who all helped care for the doves. Their lives intersect in various ways. They are strong, resilient, courageous women who have a great effect on the lives of each other and of the men and children they love. They endured years of drought and poverty in the fortress of Masada, while waiting for the Romans to come and vanquish them, the last holdout. It was rather slow reading because it is told almost entirely in narrative form, but it was a compelling story. It was my first book by this author.
I read Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. Because I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time in January, I thought this would be a good follow-up to that book. It was. In fact, I was used to the style of writing, and was familiar with Austen's characters, so this book was just like a continuation of the original. Fortunately I did not have to put up with Elizabeth's mother in this one! The ending felt plodding, but it did wrap up all those loose ends.
The Pox and the Covenant by Tony Williams tells of the smallpox epidemic in Boston in 1721 when inoculation was introduced by Puritan minister Cotton Mather and a single physician who agreed to test it. They faced incredible opposition. It was written in a very interesting manner. My opinion on Cotton Mather came up considerably.
I have read two books on my Kindle. First was The Accident: a Thriller by Linwood Barclay. It really was a page turner that kept me reading well into the night. In the light of day, though, some of it seems a bit implausible. Seems like a lot of people in this relatively small town are involved in unethical business practices, some of which are tied to the mob.
My next e-book was My Temporary Life by Martin Crosbie. It's a coming of age story of a teenager in Scotland who moves to Canada and continues to feel disconnected from life, like his life is a movie that isn't working out right. I really liked Malcolm and the way he tried to make things right for the people in his life.
Defending Jacob by William Landay is a courtroom drama, murder mystery, and family relationship story. The ADA's teenage son is accused of killing a classmate. Andy, the father, refuses to even consider that his son might be guilty. He himself has a family history of murder and violence that he has never shared with anyone, even his wife. This book was very suspenseful, and the ending was a shocker.
To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal is a beautifully written book about life, love, regrets, old loves, what-ifs.
The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith is the 11th book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I love these books, but this one was disappointing. I had trouble getting into it, which is usually not true of these books.
The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark was interesting, but not up to the standards of her earlier mysteries.
Just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. After I catch up on my current library stash, I will request the next book from the library. I really care about the main character, Katniss.
Wow. Finished Home Front by Kristin Hannah, my first book by this author. It was emotionally draining. Very depressing in the first half; sometimes I just wanted to shake Jolene and Michael and tell them to wake up! I learned a lot about PTSD, fighting in Iraq, and what families go through when one spouse is deployed.
Two books to report this time. 11th Hour a Woman's Murder Club mystery by James Patterson. And Calico Joe by John Grisham. The Grisham book is only 194 pages, but it tells quite a story -- about baseball, childhood heroes, family relationships, poor decisions and their consequences, grace and redemption. One of his better ones IMHO!
Fall From Grace by Richard North Patterson was my first book by this author. I was not very impressed. Characters interesting but unlikeable.
Robert B. Parker's Lullaby a Spenser book by Ace Atkins. Atkins was chosen by Parker's family to continue the Spenser books. Good job! The dialogue seems right. The characters are right. Occasionally I felt some of his comments were a bit self-conscious. But overall. . . . . ALMOST like Parker, and that's good!!
Read two books on my Kindle. The Killing Floor by Lee Child, first in the Jack Reacher series. Also I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away by Bill Bryson. The first was a good introduction to the Jack Reacher character. The second was a thoroughly enjoyable read of humorous columns written by Bill Bryson for a newspaper after his return to America from 20 years in England.
A Big Little Life: a Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz was a wonderful book. It's about his and his wife Gerda's first dog, a golden retriever named Trixie. She was retired from life as an assistant to a girl in a wheelchair. What a wonderful dog! If you love dogs, you should read this book. Koontz write with such beauty and insight and love about this dog who changed their lives forever.
#23 - this one is sitting on my quite large TBR stack... maybe I will have to pull it out sooner rather than later!
Mozart's Last Aria by Matt Rees is a combination of historical novel and crime drama. Mozart's sister Nannerl visits Vienna after his death to find out the truth of his death -- whether he had been poisoned. Includes a lot of information about the Masonic lodge, of which he was an ardent member. It was interesting, but I only gave it three stars.
I just finished Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith on my Kindle, downloaded from the library. First in a new series by the author of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which I love. He writes about the everyday lives of (somewhat) ordinary people. These people are residents (or relatives or acquaintances) of a flat of apartments in London. We first meet William, who gets a dog (named Freddie de la Hay) in an attempt to get his lazy son Eddie to move out on his own.
The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House by Edward Klein was a depressing but fascinating book about how Obama ran such a great campaign in 2008, then proved to be a bumbling amateur once he won the election.
Answer as a Man by Taylor Caldwell is basically a good story, patterned after the Book of Job. But the characters are more like caricatures. Many of them are utterly unbelievable, especially the children. Other than Nick, the children are just miniature adults.
Read I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson. I normally like the Michael Bennett books, especially his family and the nanny and grandfather. But this one was "a bit much!" At times I almost laughed at the ridiculous things that supposedly happened. And then that ending. Hmmmm. I'm just glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it!
I finished Lisa Unger's latest book yesterday. The title is HEARTBROKEN. I'm trying to think how to describe it. Birdie Burke is a 75-year-old woman who owns a 3-acre heart-shaped island in a lake in New York State. She spends every summer there, and her family is expected to spend a week there with her. She is a very strong character, cold and bitter, who seems to try to drive everyone away, then wonders why they left. And yet I sympathized with her and wondered what made her that way. This is a story about family relationships, old secrets, and a dangerous situation that threatens to destroy life as they know it on the island. A pleasant surprise was the cameo appearance of Jones Cooper, a major character in her last two books.
Read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn on my Kindle. I nearly quit about halfway through. But I stuck with it. Amy and Nick are two unbelievably selfish, manipulative people. They deserve each other!
I just finished Destiny of the Republic: a Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. The year is 1880 and the President is James Garfield. He was inaugurated in March, shot in early July and died in mid September of infection caused by the unsterile probings by his doctors. He would have been a great president if he had lived. This was right before doctors finally believed Lister's claims of infection caused by germs, that could be prevented by sterilizing their hands and equipment. Such a fascinating book! It is the 2012 selection of the One Book One Lincoln series sponsored by the Lincoln (NE) City Libraries. Well worth reading!
Just finished an excellent book, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It's about a 16-year old Nigerian girl refugee to England, and a London magazine editor who just lost her husband to suicide. These two characters are both very strong, each in their own way. Very thought-provoking book.
I read The Paris Wife: a Novel by Paula McLain. It is about Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway's first wife, and their five years of marriage living in Paris. I will now re-read A MOVEABLE FEAST. It should have much more meaning now that I know the background of their marriage.
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