The Kool-Aid Mom cracks the whip! 75 challenge

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2010

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The Kool-Aid Mom cracks the whip! 75 challenge

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Edited: Jan 4, 2010, 4:30am

I'm still a few short on the 75 goal for 2009... 9 to be exact. I'm more than halfway through with the two I'm working on right now, and the other 7 on my short stack. I should make it, barring some interruption by the world or a lapse of laziness.

So my goal for next year is to read 75 books between January 1st and December 31st, 2010. However, I've got a few more caveats on that. I've joined the "Books off the Shelf Challenge," and have committed that 35 of the 75 (a little less than half) are books that I already own. Also, I've been remiss with my ER books so those are first, followed by outstanding review books.

My January line-up as planned right now are:

Holy Roller
The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green
The Blue Notebook
Islands Apart
Any Given Doomsday

All of these are long overdue ER books.

Beyond those are:

First Daughter, Red Letters, The Art of Listening Prayer and The Brutal Telling. All of these are overdue for review and I've received email reminders.

LOL... of course, that'll probably take me into February... the end of the month, even... But, a good plan is half of succeeding, right?

Dec 12, 2009, 8:59pm

Welcome back!

Dec 13, 2009, 2:54am

Glad to see you back again!

Dec 13, 2009, 5:03am

Starred you. I'm looking forward to your review of First Daughter. I've enjoyed his other books and I haven't read this one yet.

Dec 13, 2009, 11:39pm

You have Any Given Doomsday on your list? I'm so sorry :( I gave that one a review awhile back... honestly, you're better off reading the reviews for that one and just writing something to get it out of the way. It's really not worth spending any time with...

Dec 14, 2009, 12:53am

#5 dk_phoenix - Ouch! LOL... well, then... I suppose that one will be first on my list. Get it out of the way so I can move on to better things. Thanks for the heads up on it :-)

Edited: Jan 4, 2010, 4:53am

Finished my first book of 2010.

Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan - It was kind of weird, but was magical. It had a way of sweeping me up and depositing me back a couple hours and 50 pages later like the mists did with Gabriel. It's a ghost story and a love story and a fairy tale of good versus evil. It's written from and Oriental mind, which is a very interesting switch up after so many Western culture books. I think The Namesake was my last Asian novel, and even then, Jhumpa Lahiri grew up in the Western world. There was something a bit Grimms-like with this book, and it ends perfectly.

I'm still reading Fruits Basket, volume 5 with Maggie, and we have fun and laugh a lot at Kyo's antics.

I've started my own challenge on my blog called The Welsh Reading Challenge, and will try to read one Welsh-related book a month for it, probably as a reward for reading the ARCs for the month. I'm not sure which one I'll pick for this month yet.

Finished 1, 74 more to go. NEXT UP: Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland. If it's as bad as you say, dk_phoenix, I'll get it out of the way right away... besides, I did get it in February '09's ER batch, so... It's well past-due, anyway.

editted to change "Occidental" to "Oriental"... der! I started to fall asleep when I realized my mistake and had to change it.

Jan 4, 2010, 4:32am

Of Bees and Mist is already in the BlackHole for me, so I dodged a book-bullet there.

Jan 4, 2010, 4:54am

Stasia, it's WELL worth the read. It seems a little slow and long at first, but it really does sweep you away. Once I pulled it out to focus on it, it didn't take long at all to finish. :-)

Jan 4, 2010, 5:01am

Now all I need is my local library to get a copy of it. Some time around 2011-2012 probably.

Jan 7, 2010, 9:40pm

I've finally gotten caught up on all my reviews on my blog. Now I'm just trying to catch up with them on LT and Goodreads. Here's the link for my review of Of Bees and Mist.

I'm about halfway through Any Given Doomsday, and 2/3 the way through Fruits Basket, volume 5. Funny story... I couldn't find my Doomsday book because Maggie was in my bed, which is where I was last reading it. She didn't really want to look for it because she was watching a TV show. So I pulled out Fruits Basket and told her I was going to read ahead without her, and *POP* wouldn't you know it! She found my book... lol.

Jan 7, 2010, 11:09pm

6: LOL, you missed hearing about the general hatred for Any Given Doomsday? I second dk_phoenix... if you can, just scan it and move on to better things :D

Jan 8, 2010, 12:00am

I love Fruits Basket .. read them all and also watched the DVDs. If you get a chance, you should also watch the DVDs ... it's a great anime .... had me tearing up in some episodes and laughing at others.

Jan 8, 2010, 2:24am

#12 Cauterize: No, lol.. I did catch the Doomsday dissing, which is why I bumped it up to the top of the list... best to get the painful stuff out of the way. Actually, though, I'm enjoying it so far. It's not literature, but it's not that much worse than Stephanie Plum novels. It's comfy easy fluff. The only thing I've really hated with it is the over-sexed stuff. I think it's really written by a man, because a female writer would not describe things in the gaggy, porny way Handeland does. It's a bit off-putting for me.

#13 cameling: I've actually watched all the anime episodes AND signed some online petitions for them to make a second season :-D Maggie LOOOVES Fruits Basket, and even named the orange tabby that followed us home Kyo. And BOY! is he a little butthead! He scaled the Christmas tree several times a day. I've never taken the tree down so early, lol, but I did buy him a little kitty jungle gym and even put his favorite ornament, a silver bell, on it. Now he goes crazy around 2 every morning and bats the bell for a good 15 minutes until he's sure I'm wide awake. Then he goes to sleep... and I glare at him. LOL. We all love him lots :-D

Jan 9, 2010, 11:18pm

LOL.... I love him already. You should post a picture of him, .... please? I ended up buying the Fruits Basket DVD as well as Ouran High School Host Club - have you read this one yet? I read the manga, but thought the anime was laugh out loud hilarious.

Jan 9, 2010, 11:28pm

cameling: No, I haven't read the Ouran books, but I've heard of them. I only just started reading manga less than a year ago, so my collection is still very small. I did finish Fruits Basket volume 5 today, but haven't written the review for it yet. I've been busy doing Bloggiesta stuff on my blog, but plan to post a review of the book on Monday.

Here is our little Kyo-Kun :-) Such a stinker, and bigger now. This was taken a couple days after he adopted us... lol.

Finished 2, 73 to go. I'm about 60 pages from the end of Any Given Doomsday. I actually like the book, which may be because I wasn't expecting much. I may get the next book in the series, even.

Jan 9, 2010, 11:33pm

Bonus baby pic :-)

Our sweet little baby Kyo. Don't let the adorable face fool ya, he's a real BRAT! :-D

Jan 9, 2010, 11:39pm

Awww.... he is such a sweetie!

Jan 10, 2010, 7:58am

Ahhh. I have a warm spot in my heart for orange tabbies. He's a beaut.

Jan 11, 2010, 2:46pm

Finished Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland ( the review will post on January 12th) - One word review: CRAPTASTIC! But at least I'm done with it and it's out of the way.

By the way, I did get my Fruits Basket vol. 5 review written and posted.

I started reading Ranma 1/2 volume 1 yesterday and am enjoying it. It's pretty much like the anime show so far.

For my next ARC book I think I'll read Islands Apart by Ken McAlpine. Maybe I'll be able to forget all bad-bookiness.

Finished 3 72 more to go. It feels a little depressing and deflated to only have 3 read... lol. It'll get back up there ;-)

Jan 11, 2010, 2:58pm

ROFL... I just had to tell someone this...

According to the LibraryThing "Will I like it?"

I will love Any Given Doomsday (Craptastic)

But I will hate Dune Messiah and Fruits Basket volume 5, which are a couple of my favorite books.

That's why I always wait until AFTER I read the book to find out if I'll like it. ;-)

Jan 11, 2010, 4:34pm

Haha...that's funny. But you're right. I used to check 'Will I Like It?' before I read a book, but it's been proven wrong too many times in my case as well, so I avoid looking at that before I start reading them.

Jan 12, 2010, 4:59am

I do not bother with the 'Will I Like It?' thing any more since it has been wrong the few times I used it.

Jan 12, 2010, 9:34am

Ugh... well at least you're done Any Given Doomsday... now that you're done it, I can comment: the sexual violence and continual rape of the MC (though she tells herself "maybe if I just let him, he'll love me again", making us try to think it's not really rape...) really disgusted me... but that's all in my review on the book's info page *shudder*

To each their own, I guess...!

Jan 12, 2010, 12:58pm

yeah, phoenix... Actually, I read your review before writing my own and hadn't realized some of that until reading it from you. I felt it, just hadn't realized what it was. The book was such a mess to begin with that picking out specific points were a bit hard. It was kind of like a bowl of moldy spaghetti, who wants to slurp it up strand by strand? Your review helped me focus on what I wanted to say.

And that's something I very rarely have to do ;-)

Jan 12, 2010, 2:20pm

Glad to be of help :) ...though I must say, your visual of moldy spaghetti has now made me consider passing on lunch today... *urp* o_O


Jan 18, 2010, 12:12pm

I finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Maggie on Saturday (review). I had read this before, but wanted to re-read it for two reasons: I found out Roald Dahl was Welsh (as am I, heritage-wise) so I could include it on my Welsh Reading Challenge list. AND the second reason is, Maggie, my youngest, has a goal of getting 100 Accellerated Reader points for the school year and this is worth 5 pts. It was a second time through for Mags, as well, but she doesn't remember the first read.

I love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! It's fun, and has the element of fantasy. It's a fable, not an entirely "safe" book, and has an elemet of music to it, too. The best part of it, though, was cuddling with Maggie, who will be too old and unwilling to do that all too soon.


I'm a little over halfway through Islands Apart, my current ER/ARC book. It requires a bit of thought, so it's been a little harder to read and think about it with the kids around. I also started re-reading Nim's Island with Mags, who fell asleep on it and never picked it back up last year. I'm liking Nim a little more this time around.

Finished 4, 71 to go.

Jan 22, 2010, 12:58am

Finished two books in the last 24 hours.

First, I finished Nim's Island with Maggie. Since I had read and reviewed it before, I thought I'd give her a whirl at writing a review.

It was like pulling hen's teeth! Check out her first review... lol.

I enjoyed it more this time around than I did last time. Maybe it was that I hadn't watched the movie recently or that I picked up on different things this time. I suspect, however, it had something more to do with the little giggling girl cuddled up with me throughout the book ;-)

I also finished Islands Apart, and reviewed it here. Hmm. This book wasn't my normal fare, and there was a spot where I almost abandoned it. The "San Miguel Island" chapter was interminably boring! But the chapter after was the best of the whole book and was worth pushing through. It's a bit of introspection, nature, psychology, sociology, society of today, and philosophy rolled up with a bit of humor. OH, and McAlpine is a Cancer, as am I. I wonder if he's left-handed, too?

Finished 6, 69 to go. Woo-hoo, I'm on a roll. LOL. Next ER ARC is The Blue Notebook

Jan 22, 2010, 4:14am

Great job on the first review, Maggie!

Jan 22, 2010, 11:01am

#29, alcottacre ~ lol, I can't convince her to do another, despite everyone enjoying her review. She thinks it's boring to sit and write about a book, especially when it was a free day from school (cancellation) and there was so much playing to be done! I think she'll come to enjoy it, eventually... or at least appreciate having done it.

Jan 23, 2010, 7:29pm

I loved Maggie's review. How old is she?

Jan 24, 2010, 2:37am

#30: I agree with you - she probably will come to enjoy it eventually.

Jan 24, 2010, 2:55pm

#31 cameling ~ Maggie will be 11 in about 3 weeks. What bores her about doing a review is that she has to sit and stop and think when she'd much rather be out riding her bike, playing with friends or watching TV. She's a normal kid, I guess ;-)

Jan 24, 2010, 10:10pm

Wow, she writes well for an 11 year old. Kudos to you for making her sit and write that review. Who knows.... if she becomes a writer later on in life, I can say I read her very first book review. ;-)

Jan 26, 2010, 2:23pm

I was planning on having my 7yr old add a few sentences to the reviews I write on the books we read together. I think it's great to hear from the book's target audience. I only hope that my daughter can write as well as your's by the time she's 11!

Jan 27, 2010, 4:53pm

Finally got through The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine, review here. The first part of the book was good, but the second half was like a prolonged hug from creepy Uncle Stan at the family picnic. I gave it 2.5 stars, and am reading to bury that memory deep.

I don't know what I'm reading next, maybe The Hobbit, I know I like it, and it's a nice comfort read for me. I've got two more ER books to read, one of which is a non-fiction, the other is a memoir. I don't really want anything emotionally overwhelming right now. UNDERwhelm me, PLEASE.


I've read Maggie all your praise for her review, but she's still steadfastly refusing to write another... lol. jasmyn9: That's how I started Mags out, just a few sentences about the book. Her writing skills aren't exactly represented there, though, as I was her ghostwriter. It was all her thoughts, feelings and ideas, but I made sure it was in good order.

Finished 7, 68 to go :-) Right on track for 75.

Jan 30, 2010, 10:49am

Oh, what fun it is to read and re-read a book you know you love and is a comfort to you! And how much better it is when said re-read can still surprise you and hold you in suspense even though you know what all's going to happen. I just finished my third-time-around of The Hobbit for the LOTR Readalong (my readalong post).

I'm also about 1/2 through Graceling, which I had simply picked up because I have Fire on my ARC-alanche pile, but I'm seriously enjoying all on it's own. I love Katsa and Po and Oll and Raffin. I feel a bit sorry for Giddon, and hope he's found a wife by the time Katsa gets back, which probably won't be until after nasty Randa's death. Ooh, and I bet King Leck is a graceling, too, and isn't wearing a patch because he's missing an eye.

I'm also reading James and the Giant Peach with Mags, and am like it better than Charlie, even.

Fantasy beats harsh reality anyday!

Finished 8, 67 to go. And let them all be fun, happy and comforting reads (which, I know they won't ALL be, but here's to wishing, right?)

Jan 30, 2010, 10:52am

#37: Fantasy beats harsh reality anyday!

Yes it does!

Feb 5, 2010, 11:13pm

LOL, I've forgotten to update over here. I've read Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green, which was a bit lame and boring. Most of the stuff I'd be willing to do, I'm already doing, the rest of her suggestions are a bit expensive or a bit rediculous, imho. Like, I'm NOT going to put water in the fridge to cool down instead of running the tap to cool it. And I'm not keeping my pet outside in the cold so their dander doesn't get in the filter and make the furnace run harder. Poo-poo.

I also read Push by Sapphire, which was an amazing book. It's on my top ten all-time favorite books, as well as most likely will end up on my top reads of 2010. My review is here, and I was really impressed by the book and am having a giveaway for a copy and $10 gift card to amazon if I get more than 50 entrants.

Finished 10, 65 to go. I'm working on Fellowship of the Rings, Graceling (almost done with that one, and loving it), and James and the Giant Peach.

Feb 7, 2010, 5:37am

Very nice review, koolaidmom. I haven't seen the movie yet but have heard so much about it. It sounds like the book's alot more powerful perhaps than the movie.

I've been re-reading LOTR and the Hobbit since the 80s and they never grow old!

Feb 9, 2010, 1:21am

Great review. Can't wait to see what you say about Graceling, as well. One thing I liked was that when you figure out the King Leck secret, the characters do it pretty quickly as well. They aren't dumb.

Feb 23, 2010, 1:22pm

LOL, Cauterize, I figured that out pretty quickly, as soon as a physical discription of him was given. They did pretty well at figuring it out too, especially Po (new book crush, almost, btw). Where I was blindsided was when they arrive at Po's castle... OMG, NOz! lol. It's one of my favorite books, ever, I think. I haven't wanted to read anything else since finishing Graceling, to be honest. I've been holed up in the same spot almost in the same books since. How can anything else be as fun and thrilling? And I don't want to give it back to the library, either. I wonder how much it'd cost if I claimed it lost... :-D

If only we had a bookstore here and I could just buy a copy... hmm.

I think that's the only book I've4 finished in the last 2 weeks. Yikes, that's not going to get my goals accomplished, now is it!

Finished 11, 64 more to go. I'm about halfway through Holy Roller, which I like but is definitely a "You'd probably like this better if you're a Christian, because if not, you'll go apoplectic reading it" book. Pentecostal Christianity is not for the faint of heart, I don't think. Also working on Tainted for a blog tour (my day's tomorrow and I'm about a fourth the way through... EEEP!), which I'm really loving. Holly is definitely my literary twin soul, let me tell you.

Mar 9, 2010, 5:56am

42: I figured out the secret pretty fast too, but I was fully prepared to wait a hundred pages for Katsa and Po to figure it out too. Because I think I've been so jaded reading books stupid characters and too-obvious information plants by authors. When that didn't happen, I was like, "YAY!"

When I had my copy, it was also from the library, and I kept it as long as I could like you. I kept re-reading that scene where Katsa tries out the mind-hearing thing for the first time. I nearly died laughing the first time. I'm scared to read Fire, as I heard it's a disappointment :(