2010 Second Quarter Book List

The good news is that I am half way to reading 150 books this year.  The bad news is that I am waaaaay behind schedule to meet my goal of reading 200 books this year.  Sometimes you’re just not feeling it, you know?  And also I was looking for some more reading material and I started reading through all the Printz nominees and some of those are JUST dismal.  And every time I try to read a Pulitzer Prize winner (one of my other goals is to read all of them) it takes me FOREVER because they are almost always long and dense and I am not motivated to pick them back up when I put them down.  Eh, whatever, I just had a baby. I should cut myself some slack. If you have book recommendations though, let me know.

52. The Dead Tossed Waves – entertaining, but not as good as the first book. Also, I was totally confused for the first 50 pages.

53.  The House Always Wins – I was SO excited to read this book because I love decorating and working on house projects, but it was boring and full of totally obvious house advice and when I got to the part where she basically said to just buy a new house, she kinda lost me.

54.  Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side –  At first I thought maybe I wrote this down without even reading it, because I seriously have NO memory of it.  But yeah, I read it, it just wasn’t memorable. It was kind of too silly for me,  I think.  Also, I think I’ve gotten to the point where I now automatically dismiss any book about vampires because they’re just riding on Twilight’s coat tails and really, can NO ONE think of a new idea?

55.  Very LeFreak – ugh. Repellent main character.

56.  Beautiful Creatures – Eh. Ok.  It seemed really really long.  I didn’t hate it though.

57.  Orange is the New Black – Interesting to read about life in a woman’s prison, but I found the narrator’s voice a little odd.  She really wanted us to know that she was really really sorry, but I don’t know that I ever really FELT that, despite how much she said it.

58.  Born Round – Loved it. If you like to read about food or food reviewing or restaurants or dieting, I totally recommend it.

59.  Because I am Furniture – This book was just weird.  Besides the fact that it was more “serious issue” YAF, which I am TOTALLY OVER, I just had a hard time buying the premise – the main character was depressed because her father didn’t even notice her enough to beat the crap out of her like her other family members?  Hmmmm.

60.  Olive Kitteridge – I feel like I might need to try reading this again, but it didn’t do it for me.

61.  The Help – I liked it, but it went on FOREVER. Also, one of the main characters kept doing these dippy things which got other people in trouble, which stressed me out.

62.  Ruins – I loved the writing, but I won’t lie, it was sort of boring.

63.  Tales of the Madman Underground – I really liked this.

64.  The Glass Castle – Holy pants. If you ever feel like a bad parent,  read about three pages of this book. Highly entertaining though.

65.  When You Reach Me – This won the Newbery, and I know a lot of people who loved it, but I found it odd, especially because it  mentioned A Wrinkle In Time on EVERY OTHER PAGE.   I personally think A Wrinkle In Time is by far the superior book, and I just don’t know that it’s a good plan to mention an iconic classic like that constantly.  It invites too many negative comparisons.

66.  A Brief History of Montmaray – Not the MOST exciting book on the planet, but I liked it!

67.  American Hollow – I have a girl crush on Rory Kennedy, and I can’t find her documentary (of the same name) anywhere, but the book was really amazing.  And also totally depressing.

68.  Surrender – Not a fan.  This is one of those books I had to email Janssen about as soon as I finished it, so I could find out if it was just me or what.  She hadn’t read it, so the world may never know, but yikes.

69.  Manhood for Amateurs – I really loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay SO MUCH, and I liked Summerland a lot, but after that Michael Chabon sort of loses me.  I liked the first story in this book a lot, but after that it faded for me.

70.  Blame – Interesting and quick read.  I’d recommend it.

71.  Where the Red Fern Grows – Why did I reread this while I was 40 weeks pregnant? Needless to say, I cried the entire time and for about two days afterwards.  I will tell you though, that this book is so beautifully written, it’s worth it. It’s a GOOD kind of crying you do when you read it.

72.  The Great Wide Sea – The sailing parts of this book were interesting, but the father character was so hateful that he came really close to ruining the book for me.

73.  Lit – I liked her first book better, but this was a decent read.   This book reminded me a lot of Anne Lamott, actually.

74.  The Beautiful Between – I wanted to like this, but it just didn’t do it for me.  I felt like the dialogue consisted of reams of things that teenagers would never ever ever say to each other.

75.  Will Grayson, Will Grayson – Not for everyone, but might have been my favorite book I’ve read in a long long time.  Has renewed my faith in John Greene.  Definitely more towards the “adult” side of Young Adult Fiction.  Also, Mr. E hated it, to the extent that I almost didn’t read this book! Which is just so amazing.  What makes someone who I normally agree with on so many things dislike something that I really enjoyed?  People are so interesting.

76.  In A Narrow Grave:  Essays on Texas.  I get this feeling I’m not supposed to be fascinated by Texas, but I am.  Probably been watching too much Friday Night Lights or something.  Anyway, I wanted to love this book because I really like Larry McMurtry but it was a slog.  I’ve got about ten other books about Texas lined up so here’s hoping they’re less boring.  Otherwise I’ll just have to stop reading about the place and actually visit or something.  (Jennie just started an email to me about queso and chips and promising me both, I guarantee it.)

77.  Independence Day – It took me a long time to read, but it was very evident to me why this won the Pulitzer Prize.  Amazing writing.  (Although as usual with most of the PP Winner list, a tidge boring at times.  And really really long).

78.  The Orange Houses – Weird.  It took me forever to read it even though it was really short, and the super heavy emphasis on  immigration politics seemed forced.  But I’m glad I read it, I think?  The characters grew on me.


9 Responses

  1. Loved The Glass Castle, in a voyeuristic kind of way. It was horrifying, but really well done.

    I know I read Red Fern at some point… but I can’t remember a THING about it. Time to pick it back up!

  2. I remember the first time I read Where the Red Fern Grows, for some reason, when I was about halfway through the book, I skipped ahead and read the end of the story. So NOT the thing to do with this book! I never do that, so I don’t know what possessed me, but I was so disappointed that I’d ruined the ending for myself. That would definitely be a good one to re-read this summer!

    I really liked The Help as I was reading it. Like, I brought it to work and read it on my breaks and lunch because I couldn’t wait until I got home at night. But the more I think about it now, there are lots of things about it that bug me. So, I don’t know if that means that I liked it or not. Hmm.

  3. I LOVE your book lists!!! That’s all. 🙂

  4. I like the idea of you visiting Texas instead of reading about it. But that’s just me 🙂

  5. Really? You thought the character in Orange is the New Black attempted to sound repentant? Because I thought she just sounded like she was sad she was an idiot, but, hey, drugs aren’t that big a deal. I think she was genuinely upset at what she put her family through, but in terms of the crime itself – I think she thinks the laws are dumb and she’s above them. But maybe I read to much into it. (I found the parts in the prison supremely interesting, but it took half the book of her justifying her idiocy before we got there…some editor had an epic fail.)

  6. Cut yourself some slack…reading 78 books in 6 months is nothing to sneeze at!

    Interesting thoughts. Definitely agree about GLASS CASTLE…makes me thankful that I had “normal” parents.

  7. How can you find the time to devour so many books? What am I doing wrong?

  8. I really like your book lists. Could you maybe put the author’s names with them? That would help me to look them up and see if I want to read them.

    I had to think about Olive Kitteridge for a couple of days, but despite its oddness, I ended up liking it. I liked how it ended.

    When’s the showing of your backyard crash? I don’t want to miss it!

  9. I love love love these lists.

    Also, I cannot even think about Where the Red Fern Grows without getting teary. How will I EVER manage to read it aloud to my children?

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