Fourth Quarter Book List 2010

I know I haven’t made my goal to read 200 books this year, but honestly? That’s too many for me.  I start to make myself read books I don’t even like just because they’re short, which is stupid.  So next year I am sticking with 150 books, again.

Here’s the last of what I read this year:

112.  Delta Girls.  This wasn’t any kind of high literature and it had a weird plot twist toward the end, but I really liked it.  It was interesting and I learned a lot about pears, oddly enough, and it made me want to make pear jam, which I did and it was super fun and delicious.  Win win.

113.  Going In Circles.  I so wanted to like this book, but I so did not.  It was really really terrible.  My library didn’t have it and so I had to buy it because I wanted to read it so much (I really loved her first book, Why Girls Are Weird) and this was a miss for me. I even hated the paper the book was written on and the giant type and just…no.

114.  Freedom.  The first half was one of my favorite things I’ve read in a long time.  One of those books you read and you think “I could never do this. It’s absolutely hopeless” because Jonathan Franzen just GETS things and the way he writes about people is so insightful and funny and dark and I love it.  The second half of the book felt like he was writing about completely different people, and they became strange and felt like caricatures of themselves and I no longer loved them.  It felt like two different books.  It felt like at first he really liked the people he was writing about, with all their flaws, and then he sold them down the river and they just weren’t real or interesting and they became strange cliches of themselves.

115.  The Supernaturalists.  I have no memory of this book.

116.  Peace Love and Baby Ducks. No.  Just no.

117.  Money For Nothing.  This is about lottery winners and one of my favorite subjects ever:  how terrible it is to win the lottery even though you’d think it wouldn’t be.  There was a little too much uninteresting info about the author and his dubious life decisions but overall the book itself was fascinating.

118.  American Salvage.  Oh my god.  I’ve been wanting to read this book for FOREVER because it was supposedly about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is where Mr. E grew up.  I almost bought it for my father in law sight unseen but THANK GOD I requested it from inter library loan first.  DEAR GOD NO.  I CANNOT BELIEVE I ALMOST GAVE THIS TO MY FATHER LAW.  It’s essentially just a bunch of short stories about the insanely low depths meth addicts will sink to.  And let me tell you those are some LOW FREAKING DEPTHS.  Hrgggh.

119.  As Simple As It Seems.  This was ok.  I think this was the year I realized that with rare exceptions, I don’t like middle readers.  I really shouldn’t check out anything from the library that’s in the “children’s literature” section rather than the “young adult fiction” section because it just bores me.

120.  Hungry.  I thought I would love this, but alas, I did not.  It’s Crystal Renn’s memoir about how terrible it was to be a model and it was just strange and kind of boring.

121.  The Maze Runner.  Eh.  Another apocalyptic strange mysterious adventure story that we are getting a flood of in the wake of the popularity of the Hunger Games.  It wasn’t my least favorite version of this story, but I ‘m kind of over the whole genre.

122.  The Shell Seekers.  I read this on the plane to Chicago, because it was the longest smallest book I could find.  It was entertaining enough, I guess.

123.  Something Like Fate.  I even just read the Amazon description of this and I literally have no memory of this book.

124.  Mad Dogs & An Englishwoman.  More nonfiction on another subject which totally fascinates me – alaskan sled dogs.  Pretty interesting for nonfiction which is normally not my bag.  Sled dog racing sounds terrifying and exhausting.  Pretty sure I should cross that off the imaginary life list.

125.  Dark Water.  I really really really liked this book, and I had very low expectations going in.  The end is maybe a little strange?  The main character really messes up and she doesn’t seem as sorry as she should be, but I really liked her, despite all her issues.  It was interesting and funny and I really really liked it.  Terrible cover, good book, and not driven by some weird annoying “issue” or “adventure” like every other gd YAF novel out there right now.

126.  Messenger.  Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t like the Giver and the rest of the series?  This is the last book in the series. I didn’t like the Giver and I didn’t like Gathering Blue and I didn’t really like the Messenger.

127.  Play Their Hearts Out.  More nonfiction.  This one is about NBA recruiting in Junior High.  This is when I realized that I can’t read non fiction this depressing.  It’s hard to invest time in reading 400 plus pages when you are talking about kids lives being totally screwed up.

128.  The Half Life of Planets.  Ok, so here’s the deal. I am done reading books about mothers leaving, and I am done reading books about parents drinking, and now I am done reading books where your brother/best friend/boyfriend has autism/aspergers/some other issue.  DONE.  And the sad thing it’s so unnecessary! You don’t need any of these plot devices to write an interesting book! Just write a book about funny, quirky, interesting characters being people and that’s all you need! Look at Sarah Dessen! Sigh.

129.  The Invisible Bridge.  This was so boring I could not get into it.

130.  Extraordinary.  I read Impossible by Nancy Werlin last  year and both this books gave me the same weird creepy feeling.  Almost kind of masochistic?  I don’t know. I wanted to like it but it just made me a little too uncomfortable for some reason.

131.  The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry.  Interesting, but not as great as Service Included, which I loved.

132.  Songs for a Teenage Nomad.  Meh. I have no idea what’s wrong with me, I like no books, apparently.

133.  Half Baked.  It really is as great as the whole internet says it is.  Also, it made me feel way less crazy and anxious.  Also, I know how it ends since I read Alexa’s blog and I still devoured it in three days.  Great funny and insightful and clever and just all around awesome.

134.  Hush Hush.  Really not good.

135.  Matched.  I wanted to love it, but alas, I did not.   The main character gave me a pain.  She just seemed SO clueless.  What do you mean “THE SOCIETY” isn’t all good?  Should I question authority?  Do these people NOT WANT WHAT IS BEST FOR ME YOU DON’T SAY?

136.  Life Would be Perfect If I Lived In That House.  Oh Meghan Daum.  YOU JUST KILL ME.  I spent the last four years moving to Nebraska and then buying a tiny house in California.  Megan Daum also moved to Nebraska, and then bought a tiny house in California.  The difference between us is that while I was moaning around all  “I want to write a book but I have nothing to write about!” she was writing TWO BOOKS.  One about: moving to Nebraska.  And the other one?  About:  moving to a tiny house in California.  Sigh.  I obviously need to examine my life and figure out whatever I am doing right now that seems boring and lame and that is what Meghan Daum is probably currently writing her next book about.

That being said, I liked this book, and it was funny and interesting, but I did not want to marry it like I wanted to marry her first book.  (The Quality of Life Report).

137.  A Visit From the Goon Squad. I was so excited because this book was on the NYT’s Best Fiction of 2010 list and I was so happy that a YAF book was on the list! Only it’s…not actually YAF.  And I have no idea where I got the idea that it was.  Anyway, it was ok.  I liked it but it’s written about a lot of of different characters and some of them were much stronger and more interesting than others.

138.  Blank Confession.  Bo-Ring.

139.  Before I Fall.  The only other YAF that I really liked this quarter.  The main character is interesting and funny and she’s…kind of bitchy.  She’s popular and cool and I don’t know, this was just really well written. It felt like the author really knew about teenage girls and high school.  Not sure how I felt about the end, but I really hope that the author writes more YAF because I think she has a great voice and I really liked her characters.

140.  The Passage.  HOLY GOD.  This book was SO LONG.  And there’s going to be a SEQUEL.  AND IT WAS SOOOOO LONG how on earth could there need to be MORE?  Also, every time I read it I felt depressed and sad.  But I still really liked it.  It was like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie.  Big and cheesy and I couldn’t stop reading it and I enjoyed the ride.  But still.  Wicked wicked long.  And some parts went on forever and a day and dude, so long.

141.  Lonely Werewolf Girl. I wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t get into it. It felt like it was trying too hard, and the cutesy/clever tone felt a little too in love with itself after some time.

142.  The Slap.  Blergh.

143.  The Hand That First Held Mine.  I am only half way through this but so far it’s not doing much for me.

144.  Apologize, Apologize!.  Wicked boring.

145.  Crazy Love.  Good god the dialogue is terrible in this book.   Also, I have LIMITED SYMPATHY for someone whose boyfriend chokes her and says “I OWN YOU” while they are,um, you know, having the special time,  and then she marries him anyway, but nevertheless, I could not put this down.  But dear god is the dialogue painful.

146.  The Rose Variations.  I tried to get through this many many times.  It was totally passable but just not that interesting.

147.  The Ask.  Weird and in love with itself and annoying.

148.  The Road Home.  Eh.  I’m still trying to read it.

149.  You.  Meh.

150.  The Bitch In the House. I really don’t know why I can’t remember that I don’t like short stories.

151.  Raising A Boy:  Women Writers on Raising Sons.  See number 150.

6 Responses

  1. So out of everything you read in 2010, what would you recommend most?? I got a $50.00 Kindle gift card for Christmas and I’m itching to download some new books 🙂

  2. Peace Love and Baby Ducks was so ludicrously dumb.

    And the author of Before I Fall has a new book coming out in Feb, I believe. It’s dystopian (Delirium) but it’s excellent, I thought.

  3. Well, good LORD, 150 books is impressive! And I am also not a short story person. I find them generally unsatisfying.

  4. You and Janssen kill me with how much you read! I have total book envy!

    I love this list because I have only even HEARD OF about five books on it. Awesome.

    I felt like books I read overall this year were kind of meh. I mean, I really really enjoyed some of them… but almost all were series and of the remaining ones, only one or two stick out at all.

  5. I refuse to believe that drivel about a sequel to The Passage because that book was already the length of two normal length books. And the story went NO.WHERE for about 16 chapters right in the middle.

    Ah, the amazon message boards say its actually going to be a trilogy?! geez. I’m not sure how i felt about that book…except shortly after finishing it I decided I read way too much apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction and I’m giving it up for 2011.
    The whole genre gives me the wobblies and makes me want to stockpile.

  6. I started writing down the books you liked and then decided I should stop doing that and write down the books you didn’t like. Ha! I wasn’t crazy about the character in Before I Fall, but all the other characters were so great, I just couldn’t stop reading it.

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