I read 39* books out of my goal of 40 this year.
*I wrote a book for Nano and proofread it, which makes this number actually 40, based on this technicality.
I would have to say my favorite books for this year would be:
1. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
2. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
3. The End of Men and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin
My least favorite books of the year were ones that were actually pretty popular:
1. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
2. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. The Stand by Stephen King
I love SK, but I did not love that book!
Looking forward to another year of reading!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
This was a book for my Couples Book Club-PDX Meetup group.
This book was for my Portland Book Club for 20-Something Women Meetup group.
Friday, October 25, 2013
When I put this book on hold, it was mainly out of curiosity to see how far someone could take a book over what can reasonably happen in the course of 90 minutes. Other books, such as Gone with the Wind, take place over years and it was interesting to see someone flesh out a complete story over the course of 300 pages and how Koch wove the story together.
The story is told from three points of view: Marnie, Nelly, and Lennie. Marnie and Nelly are sisters and Lennie is the neighbor next door. Together, they tell the story of Marnie and Nelly's father being murdered by Nelly and later their mother being found hung (suicide) in their shed. This occurs during winter and with the girls being 13 and 15 and Marnie one year from being considered an adult and able to take care of them both, they have to keep of the facade that their parents went on vacation. Meanwhile, they bury them in the backyard and plant lavender bushes on top of their graves to help camouflage what happened. To keep their secret alive, they have to deal with their maternal grandfather looking for his daughter, their father's drug supplier wanting money, and the school officials poking around. Lennie keeps an eye on the girls and eventually they end up taking care of each other. But their lies keep building and Nelly begins to crack. Can they hold it together until Marnie turns 16?
Scarlet is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (which Marissa told us the actual Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, which is actually very creepy in nature). Scarlet meets a street fighter named Wolf while trying to find out who kidnapped her grandmother, where they were holding her, and how to get her out. Meanwhile, our protagonist from the first Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, needs to escape her prison cell so she will not be deported back to Luna and killed by her aunt who wants to marry Prince Kai and rule Earth.
The third installment, Cress, releases next year and is based on the story of Rapunzel.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners Is Transforming Sex, Love, and Family by Liza Mundy
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Overall, I think the grand idea of this book was that there was a recession, these are the effects (mainly focusing on wage depression, foreclosed houses/loan modification, and stocks/capital), and people are suffering from something they did not causes since the US government can't seem to understand that the "debt crisis" isn't really a crisis at all and the fastest way to make that crisis go away is by dealing with the jobs crisis that politicians refuse to acknowledge.
The author did do their homework and provided many anecdotes on what people were doing to keep their houses or the methods they were using to support themselves, but I feel like the fact that the author is Wiccan and spent ten days in jail back who-knows-when because of protesting are not really relevant factors in the Great Recession. But what do I know, all I do is read Jared Bernstein and Paul Krugman...every day.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
We don't want to tell you WHAT HAPPENS in this book. It is a truly SPECIAL STORY and we don't want to spoil it. NEVERTHELESS, you need to know enough to buy it, so we will just say this...A very strange disclaimer, if I do say so myself. But I will divulge that Little Bee is from Nigeria where she meets Sarah and her husband Andrew under very unusual circumstances that leads to Sarah to cut off her middle finger. Andrew eventually commits suicide over what occurred in Nigeria, but can Sarah and Little Bee ever come to terms with what each did?
I thought this story was really boring the first 100 pages, slow-ish the next 100, and the last 100 were at a decent speed and for sure the most interesting. The end blew my mind and I don't know what to think about it.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
In this sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana and Christian reunite at Jose's art gallery opening. They realize how much they care for each other and Christian will do anything to keep Ana, even give him his Red Room of Pain. Ana then starts a job at SIP, the publishing house. Her manager is Jack and he keeps making passes at her and hinting that they need to go get drinks. Christian is very aware of Jack's past history with his assistants, with none lasting longer than three months and is concerned the same will happen to Ana. Eventually, Jack corners her in the kitchen and makes his proposition quite clear. But Ana, whose dad Ray is ex-army, knows how to defend herself. Jack loses his job and Ana takes it, elated. Meanwhile, Christian and Ana grow closer, with Ana meeting with Dr. Flynn to find out more about why Christian is the way he is. The book continues to reveal snippets of Christian's past, making the reader understand more about him. I am so glad that Fifty Shades Freed is waiting for me at the library since the ending leaves you hanging!
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I think, in general, I appreciate books that are based in the same city that the author resides since it gives an "authentic" feel to the book (or sends me searching for information on something I read since it sounds neat). Sloan is from San Francisco, which is where this book is based. Google is often discussed, along with their hierarchy and how working at Google really is. I am not sure if he worked at Google (it doesn't appear to be that way from his website) or knew people who did, but it still has at least a realistic flavor since Google is so well-known for being one of the best places to work. I also recently (in the last three months) visited San Francisco and really enjoyed my stay. But I digress.
Clay is unemployed and happens by Mr. Penumbra's bookstore, where he is hiring for a night clerk. Clay applies and accepts the job, quickly realizing that this bookstore is not like your typical Barnes and Nobel. Instead, it is divided into sections. One section is for normal, albeit mostly outdated/older books. The second section is in the back and Clay is "forbidden" by Mr. Penumbra to look in the books. One night, one of Clay's friends comes into the store and looks in one of the "forbidden" books and finds out that it is all in code. This becomes immensely intriguing since the patronage of the store are...misfits. Clay tries to up the store's presence by offering a very targeted coupon online. A Googler finds it and comes into the store while Clay is working on a 3-D animation of the store. With this animation, he is trying to track what books people are checking out based on the notes that all the clerks are required to take. The Googler, Kat, sees what he is doing and offers the help of her resources at Google to help figure out what is going on since there is a method to the books being checked out. This is only the beginning of a mystery at this store. What do the books say? Why are people checking out only specific ones? Clay quickly finds that this runs deeper than he ever suspected.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
I thought this book was very interesting. Gallagher presents information on neophobes, neophiles, and neophiliacs. Neophobes shun technology. One can think that only the older generations are neophobes, but I know that isn't the case from personal experience with a decidedly older gentleman asking about how e-books work. Neophiliacs are all about the latest and greatest thing. If it's new, they want it. Neophiles are able to find a balance between the two: they know when to use technology, but aren't addicted to it.
Monday, March 4, 2013
With all the hype around this book, I knew I had to read it. Ana, a soon-to-be college grad from WSU-Vancouver, interviews Christian Grey for her sick roommate, Kate. From this interview, they become quite taken with each other, but Christian tries to resist, since he knows he has problems that Ana probably can't handle. They find each other anyway, and Ana gets introduced to his alternative BSDM lifestyle. I thought that the book would be heavy into the BSDM (maybe that comes in the next book?), but it seemed quite gentle in that regard. More focus was given to Christian and what sort of past he has and why he doesn't do the "girlfriend thing." He is an awful hard nut to crack, but will Ana do it with gentle prodding? Will he be able to have a relationship that includes the "girlfriend thing"?
This book was supposed to be one of the best books of last year, so I was really looking forward to reading it. I didn't quite know what to expect, but I have concluded that it is a very character-driven book, very much like Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. There isn't much to plot, but it does have more than Maine did. The story goes that there is an ill American actress who goes to stay in a hotel on the Italian coast. The innkeeper there, Pasquale, is immediately taken by her. The story hops around a great deal. One chapter will be 1962 Italy, the next is present day LA, then it will be 1990s Europe. It is easy to stay caught up, but it was not much of a page turner and I didn't find the characters that great or memorable. However, Jess Walter is from Spokane, so I did enjoy the Washington references.
This is the third book in the Matched trilogy. The Rising has come and to win followers, they released a deadly flu virus into the Society's water. They have a vaccine and everyone who gets it is healed, but soon the virus mutates and they do not have a vaccine against the mutated form. It becomes a race against time to find a cure and it becomes even more urgent when Ky falls ill. But there are people working against the Rising to make sure as many people as possible die. Will a cure be found in time to save Ky?
Saturday, February 2, 2013
The Stand begins when a man escapes his government job carrying a deadly flu virus (unbeknownst to him) and goes home to his wife and daughter. He packs them up and they head out of California and go east, eventually dying from the virus and spreading it to innocent bystanders. Quickly, in a matter of weeks, most of the population has been wiped out by the virus, except for a select few that have a natural immunity to it. These few are scattered throughout the United States and slowly find each other. All of them have had dreams of a black woman in Nebraska and also of a strange individual they call the "dark man," who they know is evil or at least a representation of it. This story follows the groups of people on their quest to find one another and the mysterious woman who appears in their dreams. Who is the woman? And who is this "dark man"? This book is supposedly Stephen King in his finest hour, but I think Under the Dome is much, much better.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
For 2013, I have a goal of reading 40 books. This will be a bit more manageable than 2012 when I had the goal of 52 books. I did come very close and finished my 47th book on December 31, 2012, but I felt like it was limiting in some aspects since 1Q84 seemed to break my stride a bit since it was 1,026 pages long and still only counted as one book. I think 40 books will allow for the longer books I am wanting to read, such as Stephen King's The Stand, which I started on January 1, 2013. This is the uncut version and clocks in at 1,439 pages.
I have other books in mind to read this year, as well, such as finishing the Matched triology (Reached by Ally Condie), An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, and the second in the Razorland trilogy by Ann Aguirre, Outpost.
There are also a few books from 2012 that are supposed to be very good, at least according to the editors at Amazon. These include The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.
The year will most likely end how it began: with another Stephen King book! But this time it will be 11/22/63, a book I have been wanting to read ever since it came out!
Have a suggestion of something I might like? Leave it as a comment and I'll see if I can work it in. Just because my goal is 40 books doesn't mean I can't overachieve!