Monday, January 31, 2011

First book of the year was a Christmas book...well...kind of

The first book I finished reading in 2011 was one I started reading before Christmas.  What can I say?  It's a quaint story about Christmas in a small town, a visiting angel, and...well...zombies.

Yes, I said zombies.

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas TerrorI bought The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore because a friend of mine recommended a different one of Mr. Moore's book (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal) but I decided to read this one first since it was the holidays.

All I can say is that I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book, in particular the line about it being a "tale of Christmas terror."

The line at Borders was long, so I began reading it in line (got through 17 pages - that's how long the line was).  While completely laugh out loud at times, this book is incredibly creepy in other parts, to which I assume Christopher Moore would let out an enthusiastic "YES!"

After I finished reading it, though, I found some of those creepy parts pretty funny, so all in all, I have to say well done, Mr. Moore.

However, in the future, I now know that I need to be in a particular mood to read his work. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wait! Where did you go? How many books did you read?

As with all New Year's plans, didn't keep up with the blogging BUT...I did keep up with my goal to try and read as many books as I could within one year.

And the grand total (imagine drumroll here)...


I can hardly believe that I read that many books in 2010.  That's more books than I probably read in high school and college combined!

For 2011, I will continue the reading, but more importantly, I will try to do better at putting up blog posts.  I promise.  Really, I do.  I promise to try my best.

Below you will find the list of 51 books I read in 2010 along with a short comment from me.

#1 thru 5 - The Yada Yada Prayer Group Books by Neta Jackson - The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Real (Yada Yada Prayer Group, Book 3)  thru book 7

Side Note:  I read the first two in the series in 2009. 
Quick reads.  Good characters.  Christian themed, but not overly religious.  A fun way to spend your reading time.

Fun read to see exactly how many little things you really remember from school.

A Stitch in Crime (A Crochet Mystery)#7 - A Stitch in Crime (A Crochet Mystery) by Betty Hechtman  
Quick read.  I have a special place in my heart for these characters, even Adele. 

Molly Pink is secretly my idol!

If you like crochet and mystery and, well, fun, you'll like this one.

Simply moving.  If you're a child of someone who has battled cancer, in particular breast cancer, you will find this story poignant and touching.

Very very quick read.

#9 - Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet    
Abandon reality for a brief time and enjoy this modern-day grown up fairy tale.

Very sweet story.

Fun, fun, and fun!

I just love Jodi Picoult, and I got my copy signed so that just makes this one special.

#11 - The Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde  

Oh Oscar Wilde...

Much like Romeo and Juliet, just a little more twisted.

Very enjoyable nonetheless.

#12 - Mr. Pim Passes By by A.A. Milne    
Mr. Pim, Mr. Pim
You sometimes can be so dim.
A funny quick play to read
If you should find the need.

The first of non-Winnie-the-Pooh books of Mr. Milne's that I read.  It was fun, and free on my Kindle.

#13 - The Mysterious Key and What It Opened by Louisa May Alcott   
Great story.  Short and quick.  I love reading Louis May Alcott's lesser known works.

House Rules: A Novel#14 - House Rules: A Novel by Jodi Picoult    
Great story.  Great depiction of what living with a person with Autism or Asperger Syndrome is like.

And better yet - I got my copy signed by Ms. Picoult!

#15 - You're Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children by Dr. Seuss   
Yep...this one counts!

It's now my favorite gift to give those turning 80.

Except for my friend, Lily, who has asked me to give it to her when she turns 70.

#16 - The All of It: A Novel by Jeannette Haien   
Oh dear...

Had such hopes for this one and have to say that it fell short.

Interesting plot, but dryly written.  Not very long if you're looking to give it a try.

#17 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned by Michael J. Fox  
Who doesn't just love Michael J. Fox?

Great to give as a graduation gift.  Very enjoyable.

#18 - Happy Days (Library cassette) by Laurent Graff   
Interesting plot.  Quick read.  Originally written in French, so not too sure how much was lost in the translation to English.  Pretty good.

#19 - Blockade Billy by Stephen King    
The first book of Stephen King's that I read (yes...I am a TOTAL wuss).

Very good story.  Nothing immensely gross.  Enjoyed it very much.

Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation#20 - Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim    
GREAT read.  Chronicals the history of what women have had to endure with the menstrual cycles.  Really good if you want to learn more about why we do certain things.  A word of caution, though.  This is not a book for young girls.  Some parts may be okay, but I recommend that mom picks out those sections she feels are most appropriate to share.

#21 - After the Funeral: The Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses by Edwin Murphy   

If you like history and things that are a little out of the ordinary as far as facts go, this is a fun read.

As it is dealing with death and the dead, though, a little sad a times, so I could only read a little at a time.

Letter to My Daughter#22 - Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou    
I have yet to find a book by Maya Angelou that I don't like.

Beautifully written.  A book every woman should read.  I pulled many quotes out of this book that I often re-read.  Also gave a copy to my sister-in-law for Christmas.

#23 - Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays by Joel Waldfogel  
Read this for work.  Heavy on the economics talk.  If you're not into that and can get past it, it's a very interesting read and makes an excellent point.

#24 - Light Boxes: A Novel by Shane Jones    

Bought this one because I thought the cover looked intriguing. 

For the most part, poeticly written, but over all, just a little odd.  I liked it, but it wouldn't be in my top 10 for the year.  If you don't like odd and mildly whimsical, don't read this one.

#25 - The Diary by Eileen Goudge    
Very sweet love story.  Easy to read and I enjoyed the characters.

The Color Purple#26 - The Color Purple by Alice Walker  
I had never read this book, and I have to say, I really don't know why.

EXCELLENT doesn't even begin to describe it.  I still haven't seen the movie, but I plan to soon.

If you haven't read it, please read it.  It's very quick and an absolutely fabulous book of a woman's strength.

All-of-a-Kind Family#27 - All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor   
Great story.  It's a children's book (ages 9-12), but I hadn't heard of it before and it sounded interesting.

It's about a Jewish family living in New York pre-World War I.  It's a great introduction to the Jewish faith.  If you have a child who is either Jewish themselves or has a friend that's Jewish, it has really good descriptions of the faith and customs.

#28 - The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin    
This book looked like fun and it was!

Geared to ages 9-12, but fun for grown ups, too.  What do you think your dolls do when you're out of the house?  (hee hee!)

#29 - Dear Saint Anne, Send Me a Man: And Other Time-honored Prayers for Love by Alice La Plante and Clare La Plante   
Found this on the dollar rack, and it was every penny and more!  Liked it so much that I purchased a used copy of their first book.  Great prayers and interesting descriptions of different customs and rituals.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel#30 - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender    

Particularly sad, beautifully written, and poetic beyond description.

I bought this because...well...she spells her name right (sorry Amy's out there).

A little slow at times, but I recommend it.

#31 - Heaven Help Us: The Worrier's Guide to the Patron Saints by Alice La Plante and Clare La Plante  
Out of print, but I found a used copy.  Just as good as the St. Anne book by the same sisters.  Love it!

#32 - Goody Two Shoes by McLoughlin Brothers   
I had never read this short story.  Very cute!

#33 - Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern   
I wanted to read this book before I watched the TV show.

Very funny!  As long as you don't have ears that will burn at the sound of colorful language, you'll really enjoy this one.

Word After Word After Word#34 - Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan    
Geared to children ages 9-12, a great book if you know a child who loves to write.

#35 - Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous by Alan Petrucelli  
Just like with After The Funeral, if you enjoy interesting trivia of the lives, deaths, and posthumous existence of those who were, this is a fun read.  But again, could only read a little at a time due to the subject matter.

#36 - Stuck On You by Jeffrey Archer    
This was one of the short stories in Jeffrey Archer's And Thereby Hangs a Tale which I got for free on my Kindle.  I enjoyed it so much that I may actually buy the rest of the book for my Kindle.

Very good read.

Where Angels Go#37 - Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber    
My mom lent me her copy to read because she said it was really cute.  And it was!

And very quick, too.

I liked it so much that I gave 4 of them as Christmas presents this past year.

My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto#38 - My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto by Jen Lancaster   
Oh Jen much fun it would be to be your friend!

Fun read as she explores culture through food.

Funny enough, I went to Alinea shortly after finishing this book and had a very Jen Lancaster moment.

#39 - The Christmas Stone by Liz Carlston   
Both heart warming and wrenching, a very quick holiday read.  Highly recommended.

#40 - Pauline's Passion and Punishment by Louisa May Alcott   
Another winner in my book by Ms. Alcott.  I have a list going of her lesser known works like this one to read.  I enjoy Louisa May Alcott so much!

#41 - The Quiet Little Woman: Tilly's Christmas, Rosa's Tale : Three Enchanting Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott    
I found a copy of this in a used a book store and just loved it.  Great Christmas read, very quick, and as everything Louisa May Alcott, wonderful.

I also gave this as a Christmas present this year.

#42 - Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou   
It's Maya Angelou - need I say more?

She is a talent beyod talents.

#43 - In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story by David McCullough  
I thought there might be a little more to this book than there was, but it was pretty interesting nonetheless.

It's a piece of history I didn't really know much about.  I still need to watcth the companion DVD that comes with it.

#44 - Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou  
Another fabulous one from Ms. Angelou.  A great book to give anyone going through a change or situation in their life.  Very uplifting and puts things in perspective.

#45 - Beating "Catcher in the Rye" (Nuns & Bullies) by Ron Bergeron    
I got this one free from Amazon on my Kindle.  Okay read.  Was enjoyable.  Not sure I was interested enough to read anything else by Mr. Bergeron, though.

#46 - One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1) by Janet Evanovich   
One of my mom's favorite book series, I had to at least read this one.  Plus, there's a movie coming out that I'll probably see so I wanted to read the book first.

So funny and suspensful and fun!

Room: A Novel#47 - Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue   
Easily the best book I read all year.  It was sweet and terrifying and gut wrenching and loving and...oh my goodness...very very well written.

Only issue I had was that some of the lingo used was more British than American although the story took place in the USA.  Be forewarned - not a book for the faint of heart.  Deals with kidnapping and sexual assault among other things, but all from the view of a 5-year-old boy.

#48 - One Hundred Graces by Marcia and Jack Kelly   
Very interesting read.  It walks through the meal time graces of various belief systems.

#49 - Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales by Varla Ventura   
Fun read.  Interesting and somewhat creepy facts.  I started reading this around Halloween and it definitely fit the time of year.

#50 -  Jesus, the Reason for the Season by Various Writers   
I picked this up at a used bookstore.

Very good way to focus on the Christmas season.

#51 - The Traveler by Daren Simkin    
Very sweet story about not wasting your life away.

Also great story to help put in perspective that life is the experience, not the things you acquire or try to save.