Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I will read ALL THE BOOKS.

So yes, It's the 28th of December and I still have to read three books to make 100 for 2010. WELL! Here we go making plans for 2011: one hundred AND ONE books (WOAH)! Also, I will give at least, um, one quarter of them starred reviews SURE WHY NOT. (ETA: "Review" is a rather loose term.)

  1. Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin. (Raises questions like "If I forgot my life for the last four years, would I be ashamed to be me?")
  2. Acting by Richard Boleslavsky. (Very interesting, but since I don't plan to dedicate my life to theatre, I don't know how much it really helped me.)
  3. Suicide Notes: a novel by Michael Thomas Ford. (Three stars (of five). Eh. The reviewers I read were far too enamored of this.)
  4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. (Four stars.

    I don't mean to follow trends, but I'm very interested in zombies right now and this was an angle I hadn't seen before. It takes place generations after the outbreak--so long that nobody really knows when. Mary lives in a small, entirely self-contained village ruled by the Sisterhood (nuns taken up a whole bunch of notches) and enclosed by an elaborate fence, outside of which is a literal tree-forest, but it's also full of zombies.

    The Z word is never actually used. They're called Unconsecrated because of the heavy religion that controls the village.

    It was definitely not worthy of five stars because I am getting really tired of love triangles. And it was more like an awkward love-and-commitment tetrahedron, anyway. (I'll draw you a diagram if I have to.) AND I will be annoyed if I decide it's actually anti-religion. If it's anti-extremism, I'm fine with that, but I have a feeling that the Sisterhood represents all Christians ever.

    Definitely reading the sequel.)
  5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. (Four stars. Really pretty good. I happened to read it on Groundhog Day. Haha.)
  6. Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin. (Two. Bleck. If I hadn't been procrastinating so hard I wouldn't've finished it. Just not worth it.)
  7. The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, writer; Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, artists; Todd Klein, letterer; Robbie Busch, colorist; selected recoloring by Daniel Vozzo; Dave McKean, covers. (Five stars. Less than three. (HAHA.))
  8. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. (I wanted something old and comfortable to read while I donated blood. Of course, they ended up just poking around in my arm and giving me a big bruise because I don't have veins or something, but it's a good book anyway.)
  9. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian. (Three. I officially do not get the hype about Siobhan Vivian. (Cool name, though.) This was "good..." and there will always be that ellipsis adding "but not very.")
  10. The Sandman: The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman, writer ETC. (Not gonna lie, I'm reading these for the Gaiman and would have a hard time caring less about the illustrators. I mean, it's nice and all, but whatever.)
  11. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins; read by Paul Boehmer. (Four, probably.)
  12. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling; read by Jim Dale.
  13. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. (Five.

    “A poor woman who since childhood had been counting her heartbeats and had run out of numbers...” (A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children by Gabriel García Márquez.)

    Four or five years ago I babysat a pair of sisters every week. The younger one died two and a half weeks ago, of a heart defect that wasn't supposed to be causing trouble. She was twelve. I won't pretend we've kept in touch the past few years, but I would still see her now and then. Her death is quite possibly the reason I found this book so heartbreaking.

    It's about Lennie, whose older sister Bailey--to whom she was closer than to anyone else--just died of a random heart defect. Lennie had always lived happily in Bailey's shadow, and now she needs to figure out how to be her own person. Other things happen too, less pertinent to my point--they have a grandmother, an uncle and a lack of a mom, a boyfriend (ex?), a best friend and a new friend. Bailey acted. Lennie plays clarinet (or avoids it) and writes poems about loss and then buries them, or drops them, or leaves them behind.

    Second book ever to make me cry.)
  14. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. (Better than the first. Yaaaaaay.)
  15. Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr. (Very relateable. (It's a word now.) I definitely liked it better than Sweethearts, which I'd heard was her best. Fourish, I guess.)
  16. Lord of the Flies by William Golding. (Five stars, naturally. This is one of my favorite books. I picked it for my final paper this semester, so I spent one intense day rereading and highlighting the life out of an old garage sale copy. I suspect you shall be receiving multiple posts on the book before my paper is finished, so I shan't keep you now.)
  17. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.
  18. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.
  19. Paper Towns by John Green.
  20. You by Charles Benoit. (An actually good book in second person.)
  21. Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
  22. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale. (Continuing, of course, my re-reading of my favorites.)
  23. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess.
  24. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. (Three and a half. I don't have any particular complaint except that it was super depressing and not at all what I expected. For those not in the know, it is from the perspective of a dog, Enzo. Obviously, I was expecting a fun, light-hearted book highly reminiscent of Dug from Up, or, if GS insisted on making it sadtimes, the heartbreakingness of a sad puppy who has no idea what's going on (though it might be obvious to the reader). Nope, we have a human-type mind that is fully capable of understanding his and his owner's miseries.)
  25. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
  26. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card.
  27. Daniel from the Bible.
  28. Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. (I enjoyed these rather less this time around. Sigh.)
  29. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: a novel by Aimee Bender. (Four. The premise is still super amazing, but the execution was maybe just not my style.)
  30. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, read by Jim Dale. (Not exactly life-changing. I mean, I realize that I already knew what was going to happen, but still.)
  31. 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson. (For a book discussion I ended up missing. It was a fun book.)
  32. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, read by Erin Moon, Michal Friedman, and Suzanne Toren. (Modern-day Little Red Riding Hood sisters hunt werewolves. Four stars. It was pretty good, even though it made me feel less awesome for reading something so faddish, and also SO MANY OF THEIR PROBLEMS WOULD HAVE BEEN SOLVED WITH CELL PHONES. Or walky-talkies, at least. Note: I really liked the narrators, and I spoke in a Georgian accent for a few days because of them.)
  33. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger. (Two and a quarter, maybe. I can see why JDS has been a popular author; twenty pages into the book and I felt I either loved it or hated it. As the story wore on I grew more apathetic, but in the end I hated it somewhat more than loved. I can see the point (moral?) of the book, but it seems to me like a kind of flimsy argument. Also, it's in two parts, and the first part is entirely unnecessary, except it's rather good at making this reader feel uncomfortable. YAY. And one of the characters was apparently so obsessed with something that she stopped eating and got the flu? Because she's that much a genius? Anyway, I feel slightly more pretentious for having read this (and then typing out Buddy's letter to Zooey as an experiment), but I rather wished I had used that time doing something else.)
  34. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, read by Nick Podehl. (Seeing how recommendable the audiobook is. It's fine, but I definitely still prefer reading.)
  35. The Sandman: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman etc. (Five. Very good etc. A Midsummer Night's Dream was my favorite, but I fairly loved the others too.)
Best finds of the year so far: 7, 10, 13, 20, 35.

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