Sunday, January 3, 2010

Books 2010 - The List

I often wish you could go to the library and get a list of every single book you've ever checked out.  I would love to revisit some of the books I read as a kid that I've now forgotten.  With that in mind I thought I would start a list of books I read this year, month by month.


The Boleyn Inheritance - Philippa Gregory: I love trashy novels that take place in the Tudor era yet I can't get through one episode of the Showtime series.

Grave Sight- Charlaine Harris: I'm caught up with Sookie Stackhouse so when I saw this one as I was leaving the library I thought I would give Harris's other series a try.  An okay read - not great but I did want to find out what happened next.

Juliet, Naked - Nick Hornby: I love Nick Hornby and was a little disconcerted when I read several not-so-good reviews for this book.  Sure, Long Way Down and Slam, his last two books, were good but might not have been up to High Fidelity (in my top five list of favorite books) or About a Boy standards but Juliet, Naked is much, much closer.  I enjoyed it quite a bit and even told Matt it was a little like High Fidelity from a female point of view.  A very good bath book.

Pillars of the Earth (Audio) - Ken Follett: I finished listening to this yesterday and felt a little lost when I started to bake cookies today and found that I could no longer spend time with Prior Phillip, Jack and Elena.  I spent forty hours of housework, cooking and washing up with these characters and now my kitchen time seems very empty.  Excellent book - highly recommended.

The Virgin Blue - Tracy Chevalier:  I've read a couple of her books and enjoyed them.  This one - her first - wasn't quite as good and lagged towards the middle but the ending paid off. 

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield: I read the first two chapters last year and set it aside.  Thank goodness for the Ravelry Book Club - a thread there made me pick it up again and once I did I couldn't put it back down.  Three words sum this up very neatly: read this book.


Under the Dome - Stephen King: I'm not one to list how many pages I read but I'm going to make an exception here since it's February 11th and this the first book on the list for this month. 880 pages so that's kind of like reading three books.  It was slow to start but once it picked up it was a great ride - lots of characters, lots of action and loads of weirdness.  For awhile now, though, I've approached King's books with a "hoping for the best, planning for the worst" attitude - especially when it comes to his hurried endings.   The ending to this saga was one of his better ones and the last couple of hundred pages flew by.  I have always been a King fan - through the best and the worst - and I will always remain one of his Constant Readers. 

84 Charring Cross Road - Helene Haff: I actually finished this just after midnight on the last day of January.  :)  I have one thing to say about this it. 

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks: strange, wicked and un-put-downable.  

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson: it took me about a hundred pages to really get into the first book in the Millennium Trilogy but once it got going it was really hard to stop.  I'm looking forward to hanging out with these characters again but need a little break. 

They're in the process of making this into a movie and I'm curious to see what they do with it but don't expect it to be very good.  I just don't think you could put all of the detail in that would really be needed to make the movie as good as the book which is the problem with pretty much any book made into a movie, I know.


The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson: This book was fantastic from the moment it started until the very last page.  Thankfully, the second one comes out in paperback on April 1st so I won't have to wait too long to find out what happens because this ends with a huge cliffhanger. 

Since I only read one book this month I'm going to add a couple of books that I'll be perusing for several months...What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff and Your Pregnancy: The Netmums Guide to Having a Baby by Hilary Pereira.  :)


The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans: I'd never seen the movie or read the book but my mom recommended it when we were at a charity shop while they were visiting so I bought.  Thankfully, I didn't remember until I actually got to the ending that I remembered that it had been spoiled for me when the movie was out (perhaps, I think, by my mom if I remember correctly).  A quick bathtub read.  :)

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman - the only thing that could have made this better was if it was an audio book read by Gaiman himself because I love to hear that man's voice.  Now I'd like to track down the BBC series this book was based on.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest - Stieg Larsson: I'm heartbroken that there won't be another Millennium book.  This is a strange and fantastic series that I think anyone should read. 

The Host - Stephanie Meyer: Not bad it dragged quite a bit and could have easily been half as long.  I don't really recommend this book.  I actually read the next book in the middle of reading this one. 

The Historian - Elizabeth Kostova: It's books like this that make me wish I were better at talking about books and why I like them.  This was an interesting and all together different take on the Dracula tale.  It was a bit slow at first and I'll admit that, up until a certain point, I would read a couple of chapters and have to put it down for a bit, feeling full, I guess.  That's not a bad thing, though, and eventually it was impossible to put down.  This book I definitely recommend.

The Help - Kathryn Stockett: I almost forgot to add this one which would be a tragedy.  I actually listened to it and was impressed with the readers especially since a Southern accent is pretty easy to screw up.  If you haven't already read this, believe all the good reviews and pick up a copy.


World Without End - Ken Follett: I read this in a record amount of time and was so sad to finish it this afternoon.  I'm really going to miss these characters just like I did the characters from the first book, Pillars of the Earth.  It was just as good as Pillars and I've already checked to see if Follett is going to write a third (they're that good) - no news so far but they are making a miniseries of Pillars and I'm crossing my fingers that it will do the book justice.  Don't be intimidated by the size of either of these books - read them.  Follett does an incredible job of creating a world in which you can easily immerse yourself. 

A Patchwork Planet - Anne Tyler: One of her better recent books but it ended too quickly.  I would have liked it to be twice as long and that's a compliment.  :)

The Summons - John Grisham: A charity shop purchase because I wanted something easy to read.  I haven't read one of his books in years and he hasn't changed which is also a compliment.  

Club Dead - Charlaine Harris: This was actually a reread.  I had just finished watching True Blood season two and couldn't remember much about what the next season will be about so I picked up the third book.  A fun series.

Earthly Joys - Phillippa Gregory: Not quite as good as the Boleyn series but still interesting enough that I bought the second book, Virgin Earth.  And, hey, at least I'm learning a little bit of English history!

A Painted House - John Grisham: Out of his genre but really good.  It takes place in the south and in the early fifties - two things that, in my opinion, make a good book.  It really makes me want to check out his book of southern short stories, Ford County.


Dead In The Family - Charlaine Harris: The latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series which I read while on vacation in Ohio.  Good Not Great.  It's still fun but I think I could have stopped reading several books ago.  If I do read the next one I'll definitely wait until the paperback comes out.  We bought it in the states which makes it cheaper and it was 20% off so it wasn't too painful but I wouldn't buy it at hardcover prices in the UK.  The UK and US covers are really different.  The UK covers now feature characters from the tv series (they used to be kind of artsy headshots of a female you assume is Sookie which were much nicer, I think) and the UK covers are illustrated...well, here's a link that shows some of the US covers (and some crazy Sewdish covers!).

Virgin Earth - Phillippa Gregory: This is the sequel to Earthly Joys which I read last month.  I liked the beginning when John was in America living with a Powhatan tribe but the rest had a little more war in it than I normally like.  I'm glad I waited until I had finished both books before I Googles some of the characters because it would have really ruined the ending for me.  I had no idea that the Tradescants - the family which both books are about - were actually historical figures.  Due to this book I'm now really looking forward to exploring certain things in Oxford.


Tales of the City

More Tales of the City

Further Tales of the City


Significant Others

Sure of You

All by Armistead Maupin - I read this series back in junior high or high school and loved it so I was happy to find all of them at a book fair for £2.  Easy reads and lots of fun. 

Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger: I was really worried about this follow up to Time Traveler's Wife but I loved it so much that I actually slowed down to make it last longer. 

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