"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Read This Year - Post 1

Last year a friend of mine from another blogosphere posted her list of books she had read over the past year. I loved the idea of actually keeping track, so I started. It was the beginning of February before I began, so I'm sure I missed a few from January or listed some that I actually read in December, but other then that I was actually very faithful at writing down each book as I read it.

The list looks really long, but I realized when looking over it that a LOT of it was what my boss calls "Brain Candy". It has no real substance, but it's still enjoyable to read. I was kind of disappointed with myself, but then I realized that I will be going to grad school and have no time for "Brain Candy" books, so this was like my year off.Since the list is so long I'm going to break it up into a couple of posts so people don't get bored and I don't get bored. So here goes....

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (One of the best books I have read in a long time. Her characters are so vivid. It's written in first person, so you become emotional attached very quickly. The premise is interesting and it is the first book that I can ever remember wanting to read again the moment I finished it. Excellent, excellent book. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Every person who has read it, that I've talked to, has loved it.)

2. Paradise Lost by Kate Brian (One of my coworkers hooked me on this series. Not at all my usual book fare, but once you read the first one, each book ends with a cliffhanger and you feel oddly compelled to keep reading, even when you are getting annoyed with the ridiculousness of the main character.)

3. Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian (I read this because I loved the movie that was made by Disney. One of the few cases where I actually liked the movie better. The book was all right, but the movie is amazing. If you can get your hands on the movie please watch it. It's about a girl struggling with the impact of having a twin that is developmentally disabled. Shia Labeouf plays her twin brother and is absolutely brilliant. Some of his best acting ever.)

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan (My sister hooked me on these books and they are amazing and fun and you need to go read them all now. The movie is coming out based on the first one. I want to see it, but do yourself a favor and read it first. Riordan has already said they've made some significant changes so I'm a bit worried, but the books are just great.)

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (ditto)

6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (We could not keep these in stock, so I decided to read it for "research" to answer parent's questions about them. Pretty funny, but I don't know if I'd let my eight year old read it. The main character's not exactly a role model.)

7. Cinderella (As if You Don't Already Know the Story) by Barbara Ensor (I was really disappointed with this book. I love retellings of fairy tales and the back was pretty funny, but the story was drab and didn't vary much at all from the standard Cinderella story.)

8. The Little Prince by Antoine de saint Exupery (I read this because Lost 5.04 was titled "The Little Prince" and we had a copy in the house. It blew my mind with Lost parallels and started me on a little bit of a personal project to uncover and read books that are referenced by the show. Besides, it was a really fun book.)

9. Running From the Law by Lisa Scottoline (Listened to this one on CD during my commute. Back before my car got robbed and I actually had a CD player :( Ah well. A good mystery. Enjoyed it.)

10. Yes Man by Danny Wallace (I picked up this because the Jim Carrey movie looked funny with an interesting premise. The introduction was hysterical, but it went down hill fast. I wouldn't recommend it. I found it boring and really wish I had not forced my way through the end of it. The book could have been 1/3 as long and made the same point.)

11. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz (With the Twilight craze, lots of people are looking for books to turn to once they've finished the Saga. I started reading through some of the various vampire series because I liked Twilight and I wanted to be able to give people knowledgeable recommendations. All my coworkers know I am the one to come to for recommendations for anyone from 8-18. This series was one of the better vampire ones. I found the first book a little hard to get into, but once she really started revealing the mythology I was fascinated. She ties in biblical, historical and mythical references to create something completely different than any other vampire story I've read.)

12. Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz

13. Revelation by Melissa De La Cruz

14. Hood by Stephen Lawhead (I had been eyeing this book for a long time and finally picked it up. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I've never read the original Robin Hood stories, so maybe it's closer to that than to the Disney version [haha]. It was weightier than I was expecting, but enjoyable. I've been wanting to read the second one, Scarlet, but haven't had a chance yet.

15. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (Picked this out of the bargain bin. Fun vampire romp. More adult than the YA books, but without getting into "adult" heavy scenes. I liked it and was excited to see there are a couple sequels. Got my hands on the third, but don't want to read it until I find the second.)

16. Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Another YA vampire series. It's pretty good, but a few things about it bother me. One is the godde
ss worship that is a major part of the mythos and the other was the "adult" content [though that was mainly in the first book, if I remember correctly]. I've kept up with it because I'm interested to see how the authors play everything out, but if I had to do it over I probably wouldn't read them.)

17. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (So many people were coming in for this book, from teenagers to book clubbers, that I decided to read it. Fascinating, gripping, wonderfully painful book. If you like WWII books or historical fiction you should read it. It's from the common people's perspective on the other side. Not Jewish, as has been done so many times, but the German people as they struggled to survive the war just like everyone else. The narrator is "death" literally, which is fascinating and bizarre. Good book. I cried a lot.)

18. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (
Tie in stories that go along with the Percy Jackson series. A lot of fun.)

19. Carrie by Stephen King (Another book I read because of Lost. My first ever
Stephen King. I didn't find it scary, but extremely sad.)

20. Finding Lost: Season 3 by Nikki Stafford (It seems fitting to end this first post of books I've read with one of Nikki's. She is the reason I started blogging in the first place. I picked up this book at work since I was beginning to really get into the show. It had her blog address on the back and the rest, as they say, is history. If you like Lost you HAVE to read her books. They are insightful and witty and amazingly perceptive. I cannot recommend them, or her, highly enough. She's literally changed my life over the past year in a lot of crazy, but good ways.)

There. Now you see why I'm breaking this into multiple entries. I haven't even hit the half way mark yet. Wasn't planning on writing mini reviews for each one, but there you go. More to come hopefully in the next couple of days.

Have you read any good books this past year? I'd love to hear some of your favorites!


Marta said...

Hey, thanks for mentioning my book. Heck, I'll even send you the second. Email me and hope your new year doesn't bite.

Also, brains need candy in these difficult times. I'm sure of it.

AchingHope said...

Oh my goodness! Sonshine, you're famous.

Okay. Maybe that's not good to write on a blog.

You already know I love the Hunger Games. :D And I think I'm gonna' read a couple on this list now.

(My verification word was pulanes, which made me laugh. It sounds like how I would say the word 'plane' being the dork that I am)