Posts tagged ‘novels’

September 24, 2013

Reading Update (31 March – 23 September)

There are a lot of these. Fifty-one, to be exact.

Ok. Here we go. Most of these have notes. Some of them do not. One universal concept you can keep in mind is that I always love Agatha Christie.

There are probably altogether too many words in this post. Oh well.

  1. Future Grace by John Piper – very good
  2. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – On my b-i-l‘s “favorite books” list, so I had to read it. Not on my “favorite books” list, but that’s ok. It was definitely worth the read.
  3. Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
  4. Marianna May and Nursey by Tomie dePaola – This is the beginning of a run of picture books. This one was not so great
  5. The Clown of God: An Old Story Told and Illustrated by Tomie dePaola – Another picture book. I thought I liked Tomie dePaola. I guess I was wrong.
  6. The Song of Francis by Tomie dePaola – Another picture book. This one was weird too.
  7. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling – I’ve heard about this one since I was seven. Now that I’ve read it, I can safely say it does not live up to the hype.
  8. Fly High, Fly Low by Don Freeman – Another picture book. I’m pretty sure I love Don Freeman.
  9. Will’s Quill: or, How a Goose Saved Shakespeare by Don Freeman – Another picture book. This one is very cute.
  10. Manuelo the Playing Mantis by Don Freeman – Another picture book. Now I KNOW I love Don Freeman.
  11. Be Gentle with the Dog, Dear! By Matthew J. Baek – Another picture book. I need to get this one for my nephew Brad. He likes to pounce on Westley.
  12. Half a Pig by Allan Ahlberg – Another picture book. It was kinda weird.
  13. Monsieur Saguette & His Baguette by Frank Asch – Another picture book. Yay for teensy bits of French.
  14. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – I kind of get why this one is beloved.
  15. James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – Eh.
  16. Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – Eh (disappointingly)
  17. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien – LOVE.
  18. Inside Out by Larry Crabb – Sanctification ain’t easy, chaps, but it’s good.
  19. On Beauty by Zadie Smith – I did not like this book. Occasionally disturbing and gross.
  20. The Killing Floor by Lee Child – Hello, Jack Reacher. I think I love you.
  21. Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield – SO AWESOME.
  22. Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie
  23. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This is so depressing. SO. DEPRESSING.
  24. The Pact by Jennifer Sturman – Clever, wry, and suspenseful.
  25. Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston – You have to suspend your disbelief a little bit for this one, but it is SO fun. If you love Jane Austen and wish you could read Pride and Prejudice or Mansfield Park or Sense and Sensibility for the first time all over again, this book is what you’ve been looking for.
  26. Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam S. McHugh – Read this aloud to my brother and dad on our roadtrip this summer. (Of course, right? The extrovert is reading the book OUT LOUD to the introverts.) It was really good and profound and thought-provoking. Oh, and apparently I’m like 70% introvert, 70% extrovert. Which is confusing.
  27. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller – Excellent, quick read.
  28. Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray
  29. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – Glad I read it; glad I’m done.
  30. Susanna Wesley by Charles Ludwig – I loved this book when I was a kid. I wanted to be like Susanna Wesley in many ways. She was a pretty awesome lady.
  31. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien – FINALLY. (Also – LOVE.)
  32. The Ghosts of Cape May: Book One by Craig McManus – I think someone should write a collection of ghost stories who actually thinks they’re interesting as folklore and cultural artifacts. This is not that book. Dude is a medium and has lots of channeling sessions and this book is just creepy.
  33. The Cater Street Hangman (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt No. 1) by Anne Perry – Hello, new series. I love you.
  34. Are Women Human? Penetrating, Sensible, and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society by Dorothy L. Sayers – This was a 100% worthy reread. Sayers is spectacular.
  35. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson – Living in North Korea sucks. Want to really feel the weight of that? Read this book.
  36. The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
  37. The Charming Quirks of Others (Isabel Dalhousie No. 7) by Alexander McCall Smith – At the behest of a dear friend, jumped straight into book 7 of this series and adored it, which surprised me since the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series bores me to Snoozeville.
  38. Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring Proverbs to Life by Peter Leithart – This is a horrible book. Some theologians should NEVER try to write fiction.
  39. When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper – Very good.
  40. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – You know what I think about this one.
  41. Callander Square (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt No. 2) by Anne Perry
  42. Paragon Walk (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt No. 3) by Anne Perry
  43. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White – Excellent. (I’m such a nerd.)
  44. See Delphi and Die (Marcus Didius Falco No. 17) by Lindsey Davis
  45. Resurrection Row (Thomas & Charlotte Pitt No. 4) by Anne Perry – By this point in the series, I am quite determined to own all of them. Because they are that good.
  46. Noah’s Rainy Day (Liv Bergen No. 4) by Sandra Brannan – This is a raw, gritty series, but I really appreciate it. About 40% of this particular book is narrated by a boy with severe cerebral palsy. Masterful work.
  47. Crown of Fire (Firebird No. 3) by Kathy Tyers
  48. The Sunday Philosophers Club (Isabel Dalhousie No. 1) by Alexander McCall Smith
  49. Decked by Carol Higgins Clark – Cute and cozy; brings to mind Agatha Christie’s travel mysteries – a slight twist on your traditional, run-of-the-mill locked room mystery.
  50. The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – Excellent, if you go in for magical realism.
  51. The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason – I liked this by the end, but I’m still confused about why it was written.
September 22, 2012

Convalescent Reading List

Here’s what’ve I’ve read in the last 3ish months. It turns out I’m a grumpier reader when I’m sick, which means I give up on books more quickly. For example, this quarter (did not mean for it to get this long, sorry), I gave up on Eliza Haywood’s Love in Excess. It was slow and the guy was a complete jerk and she kept trying to get me to like him and I finally said, “You know what? I don’t have to read this!”

As for the rest, this time I’ve added some notes, but I should start by saying that Lisa Gardner and Michael Connelly write some fabulous mysteries. I prefer Gardner’s current D.D. Warren series, but I’m doubling back to catch her FBI Profiler series now as well.

Oh, and I’ve bolded my favorites.

  1.  The Italian by Ann Radcliffe – deliciously all things Gothic, complete with swooning and convents
  2. Nothing to Hide by Mark Bertrand – absolutely love this guy and everything he puts out
  3. Echo Park by Michael Connelly
  4. The Overlook by Michael Connelly
  5. Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett Stiles
  6. Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper – This book isn’t revolutionary except for the fact that it’s TRUE. Racism is evil. Let’s kill it dead. 
  7. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – so sad!
  8. The Pretty One by Cheryl Klam
  9. Where We Belong by Emily Giffin – she just keeps getting better, although my favorite is still Baby Proof
  10. The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman – very interesting 
  11. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Finally finished the whole thing!) 
  12. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
  13. The Perfect Husband by Lisa Gardner
  14. The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner
  15. The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
  16. The Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare – so racist! I never realized as a kid.
  17. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen – really cute
  18. The Technologists by Matthew Pearl – fascinating. get wrapped up in medium-old Boston for a little while. 
  19. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
  20. The Unwritten: Inside Man by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
  21. The Great Divide by T. Davis Bunn – a legal novel about  attacking human trafficking
  22. The Third Victim by Lisa Gardner
  23. Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman and David McKean
  24. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – absolutely enchanting; very clever 
  25. World War Z by Max Brooks – zombie war is over; oral history is compiled. very cool.
  26. The Last Oracle by James Rollins
  27. Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream by Dinesh D’Souza – investigation of the president’s ideological base
  28. The Knight at Dawn (Magic Tree House #2) by Mary Pope Osborne- if i can extrapolate from this book, i’d say that the Magic Tree House books are a fine way to familiarize kids with other times and cultures, but a TERRIBLE way to teach them to take notes. HORRIBLE. REALLY.
  29. Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser – a story of healing after tremendous loss
  30. Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Williamson and a host of illustrators

If you know much about about popular literature, you’ll probably see this list and pick out a bunch of what my 3rd grade teacher called “candy bar books” – basically junk food books. I am immensely grateful for them. Right now, they are easy for me to understand where lots of other books take more energy. Plus, they are fun. And I read fast.

May 10, 2012

The fact is, the king was a good deal more than a king, he was a man; and when a man is a man, you can’t knock it out of him.

– Mark Twain, A  Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court