2011 Book Challenge

Looks like my total for 2011 was 22 books.  

Not a Book Club Book but Highly Recommended

If you haven't heard of Dexter, let me introduce you to this wonderful, SHOWTIME sensation.  Dexter is a serial killer. But he is also a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police. Seems like there would be a conflict of interest, right?? But he chooses his victims carefully, based on a code created by his adopted father, the late and legendary Detective Harry Morgan.  Dexter only kills serial killers!

I got hooked on the show instantly in 2009.  I found out two summers ago that this show was based on a series of books by Jeff Lindsay. I read all the books available that summer, which was only three:  Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Dearly Devoted Dexter (2005), and Dexter in the Dark (2007). The fourth was set to be released that fall: Dexter by Design (2009). I read it and the fifth book, Dexter is Delicious (2010),  in 2010.  But the sixth book, Double Dexter (2011) is set to come out in October of 2011. I, however, managed to snag a Bound Galley of this book! And I love it!

In Double Dexter, Dexter is still finding time for his favorite hobby, even though now he is a clueless husband, a devoted father, a half-hearted brother and a suspicious character, especially as far as Sergeant Doakes is concerned.  If having Sergeant Doakes breathing down his neck isn't enough, Dexter has now been SEEN.  And I mean in the ACT!  Between camping with the Cub Scouts, house hunting with Rita, and helping Debs to find a serial cop-killer, Dexter has an abundance of trouble coming down on him all at once.  Will his cover finally be blown?  Will these cop killings be pinned on him?  Someone is pacing him, move for move, and now they are even copying his particular method of vivisection... it seems he will not get a break!  Astor and Cody, the "little Monsters", have a large part in this book.  I am loving them... and wishing they had a better place in the show.

Book club readings:

I managed to not read the September, October and November selections.
August's book was "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury.

Ray Bradbury has an interesting commentary on his own book.
He called it a "half-cousin to a novel" and "a book of stories pretending to be a novel".
Bradbury's futuristic short stories were woven together to create a classic, that has more to say about America's love affair with Manifest Destiny than space travel.  I didn't want to read this book, because I am not a Sci-Fi fan.  But by half-way through, I began to see the common thread throughout the book.  Ray Bradbury was writing during a time when the world was at war, but America was protected by her geographic isolation from Europe and Asia.  Some of the stories build on the fears of the time, like book burnings, destroying the planet, and atomic war.

I read "Farenheit 451" a few years ago, but this book has intrigued me enough that I would like to read another Ray Bradbury book.  Maybe "Dandelion Wine".

July 2011
July's book is "Please Look After Mom" by Kyung-sook Shin.

This author is a huge success in Korea and this is her first book to be translated into English.  A lot of people seem to have trouble with the way the story is presented, in 2nd person.  I admit, it can get confusing.  But I loved this story!  As a  mom who sometimes feels invisible, I could really relate to the mother in this story.  And I loved that she lived a full and amazing life in spite of her children and husband.  This story was inspirational.  But keep the tissues handy.

June 2011
June's book is "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

I loved this story.  The perspective shifted from a young Jacob Jankowski to an older Jacob Jankowski.  Jacob is "ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other."  He is living in a nursing home, most of his faculties in tact.  The circus is setting up across the street and Jacob's memories of a time when he was young and fell in love with a beautiful woman and an elephant come rushing back.

It is an awesome story.  I haven't even seen the movie, but I'll bet it will be good, also.

May 2011

Our May book is "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells.

I also enjoyed reading the following books by Wells:

"Little Altars Every Where"
"Ya Ya's In Bloom"

I loved these books...  so much different from the movie, which I also loved!  Vivi, Buggy, Sidda... the thread that runs from mother to daughter...  the pain, the love.  Vivi does some crazy things.  She majorly "drops her basket".  And it takes the force known as the Ya Ya's to bring Sidda and Vivi back together.

Other Ya Ya books
April 2011

April's book was "Room", by Emma Donoghue.

The book was disturbing.  I felt the timeline was very compressed.  But because of the way she wrote the book, I was able to get through it.  If it had been graphic, as the true story that she based some of her facts from, I would never have read it.  I am glad I got the opportunity to read "Room". 

 Here are two other books by Emma Donoghue that I read:

Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins ("a collection of 13 revisionist, overtly feminist fairy tales")

Hood ("a novel about bereavement and the closet, which follows Pen, a Dublin schoolteacher, through the first week after the death of her on-off lover of thirteen years, Cara.")

Other book club books from earlier this year.
January 2011

March 2011
February 2011

I also have several books that were on my list last year that I want to read this year:

Crossed-through books have already been read.  I'll cross through as I go. 

If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler
Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Womanspirit Rising edited by Carol P. Christ and Judity Plaskow
Weaving the Visions edited by Judith Plaskow and Carol P. Christ
Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem

Some other books I am reading:

Dean Koontz "Frankenstein" series!  I am on the second book.  I thought this was a Trilogy!  Apparently, their are FIVE books in this series!

Prodigal Son
City of Night
Dead and Alive
Lost Souls

The Dead Town

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures
The Laughing Corpse
Circus of the Damned
The Lunatic Cafe
Bloody Bones
The Killing Dance
Burnt Offerings
Blue Moon
Obsidian Butterfly
Narcissus in Chains
Cerulean Sins
Incubus Dreams
Danse Macabre
The Harlequin
Blood Noir
Skin Trade
Hit List

Sue Grafton. Kinsey Millhone Mysteries

"A" Is for Alibi
"B" Is for Burglar
"C" Is for Corpse
"D" Is for Deadbeat
"E" Is for Evidence
"F" Is for Fugitive
"G" Is for Gumshoe
"H" Is for Homicide
"I" Is for Innocent
"J" Is for Judgment
"K" Is for Killer
"L" Is for Lawless
"M" Is for Malice
"N" Is for Noose
"O" Is for Outlaw
"P" Is for Peril
"Q" Is for Quarry
"R" Is for Ricochet
"S" Is for Silence
"T" Is for Trespass
"U" Is for Undertow
"V" Is for Vengeance

I'm also going to work on The Best 100 Novels List:
(Italicized books are higher priority!)

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
10. Animal Farm by George Orwell
11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
15. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
17. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
19. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
20. Ulysses by James Joyce
21. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
22. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling:
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
23. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
24. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
25. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
26. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
27. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
28. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
30. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
31. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
32. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
33. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
34. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
35. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
36. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
37. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
38. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
39. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
40. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
41. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
42. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
43. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
44. The Stranger by Albert Camus
45. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
46. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
47. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
48. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
49. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
50. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
51. Watership Down by Richard Adams
52. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
1. The Golden Compass
2. The Subtle Knife
3. The Amber Spyglass
53. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
54. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
55. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
56. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
57. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
58. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
59. Dune by Frank Herbert
60. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
61. Dracula by Bram Stoker
62. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
63. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
64. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
65. The Stand by Stephen King
66. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
67. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
68. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
69. Middlemarch by George Eliot
70. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
71. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
72. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
73. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
75. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
76. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
77. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
78. The Trial by Franz Kafka
79. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
80. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
81. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
82. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
83. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
84. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
85. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
86. Persuasion by Jane Austen
87. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
88. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (I've started this series, but I plan to re-read and finish it this summer... much to the chagrin of my daughter who detests all things sparkly!)
1. Twilight
2. New Moon
3. Eclipse
4. Breaking Dawn
89. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
90. Emma by Jane Austen
91. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
92. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
93. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
94. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
95. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
96. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
97. Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
98. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
99. Beloved by Toni Morrison
100. Atonement by Ian McEwan

I'm a part-time student and a full-time mom.  So I'm not too hard on myself when I don't read everything on my lists.  I know that I will get some of it done.