January 19, 2012

December Reads: 50 Books for 2011

37 books. Sadly, I did not reach my goal of 50 new books for 2011. It’s very likely that I did read 50 books last year, just due to the fact that I’m a re-reading nerd. There are a handful of books that I read over again every single year (the entire Twilight saga – to my utter shame, the first few books of the In Death series, Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me and Jude Deveraux’s Sweet Liar – just to name a few). But the idea of this type of goal is to get me out of that rut and trying new books, authors, and genres. So now I’m thinking of a more conservative goal for 2012. What do we think of 40 new books this year?

2011 Round-up:

#35: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen – Formerly chubby Colie spends the Summer with her eccentric aunt, working at a diner and making friends with a couple of older girls, and a quirky artist named Norman. This is my second Sarah Dessen novel. And while I don’t completely adore the heroines in either story, I like where the stories go, and I do love the secondary characters. This book made me want to spend the Summer at the beach (reading Sarah Dessen books) in an assortment of flashy sunglasses.

#36: Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11) by Charlaine Harris – Sookie Stackhouse’s workplace gets bombed and she gets sucked into yet another supernatural political intrigue, and it’s pretty much just another day at the office. I still love Sookie. But I think this series should have ended about three books ago, so now everything is just dragging. And I really hate how much Eric has changed as a character. It doesn’t seem realistic. And yes, I’m talking about a thousand year old vampire and realism.

#37: The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery by Philip Pullman – I keep going back and forth on whether I liked this book. I said 'no' when my book club met to discuss it. The Victorian London and opium dens setting is fascinating and moody. The mystery-solving in that era reminded me heavily of my beloved Francesca Cahill mysteries. And I liked the secondary characters, and the family of misfits that they build together. But I never really liked Sally. I liked her unconventional business skills, and her curiosity. But otherwise, she fell somewhat flat for me. [book club selection]

January 05, 2012

November Reads: 50 Books for 2011

#32: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - This book is adorable and hilarious, much like Mindy herself. It has excellent advice for how to be a good friend and how to be a hot dude. So basically, it's the best gift book of all time.

#33: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen - I have started this book a dozen times over the years and finally made it over the hump. Around chapter 40, it starts to get really juicy. Based on Pinterest, the quote “You have bewitched me body and soul.” plays a huge part. Except it's totally not in the book! I'm assuming it's from the Colin Firth BBC mini-series (which I got for Christmas, and can't wait to devour all 5 hours). I really loved the story, and the characters, just as I knew I would. I just had to get past those first tiresome chapters.

#34: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - This YA novel was based on a series of old photos of children that appear to be in some kind of circus sideshow. It was okay, though the main character was came off as super whiny. The ending is somewhat abrupt and unsatisfying, due to a sequel (or likely, yawn, trilogy) in the works. [book club selection]