freakykat: (bookworm)
So here we go again. I am starting late because I really wanted to start in January this year but oh well.

Fifty books in 1 year.

Here we go!
freakykat: (calvinreality)
I know this is totally late but here we go. I did alright that year. I've done REALLY bad this year but whatever.

1. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
2. Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes by Betsy Woodman
3. The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck
4. A Book of Horrors by Stephen Jones
5. Gone Girl by Gilliam Flynn
6. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
7. The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
8. White Cat by Holly Black
9. Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz
10. Jack of Fables Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham
11. Jack of Fables Vol. 2 by Bill Willingham
12. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
13. Out of Shadows - Kay Hooper
14. Double Take by Catherine Coulter
15. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
16. Life, the universe and everything by Douglas Adams
17. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
18. Divergent by Veronica Roth
19. The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag
20. Red Lily by Nora Roberts
21. Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
22. The Creation: an appeal to save life on Earth by Edward O. Wilson
23. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
freakykat: (bookworm)
First batch read so far. Not a bad start.

title or description

1. The Time Keeper
by Mitch Albom
genre: fiction/spiritual

Summary: In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time. The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world--now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began--and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Rating/Recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars. Albom has a sparse literary style that appeals. He says a lot without wasting words. Though it is a narrative about belief, it doesn't preach. I appreciate that. His 5 People You Meet In Heaven is still my favorite but this is a great second place.


title or description

2. Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes
by Betsy Woodman
genre: historical fiction/cultural fiction

Summary: Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family.

Janet Laird's life changed the day she inherited her grandfather's house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son's arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors—Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant—and Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes is born.

Rating/Recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars. I was really charmed by this novel and surprised to learn it is Woodman's first one. It brims with a love of India (where it is set) and its characters. Wonderfully funny and witty, it's a quiet sort of novel about every day life, really. India fascinates me so I may be biased but it is a very good read.


title or description

3. The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo
by F.G. Haghenbeck
genre: historical fiction

Summary: When several notebooks were recently discovered among Frida Kahlo’s belongings at her home in Coyoacán, Mexico City, acclaimed Mexican novelist F. G. Haghenbeck was inspired to write this beautifully wrought fictional account of her life. Haghenbeck imagines that, after Frida nearly died when a streetcar’s iron handrail pierced her abdomen during a traffic accident, she received one of the notebooks as a gift from her lover Tina Modotti. Frida called the notebook “The Hierba Santa Book” (The Sacred Herbs Book) and filled it with memories, ideas, and recipes. Haghenbeck takes readers on a magical ride through Frida’s passionate life: her long and tumultuous relationship with Diego Rivera, the development of her art, her complex personality, her hunger for experience, and her ardent feminism. This stunning narrative also details her remarkable relationships with Georgia O’Keeffe, Leon Trotsky, Nelson Rockefeller, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Henry Miller, and Salvador Dalí. Combining rich, luscious prose with recipes from “The Hierba Santa Book,” Haghenbeck tells the extraordinary story of a woman whose life was as stunning a creation as her art.

Rating/Recommendation: 2.5 out of 5 stars. I wanted to like this book because I find Kahlo such a compelling artist and woman but it lacked the emotional depth that I would expect from a character like Frida. Half of the book is actual recipes which isn't really a problem but the fictional accounts of what may have happened don't ring true. At times it feels like the book is simply name dropping famous people of the time. It's definitely not one to re-read.

title or description

4. A Book of Horrors
edited by Stephen Jones - Various Authors
genre: horror/anthology

Summary: Many of us grew up on The Pan Book of Horror Stories and its later incarnations, Dark Voices and Dark Terrors (The Gollancz Book of Horror), which won the World Fantasy Award, the Horror Critics' Guild Award and the British Fantasy Award, but for a decade or more there has been no non-themed anthology of original horror fiction published in the mainstream. Now that horror has returned to the bookshelves, it is time for a regular anthology of brand-new fiction by the best and brightest in the field, both the Big Names and the most talented newcomers. A Book of Horrors is the foremost in the field: a collection of the very best chiller fiction, from some of the world's greatest writers

Rating/Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Though the book had some misses, (it is a bit uneven) it does overall live up the hilarious (and quite adept) forward by Jones. He claims in his forward that most horror stories now a days are "lite" with sparking vampires and government-employed werewolves. I agree very loudly. For the most part the stories are creepy and in two instances completely scared the crap out of me. Stephen King's contribution "Little Green God of Agony" is old school and great but the stand outs for me were Peter Crowther's "Ghosts with Teeth" and Karl Ajvide Lindqvist's (author of "Let The Right On In) "The Music of Bengt Karlsson, Murderer." Both have stayed with me long after I finished reading because they take a look into the horror human's manage to inflict on others. I strongly recommend this to horror aficionados.


title or description

5. Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn
genre: mystery thriller/fiction

Summary: Marriage can be a real killer.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Rating/Recommendation: 5 out of 5 stars. There's nothing -- literally, nothing -- I can say about this book because it is just brilliant. Not just the writing style that Flynn has which is dark but hilarious, twisty and breath taking in its ability to make you keep reading even though you know the end is not going to be pretty or even remotely what you want but when it gets there all you can do is nod and say "yeah, that's about right." Gillian Flynn has a great narrative voice that gets you inside her characters and whether you love them or despise them, you can't help but wanting to know more about them. Excellent book; highly recommend.


title or description

6. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
by Ayana Mathis
genre: historical fiction/cultural fiction/literature

Summary: A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

Rating/Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Gorgeous and heartbreaking. That sums up the experience this book was. The twelve narratives grab you and you want to scream at Hattie for what her actions do to her children and scream at the adults those children become for letting that affect them -- which is just something the book focuses on -- children pay the price, always. Yet you understand them, care about them, want to hug every last one of them because you feel the pain there. I loved that Mathis didn't shy away from subjects like sexuality, mental illness, abuse, suicide but she didn't beat you over the head with them in her narrative: they were simply a part of life. Highly recommend this.

6 / 50
(12%)
freakykat: (trufax)
So I tried to start this in September but um. Yeah. Haven't read ONE damn book! (Tons of fanfic though! :D)

DO OVER!

This is the REALLY official post to begin this year's 50 book challenge! I WILL MAKE IT TO 50 THIS YEAR I SWEAR.

Also I want to, again, invite anyone else that wants to do this to join [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge and have fun with me this year! The idea for the exchange list continues to be on my mind. Hopefully next month I can post about that!

Official re-start: January 15, 2013
Official end: January 15, 2014

WOOT WOOT WOOT!

HERE WE GO! AGAIN!



0 / 50 books. 0% done!
freakykat: (Default)
This is the official post to begin this year's 50 book challenge! I WILL MAKE IT TO 50 THIS YEAR I SWEAR.

Also I want to invite anyone else that wants to do this to join [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge and have fun with me this year! I've been thinking of possibly starting an exchange list with people who are interested. Basically every month (or couple of weeks) we would exchange one book that we each loved. It's a way to boarden your horizons. But I will have more on that later.

Official start: September 23, 2012
Official end: September 23, 2013

WOOT WOOT WOOT!

HERE WE GO!



0 / 50 books. 0% done!
freakykat: (fuckyeah)
So I failed again, lol, but got SO MUCH farther this year than other previous years! WOOT! Since it's the last for this year's books I'll just go over all the ones I've read by names and not bother with reviewing the last few for I am truly lazy. (Star and bolded most favorites.)



*1. Deeper Than The Dead by Tami Hoag
2. Fables: Volume 12 – The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham
3. Fables: Volume 13 - Great Fables Crossover by Bill Willingham
4. Point Blank by Catherine Coulter
*5. The Walking Dead: Book One by Robert Kirkman (re-read)
6. Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
7. Blue Dahlia: Book One of On The Garden Triology by Nora Roberts
*8. The Walking Dead: Book Two by Robert Kirkman (re-read)
*9. The Walking Dead: Book Three by Robert Kirkman (re-read)
*10. The Walking Dead: Book Four by Robert Kirkman (re-read)
11. Invisible by Robert Kirkman
12. If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't) by Betty White
*13. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (re-read)
14. Dear Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
15. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (re-read)
16. Possession In Death by J.D Robb
17. Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz
18. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
19. Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag
20. Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag
*21. Delicacy by David Foenkenos
22. The Color Purple by Alice Walker (re-read)
*23. The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke by Angela Nissel
24. Dear Cary by Dyan Cannon




24 / 50 books. 48% done!
freakykat: (bookworm)
14. Possession In Death
by J.D Robb

genre: thriller; novella


This one-off that takes place in J.D Robb's In Death universe is found in a compilation book of supernatural thrillers, Other Side. Eve Dallas is possessed by a dying gypsy and must solve a missing persons case in order to lay the spirit to rest. I haven't actually enjoyed a Robb book in a while but I think that the short length of this story helped me to keep with the characters.

Recommended: I liked it more than I thought I would.


15. Copper Beach
by Jayne Ann Krentz

genre: romantic thriller; psi-related


Being a big Jayne Ann Krentz fan might make me a bit biased toward her novels but she never fails to make her books enjoyable and this was no different. This is the first in a new series of psi-related supernatural novels that Krentz is writing. The main characters have special abilities where they find power in what they call "hot" objects: these are objects that have psychic/supernatural powers within them. I loved the universe and think the upcoming books will be as interesting as her Arcane Society series.

Recommended: Big fat yes to this book!


16. The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman

genre: fantasy


Defined as a children's classic, The Golden Compass has elements of fantasy, religion, good and evil, supernatural and fairytale. Though it can be a difficult read for anyone under the age of twelve, it does bring up interesting questions regarding morals, science, religion and the complicated relationship between parents and children. More somber than I expected, I found I needed to finish reading it even when I knew it wouldn't be a happy ending.

Recommended: Yes. Absolutely. Especially if you enjoy reading works that will make you think about your own philophises.


17. Secrets to the Grave
by Tami Hoag

genre: crime thriller


This book is a continuation of the story started in Deeper Than The Dead. Taking place one year after the events of Deeper, we find that our main characters are now dealing with the aftermath of the See-No-Evil serial killer. A single mother is killed, the only witness her four year old daughter and it's up to Anne and her new husband, Vince, along with the Mendez and the rest of the Oak Knoll police to catch the new threat to their town. I honestly love this book. Tami started the series in 1985 and seems to be continuing with the story, slowly showing how the FBI and their Behavioral Science Division grew over the years into what it is today.

Recommended: Really love this series and this book.



17 / 50 books. 34% done!
freakykat: (bookworm)
5. The Walking Dead: Book One
by Robert Kirkman

genre: graphic novel/horror


The Walking Dead: Book One is a compilation of the series first twelve issues. I've been reading this amazing title since almost its beginning back in 2004, though now I tend to wait for the volumes rather than the individual issues at this point, and I decided I wanted to re-read it from the start now that the television is back under way. My issues are all in storage so I went ahead and borrowed this from the library. There's nothing like this particular title. It's not just appealing for the horror facets or the incredible way that the inking (there is no coloring in the issues) do so much for its bareness. It's the story that gets you right in the gut and heart. A group of humans surviving in a world where zombies (walkers) are diminishing their numbers daily. I can't really describe it because it's honestly a crazy awesome experience.

Recommended: Oh, yes. Very very much.


6. Our Tragic Universe
by Scarlett Thomas

genre: fiction


I read Thomas' previous novel, The End of Mr. Y., on recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] rromantic and it was such an interesting read. Though the style was familiar, it took me a little longer to fall into this story. I don't think it's for everyone to be honest. The wording can be pretentious and the characters aren't likable but somehow the story eventually gets you especially with some of the supernatural aspects to it.

Recommended: I liked it and think if its something you can enjoy, it be good.


7. Blue Dahlia: Book One of On The Garden Triology
by Nora Roberts

genre: supernatural romance


I love Nora Roberts supernatural books (though I'm not a fan of her normal romance ones for the most part) and this one is pretty good. It takes place in Georgia and involves three women who live in and run an extensive greenhouse. The greenhouse is an old mansion that is haunted by the ghost of a woman. Normally only kids can see her but sometimes mothers do as well. This books is about Stella, a widow with two boys who restarts her life in order to get through her grief. She finds work in the greenhouse as a manager and finds love with a hot landscaper as she fights against an angry ghost.

Recommended: I really loved this book and am excited for the next one. If it's a genre you like then I totes think you should give.


8. The Walking Dead: Volume Three and Four
by Robert Kirkman

genre: graphic novel/horror


Continuing with the re-reading of this awesome title. The story now delves deeper into each characters and brings starkly into view the horribleness of their situation. The artistry in this issues are amazing.

Recommended: Yes. Yes. Yes.


9. Invisible
by Robert Kirkman

genre: graphic novel


The second title written by Kirkman, it's a unique look at being a superhero's son and eventually superhero. I like the characters. They are normal despite all the powers and villains. The art is minimal in a lot of areas but it works for the title. I like the dialogue and stories quite a bit as well but it doesn't quite reach me as fan like The Walking Dead has.

Recommended: Definitely worth a read if you like your superhero origin stories.


10. If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't)
by Betty White

genre: autobiographical


Betty White is one of my most favorite people in the world, seriously. I think she's smart and savvy. Incredibly funny and sweet and raunchy in the best way possible. Quick on her feet and honest. This book shows all this. Told in small vignette format, it gives enough to satisfy without baring it all for the world. I had a great time reading.

Recommended: A definite for Betty White fans and even if you're not one, I think you'd like this book.


11. The Looking Glass Wars
by Frank Beddor

genre: fantasy


What I enjoy most about this book (and it's a trilogy so I'm excited for what's to come) is the way Beddor managed to keep to the mythology of Alice in Wonderland yet twist it so much that you feel it's a fresh perspective. In this version of the classic story, Alyss in the actual heir to Wonderland but due to her evil Aunt Redd, she's lost herself in our world while those in hers are looking to find their savior. There's genius use of side characters you don't normally think much about and Beddor manages to make the story so intriguing and a little scary.

Recommended: Definitely. It's also now available as a graphic novel title but I think you should read the books first.


12. Dear Daddy Long Legs
by Jean Webster

genre: young adult fiction


Jean Webster was an interesting woman for her times and her book reflects that. I first read this book when I was about ten years old and was completely charmed by its main character Judy and her mysterious benefactor, Daddy Long Legs. On re-reading it, I find that it's still a lovely, charming book even as I realize that there are certain aspect of it which I don't necessarily agree with. The best part is watching the maturity of its main character and her relationship with the men in her life.

Recommended: I liked it quite a bit then and again, now.


13. The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

genre: young adult fiction


Suzanne Collins is a genre saver for me. That's not even a light statement I make. After the debacle of Stephanie Meyers, who I honestly think is one of the worst writers ever and what I felt she did to the future of strong female characters, Collins' The Hunger Games thrills me. I first read this book when it came out in 2008 and decided to re-read it because 1) the movies is coming out and 2) my god-sister is reading it as well. I don't know how to explain all the feelings I get with this book, how much I love Katniss and how I wish with all my might that Peeta was an actual person in this world. Everything about this book is awesome to me. The setting, the description of the world she created, the development of her characters, the shock and discomfort of the Hunger Games and in the end the journey of her characters... it's all pretty wonderful.

Recommended: Absolutely. Do it. READ.



13 / 50 books. 26% done!
freakykat: (bookworm)
title or description

1. Deeper Than The Dead
by Tami Hoag

genre: FBI thriller/mystery


The concept of this book makes it extremely interesting. It's set in 1985 right at the beginning of the FBI's Behavorial Science Department. Profiling is fairly new and not many people trust it to solve real crimes. This book begins with four ten-year-olds finding a dead body in the woods and how this affects them, their families and their community. The characters had depth and the fact that the reader was able to see it from the kid's POV.

Recommended: Mixed feelings on this book. It's well written and interested but the angst is a little heavy-handed.


title or description title or description

2. Fables: Volume 12 – The Dark Ages
3. Fables: Volume 13 - Great Fables Crossover

by Bill Willingham

genre: fantasy literature/graphic novel


Following the defeat of the Adversary, the Fables find themselves picking up the pieces of their lives and community but before they know it trajedgy strikes and a new evil takes over. To stop the world from ending the Fables must join forces with Jack and the Literals before they lose everything they've fought for.

Recommended: I absolutely love these two volumes. The twists and shocks are delicious. There's a wonderful flow to the story now and the art is fantastic.


title or description

4. Point Blank
by Catherine Coulter

genre: FBI thriller


Tenth book in Coulter's Savich and Sherlock's FBI thriller series. One of Savich's own is almost murdered while treasure hunting and falls into the mysterious death of a college student while Dylan and Sherlock fight a new criminal that has ties to one of the past cases.

Recommended: Pretty good. Not one of my favorites in this series but it's worth a quick read.




4 / 50 books. 8% done!

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