Chelle's 1001 Attempt

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Chelle's 1001 Attempt

Editado: Mar 20, 1:04pm

I'm new to this group and going to try and read from the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list from the webpage. I won't read all of them, but quite a few do interest me.
My list is teeny tiny ... for now :)

ETA: I purchased the 2006 book today so I'll be working off both the website and the original book

Books I've Read

Aesop's Fables by Aesop


Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
The Count of Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1845)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (1897)

Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1902)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (1937)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (1937)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (1938)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (1945)
1984 by George Orwell (1949)
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein (1954-56)
On the Road Jack Kerouac (1957)
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
Rabbit, Run by John Updike (1960)
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath (1963)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick (1968)
Rabbit, Redux by John Updike (1971)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson (1971)
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (1976)
The Shining by Stephen King (1977)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Rabbit is Rich by John Updike (1981)
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy (1985)
The Cider House Rules by John Irving (1985)
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (1985)
Beloved by Toni Morrisson (1987)
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (1988)
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1989)
Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard (1990)
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis (1991)
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (1993)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (1996)
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (1997)
Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover (1998)
Disgrace by JM Coetzee

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (2000)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides (2002)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
The Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai (2006)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007)
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (2011)
The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides (2011)
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2011)

Editado: Fev 6, 2018, 1:24pm

Books to read sometime in the near future
Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (1826)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo(1831)
The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe (1843)
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860)
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)
The Time Machine by HG Wells (1895)
The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells (1896)
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (1926)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936)
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (1953)
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967)
The Godfather by Mario Puzo (1969)
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood (1972)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Schindler's Ark Thomas Keneally (1982)
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (1988)
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)
Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood (1993)
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh (1993)
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (1998)
White Teeth by Zadie Smith (2000)
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (2001)
Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007)

Books I Own and Haven't Read Yet

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)
Emma by Jane Austin (1815)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1852)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1856)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1868)
Little Women by Louise May Alcott (1868)
Through the Looking Glass Lewis Carroll (1871)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)
Dr Jekyl and Mister Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson (1886)
The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells (1898)
Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell (1949)
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (1981)
Cider House Rules by John Irving (1985)
Beloved by Toni Morrisson (1987)

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard (1990)
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (1992)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (1996)
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (2006)

Out 21, 2011, 7:20am

Chelle I checked from the profile awards page and I have read 217 of the books so far and have far too many unread in my collection.

This month
Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Boll
Bridge Over the River Drina by Ivo Andric
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

and reading
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway

Out 21, 2011, 7:24am

Chelle - You're off to a good start. Welcome to the group!

Out 21, 2011, 7:26am

wow, 217 is awesome compared to my little 18!
I need to get my hands on the different copies of the book and compare them. I saw someone had listed Middlesex on their list but I didn't see it on the online 1001.

I plan on starting in November with Alias Grace.

Out 21, 2011, 8:21am

Welcome to the group - I started on 17 so don't feel bad!!

Alias Grace is brilliant - I really enjoyed it - an excellent way to kickstart the campaign!!

Out 21, 2011, 8:59am

#5 - Good choice on Alias Grace! I haven't read that one, but I've loved all the Margaret Atwood I've read so far.

Out 21, 2011, 9:57am

Chelle, Not a fan of Ms. Atwood particularly but I must admit to a grudging respect for Alias Grace - her best that I have read anyway.

Out 21, 2011, 1:47pm

#6 Thanks for the welcome Chrissy! I guess we all have to start somewhere so 17 & 18 isn't bad

Hi Kerri! I've liked Atwood in the past so I figured I should start with what I somewhat know, instead of jumping right into the harder ones!

Hi Paul. Her best eh? Well I am glad I picked that one to start with!

Out 21, 2011, 8:03pm

Hi Chelle, great idea to start another thread over here at 1001. I also very much enjoyed Alias Grace and hope you will, too.

Out 21, 2011, 8:14pm

Someone is dissing the great Margaret Atwood? Say it ain't so! She is one of my faves! :)

Welcome! We all started somewhere and have been plugging along at different paces so don't worry. I am certainly in no hurry to finish. I am just enjoying all the different things I never would have discovered otherwise.

(Psst... I have read a lot of Atwood but I must say, I really prefer her newer stuff over her older ones... she is definitely an author who evolves for the better)

Out 22, 2011, 11:35pm

Hi Chelle , once I get my book on 1001 books you should read before you die, I'll likely start a thread. Great job!

Out 23, 2011, 2:44am

Deb - there's also a LT group. Do join if you decide to buy the book and start reading along. I'm following the original 2006 edition--don't much care about the recent edition, although I'm sure the changes are just fine. Apparently it's more "inclusive." (But I have my $42, 700lb book, and that's the one I'm sticking with, damn it.)

Out 23, 2011, 10:34am

#10 - Hi Nancy! Trying to stay organized I guess LOL we will see how hard it ends up being to keep up with having 3 threads lol

#11 Hi Bucketyell! I think we have similar reading tastes, looks like we share a decent chunk of books!
I also enjoy Atwood's more recent work, but honestly I have read much of her older stuff yet. I'll be giving some a shot this coming year though!

#12 HI Deb, Glad you are coming along for the ride :)

Out 26, 2011, 2:50pm

Welcome! While Atwood isn't my favorite author, some of her books have struck a chord with me. I thoroughly enjoyed The Robber Bride, and am constantly hearing good things about A Handmaids Tale.

Has anyone shared the spreadsheet with you yet?

Out 26, 2011, 3:41pm

#15 Thanks!! I haven't read a ton of Atwood. I did enjoy her recent dystopian type novels, but I like those kind of books anyway. I've heard her older works are quite different and I'm excited to give them a shot!

I have seen that spreadsheet, but thanks for sharing again :)

Nov 3, 2011, 9:34pm

Chelle, I like that you've started a 1001 thread and have broker down your books by century. Fab idea! I have to run off to your profile now to see what you thought of Middlesex. It was one I so much wanted to enjoy and ... well, that didn't happen in the least!

Nov 3, 2011, 9:37pm

I'm back, hehe. Well, you did considerably better than I at 3.5 stars! Well done, Chelle. (I'm beginning to think Oprah has no taste in books - because I know it can't be me, ha!)

Nov 4, 2011, 9:43am

Hi Nancy. I think I liked Middlesex so much because it was so different than anything I had read before. Before this year I was strictly a horror/thriller reader and didn't branch out much. I think I gave his other The Virgin Suicides a lower score, don't remember liking that one as much.

Nov 4, 2011, 5:48pm

91) Aesop's Fables by Aesop (eBook)
Read for the 1001 Books challenge

I had never heard of this collection of stories until I started the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die Challenge. After reading it, it turns out that I have actually heard quit a few! The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Ant and the Grasshopper, and most famously The Tortoise and the Hare.

This a collection of over a hundred short fables, some only a few sentences long, others about a paragraph length. Some seem to have lost something in translation but for some others it is not surprising to see that they are still told to this day. I think this would be an excellent book to own a special collection of with pictures, I read a free eBook edition and I was appalled at the spelling and grammar mistakes.

The Hen and the Golden Eggs
A cottager and his wife had a hen that laid a golden egg everyday. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in it's inside, and in order to get the gold they killed it. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain in which they were assured day to day

Nov 6, 2011, 5:41am

Chelle, may I ask, how does the website work? I clicked on your link and I only found a wee stub from wiki.

I agree with Nancy, what a good idea to break up your books in to the different centuries!

Nov 6, 2011, 8:26am

Hmmm not sure why that happened Deb. The website is and it lists all the different 1001 lists, just click on the right hand side and select the 1001 books list.

Hopefully that helps :)

Editado: Nov 18, 2011, 1:23pm

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Alias Grace is a fictionalization of an actual crime that occurred in Canada in the 1840’s. Grace Marks has been imprisoned as an accomplice for a murder of her employer that happened when she was just 15 years old. James McDermott was convicted of the murder and was hung, while Grace was convicted and sentenced to death but was granted a stay of execution and received life in prison instead.

Atwood does a great job of creating her own fictional details around the actual facts of the crime. She creates a fictional Doctor, Dr Jordan, who interviews Grace 16 years after the crime while attempting to research criminal minds relating to insanity. Dr Jordan has been hired by a religious group that is confident that Grace is innocent of the crime that she has been imprisoned for. He becomes a secondary narrator and struggles with his own demons and sexual nature in a restrictive and proper society.

Grace claims to have no memory of the murders, but has clear memories leading up to and after the event. Many people believe that Grace is a victim of circumstances, a poor motherless child under the influence of an unsavoury character, while others believe Grace is a calculating murderess. Dr Jordan attempts to find the truth through interviews with Grace and others involved in the investigation.

I loved that Atwood didn’t try to solve the crime, and instead wrote a complicated patchwork using history and her amazing imagination. I was impressed that the ending was not what I expected!

Nov 18, 2011, 9:22am

Chelle, glad to see you liked Alias Grace so much. I read most of it the year it was published (haven't included it in my list yet as I'd like to read it cover to cover, word by word). Of all the years of browsing the Booker Prize shortlists, this was the year where I really felt the judges made a wrong decision. I personally thought Atwood had it in the bag with the craft and imagination that had gone into Alias Grace. I think Rohinton Mistry was also nominated that year, but the winner was the comparatively lightweight Last Orders. I'm glad that didn't make it onto the 1001 list.

Nov 18, 2011, 1:19pm

#23 - Great review, Chelle! I look forward to reading it.

Nov 19, 2011, 7:26am

I'm impressed, Chelle, at how hard you are working/ reading to fit in the 1001 books! Wow!

Nov 21, 2011, 1:40pm

Thanks Johnny, it was quite good. I haven't read the other books from the Booker list from that year so I can't compare, but Alias Grace would get my vote anyway!

Thanks Kerry! I think you will find it better than the last couple 1001 books!

Thanks Deb! I'm going to try and make an effort to get through the list of the ones I already own. I feel bad seeing them sitting sad and lonely on my shelf!

Jan 13, 2012, 11:08pm

Thinking I might play along to. We have so many of these books in our house, and with my Nook so much is possible.

I really like the century approach too!

Jan 17, 2012, 11:26pm

9) Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Read for 75 books in 2012, 12 in 2012:Category #7) Morbid thoughts: 1001 Books to Read Before I Die (Books from this list that I DO NOT already own.), 1001 Books to read before you die

I have had a pretty busy month and although I wanted to join in on the Steinbeckathon I just didn't think I was going to be able to fit it in. Thankfully I read some of the reviews from the group read and realized that it was a pretty short book, so I decided to give it a shot. I am SO happy that I did as this was a really great read!

What I loved most about this book was that it didn't tell a big story, nothing huge happens really. It's a group of residents living in a poor area but living the way that makes them happy. Some squat in an old fish building and some squat in an old furnace that they have gutted and made into a home. They all could change their situation, but they are all content with the way things are

Cannery Row tells a lot about human nature, without preaching. It's a simple book where not much happens, but I found I didn't want to put it down anyway.

"It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."


Jan 20, 2012, 3:09am

10) The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Read for 75 books in 2012, 12 in 2012:Category #7) Morbid thoughts: 1001 Books to Read Before I Die , 1001 Books to read before you die, Orange January/July

I won't be posting a review about this novel as I didn't enjoy it. I can see why others would like it and I can understand why it won the awards that it did; interesting story, strong characters, insights into human nature, love and violence, etc. However, all that said I just did not like it.

Editado: Abr 3, 2012, 7:45pm

34) Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #1) Birthday Books: From the year of my birth 1981,
1001 Books to read before you die

Saleem Sinai is born on the stroke of midnight. No, not just the stroke of midnight but also the stroke of India's independence. The Indian government has declared that any child born on the stroke of midnight at the hour of India's independence will be a special child. This sets the stage of Saleem's life, a special child who forms a group with the other special children, The Midnight's Children. These children turn out to be more special than the Indian government would want and Saleem's life is a tumultuous event from beginning to end.

Saleem tells the tale of his pathetic, turbulent life; a life he needs to tell about before he breaks into pieces as he can already feel the cracks forming. He tells the tale of a half deaf, cucumber snot nosed boy living someone else's life. For almost thirty-one years he rides the waves of India's political ups and downs and those of his family as well.

I can't tell you if I like this book as I still don't know. Too many times I wanted to put it down and walk away completely but then I would think about it again and pick it right back up. It is a difficult read, very dense and written in a way that made me reread sentences before they would make any sense.
It is hard to like Saleem, I found him rather whiny and his childhood nickname "snot nose" suits him in more ways than one, but not hard to want to find out where his life takes him and what the ending will be. There were parts that I laughed at and parts that made me cringe. I guess that's the sign of a good book when you feel strong emotions like wanting to hurl the book across the room but at the same time need to know the ending.

Abr 3, 2012, 8:20pm

Wonderful reviews, Donna. Appreciate your honest remarks about The Inheritance of Loss. For some reason, I think I'd feel the same way you do about Midnight's Children; haven't read it yet, but have read a lot of varied reviews. Only one way to find out I guess, but I'm not hurrying to pick it up.

Abr 3, 2012, 9:29pm

Thanks Nancy. It's a very strong book so if you do decide to read it make sure you have time to dedicate to it. I may have enjoyed it more if I had not read it during such a transition in my life

(PS it's Chelle, not Donna. whoops lol)

Abr 4, 2012, 8:26pm

Thanks, Chelle! Honestly, think my mind is escaping me! I went looking on Donna's thread this morning for this review of Midnight's Children; now I know why I couldn't find it!

Editado: Mar 29, 2018, 9:18am

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #7) Morbid thoughts: 1001 Books to Read Before I Die.,
1001 Books to read before you die

How long would you wait for love? A few years, or a lifetime?
Florentino has loved Fermina since the first day he met her but after years of professing his love in the most romantic letters possible she has rejected him and married another. Now he must wait until she is a widow and only then hope that he will get a second chance at love.
Could you wait a lifetime for love?

Abr 15, 2012, 2:19am

I'm not sure Florentino did wait did he? He had plenty of other stuff while he was waiting at least...

Abr 15, 2012, 8:34am

He did have other stuff, a career and lots of affairs but he refused to marry anyone else. I don't know if that's romance or obsession though ....

Abr 15, 2012, 5:07pm

I guess the way to answer that Gogs81 is to ask if you were the one he was waiting for, would you feel romanced or obsessed over? I guess as long as someone refuses to marry someone else but plays the field while waiting for me, I'd be satisfied.......

..... not.

Editado: Maio 13, 2012, 8:10pm

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #8) Such a Rebel: Banned Books,
1001 Books to read before you die

*** Will include spoilers***

I find it very hard to believe that this novel was first published over 70 years ago as some of the main topics, like unions and labor disputes, are still affecting people today. Steinbeck took real life occurrences and turned them into a masterful novel about survival and strength.

Tom Joad and his family have lost their land during the depression and Oklahoma Dustbowl and have decided to migrate to California for work after seeing a handbill advertising the need for fruit pickers. Unfortunately they are not the only family with this idea and the highways are packed with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people trying to find a better life.

After heartbreak on the road the family arrives in California and they quickly realize that it won't be as easy as they had thought. With thousands of workers applying for every open position it becomes very hard to find work. When they do find work the wages are well below what they should be because the farmers know that for every worker that wants 30 cents an hour there is a man with a starving family that will work for 20 cents so he can bring home some food that day.

This book will pull your heart strings in one paragraph and make you angry in the next. Steinbeck does a great job of taking you on the journey with the Joads and you can feel their pain and their happiness. The joy they feel when they see the California valley or when they find a government camp with working toilets and running hot water. The heartbreak and pain they feel when a member dies or when there is not enough to eat. You can be proud at the strength they hold and how they take care of each other, even in their weakest states. This is a novel that will stay with me for much longer than the time it took to read it.

"Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out. But we keep a'comin'. We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people."

Editado: Maio 24, 2012, 11:36pm

Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #7) Morbid thoughts: 1001 Books to Read Before I Die List
1001 Books to read before you die

Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom was a high school basketball star and now life as an adult with real responsibilities isn't really what he thought it would be. Trapped in a crappy job and a marriage with a pregnant alcoholic Rabbit decides to flee at the spur of the moment. He has no idea where he is going, he has no idea where he wants to be; he just knows he doesn't want to stay there anymore.

I would have thought it would be hard to enjoy a book in which I hated all the characters (and I mean all of them) but surprisingly I did enjoy it. Rabbit is a lazy, misogynistic man and his wife is a weak alcoholic that can't be on her own. Together they are horrible and apart they do horrible things.
This is a dark, depressing book in which I hoped the characters could pull it together to do what they should but felt that it would probably get worse as it progressed and I was right.
I plan on reading the rest of the tetralogy and since two of the books were awarded the Pulitzer Prize I imagine the series will only get better.

Maio 25, 2012, 4:34am

heh heh... the writing stays about as good as it gets. But life certainly doesn't get any better for Rabbit.

Jun 4, 2012, 2:50pm

Welcome to the group. Yes I have to say since I have found this list I have read many great finds that I wouldnt have picked up other wise.

I think I own the 2008 edition not sure but it is a great conversation starter because everyone is like OMG you have enough books in the house and now you even have a BOOK ABOUT BOOKS!?!?!? Well yes it helps me to decide what I want to read next sometimes.

Jun 4, 2012, 2:50pm

Welcome to the group. Yes I have to say since I have found this list I have read many great finds that I wouldnt have picked up other wise.

I think I own the 2008 edition not sure but it is a great conversation starter because everyone is like OMG you have enough books in the house and now you even have a BOOK ABOUT BOOKS!?!?!? Well yes it helps me to decide what I want to read next sometimes.

Jun 5, 2012, 1:49am

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #8) Such a Rebel
1001 Books to read before you die

George and Lenny are farm workers who travel together, Lennie is "slow" and George takes care of him. They were forced to flee from the last farm they worked on because Lennie had an incident with a girl that could have got him in a lot of trouble.

The two men dream of having their own land and Lennie constantly wants George to tell him about the crops they will have and the rabbits that Lennie will take care of as Lennie has a passion for furry things.
Lennie and George get a job working on a new farm and right off I got a feeling that things were not going to go well for them. The farm has a rich cast of characters and while Lennie and George's dream bring hope to the book, the background of the novel speaks of great depression.

This was a relatively short novel but it packs quite an emotional punch. I have yet to find a Steinbeck novel that I didn't feel strong emotions while reading and I just love how straightforward his prose is.

Nov 11, 2012, 11:13pm

Rabbit, Redux & Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

Nov 24, 2012, 4:42pm

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (4*)
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #8 Such a Rebel: Banned Books
1001 Books to read before you die

As always Atwood tells a great and seriously eff'ed up story! I am surprised it took me this long to finally read this one and I'm glad that I did!

Jan 5, 2013, 10:36pm

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Read for 75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: 1001 Books to read before you die
1001 Books to read before you die

Christoper is 15 years old and suffers from something similar to Asperger's Syndrom or Autism and he describes himself as "a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties". He is a fan of Sherlock Holmes and when a dog is killed in his neighbourhood he decides to investigate and solve the mystery of "Who killed Wellington?". It is told in first person by Christopher as he is writing a book of his investigation and the drama that occurs because of his investigation.

This a very strange book and completely different than anything I have read before. I read it in one sitting and felt very drawn to Christopher, but I can't say that I would recommend this book. It definitely isn't for everyone.

Editado: Fev 21, 2013, 7:38pm

Beloved by Toni Morrison (4*)
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: LT Recommended books
1001 Books to read before you die

Sethe was a slave before escaping with her children to her mother-in-law's home in Ohio but although she is free she can not escape being a slave to her memories and her past. Her home is haunted by her dead daughter, her sons have run from home and she is left with her only remaining daughter, Denver, and her memories. "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom."

Set in the 1860's after the American Civil War and inspired by a true story, Beloved tells much more than a ghost story. Dealing with some very strong emotions it portrays the emotional and physical devastation that slavery caused and the mental decline that could occur in a freed slave when forced with the prospect of being forced back into slavery.

This was almost a five star read for me but in the second part of the book it is written in a completely different way than the beginning and end and I found it difficult to follow. Thankfully that was only a small portion of the book and was only a minor irritation.

I can see why this book won the many awards that it did. 4*

Awards Won:
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1988),
American Book Award (1988),
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (1988),
National Book Critics Circle Award (1987),
Frederic G. Melcher Book Award (1988)

Editado: Abr 10, 2013, 12:38pm

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard (4*)

Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: 1001 Books to read before you die
1001 Books to read before you die

This was a very interesting read and I found it was a book that was easy to get into and hard to put down.

When Chili Palmer finds his jacket stolen from a coat check he tracks the man down, punches him in the face and takes his jacket back. When the man, Ray Bones, comes after Chili he shoots Bones in the head. Simple enough. Unfortunately he should have killed Bones as twelve years later Chili's boss dies and Chili ends up working for Bones

Bones orders Chili to collect on a bad debt when a client dies in a plane crash. Chili tries to collect from the widow and finds out that the man is actually alive and took off to Vegas with the cash payout that the airlines gave his wife for his death. Chili follows him to Vegas and then to Hollywood and manages to end up the movie business.

I really enjoyed this read although I'm a little surprised that it ended up on the 1001 books to read list. I am going to track down a copy of the movie next as I think my husband would really enjoy it.

Editado: Abr 10, 2013, 12:38pm

I'm always surprised when I see that one on the list too. I really disliked the movie, in part because I just don't like that kind of story, and in part because I dislike all the actors in it. It's hard to imagine that it's 1001-worthy.

Abr 13, 2013, 2:26pm

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (4*)

Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: 1001 Books to read before you die
1001 Books to read before you die

I can't believe that I haven't read this before. I laughed and smiled the whole time I listened to this.
I'm too lazy to write a review right now as I'm cooking and drinking wine but here are some of the quotes that made me smile.

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

“I don't want to die now!" he yelled. "I've still got a headache! I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it!”

Editado: Jul 17, 2013, 5:05pm

Cider House Rules by John Irving
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: 1001 Books to read before you die
1001 Books to read before you die

This was an excellent read. Once I started it I didn't want to put it down. I am very surprised that it took my so many years to finally read a John Irving novel!

Jul 30, 2013, 10:27pm

So I was checking out the website and realized that the latest edition has books that I have read but didn't realize were on the list
So I'm adding these books that I've read prior to this year:

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Marriage Plot follows the life of three recent graduates of Brown University. Madeleine is graduating as an English Major and we meet her on graduation day, hung over after a post-breakup bender. She is recently out of a relationship with Leonard, a manic-depressive scientist. Madeleine is not aware of his disease until graduation day and we follow as she attempts to cope with his disease and attempt to support him through his hospitalization. Mitchell is a religious studies student who is in love with Madeleine, but knows that she does not return his affection and just wants to be his friend.

The book follows the life of these students as the leave school and attempt to join the world. While following the love triangle, we learn about each individual and how they relate to each other. I found this part of the book to be very enjoyable; however I found this novel too full of literary junk. I was lost in obscure literary and philosophical references and discussion of semiotics (which I’ve never heard of and had to look up.) These references might not be lost on anyone who has extensive education, but a large amount of them were lost on me.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #11) Grape Vine: Books found from recommendations on LT

Not quite a novel but not really short stories, A Visit From the Goon Squad is a series of chapters written as different characters during different times of their life and different years. Ranging from past and future it tells the story of how time can be a bitch. "Time's a goon, right? You gonna let that goon push you around?" Each chapter tells the tale of six degrees of separation of a sort, each new character has been part of a past story in either a major or minor role in the previous characters life.

I quite enjoyed this book but one chapter was written as a series of power point slides and it did not translate well into audio format! I think I will find a paper copy to check out that particular chapter.
Recommended :)

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Read for 75 books in 2012,
12 in 2012:Category #11) Grape Vine: Books found from recommendations on LT

This was a small book with a lot to say about human nature and the way a person can view their own history. Tony Webster has lived a safe and average life and is now nearing old age. He remembers for the reader his school friends and a past relationship that went sour. When he receives a letter from a lawyer he starts to realize that what he remembers might not be exactly the way history played out.
"What you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed.”

I quite enjoyed this book. I may go back an reread it another time as I feel that there are parts that I didn't quite "get". There is a quote in the book where someone says to Tony ”You don’t get it. You never did.” and towards the end of the book that quote could have been aimed at me as there are spots that I feel I clearly missed something.

Editado: Set 18, 2013, 11:09pm

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (3*)
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: 1001 Books to read before you die
1001 Books to read before you die

I wish I could say that I enjoyed this novel more than I did. I liked the story itself and the characters but at over 600 pages it was just way too long. Irving probably could have cut out 200 pages and still had a wonderful novel full of meaning and a great story. I found myself skimming pages in the middle of the book. I almost abandoned it at one point but I hung in until the end. If it had been shorter I probably would have given it a higher star rating.

Set 20, 2013, 10:55pm

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (5*)
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: Classic Novels
1001 Books to read before you die

Wonderful, just wonderful. If all "classic" novels were as enjoyable to read I would read more of them! I found Holden to be a loveable little crazy that I just wanted to hug and steer in the right direction. This was my first Salinger and I will be picking up Franny and Zoey in the future!

Editado: Set 28, 2013, 11:23am

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4.5*)
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
2013 Category Challenge: Prize winners (Booker or Orange Prizes)
1001 Books to read before you die
Orange January/July

I really enjoyed this novel even though I don't know much of the history behind the book. As with any book based on conflict it will pull at your heartstrings quite a bit! I was impressed with Adichie's story telling abilities. She made the history portions seem completely part of the story and if you didn't know that this was based on true events you could believe that this was a complete work of fiction.

Out 7, 2013, 5:42pm

1984 by George Orwell (4*)
Read for:
75 Books Challenge for 2013,
1001 Books to read before you die,
2013 Category Challenge: Classic Novels

There are so many classic novels that don't hold up after many years and some that probably stunk in the first place and someone silly decided that everyone should read them. 1984 is what I think a good classic novel should be and I can understand it being on so many "must read" lists. You can tell it's a bit dated but it still holds up, it's creative and it has a good story to tell along with some life lessons. This was one of the classics that I was actually happy to read.

Ago 20, 2016, 12:22pm

Life of Pi by Yann Martell (58)
Read for:
1001 Books to read before you die,
Booker Prize

Read as audio book and absolutely loved it!

Editado: Jun 17, 2018, 9:51pm

24) Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
1001 Books to read before you die

I was incredibly disappointed to see how much I disliked this book because I loved The Road and also because I have seen it reviewed over and over as the "the greatest work of American literature period" and given five star reviews.

There were parts of this novel that I actually enjoyed, but then some parts of his prose was written in such a challenging way that I had trouble following what was going on. The vocabulary used was at times so difficult that I had to repeatedly stop reading to check words, and his sentence structures were off the charts long in some spots. I would get to the end of a dense sentence that lasted half a page and not know what I had just read.

When I picked it up I had been warned that it was graphic and incredibly violent and I was surprised to see that wasn't the case and it was just his writing style that threw me off.

I think this is one of those books that I'll put back on the shelf and come back to years later. Perhaps in a different time in my life I could try and see what others love about this novel.

For now it's a low 3⭐️ (would have been 2⭐️ but I started to like it more by the last 10%)

Jun 17, 2018, 10:00pm

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
1001 Books to read before you die
Great American Read
75 Books in 2018

When I first heard of this novel I didn't think I would ever pick it up as I had it in my head that it was going to be one of those stuffy classics that I wouldn't be able to get into. I was wrong. This caught my interest from the opening line and kept my attention until the very end. Excellent and recommended. 4🌟

Maio 8, 2019, 11:09am

American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
75 Books Challenge 2019
1001 Books to read before you die

Brutal. Disgusting. Vile.
As it turns out I apparently enjoy disgusting, brutal and vile books as I read this in only a couple days.
Not recommended for anyone with a weak stomach.

Maio 8, 2019, 3:07pm

I felt the same way when I finished The Black Dahlia last week in two days!

Maio 8, 2019, 3:12pm

>64 ChelleBearss: It's certainly an acquired taste. I finished it, but in no way enjoyed or understood it.

Maio 20, 2019, 11:10am

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
1001 Books to read before you die
75 Books Challenge
Pop Sugar Challenge: 14 - a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie (Gilmore Girls - Rory)

This was a fast paced and interesting trip into the drug world of the 70's in America. I had never watched the movie but I found this interesting and easy to follow. It's hard to imagine that anyone could actually consume that amount of drugs and live to tell about it!

Mar 20, 10:26am

2021 Pop Sugar Challenge:48) A book from your TBR list chosen at random
52 Book Club 2021 Challenge:Mar 15-21 ~ 11. Book with discussion questions inside
1001 Books to read before you die
Booker Prize (long list)
75 Books Challenge for 2021
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors and I have made an effort to buy many of her works over the years. I have had this book on my shelves since 2013 and for some reason have never picked it up. It was quite long and very rich and it took me almost a week to finish it, which is very long for me! While I did find the beginning to be long winded and slightly harder to get into, about half way it got very interesting and much easier to read in longer stretches.
I have added to quite a few challenges with this book and it was well overdue for a read!

Mar 20, 1:27pm

Adding books that I've read and forgot to add to this list:

PopSugar Challenge:6) A bildungsroman
75 Books Challenge for 2020

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

PopSugar Challenge:48) A book published in the 20th century
75 Books Challenge for 2020
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Mar 22, 8:52am

Good to "see" you again after a year.