Karen's 75 Books on a Stick (2009)
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1. Night of the Gun (David Carr)
2. Holidays on Ice (David Sedaris)
3. The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
5. Best American Short Stories (2008) (ed. Salman Rushdie)
6. Possessing the Secret of Joy (Alice Walker)
7. The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
8. 2010: Odyssey Two (Arthur C. Clarke)
In case you're wondering, "on a stick" refers to the Minnesota State Fair, where an unbelievable number of food items are offered "on a stick." It's my nod to summer in the middle of winter.
I just finished
9. Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men
I don't read many books of...sociology?...but this one was thought-provoking.
Really well-written and quite applicable to today's economic climate.
I'd read this back in high school (a LONG time ago) but wanted to refresh my mind with it. Glad I did. Terrific book--imaginative, well-written.
12. 2061:The Third Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.
I've enjoyed the series (2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: The Second Odyssey, and now this one, but with diminishing response. There's one more book in the series 3001: The Final Odyssey and I'll probably read that one, as well. It's probably a little anal-retentive of me, but I like to complete things.
FlossieT, I also was really moved by Slaughterhouse 5. The terrible destruction of such a beautiful city. War is truly hell on earth.
I really like this guy's books. He's got several series of books going, and this one is set in Edinburgh, with a range of really interesting characters. The writing is sweet, simple, but profound.
A patron at the library raved about this book and the two that follow it in the series. It's actually a "juvie" book (juvenile fiction) but it was a delight to read. The author has a real gift with language and an obvious love of books. It's the kind of book where you feel sad knowing that you'll never read it again for the first time.
I've got the next 2 (Inkspell, Inkdeath) on my TBR list for the year. Did you see the Inkheart film? Though it changed the ending somewhat, I really enjoyed it and thought that from a film perspective, the changes were for the better.
I just got notice that Inkspell is on hold for me at the library. 8>)
I haven't seen the Inkheart movie yet. I sometimes fear seeing a movie version of a book that I really liked--what if they wreck it? So your recommendation is very helpful to me --Thanks!
In a seminar on Reader's Advisory by Nancy Pearl (the Book Lust author), we were challenged to read something out of our normal selections.
So, this was my pick. The book had an interesting concept, but the writing was not real strong, and I thought the book's ending was cheap and almost thrown together. I don't know if I'll read anymore of Picoult's books.
Good news is that I'm working on a set of Dashiell Hammett books--they are luscious!
This is one of the "1001 Books," and I really enjoyed it. It is a hard-boiled detective story, but Hammett has such a gift for description and keeping it "short and sweet."
I read this for my book club. Millett is a local (Minnesota) author, and he places his novel in late 19th century St. Paul. Written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, of course.
It was a fun read, and well written. I've requested a few more of the books in the series from my library.
Wells was so ahead of his time with this novel. I found that it dragged a little from time to time (maybe it was because I wanted to find out what happened?!) This is in the "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" list, and it is my 62nd book read (I know, quite pathetic, but I'm making progress).
I am going to have to look for the Millett books, being a big Holmes fan. Thanks for the mention.
Arukiyomi's excel sheet tells me I need to read 24 (19+5) books an year to finish with the 2006 and 2008 versions, will check at the end of the year if I am doing fine without really following the list or do I need to pop in more books from the 1001 list...
Next, I just read "The Nose" by Nikolai Gogol for the "1001 Books..." project, but I won't list it as one of my books, since it really is quite short. Very funny, surreal.
20. The Nineteenth Wife by David Ebershoff
This is like two books in one - two wives of polygamy, separated by more than a century. Really interesting history (it did get bogged down at times) and modern day mystery, but the ending was completely unsatisfying. I felt as if I had missed the ending (I even checked my page numbers to make sure they were all there!) That's the second recently-penned book that I've read recently where it seemed the author just couldn't wind things up (see my number 16 My Sister's Keeper). I'm not a writer, and I'm sure that it must be hard to write a perfect ending, but I am a voracious reader, and this book left me wanting something more.
The edition I read included a few of Capote's short stories as well.
What a great read! Great characterization and atmosphere.
24. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. LOVED this one--even tastier than the movie, with wit and warmth.
So, I made 24 books in 3 months; if I keep up the pace, that will be 96 books by the end of the year (without pushing too hard). Maybe I'll make 100 books!
I had wanted to read these plays for a long time. I feel like I'm intellectually more responsible now, but the plays were SO dark and depressing. People dying all over the place. So I'm glad that I read them, but also glad that I don't feel like I have to read anymore.
I had read this in my youth, but it was great to revisit it. I enjoy Dickens, but he has this tendency to write extremely long sentences. A reader really has to focus to keep attention until the end of the sentence.
Wow, this was so fun a read (and so funny!) that it practically read itself. Another truly enjoyable read.
This was a treat to read. Science fiction, history, political science, love story,...
Finding and reading this book was a serendipitous thing for me. My local library system is having their book sale ("Book-a-Palooza!") and I found a beat-up copy of this book. It is on the 1001 Books list.
What a charming read! Beautifully and crisply written. The plot was simple, almost like a fairy tale, a Cinderella story.
I've been reading a lot lately. I visited some libraries I hadn't been to before, and felt like I should check something out, so...
I liked this book; it was funny and witty, but kind of bizarre. It was a good experience.
33. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift
This was on the 1001 Books list. I think I had read this back in my youth, but it's a lot more meaningful with a lifetime's worth of experiences in the mind of the reader.
You should really go on and read Edgar Allen Poe - The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - and discover the original Richard Parker (seriously!). I read it and wanted to go back to Pi to cross-reference, but couldn't quite face it.
I'd read this in my youth, but needed to reread (1) because my book club is reading it, and (2) it's on the 1001 Book list.
I have mixed feelings about this. It was certainly an interesting story, and the author has some great powers of description, but then there's the Sherlock Holmes character...which gets to be so annoying to me.
Oh, well, another step closer to 75!!
36. The Gudwulf Manuscript Robert B. Parker
A patron at a library at which I work suggested Robert B. Parker, so I thought I'd start with one of his old ones (the first Spenser book?)
Really pretty funny, although somewhat dated. Light, entertaining reading.
Such a beautiful book, both in the writing and the story. I had read this in my youth, but, once again, it seems I have more insight and appreciation now.
Book 78 of "1001 Books" for me.
Book 79 of "1001 Books" for me.
Nonstop action, but I had to work at it to finish up. Historically very interesting.
Book 80 of "1001 Books" for me.
And that's the only reason I would have read this, other than its historical value. Not so much because of the twisted psychology, but because it was mostly boring.
I hear what you're saying (#64). But I've also read some wonderful novels, ones that I would have put on my TBR list and then, probably never read.
The 1001 Books list has been a prompt to stick with things, looking for the beauty of each book. I haven't read a completely not worthwhile book yet (and here's hoping that I don't, at all!)
43. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A.Milne
44. Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives by David Snowdon
I usually have a number of books going, and here I finished three of them in short succession.
The le Carre book is classic, and I was engaged from the get-go. I'm glad there are a few le Carre books on the 1001 Books list.
The Pooh book was terrific, too. I think I'd read those books again even if I had read them before, instead of just playing catch up.
Aging with Grace was a wonderful book about a fantastic group of people. Lots of insight into living well in the latter part of one's life.
So, three out of three winners here.
My library coworker recommended this book (actually went and got it off the shelf) when I mentioned I was reading the A.A. Milne books. I waited to read this book until I had finished When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. The Enchanted Places is an autobiography by "Christopher Robin" Milne. I found it a very compelling book, full of insight into both the Pooh books, and into the life of the author.
After finishing this book, I understand why it is considered a masterpiece. It must be really something in the original French.
That said, it took me a long time to get through the ornate language of the translation, and the twists and turns of the plot. It was also difficult to feel any empathy for the main characters; I really felt like they deserved what they got.
The device of using letters as the entire format of the novel was very interesting.
Now here's a "children's" book that is also on the "1001 Books" list.
Totally charming read. Drawings were beautiful. I need to spend more time with this book.
Okay, this one was just for fun, and I had already read it twice, but this is my list, so I'm counting it!
It was still just as involving and moving on my third time through. I'm hoping to get to see the movie in the next few weeks.
BTW - It is your list so if you want to count re-reads, go ahead! We are not the book police, lol.
I'm glad I get to count rereads! And glad that there aren't any book police here!
I'd been working on this one for a while--it was kind of a slow starter. But it was fascinating and inspiring and helped me figure out a few people in my life. Very nicely written for a non-fiction item.
54. Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
Excellent, tragic, witty. Evocative of people (rooming house of women), places (London, as WWII is ending). This "1001 book" is wonderful.
I had read an interview with Nora Ephron, and decided to give this book a read. It was wonderful--very funny and very sad. A work of fiction, but thinly-veiled story of the end of Ephron's second marriage after she learns of her husband's infidelity. at the time of the events in the book, she was seven months pregnant with the couple's second child.
I picked up the DVD of the movie (with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson) at the library, too. I always find it interesting to compare the book with the movie.
I will most definitely be checking out more Nora Ephron--she's terrific.
I love, love, love this movie. I'm curious to learn of your impressions.
I laughed, I cried. I'm glad that the movie makers seemed to cleave pretty close to the book. And now I know why that Carly Simon song incorporates "Itsy Bitsy Spider."
"Heartburn" is now on my all-time favorites list, too (#93).
This book was a breath of fresh air. I hadn't read any Wodehouse before, but he was on my list. Wodehouse just has so much fun with language; I found myself laughing aloud at times while reading.
What might have made the experience more profound is that I'm finishing up Pilgrim's Progress. Thank You, Jeeves was a great change of pace.
This book is also on the "1001 Books" list.
I finally can mark this one completed. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but it was a little slow at times.
And I had such trouble finding a complete version. The first copy I got from the library had only the first part (and I didn't know then that there were two parts). It was also abridged--I hate that! Only a tiny little disclaimer on the title page, "slightly abridged for the modern audience." Give me a break! Don't do ME any favors!
I found a copy on my book shelves, but it was quite ratty, and had messy underlining and notes all over. Not a pleasant read.
So I got a different, complete version from the library--a book that was truly a pleasure to read. Nice, thick paper, at least a little white space, and guaranteed complete.
So, the book itself. Part One is the one I was aware of, the story of Christian, who leaves friends and family for a pilgrimage to the Celestial City. The second part is the story of Christiana, Christian's wife, who, with her four sons and friend Mercy, follows her husband's route on her own pilgrimage.
Pilgrim's Progress was meant to be a devotional book, but I found it funny, sweet, exciting in parts, and even of use in the spiritual department.
Loved this book. A set of elderly folks is receiving phone calls telling them: "remember you must die." The characters are wonderful, I loved the theme.
59. Not So Big Remodeling by Sarah Susanka
This was something really different for me to read. There are a lot of pictures, but it was a lot to read. I try to read all of Susanka's books, and this one was especially practical as I consider remodeling my home. Really great book.
It was so nice to have a nice fluffy novel to read (not that it wasn't exciting and well-written, because it was). But to be able to read a book at a clip, not worrying about missing nuance or intricate plot development. Delicious!
This book is the third in a series by a Minnesotan, a crime novel featuring a quirky female FBI agent.
I'd certainly recommend this book, although LibraryThing doesn't seem to "know" about it yet!
I have been working on Don Quixote for months, and I finally finished. I really enjoyed it - such a witty and beautiful book, and the characterization is exceptional. I'll really miss Don Quixote and squire Sancho Panza.
I usually prefer reading real books (of the paper type) but this one was physically so large that I really preferred reading it on my crusty old ebook reader.
I had read this about a million years ago, so wanted to read again (and it's on the 1001 Books list).
Great book, interesting story and characters. I followed the reading of the book with a watching of the movie (also very good).
Really interesting book on the "Antithykera Mechanism" (sp?), a mechanical artifact found off of the Grecian island of Antithykera. The mechanism was used to give locations of the sun and moon, predict eclipses, chart positions of the planets, and who knows what else.
A lot of the science went over my head and I didn't even try to grab it, but I loved the history (both ancient and modern) and the mystery of the thing.
64. The Nun by Denis Diderot
Written in 1760, published in 1796. A young woman gets one bad deal after another, forced to take nun's vows. Tries to have her vows annulled. Mostly horrible convents, nuns, life. Really don't know why this one is on the 1001 Books list. Its only saving grace is that it's pretty short in length.
65. Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Hundreds of years later, Spark wrote Driver's Seat. This one is a little gem. Story of woman on vacation, somewhere in southern Europe. I felt, right away, that things were not right, that something bad was going to happen. Even with all of the ominous things going on, there is lots of really funny, witty dialogue. I'm a real fan of Muriel Spark now.
I've had a couple of non-fiction books in the works. I'm a history nut, and this one (authored by a Monty Python alumnus), is a witty and interesting look at ancient history.
Really interesting look at church history, architecture, art history...I would have liked to have more illustrations (there are a dozen or so black and white plates, and drawings scattered throughout) but what was there did succeed in enlivening the writing (which was very nice on its own).
Loved this book, on many levels. One of those I felt compelled to finish, to find out what happens next. I think this is one that can be best understood by someone at least middle-aged. I first read the book in my late 20s and I'm sure I didn't feel as philosophical about it as I do now.
This is a strange little book, but the author paints some lovely word-pictures of Veronika and the people she comes into contact with. Great discussion of what is "crazy." I can't wait to read more Coelho.
This is actually a book of short stories, part of the "1001 Books" list. O'Connor might have had a gift for description and evocation, but the stories left me uneasy and sad.
Terrific book. Du Maurier does atmosphere like no one else. And what a fun, twisty plot. One of my "1001 Books" reads -- number 96!
What an amazing book. It worked out well for me that the writing was so compelling, since the book is so big. I've been reading this one for a few months, but lately I've put other books aside to concentrate on this one; I just had to find out what happened next!
There's a 1001 Books group who have just started reading The Count. I plan to hang around and read the discussion, but if I contribute, I'll watch what I say very carefully so as to not spoil the read for anyone.
This one is one of my favorites on the 1001 Books list.
One advantage of being sick (I have a cold/flu?) is lots of time for reading.
I love reading transcripts of ancient texts as found in this collection. I was really surprised to not have come across this before, but very glad to have found it. Some of the texts are just beautiful.
Ta-da! Made the 75-book challenge, with three months to spare.
I loved this book. It's nominally about a pair of brothers who spend their lives in a mansion on Fifth Avenue in NYC and manage to fill the house with tons of collections of ... stuff. Homer becomes blind in eraly adulthood; Langley suffers the effects of mustard gas and mental illness. The reader is a witness of 20th century American history and societal changes. The book is sad, at times funny, and unnerving. It's amazing to me that eighty years of living can be described in 200 pages, but Doktorow does it. Highly recommended.
This was one of the more unusual books on the 1001 Books list. I really enjoyed reading it, although it's so dense that I really had to focus on every word: the reader needs to work hard on this one. Laughed aloud a lot; felt sadness for all of the "So-and-so is dead." I just love ILL--this book is kind of scarce.
Finally finished this one! It is my book club's read for the month, as well as on the 1001 Books list.
I'm really glad to have read it--there were some points of pure poetry--but it was really hard to slog through at times.
This book marks my 100th book of the 1001 Books. I had set myself to hit the 100 mark by the end of the year, so I'm pleased. 100 seems more substantial a number than even 99. I'm in the triple digits!
This was a fun read. I confess that I never miss the TV show "Castle," even though I have to tape it because I work Monday nights. It's a terrific show, well-written, lots of great dialogue, humor and drama.
The fictional author Richard Castle, one of the main characters in the show, has just published his "Heat Wave." To carry on the fiction, an actual "Heat Wave" was published. I just love the overlapping of the real world and the fictive world. And the book was actually pretty good. Short and sweet.
Excellent book. Sweet little "cozy" mystery, with a nice twist at the end (I never saw it coming). This is the only Agatha Christie book on the "1001 Books" list.
Frightening little Halloween read. When I was reading, I often felt that the characters were trapped and unable to move away from the danger that threatened them--just like in a nightmare. A good scary read.
Enjoyed this one. I read an edition that had lots of illustrations and background information throughout the book (I forget the edition name, and I've already returned the book to the library). I started out thinking, "Man, this book has a lot of misogynistic statements in it!" but then I realized that the people espousing the crap were definitely not held up as role models.
Nice and scary, interesting read. Laugh-out-loud funny at times.
Such a sense of place in this book--cold, gloomy, and isolated. A real tragedy in that the main characters couldn't find a way to break out of the lives in which they found themselves.
Really beautiful book, with wonderful photos, many spanning verso and recto (I think those are the correct terms). Lots of cool history and biography, too. I didn't watch the TV series, but I think this was a good substitute.
85. 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help by Benjamin Wiker
I ran across this one while working at the library, and couldn't resist the title. The book was very interesting, but I sense a definite Catholic, or at least Christian bias. The author is definitely educated and intelligent; I'd never read any of the books he discussed, but I felt I was getting a fair approximation of them. Highly footnoted and a nice index.
86. The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield
The short story, The Garden Party, is on the 1001 Books list. I liked Mansfield's style, so I read the rest of the stories. The stories are quite amazing; the author is great at building atmosphere and painting relationships. I'd highly recommend this little book--these are little jewels of short stories. No vampires or mayhem--just good stories.
87. Good Dog. Stay by Anna Quindlen
Came across this little book at work at the library yesterday. I really like Quindlen's writing (she was a regular columnist in Newsweek for a while). This tiny little book is like a delicious truffle, one that you wish would last longer. Added bonus of lots of wonderful pictures of beautiful dogs. This is a very personal look at Quindlen's life. If you read it, have some tissues handy.
Re Doctorow, have never read Homer & Langley (*wishlists*) but I just finished - yesterday - Doctorow's The Book of Daniel which was really really good. Though having read a different book, I too was impressed by just how much history Doctorow can fit into a small book (mine was 300 pages). If you haven't read this one, I can definitely recommend it! It's the fictionalized story of the Rosenbergs' lives - their son, Daniel being the protagonist - leading up to their trial and death penalty.
Regarding Katherine Mansfield, I had never heard of her before starting the 1001 Books business. I am in risk of sounding very corny, but my literary world has opened up because of that 1001 Books book, especially in view of all of the wonderful female authors in the world.
I have added The Book of Daniel to my list--sounds great. Thanks for the recommendation.
Quite interesting book about the awe-inspiring painting, its painter (Picasso) and history.
I would LOVE to see it up close and personal. It's been moved a lot over the years, but is currently (and permanently?) in Madrid. The painting has had such an impact on so many people. Thanks for sharing your own recollection of seeing it hanging.
Excellent, fun read. The book is set up almost like a modern-day Canterbury Tales, with a group of people from the fictional Lake Wobegon (and the real? fictional? Gary Keillor) on a pilgrimage to Rome. I've read many of Keillor's books, and this is my new favorite.
90. The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction by Bernard Meehan
A little gem of a book. I came across this one working at the library the other night; it grabbed my eye right away. Amply illustrated with selections from the illuminated Book of Kells. I will be reading more books about the Book, and dreaming of a trip to Dublin to maybe see the real thing. Wouldn't that be something?!
The Book of Daniel is already on my tbr pile, I wanted to read it this year, but only got to read Ragtime
I'd just read Keillor's Pilgrims, but loved the timing of a book called Christmas Blizzard. The Christmas Blizzard is a sweet little book with lots of good storytelling. Keillor seems to lose interest a little at the end, because the book ends abruptly and kind of magically (maybe that's the point). But a real nice read. I might make this an annual read.
I hope you like The Christmas Blizzard. The storytelling gets a little silly at times, but I would definitely recommend the book. I felt at the end, though, that the book just finished a little too quickly and awkwardly. But I truly am glad that I read it (I even paid a tiny rental fee because I didn't want to wait).
Congratulations on your 500 books! (I follow your threads). What would we do without books?!
Then I'm more than ever glad that we have an ever-growing mountain of books to read!
I watch the television show "Castle." On the last episode, one of the characters, a voracious reader, suffered amnesia, and realized that he had a library of books that he couldn't remember, that he would have to read again "for the first time." The character Castle, who is a novelist, said that he envied him for that.
Oh, I took the book quizzes at Blue Pyramid, and I got Watership Down for Quiz 1 and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for Quiz 2. Those were fun!
I agree about the book quizzes. They are fun.
I can't get enough of this guy. His books are so low-key, so philosophical, so genuine. Isabel Dalhousie is such an intelligent, likable woman (most of his female characters are).
Wonderful book, full of adventure, drama (and comedy). Lots of swashbuckling occurring. This was also a 1001 Books book, my 106th.
Eh. Although this was a thin volume, it took time to slog through each little short story. A few of the stories actually had a plot, who would have thought?! I guess this was just not my cup of tea.