Friday, January 28, 2005

I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day I'll be in my current department and that soon enough I'll be over in a new job. There's so much stuff I need to do -- both finishing things up for the old department and preparing for my new position. I don't think I'll be able to get it all done, but I'm trying.

So, I haven't gotten around to finishing my list of 101 things in 1001 days. Eventually, I tell you! However, I did find many references to a new idea that bloggers are doing this year -- 50 books in a year. So I'm jumping on that bandwagon -- hop! Not so much that I don't think that I can't read fifty books in one year, but because it might be fun to keep track of how many books I do read in a year. I've already got six of them done in January and they are as follows:

1. Trixie Belden and the Mystery of Bob-White Cave
Trixie and the Bob-Whites head down to Iowa to visit her uncle and stumble across a cash prize for finding cave fish. They also find Bob-White cave, home to the blind fish. Along the way, there's a mysterious stranger who also seems to be after the same thing... It was okay -- pretty much a standard Trixie book. I actually remember reading it back when I was younger -- the blind cave fish stood out in my mind. I've read better books, but it's a cute mystery.

2. Trixie Belden and the Mystery of Cobbett's Island
Trixie and the Bob-Whites head to Cobbett's Island for a 10-day vacation. Along the way, they stumble across a mysterious letter which leads them to investigate a missing inheritance. Pretty standard Trixie book. The mystery is fairly tame, but had a good pay-off. The plot wasn't terribly transparent, but I figured out the ending before they did.

3. Persuading Annie
Melissa Nathan also wrote Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field and she continues in her Jane Austen take-offs with Persuading Annie. This time Nathan remakes Persuasion with a modern British setting. I enjoyed the remake of Persuasion. It's one of my favorite Austen books, and I felt like the remake was fairly faithful, but yet allowed for a fun modern setting. A good chick lit book.

4. White Bikini Panties
As you can probably guess from the ridiculous name, it's a chick lit book. A relationship breaks up and our heroine, whose name I don't remember, works to get over it. Okay for the genre, but definitely not a must read. I don't think I'd want to be seen on the bus reading it.

5. Getting Garbo
The back of the book described it as a combination of Elmore Leonard and some other authors (whom I don't remember right now), but that is dead on. It's a noir-ish mystery set in Hollywood during the 1950s and involves two characters, a teenage autograph collector and her favorite TV star. I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy old Hollywood. Plus it's a really interesting story. I read it all in one day!

6. The Family Tree
This novel defies description somehow, but it has two settings, the 1970s and the present. It's set in England and Rebecca, the narrator, is presently writing a disseration on 1970s pop culture. Her husband, Alistair, is a genetists and the genetics of her family keeps coming up. The novel also flashes back to Rebecca's childhood during the 1970s and the family conflicts that occur. My description may not make it sound terribly interesting, but it was a really funny and touching book to read. The flashing back and forth between the present and the past is actually kind of fun and makes keeping track of the stories, which would be compelling presented straightfowardly, even more interesting. I would highly recommend this one!

So, there you go. It's not even the end of January and I've already read six books. You might not count the Trixie Belden books, but seriously, they're still like 200 some pages long! Ha!

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