Monday, August 15, 2005

It's time for the massive, massive post. Oh yes, in case you didn't notice, I haven't been keeping up to date with books I've been reading. The original goal was 50 books in a year, but I managed to hit that number before the end of June. So if I keep on pace, it'll be 100 books in 2005. Let's see if I can do it.

46. Summer in the City (6/21) A cheesy chick lit novel. We get a lot of them at the library, so I go through phases of reading them. Honestly, I can rip through a chick lit novel in a night. But they seem a little bit better than the cheesy romance novels. Well, kind of. And this one had a pretty interesting plot -- a man and women exchange jobs and apartments, switching New York for London and vice versa. Of course, as you can imagine, it only leads to romantic involvement!

47. The Dating Game (6/22) I didn't realize this was part of a series, but it was pretty entertaining. A group of high school girls do a school project matching up people via the Internet. Okay.

48. Three Bedrooms in Chelsea (6/27) Three girls share an apartment in Chelsea and tangled love lives. Cheesy chick lit, but entertaining.

49. The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder (6/28) The story of an assistant in Hollywood. Seems to ring true, but I've never been to California, so wha do I know?

50. The Pursuit of Love (6/30) by Nancy Mitford. I had never heard of the Mitfords before, but apparently they are pretty famous. This was combined with Love in a Cold Climate and both were pretty intersesting. Stories about a fabulously wealthy and eccentric family in England between WWI and WWII. Would definitely recommend if you enjoy Brit Lit or stories about eccentric families. I might have to see if the other sisters wrote as well!

51. At the Shores (7/3) by Thomas Rogers. The blurb on the back (written by Phillip Roth, wrote The Plot Against America: A Novel, a fairly fascinating book itself) suggested reading it with Catcher in the Rye and another book about adolescent boys. I would totally agree -- this was a fascinating story about a young boy during the post-WWII days who lived in Chicago during the year and on the shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana during the summer. It's a cliche, but it's a coming-of-age story which gave me insight into the adolescent male mind. Highly recommended!

52. 44 Scotland Street (7/4) by Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Club series (which I have not read). This was originally written as a series for an Edinburgh paper and it has a very interesting story. I enjoyed his style a lot and found his characters to be quite interesting. It would probably be a good story to read outloud.

53. It's in His Kiss (7/5) by Julia Quinn. Seriously, I love Julia Quinn's Regeancy novels. And the Bridgerstone series are so funny and entertaining and romantic. If you have to read romance novels -- well, if you'd like to try reading romance novels but want to read something with smart and funny heroines and heroes, try Julia Quinn's books. She has quite a few out there and I would love to go back and read them all again for the first time. I also bought this one in Eau Claire while on vacation. My Fourth of July vacation was a good time for me to read, if you notice the dates.

54. Man Hunting (7/7) by Jennifer Cruise. She also writes fairly smart and funny romance novels. I had read this one before, but honestly, they do all kind of blend together after a while. An author I would recommend if you are looking for some fun romances.

55. Thursday's Child (7/7) by Sandra Brown. This one is truly cheesy and retro-80s. If you have nothing better to read, I'd suggest it. But if you don't have anything better to read, consider getting a library card. There are better things out there!!!

56. A Superior Death (7/9) Part of a mystery series with a National Park Service ranger, this one is set up in Lake Superior. A pretty good mystery, but I am not going to look for the rest of the series. It was slim pickins at my parent's house. Seriously.

57. Love in a Cold Climate (7/11) by Nancy Mitford. I liked In Pursuit of Love a lot better, but this one was still pretty good. It has a very different story, but similar characters.

58. Original Cyn (7/16) Cheesy British chick lit. Eh?

59. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (7/17) by J. K. Rowlings. Hmmm...I think I wrote about this one before. I enjoyed it, but it definitely felt like it was leading up to book 7. I mean, the other novels (I felt) stood more on their own. I also felt like I should've re-read book 5 before going after this one, but still -- Harry Potter is quite a good time. And next time I will be able to start with 1 and go all the way to the end. Huzzah! And I skipped church to read this one. That's how good Harry Potter is.

60. Miss Library Lady (7/17) The series this book is a part of is called "Romances for Young Moderns." How awesome is that!!! It's the story of a young librarian in the Pacific Northwest and her quest to be the best librarian EVER and yet at the same time find true love. Yes, this quest takes her to Hawaii where apparently all the cool (kewl?) librarians end up. Totally early '50s, but still fun.

61. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (7/17) by Roald Dahl. A re-read after seeing the movie. I actually had started it before seeing the movie, but didn't quite finish it. Plus I lost it in the apartment (it was just hiding on the kitchen table), but I enjoyed it. All the details are really what I loved about it when I was a child. And those details are kind of lost in both movie versions of the book. Snozzberry wallpaper -- it tastes just like snozzberries!

62. Plain Language: A Novel (7/18) by Barabara Wright. A very interesting novel about the late-ish marriage of a Quaker and a Colorado rancher during the Great Depression. I have a friend who is a Quaker and I found it really interesting to read about a Quaker, especially a woman who lived such a full life before settling down to marriage. The novel also alternates narrators with each chapter, so I was able to see both sides of the story. I also enjoy stories set during the Great Depression, and this one was really good. I couldn't put it down and was kind of sad when it ended.

63. Do You Come Here Often? (7/20) Another cheesy chick lit novel set in London. The British accents make it slightly more classy.

64. Not a Girl Detective: A Cece Caruso Mystery (7/20) by Susan Kandel. A mystery set around a detective who writes biographies of mystery writers. This time it's Carolyn Keene -- or at least the women who wrote under that psuedonym. The back story of Nancy Drew is pretty fascinating, and the fact that Cece collects vintage designer clothing is a nice plot point. Smart and funny mysteries with good twists. I am definitely looking for the next one!

65. I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason: A Cece Caruso Mystery (7/22) by Susan Kandel. The first one in the series. This time she's writing about Erle Stanley Green, prodigious writer of the Perry Mason mysteries. A smart mystery with lots of fun history.

66. Wolves in Chic Clothing (7/24) by Carrie Karasyov and Jill Kargman. A New York upper eschelon novel. Pretty interesting, and I imagine if you enjoyed Bergdorf Blondes or The Devil Wears Prada (probably the last one is more in the same vein), you'd enjoy this one. A workplace story with hints of romance. Probably for Sex and the City fans too!

67. Vegan Virgin Valentine (7/28) by Carolyn Mackler. A YA novel that was really quite good. Who doesn't remember feeling like a misfit during high school and still having to be an overachiever? Well, Mara definitely fits that bill, but having her niece (it's complicated) become a student at the same high school complicates things immensely. A very well written high school story that feels right -- and not just in the way that people write when they are looking back at high school.

68. How to Win Friends and Influence People (8/1) by Dale Carnegie. A seriously useful book. It's one that I should probably buy and look at again periodically. So many great tips for convincing people to your side of an argument and useful suggstions for making friends. Yes, people do like to feel important -- so simple, but yet I don't know a lot of people who could put that into words!! A best seller for a reason.

69. The Historian (8/4) by Elizabeth Kostova. This one was fascinating. I had a bit of a hard time getting into it, but once I got past the first few chapters, the story of a girl getting the story of her father following Dracula was so absorbing. It even has an evil librarian in it!! Lots of scenes set in librarians and special collections. Along the lines of The Da Vinci Code in only the very, very basic sense, but with so many more layers and interesting back stories. An academic adventure that truly entertains.

70. Unimaginable Zero Summer: A Novel (8/6) by Leslie Stella. A really interesting story of a 15-year college reunion and the events leading up to it set in Chicago. The cast of characters is really very interesting and felt like real people you could meet -- or perhaps people that I would like to know. Interesting philosophies on love and life. A quick read -- with a fun reference to a T. S. Eliot poem, I believe -- and a good time. Made me want to live in Chicago!!

71. The Pajama Game (8/7) by Eugenie Seifer Olson. Not quite as cheesy as the average chick lit novel and quite entertaining. I had read another one by the same author and it was okay (Babes in Toyland). Set in Boston, it had a pretty good story.

72. Mafia Chic (8/9) by Erica Orloff. A New York set chick lit novel starring the daughter of a Mafiosa. Good enough.

I've got quite a few more books sitting in my room, but I've been crafty lately, so the reading hasn't happened in a while.

But it's after 11 pm now and I need to get some sleep!!

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