Well here we are, the last day of 2010.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I got used to saying “twenty ten” – and now here we come “twenty eleven”!  Amazing.

I finished “Helen of Pasadena” in the wee hours… it was a fun, quick, smart romance.  It made me reschedule my appointment at the Genius Bar on Wednesday, because I had a hard time putting it down and getting out the door on time.  I turned out the light last night after finally admitting I was too tired to finish (12:40 AM) but a few minutes later turned the light on again and finished.  A fun book.  It is the book club pick for my Preston bookclub in January.  It will be fun to discuss.

Thanks to Goodreads, I think I have a pretty good list of all the books I read in 2010. In reverse chronological order they include:

  1. Helen of Pasadena
  2. Before You Know Kindness
  3. Shanghai Girls
  4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium, #3)
  5. When in Rome…: A Novel of Piazzas and Passion
  6. The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
  7. How to Be Single
  8. Blessings
  9. Going in Circles
  10. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  11. The Love Season
  12. The Cinderella Deal
  13. Beatrice and Virgil
  14. Away
  15. The Next Thing on My List
  16. Water for Elephants
  17. The Sleeping Beauty Proposal
  18. Everything She Thought She Wanted: A Novel
  19. Other People’s Weddings
  20. The Stormchasers
  21. Best Friends Forever
  22. The Girl Who Played with Fire
  23. The Other Woman
  24. Belong to Me
  25. Love Walked In
  26. The Beach House
  27. Firefly Lane
  28. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  29. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and Friendship
  30. The Glass Castle: A Memoir
  31. Size 12 is Not Fat: A Heather Wells Mystery
  32. Chasing Harry Winston
  33. Peony in Love
  34. The Friday Night Knitting Club
  35. No Horizon Is So Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey Across Antarctica
  36. The Cat Who Said Cheese (Cat Who…, #18)
  37. The Moment Between
  38. Slam
  39. The Help
  40. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

Items of note in my “book world” in 2010:

  • I met three authors – Ann Bancroft, Lian Dolan and Jenna Blum.  I got to spend a lot of time with Ann and Jenna and they are both remarkable women and inspiring!
  • I read the three Millenium books and unexpectedly loved them all.
  • I read the book that inspired the start of the Cosmo Girls.
  • I listened to a few more audiobooks this year than I have in a while – although it used to be all I listened to in my car and with the death of my iPod I anticipate I’ll listen to more in 2011!
  • I plowed through a lot of books during my Ferragosto vacation.
  • 40 books = almost a book a week, which is very cool!

In 2011 I look forward to many more book club discussions, meaningful books, fun books, book blogging, and hopefully more meet-ups with authors!

Happy Wishes for a beautiful 2011!

Off to read!

A movie I do NOT want to see

The Life of Pi

On the other hand, I think this is a movie that I would not want to see.  It is so vivid in my mind and I don’t want it adapted to the big screen.  How would they do it???  It boggles my mind.  So, I’m guessing that it does somehow make it into a queue of mine someday – out of curiosity.

Whew, December!

Not a single post in November.  Lazy?  Busy?  Hard to say… So I’m jumping back on the wagon…

December 1 I went to a book signing at J.Jill in Edina for “Helen of Pasadena” by Lian Dolan.  I’ve been a follower of the Satellite Sisters since the late 90s so it was exciting to meet one in person.  Lian is funny and quick, and I can’t wait to read her book.  I have heard only good things about it and will recommend it for our book club in January.

Currently I’m reading (plodding through) “Before You Know Kindness” by Chris Bohjalian. Plodding through mostly because I’m distracted by other things, like TV and movies and computer.  It is pretty good, although a bit ploddy sometimes.  I listened to “The Shanghai Girls” audiobook and loved that.  I like Lisa See’s books so far – my second of hers.  I have “Snow Flower and Secret Fan” on my iPod, too.  Sarah’s mom talked about how good it was, although it has graphic descriptions of foot binding in it.  Not sure how I’ll stomach that.  I also listened to a couple of fluffy audiobooks, which makes my commute more pleasant but gets me behind in my podcast listening!  🙂

Next I plan to read “Helen of Pasadena” and then “Sarah’s Key.”  I haven’t finished “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” yet, either.  I think it would be fun to re-read “The Tale of Two Cities” with Oprah’s book club, but we’ll see!

Are you ripping through books or finding other distractions during the holiday season?

Well, off to read!


All right, book readers!  Are we falling apart? 🙂  We’ll have to get a time on our schedule to get together and get a few books lined up to read.  I had planned to read all the Harry Potter books again, but since I don’t have #1 (I thought I did, but it’s #2!) I doubt that will happen within the next six weeks.  We’ll see.  Right now I’m enjoying “Going in Circles” about a woman who joins a roller derby league, and then I’m going to read “Blessings” by Anna Quindlan for my book club at work.  I have one copy left from the Book Club in a Bag, so we could read that and discuss that as well!  Just let me know…

Sarah was talking about getting a Nook or Kindle… did that happen?

Well, off to read!

A non-Plinky post

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been using “blog starters” for some posts.  I challenged myself to write more in August – not too successfully, but maybe 75% of the days saw some kind of writing – and I found Plinky.  It’s an EASY way to make a creative looking blog!  I certainly don’t ever upload any images or media of any kind to my posts… maybe I should challenge myself to do that!  Plinky makes it so easy!  I was excited enough to find a site called “tagxedo” and I made a picture for my gravatar.  I think.  We’ll see.  I know that it’s working with Twitter.  It’s a pretty cool feature.

Anyway, right now I’m reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and as you know, it’s awesome.  I read it (or listened to it) a few years ago – maybe even four years ago – and loved it.  I’m enjoying reading it with my eyes even more, although the dialogue can get a little confusing, can’t it!?  On the audiobook it flowed better or something.  But it’s still super enjoyable.

I haven’t read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years in a while… I’m three chapters behind at this point.  Maybe this weekend I’ll get some reading done.  I think I’m watching too much TV and reading too little lately.

So my writing challenge was a so-so venture in August.  I blogged, wrote haikus and journaled in my book.  But not every day.  It’s already mid-September, so maybe I’ll have to set an October challenge for myself.  I really want to learn some beautiful accordion music so maybe that will be my challenge.  I also hope to read the Harry Potter books… must get busy!!! Anything that you are planning to challenge yourself with before the end of 2010?

And now, off to read!

A Strong Voice

Although it’s foremost in my mind because I’m re-reading it, this book does have a strong voice that has stayed with me since I read it the first time years ago…

Oskar is a quirky little boy who wears heavy boots because of the big awful. He is brilliant and funny and sweet and sad.

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Banned and Challenged Classics – How many have you read?

from  http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedclassics/index.cfm

Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms.  See Frequently Challenged Books for more details.

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

The titles in bold represent banned or challenged books. For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.

The titles not in bold may have been banned or challenged, but we have not received any reports on them. If you have information about the banning or challenging of these titles, please contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

13. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell

18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
38. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
41. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
52. Howards End by E. M. Forster
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
57. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
59. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
64. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
66. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
68. Light in August by William Faulkner
69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
72. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
85. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
87. The Bostonians by Henry James
88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
93. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
100. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Summer’s End…

I feel like my reading has slacked off in the last month!  Since Ferragosto I have spent a little more time watching movies and reading magazines and worshiping the sun, so the list has gotten smaller.

I finished “Beatrice and Virgil” on 8/19 and found myself sobbing at the end.  It was an odd little book and I ended up feeling manipulated and mad at the author for making me “go there.”  It was really horrifying at the end and I can’t recommend it to anyone because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else feeling that way.  Ugh.  It definitely wasn’t as long-lasting in my mind as the Life of Pi (same author) but he is an incredible author.

I’ve also read a fluffy Jennifer Crusie book, which was fun.  Very fun.  Light and quick and smart.  I brought a lot of books home from the library and ended up bringing four out of five of  them back unread!  Goodness.

Now I’m reading an Elin Hildebrand book – I generally like her books – The Love Season.   Very summery, east coasty.  Fun.  And I’m also reading “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller.  It’s for an online bookclub with Nicole Baart and it’s about thinking about the story you want your life to tell about you.  It’s going three chapters at a time – and they’re short chapters that fly by so only reading three a week is kind of painful!  Last week I even re-read the entire nine chapters that had been read thus far.  But Nicole posts on Mondays and I haven’t read the “assigned” chapters for tonight.  It’ll be a quick thing to do before bed.

Sarah and I made a WalkieTalkie book plan – wonder if I can remember it!  I think we wanted to discuss the “Girl Who” books we’d read with Nina, and then read “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safron Foer for October.  I also plan to read the Harry Potter series, as well.  I’d like to get it done by the time the last movie comes out in late November.  Is that right, Sarah?

Well, off to read!