Reading Finale

January 5, 2012

Like Quarter 3 of 2011, I read 34 books (although it only amounted to 9,329 pages instead of 10,867 like it did July – September).

All in all, that put my totals for 2011 at 156 books with a total of 48,873 pages read. Not bad, even if it’s the least number of books I’ve read since 2008.

Last year I didn’t set a goal for how many books to read and I’m not this year either, since I find that it makes me more likely to read short, pointless novels just for the sake of my numbers and also to not give up on books I am finding absolutely not worth finishing.

Anyway, with all that out of the way, here’s what I read in October, November, and December:

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • I listened to this one and really found it interesting. But, apparently not interesting enough to review. I amaze myself sometimes. 

  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
  • This book had a great title and cover. But the book itself did very little for me.

  • The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
  • Not as good as her first book, The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, but still really excellent.

  • Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • Usually I can race right through a book written in verse. Not so in this case. Took me ages.

  • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
  • I have been meaning to read this book for ages, but I just never got around to it. It’s kind of just the most horrible thing to read ever because it’s all SO AWFUL. I weep for people who live lives like this.

  • The Shadows by Jacqueline West
  • This series is ridiculously popular, but I had the worst time getting through it. Just a very slow listen for me and I couldn’t keep a lot of it straight (yes, I am now apparently too dumb for middle grade books).

  • A Friday Night Lights Companion: Love, Loss and Football in Dillon, Texas by Leah Wilson
  • If you are a Friday Night Lights fan, this book is for you. I loved nearly every essay and I REALLY loved all the little “Why We Love . . . ” things about each character.

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • I liked this even more the second time, when I listened to the audio version. It was fantastically narrated. Plus, afterward, we went and saw the movie, which was also excellent.

  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Hmmm, I know people LOVE this book and I enjoyed parts of it, but. . .yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it. Also I can’t bear to watch the movie because it involves Robert Pattinson.

  • Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
  • Another re-read (I can’t believe how many I had this quarter!) and I liked it significantly less this time. Maybe because now that I have a child, I have a harder time buying the “I’m seventeen and keeping my baby and all will be perfect, la-la-la” bit.

  • The Rivals by Daisy Whitney
  • Significantly better than the first book. I mean, it’s still not a top book for me, but . . .it was a big improvement.

  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
  • This won the Newbery back a million years ago and . . . it is not like books that win the Newbery now. But I read it because it was short (I still didn’t quite reach my goal of six Newbery books in 2011).

  • Sea Change by Jeremy Page
  • Depressing and literary (which, frankly, usually means depressing, so that might be two adjectives to tell you one thing).

  • Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • This was more of what I expect from a Newbery.

  • Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • I’ve loved some of her other books, but this one was really dumb.

  • Flesh and Blood So Cheap: the Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin
  • GREAT non-fiction. I loved this book.

  • 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My life by John Kralik
  • Read this for book club and it was, tragically, the book I liked least of the 12 we read, I think. 

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Glad to have finally read this. Also, Tom Sawyer makes me insane.

  • Shelter by Harlan Coben
  • A fun little teen mystery. I’d forgotten how much I liked this one until just now. Definitely worth reading if you want something fun and quick.

  • Barn Boot Blues by Catherine Friend
  • A great middle-grade read. I wish I’d had this one to pass out at my elementary schools.

  • Playground by 50 Cent
  • I. . . kind of can’t believe I read a book by 50 cent.

  • Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King
  • I wouldn’t recommend it, exactly, but I enjoyed it.

  • Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  • I felt like a heathen for disliking this book, but this book did nothing for me.

  • Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
  • Sweet, but ultimately unmemorable. Kind of too much going on, I thought (poverty, Alzheimers, ghosts, teen relationships, car accidents, etc). 

  • Dead End in Norvel by Jack Gantos
  • People said this was like The Wednesday Wars. They lied.

  • Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
  • This book was ridiculously dumb.

  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Some parts were awesome. Other parts were slow.

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  • Reply Jennifer Lee January 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Water for Elephants. I am SO with you on that one. There is not a single person I could recommend this to without some HUGE warnings of inappropriate content. Which means I don't ever recommend it. And…Robert Pattinson also makes me want to vomit.

  • Reply Erica January 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Yeah, Water for Elephants was a bust. And how am I supposed to buy that Reese Witherspoon and R-Patt are a couple?

    You just now read Huck Finn?!?!

    North Meets South

  • Reply NGS January 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I remember reading A Separate Peace in high school. It almost killed me. I don't know if I can give it a second chance.

  • Reply cat January 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I, too, really disliked Water for Elephants.
    I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone after your review convinced me to get it. I loved loved loved the first 3/4ths of the book. The writing was just sumptuous. But the whole reincarnation thing threw me … and I wasn't expecting that it would be a kinda-cliff-hanger… I'll be reading the next one though.

  • Reply Kristi January 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I used to really really love the Cat Who Went to Heaven as a kid. I don't know why. It would be really interesting to reread it now, I don't even remember what it is about!

  • Reply megan January 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I remember reading The Cat Who Went to Heaven for school, and doing a report. Haven't got a clue what it was about now, but I remember loving it. I'll have to reread. Also, I loved A Separate Peace. Several Times. Huck Finn I still want to try. Maybe next after I finish the book I am reading now (really Karen's bday gift but since it arrived a little too early. . .)

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