First Quarter Down!

My goal this year was 120 books, which means I need to read 30 books a quarter. First quarter down, and I’ve read 51 books. Clearly, I need a fourth job. Mostly, I’m just spurred on by Kayla’s challenge that she could read one more book this year than I do. Au contraire!

  1. A Solitary Blue – Cynthia Voigt
    A nice quiet book to start the year
  2. Generation Dead – Daniel Waters
  3. Ack! Hate!

  4. It’s Like This, Cat – Emily Neville
  5. Nice, but not noteworthy

  6. Repossessed – A. M. Jenkins
    Funny! Great premise, but didn’t quite live up to it
  7. Milkweed – Jerry Spinelli
  8. This took me six months to read. Enough said.

  9. The Underneath – Kathi Appelt
  10. Nice enough, but I do NOT understand the hype

  11. Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery – Susan Juby
  12. Totally stupid

  13. Little Brother – Cory Doctorow
  14. Loved. So funny and smart.

  15. Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
  16. Not my favorite of her books, but all the SD love started here

  17. Love That Dog – Sharon Creech
  18. Love That Book

  19. Trouble – Gary D. Schmidt
  20. A bit of a slow start, but I ended up loving it

  21. Elijah of Buxton – Christopher Paul Curtis
  22. Adding a new conflict 20 pages before the end and resolving THAT does not resolve the main storyline

  23. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
  24. Oh brother. Eye rolling galore. Also, people keep reaching that post by googling “did his mom have an affair.” See! Not the only one who thought so!

  25. I Know It’s Over – C. K. Kelly Martin
    This book was . . . not very good.
  26. Perfect You – Elizabeth Scott
  27. I love Elizabeth Scott. Perfect YA romance fluff.

  28. Graceling – Kristin Cashore
  29. I still have such mixed feelings on this one

  30. Wake – Lisa McMann
  31. Only okay.

  32. How to Ditch Your Fairy – Justine Larbalestier
  33. Every book a reader and all that. I was not the reader for this book.

  34. Stealing Heaven – Elizabeth Scott
  35. More ES

  36. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles
  37. Too swear-y to recommend, but I secretly loved it

  38. How to Ruin a Summer Vacation – Simone Elkeles
  39. I can’t think of a female character I have found more unlikable

  40. The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
  41. Sa-WOON. Just go read this now.

  42. Madapple – Christina Meldrum
  43. Not a favorite. Too weird

  44. The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
  45. Watery eyes at the end of this book

  46. This Lullaby – Sarah Dessen
  47. Third favorite SD book.

  48. Bloom – Elizabeth Scott
  49. Aw, cute. Read it in one afternoon.

  50. The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd
  51. Great British narrator

  52. A Step from Heaven – An Na
  53. Terrible on CD, not bad in book form

  54. Brooklyn Bridge – Karen Hesse
  55. Better than “Out of the Dust,” which isn’t saying much

  56. Fade – Lisa McMann
  57. A hundred times better than Wake. Read in one night. Beware the swearing

  58. Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta
  59. Loved! Wade through the first 150 pages. Worth it!

  60. All-American Girl – Meg Cabot
  61. My first Meg Cabot book. Forgetable.

  62. Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson
  63. Unforgetable.

  64. Ten Cents a Dance – Christine Fletcher
  65. Historical Fiction at its very finest

  66. Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
  67. Had to stop listening to it on CD and read it because the narration was KILLING me. Seriously, the voice of Owen made me want to stab my eyes out.

  68. Someone Like You – Sarah Dessen
  69. Loved. Broke my dang heart

  70. North of Beautiful – Justina Ched Headley
    I liked this, but not as much as everyone else in the blogosphere
  71. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney
  72. I’m sorry – booger jokes do not work for me

  73. Taken by Storm – Angela Morrison
  74. Surprisingly good. Thought the religion would be heavy-handed. Not so.

  75. Ways to Live Forever – Sally Nicholls
  76. Sad, but in a “I’m trying too hard” kind of way. I have no heart.

  77. Hate That Cat – Sharon Creech
    Loved this one even more, possibly
  78. Impossible – Nancy Werlin
  79. A good read. Not the ten it could have been, though

  80. That Summer – Sarah Dessen
  81. My least favorite so far

  82. Dreamland – Sarah Dessen
    Sad but so beautiful
  83. Kiss Me Kill Me – Lauren Henderson
  84. No one told me this book ended in the middle of the story!

  85. Something, Maybe – Elizabeth Scott
  86. Cute and extremely quick

  87. Nation – Terry Pratchett
  88. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

  89. Leaving Paradise – Simone Elkeles
  90. This book was really good until the last five pages and then I was like “WHAT?! This ending is stupid.”

  91. It Sucked and Then I Cried – Heather Armstrong
  92. If you’ve read her blog, you’ve read this book.

  93. Summer of the Swans – Betsy Byers
  94. Really, Newbery committe? Really?

  95. Something Borrowed – Emily Griffin
    Can’t recommend.

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  • Reply kelly March 31, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    We are having mutual wavelengths today. And you beat me by one book. I think I’ll beat you this next time. Not that it’s a race or anything. More like, a race against our own [TOO LOW] goals. Can’t wait to see your top picks.

  • Reply RA March 31, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Ohh, I loved A Solitary Blue when I read it a million years ago. Cynthia Voigt is so great. I especially loved Dicey’s Song.

    I need to take this opportunity to shove the idea of Madeleine L’Engle books at you for the second quarter. You know what you want to read them …

  • Reply TheMoncurs March 31, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    We have so many books in common and yet you are kicking. my. trash.

  • Reply Shelly March 31, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    This is awesome. I think I’ll do a post like it.

  • Reply emily kate March 31, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks, just updated my good reads list! 🙂

  • Reply Janelle March 31, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks for the quick and easy reviews. I’ll be putting some Sarah Dessen and Elizabeth Scott on hold at the library!

  • Reply Kristi March 31, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    I really appreciate people like you because you enable people like me, who care to only read one or two books per quarter, to choose really good books with minimal effort.

    Thank yer.

  • Reply heidikins March 31, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Holy Crazy! this list is AWESOME!


  • Reply Jeanelle March 31, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Okay, I think I read Something Borrowed when I was in Hawaii last year. I loved it but because of the subject matter, also don’t feel like I can really recommend it. We should discuss sometime!

  • Reply hollyhs April 1, 2009 at 12:09 am

    oh janssen, i just love your book-loving little heart!

    seriously, i LOVE reading all your reviews. I’ve got like 6 books sitting on my desk that I plan to read because you said they were good. 🙂

    and, i just started 10 cents a dance and i’m loving it so far.

    keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Reply Alison Kloft April 1, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I am going to start reading more YA books for several reasons…one, i secretly love them. Two, i can read them fast and have a sense of finishing something other than housework. Three, the librarians don’t chase me out of the YA room like they do on the 2nd floor of our library when i (always) have my kids with me. Four, your good reviews make me crazy to read and enjoy something besides a board book!!!

    I am going to print your list out and start getting them from the library.

  • Reply hollyhs April 1, 2009 at 12:14 am

    PS: thanks for the comment about your name. it’s so pretty and unusual, i’ve always wondered where it came from! 🙂

  • Reply hollyhs April 1, 2009 at 12:21 am

    PSS: (or is it PPS:?)

    seriously, last comment. I saw that you said you wanted to read more non-fiction. i just finished “Left to Tell” by Immaculee Ilibigiza. It’s about the recent holocoust in Africa where over a million people were killed in only 3 months. I didn’t expect to like it, but it was so real and so powerful… and author is a very religious woman and i just really enjoyed it. just a thought…

  • Reply KT April 1, 2009 at 2:39 am

    I love the mini reviews with each book. What a great idea.

  • Reply ellen April 1, 2009 at 4:28 am

    I saw your comment on Design Mom’s blog that you are moving to Boston. Let me know if you need any ideas of where to live or fun things to do (I’ve lived here 20 years).

  • Reply Elizabeth April 1, 2009 at 5:08 am

    You’re awesome! My first quarter list is going up tomorrow, hopefully. I do have a gate to paint.

  • Reply blakspring April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    wow – that’s a lot of reading. i actually ordered many of those for my library, though i haven’t gotten around to them yet. i should just print out your comments for reference

  • Reply Amy Sorensen April 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    WOW! I am impressed!!!

    Have you read Siobhan Dowd’s other books? REALLY good. I’ve not read the London Eye Mystery yet, though—glad to see you liked it!

  • Reply Whitney April 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Wow! I’m so impressed that you’ve read that many books in 3 months!!! I wish I had enough time to read, at least 1/10th that many in a year!!! That’s so great 🙂

  • Reply Lisa April 2, 2009 at 12:46 am

    These are my favorite posts of yours. I still need to try Dessen, I have Just Listen here.

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring April 2, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    You guys need some sort of formula for this book challenge. Like, if she’s reading Lonesome Dove and you’re reading Twilight, that’s not really fair… even though they are both awesome books. Lonesome Dove is like 800 pages long and Twilight can be read two times in one day if you try really hard (I know, trust me). I recommend some sort of page-length formula, combined with YA/adult weighting. Hi, I have too much time on my hands NICE TO MEET YOU.

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