Half Way Mark

I read 40 books (and 13,547 pages) since April 1st. Not quite as high as the first quarter, but I’ve been busier, I think, and also my baby doesn’t nurse for an hour at a time, three times a day. If it weren’t for discovering that my iPhone will play audiobooks at double speed, I probably wouldn’t have read nearly so much this quarter.

  • Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma
  • Meh. There are so many better middle grade books out there, although it did make me want to go watch a lot of old films. 

  • Hourglass by Myra McEntire
  • It was a really slow start and then, in the last hundred pages picked up a lot (once some time travel got added to the plot, I was a fine). Not a bad read, but dear heavens, it’s a lot to ask of a reader to give it over 100 pages with nothing happening.

  • The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
  • Billed as a Sarah Dessen readalike. And for once, it kind of was. Cute and a quick read.

  • Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • This is one of my favorite memoirs. Which shocks me, because it involves so much sports talk.

  • After by Amy Efaw
  • I’m torn on this one about a girl accused of dumping her baby in a trash can, but has no memory of a pregnancy or a baby. I raced through the audio of it, but I wouldn’t say I really loved it. 

  • Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  • This one about boxer Joe Louis during the Depression and the three fictional children he inspires was so highly touted (even Gary Schmidt personally recommended it at TLA!) but I found it kind of a letdown.

  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty
  • I have tried to read the Jessica Darling series at least three times and never can get more than ten pages in. I should have known this book wouldn’t really do it for me either, even though I threw caution to the wind because everyone kept raving about how fantastic it was.

  • Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin
  • This book was so ridiculously trite. Skip it, I beg you.

  • Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
  • Meh.

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  • I loved this book the first time around. This time, rereading it in preparation for the release of the final book in the trilogy, I found Belly quite whiny.

  • It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
  • This one was better than the first one.

  • The Summer I Learned to Fly by Dana Reinhardt
  • I really enjoyed The Things a Brother Knows. This one? Not so much. Fine, but not memorable.

  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Sometimes you just need to read some chick-lit. This one was quite cute. 

  • We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  • I hate it when I feel like the author is forcing a character to become unlikable.

  • How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
  • Sara Zarr can do almost no wrong in my book. Another stellar book (also the fourth or fifth teen pregnancy book I read this quarter). Review coming in October when this book is available for purchase or at your library.

  • Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
  • I listened to this one through free podcasts which is, let me tell you, a very irritating way to listen to an audiobook. Downloading each of the 45 chapters individually and listening to the intro and the, um, outro(?) for every single one of those doubles the time it takes to listen to this book.

  • Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
  • This book didn’t do much for me. Skip it and read Sean Griswold’s Head instead.

  • The Future of Us by Asher Jay
  • I wanted to like this one – the premise, about two teens in the 90s who find their future selves’ Facebook pages, was so brilliant, but the book itself didn’t go much of anywhere.

  • Crossed by Ally Condie
  • Look, everyone wants to borrow my copy and it’s making the rounds. But I’ll warn you, it’s definitely the middle book in a trilogy. It’s good, but it’s no Matched. It’s a little bit a slow read.

  • The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
  • I like books written in verse. This one was quite excellent.

  • Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
  • Mixed mixed mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, brilliant writing and a quick moving plot. On the other hand, a little too edgy for me. I’d hesitate to recommend it to someone I didn’t know very very well, as far as book taste went.

  • Fracture by Megan Miranda
  • I couldn’t remember this book at all, so I looked up my notes on Goodreads and I’d said that when I told Bart the plot he was like, “That was it? What’s even the point?” And now I couldn’t even remember the plot, so I had to look up ANOTHER review to remind me what happened. I stand by Bart’s assessment – no point.

  • Bunheads by Sophie Flack
  • Written by a former New York Ballet dancer, this novel of the behind-the-scenes life of a young professional member of the ballet corps is fascinating. Look for a full review in the fall.

  • Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
  • I am rather in awe that I didn’t give up on this book. It’s so long. And practically nothing happens. I mean, the whole “hey, I’m an angel! I love a human!” thing can only carry you so far (hint, not 15 CDs far).

  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Fantastic non-fiction. I feel like I know so much more about American history after reading this one. 

  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • Bleck. I don’t want to read a book about a girl whose life is practically ruined by being able to taste emotions in food.

  • Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina
  • Nurtureshock is better.

  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • This book is worth reading so you can read Linger.

  • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • So much better than Shiver. And one of the few trilogies where the middle book is the strongest.

  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • This was such a ridiculous and weird little book about a girl frozen on a space ship so she can help build a new world when she arrives on a distant planet. Will not be reading the sequels, thank you very much.

  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Not as good as Linger, but better than Shiver. Cole and Isabel really carry this book. Sam and Grace = snoreeeeee. I get it. You love each other. Forever and ever and ever. 

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  • Reply Tina's Blog July 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I love your quarterly reading recaps. I have Sean Griswold's Head checked out right now… I can't wait to get to it.

  • Reply Kelly J. July 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Agree with you on THE FUTURE OF US and I really had a good laugh about some of your reactions.

  • Reply Mia July 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Hehehe… "forever and ever and ever." Once characters get to that point the writers often forget to remind us WHY they love each other. The characters' whole personalities becomes about their forever-love instead of who they were that made someone fall for them in the first place. Give me characters or give me … something else! =) Still going to read it though. Can't let a series (especially one with such pretty covers) go unfinished.

    Have you read Alyssa Sheinmel's new book, The Lucky Kind. I'm biased, but its great.

  • Reply Laura H July 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    So many great reviews. Agree with skipping Princess for Hire and just read Sean Griswolds Head.

    I read Shiver and got in Linger and only gave it a couple of pages and stopped it. Maybe I should re-visit that book.
    Hourglass was too slow for me. I gave it 50+ pages and nothing happened so I stopped that one too.

  • Reply Amy July 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I could not get through Shiver. I may have to give it another try so I can get to the "better" books in that trilogy.

  • Reply Beth Brakewood July 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I love this recap-style posting! I need to go back and figure out what all I've read over the last quarter, but I think it will be embarrassingly full of trashy romance novels and adult suspense books. And I know that not one of the books will match your list, and I may need to rectify that situation in Q3…

  • Reply heidikins July 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Everytime you post a list like this I end up buying at least one book. This time? The Warmth of Other Suns. I'm excited!


  • Reply Peaceful Reader July 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I love your snippet reports. Sadly, I never even finished Bird in a Box-I could not get into it.

  • Reply Jenny July 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Holy Cow, that's a lot of books! I'm impressed! I agree with you about how great Sean Griswald's Head was and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake was rather depressing.

  • Reply ssm July 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Please never stop doing these lists–I love them! I will never understand how fast you can read. I swear I read every day but only manage about half your pace (which is ok for me, but you are so impressive!)

  • Reply Michelle July 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Totally with you on Girl Wonder, it was not the best read at all. If the author had stuck with the learning disability angle I probably would have liked it.

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