At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 100 books this year and write reviews of 1/3 of them. Today is the end of the first half of the year and I’ve read 75 books so far. I am rocking that part of my goal. Alas, I’ve only written about 18 of them (is that good news for you? I hope that’s not good news).
Anyway, here is the list so far with a very brief take on each one. Like a sentence or so. Sometimes even a sentence fragment. And the links go back to my reviews of them. Because I know you wanted to read them again.
The Lightening Thief – Rick Riordan. Good, but not great, frankly. What am I missing here? Am I the only person who didn’t adore them?
Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter – Phoebe Damrosch Fun and interesting, if a bit long.
Firegirl – Tony Abbott Nice quick read with a good message.
Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found the Food that Loves Me Back . . . And How You Can Too – Shauna James Ahern. The one thing I remember from this book: she talks major smack about her parents for their eating habits.
The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School – Kathleen Flinn This and the “Service Included” book sort of run together for me.
Slam – Nick Hornby I liked it, but not enough to read anything else by him yet.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer. Oh, do I harbor animosity towards this book or what?
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards Meh. Don’t waste your time.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie An anonymous commenter told me I lived under a rock for thinking there were crass parts in here. Whatev.
Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo Disappointing and forgettable.
Coraline – Neil Gaiman Weird. And weird. But what do you expect from this man?
A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray I read a review that said “not great, not beautiful. Just terrible.” And you know what? They were right.
The Boy I Loved Before – Jenny Colgan Clever enough but a bit graphic.
Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White Classic, but not quite as classic as I’d remembered. This makes me sad.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town – Kimberly Willis Holt So pointless. Fat boy comes to town. Who cares? I was so angry at myself for being sad at the end.
The Design of Everyday Things – Donald Norman A cool book about things you’d never thought of, like why the telephone keys are the opposite of the 10-key pad.
Tantalize – Cynthia Leitich Smith Makes Twilight look like the Great American Novel.
Hatchet – Gary Paulsen I want to like Gary Paulsen but frankly, people lost in the wilds of Canada don’t thrill me. Neither do attacking moose. I know. What’s wrong with me?
Missing May – Cynthia Rylant The longest two CDs of my life.
Holes – Louis Sachar Always great. If you haven’t read it, do. Three times through it and I still love it.
Th1rteen R3asons Why – Jay Asher Still thinking about this five months later.
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything in Italy, India, and Indonesia – Elizabeth Gilbert Don’t even get me started.
The Moon, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Mackler I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Because, yeah, the title doesn’t exactly suggest greatness.
P.S. I Love You – Ceclia Ahern Not bad.
The Cay – Theodore Taylor It was better when my mom read it to us 12 years ago.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick You haven’t read this yet? Go, now!
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac – Gabrielle Zevin Really enjoyed this one. Better than Elsewhere.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Mildred D. Taylor A classic. Read it and be a better person.
Book of a Thousand Days – Shannon Hale Okay, but not as great as her other stuff.
The Red Tent – Anita Diamant This book couldn’t decide if it was awesome and gripping or dull and wordy. So it did both.
Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs – Paula Marantz Cohen A nice fluffy retelling of Persuasion.
The Wednesday Wars – Gary D. Schmidt So good. Why have I not written about this book?
Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson Still haven’t decided how I felt about this book.
The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory A really great book, but not great enough to read the sequels, apparently. Someday.
The Return of Jonah Gray – Heather Cochran Eh, not amazing. It’s hard to be a chick lit book with only two pages of sappy romance. Come on!
The Little Lady Agency and the Prince – Hester Browne I liked it until I thought about it more and decided it was a sell-out. Pshah.
Click – Ten Authors Started out strong but was almost not worth finishing.
Beowulf: A New Telling – Robert Nye I didn’t even know the story of Beowulf, so I thought it was interesting.
Lawn Boy – Gary Paulson Weird. Like REALLY weird.
One-Handed Catch – M.J. Auch Good but not memorable. Based on the author’s husband who did lose his hand in a meat grinder.
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L’Engle Not nearly as good the second time around.
The Devil’s Arithmetic – Jane Yolen A decent Holocaust story, but there are certainly a gazillion better ones.
Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging – Louise Rennison I’m ashamed at how much I laughed while listening to this silly teenage book. Made me miss London.
Remember Me? – Sophie Kinsella A little crass, but I liked the storyline a lot.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis Hmm, not really such a fan, I realized.
A Wind in the Door – Madeleine L’Engle I can hardly remember this book except that I didn’t really love it.
Chasing Vermeer – Blue Balliett NOT the da Vinci Code for kids. Alas.
On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God – Louise Rennison Also hilarious.
The House of the Scorpion – Nancy Farmer Rave, rave, very good.
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak I’m ready to read this again. It was THAT good.
Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli Love. Even though some of you don’t.
The Market – J.M. Steele Fun, quick.
The Taker – J.M. Steele Maybe better than The Market. Better ending, for sure.
- Nothing But the Truth – Avi I sort of wanted to slap the main character for being such a fool.
- Just Ella – Margaret Peterson Haddix Skip this. Read Ella Enchanted instead.
- Love, Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli Not as good as Stargirl, but definitely excellent. I need a third book where they freaking get together, though.
- Up All Night – Peter Abrahams, Libba Bray, David Levithan, Sarah Weeks, Gene Yang, Patricia McCormick A lousy collection of short stories.
- The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth George Speare Right up there in the top books of the year for me so far. I may have cried during the last few tracks. But I may not have. Fine, I did.
- Shadow of a Bull – Maia Wojciechowska. Snore. . . .
- Smiles to Go – Jerry Spinelli Cemented my love for Spinelli. That man can write. I swear he sees right into the teenage human soul.
- The Slave Dancer – Paula Fox Not as bad as Shadow of the Bull, but holy crap, long and dull.
- Love the One You’re With – Emily Griffin Great, like all her books, although not QUITE as great as some of the others.
- 100 Days and 99 Nights – Alan Madison Cute, but very young.
- The Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke Amazing audiobook. Bart and I both loved it.
- Cicada Summer – Andrea Beaty Quite good, but I don’t think it’s the Newbery candidate some have tagged it for.
- The Host – Stephenie Meyer Better writing and plot than Twilight, but not quite as addicting and also. . . no major conflict/climax. What?
- Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder – David Weinberger Read this. See the world differently. Amen.
- When it Happens – Susan Colasanti Not worth reading.
- Kira Kira – Cynthia Kadohata Would have been better at half the length.
- Good Enough – Paula Yoo So very average.
- The Magic Half – Annie Barrows Cute, fun, and clever.