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.
a list of books to read
How to Be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway – I feel like I’m all talked out about this book.
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.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – I liked this one significantly upon a re-read.
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli – And I liked this one a lot MORE on a re-read.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Bart finished this over Christmas break and loved it. Win for me! Anxiously awaiting the next book.
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 Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards – Really a great little book.
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.
The Magic Room: A Story about the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow – I seriously cannot stop telling people about this book. Excellent non-fiction.
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.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua – I loved this book (although that doesn’t mean I agree with all her parenting choices, of course). I just loved reading it.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles – Some parts were awesome. Other parts were slow.
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Jennifer Lee says
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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. . .)