Reading Finale

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.




And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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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