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#275481 - 05/18/17 02:27 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: Annie B.]
scifiJoan Online   content
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Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields


Originally Posted By: Annie B.
Originally Posted By: groobie
I spent three hours this weekend reading "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton. My 8th grade son had to read it for his Language Arts class; he really liked it and wanted me to read it, too. It was fine, I suppose. I understand why he liked it - it was a very easy read with male characters. I thought it was simple, and that the plot developed in unrealistic ways. I looked up information on the book, and understand that it was written by a 16 year old, so the simplistic style makes sense, and I appreciate the "screw you" to the English teacher that gave her an F. I guess the best thing I can say about it is that it was good enough to make my son actually want to do his homework. smile

I have 10 copies of that book in the high school library I run, and I can never keep them on the shelf. The kids love that book.


I liked that book a lot too when I read it as a 7th grader.

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#275510 - 05/21/17 09:14 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#17 The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

A woman joins a reality/Survivor-like show. During the course of the competition, a pandemic occurs. It takes the woman, on a solo challenge, time to realize this.

I'm a big fan of apocalyptic books. This one was average.

Joan

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#275563 - 05/25/17 03:42 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#18 All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

16 yr old Jenny Kramer is attacked and raped in the woods. She is given a controversial drug to 'erase' her memory of the attack. However, she is still having trouble processing what happened to her. Told from the view point of her psychiatrist, we see how these events affect Jenny, her family and their community.

It was a little challenging at times with this narrative technique to tell who was talking. Some interesting twists.

Joan

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#275666 - 06/04/17 12:47 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#19 Lost Girls by Caitlin Rother

True crime book about lost girls in San Diego. Good writing, just not a gripping story. It was obvious who had done the crimes and we didn't get much insight as to why, other than he was mentally ill.

#20 The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn

Tired from dealing with their special needs kid and jobs, Lucy and Owen decide to have an open marriage for six months.

Of course, their arrangement was destined to fail. Interesting book.

#21 Death Wave by Ben Bova

Jordan and Aditi return from New Earth to tell the occupants of Earth about the impending death wave. Second in the New Earth series.

I like Ben Bova but this book wasn't overly engaging.



Edited by scifiJoan (06/04/17 12:48 PM)

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#275667 - 06/04/17 05:17 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#22 Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

Quote:
From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class.


Intriguing look at the struggles of a white working class family. I like that the author didn't feel that government programs will magically fix all of these problems.

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#275669 - 06/04/17 08:23 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
Annie B. Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 1037
Loc: California
16. She Persisted, by Chelsea Clinton

I bought this book for my nieces, ages 6 and 8, and then wound up reading it to them while they played. It's a picture book, aimed at grade levels K-3, which gives short biographies of 13 strong women in American history who wound up making great changes to the world, from Harriet Tubman to Sonia Sotomayor. I knew who most of them were, but there were a couple of women I had never heard of before.

Overall, this is a well-written book that introduces young readers to pieces of history that they may never have heard of before.
_________________________
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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#275701 - 06/07/17 09:27 AM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#23 Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Quote:
In the not-too-distant future, a simple outpatient procedure to increase empathy between romantic partners has become all the rage. And Briddey Flannigan is delighted when her boyfriend, Trent, suggests undergoing the operation prior to a marriage proposal - to enjoy better emotional connection and a perfect relationship with complete communication and understanding. But things don't quite work out as planned, and Briddey finds herself connected to someone else entirely - in a way far beyond what she signed up for.


A fun concept and engrossing read.


Edited by scifiJoan (06/07/17 09:28 AM)

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#275761 - 06/12/17 03:08 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
Annie B. Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 1037
Loc: California
17. Double Whammy, by Carl Hiaasen

Hiaasen satirizes the big business of bass fishing in Florida, as well as televised religion, and introduces his best-known character, the ex-governor turned hobo and wilderness defender Skink. A good read.
_________________________
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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#275770 - 06/13/17 09:08 AM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#24. Once We Were Sisters by Shelia Kohler

Shelia Kohler writes of her life, growing up in a wealthy family in South Africa and of her dear sister, who died young.

Shelia and her sister were in abusive marriages but since it was the 1950s, neither felt they could do much about it, even though their families were living on money from the wives.

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#275911 - 06/21/17 09:43 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#25 Winter Storm by Elin Hilderbrand

I don't have high expectations for a beach read about rich people in Nantucket. Many of her books are very entertaining. This one was lacking in many ways. I don't recommend it.

#26 The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt our Kids When We Treat them Like Grown-Ups by Leonard Sax

This family doctor with years of experience makes some excellent points about parenting issues.

#27 The Good Mother by A.L. Bird

I should've known a cheap Nook book promising to be a psychological thriller wouldn't be the greatest. A woman is kidnapped and relieved(?) to discover her daughter is being held in the room beside her. It only gets weirder.

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#275929 - 06/22/17 11:49 AM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
Annie B. Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 1037
Loc: California
18. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson

In this third novel in the Millennium trilogy, Lisbeth Salander goes on trial for various charges, including attempting to murder her father. Meanwhile, Mikael Blomkvist looks for evidence that she is innocent, while the Section bugs apartments, steals evidence, commits murder, and does everything in its power to make the problem with Lisbeth Salander go away.

This was a good ending to the original Millennium trilogy (the books following this one were written by David Lagercrantz). There's a lot of stuff about Swedish law and politics, plus international plot points.

My boss recommended that I read this series. I was surprised to find that he was right about these being good books.
_________________________
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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#276070 - 06/28/17 02:59 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
Annie B. Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 1037
Loc: California
19. The Appeal, by John Grisham

In the town of Bowmore, Mississippi, a chemical manufacturing plant has dumped its waste products into the water supply, producing a deadly cancer cluster. A lawsuit against the company wins, but the appeal has to be taken to the Mississippi Supreme Court, on which judges are elected, rather than appointed.

Most of the book is about the whole election process, and it doesn't shy away from the ugly mess -- massive amounts of money spent and half-truths used to turn the voters against a sitting judge. Indeed, the novel went a long way toward explaining why it is that voters get so many e-mails begging for money for races they can't vote in (which I'd been wondering about, given the number of e-mails I've gotten asking for money for out-of-state congressional races).

Overall, I found this to be a decent read, although quite a number of reviewers have said it compared poorly with Grisham's earlier novels. (Since this is the first one I've read, I really can't say whether I would have liked the earlier ones better.)
_________________________
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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#276253 - 07/10/17 09:22 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#28 Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Quote:
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.


I loved this author's first book, "Girl on the Train". This one was disappointing. It just didn't come together for me. I didn't like any of the characters. Their motives didn't make sense.

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#276293 - 07/13/17 09:27 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#29 The Dinner by Herman Koch

Two families struggle to make the hardest decision of their lives -- all over the course of one meal. It addresses the question of how far would a person go to protect their children. The author does a nice job of slowly revealing the true nature of the narrator.

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#276309 - 07/14/17 06:04 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
Annie B. Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 06/29/13
Posts: 1037
Loc: California
20. The Fire, by Caroline B. Cooney

This is third book in the Losing Christina trilogy, Cooney's first horror novels. The main character, Christina, is a 13-year-old 7th grader who lives on an island off the coast of Maine and has come to the mainland to go to middle school. She and some other kids from Burning Fog Isle are boarding with a couple, the Shevvingtons, who are prominent educators in the town. They are also secretly extremely sadistic, taking great pleasure in driving the most innocent to madness, and Christina is their target.

Christina is something of a Mary Sue, with brown, gold, and silver hair that practically has its own personality. Also, adults are useless -- no one believes that the Shevvingtons are evil. The author obviously didn't spend a lot of time around middle schoolers. Still, the book was entertaining, and when school starts again, I will have to read the first two books in the series (which are in the library).

21. Daddy's Gone a Hunting, by Mary Higgins Clark

A dark secret from a family's past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years. The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn't who he claims to be?

I noticed some scientific discrepancies that one would think a long-time writer of murder mysteries would know better than to be promote (no, hair and nails do not continue to grow after death), but I found the book entertaining anyway. It isn't great literature, but it is brain candy, and sometimes that's what you want to read.

22. Dave Barry Talks Back, by Dave Barry

This book is a compilation of some of Barry's humor columns from the late 80's and early 90's. Like most of what he's written, this stuff is hilarious. (BTW, did anyone know that Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize winner for social commentary?)

23. Live Right and Find Happiness (although beer is much faster), by Dave Barry

In brilliant, brand-new, never-before-published pieces, Dave passes on home truths to his new grandson and to his daughter Sophie, who will be getting her learner’s permit in 2015 (“So you’re about to start driving! How exciting! I’m going to kill myself”). He explores the hometown of his youth, where the grown-ups were supposed to be uptight fifties conformists, but seemed to have a lot of un-Mad Men-like fun, unlike Dave’s own Baby Boomer generation, which was supposed to be wild and crazy, but somehow turned into neurotic hover-parents. He dives into everything from the inanity of cable news and the benefits of Google Glass (“You will look like a douchebag”) to the loneliness of high school nerds (“You will never hear a high school girl say about a boy, in a dreamy voice, ‘He’s so sarcastic!’”), from the perils of home repair to firsthand accounts of the soccer craziness of Brazil and the just plain crazy craziness of Vladimir Putin’s Russia (“He stares at the camera with the expression of a man who relaxes by strangling small furry animals”), and a lot more besides.

Though he has long since retired from writing for the Miami Herald, Barry is still funny, and this book is no exception.
_________________________
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”

- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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#276341 - 07/16/17 04:10 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#30 The Truth about Sorority Girls: What Rush Taught Me about Life, Work, Friendship, and False impressions
by Claudia Welch


Having been in a sorority in college, I was curious about what this book had to say. Although it was published in 2012, the author joined a sorority in 1973. While some of the information rang true, even in 1980s when I was part of the Greek system, some of the information wasn't true. It felt a little dated. Sure you learn some social graces. But chatting to people during rush didn't seem like the ultimate social boot camp to me. Then again, sororities vary widely so I'm sure even today girls don't have the same experiences on every campus.

The book was also really short - the second half was an excerpt from her fictional rush story.


Edited by scifiJoan (07/16/17 04:11 PM)

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#276348 - 07/16/17 08:41 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#31 It's Your Kid, Not a Gerbil by Dr. Kevin Leman

Good advise about not letting kids' activities overwhelm your family.

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#276352 - 07/16/17 11:43 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
VirginiaR Offline
Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Registered: 04/24/11
Posts: 9506
Loc: USA
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Originally Posted By: book jacket description
"Grace Bradley was just a girl when she began working as a servant at Riverton House in 1914. For years, she worked for the Hartford family and was particularly devoted to the glamorous daughters, Hannah and Emmeline. Then during a glittering evening party at the House, the body of a young poet was found. The only witnesses to his shocking suicide where Hannah and Emmeline.

Decades later, when Grace is living out her days in a nursing home, she receives a visit from a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer in 1924. She takes Grace back to Riverton and reawakens her memories of the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege, of the vibrant twenties and the stunning secret Grace has been keeping all her life."

It's very Downton Abbey-esque, as it covers much of the same time period. Grace is a heroine worthy of admiration by the way she takes her life into her hands and makes someone important out of herself. Her admiration of spoiled rotten Hannah and Emmeline is harder to understand. Life in early twentieth century England is interesting how world events hit both the wealthy and the servant classes similarly.

One of the two big twists at the end was easily predicted early on and possibly the second as well, except that the author kept cutting away whenever mentioning the suicide until last pages.


Edited by VirginiaR (07/16/17 11:46 PM)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
VirginiaR.
"On the long road, take small steps." -- Jor-el, "The Foundling"
---
"clearly there is a lack of understanding between those two... he speaks Lunkheadanian and she Stubbornanian" -- chelo.

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#276436 - 07/21/17 02:48 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#32 Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed by Jason E. Riley

The author brings up lots of data to back his points.

Joan

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#276537 - 07/26/17 12:32 PM Re: 50 Book Challenge 2017/What I've Read in 2017 [Re: LabRat]
scifiJoan Online   content
Top Banana

Registered: 11/15/10
Posts: 1227
Loc: out in the cornfields
#33 Affluenza by John de Graaf

Author brings up good points about how materialistic our society is becoming.

Joan

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