The two challenges I'm doing this year are both at Home Girl's Book Blog. The first is the 100 + Challenge - read 100 books or more in 2011. The second is the Support Your Local Library Challenge - read books from your local library - I'm going to try for 50.
- The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan (#2 in the Percy Jackson series)(recommended by younger son)
- Dragonbreath: The Curse of the Were-Wiener - Ursula Vernon (#2 in the Dragonbreath series)(recomended by older son)
- A Kind of Honor - Joan Wolf (her first book)
- God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours - Regina Brett (Library 1)
- A Touch of Magic - Nadine Miller
- The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us - Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons (Library 2)
- Two Corinthians - Carola Dunn
- Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (Library 3)
- A Touch of Magic - Nadine Miller
February (20 year-to-date):
- Princess Hynchatti and Some Other Surprises by Tanith Lee (recommended by younger son and older son): Wonderfully humorous fairy tales. What if the swan princess wanted to be a swan? What if Cinderella didn't do everything right? (Library 4)
- The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint: About an artist - I've already recommended it to older son and dear husband (cover drawing, right)(Library 5)
- Chasing Harry Winston - Lauren Weisberger (Library 6)
- It's in his Kiss - Julia Quinn (Library 7)
- Romancing Mr. Bridgerton - Julia Quinn (Library 8):
- How to Marry a Marquis - Julia Quinn (Library 9): 3,4, 5 & 6 were good reading when I was sick. All are fast moving and funny.
- Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas (Library 10)
- A Virtuous Lady - Elizabeth Thornton (Library 11)
- The Knights of the Cornerstone by James Blaylock. He's one of my favorite authors, but I haven't read a new book of his since he started mostly writing horror. (Library 12)
- A Precious Jewel - Mary Balogh
- Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas
March (30 year-to-date)
- Star Trek: New Frontier, Excalibur: Renaissance - Peter David: Peter David is one of my favorite sci fi/fantasy authors. Along with writing several of the best Star Trek novels, he's also written several excellent fantasy books including Tigerheart and the Sir Apropos books. He's got some of the snappiest dialogue this side of Terry Pratchett. His books roar along, and he almost never pauses (even at the end of a book). (Library 13)
- Star Trek: New Frontier, Excalibur: Restoration - Peter David (Library 14)
- The Wagered Heart - Rhonda Woodward
- Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities - Mark C. Taylor: A book that could use some serious editing. The author goes from banal generalities to interesting details from his experiences. Unfortunately, those interesting details get repeated too often, and I end up trying to make sure that I put the bookmark in the right place because I'm worried I went back a chapter and am rereading the same thing. This is the problem with reading challenges: Do you finish a book just because you started it and want to count it - even when finishing the book doesn't seem to be worth your time? (Library 15)
- The Marriage Masquerade - Teresa DesJardien
- Abarat - Clive Barker (review here)
- A Tangled Web - Amanda McCabe
- Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett: Always good!
- The Learned Lady - Joan Overfield
- The Haunting of Henrietta - Sandra Heath
April (38 year-to-date):
- The Rainy Season - James Blaylock (Library 15): He's an excellent author, but this was a very disturbing book. It took me a while to get through it because I couldn't read it right before bed or during breakfast - my two most reliable times for a bit of reading.
- Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett: Excellent as always
- One Touch of Magic - Amanda McCabe
- Star Trek: Strange New Worlds #8 - ed. Dean Wesley Smith: Stories written by fans. They vary greatly in quality.
- The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan: Younger son and I have been reading through the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. He hands them on to me after he finishes them, and keeps asking how far I've gotten. We've had a lot of good conversations about them.
- The First Waltz - Donna Bell
- The Heart-Mind Connection - Windsor Ting: A book that was longer than the material it contained. (Library 16)
- The Baron and the Bookseller - June Calvin
May (46 Year to date):
- The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
- The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
- Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool - Taylor Clark: For health reasons, I've been reading a number of books about blood pressure and stress. Most of them don't add anything to what I've read online. I got this book out just as one of that group of books, but it's turned out to be one of the best non-fiction books I've read in a long time. It's very thoughtful, and he uses great stories to illustrate his points. (Library 17)
- Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds, Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better - Sara Z. Wexler: Some chapters were very good - like the one explaining why she, born Green, was tempted by a Hummer - and some chapters were forgettable - like the one about the double Ds. (Library 18)
- Digger: Volume 1 - Ursula Vernon: A wonderful graphic novel, which started out as an online series. It's difficult to describe, but, while I was reading it, I was tempted to quote something every few pages. Get addicted here.
- Digger: Volume 2 - Ursula Vernon
- Digger: Volume 3 - Ursula Vernon
- Digger: Volume 4 - Ursula Vernon
- The Golden Songbird - Sheila Walsh
- The Dragons of Noor - Janet Lee Carey (right): I always read the first volume of a duo or a series first. I got this one from the new books shelf of the library, and I didn't realize it was a sequel until I was two chapters into it. By then, I was hooked. (Library 19)
- The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time - David Ulin: There are a lot of books about the effect the internet has on reading. This is the best one I've read. Unlike many of the rest, which are either grumpy or self-righteously "forward-looking," this book details the author's experience and his love of reading. (Library 20)
- The Rake's Fiancee - Martha Kirkland
- The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna: A Finnish journalist abandons his cosmopolitan life to wander through Finland with a hare that was injured by a car the journalist was riding in. It was humorous at times, sad at times, and depressing at times, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This was a spontaneous buy from the "Recommended" table at Flyleaf Bookstore, and it was well worth it.
- The Artful Garden - James van Sweden: Beautiful photos and thoughtful writing about how gardens are designed and how we experience them. (Library 21)
- Sherry's Comet - Juliette Leigh
July: (58 year to date - rehearsals and performance this month)
- Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on our Minds and Future - Ed. John Brockman: 150 Thinkers, writers, scientists, academics, etc. on the effects of the Internet. There are some interesting insights, but you have to sift through a lot of repetition to find them. (Library 22)
- Lord Harry's Daughter - Evelyn Richardson
- Jellaby - Kean Soo: A cute children's graphic novel that I read on the advice of younger son.
- Inkheart - Cornelia Funke (Library 24)
- The Night of Wishes - Michael Ende
August: (63 year to date)
- Inkspell - Cornelia Funke (Library 25)
- Inkdeath - Cornelia Funke: All three were wonderful books, and I kind of lived in that world this summer. (Library 26)
- Star Trek Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows - ed. Margaret Clark: Good stories, but depressing after a while.
- Crazy U - Andrew Ferguson: A well-researched and well-written book about his son's college decision and the college business in general. (Library 27)
- A Rogue's Revenge - Valerie King
September: (68 Year to date)
- In the Shadow of Anabelle - Louis Mengal
- A Tangled Web - Donna Bell
- Dangerous to Know - Leanne Shawler
- Double Deception - Patricia Oliver
- Miss Milford's Mistake - Victoria Henshaw
October: (82 year to date)
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares: So good I read it one sitting.
- His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire - Naomi Novik: I heavily recommended it to dear husband. He read it in a few days, and then he turned around and read it out loud to younger son. I listened to it also - that's how good a book it is. It's kind of like Master and Commander but with dragons. We're still quoting from it.
- Nation - Terry Pratchett: A really good story, although there are so many different plot elements thrown together.
- A Delicate Deception - Jenna Jones
- Heaven is High - Kate Wilhelm: The twelfth in her Barbara Holloway series, and it's just as good as the first. (Library 28)
- My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir - Dick Van Dyke: A gentleman, as always, he has lots of interesting stories about his life, but never gossipy. (Library 29)
- Blind Man's Bluff (Star Trek, New Frontier) - Peter David: I always enjoy his books, but this one wasn't as coherent as the other dozen or more in the series.
- The Lady and the Spy - Monique Ellis
- Infinity's Prism (Star Trek, all series): Novellas about alternate timelines in Star Trek. Needs more editing.
- The Elephant to Hollywood - Michael Caine: Growing up in an extremely rough neighborhood in London to winning Academy Awards - a fascinating book. Again, a gentleman. (Library 30)
- Rough Beasts of Empire (Star trek original/Deep Space Nine): A new Star Trek mini-series about an alliance between the Romulans and other species. The Romulan parts were well-written, as were the Spock parts, but they were totally off on Captain Sisko's character.
- My Lady Mischief - Janet Louise Roberts
- Odd and the Frost Giants - Niel Gaiman: Written as a Viking fairy tale - a wonderful story.
- Indistinguishable from Magic (Star Trek: Next Generation) - David McIntee: A good story, but they threw in everything but the kitchen sink.
November (96 year-to-date)
- Virtually You: the Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality - Elias Aboujaoude: How many different ways are there to behave stupidly online? Many, and they shade over into other parts of life. (Library 31)
- The Gifts of Imperfection - Brene Brown: Billed as an in-depth book and therefore disappointing. (Library 32)
- The Marketplace of Ideas: Reform and Resistance in the American University - Louis Menand: If you've read a number of other recent books on universities, you don't need to read this one. (Library 33)
- Throne of Jade (2nd in Her Majesty's Dragon series) - Naomi Novick
- Jesus Wept: When faith & depression meet - Barbara C. Crafton: Written by an Episcopal priest. The sections about her own experiences with depression left me rather flat. Maybe it's because, if she has so many resources and such support to deal with depression, there's not much hope left for those of us who don't. I was more interested in the sections where she talked about other people's experiences. (Library 34)
- Roses for Harriet - Patricia Oliver
- Escape - Barbara Delinsky (Library 35)
- Only You Can Save Mankind - Terry Pratchett: The main character ends up in a video game. One of Terry Pratchett's earlier books - and a good read even if it isn't at Discworld levels.
- Johnny and the Dead - Terry Pratchett: Book 2, although it stands alone as a story. Non-living residents of a cemetery need Johnny's help to save it.
- Johnny and the Bomb - Terry Pratchett: Book 3, involving some very unusual time travel.
- Heartwishes - Jude Deveraux (Library 36)
- Copper - Kazu Kibuishi - Interesting graphic novel about the thoughts and adventures of a boy and his dog.
- The Wagered Wife - Wilma Court
- The Irish Rogue - Emma Jensen
December (104 year-to-date)
- Digger, Volume 5 - Ursula Vernon: We gave older son the final two volumes for Christmas. I was good and did not read them before I wrapped them!
- An Unsuitable Match - Patricia Oliver
- Digger, Volume 6 - Ursula Vernon
- Swan Kingdom - Zoe Marriott: One of my best finds on the library's New Books shelf this year. I read the first page in the library, and I was hooked! A wonderful first fantasy novel from this author; I hope there are many more. (Library 37)
- The Alluring Deceit - Melissa Lynn Jones
- Black Powder War (3rd in Her Majesty's Dragon series) - Naomi Novick
- The Enchanting Stranger - Barbara Hazard
- The Reckless Barrister - April Kihlstrom
Still reading on December 31st:
- The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear - Walter Moers : This one will take me a while to finish because I read only a chapter a day. I don't want to rush this wandering, creative book.
- When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection - Gabor Mate
- High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian - Clifford Stoll: This is one of the grumpy books about computers and the internet, but he has interesting ideas so I keep reading.
- Jerry Orbach, Prince of the City: His way from the Fantasticks to Law and Order - John Anthony Gilvey: A wonderful biography of one of my favorite Broadway and movie actors.