Booklist

I’m an avid reader, who loves those obscure books along with the Blockbusters that everyone reads.  This list is just as much for me as you – sometimes I just can’t remember what I’ve read, or what it was about!Source

Here are the books I’ve read this year, along with a short ( or perhaps long…) commentary on each.  Enjoy!

2012

1.  The Carrie Diaries – Candace Bushnell

  • Devoured this book.  Review soon!

2.  The Carrie Diaries, Summer in the City – Candace Bushnell

  • Read immediately after the Carrie Diaries and loved it!  Review coming soon!

3.  Bossy Pants – Tina Fey

  • Currently Reading

4.  Blood, Bones and Butter – Gabrielle Hamilton

  • Currently Reading

5.  Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea – Chelsea Handler

  • Currently Reading

6.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • Currently Reading
This list is sooooooo horribly out of date….  I need to update…but really don’t feel like it – lol!
So my e-reader had to be sent back and I got a new one…unfortunately that means that I lost the record of everything I’d read! …and do you think I can remember? Ha! Of course not!  I’ll try to add in as I think of them… 
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mockingjay
Stories I only tell my friends
What to Expect When you’re Expecting
The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed
Miss Timmins’ School For Girls
You: Having a Baby
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The Baby Whisperer
The Happiest Baby on the Block
The Happiest Baby:  Guide to Great Sleep
Breastfeeding Made Simple
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

2011 

It’s halfway through the year and I was VERY lax in recording all of the books I’ve read.  I’m catching up on my synopses/reviews and know that I’ve missed a few.  I borrowed a bunch of books and gave them back to the lendee (hey B!) and really can’t remember what all I’ve read!  So this is what I remember, and should I be adding cookbooks that I’ve read cover to cover?  Hmmm I’m thinking that I should.  In time, in time… 

1.  Atonement – Ian McEwan

9.  Twice Kissed – Lisa Jackson

10.  Gentlemen and Players – Joanne Harris

  • currently reading
I completely lost track of a bunch of books that I read this year.  I’m going to try to get them on this list, but for now it will be a work in progress…
2010

1. Peace Like a RiverLeif Enger

  • I really enjoyed the book, but it took me almost 3 months (what?!?) to read it. I think that this long timeline didn’t do the book justice and I will be reading it again at a later date. I loved all of the characters – I felt that I could really get a sense of who they were from their character development. And oh the descriptions – I love this author’s writing style! It was beautiful and even had me reaching for my dictionary once or twice! I hope that this becomes a movie someday, it could be very effective as a screenplay.

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society –Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

  • This was an adorable book that mixed the emotions of love, longing and belonging while trying to live life during the Nazi Occupation. It was done in the form of letters and telegrams and was a great bedtime read.   A lot of the focus was on reading – reading great books and not so great books – but for the intrinsic value of reading alone.  I fell in love with every single character and felt at the end that they were friends (I’m not weird, I swear).  I just wish it hadn’t ended so abruptly.

3.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog –Muriel Barbery

  • This book was challenging!  I haven’t had a book like this since I read, “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  This was translated from the original French and I think that there were a few things that didn’t translate as the author intended.  This book kept me on my toes and I must say a knowledge of French definitely came in handy.  The overall themes in this book are existential  and really made my brain work hard!  The story is told from the view of two different people:  A 50-year old widow who works as a concierge of a building and a 12-year old tenant of the building.  Both are extremely intelligent and for different reasons, both choose to hide their intelligence from others.  This book is an interesting journey that isn’t completely predictable, but there were certain elements that were a bit obvious.  My favourite part of the book?  The end.  I was ready for the book to be done, because it was exhausting, but I also liked the end because the book wraps up perfectly.  Would I recommend this book?  Hmmm, I’m not sure.  I suppose that if you read this, then you’d know what you were getting into, but there were certainly a few times where I was either confused or wanting to be done.  That being said, I think that I will read it again in a few years and see if I’m able to get anymore out of it.  Read this one at your own risk!

4.  Ricochet – Sandra Brown

  • I was really surprised by this book.  I expected it to be just pure fluff, no plot and just a little escapism.  However, I really enjoyed it!  I felt myself trying to figure out the mystery and being concerned for the welfare of the characters.  I enjoyed it and although it wasn’t a literary work of art, it was very entertaining and I’ll definitely pick up another another Sandra Brown book in the future!

5.  Pop Goes the Weasel James Patterson

  • This book was stupid, with just a small token of entertainment weaved in – enough to keep you reading.  The entire time I read it, I felt like I’d read the plot before (although a lot of J P’s books are based on the same formula…).  Unfortunately, when I had a mere 30 pages left, I realized that not only did the plot seem familiar, but I had read that book before.  Not only did I read a crappy book once, but I read it twice.  Congratulations, you’re a dumbass  :)

6.  In Defense of Food Michael Pollan

  • I read this book in an hour while I was sitting around at Chapters.  It was fantastic.  The concepts in it are absolutely simple – but that’s exactly how eating should be!  Simple!  I love how closely this book jives with my own eating philosophy.  And who can argue with “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.”  I plan to buy this book and give it to all of my friends that just don’t get it!

7. The Man who ate Everything –JeffreySteingarten

  • I have no idea how to classify this book; it’s part memoir, cookbook, comedic book, and so much more!  It’s written by one of the mainstay judges on Iron Chef America and it was very entertaining.  Each chapter is pretty much stand alone, so you can pick it up and read a chapter here and there.  I enjoyed it enough that I bought his other book too, “It must have been something I ate.”  Look forward to seeing that review soon…

8.  Charley’s Web –Joy Fielding

  • I had no expectations with this book and was pleasantly surprised by what I read.  The story is about a single mom who has a no holds barred type of personality.  She’s a journalist who gets personally involved in an old murder case that she’s writing about.  I have to say that the author had me surprised several times at the twists and turns that the plot took – and I loved them all!  This book was great and I hope to have the same experience with another one of her titles in the future.

9.  Deadly Night – Heather Graham

  • Continuing my fluffy reading, I decided to pick up a trilogy to ring in the beginning of summer.  The trilogy is about 3 brothers who each have careers in law enforcement and end up starting a private investigation company together.  Each book centres on one of the brothers.  This first book was quite good, until it got a little wonky (read: far fetched) near the end.  I kind of felt like it left a sour taste in my mouth in regards to the whole book.  However, I was successfully entertained (and actually learned a little!  The setting was New Orleans and I realized I know so little about the area.), so decided to continue through the trilogy.

10.  Deadly Harvest – Heather Graham

  • Partway through reading this second book of the trilogy, I started to wonder why I was even bothering.  The story followed the same recipe as the first, and it wasn’t that good.  Basically, the brother (middle one this time), hates a girl, then is forced to share her company, then has to rescue the girl, then loves the girl.  Change the names and the city, and you have the first book.  Maybe the author can redeem herself in the last book?

11.  Deadly Gift Heather Graham

  • This book was stupid.  That’s basically all I have to say.  After the first two, I should known that I should just skip this – but I’m a sucker for  triliogy :)  No summary, because it honestly doesn’t even deserve one.  Btw, skip this whole series.

12. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil– John Berendt

  • This book was intriguing, because I knew absolutely nothing about it (except that it was turned into a movie).  The setting is Savannah, Georgia and the author does an excellent job of painting the city as a beautiful place.  The story is extremely funny, entertaining and very well written.  I enjoyed every word I read, but I felt that it kind of lacked  plot.  It felt like each chapter was an independent story and that they didn’t link cohesively for a full storyline.  Despite this, I have to say – it was still great!  I will definitely be adding more of his titles to my ‘To Read’ list.

13.  Gossip Girl – Cecily von Zeigeasar

  • Yes I read the book Gossip Girl (which the series is based on), and yes, I enjoyed it!  I don’t think that I’ll read any other of the Gossip Girl books, but it was fluffy and entertaining – and nothing like what my own high school experience was like!   Talk about excess of everything!!!  If you’re looking for a quick read that leaves you really caring about the characters, then this is th book for you!

14.  Julie and Julia– Julia Powell

  • This book has taken me a long time to read – not because it wasn’t good, but because the past few months have been filled to the brim and unfortunately reading (and blogging) were put on the back burner.  When I borrowed this book, my friend told me to forget about the movie trailers I’d seen and completely forget that Amy Adams was cast in the Julie Powell role.  With trepidation, I took this information and began to read.  Immediately it was apparent that there were major liberties taken with the movie and the main character in the book was much different than in the movie (even from the small trailer snippets I’d seen!).  I really enjoyed this book and loved that it was a journey of self discovery.  It was very ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ without the travel, and without the elitist aspect.  The book centers around Julie Powell, who is a would-be actress working as a secretary, and a generally unfulfilled and unhappy person.  She wonders if this is all there is to life.  She decides that in order to try to give her life some meaning, she is going to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastery of the Art of French Cooking, and do it all in a year (lofty goal!).  She then decides to take these experiences and use the new medium of blogging to share them with the world.  The story is of Julie making her way through the recipes, what her life entails because of this process and what she learns about herself through it.  Being of a similar age, and in a similar situation (hello, 3 degrees and I work as a secretary???), I felt that I could relate to needing an outlet for growth (um, hello blogosphere!) and needing the sense of accomplishment.  I’d definitely recommend this book and actually plan to do something I never do with books that have been turned into movies:  I’m going to watch the movie!  The movie is never as good as he book, so I’ve just come to a realization that there’s no point in actually watching this genre.  However in this case, the movie looks fun and soooo much different from the book, that I think I’ll watch.  As a side note, I figured out that I started blogging just a month or two before Julie Powell did – way back in the summer of 2002, when most people didn’t even know what a blog was!

15.  The Romantics – Galt Niederhoffer

  • This story is about a group of college friends that reunite for a wedding between two of their own.  It is full of forlorn feelings, what ifs, and self discovery. The story is told out over just a weekend and I really like how this added to the plot.  The characters are well developed and you have strong feelings for all of them.  These same characters begin in their own individual ways to self destruct and sabotage relationships within the group.  Although this turn isn’t entirely unexpected, the lead up to this is marvelous (IMO) and I plan to read more by the author for sure!

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