Sunday, December 26, 2010

What I Read in 2010

I feel like quite the slacker - less than 100 books this year. Here they are with the number of stars I gave them.

Five stars means flawless.

Here they are:

 One star means complete waste of time, but I had to find out what happened.

* Green Angel Hoffman May
* Scars Rainfield May   
  Two stars means it has some value, but a big flaw like good storytelling with crap writing, too dark a story with no emotional payoff, great writing but not very compelling story or a fun read but awfully embarrassing for a grown woman to be seen with.
** Wintergirls Anderson February       
** Scratch Beginnings Shephard February
** A Reliable Wife Goolrick March
** When Irish Guys Are Smiling Supplee March
** A Match Made in High School Walker March
** The Grift Ginsberg April
** Paul and Me Hotchner April
** The Dead Tossed Waves Ryan April
** Is It Night or Day Chapman June
** Rose Sees Red Castelucci September
** No Compromise: The Story of Harvey Milk Aretha November
** Sir Charlie Chaplin Fleischman November
** Yummy:the Last Days of a Southside Shorty Neri December

Three stars means I liked it a lot.
*** Princess of the Midnight Ball George January
*** The Frog Scientist Turner January
*** Girl Overboard Headley February
*** Panic in Level Four Preston February
*** Geekspeak Tattersall February
*** Spellbinder Lalicki March
*** The Trouble Begins at Eight Fleischman April
*** I am Not Myself These Days Kilmer-Purcess April
*** Chasing Lincoln's Killer Swanson April
*** Karma For Beginners Blank May
*** A Brief History of Montmaray Cooper May
*** My Invisible Boyfriend Day May
*** Three Junes Glass May
*** Savvy Law May
*** Gimme a Call Mlynowski May
*** The Irresistable Henry House Grunwald June
*** Sophomore Switch McDonald June
*** Extra Lives Bissell July
*** Prairie Tale Gilbert July
*** Bad News for Outlaws Nelson July
*** Fireboat Kalman August
*** Girl Who Played With Fire Larsson August
*** Rapture of the Deep Meyer September
*** Three Rivers Rising Richards September
*** The Replacement Yovanoff October
*** Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood Cook November
*** Annexed Dogar November
*** Painted Ladies Parker December

Four stars means I loved it.
**** Britten and Brulightly Berry January
**** Virginia Lee Burton: A Life in Art Elleman January
**** Liar Larbalestier January
**** Flygirl Smith January
**** I'm Down Wolff January
**** The Knife of Never Letting Go Ness February
**** Ghosts of War Smithson February
**** Somebody Everybody Listens To Supplee February
**** Knights of the Hill Country Tharp February
**** The Postmistress Blake March
**** A Girl From Yamhill Cleary March
**** Forest of Hands and Teeth Ryan March
**** My Own Two Feet Cleary April
**** The Lonely Hearts Club Eulberg April
**** My Enemy's Cradle Young April
**** Birthmarked O'Brien May
**** The Bedwetter Silverman May
**** Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Simonson May
**** American Wife Sittenfield May
**** The Passage Cronin June
**** Sisters Red Jackson June
**** The Clearing Davis July
**** God is in the Pancakes Epstein July
**** Backseat Saints Jackson July
**** Commuters Tedrowe July
**** Confessions of a Prairie Bitch Angrim August
**** The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo Larsson August
**** My Bonnie Lighthorseman Meyer August
**** The Wake of the Lorelai Lee Meyer September
**** Girl Stolen Henry October
**** Zombies VS Unicorns Black and Larbalestier November
**** The Nobodies Album Parkhurst November
**** Secret Subway Sandler November
**** Numbers Ward November
**** The Mockingbirds Whitney December

Five stars means flawless.
***** Someone Knows My Name Hill January
***** Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Kelly January
***** Day of Tears Lester January
***** The Help Stockett February
***** Fortune's Folly Fagan March
***** Nurture Shock Bronson May
***** The Leisure Seeker Zadoorian June
***** Gods in Alabama Jackson July
***** One Day Nicholls July
***** The Invisible Bridge Orringer July
***** Sorta Like a Rock Star Quick July
***** Free Range Kids Skenazy July
***** Lucy Gonzales August
***** Room Donoghue September
***** Revolutionary Road Yates October
***** How I Live Now Rosoff November
***** Incarceron Fisher December
***** Moonlight Mile Lehane December

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thank you American College Testing...

Here are some brief reviews of books I did not finish. How can this possibly be useful to anyone but me?
Here is the first set -
THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhart. She is a favorite since HARMLESS and I loved her HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE. This one is about a high school kid who has a big brother who comes home from the war a changed man. I didn't expect it to be so rich. I only read the first few chapters, but so far great secondary characters and no preachy tone. Well played, Reinhart.

BRAIN JACK by Brian Falkner was quite fun, the bit I read. I will certainly be looking at this one for summer reading next year. If for no other reason than he wrote this on his website - "The first copy of The Project (previously titled "The Most Boring Book in the World") arrived yesterday." Bwahaha... I think I love you Mr. Falkner. This kid shuts down the internet and a bunch of other bad things happen when we play to many videogames. Or maybe the exact opposit. I can't tell yet.

HALF BROTHER by Kenneth Oppel seems more middle school appropriate, but I love the idea! Two scientists adopt an orangutan and his human brother narrates the story. I have heard people rave about Oppel for quite some time and have never gotten around to readin him. My loss.

 Ignore that picture of HALF BROTHER, I already mentioned it. Move along...

THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson has such a beautiful start I haven't been able to bring myself to return it to the library until my copy comes from Amazon. (Sorry independent bookstores, but you don't exist in my town anymore!) It is the story of a girl whose older sister dies suddenly and she is left with a gaping hole in her life. So sad and lovely. And there are some boys. Of course this is her first novel so I am going to have to wait forever for her to write something else. Grrr...

THE MOCKINGBIRDS by Daisy Whitney is another one that I can't bear to return. The premise is this girl finds herself the victim of a date rape and the way Whitney describes it is not too detailed, but packs a punch. And the main character Alex has such a realistic teenage response. It isn't "Oh my God what happened to me," it is more "Oh my God, what will people think if they find out and how can I do damage control?"
 WICKED GIRLS by Stephanie Hemphill is in interesting take on the Salem Witch Trial. I don't know if it is proximity or what but I have never been that interested in reading about the trials. I just can't get past the horror of what happened and I find it sad that these girls are somehow made immortal through it. That being said, the writing is fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on YOUR OWN SYLVIA which is a topic that fascinates me!

HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick is one that I could say goodbye to and not look back. While I appreciate Fitzpatrick's use of punctuation in her title - she hardly needs me to read this one. Girls who loved TWILIGHT (ever heard of it?) will love this love story of a girl and a fallen angel. It is a great idea and the writing is clear, just not my cup of blood? Human tears? Angst? Whatever it is that fallen angels drink...
Okay the last three are:

HAPPYFACE by Stephen Emond - it is written as a journal with drawings. It was funny and there is a mysterious mystery but I didn't fall into it like some of the others.

SHIP BREAKER by Paolo Bacigalupi is fascinating. In the future Nailer works as a scavenger on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and just manages to keep body and soul together. When he is exploring a ship he finds a young girl who may be his ticket to a new life. I haven't returned this one either and am looking forward to finishing it.

IMMORTAL BELOVED by Kate Tiernan was one that I took on student recommendation and felt very superior to if just from reading the jacket copy. Well shut my mouth, Kate Tiernan, I was hooked and danged if I am not going to finish this one too.

Once again, an embarassment of riches.

Next post will have the summer reading list possibilities!