Friday, May 15, 2015

2014 Stats

I read 97 books altogether: 16 – rereads, 29 YA, 7 children's books, 24 adult fiction, 8 graphic novels, 2 memoirs, 7 non-fiction titles, 2 books of short stories and 2 books of essays. This doesn't count the tons of books that I started and didn't finish. Because that would be wrong. 

As far as my rating system I read one one-star book, 10 three-star books, 44 four-star books and 42 five-star books.

My one one-star book this year was Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You by Greg Gutfield who is actually a really interesting writer but a hateful human being. I can only hope that this is his schtick that he makes a living off of, because if he really feels this way – put upon by everyone with a college degree or an idea that differs in any way from his – his life must be a misery. I read this because a student asked if they could read it for summer reading and the rule is, if you let me know before vacation starts what you would like to read, I am happy to read it over vacation so we can discuss it in September. Hey, it was an interesting perspective – I never would have read it otherwise...

The three-star books are books that I read because I was obligated to due to outside forces, I was dying to find out what happened or they were so short I decided to see them through just because I could.

The had to finishers are:
Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam - A Sci-fi story with an interesting premise that quickly got too convoluted. I reviewed it for VOYA.
Saints by Gene Luen Yang – The sequel to the much more intriguing Boxers, I used this in my YA class and felt obligated to finish. Nothing horrible, just bleak.

The must-find-out-what-happeneders are:
The Ax Man of New Orleans by Rick Geary – This graphic novel is about a guy who plays sax. And kills people with an ax – in New Orleans. How can I not need to know how it turns out?
Last Night at the Viper Room by Gavin Edwards – Okay - I knew that River Phoenix was going to die at the end, but he actually died at the beginning and we flashed back for the rest. This was actually a compelling read, but I was so sad all the way through and not in the good cathartic way. But I wanted to see the big picture.
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel – Same as above but with Janis instead of River. Really well done but heartbreaking.
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobahn Vivian – So there was a big stink awhile back about how a main character doesn't have to be likeable (regarding Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs which I never finished because I found the main character so un... nevermind why I stopped reading... move along...) and yet, I didn't like Natalie, the main character of this book. She was so rigid. And I liked Spencer, the secondary cautionary tale character. And I was curious to see what was going to happen to them, but I didn't ever feel swept away by their story. Although I think Siobahn Vivian has a strong grasp of a lot of aspects of the high school experience.
The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise – If I can't remember a single thing that happened then it gets three stars. A funny book, but so slight that it has completely fallen out of my brain.
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes – So close to four stars here. A compelling mystery with a terrific twist, but there were some aspects so improbable that I kept getting pulled out of the action. A pregnant woman who has a husband at sea hires a new nanny who may not be all she claims to be.

The shorties I just plugged away at:
Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth by John Moe – This is such a cute idea – the communication behind pop culture touchstones. I kept waiting for it to get funny enough to make me laugh, and it never did.
Debutante Hill by Lois Duncan – Lizzie Skurnick has re-released a bunch of classic YA and I love the feel of this teen romance from the 1950s. The story is pretty predictable and a little preachy, but it did transport me back to that time.

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