The quest to read 50 books this year

So, I set this goal to read 50 books in a year for 2009. It wasn’t really a resolution, per se, but a goal and something I could do to exercise my brain and also grow spiritually (if I chose some books with that in mind) and professionally (once again, choosing books that would help me better my job performance).

So I thought I’d update you on my progress. Here’s the books I’ve read so far:
1. Full Circle by Davis Bunn: I picked this one up on some random shelf when visiting the library. It turned out to be a Christian fiction book, which I normally don’t like because the genre gets cliche and trite very fast, and this one was just OK.

2. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James: A strangely written book with a premise that Jane had some love affair that broke her heart that no one knows about. Written in Jane’s voice. Which wasn’t such a good idea, but the book was OK.

3. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates: A story set in the 1950s angst-ridden, self-obsessed, re-evaluating period following WWII. There were a lot of words. More than necessary to get ideas and conversations across. I hated the lead characters. And then I cried at the end. It was a good, sobering, sad read, though depressing. I would say it’s a good book, but not one I’ll read again.

4. The Reader by Bernhard Schlick: It was translated from German and you could tell. The plotline involving an older woman having an affair with a 15-year-old guy was really disturbing to me. And that made it hard to read. Then, it just got all crazy and there were Nazis and war crimes and trials. At the end, I was depressed. It really is a good book, if you can stomach the affair (it’s just wrong for 30 year old woman to have an affair with a 15-year old!).

5. She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb: I don’t know what I thought. It’s a coming of age story with so many crazy things that happen to this one girl. I liked the portrayal of how internalizing all the bad things that happen can tear us up. And how powerful words and abandonment can be, especially in a girl’s life. But I’m not sure Wally is the writer people consider him to be. I doubt I’ll read it again.

6. The Watsons, Lady Susan, and Sandition by Jane Austen: It was the only stuff she’d written that I hadn’t read. The Watsons and Sandition are unfinished because she died somewhere in the middle. Lady Susan is an early piece. It was unsatisfying reading stories that you knew you would never get to see resolved!

7. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult: It’s a ghost story, paranormal investigation, historical mystery, and a murder investigation. All in one book. Sometimes, I think Picoult is a little too in love with her words and her creation. She gets too flowery and her characters sometimes say things that no real person would ever put that way. But it was an easy read and a good story. And I stayed up until the middle of the night one Saturday to finish it. So that has to mean something!

8. Tried by War by James McPherson: It’s a big ol’ book detailing how Abraham Lincoln was the president responsible for creating the Commander in Chief’s duties as we know them. It was quite an education and I don’t know that I ever learned all of the generals’ names discussed in this book, well, you know except for Grant, Lee, and Rosencrans. And that last one is just because it was unusual. I’m glad I took this side trip into the world of non-fiction.

I am currently reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I think her name is Alice. . . I started this book years ago and never finished. I thought I’d give it another try.

Books on the list for sure:
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Team of Rivals (maybe)
Riding in Cars with Boys
We Were the Mulvaneys

You guys should give me some suggestions in the comments section. And hurry, I’m going to need to decide my next book soon!


8 thoughts on “The quest to read 50 books this year”

  1. You may have read this one but, I suggest “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. Maybe I got so much out of the book because of the time in my life that I read it, but the book gave me a fresh look at God’s unfaltering pursuit of me.

    “The memory keeper’s daughter” by Kim Edwards. Totally hated her over use of words but the story she tells is compelling. It’s all about how a secret can change your life.

  2. I’m just finishing “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller. A must read in my opinion.

    “The Associate” Grisham. Just started it. It’s Grisham. I’m a fan.

    “How Now Shall We Live” Chuck Colson & Nancy Pearcey . You may have already read this, but I always recommend it. I’ve read it three times and learn a lot each time.

  3. i bought Team of Rivals but haven’t started it yet. i got bogged down with my class so i stopped reading my Patton book, but i hope to have it done by April. we’ll see.

  4. Well, you do have a class. Involving a lot of formulas and things that are like learning a foreign language as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

    Team of Rivals has been recommended to me numerous times. . . .but it’s SO dauntingly long!

  5. Have I recommended The Stand by Stephen King? It’s a long book, but it is really really good. Not typical Stephen King. It’s not a horror book. It’s actually kinda of spiritual and very interesting.

  6. You know I am going to keep bugging you to read Garlic & Sapphires by Ruth Reichl until you do . . . it’s got food in it and it’s funny, what more could you ask for?!

    I am in the middle of reading Phillip Yancey’s Soul Survivor. It’s taking me some time to get through it, but it’s intriguing, challenging and educational.

    Also, Yancey is very well read and has quite a few good reading suggestions that he shares such as The Gift of Pain by Dr. Paul Brand which is next on my list.

    Oh and Mindy is right, the Memory Keeper’s Daughter is a really good story!

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