Books of 2012…that I actually read

It’s my end of the year book list again.  Looking back, some were winners and some were just total crap.  So with that in mind, here’s the list:

1.  The Sixth Man:  David Baldacci

2.  Red Mist:  Patricia Cornwell

3.  The Big Bad Wolf:  James Patterson

4.  London Bridge:  James Patterson

5.  Freddy and the Clockwork Twin: Walter R. Brooks

6.  Mary Mary:  James Patterson

7.  Fatherland: Robert Harris

8.  Year of the Chick:  Romi Moondi * none other than our fellow blogger!!

9.  Cat & Mouse: James Patterson

10.  Double Cross:  James Patterson

11.  I, Alex Cross:  James Patterson

12.  Cross Fire: James Patterson

13.  Hunger Games:  Suzanne Collins

14.  Catching Fire: Suzanne Collins

15.  Mocking Jay: Suzanne Collins

16.  At Home on Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

17.  Cross: James Patterson

18.  Cross Country: James Patterson

19.  Love Letters from Ladybug Farm:  Donna Ball

20.  Me Talk Pretty One Day:  David Sedaris

21.  The Weird Sisters:  Elenor Brown

22.   13 Reasons Why:  Jay Asher

23.  Heaven is Here:  Stephanie Nielson

24.  When You Are Engulfed in Flames: David Sedaris

25.  The Cinderella Deal:  Jennifer Cruise

26.  Girl Walks Into a Bar:  Rachel Dratch

27.  The Family Fang: Kevin Wilson

28.  Kill Alex Cross:  James Patterson

29.  I Didn’t Ask to be Born:  Bill Cosby

30.  Bet Me:  Jennifer Cruise

31.  Good Grief:  Lolly Winston

32.  Welcome to Temptation:  Jennifer Cruise

33.  The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb:  Melanie Benjamin

34.  In the Woods:  Tana French

35. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  Jenny Lawson

36.  The Fear Index:  Robert Harris

37.  These Girls:  Sarah Pekkane

38.  The Night Circus:  Erin Morgenstern

39.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (& other concerns):  Mindy Kaling

40.  The Innocents:  Francesca Segal

41.  And then There Were None:  Agatha Christie

42.  The Shoe Maker’s Wife:  Adriana Trigiani

43:  11/22/63:  Stephen King

44.  Unholy Night:  Seth Grahame Smith

45.  Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter:  Seth Grahame Smith

46.  Doomsday Book:  Connie Willis

47.  The Glass Castle:  Jeannette Walls

48.  Mennonite in a Little Black Dress:  Rhoda Janzen

49.  Alice I Have Been:  Melanie Benjamin

50.  Murder on the Orient Express:  Agatha Christie

51.  Always the Designer Never the Bride:  Sandra Bricker

52.  The Lions of Lucerne:  Brad Thor

53.  Path of the Assassin:  Brad Thor

54.  The Witch’s Daughter:  Paula Brackston

55.  Best Friends Forever:  Jennifer Weiner

56.  State of the Union:  Brad Thor

57.  Blowback:  Brad Thor

58.  The Tiger’s Wife:  Tea Obreht

59.  Edgar Sawtee:  David Wroblewski

60.  Moloka’i:  Alan Brennert

61.  Trading Christmas:  Debbie Macomber

62.  The Litigators:  John Grisham

63.  The Year of Living Dangerously:  Quinn Cummings

64.  Dear Cary:  Dyan Cannon

65.  The Broker:  John Grisham

66.  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother:  Amy Chua

67.  A Prayer for Owen Meany:  John Irving

68.  Running with Scissors:  Augusten Burroughs

69.  My Mother Was Nuts – a Memoir:  Penny Marshall

70.  The Bone Bed:  Patricia Cornwell

71.  Half Broke Horses:  Jeannette Walls

72.  Elvis and the Dearly Departed:  Peggy Webb

73.  The Dressmaker of Khair Khana:  Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

74.  The Playdate:  Louise Millar

75.  Secret Daughter:  Shilpi Somaya gowda

76.  Girls in White Dresses:  Jennifer Close

77.  The Language of Flowers:  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

78.  Pioneer Woman – Black Heels to Tractor Wheels:  Ree Drummond

79.  Elvis and the Grateful Dead:  Peggy Webb

80.  Takedown:  Brad Thor

81.  Notes From the Underwire:  Quinn Cummings

82.  Where’d You Go Bernadette:  Maria Semple

83.  Mr. Churchill’s Secretary:  Susan Elia Macneal

84.  When in Doubt Add Butter:  Beth Harbison

85.  The Alchemist:  Paulo Coelho

Advertisements

2009 Book List

The last couple of years I’ve set a goal for myself of reading 50 books during the year.  Honestly I thought I was being a bit easy on myself – 50 books?  No problem.  I got laid off from work exactly one year ago and have had all the time in the world to read.  Did I?  Nope, I re-discovered TV.  It seems I make time to read when I have a full schedule with loads to do, go figure.  Nevertheless, these are the books I did somehow manage to read during commercial breaks in 2009:

1.  Firefly Lane

2.  Ladder of Years

3.  The Book of the Dead

4.  Hypocrite in a White Puffy Dress

5.  The Thirteenth Tale

6.  The Rossetti Letter

7.  The Stolen Child

8.  Daisy Faye and the Miracle Man

9.  Pompeii

10. Secret Sanction

11. The Last Lecture

12. Egnima

13. Lincoln

14. The Bell Jar

15. The Red Tent

16. The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard

17. Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three

18. Scarpetta

19. Evening Class

20. The Crazy School

21. Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders

22. Brimstone

23. Dance of Death

24. My Life in France

25. Freddy and the Bean Home News

26. The Lost Symbol

27. Freddy and the Ignormous

Little Surprises

I’ve been wanting to write something for a while now but I’ve been in a rut…again.  I’m STILL unemployed which on one hand is kind of nice because I can do whatever during the day but sucks obviously, because I have no money.  So while my day consists of watching TV, reading, and not much else I’ve tried to see what I can make of that for a post.  So here are my little surprises.  Mostly good with a couple that are deserving of an annoyed sigh and eye roll.

I mention that I watch a lot of TV.  Most of it I actually do online which I’ll get to in a second.  Because I’m trying to save a little money where I can, I don’t have cable.  Which means I get about 4 channels.  The other night I accidentally hit the reset button on my remote and bingo, I magically had 7 new channels.  More than double what I had – WHOO HOO!!  That was a nice little surprise.  Especially when I realized one of the channels was ABC and two others play reruns of Friends, The Simpsons, and King of the Hill so score!  Three of them are Spanish stations with plenty of telenovelas and Sabado Gigante.  This would be an eye roll surprise.

Bless the networks or whoever decided that streaming shows online would be a good idea.  And not just current shows either.  I’ve spent the past week watching old episodes of Judging Amy and Family Ties.  I noticed 21 Jumpstreet is streaming and may have to check that out next.

Wednesday night I’m going to a friend’s wedding reception.  I know there have been posts debating the whole registry idea and while I’m not going to get into it I will say I’m against the registry.  I looked at the stuff they selected and thought oh please.  No one is going to buy you the $800 TV or the Ipod Nano you selected.  But the only things I can really afford on their list are the washclothes and soap dispenser.  I’d rather not get them either.  So I fell back on my favorite (and pretty much only) gift I give which is the gift card.  I thought it would be better to put the gift card in an actual wedding card rather than slipping it to them in line.  Who knew wedding cards are almost as expensive as the gifts themselves??  And they all have these lame, sappy poems in them.  Can’t one just say Happy Wedding and be done with it?  Grrr.  While I resisted going home and pulling out my crayons and making them a card, I did settle by buying the plainest (and let’s face it the ugliest) card I found.

Right now I’m reading Lincoln by Gore Vidal.  Honestly I wasn’t sure I was really going to like this book but the more I read the more I like it.  I can’t believe how ignorant I am when it comes to the Civil War and this presidency.  I mean, hello, I am an American for crying out loud.  You would think I would know more about my nation’s history.  So this has definitely been a good surprise.  The reading and liking part, not my ignorance.

Another good surprise?  Re-discovering naps.  I’ve always been one to say “I wish I could just take a nap” but would never actually do it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep at night and then I wouldn’t be able to get up the next day, blah blah and the cycle would go on and on.  Well, now it doesn’t matter since I don’t have to get up if I don’t want to.  I’ve been taking 1-2 hour naps a few times a week and am loving it.

And the biggest suprise of the past couple of weeks?  My sister called, invited and payed for me to come out for a visit this Memorial weekend.  Yeah!  A good surprise and definitely one to look forward to.

A Week of Books

I’ve been trying to think of what to write about this week but it was so incredibly borring and slow that I managed to read 5 books and do nothing else.  Which is actually a good thing because I’m going to see how many books I read this year.  My goal is at least 50 (about one a week) but at this rate I may have to increase the number.  Anyway, these are the books I read this week and what I thought of them:

1.  The Memory Keeper’s Daughter:  I really liked this book.  I’m kind of drawn to books where the characters are flawed but basically good people.  Where their decision may not have been the best and they struggle throughout the book with it.  Simply this is a story about a young doctor whose wife has twins, only one was born with Down’s Syndrome.  In a split decision he gives the Down’s Syndrome baby to the nurse and tells her to put the child in a facility and then he tells his wife that she (the baby) died thinking this would be easier for his wife to deal with.  The nurse ends up leaving and raising the little girl as her own.  So throughout the book you’re reading about how each character’s life was affected by this decision.

2.  The Book of the Dead:  If you like forensics and case solving then you should read books by Patricia Cromwell.  This is the second book of hers that I’ve read and enjoyed.  At times, her writing style makes it difficult to follow along and understand what you’re reading b/c she has so many little side plots going on at the same time.  But in the end everything weaves together and makes sense.  So if you can stomach some of the gruesome descriptions she gives, you might like this.  It’s about a serial killer.  Enough said.

3-5.  Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse:  These books are fabulous if you’re a 14 year old girl in Jr. High… I am not.  I think what bothered me the most is that I kept wanting to know what was going to happen to the characters even though I thought the books were lame.  For some reason I felt compelled to finish reading them, though many times I found myself muttering that I couldn’t believe I really was.  I think what really got me through them was that I pictured the lead vampire looking like Ryan Phillippe.  These books are about a girl who moves to this little town and ends up falling in love with a vampire.  The first two chapters of the first book are pretty good but as soon as actual dialogue begins between the girl and the vampire, the story goes downhill.  For the life of me I could not understand why all these vampires and werewolves were going to battle to protect her.  Let her die I say.  I was so frustrated and fed up with her that half way through the last book I called her stupid and an idiot.  Outloud.  Ok, so I didn’t so much call her that… as I YELLED it!  I know, get a grip it’s just a book.  But I read all three in 2 1/2 days and I felt that after investing my time she could at least grow up some.  It doesn’t happen.

So, after all this reading about vampires, werewolves, serial killers, death, lies, deceit, and tragedy you can image what kind of freaky dreams I’ve been having.  I think I’ll try to find a comedy next.