Reading list 2011

New books: 35 ( 11,042  pgs )

Longest book: Pathfinder (672 pgs)
Shortest book: Kekula (32 pgs)
Oldest book: Crime and Punishment (1866)
Newest book: Secrets of the Crown (September 2011)
Best book: Beyonders
Best children’s/YA book: Heidi
Worst book: Sundays at Tiffany’s
Most disappointing book: How to Train Your Dragon

Diana Wynne Jones, House of Many Ways
James Patterson, Sundays at Tiffany’s
Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon
C.S Lewis, The Four Loves
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
Michael Gruber, The Book of Air and Shadows
Stephenie Meyer, The Host
Chris Cleave, Little Bee
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Fiery Fingers
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Careless Kitten
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Sulky Girl
Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
Jahcolyn Russell Neiman, Kekula
Johanna Spyri, Heidi
Matt Haig, The Dead Fathers Club
Brandon Mull, Beyonders
Maryrose Wood, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
Maryrose Wood, The Hidden Gallery
Garth Nix, Abhorsen
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Kathryn Stockett, The Help
Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, & Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations
Susan Coolidge, What Katy Did
Ninni Holmqvist, The Unit
Susanne Dunlap, The Musician’s Daughter
Roald Dahl, Danny the Champion of the World
Madeleine L’Engle, Many Waters
Orson Scott Card, Pathfinder
Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson, Secrets of the Crown
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
John Grisham, The Testament
Adrian McKinty, The Lighthouse Land
Tina Fey, Bossypants

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by Tina Fey

{ 2011 | Reagan Arthur Books | 288 pgs }

I’d heard so much hype and praise for Tina Fey’s new book, and I confess, Jarom and I really like 30 Rock. Mostly. Jarom ended up reading this before I did, and laughed a lot. I expected to laugh a lot too, but I mainly chuckled or smiled. Not laughed. It was a little disappointing, since I thought there’d be fall-off-your-seat funny parts. So I gave up about 2/3 of the way through.

And finally tried again here at the end of the year. Fortunately, it picked up not long after my stopping point, and I enjoyed the rest of the book. Still not enough to laugh out loud, sadly, but it was amusing.

Sigh. I wish it had been hilarious.

Buy Bossypants on Amazon

The Lighthouse Land

by Adrian McKinty

{ 2006 | Harry N. Abrams | 372 pgs }

I’m not sure how this found its way onto my reading list, but that’s nothing special. I like to not have any idea of who recommended a book, what genre it is, favorable or negative reviews, or general plot summaries before I start reading.

I was thrilled to sit down with a fiction book after I got home from my last class of the semester a few weeks ago. And from the beginning, The Lighthouse Land was fascinating. A young boy in Harlem has lost his arm to cancer (is that realistic? I don’t even know), and stops speaking afterwards; a year later, he and his mother receive a letter informing them that they are the last heirs of an Irish estate (I think definitely not realistic). Once there, the boy – Jamie – makes friends with a classmate – Ramsey – and they discover a portal to another realm/world through a hidden room in a tower of the estate. And in this other realm, Jamie has both arms again.

The story dropped off a little after that. The people in the realm, of course, have expected aid to arrive, but not in the form of two teenagers. I really lost interest a while into that storyline. Things picked up again towards the end, but the final 15 pages or so were horrific and horrendous to the extent that I will not be reading the other books in the trilogy. Seriously, it was LAME. In all capital letters, yes. LAME.

Want to know why? Ok, spoilers:

– Jamie decides to stay in the other realm instead of going home with Ramsey, because he (Jamie) fell in love with the girl they helped to save her country. Apparently Jamie has forgotten that he has a mom who went through a divorce after her son’s cancer, and her son doesn’t talk at all, ever, and she lives in the middle of nowhere, Ireland. By herself now, it seems.

– Meanwhile, back in the real world, Jamie’s mom finds out that Jamie and Ramsey are not on the school ski trip like they said, but have actually disappeared for almost two weeks. While she rushes out to search for Jamie, her car gets stuck in the channel connecting her estate to the main road, because it’s high tide. I think the car rolls over or something, or somehow she breaks her arm, and the car starts flooding and stuff. Basically she is alone and going to die.

– Jamie does end up coming back, but only because he hears his mom calling out for him somehow across the void. He knows that she needs help, so he and Ramsey go rescue her.

– End of book.

Thank you, waste of my time.

Buy The Lighthouse Land on Amazon if you like wasting time