Sunday, December 29, 2013

Four Years of Reading

Below is a list of all the books I've read in the last four years, since I started this blog. If it matters, the list is chronological, the ending of each year at the bottom of the list. Many of the books have been mentioned or reviewed on this blog, though some of them have not.

I like looking back to see what I've read! Some of the books have really stuck with me. Others? Not so much.

Read in 2010:
The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
Cowboy and Wills by Monica Holloway
Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith
Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger
One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Impatient With Desire by Gabrielle Burton
Imperfect Endings by Zoe Fitzgerald Carter
Tweak by Nic Sheff
Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato
I Want to be Left Behind by Brenda Peterson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez
Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
Making Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson
Broken Glass Park by Alina Bronsky
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
The Passage by Justin Cronin
Tinkers by Paul Harding
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
I'm Sorry You Feel That Way by Diana Joseph
Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl
Unfinished Business by Lee Kravitz
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
One Good Dog by Susan Wilson
Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
Through a Dog's Eyes by Jennifer Arnold
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer
The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
The Nimrod Flip Out by Etgar Keret
John Dies at the End by David Wong
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Wave by Susan Casey
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
At Home by Bill Bryson
Salamander by Thomas Wharton
Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles
Mark Twain's Autobiography
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Daring to Eat a Peach by Joseph Zeppetello
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Alberic the Wise by Norton Juster
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell
The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins

Read in 2011:
The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
Incendiary by Chris Cleave
The Absent Traveler by Randall DeVallance
Bloodroot by Amy Greene
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
Chocolate Wars by Deborah Cadbury (yes, THAT Cadbury!)
Annabel by Kathleen Winter
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Delirious by Daniel Palmer
Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern
Shadow Tag by Louise Erddrich
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simpson
Among the Missing by Dan Chaon
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum
Needful Things by Stephen King
Bossypants by Tina Fey
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
Contented Dementia by Oliver James
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Alone Together by Sherry Turkle
Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig
Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
The Prank by Adam Black
Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
In the Woods by Tana French
Toast by Nigel Slater
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Aftertaste by Meredith Mileti
Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay

Read in 2012:
Extra Virginity by Tom Mueller
The Translation of the Bones by Francesca Kay
Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann
Defending Jacob by William Landay
Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner
The Sensualist by Barbara Hodgson
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Losing Clementine by Ashley Ream
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (audio)
Primacy by J.E. Fishman
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
In One Person by John Irving
The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris
Some Assembly Required by Anne and Sam Lamott (audio)
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
The Plaza by Guillermo Paxton
I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Redshirts by John Scalzi
The Prospect of My Arrival by Dwight Okita
Are You My Mother? by Allison Bechdel
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Paper Towns by John Green
A Million Heavens by John Brandon
Son by Lois Lowry
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
The LIkeness by Tana French
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Twelve by Justin Cronin
The Death of Sweet Mister By Daniel Woodrell
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
Sex, Lies, and Handwriting by Michelle Dresbold
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Read in 2013
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Thy Neighbor by Norah Vincent
You Want Me to What? by Nancy Lang
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Anne and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Green Boat by Mary Pipher
Jujitsu Rabbi and the Godless Blonde by Rebecca Dana
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
Death of Bees by Lisa O'Donnell
Calling Dr. Laura By Nicole J. Georges
A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide
Following Josh by Dave Norman
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Limbus, Inc. by Anne C. Petty
Unsaid by Neil Abramson
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Close My Eyes by Sophie McKenzie
Inferno by Dan Brown
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
The Believers by Zoe Heller
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman
Under the Dome by Stephen King (audio)
Enon by Paul Harding
The Possibility Dogs by Susannah Charleson
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Sahara by Michael Palin (audio)
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (audio)
Little Witch Anna Elizabeth Bennett
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple (audio)
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (audio)
Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (audio) written and read by Neil Gaiman
Rodeo in Joliet by Glenn Rockowitz
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Dinner by Herman Koch
Spontaneous Happiness (audio) written and read by Andrew Weil
Stitches by Anne Lamott
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma
419 by Will Ferguson
Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield
Unmentionables by Laurie Loewenstein
We Are Water by Wally Lamb
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (audio)
Why Are You So Sad? by Jason Porter

Which books have stuck with you?


Thank you for checking out the blog! There are links to Powell's and Amazon on this page. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog. You can send email to: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You can also "like" our facebook page, NOT The New York Times Book Review.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 2013 (Free!) Book Giveaway

In January of this year, I announced that there would be a book giveaway every month for 2013.

I made it to April. About that time I decided to change jobs, and spent a lot of time preparing - I hadn't written a resume in over ten years!, exploring and I finally made the move in June. I've been working at my new job since then, and adjusting to the change.

Six months to adjust to the change, you ask? Well...yes. That may very well be the subject of another blog. But back to the giveaway!

Here's how great it is. YOU get to choose which book you'd like to receive! The only requirement is that the book you choose has to have been mentioned at some point on this blog (I did receive one entry where the person wanted to receive a book that was not mentioned on the blog. That entry was disqualified.)

To enter the giveaway:
1. Look through the blog and find a book that you'd like to receive.

(Hint: the blog started in January 2010. At the end of each year, or beginning of a year, I list all the books I read that year. Scanning one of the annual lists to find a book you'd like might be quicker than reading through each blog post, as illuminating and fascinating as that might be!)

2. Add a comment here on the blog that includes your name (first name is fine) and the title of the book you've chosen. Entries will not be received through the blog's facebook page.

3. Enter by the end of the day, Sunday December 15, 2013.
That's it!

At that time, I will number the comments and randomly pick a number with a random number generator. I will send a message to the winner as a comment on the blog and that winner will have five days to respond. If that person doesn't respond, I’ll pick another number. Once I have a confirmed winner, I will get their shipping addresses via email or private message and send them the book they've chosen!*

*Note: I do not want you to put your personal contact information in the blog's comment space. This is protect you. However, you will need to enable your preferences so you see additional comments on the blog, or be sure to check back on the blog or the facebook page to see if you've won!

Entries for the giveaway need to be comments to this blog post. If you'd like to send a private message that is not an entry, do so via email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or through a private message through the blog's facebook page, NOT The New York Times Book Review.

Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Two New Books Set in the Past

I read two books recently that brought the past to life, in two very different ways.

Bellman & Black was a rich and haunting book set in the late 1800's in England. Unmentionables brought to life small town America in the early 20th century.

In the beginning of Bellman & Black, William Bellman, a young boy with his friends, has an accident involving a rook. This incident follows him through the rest of his life. Setterfield creates a vivid world for William as he grows up, working hard in order to cover up his grief. He works hard and Bellman and Black is created. Interspersed throughout are passages about rooks, which help create depth and darkness in the atmosphere of the book. A very good read.

I read Bellman & Black on the Nook, and, as sometimes happens on the Nook for me, the ending of the book came sooner than I expected. On the Nook, the book was something like 342 pages long, but as is often the case, the last several pages are acknowledgements and so on, which take up space. In a regular book, I look ahead to see when the book actually ends (careful not to read anything on those last pages!). I don't do this on the Nook, and this somehow lessens my enjoyment of the book, through no fault of the book itself, just the format.

I was lucky enough to win an Early Reviewer copy of Laurie Loewenstein's Unmentionables from In it, we follow Marian, who travels the country in the early 1900's as a Chautauqua speaker, as well as Deuce and his step daughter Helen, two people she meets on her circuit. Marian is speaking about women's undergarments, the unmentionables of the title, urging women to wear less confining undergarments, allowing them to live more freely. This of course is shocking talk in the early 20th century.

I was drawn in by Marian's subject matter, as well as the whole idea of the Chautauqua speaking circuit, with which I was not familiar. Loewenstein brings Emporia, Illinois to life through her portrayal of the characters and the issues they dealt with. I liked following Marian on her travels, Deuce as a small town newspaperman who has to decide whether or not to print difficult information, and Helen, a young woman longing to be part of a big city and work for women's rights.

The book got a little slow for me in the middle, and perhaps a tad too tidy of an ending, but overall I enjoyed it and I felt enriched by the book. Definitely worth a look!


Thank you, librarything, for offering the Early Reviewer book giveaway!

Clicking on the underlined book titles will take you to Powell's page for each book. Clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon's page for each book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog.

You can subscribe to the blog right on this page, and you can "like" us on our facebook page, NOT The New York Times Book Review. You can also send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Comments are welcome! Thanks for stopping by!