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jackie_oh ([personal profile] jackie_oh) wrote2008-01-09 10:15 pm
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50 Books Challenge

---> Began challenge on January 6th, 2007.

Below is the list of books that I hope to read over the span of a year. I have only listed a number of books and left room for others to be added at a later time. I will be adding books that I read in school to this list. I know that it is a little unorthodox, but I have decided to tweak the rules a little bit.

I am in school for four months out of the twelve month challenge period. I am also a history/religion double major, which lends itself to doing a lot of reading. So, those books that I do read, completely, from cover to cover, I will count towards my goal of 50 books.

For example, the novel Cement by Fyodor Vasillevich Gladkov, which is for my German history class will count towards my book list because I will have read it straight through for class. My textbook, Biological Evolution will not count for my challenge because it is a textbook that I will not read the whole way through.

Books I have read in 2007:
1. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kedis 01•10•07
2. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque 01•25•07
3. Children of Men by P.D. James 03•05•07
4. Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller 03•11•07
5. Equus by Peter Shaffer 04•09•07
6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer 04•29•07
I throughly enjoyed Foer's sophomore novel much more than Everything.... The complexity of the story line and the way in which Foer waves multimedia elements was much more successful in his second novel. I also really liked the meta fiction approach he took like when Foer piles up words on the page until they cannot be read anymore and form a solid black block of text. Set in New York City during the after math of 9/11 Extremely is an incredibly touching story of a boy's quest to solve his father's last puzzle. Foer delicately deals with the grief of Oskar's mother, and the narrator's intense young mind in a careful and touching way. After this novel I have come to expect nothing but wit, cleverness and excellent story telling from Foer.
7. The Bad Seed by William March 06•12•07
I am a sucker for crazed child murderers. March's novel was a great 1950's era thriller that still sends chills down my spine!
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 06•12•07
Anne Frank's autobiography will continue to be one of the world's best coming of age stories. And although I have read this piece several times I always find myself drawing out new meaning and inspiration from her words. She is endearing, compelling and heroic but also down to earth, and vulnerable. Incredibly timeless, her story will continue to inspire generations.
9. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain 06•25•07
After releasing this highly successful memoir, Bourdain shot off the charts. Bourdain in as comfortable with a pen as he is in the kitchen of Les Halles. His words are irreverent, witty and bitingly sharp. Our favorite tough chef has filled Confidential to the brim with his life story; from the lowly rise in P-town to executive chef and traveler.
10. The White by Deborah Larsen 07•08•07
11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 07•30•07
I think that HPDH was on every single 50 books challenge of the year reading review list that I've seen. Although I was totally spoiled by the various spoiler communities that I belong to, initial disappointment has since turned to content fulfillment. It took a second reading for Hallows to finally settle with me, but I have come to regard it as a fitting ending to the series.
12. The Lost Fortune of the Tsars by William Clarke 07•30•07
13. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen 08•19•07
14. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel 09•01•07
15. Princess Dashkova by Princess Dashkova 11•10•07
Read Dashkova. for my Russian history class. I really enjoyed it though, and read through the bits that we were allowed to skip over. Dashkova wasn't the slow, and dull read that I had pegged it to be. Instead there is a great story of Catherine the Great's rise to power, and the enlightenment ideas she and Dashkova shared. It wasn't just a royal romp through the Russian courts, but it was much deeper than it at first seemed to be.
16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling 11•23•07
17. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks 11•24•07
It's difficult to tell if Brooks is 100% serious about the possibility of a zombie attack, or if he's just having a laugh.
18. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain 11•22•07
I will read anything that Bourdain pumps out. Seriously. I love the man. Nasty Bits, a collection of short essay-like peices, lets the reader into his life with the Travel Channel, and his every day culinary adventures. I love his essay on Ferran Adria. The mas has a major hard on for Adria. But I have taken Bourdain's enthusiasm for Adria and turned it into my own. Visiting El Bulli is now on my things to do before I die list. All thanks to Bourdain.
19. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer 12•28•07
Foer's debut novel weaves the intricate plot arcs with short stories, letters and memoirs in one. Everything presents Foer's journey through the Ukrainian countryside with his translator Alex. While the movie version choses only this plot line to follow the novel is greatly enriched by letters from Alex to Jonathan and story of Foer's family. Exceedingly smart, humorous and insightful, he delivers an exceptionally personal and reflective novel.
Page Count: 4672

END OF THE YEAR EDIT: I unfortunately was not able to finish the 50 books challenge. My year was filled with more academic reading than I had originally planned on which left most of my fun reading cast aside. I am going to try my best to finish the challenge in the upcoming year! Wish me luck!