jackie_oh: (Pensive Posner)
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Hopefully I will be able to finish the 50 books challenge in 2008. The same stipulations apply since reading for school is taking up a majority of my time set aside for reading.

Books I have read in 2008:
20. Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk 01•08•08
I was at first hesitant to being a novel by Palahniuk. I didn't want to give into his "hype" but I was convinced by Lullaby that it is greatly earned. This novel was a fresh and new spin on the murder mystery. It ended with a great twist, and a certain scene will always be with me. It was clever and ironic. I also enjoyed how the novel was framed by recurring themes such as advertisements, and flash forwards. With Lullaby under my belt I am anxious to take on his other novels.
21. The Know It All by A.J. Jacobs 01•13•08
Ah-mazing. I loved The Know It All, and I loved A.J. Jacobs. His attempt to read the entire Encyclopedia Britanica was a noble one. I loved learning new information as he learned. I am now completely filled with useless facts as he was. I was forever telling my family that raspberries aren't really berries, but bananas are. Reading The Know It All has really made me want to read his other books especially A Year of Living Biblically. My next twenty bucks is going towards that. It has also inspired me to try and take on the challenge. Granted, I wouldn't be as insane and try to accomplish mission EB in one year, and I think I would throw out the macropædia; I mean, I don't need to read a 25 page article on particle physics. But this alas, will have to wait until I am done with school. I don't think that my brain could handle the 44 million words the EB dishes out.
22. The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel 02•04•08
I loved this book. It was one of the most inspiring and spiritually healing books I have ever read. I just loved the concept of being of time and not things. While it's not the trendiest world view, it works, and speaks of a timeless spectrum. "Everyone of us occupies a portion of space. He takes it up exclusively. ... Yet no one possesses time. ... We share time, we own space." What an amazing statement. Very heavy. A great, short but meaningful book assigned for Dr. Steffey's section on Judaism in Religion 237: Children of Abraham. Highly recommended!
23. The History Boys: A Play by Alan Bennett 05•26•08
This is one of the rare books that I seemed to enjoy the movie version better. Granted, that was mainly because it's all about gorgeous looking English boys romping about in uniforms spouting A.E. Houseman ("A.E. Houseman, sir. Wasn't he a nancy, sir?") and Auden. I do however enjoy the scenes that didn't quite make it into the film, like the outrage that Posner's uncle had with Irwin's discussion about the Holocaust that was strikingly caviler in nature. And in the play, the other boys have way more dialog than what is featured in the movie. The movie seemed to focus on Dakin, Posner and Scripps. Despite that, I did really like the play, I am sure that if I had seen it all on Broadway I would have appreciated it more than I did. I felt like it enhanced the movie, but there is another layer to the play that I missed out on.
24. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs 05•30•08
LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book. Jacobs captured almost every aspect of how I view religion perfectly. His challenge was incredibly complex and thorough. Words cannot describe my love for this book. It's amazing. I am in anticipation for his next book. Super highly recommended!
25. The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver 06•30•08
26. Cross by James Patterson 07•07•08
27. The Golden Compas by Philip Pullman 06•15•08
28. Neighbors by Jan Gross 10•14•08
This book presented itself as a disappointing read. I was excited to read this oft overlooked story about neighbors with enough greed in their hearts to murder their Jewish neighbors during a Soviet pogrom, but it left me unsatisfied. Yes, it was nominated for a National Book Award, but it was only a finalist for a reason.
29. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung 11•05•08
I read this for my class on genocide. Compared to the other books we have read on the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, etc. Ung had it pretty easy. I understand that Cambodia suffered a great genocide during the reign of Pol Pot, but comparatively speaking, things were not bad there at all. Maybe I have become too dissensatized in the course of our readings.
30. War & Genocide by Doris E. Bergreen 11•29•08
An excellent concise overview of the Holocaust and its implications. This book actually presents heavily on three often overlooked victims of the Third Reich, the Roma, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses. Bergreen writes so well that I mistook the author for being a man by the context of her style. Also presents all sides of the Holocaust; resistance, causes, military reasoning, and the unique aspects of modernity.
31. Into the Wild by John Krakauer
32. The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden
33. I am America; and So Can You! by Stephen Colbert 01•05•08
Page Count: 2082

END OF THE YEAR EDIT: Unfortunately, I was able to only read a mere ten books this year. That was in part, of course, due to school. But also because I was in school over the summer as well. Had I not done SAS I possibly could have finished this up. I hope to really finish this, now two-year long, project. I only have five months left of school, and for the rest of the year, who knows if I'll be working or in seminary. With that free time I might be able to pack away some 'fun' reading.
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