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jackie_oh: (Pensive Posner)
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.


Jun. 5th, 2008 12:26 am
jackie_oh: (Norblet&Jellyneck)
Tomorrow begins our great Canadian adventure up to Montreal and ultimately to Halifax in Nova Scotia. I won't be updating possibly for a whole fortnight until I get settled on board the MV Explorer in mid-June. Over the entire summer my internet time will be severely limited but I am going to try my best to update once a week at least and keep up with my flist.

jackie_oh: (Default)
---> 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!


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June 2012



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