Friday, May 30, 2014

June 2014 Reading List

It's almost June, people! When did that happen? Down here in the South, we are in full fledged summer by this time and won't see temperatures south of 80 for a solid 5-6 months. Might sound lovely to you Midwestern or Northern folks but let me tell you, humidity is a bitch and the temps just keep rising. What I'm trying to say is, happy summer to most of you and my condolences to my fellow sufferers (is it Fall/football season yet?!?!)

Let's get down to it. First, the review for May! I actually did pretty well this month! I'm even going to say I hit my goals because the only book I didn't read was in a wonky e-book format and I wasn't about to try and decipher a story through the random spacing.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Coming Clean
The Cuckoo's Calling

Didn't Read:
Blackmoore (See above and I will probably check this one out of the library at some point. Still want to read it.)

And for my next trick, I'm going to read:

Real Book:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Re-read the rest of the series last year, going to finish up!


The Daughter He Never KnewDaughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) The Daughter He Never Knew

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1)
I've heard great things about this series so I'm excited to check it out.

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Secrets, mansions, and fortunes? Count me in!

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)
Yes, I may be the only blogger to not have read this yet. Remedying ASAP.

Forgive Me, Leonard PeacockThe First Warm Evening of the Year: A Novel The First Warm Evening of the Year
As you can see above, we've had plenty of these in SC but maybe the book will be nice this time of year

Heard phenomenal things about this book, excited to finally read it!

What are you reading this month?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownTitle: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Read: May 25, 2014

Summary: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. goodreads

Review: I'm not sure which blog I read about this book  on but I thought I remembered the blogger talking about how awesome it was, so I had high expectations. After reading it, I'm a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. I just didn't love it and wouldn't recommend it to all of my friends which was the reaction I was expecting to have. That's a let down. But let's ignore my feelings and get right into the review.

This book is about a world where Vampires have become mainstream and "Coldtowns" have popped up throughout the country to contain them. People are allowed in Coldtowns but mostly for food and entertainment for the vampires (of their own volition. This isn't a some sick rule the government came up with to help the vampires.) That being said, once you check in, you never check out (for the most part, there are obviously some exceptions.)

So we are dealing with vampires and humans co-mingling. There are a lot of ways a story like this could go wrong and I'm happy to say, Holly Black didn't do any of them. There was a whiff of the triangle love and insta love, which I loathe, but it was pretty quickly dissipated and either was handled well in the story later or fell off completely (not telling you which one did what.) I really liked the world-building that Black did as well. For a vampire story to catch my interest, it has to explain the history of vampires, how the "infection" spreads or grows, how they hide or expose themselves, and how the "real world" deals with them. This book had all of those and it was well thought out. Coldtowns are a unique idea and Black did a good job of describing them and developing them. I also liked the history of the vampires and why they are now mainstreamed.

The characters were kinda meh for me. I really liked Gavriel and the fact that he was a little crazy but we could excuse it. I also thought the antagonists were well developed. Tana just didn't do it for me though. I didn't dislike her at all but I didn't really connect with her. I also felt that some of the extra characters were either really dumb (Aidan and Pearle) or could have been developed more (Jameson.)

I really enjoyed the ending and the main relationship that developed and it made me wonder if this is going to be a series. The internets say it's a stand-alone and I think it would be perfect as is, but I also think the ending provided an easy story for a sequel. I'm hoping it's not a series, but if it was, I'd follow along.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Coming Clean

Coming CleanTitle: Coming Clean
Author: Kimberly Rae Miller
Read: May 15, 2014

Summary: A stunning memoir about a childhood spent growing up in a family of extreme hoarders and hiding squalor behind the veneer of a perfect family. Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that she spent her childhood hiding behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and of the emotional burden that ultimately led to an attempt to take her own life. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds. Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where we come from and the relationships that define us—and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves. goodreads

Review: This is a tragic, yet beautiful story of how Kim survived growing up in a house with a hoarder. Hoarding has become a hot topic in the media over the last 10 years. People are oddly intrigued by it because they can't fathom how someone can get to that point in their lives, but not many people understand the psychological aspect of the illness and how debilitating it can be. Kim Miller does a great job of explaining this in her memoir but it is heartbreaking to learn that she had to endure this lifestyle for so long.

I really enjoyed Kim's writing and her way of story telling. She does a good job of using humor to cope and it is clear that it took her a long time to get to the point she is now, but it says a lot of her coping skills that she can look back on this now and find some humor in it. I'm sure in the moment, it was not funny. Kim is also one of those kids who was raised by people with mental illness and who grew up to be the exact opposite of what her parents were. She is driven, accomplished, a neat-freak, and much more mainstream than her hippie father. That being said, there are some similarities. She is very strong and I think that she gets from both of her parents. People forget that hoarding is a coping skill for people and they are doing their very best to get through the day like everyone else. Kim's dad couldn't control his hoarding but he was surviving. Kim's mom did not start out as a hoarder and she had to deal with multiple health problems as well as a spouse who hoarded, so she coped the best she could by shopping. All of the Millers are very strong people but Kim found ways of using healthy coping skills and that is what made all the difference.

Y'all know I'm into the psychological side of this book but despite that, it is very well written and kept me entertained thoroughly. It made sense to me why these nonsensical things happened but my heart broke for Kim every time she had to ask for help with her parents. Kim is a very good daughter and the love she has for her parents is ever lasting but they definitely push her to her limits. I recommend this book to anyone who doesn't understand their parents but loves them regardless. Or, you know, anyone interested in a good book about a unique situation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts

I've been debating getting more personal on this blog and I think it's about time I do. I'm still not going to post pictures of the meals I'm eating or entire posts related to what I did with my weekend (unless it's reading of course) but I'm going to add to the bookish side of me with some random unbookish thoughts. Luckily, one of my favorite bloggers, Christine from Bookishly Boisterous hosts a weekly meme called Bookish and Not so Bookish Thoughts that will provide a time a place for my randomness. I'm going to try and link up as frequently as I can but I'm not guaranteeing a weekly post. So here goes:

  • I've been pretty slow with my reading lately and I'm not entirely sure why. I've found myself watching more TV than I normally do and I don't mind it to be honest. Usually, I have the TV on in the background while I read (or the husband does) and don't pay much attention to it, but lately I've been binge watching Friday Night Lights (re-watching and if you have never seen this, do yourself a favor and check it out on Netflix. I want to be Tammy Taylor and may or may not have a crush on Riggins) and that's distracting me from my reading. The hubs and I watched Django Unchained last night (way behind the times, I know!) and loved it but that was a solid couple of hours that I would usually be reading and instead I just passively watched TV. It was kinda nice and my reading goals are suffering for it. Let them suffer! 
  • Hubs and I are also trying to figure out summer vacation plans. We got married in upstate NY last summer and we vacation every summer with my family up there but this year, we are thinking we may miss the family trip and go on our own. This will be a new experience for us as a couple. I spent many a summer up there with and without my family so I'm used to it, but it will be first time that we'll go as our own little family. Cute, right?
  • The reason our summer schedule is thrown off is because the hubs is looking for a job and we think he will try teaching high school science for now. He's not sure what he wants to do long term yet (possibly med school) but he just finished his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology so he is going to give this a try for now.
  • Every day I get more and more jealous of all of my friends who are teachers and the fact that they have 10, 7, 12 days or whatever left in the school year. While you guys are beaching it and taking a break from all of your students, I'll be providing therapy to them all summer long. Every. Single. Day.
  • Tomorrow is girls night and I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to some drinks with the girls. Cheers!
  • I have car shopping on the brain right now and I've got my eye on one of these babies (but obvi used and a year or two old. Not rolling in it yet!) Panoramic sunroof? Leather seats? In dash navi with a rear camera? Can we say upgrade from my 1996 Ford Explorer?!?!? Come on new job for the hubs!
  • I kind of enjoy rambling to y'all. Hopefully I'll come back next week for another edition. Thanks, Christine for the great idea!
What thoughts are on your brain this week?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rory Gilmore Challenge

You all know I love a good challenge but have a hard time finding some that I want to participate in (key word being "good.") But by participating in my Spring/Summer 2014 challenge, I discovered the Rory Gilmore Challenge.

Now, if you don't know who Rory Gilmore is, I don't know if we can be friends. She's the super smart, Ivy League-going, fast-talking, bookworm daughter or Lorelai Gilmore whom I adore. We are talking about Gilmore Girls, people!

I had heard of the Rory challenge but never really looked at it until one of my tasks for the Summer/Spring challenge was to read a book off of it. Lo and behold, there are some good books on that list. And surprise surprise, I've actually read some of them! So I think I'll keep a running list of the books I have in common with a fictional character from a cancelled TV show. Why not? I also don't have any intention to read 339 of these books. Some of them don't interest me in the slightest so I'm not going to waste my time but I think it will be interesting to see which ones I can check off. Plus it doesn't hurt to build my TBR a little. (Actually, it doesn't need any building and really needs to be smaller but I have a problem. I own it.) You can keep track with me up there on the Challenges tab. 

So here goes: Books I've read are in Bold. 

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringe
133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
137. The Iliad by Homer
138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
140. Inferno by Dante
141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
206. Night by Elie Wiesel
207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
219. Othello by Shakespeare
220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
237. Property by Valerie Martin
238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
270. Selected Hotels of Europe
271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275. Sexus by Henry Miller
276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
278. The Shining by Stephen King
279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
316. Ulysses by James Joyce
317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
319. Unless by Carol Shields
320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion


Thursday, May 15, 2014


Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Title: Allegiant
Author: Veronica Rother
Series: Divergent #3
Read: May 13, 2014

Summary: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent. goodreads

Review: This is the third book in the Divergent series and I have to admit, I had to read some recaps on Shmoop. It had been so long since I had read the first two that I actually went through chapter by chapter to jog my memory. It worked which was a good thing because this book leaves off exactly where Insurgent did with zero summary (which is one of my pet peeves of series. At least catch us old ladies up on what happened in the last one. We forget these things reading 100+ books a year!)

So I caught up and remembered how much I enjoyed Divergent and that Insurgent was ok. I was ready. And to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I hated the dual narratives and couldn't keep track of who was talking easily. It drove me bonkers. While I liked hearing about the background, the government, and the DNA aspect of this story, it was just that: background! It didn't really move the story along so much. But in the last 100 pages, this book was 100% redeemed for me! The 100 pages prior to that when Tris and Four were making the plan to turn the tables on everyone was stupid and hypocritical (still think that now) but some things happened that redeemed it for me. But of course in order to talk about these, I have to reveal spoilers. I try to stay away from spoilers but in this book, the only reason it got 3/5 was because of the spoilers. So--


Now that that is out of the way, here we go. Going into this book, I somehow managed to avoid all of the spoilers. I was super stoked this book was coming out and didn't have to read everything about the release so that probably helped me avoid most of it. I knew people hated the ending but for me, it was the best part. 

One of my pet peeves about the last two books has been how stupid, careless, reckless, and dangerous Tris has been with minimal consequences. Yes, I understand these are dauntless traits but no one is that lucky and it became annoyingly redundant. Not to mention the fact that she annoyed me during this whole book so when she died, I thought "finally!" for various reasons. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Tris in the first book. She was a strong female protagonist who experienced real love and none of that insta-love crap. She was my girl! But that faded over Insurgent and was completely absent this book. 

Her death also explained the dual narratives that I hated. It forced Four to grow on his own and stop leaning on her so much and it healed things between her brother and her. Honestly, she was never going to let Caleb do it and we all know she thought she was the only bad ass who would be immune to the scarey "death serum." The more I think about it, the more I think this was the only possible ending. No one gets a perfect happy ending in a dystopian society, props to you Roth for having the balls to kill Tris. Thank you!