Book report

I wrote a post about a month ago declaring my rediscovered loved for reading and asking for your recommendations.  Since I have the coolest little group of readers ever, your response was phenomenal.  So, here’s my report.

Since then, I finished reading:

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, which I liked more than I thought I would, but would have appreciated a less detailed description of some things, one in particular.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.  I 90% loved this book, but it makes me feel yucky inside when people swear at children, and the narrative voice felt forced to me.  I loved the overall character development and the historical setting.

Mother Teresa:  A Complete Authorized Biography by Kathryn Spink, which I actually still haven’t quite finished and I’m not sure I will.  M.T. did and said so many amazing things, but the book is very slow moving and spends way too much time on her organizations and their administrative details.  I find myself scanning to find more about her and the details of her daily life.

I went to the library and checked out these books, which are currently on my nightstand:

And then, based on your suggestions, I created this wish list on my library online account so that I can go through and request them one or two at a time.  I think I added most of them unless you’d warned me about something that I probably didn’t want to read.  (I’m telling you folks, I’m a reading prude.  Please warn me if I might want to eliminate some of these books from my list, knowing that I don’t like much swearing, I hate to read about child abuse or overtly sexual content, and I’m usually not a fan of “coming of age” novels if they could also be considered “the destruction of innocence” novels. Oh, and I don’t like really dark themes or books that make me lose my faith in humanity.  Um, yeah, I’m picky.)  Obvioulsy, my library doesn’t carry everything that was suggested, especially any LDS titles (which I may take you up on some of your offers to borrow those books.) Anyway, behold the LONG list, in alphabetical order:

Atlas shrugged /
by Rand, Ayn.
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Dutton, [1992]
Call#: Fiction Rand
The bronze bow /
by Speare, Elizabeth George, 1908-1994.
Houghton, c1961.
Call#: Fiction Spear
The chosen /
by Potok, Chaim, 1929-2002.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 1967.
Call#: Fiction Potok
Cold Sassy tree /
by Burns, Olive Ann, 1924-1990.
New York : Ticknor and Fields, c1984.
Call#: Fiction Burns
The Count of Monte Cristo /
by Dumas, Alexandre, 1802-1870.
Mineola, N.Y. : Dover, 2007.
Call#: Fiction Dumas
Crossing to safety /
by Stegner, Wallace Earle, 1909-1993.
New York : Modern Library, 2002.
Call#: Fic St3
David Copperfield /
by Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870.
New York : Knopf, c1991.
Call#: Fiction Dicke
Ender’s game /
by Card, Orson Scott.
New York : Starscape, 2002.
Call#: SciFi Card
Gift from the sea /
by Lindbergh, Anne Morrow, 1906-2001.
New York : Pantheon Books, c1975.
Call#: 818.52 L64
Good omens : the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch /
by Gaiman, Neil., Pratchett, Terry.
New York : Workman Pub., 1990.
Call#: SF G12
The goose girl /
by Hale, Shannon.
New York : Bloomsbury, c2003.
Call#: Fiction Hale
Hawaii /
by Michener, James A. (James Albert), 1907-1997.
Ballantine, 1982, c1959.
Call#: Fic M58
The help /
by Stockett, Kathryn.
New York : Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009.
Call#: Fiction Stock
The history of love /
by Krauss, Nicole, 1974-
New York : Norton, c2005.
Call#: Fiction Kraus
Home to Harmony /
by Gulley, Philip.
Sisters, OR : Multnomah Publishers, 2000.
Call#: Fic G95
The Hunger Games /
by Collins, Suzanne, 1964-
New York : Scholastic Press, 2008.
Call#: Fiction Colli
John Adams /
by McCullough, David G., 1933-
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2001.
Call#: 923.1 Adams
La sombra del viento /
by Ruiz Zafón, Carlos, 1964-
Bogotá : Planeta, c2003.
Call#: Mystery Ruiz
La tia Julia y el escribidor /
by Vargas Llosa, Mario, 1936-
Barcelona : Seix Barral, 1993, c1977.
Call#: Fic V42
The last samurai /
by Dewitt, Helen, 1957-
New York : Hyperion, c2000.
Call#: Fic D51
Les Miserables /
by Hugo, Victor, 1802-1885.
New York : Modern Library, c1992.
Call#: Fic H87
Mansfield Park /
by Austen, Jane, 1775-1817., Tanner, Tony.
Penguin Books, 1985, 1814.
Call#: Fic Au7
Peace like a river /
by Enger, Leif, 1961-
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001.
Call#: Fiction Enger
The pillars of the earth /
by Follett, Ken.
New York : New American Library, 2002, c1989.
Call#: Fiction Folle
Portuguese irregular verbs /
by McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948-
New York : Anchor Books, 2005.
Call#: Fiction Mccal
Rebecca /
by Du Maurier, Daphne, 1907-1989.
New York : Harper, 2006.
Call#: Fiction Dumau
Sarah /
by Card, Orson Scott.
Salt Lake City, Utah : Shadow Mountain, 2000.
Call#: Fic C17
The secret life of bees /
by Kidd, Sue Monk.
New York : Viking, c2002.
Call#: Fiction Kidd
Still Alice /
by Genova, Lisa.
New York : Pocket Books, 2009.
Call#: Fiction Genov
The sweetness at the bottom of the pie /
by Bradley, C. Alan, 1938-
New York : Delacorte Press, 2009.
Call#: Mystery Bradl
Team of rivals : the political genius of Abraham Lincoln /
by Goodwin, Doris Kearns, 1943-
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2005.
Call#: 923.1 L63
These is my words : the diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 : Arizona Territories /
by Turner, Nancy E., 1953-
New York : Regan Books, 1998.
Call#: Fic T85
To kill a mockingbird /
by Lee, Harper.
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 1982, c1960.
Call#: Fiction Lee

Phew. That ought to keep me busy for a while. Any must-reads I missed? Any that won’t meet my picky criteria? Oh, and for obvious reasons, I may not be blogging as much as I used to . . .


31 thoughts on “Book report

  1. might i suggest that, unless you’ve read all of jane austen’s more sparkling novels, that you wait on mansfield park until you’ve exhausted those? i strongly recommend persuasion, especially because you have some life experience, but pride & prejudice, sense & sensibility, emma, and persuasion are infinitely better than mansfield park. this comes from someone who just spent three years writing a dissertation in part about austen, so believe me–i love her. i like mansfield park. but it’s just not one of her better books.

    the lost symbol is…long. and it has some gruesome stuff in it. i am a prude too and i read the whole thing, but…there were times when i was skeezed out. similar to davinci code, though, so nothing too horrible.

    rebecca is fabulous, as is to kill a mockingbird. sarah is equally fabulous. i also quite liked ender’s game as well. some of these on your list i’ve never heard of, so do please let us know how you find them! i’m creating lists of my own, and i love to add to them!

  2. I’m going to have to refer to this list.

    I just finished Her Fearful Symmetry on Saturday morning and STILL can not stop thinking about it. Dying to find a book club I can talk into reading that so I can talk about it! Anyway, highly recommended.

    Aren’t libraries fabulous?

    • I think I like them because they make me feel intelligent when I figure out the codes, etc. a few steps ahead of the characters. (Basically, they feed my vanity.) 🙂 Plus I learn some historical things I didn’t know before, and those topics are interesting to me.

  3. I HATED The Lost Symbol. It felt like a vehicle for Dan Brown to prove his erudition. Except he failed. If you’re going to read another Brown, read Angels and Demons. It’s better than daVinci — cleverly plotted.

    This is a fantastic list, and while many on there are my favorites, there are some I haven’t yet read. And now I will.


    • I had to look up erudition. 🙂 I’m about 80 pages into it and so far I’m intrigued. I walked away from DaVinci Code half impressed by what he got right, and half sorry for him about what he (and his characters, and mankind in general) got wrong. I may be in for that same experience. I read Angels and Demons first because I’d heard it was a prequel to Davinci Code; I was interested in looking at some of the early changes made by the “Church,” and I thought the fiction genre might pique my interest in some more extensive non-fiction research.

  4. I agree it’s an excellent list. Might I kick in my two cents that I also am a reading prude, and didn’t love The Secret Life of Bees. Although I have a lot of friends who did…. anyway, that’s just for what it’s worth.

  5. I agree with you about the Book Thief. I feel like I’m the only person in the world who didn’t totally love it! I suggest you add 2 more to your list. I just finished Three Cups of Tea and Stones into School (both by Greg Mortensen) and they were amazing. Very inspiring.

  6. Awesome list! I love Hunger Games and the Goose Girl, and Les Miserables is my most favorite book of all time. I would maybe caution you a little about Atlas Shrugged, though. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, and while she has some good ideas, a lot of what she says makes me uneasy. She’s against organized religion and service, for instance, and she’s not a big fan of mothers (and she has some interesting sexual ideas that I maybe won’t discuss here…). Atlas Shrugged seems a little more focused on economics than Fountainhead, so maybe it’s okay, and it is more and more being considered a classic, but I thought I’d warn you that you might not like it. Anyway, have fun reading!

  7. I really liked Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr by Christopher Paolini. It is a fast read and a fun adventure. Just a thought.

  8. Looks like a great list. I love Ender’s Game, but found the early parts regarding his brother to be quite disturbing, probably because it so closely resembles someone I know. This is one of the few times that I’m glad I kept reading even though it was hard.

  9. I agree on the Da Vinci Code–UGH on the description, though The Lost Symbol is much better in that regard, if a bit anticlimactic.

    I LOVE The Hiding Place. That is one of the most amazing, uplifting, tear-your-heart-out books you will ever read. I need to go read it again.

    Good list. I’m anxious to hear what you think about The Hunger Games–that one’s been on my radar, but I haven’t gotten it yet. I like the Card Women of Genesis series–I need to get the one after Rachel and Leah.

  10. Great list…LOVED These is my words, goose girl, David Copperfield and To kill a mockingbird. I am just in the middle of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I am loving it, it is very charming and has some interesting history about WWII. It is an interesting format..all done in letter form. Great characters, wit and, like I said, charm. I may have to steal some books from your list as well! Happy reading!

  11. I might bookmark this post. I was at the library today, wishing I had a list of books to read. I’ve read some of these. The only one I want to comment on is Pillars of Earth. The story-telling was amazing. I felt completely sucked into his world and could visualize everything. But there are scenes in that book that were entirely too graphic for me. Sexual and violent. I would’ve appreciated a heads up about it before reading it, so I thought I’d let you know.

  12. I was just about to say what Wonder Woman did. Pillars of the Earth burned my brain. And Hunger Games. . . I loved and don’t know of anyone who didn’t, but it may not meet your criteria. But I still think you should read it. Somehow it’ll kind of transcend your concerns, I think. The Chosen is so beautiful. You’ll love it.

  13. Thanks Steph,
    Since reading your last post, I got out Hiding Places, and loved it! I appreciate your post and everyone’s comments to help me steer in the right direction towards great books that aren’t trashy. Thanks to this post, I have decided to reserve The Book Thief.
    Thanks again!

  14. Hi Steph, well we will miss you while you are reading all those books 🙂 One book that I can suggest is: he Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. wonderful read.
    p.s. I also loved the Da Vice Code and enjoyed Angels & Demons even more….very exciting.

  15. I’ve recently discovered Shannon Hale, and noticing you had Goose Girl (highly recommended!), I thought I’d add “Austenland”. Since you’re also an Austen lover, you’ll love all the fun references, let alone the plot.
    It is a “kissing book”, but I love how the main character specifically mentions not going any further…I am such a prude, but it sounds like I’m in good company. 🙂
    Hale has also written sequels to Goose Girl which sound intriguing…there’s three or four of them and they’re collectively called the “Bayern Series” (I think I spelled that right…). They take a character from GG and run, which seems great.
    Then there’s also “Princess Academy” by Shannon Hale, which was lovely. Even in all my prudishness, I thought there could have been MORE sweetness between the two, well, sweeties in the book.

    Your list is awesome! “The Chosen” by Potok is still one of my favorite memories from Lit. class in High School. I also read his “My Name is Asher Lev” and “The Gift of Asher Lev”, which I would recommend.

  16. I’ve read about 1/2 of these and liked them all. I haven’t read all your comments, but have you read Life of Pi yet? It is a fabulously written book that you will end up loving and hating at the same time, but ina good way. It is an experience not to be missed.

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