Just wondering if we will do a 2009 TBR goal together? I’m feeling quite confident that I can do this in 09! Seriously, I have started reading for pleasure again in the last month or so and I am ready to do my list for 2009. Anyone else going to join me? 4 years ago
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i only actually read 3 of the 12 books i was supposed to be reading in 2008 … but i also read a further 32 (listed in earlier entries), so i’m definitely counting this done. i’m really happy to be back back in the reading habit. joining the reading group has helped enormously, as has the OU course – i’ve discovered great new (to me) writers and no longer stand around looking dazed in bookshops before walking out with fluffy rubbish. plus i’ve joined the library, found some new sources of second hand books, and am going to continue to buy as few new books as possible.
i think for 2009 i need to make a list of books i’ve borrowed that i really must read and give back to their owners. i probably have 12 if i look hard enough. 4 years ago
yes I read it yes
Ulysses yes I liked it
confused but yes, yes 4 years ago
Ok, so I only read 8 out of the 12 books but I did join late in the year and I’ve achieved what I wanted from this goal which is to start reading regularly again.
I did debate about adding two tattooing books I’ve read recently but they’re mainly illustrated so I didn’t count them.
I also chose not to count the hundreds of children’s books I’ve read – at least two a day.
There are also a number of books that I read before adopting this goal including among others:
How to Kill Your Husband
The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy
The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy
Making Your Mind Up
Lean Mean Thirteen
The Complete Dog Training Manual
Now I’m contemplating what to add to the 2009 tbr list…I think I want to read more historical non-fiction. I also have another goal to re-read all the books I own so I’ll probably flit between the two. 4 years ago
After finishing ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ I felt compelled to read another book set during WWII. Although I’d planned on reading a few shorter books in order to complete the 2008 challenge I couldn’t resist this weighty tome.
It took me a few pages to become accustomed to the narrative by Death but I soon found I could not put it down. The story is focussed on Leisel a young girl who is fostered during WWII. Zusak introduces a wide range of captivating characters and their tale moves at a fast pace.
Having lived in Germany as a child I felt connected to the protaganist and as her understanding of Nazi Germany develops so did mine. The scene where Leisel receives a beating when she walks with the jewish friend being marched by Nazi soldiers was hugely moving. As anticipated the ending was heartbreaking.
Reading this book (and the previous one) have left me with a huge desire to learn. I feel a new goal coming on. 4 years ago
My sister bought this one for my birthday. It’s probably not what I would have chosen but I’m glad I read it.
Written from the perspective of a naive nine year old boy it made me realise just how little I know about WWII. It made me want to increase my knowledge, not just about history but about current political conflicts too.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was a beautifully written story with an incredibly sad but poignant end. 4 years ago
How I did it: I made a list of books I wanted to read. It was quite a bit longer than 12. I read the "core" 12 books I set out to read and most of my alternates. I also added in other books that I already owned which seemed to fit the themes I was reading. I was able to do the reading by spending less time watching TV and perpetually having my nose in a book when I wasn't up to something else. Read how I did it… 4 years ago
Postsingular by Rudy Rucker
Ah, what a perfect ending to the books I’ve been reading all year. This was a spur of the moment read, but I’ve had the book for well over a year. An utterly enjoyable romp through an ingenious transreal ficton. Rucker conjures up characters and events so bizarre, and yet so tied into his explanations of infinite math and the gnarl of chaotic processes as well as discussions of what constitute human consciousness and human beingness. Wow!!! It was quite literally a psychedelic experience (driven only by my own neurotransmitters drifting to new places by the new connections being formed by the text).
Synchronistically enough, this book tied together multiple ideas from about half the other TBR books I’ve read this year. Certainly the most important ones. Now it’s time to get home and make up my list for 2009. 4 years ago
Finished this a couple weeks back but never got around to writing it up. I’ve read a considerable amount this year, but made it through only half this list. Oh well.
An interesting collection of short stories, filled with many motifs (shipwrecks, wood worms, gopher wood, and water to name a few). Stories compare and contrast one another, narrators change, and tone moves from mildly comic to tragic and back to some center. There is a deepening of questions, of motives, of ideas but I can never seem to land them into something concrete. Overall, a good read but I’d recommend other works by Barnes over this. 4 years ago
Fight Club: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
The first rule of FIGHT CLUB is “Nobody talks about FIGHT CLUB.”
The second rule of FIGHT CLUB is “Nobody talks about FIGHT CLUB.”
(Let’s just say that while the movie and the book share a certain amount of common material, simply enjoying the movie is an insufficient reason for reading this book. If you’re a Palahniuk junkie then why haven’t you read this one yet? An excellent experience, but it required a long karmic shower.) 4 years ago
I’m going to mark this ‘done’ because I started halfway through the year and read half of my books. The remaining books are going to go on my brand new 2009 list, which I am excitedly compiling. It wasn’t my original intention to pro-rate the list, but life happens and blah blah blah excuses. I’m really looking forward to tackling all 12 this coming year. 4 years ago
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
This is the third time I’ve attempted this book. This time I couldn’t put it down. The other times I couldn’t dig my way into it.
I’m not a real William Gibson fan. I don’t really enjoy his cyberpunk. But this book worked well for me. I didn’t want it to be over. It’s also probably the next to last book I’ll read this year. I’m digging into another book from last year’s list, Fight Club. It’s enjoyable enough that I wish I hadn’t already seen the movie several times. 4 years ago
Okay, it was not on the list I compiled early in the year but, you know what, it has been on my actual To Be Read List for a couple of years. Now that I have read it, I cannot imagine what took me so long. What a lovely, lyrical book. The kind of read where you don’t want to finish the book because then it will be over, if you know what I mean. The spell will be broken. Real life will return to center stage. I want to go back through the book now that I have finished and highlight some of the passages that made me say, “Oh, my, that was a lovely arrangement of words!” Definitely the best book I have read this year. Maybe in the last few years, though perhaps I should review what I have read before I make such a bold statement! :) 4 years ago
1. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
2. Portrait of the Artist by James Joyce
3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
4. Underworld by Don DeLillo
5. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
6. Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
7. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
8. Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
9. Sexing the Cherry by Jeanette Winterson
10. We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates
11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
12. Ghostwritten by David Mitchell
I was a little less excited about this one than I would have liked. I’m glad that I’ve finally finished it though. It’s probably been sitting on my shelf for a good 7 years now, I certainly was not ready to read something like this at that point. My feeling about the book as a whole was that it was unsatisfying, although there were parts that I loved – the meticulous detail, the language. I still only gave it 2 stars on Goodreads. Eh. 4 years ago
Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism Into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show by Geoffrey Nunberg
This book seems to have been read by the Obama campaign. Nunberg dissects the language games of the right and the counter games of the Democrats and finds that semantics cannot save the Democratic Party. Nunberg only briefly suggests that authoring a New Story about what it means to be American. Barack Obama won the election largely by telling an American Tale that most voters could identify with. 4 years ago
Mathematicians in Love, by Rudy Rucker
This was a wonderful and refreshing read. A psychedelic, gnarly interdimensional excursion through determinate, non-predictable math into parallel universes, politics, music, anarchy and just plain fun. But it’s well frosted with love, lust, loss, and union. In the end, it’s a life affirming adventure through mindspace we rarely traverse.
If you’ve read Rucker’s The Seashell, the Lifebox, and the Soul, many themes from that are played out in this story. If not, don’t worry. This book is a mind expanding adventure through love and chaos. Definitely sad to finish it. 4 years ago
In 4 weeks…with Christmas looming!
I might have to select the more slender of my tbr pile!
I wish I’d remembered those I read from earlier in the year then I’m sure I’d have done my 12. Some years I’ve easily read 50 plus books whereas others barely any – next year I’ll aim to increase it – I love reading so much but just have to keep it in my daily routine. 4 years ago
On a bit of a slowdown on the reading front since having Emma – then I picked up this book (one my bro bought for my birthday) and it was unputdownable!
As I read I kept thinking how brilliantly it would transfer to film – I’d love to see it on a bigscreen – some of the ‘end of the world’ imagery was amazing.
I think what I loved was the was it successfully combined issues of morality, modernity and the purpose of life with a very human touch and lots of irony and humour.
This is a ‘must read’ – I’ve passed it to my husband and it will then be making its way round friends – definitely worth reading! 4 years ago
If 3 hours sitting around in the hospital laboratory for my glucose tolerance test was not enough to get me to start reading the Fountainhead, nothing will be. I don’t want to read it, and I don’t have to! It’s not like I even own it – I don’t have stacks of unread books lying around, so my TBR books have all been from the library.
I’ve read 11 books that I’ve been meaning to read, and a number of other books in addition. I think that’s good enough. 4 years ago
I’m not going to get through 5 more TBR books and I don’t want to try. I’d rather make an attempt to get through my comics.
So there it is! 4 years ago
I, an idiot,
learned a lot about what might
charm my savage breast. 4 years ago
Father and son in
try to stay moral. 4 years ago
The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy, by J. D. Williams
I finally finished this book. Not that anybody else here is likely to read it by accident – but DON’T!!! The author tries to make the technical material cute and that’s very annoying. Worse than that, however, he avoids the mathematical heart of the matter and only teaches some select tricks (the cute and the tricks would be forgivable if he then taught the math as well, or at least explained what to look up for more info).
The final insult, however, is that most of the tricks are to avoid doing a lot of computation. If the author described what he was really doing, he could discard 80% of the book and provide some Excel templates. But if he could have done that back in 1954, he’d have been truly amazing.
I should have checked the copyright date on the book before ordering a few years back. I should have checked it before reading it.
Oh, well, it’s done now, and I’ve got no excuse to put off Rules, Games, and Common Pool Resources any further. 4 years ago
I finished it last night. I wish this book wasn’t so incredibly long (~1000 pages), because there’s no way I’m going to be able to convince any of my friends to read it. But I’d really like to discuss it with them!
It took a hundred or two hundred pages to get into it, but once I did it was a really compelling story. And I couldn’t put it down for the last 150 pages or so! I was so sad that DH was away on a business trip; this kind of story always makes me all lovey-dovey. Well, it had such a strong effect on me that I’m still all lovey-dovey today and will be very glad to see him when he gets home tonight.
I have the movie from Netflix (also very long: ~4 hours!) and I’ll probably watch it over the weekend. 4 years ago
Thankfully short; I was never really engaged by the plot or characters. Earlier works offer something more in the way of driving ideas, grand themes, quirky characters. This is small and subtle, his prose sings at times. But it just didn’t work for me… 4 years ago
is the best description for this strange graphic novel. “From Hell” is Alan Moore’s fictionalized version of the Jack the Ripper event, with minor dashes of magic and flights of fantasy. I would not consider this one of his greater works. Having read his detailed, page-by-page annotations at the back of the book is to gain an amazing insight into the depths of research and thought used to sort “truths” from balderdash, and what choices he made for purposes of crafting an interesting story.
As is his want and ways, there is a large digression into history, myth, and magic. Sometimes interesting, but for my tastes, this went too long and into too much detail. Great, now I’ve got a greater understanding of the Masonic myths, Albion, Gog and Magog. Don’t know as I’ll need that except for understanding other references in Alan Moore’s other works.
Alan Moore’s works might perhaps be akin to James Joyce’s- (I’m grasping at straws, here, more than likely). challenging, stimulating, flashes of brilliance.
I won’t recommend this to most folks, but for those Alan Moore worshipers or Ripper fanatics, enjoy.
Oh, and though the Johnny Depp, Ian Holm movie is based on this novel, they differ significantly based on the needs of the art forms. 4 years ago
How I did it: I made a list and stacked up all the books in one area of the bookshelf. Throughout the year, each time I finished a book I picked one up from that shelf and always read at least one of these books and one book club book between every other random book I picked up. Read how I did it… 4 years ago
This book terrified me. Seriously.
Apparently 1 in 25 people is a sociopath and has no capacity for love, compassion or guilt. These are people who can do anything at any time and only fear and greed are keeping them in check. 1 in 25 people! That is a lot of people! That’s more than most of the more well known mental conditions. But sociopathy is different than depression or schizophrenia in that there is no possibility of recovery and no treatment to mellow the symptoms.
The author is not sympathetic. She doesn’t see or discuss symptoms, she discusses victims and warning signs. She paints sociopaths as devils, almost as another class of people, almost as inhuman at times.
Since I began this book I can’t stop thinking about it. Every news story, every other book I pick up, every little interaction has me guessing. I’m questioning nearly everyone. Some are pretty obvious, especially after reading the book and learning the warning signs. People like that chick in Florida who killed her daughter and doesn’t seem to care, obvious sociopath. My friend’s ex who told her (and believed himself) it was her fault he cheated because she didn’t sleep with him often enough. Most are more discrete. I’m suspicious of everyone. I think I’ve identified 2 and I’m seriously considering how to distance myself from a family member who I love.
I have a new outlook on so many topics. Religion: I never really understood why some people seem to insist that we need religion to teach us morals, it hadn’t occurred to me that 4% of the population doesn’t have the capacity that I do, to feel and do right and wrong without the fear of hell guiding them. Capitol punishment: I’m still undecided on this topic, but this idea that some people are absolutely incapable of feeling guilty or reforming in any meaningful way really gives a new edge to the topic. Personal safety: Yeah, not feeling so hot walking alone at night these days. “Safe neighborhood” doesn’t buy you any real safety when the bad guy isn’t necessarily a drug addict or in desperate straits. He just needs the opportunity to believe he can’t get caught. Politics. Bullies. Children….
Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
A Tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran4 years ago
Just a short story with a few cool inserts. A good read.
It made me realize how little detail I remember about The Amber Spyglass and The Subtle Knife. I listened to them at that breakneck pace you do when you absolutely must find out how something comes out.
But the emotions remain. I can’t quite remember how it ended but I know it was one of the most tragic endings I’ve read in a long time. And when I read this, even though it was pretty tangential to His Dark Materials, I found myself becoming deeply sad. 4 years ago