Monday, June 6, 2011

Book List Update

But before I start ... Happy Happy Birthday to my girlfriend Alex! :) Hoping she has a wonderful year ahead of her - she deserves it. You can check out her blog at - please enjoy! :)

Now then - on to the book list at hand. :) I have knocked two books off my list since last reporting in - Audrey Niffeneger's The Time Traveller's Wife and Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. See below for reviews.

1. Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God - Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams from My Father - Barack Obama
7. Beloved - Toni Morrison
8. 'Tis - Frank McCourt
9. The Host - Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess - Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th - Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine - Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers - J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula - Bram Stoker
24. Paradise Lost - John Milton
25. The Inferno - Dante
26. Towelhead - Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks - Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies - Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours - Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
36. The First Christmas - Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
37. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
38. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point - Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
44. Lolita - Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement - Ian McEwan
46. All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
47. Under the Dome - Stephen King
48. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett - Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise - Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours - Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
57. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
59. Misquoting Jesus - Bart Ehrman
60. Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister - Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs - Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo d'Allaire
64. Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes - Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians - Will Ferguson
67. Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
68. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything - Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish - Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless - Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business - Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore - Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders - Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys - James Reaney
77. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage - Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
82. Coraline - Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible - Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror - Gregory Maguire
85. The Emerging Christian Way - Marcus Borg et al
86. Sorbonne Confidential - Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K - Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma - Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire - Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls - Damon Runyon
98. Good Book - David Plotz
99. He's Just Not that Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. Undisputed - Chris Jericho
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious - John Shelby Spong

I was intrigued by The Time Traveller's wife. I recognize it's solidly Chick Lit, so not everyone's cup of tea. But I found it readable and entertaining Chick Lit, my pages kept turning and with great frequency, and there were a few 1am nights due to my inability to put it down, so I suppose that speaks well of it! While some have complained that Niffeneggerl eft a few questions unanswered/had some inconsistencies/what have you in the time travelling concept usually so detailed and fleshed out in other sci fi/fantasy fare, I don't mind that; it allows us to focus on the core story, and quite frankly, if we're dealing with time-travel-as-genetic-illness, there would probably BE unanswered questions anyway. The emotional conflicts within that idea - that we are helpless to change time even if we see it and know it - and yet on the other hand perhaps we don't so strongly need to miss people as they can travel at times into the future and never really leave us ... it's interesting, and I enjoyed seeing Niffenegger grapple with that. She really conveys the trapped feeling of being a prisoner of time, as well as the freedom from having to make choices when life is written out for you.

As for Revolutionary Road - it is definitely an unpleasant read if you're looking for a love story. Be warned, there are no sympathetic characters here ... no one to root for ... this is a very cynical look at an unsympathetic dystopian suburb - and everyone, in one fashion or another, striving to keep up appearances (whether of the Suburban dream, or of the bohemian cynic stuck 'against their will' - or perhaps not so much - in Disturbia). I recommend it for the most part from an artistic standpoint, as a good read - but be warned there is nothing redeeming or fluffy about it ... it is human nature at its ugliest, and Yates makes no apologies, any more than his characters do.

Two very different books about two very different relationships - and yet the sense of being trapped, of drowning, remains. An interesting two books to read in a row, for sure. Hope to update you on another one or two I've completed soon. Thanks for reading along with me.

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