As part of the “50 Book Challenge” I’m participating in, I’ll be posting an overview each month of the books I’ve read. Since it’s now March, here’s my tally from February:
1. The first book I finished in February was I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I did read it because I loved the movie, but they’re very different from each other. Check out my review here.
2. The Beast in the Jungle, Henry James. Long and verbose, even for a forty-page novella. I think he could have squeezed all the important stuff into just ten pages or so. The ending, however, was surprisingly good (if not depressing). I don’t regret reading it (not that I had much choice–it was the first book for my 20th Century American Fiction class).
3. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. One of the best books I’ve ever read. Review here, in case you’re interested.
4. Lock and Key, Sarah Dessen. The latest book by one of my favorite young adult writers. This was actually a re-read, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
5. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer. Yet another phenomenal work. Part travel essay, part biography, part journalism, all intriguing. And, of course, my review is here.
6. I Am the Messenger, Markus Zusak. Man, this guy is good! After finishing The Book Thief, I headed to Barnes & Noble and picked up the only other book by Zusak that I could find. I could hardly put it down. It’s very different from the other book, mostly in character and setting. It takes place in Australia (Zusak’s homeland), and the main character is a 19-year-old cab driver named Ed who receives the mysterious task of doing good things for other people. It’s not cliche, it’s not predictable, but it is definitely a great read.
7. Three Lives & Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein. I didn’t make it through the second work in the book. (But I did read Three Lives in its entirety.) Bleh. I won’t rant.
8. Captivating, John & Stasi Eldredge.
9. How to Be Popular, Meg Cabot. Young adult fiction, of course. After Gertrude, I needed something non-taxing to soothe my brain.
10. A Lost Lady, Willa Cather. My first Cather novel (for my fiction class). I really enjoyed it. Part realism/part modernism, and Cather is a great writer.
11. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. After a discussion with one of our library work-study students, who was apalled that I’d never read this novel, I checked it out. Since it was fewer than 150 pages, I read it pretty quickly and found it to be very thought-provoking.
12. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards. A pretty good novel about a doctor and his family; in 1964, his wife delivers twins, a normal son and a daughter with Down syndrome. He sends his nurse to take his daughter to an institution where she’ll be cared for, but after seeing the place, the nurse decides to raise the girl on her own. The rest of the novel is about how that one decision affected everyone involved.
A shorter month, an overwhelming amount of schoolwork, and I still managed to finish three times the amount of books as I did in January. Two months in, I’ve finished a total of sixteen books in 2009. I’ll hit 50 in no time!