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Last update: September 22, 2002
Note: Books listed in order of being read: oldest to most recent.
Moved this list to Reading & Reviewing
Door Away From Heaven by
I think this is his best book to date. It deals with having faith and believing and even though his characters, some of them, were stereotypes and acted in some form of stereotypical behaviour, he didn't justify the villains actions by giving him some childhood trauma like so many bad guys get. I dislike it when an author trys to get me to feel sorry for the bad dudes by pulling some mess and explaining it away. Like bad can't be bad just because there IS BAD. It made me cry and it made me happy and I wish it were all as easy as this. Or actually, I wish it were so. I loved it. I think you are either going to hate it or love it. It's really not horror but crosses over into the Science Fiction category.
No One by Harlan Coben
A great idea and one that could really have benefited from more fleshing out but I enjoyed it for the quick read it was.
Green Mile by Stephen King
I finally, finally broke down and read the book. Finished it up in three evenings. For me? That's fabulous. What a sad, sad story. No wonder I can't read this kind of stuff all the time. Most of the people you like, end up dead. What a horrifying setting in a horrible time. I'm so glad I didn't live back in the '30's, '40's and 50's. Sigh. Sad.
of Night by Dan Simmons
The first book I ever read by Dan Simmons set a high, high standard of horror for me: Carrion Comfort. I've found that you either despise him or love him though. Summer of Night reminds me of the kind of horror that Stephen King tells. I can't compare the two though. This book was pretty damn cool though. A group of kids ranging in age 8 to 12-ish were the central characters set in the 50's. He doesn't use a lot of gore although the scenes he does use are used to wring the most horror out of you....if you have a problem with violence or hate crimes, you won't want to read this. I mean, it IS horror but it's a combination of supernatural horror and real time horribles.
I love it also because there is a sequel to it! A Winter Haunting that i should be able to get ahold of by the beginning of April to read. I like reading things that go together like this. I don't like to give too much away but the characters are great, well developed and though it's a long book, I didn't feel like it dragged at any place. Pretty tight to get the development and the why's and wherefore's out and explained. Not just dumped on you at the end. Though it's never a huge mystery of WHO, motives and whatnot remained more or less unexplained until the end quarter of the book.
A Rendering Truck is used in this book. I used to work at a slaughter house and I have personally been around a rendering truck. I think that helped me really picture some of this stuff in my head because that smell....and the general ick and horror of dead things....is something I'll never forget.
Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons
A very short book with little fleshing out of the adult characters. I was not completely thrilled with it. He cheated out on his development of the characters and the story. It could have been a great sequel to "Summer Of Night" but it was just rushed.
South by Robert McCammon
I've had this book sitting on my shelf, unread, for probably 3-4 years now. I finally picked it up this morning after finishing "A Winter Haunting" and finished it in one day. Something that rarely happens. A good book, great characters ( a vietnam vet Dan, Arden, Flint and Pelvis, Train) and a good, fast read. I enjoyed it and I look forward to reading his "Swan Song".
by Lincoln Child, Douglas R. Preston
Good fast read. Buried treasure, a booby-trapped island, pirates, unknown medical problems, my favorite kind of stuff.
Eventual by Stephen King
I wasn't very thrilled with the majority of short stories in this collection. Not a bad collection but nowhere as good as previous ones. There was only story that keeps in my mind: The Road Virus.
by Thomas Perry
Good book but it sort of dragged on and on when it could have used a bit more action. Very good character development though. I liked the main guy, Roy Prescott, even though he was a hired killer. He was the nicer of the two main characters.
For The Dead and Shadow
Woman by Thomas Perry
This guy is good. His character Jane Whitfield is the absolute BEST strong woman character I've ever encountered. All three of these books are based around her and what she does. Extremely interesting and well written and just GOOD.
Benefits by Thomas Perry
The more books I read by this guy, the more I grow to love his style. If you like suspense at all, or murder mystery type books, then you have GOT to read these books. Most excellent stuff.
Face-Changers and Blood
Money by Thomas Perry
Two more books with Jane. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. I hope I haven't read the last of Jane's adventures.
Walking by Bentley Little
Eh. First book I've ever read by this author and it was just "eh". Not bad, interesting idea: a town of witches settled in the past and what and why's and stuff. I don't know. It was just straight up B movie horror. Quick read.
Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Finished by 9-22-02. God was this slow to get moving. Most of the books by this duo does take a while to build up to the meat of the story but this took forever to it. Spine chilling once it got going though. Maybe it I had read Relic I'd have been able to get into it faster knowing some of the characters.
Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
It was entertaining though he does go on and on at times when the plot could have continued in a forward motion. I'm glad I read it before I go to see the movie.
Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy by
I was able to read over halfway through and my time on the interlibrary loan ran out so I'll have to get it out again after whoever wanted it, returns it. It was very...different. A lot of pop culture stuff mentioned throughout the story and I liked that. It was definitely a science fiction type of novel.
& Chloe by Jo-ann Mapson
It had horses in it. And a great female character. Good fast, light read. I found t had a sequel to it though and the subject matter of it really, really pisses me off. I don't think I'll be reading any more of this or any sequels.
Season by Myla Goldberg
Interesting at times, good ideas but I hated the ending.
Oleander by Janet Fitch
I haven't actually read this book. It's the first book I've ever listened to on Audio tapes. It's actually very good and I've even been able to forget that it's Oprah Winfrey doing the reading. Which means, I guess ol' Oprah is pretty good. So much of this stuff I can relate to in different ways. The quickness and brutalness that forces Astrid to grow up so quickly. The way she acts and reacts to situations that she finds herself in. Some of it hits very close to home for me.
River Midnight by Lilian Nattel
What happens when the village midwife becomes pregnant? This work of fiction is a looking into how a small Jewish shtetl lives and loves. It was a unique look into a religion I'm completely unfamiliar with and some of the real ways they live and practice. Sad and haunting and very free-ing. A little big of magic all mixed up into the everyday with Alta-Fruma and Misha.
of Reason by Cindy Eppes
I ended up really disliking this book. The characters were not likable. It had great potential but couldn't seem to keep my attention for long.
Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I thought this was an enjoyable book. I know many people over at TUS said they didn't like the last third of the book and I can see WHY and maybe because I didn't have any high hopes of liking it at all, that I did. It made me cry and wish that I could talk to my Gram. Made me wish that she was watching me and knows how very much she is still part of my life and how much I desparately miss her every. single. day. of my life.
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
I finished up The Little Friend by Donna Tartt about a week before Christmas.
Reading that people were reading this didn't leave me with any great desire to check it out...it just sounded sort of "eh" to me. But when I walked into the library yesterday evening and I saw the cover and picked it up to read the first few lines, I grabbed it immediately and have made a fair amount of headway.
It is so good. Harriet does remind me sort of like Harriet The Spy.
I could really identify with Harriet. I grew up in a household with my Gram very similar to what she described. Instead of the night prowlings though, mine were in broad daylight because I was alone for long periods of time. My Hely though, was my brother. My partner in crime. I also ended up getting myself into some pretty bad situations that could have been much worse if not for my Guardian Angel. Not so happy with the ending but it was all right. No tightening down loose ends for this one though.
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
Okay. Okay. I didn't like this at first but here I am, with only 2 cassettes left of the book to listen to and I just want to go sit in my car so I can hurry up and get to the end to find out what HAPPENS.
The sentence that made me cry is when Poppy is talking about his long deceased wife and missing people and he says something to the effect that it doesn't get easier as the years go by like people say but in fact it's like missing water. You always miss it but you realize each day, just how much you do miss it more and more. And it doesn't get easier.
That's it exactly. Missing my beloved Grandmother is not getting easier as the years go by. It's just becoming more and more apparent how big the hole is in my life now that she's gone. And it's getting bigger and bigger.
December 18, 2002
It's difficult to complain or explain the feelings these "well. that's life." funny, huh?" kind of books inspire in me. They make me feel like I have to live a live that is less ordinary.
It's sort of scary seeing a laundry list life like that. I don't want to become that but I will at one point. You have to just live it.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
It's difficult to read this book and enjoy it purely for the book's sake because I've seen the movie they've made from it. The one that starred Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman and now, I can't make up my own mental images of the characters and keep imposing their faces.
I had purposely waited to read this book for this long because I knew I'd do this. Damn it. I hate seeing the movie first.
of a Geisha by Arthur S. Golden
I could just kick myself in the rear for waiting so long to read this book. Passionate, full of interesting facts of life of the geisha. What "geisha" really is. Describing herself as a water personality and how she would freeze the water while waiting for her life to move out of painful times. A beautiful and solid story.
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Sijie Dai
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress was not what I expected but I enjoyed it very much. I'm glad I decided to read it.
Nature, Science, Animals
Downstream by Sandra Steingraber
Incredible. Absolutely scary. What we live with every day and eat and breath and just. Don't read this if you don't plan on rethinking certain things in your life and your exposure to chemicals and cancer causing agents. It raises so many points and theories that make SENSE. I just don't understand why the government can get away with things she talked about in this book. Very personal. You can tell how much it hurts her at times to recall memories and relive things through the telling of stories and the giving of facts.
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Language of Cells : Life As Seen Under the Microscope by Spencer Nadler
A surgical pathologist gets out from behind his microscope and gets connected to the people that the cells he studies are coming from. Short case descriptions with outcomes. Very interesting. Covers different diseases and also has color plates of different cells. Includes looks at Parkinson's Disease, Sickle Cell, Leukimia, Breast Cancer, Bariatic surgery and others.
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman.
I loved it. I read it and kept a dictionary and the little purple notebook I picked up in San Fransisco by my side to look up and write down the words I didn't know. And while there were quite a few of those, it was a very enjoyable read. I love this kind of thing
Biographies, Autobiographies & Commentary
Sojourn : A Woman's Forty Days and Nights Alone by Debi Holmes-Binney
Written in a journal format, very enjoyable to read. I am glad I read it but it annoyed me a lot of times because she just seems so wimpy. I mean, I'd probably be whining at some point too and I DO do that in my own journal but she just seems to always have identified herself by her role to others and it took her a long time to figure out her own way. I don't see myself in that role and haven't been for a long time. I think it was an incredibly neat concept though. I'd love to be able to be alone for 40 days and nights.
Year by the Sea : Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson
Maybe I'll feel differently about this book if I read it while going through, or better yet, AFTER menopause. It had some good stuff but her whole life being dedicated to just raising family and being the wifey-wife, are gag inducing. I can't even begin to relate.
Man: A Memoir by Michael J. Fox
I've always loved Michael J. Fox because of Family Ties. He's such an incredible actor and the relationship he has with his wife, after all this Hollywood time, is something to be admired. He is a Lucky Man and he's also a great example for those who suffer from Parkinson's and other long term diseases.
Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Decent, mildly entertaining. A little bit too cynical at times though.
High Tide In Tuscon by Barbara Kingsolver
A collection of short essays on everything from hermit crabs to the meaning of life underlying it all.
Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup : My Encounters With Extraordinary People
by Susan Orlean
Mostly short essays that are quick and interesting. Ms. Orlean is a great writer and can really capture the true spirit of a person in tiny details. Some of them were interesting enough that I could have read a much longer piece but I truly enjoyed this book. Very interesting. People are just interesting and when you have someone that can capture that "everyday" quality or the person, you've got a gem.
Self Defense, Survival Or Familial Information
Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres,
I think i'll try this again at another time. I just can't seem to get into it right now.
Owls Aren't Wise & Bats
Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd
I thought that with a title such as this, this book would be an entertaining read. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. I found it very dry and boring and that is disappointing to find it so.
Flight of the Iguana : A Sidelong View of Science and Nature
by David Quammen
I would LOVE to find a good, fast entertaining read about science and nature. I guess I need to keep looking. It was boring and dry. Or maybe I just couldn't get into it. Either way, it tanked.
: True Stories of Life Down Under (Travelers' Tales) by
This is actually a collection of pieces and stories from other books, magazines, etc. I have to be in the mood for collections. I tend to like getting into the author's style and it is jarring to keep switching authors and such.
Small Still Voice by John Reed.
For some reason, I was thinking I had picked up A Short History of a Small Place by T.R. Pearson. This one is on my list for sure to read. I couldn't make myself finish it. The emulation of southern "voices" just isn't doing it for me right now. Maybe I'll pick it up again one day.
Linked here for future reference:
modern library | 100 best novels the radcliffe list
modern library | 100 best novels
modern library | 100 best nonfiction
Titles in purple type were listed during 2001. Titles in black type are recent "wants" for 2002.
Thriller, Mystery, Horror
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
of Gravity by Dan Simmons
Island by Thomas Perry
Big Fish by Thomas Perry
Wolf Story by James Byron Huggins (Thriller)
Cavern by Jake Page (Thriller)
Subterranean by James Rollins (Thriller)
Ship Of The Damned by James F. David (Thriller)
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Thriller)
Ghost by Peter Straub (Thriller)
Koko by Peter Straub (Thriller)
The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum (Thriller)
Touching The Void by Joe Simpson (Thriller)
The Keep by F. Paul Wilson (Thriller)
Fatalis by Jeff Rovin
In The Forest Of Harm by Sallie Bissel
In the Land of White Death : An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic by Valerian Ivanovich Albanov, Alison Anderson (Translator), David Roberts (Introduction), Jon Krakauer (Preface), Linda Dubosson
Footprints Of Thunder by James F. David
Mine by Robert R. McCammon
Apocalyptic Like THE STAND
Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
Pilgrimage to Hell (Deathlands) by James Axler, Jack Adrian
Long Voyage Back : A Novel by Luke Rhinehart
Bangs and Whimpers : Stories About the End of the World by James Frenkel
The Dispossessed : An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
We All Fall Down by Brian Caldwell
Out of the Ashes by William W. Johnstone
This Is the Way the World Ends by James Morrow
Nature's End by Whitley Streiber and James Kunekta
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles Henderson (CCCC ILL)
Shadows Of A Vietnam Veteran: Silent Victims by Alicia Boyd
Mother Of Storms by John Barnes
Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling
The Rift by Walter Williams
The Johnston Flood by David McCullough
In Sunlight, In a Beautiful Garden by Kathleen Cambor
Fire on the Mountain by John MacLean
The New Madrid Run by Michael Reisig
The Last Ship by William Brinkley
Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Nature & Outdoors,
Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan
Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande
'Shadow Mountain': The Pack Is Back By MARGARET HUNDLEY PARKER
Tracks : A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
Throwim' Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis Gourds by Tim F. Flannery
One for the Road : An Outback Adventure by Tony Horwitz
Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia by Roff Smith
Tourists With Typewriters: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Travel Writing by Patrick Holland, Graham Huggan
Commentary, Personal Accounts, Autobiographies
Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa
Winterdance : the fine madness of running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
by Anne Fadiman
Patriots by James Wesley Rawles
A Short History of a Small Place : A Novel by T. R. Pearson
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gregory Rabassa (Translator)
How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation : With Forms Legal Survival Guides) by Mark Warda
Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric,
Lovett F. Edwards (Translator)
Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia by Chuck Sudetic
Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War by Peter Maass
Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia by
To End a War by Richard Holbrooke
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
By Brooks, Geraldine
The Promised Land by Ruhama Veltfort
The Complete Book Of Survival by Rainer Stahlberg
The Encyclopedia of Country Living : An Old Fashioned Recipe Book by Carla Emery
Fiction By Women
Pleasures by Nora Roberts
Cordina's Royal Family by Nora Roberts
Face the Fire (Three Sisters Island Trilogy) by Nora Roberts
HONEST ILLUSIONS, by Nora Roberts
by Elizabeth Massie
The Mineral Palace by Heidi Julavits
Blue Deer Thaw : A Mystery by Jamie Harrison
Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write From the Heart of the West Ed. by Linda Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier & Nancy Curtis
Winter Range by Claire Davis
Rural Hours by Susan Fenimore Cooper
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind : A Novel by Ann B. Ross
World Of Pies by Karen Stolz
Big Stone Gap : A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani
Chalktown by Melinda Haynes
The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott
The Gardens of Covington by Joan A. Medlicott
The Train to Estelline : The First Novel in a Trilogy by Jane Roberts Wood
A Place Called Sweet Shrub : The Second Novel in a Trilogy by Jane Roberts Wood
Dance a Little Longer : The Third Novel in a Trilogy by Jane Roberts Wood
Bad Girl Creek by Jo-Ann Mapson
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
Dance upon the Air by Nora Roberts
Clay's Quilt : A Novel by Silas D. House
Fay by Larry Brown
Singing Boy by Dennis McFarland
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
General Non Fiction
Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm
Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession by Matthew Hart
Odd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons
Great Books for
Boys : More Than 600 Books for Boys 2 to 14 by Kathleen Odean
Nickel and Dimed : On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
Turning Stones : My Days and Nights With Children at Risk by Marc Parent
Believing it All : What My Children Taught Me About Trout Fishing, Jelly Toast and Life by Marc Parent
Orphans of the Living : Stories of America's Children in Foster Care by Jennifer Toth
The Things I Want Most : The Extraordinary Story of a Boy's Journey to a Family of His Own by Richard F. Miniter
Want To Read: More Science Fiction
His Dark Materials Boxed Set (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman
Black Unicorn by Tanith Lee
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Check out these authors
Martha Cooley, Flannery O'Connor, Eurdora Welty, Salman Rushdie, A. L. Kennedy. Susan Straight, Charles de Lint Jonathan Carroll, Laurie Colwin and Grace Paley
Pat Barker, Angela Carter, Doris Lessing, Patricia Powell, Keri Hulme, Ginu Kamani, Buchi Emecheta
sci fi: Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin
and a lovely japanese mystery novel by Miyuki Miyabe called All She Was Worth
Abarat by Clive Barker
Sorcerers of the Nightwing
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson