A few weeks ago, a tragic thing happened.
I accidentally erased and immediately saved the draft for this blog post without thinking. And I couldn't get anything back. I'd been working on this post since March, adding books as I finished them. I'm sure it's not hard to understand how much that hurt! I was so sad that I had to just step away from the computer and leave it alone for a while. It wasn't until this week that I had the heart to come back to it. So please forgive me if descriptions/impressions aren't very specific. I'm doing my best to remember my thoughts and feelings about each book, but a lot was lost!
Originally, I resolved to read 25 books this year, but I caught some sort of reading bug in March and have been devouring them at such a great pace that I've upped my goal to 40! You can follow my progress on goodreads or just take a peek at this widget: (which is also hanging out in the sidebar >>>>)
I'm taking a page out of my girl Emily's book (ha) and marking my favorites with an * :)
1. A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
3. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
4. The Valley of Fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I read all of these books one after another, as a part of The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection, and unfortunately they run together in my memory. I do remember especially enjoying Baskervilles and Valley of Fear. But other than that I couldn't tell you my thoughts on them as separate stories.
The 2nd installment in the Divergent series, this dystopian YA novel is not as engrossing for me as it's prequel was, but it was certainly a good continuation of the story. I really enjoy this series and I'm looking forward to the next book a lot. If you liked The Hunger Games, I'd definitely recommend these books!
The Grimm Reaper narrates this story of a young girl in Nazi Germany who steals several books throughout her life. Those books, in turn, change her life and teach her the natural power of words. This book destroyed me in the best way. I think about this story regularly, even months later! The narration style took a little getting used to, but the last 1/3 of the book totally made up for that. I think this will always be one of my favorite books and I'd like to buy my own copy. If you read only one book on this list, I highly, highly recommend you choose The Book Thief!
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett *
A young, aspiring journalist living in Mississippi during the beginning of the civil rights movement begins to realize that the privileged white families like the one she grew up in tend to mistreat their colored help. She befriends a few maids and sets out to write a secret book about the terrible working conditions they face. I loved this book. My only complaint is that I wish I'd read it before I'd seen the movie! They did a great job adapting it for film and there were barely any notable differences. That being said, even if you've seen the movie, it's definitely worth a read. This book is just that good.
9. The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality by Joan F Casey *
This book was so intriguing; I couldn't put it down down. Casey started out with 24 separate personalities "living" in her body, and this is the story of her becoming aware of those personalities and working through her issues with a brave therapist until, ultimately, Casey experiences true healing. I thought this was a great book, but I must warn you: MPD is triggered by extreme trauma in childhood, and while the author is never overly graphic in detail, she does talk about the many and disturbing abuses she experienced as a child.
Saturday takes place in "real time," following a neurosurgeon through his entire Saturday, every thought included in the narration. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that there were a few good twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, the narration style made me keenly aware of my own inner dialogue as I went about my day. This is definitely an intriguing and well-written novel!
11. Futility by Kristen Augsten
This suspenseful thriller follows the story of Allison, who in a moment of desperation, signs her life over to a mysterious organization known as The Society, which creates super-human agents for their own purposes. Allison befriends another young recruit within the organization, but things go south when they try to escape. I really enjoyed this story! It was sort of a cross between X-men, Alias, and The Hunger Games. I really enjoyed it and I'm hopeful for a sequel. (Thanks to Kristen for sending Blimey Cow a signed copy!)
12. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Earth has been taken over by an alien race, in the name of peace. There is no more war, hate, violence.. or humanity. One human host resists her alien transplant and they struggle to coexist within one body. This was an easy read and it kept me on the edge of my seat. If you're a fan of Young Adult fiction and/or sci-fi, you'll probably enjoy this book.
13. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a billionaire and an evil genius with a plan to con the fairy population out of a portion of their gold supply. This was a super easy read (meant for middle schoolers, I think) but I thought it was cute. I wouldn't mind reading the rest of the series if I ever find myself in a reading lull.
The moon is hit by a massive astroid and is propelled closer to the earth, which messes with the tides, creating tsunamis, earthquakes, and all sorts of natural disasters, leaving Miranda and her family struggling to adapt in this new world. I tore through this book in one afternoon - I just couldn't put it down! At one point I took a break to eat and a caught myself thinking, "I shouldn't eat that - we might need it later." :P The story really drew me in and engrossed me. I'm not sure if I'll read the next book in the series though (I was disappointed to find out that it doesn't continue the story - it simply recounts another family's perspective of the same experience).
If you're reading this post on a mobile device, I apologize for the wonky formatting. I just couldn't get it right this time..
Today, I have three-ish questions for you instead of just one:
Have you read any of these books? Thoughts?
Do you have any recommendations to help me reach my goal?
What's the best book you've read this year?