Friday, March 23, 2012

2004 Favorite Reads List

Here is my list of "Favorite Reads" from 2004 (in alphabetical order, chosen from more than 150 book that I had read or listened to for the first time that year):

The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg (Fiction, 2004)

Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot (Fiction, 2004) [Note: I met the author in person that year.]

Dark Tower series by Stephen King (Fiction, 1982-2004)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeffry Lindsay (Fiction, 2004) [Note: Loved the audio cd. Do not love the tv show.]

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (Fiction, 2003)

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin (YA Fiction, 2004)

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Juvenile/YA Fiction, 2003)

Millbank; Or Roger Irving's Ward by Mary J. Holmes (Fiction, 1871)

Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding (Fiction, 2004)

Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde (Fiction, 2004)

Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (Fiction, 2004)

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (Fiction, 2004)

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (Nonfiction, 2003)

The Weight-Loss Diaries by Courtney Rubin (Nonfiction, 2004)

What are Presidents Made of? by Enoch Piven (Picture Book, 2004)

Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson (YA Fiction, 2000-2002)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald

First of all, I wish I had won this book from the Early Reviewers [LibraryThing]. . . alas, I was not picked for it, though I had read the first book, "Veil of Roses", five years ago or so. Anyway, of course my local library had this book and the first one as the author is local to my present location. Five years ago, I had now idea I'd been moving to Tucson the next year. . . but that is another story. I am still hoping to meet the author one of these days.

I love the character of Tami, and how she develops in this book. She learns to really fight for her freedom and not to give up. I love the relationship between her and Ike. I enjoy how Tami sees the world, too. What sticks with me after finishing "Dreaming in English" are a few things in particular. For instance, Tami points out that Americans seem to find it odd that when you have guests visit, you must have a "giant bowl" of fruit when you serve tea as well as nuts (in our household - my husband is persian-american - because of my nut allergies, bowls of nuts are verboten). I have learned how to serve giants bowls of fruit! Another thing thing that sticks with me are the places and locations specific to Tucson that are mentioned throughout the book. It makes it fun if you can really see the places in your mind. . . but if you've never been to Tucson, it should not take away from your reading experience, either.

I might have missed something, but Alibaba (the local Tucson restaurant) is never mentioned in this book, nor any of the middle eastern stores (we have one we go to on occasion.) I though that was kind of weird . . . I mean, I know my husband's opinion on their (Alibaba's) food, service, ambiance, etc, but apparently none of these characters ever go there? Hmmm.

I,too, hope there might be a third book someday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Today [the day I wrote the review and posted on LibraryThing], at the grocery store, I saw vitamin C tablets. My first impulse was to stock up and buy them all . . . which sums up the impact this book had on me this week. Near the end of the book, the local doctor explains that a lot of people had scurvy and the vitamin C was worth its weight in gold.

Overall, this disaster novel was powerful . . . I could not put it down and stayed up half of the night to finish it. Every few years, a disaster (particularly earth science-related) book gets my attention that pulls me in immediately. I look forward to the sequel.

I have to agree with another reviewer, in that I wish we had a chance to get to know the protagonist, Alex, a little more in the time before the disaster (the huge dormant volcano under Yellowstone blows, and Iowa is in the "red zone"). We get hints as to his previous life, but they are brief and fleeting. What we know most is that he is good at tae kwan do, because that comes in handy in his travels to reconnect with his family.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Allergic Girl by Sloane Miller

Here is are the links to the book posts about Allergic Girl by Sloane Miller that I posted to my other blog:

I will also post soon about some other books I have read recently!