Thirteenth and Fourteenth Five books of 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 by Audrey
61. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence. Finished 8/13/09.
Bleak. Very bleak. The story of a man who can't have a good relationship with a woman his own age because his relationship with his mother is always overshadowing any other relationship he has. Of course, (SPOILER!) his mother dies at the end. So basically, we end the book seeing that he has nothing left to live for before he reaches the age of 30. I don't plan on reading any more D.H. Lawrence.
1 month

62. With Full Purpose of Heart, by Dallin H. Oaks. Finished 8/14/09.
I've always liked Elder Oaks because he's very clear and direct in the things he says. This collection of various talks and devotionals he's given over the years was pretty interesting. I also loved it because I could read one talk a night and actually get through the book! I have a hard time getting through church books because my attention wanders a lot, so whenever I finish one I feel quite proud of myself. (Note: I originally typed that as myselve. I like that better. Anyone want to join me in making it a real word?)
2 months.

63. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. Finished 8/15/09
This book won the Newberry Medal this year. I liked it, but to confess something, I didn't really see what all the fuss was about. It riffs on The Jungle Book, I guess, but since I've never actually read Kipling's book, I guess I had a hard time seeing the genius of it that others have been talking about? Each chapter is kind of a separate short story, but I guess I was expecting a cohesive novel once I started. If you remember that it's a collection of stories, it's a lot more enjoyable.
1 day.

64. Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, by Laurence Gonzales. Finished 8/16/09.
A book mainly of survival stories from mountaineers, kayakers, etc. I enjoyed the stories, but I kind of skimmed the scientific explanations for why people act a certain way in emergency/disaster situations. I've read better explanations in books like "The Unthinkable" (review here). Go to another source for your disaster stories.
1 day.

65. Peeled, by Joan Bauer. Finished 8/18/09. 2 days.
66. Best Foot Forward, by Joan Bauer. Finished 8/18/09. 2 hours.
Joan Bauer writes great YA novels with strong, smart female protagonists learning real life lessons. Sounds a bit didactic, but I've enjoyed everything I've read by her. Highly recommended.

67. Among Friends, by Caroline B. Cooney. Finished 8/22/09.
Another great YA high school story about (spoiler alert!) the fall of a high achieving student due to the jealousy of the other students in the school. Enjoyable, but not great.
1 hour.

68. Weetzie Bat, by Francesca Lia Block. Finished 8/22/09.
Apparently this book was groundbreaking when it was published in 1989--it's considered a "classic" of modern YA literature (can something be a classic when it's only 20 years old? Discuss). It's basically an exploration of modern love and family ties when you have no family. I liked it. If it were longer I may have had more trouble getting into it.
40 minutes.

69. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan. Finished 8/22/09.
A modern "one great night" story for YA. Warning: strong language! Holy cow, I'm not sure I was expecting that. I can't really recommend it to anyone for that reason, but I enjoyed it. It was made into a great Michael Cera movie.
2 hours.

70. Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC, by Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch, with Leslie Anne Horvitz. Finished 8/23/09.
A memoir of two researchers who've spent a lot of time in Africa and Asia studying really nasty viruses like Ebola, Lassa Fever, Legionnaire's Disease, etc. You all know I love this stuff--of course I liked this book. But it was very poorly edited. It appears to be out of print. If you can ignore that, I can recommend it.
1 week.
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