Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals and books

I've never really been one to make resolutions. Strike that. I've never really been one to make resolutions and keep them. However, in 2011, I set a goal of reading 100 books in a year. Hillary has always been my reading inspiration no matter how much we disagree on what books are good. I set my goal based on what she's done in previous years and I was able to meet it. Surpass it even with a total of 102 books read in a year.

I've realized that I have a love of young adult books, especially ones based on dystopian societies and if they contain zombies, I'm in. I've read some craptacular ones and some pretty good ones this year. I've read some that were craptacular but still engaging - kind of like a bad soap opera or Lifetime movie that you can't tear yourself away from.

Books that I would recommend from this year: The Hunger Game triology; The Help; Water for Elephants;You know when all the mean are gone (see below); Zeiton; anything by Sarah Addison Allen; Fall of Giants; and Robopocaplypse.

Here is my last group of books:

Hollowland and Hollowmen by Amanda Hocking - These two books are what I was referring to when I said like a bad Lifetime movie you can't stop watching. Zombies take over the world. Badass girl fights back. The main character was a nice departure from normal YA novels. She reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These don't have depth but they are good reads.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - YA dystopian society. One of the better ones I've read so far where love is treated like a disease and everyone is forced to be cured. I'm actually looking forward to the next in this series. (Seriously, I wish someone could explain to why books always have to be a series.)

Girls in white dresses by 
J. Courtney Sullivan - This was a decent book about a group of friends graduating from college, people getting married, having babies, etc. There are a lot of characters in this books and the points of view changes from chapter to chapter so it can be confusing. It was one of those books that I didn't mind reading but didn't feel strongly about.

Half a Life - About a man who as a teen accidentally hit and killed a classmate. It was interesting but not great.

Crossed - Second in a YA dystopian society triology (what did I tell you? I love YA dystopian societies.) Good. Not as good as the Hunger Games or even Delirium but not awful either.

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell - This was a pretty good book that made me very, very angry. It is about the lone survivor of a failed SEALs mission in Afghanistan. Three out of four SEALS were killed in the special ops mission. Another 19 (I think) were killed trying to rescue the one. The author is a very arrogant, full of opinions man who spends entirely too much time telling you how awesome of a specimen he is. The story line is interesting though. The part that made me angry was that he repeatedly blamed the liberal media for the decisions they made that ended so tragically. He all but called the media murderers. The man survived an unbelievable ordeal that he has a lot to be angry about but I don't think the media is to blame.

You know when all the men are gone 
Siobhan Fallon - I really, really loved this book. I listened to the audio version. It is a series of short stories set on Fort Hood dealing with families whose fathers/husbands are deployed. Wonderfully written.

When she woke by Hillary Jordan - I saw this quote when looking up the author of this book, "Hillary Jordan channels Nathaniel Hawthorne by way of Margaret Atwood in this fast-paced, dystopian thriller." That pretty much sums it up. I enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

The dark and hollow places by Carrie Ryan - This was third in a triology of YA books about a dystopian society filled with zombies. I hated, hated, hated the first one (The Forest of Hands and Teeth). I hated it so much, I wanted to keep reading to see if the triology got any better (I know, it doesn't make any sense.) The second was OK. This was actually the best of the bunch but it just ended. Which, yes, I know that's what books do but it ended in a way that it seemed like it should keep going although from everything I read, it won't. It's just the end.

You don't look like anyone I know by Heather Sellers - I listened to this audiobook. It was a very interesting memoir of a woman who had a turbulent childhood with mentally ill parents. She herself turns out to be face blind. It did tend to drag on in spots but it was an unbelievable story.

I am Number Four - Had I known the back story on the authors of this before I read it, I don't think I would have bothered. The name on the book is Pitticus Lore but it is actually written by James Frey and some guy whose name escapes me but apparently graduated from the same college I did in the same year. I figured this out while reading the book because there were detailed descriptions of the town where I went to school. It is not a bustling metropolis by any means and in fact is kind of in the middle of nowhere. I did some research and found out that James Frey (you know,author of A Million Little Pieces, the memoir that wasn't and they guy who lied to Oprah) and this other guy wrote the book together. It was the start of what was supposed to be a series of six but the two authors had a falling out after No. 2 so they have no idea what is going to happen now. I find James Frey to be smarmy and just blech. The book itself started off OK and then by the end, just eh.

Poison Study and Magic Study by 
Maria V. Snyder - These are fantasy novels. I liked the first one a lot better than the second and haven't decided if I will read the third. The main character is pretty kick butt. This is another bad Lifetime movie that I don't want to admit I've watched.

Divergent by Veronica Roth - And, of course, my last book of the year is a YA novel (the first of three no less) set in, you guessed it, a dystopian society. This was one of the better ones with a pretty badass main character.

So there you have it. I don't think I will try to read quite as many in 2012. My goal for the new year is to open an etsy shop. Really, my goal should be to learn how to use the sewing machine I got for Christmas that I haven't even opened yet but that will hopefully lead to an etsy shop.

What's your goal for 2012?


Kimberly Blake said...

I have Lone Survivor on my bookshelf, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read it. I have actually met Marcus. We have a national sales meeting for work every year. At the beginning of one meeting 2 or 3 years ago, he was the opening "motivational" speaker.

I agree that he survived one heck of an ordeal, but he is very arrogant and crude. The takeaway message was whatever sh*##y situation you think you're in, it could be way worse, it could be what I went through. It was not very motivating at all. I'm not sure what our executives were thinking on that one.


Elsha said...

I just finished Divergent and I am (once again) kicking myself for starting a series where all the books aren't out yet.

Also, about Lone Survivor- one thing you have to remember is that he co-wrote it with someone else. Because sensational stories sell. I agree though that he comes across as very arrogant and full of himself.

~she~ said...

It's amazing that you accomplished that. Some years go by that I barely finish two books, let alone 102. And I love to read. I just don't prioritize time for it.

Paige said...

I was just passing through and wanted to say that I also LOVE zombies! And bravo to you for all the reading. I can't even get halfway through Parents magazine before I pass out on the couch.