Sunday, May 4, 2008

10 out of 100 out of 1000 Books YMRBYD Challenge

Since as I stated in an earlier post reading all of the books on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list that has been created by Peter Boxall is a personal goal of mine, when I saw another challenge centered around this specific list I jumped at the chance to join. The rules were a little different from the previous challenge I've joined, but that just means if I complete both challenges I'll be able to check even more books off the 1001 list! WooHoo! Here is my list for the challenge:

1-10. The Sea by John Banville (#6)
11-20. The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd (#11)
21-30. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (#24)
31-40. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (#33)
41-50. Life of Pi by Yan Martel (#49)
51-60. City of God by E.L. Doctorow (#60)
61-70. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (#63)
71-80. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (#77)
81-90. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover (#86)
91-100. Underworld by Don DeLillo (#96)

The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

I'm a little late in joining this challenge (it officially began April 1) but since I love reading historical fiction when the mood strikes I figured why is the list of books I'll be attempting:

1. The Spanish Bride by Laurien Gardner
2. The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory
3. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
4. The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn
5. The Constant Princess by Phillippa Gregory
6. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors

Southern Reading Challenge

The idea of the challenge is to read books set in the south by southern is the authors/books I've chosen:

1. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
2. The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
3. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! By Fannie Flagg

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Non-Fiction Five Challenge

This challenge is actually the ONLY challenge I completed in 2007(participating unofficially), so because I was oh so successful at it last year I figured why not join again this (only officially this time). The idea is to read one non-fiction book per month between May 1st and September 30th. So here is my list, I will most likely be starting by reading the Lobster Chronicles in May:

1. $40 A Day by Rachel Ray
2. Pay It Down! By Jean Chatzky
3. The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw
4. Home Cooking by Laurie Calwin
5. The Reagan Diaries Edited by Douglas Brinkley

Medical Mystery Madness Challenge

I've never actually read much in the medical mystery sub-genre, but I have about five or six Robin Cook novels so I figured I'd try reading a few of them for this challenge. Here are the ones I chose:

1. Fatal Cure by Robin Cook
2. Acceptable Risk by Robin Cook
3. Brain by Robin Cook

Chick Lit Challenge

I absolutely LOVE Chick when Debi, the owner of the Journey to the End of the TBR Pile blog, decided to host this challenge I was is a list of the books I've decided to read for this challenge:

1. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
2. Goodbye, jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders
3. Bridget Jones The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

I Heard It Through the Grapevine Challenge

The idea behind this challenge is to read books that have been recommended to the challenge participant by someone else. The truth of the matter is most of the books I currently own have been recommended to me by other avid readers so it took a moment to choose just three, but here is my list:

1. Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian
2. The Tea Rose By Jennifer Donnelly
3. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

Anything Agatha Challenge

It took me a while to sort through my books and come up with a list of ten for this challenge, but after much thought and personal debate here are the ones I've chosen to read for this challenge:

1. The Golden Ball and Other Stories
2. A Murder is Announced
3. Endless Night
4. And Then There Were None
5. Elephants Can Remember
6. Black Coffee
7. The Body in the Library
8. Postern of Fate
9. Remembered Death
10. Nemesis

1% Well-Read Challenge

I've been working my way through Peter Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list on my own for awhile now so when I saw an announcement about this challenge on I could not wait to join. The rules are simple, just read any 10 books from the list of 1001 between May 1, 2008 and February 28, 2009. Here is the list I am looking forward to tackling:

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
3. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
4. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
5. The Secret History by Donna Tart
6. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley *changed from my original list*
8. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
9. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
10. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood *changed from my original list*

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Author: Penelope Lively
Challenge: The 21st Century Fiction Group Read
Date Finished: March 9, 2008
Rating: 3.5/5

Consequences is a story that spans across three generations of women in one English family. The story begins with the meeting of Matt and Lorna on a park bench. They have a whirl wind romance and are quickly married. It was this first couple that I enjoyed reading about the most....later in the story it is fun to see how each of the other two generations connect back to this first couple. The story was like reading an old family history. I did find it enjoyable and the first couple, Matt and Lorna, will probably remain in my memory, but the others seemed to be more than a bit forgettable.

Eye Contact

Author: Cammie McGovern
Challenge: The Winter Reading Challenge
Date Finished: March 1, 2008
Rating: 4/5

"Eye Contact is a thriller of hypnotic suspense and a powerful story of the bond between a mother and a very special child." (back cover)
The story is about an autistic boy who witnesses the murder of a classmate but because of his autism can not communicate what happened. It is part drama, part mystery and even a little suspense. It was intriguing to read because I actually know very little about autism and it was obvious from reading the book that the author has some knowledge of the subject. I did find the mother character to be a bit annoying at times. And the ending was extremely predictable, but all in all it was an enjoyable read.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Firefly Lane

Author: Kristin Hannah
Challenge: The Pub 2008 Challenge
Date Finished: March 25, 2008
Rating: 5/5

"Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone's Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it's the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It's about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you - and knows what has the power to hurt you...and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you'll never you'll want to pass on to your best friend." (from dust jacket)

Kristin Hannah is a favorite of mine so when I heard she had a new novel out I HAD to read it as soon as I could get my grubby little paws on it. It is the story of two girls who meet in their early teen years, and although an unlikely pair to become friends they quickly bond and form what turns out to be a life long friendship. Much of the novel is a bit emotional and even predictable in parts, but I loved the way it was laid out for the readers. The book opens in the "present" time and then goes back to show the girls growing up til the story catches up to where the book began and then continues in the present until the ending.

Overall the book reminded me ALOT of the movie Beaches but it still was written in such a way that even though I felt it was intentionally pulling my heart strings I was willing to let the story do just that. I loved the characters, despite all their flaws...and even though I knew the ending would make me cry (and it did) I couldn't resist cuddling up with the book and a box of tissues.

The Pesthouse

Author: Jim Crace
Challenge: Speculative Fiction Challenge
Date Finished: March 22, 2008
Rating: 5/5

This was my second time reading a Jim Crace novel and I was not disappointed. Earlier this year I read his novel Being Dead and loved it. So I started reading The Pesthouse with high expectations. The story was so unique, it was not only a dystopian picture of the future, but also a love story AND in many ways an action adventure. Many times in the book I was flipping ahead because I couldn't bear to wait and see what would happen next. From the very first chapter I wanted to spend every moment reading this novel! This might even end up being one of my favorite novels of the year. And I defiantly can not wait to read more by this author.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Initials Reading Challenge

Well of course I could not resist joining yet another if I could just seem to finish some of the ones I've already joined...making lists of what to read is SOOOOO much fun though. The idea behind the Initials challenge is to read books whose authors use their initials as part of their pen name. Here is my list so far...

1. Death of a Cad by M.C. Beaton
2. Blood on the Bayou by D.J. Donaldson
3. The Sitter by R.L. Stine
4. Out of Sight by T.J. MacGregor
5. Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last Night at the Lobster

Authors: Stewart O'Nan
Challenge: Alphabet Readers (O title)
Date Finished: February 23, 2008
Rating: 4.5/5

"Last Night at the Lobster is a poignant yet redemptive look at what a man does when he discovers that his best might not be good enough." (from the dust jacket)

The entire story is set in a one day time span, the last day of business at a Red Lobster restaurant located in the far corner of a New England Mall. The story centers around the general manager of the restaurant, Manny DeLeon. Traveling from the opening of business to the close, the reader gets to see and hear Manny's thoughts and internal struggles as he comes to terms with what is happening to the place he has worked for so proudly for the past few years and the employees who have arrived to live out that last day of business with him.

From the moment I read a review stating the idea behind the book I HAD to read it. I am a former employee of Red Lobster and wanted to see how true the story rang. To be honest there were a few things that didn't seem to fit, but overall the story was believable...and after all the book wasn't just about the restaurant, but more importantly the people who work for and make up the restaurant. Last Night at the Lobster is defiantly not an action based story, but I feel the author did a wonderful job of showing some of the internal struggles, happiness, and sorrows of an average working man. I loved the book and although the ending left me wondering what would happen next for each character I felt it was an entirely appropriate ending for the story line.

Mister Pip

Authors: Lloyd Jones
Challenge: Just4thehelluvit Challenge
Date Finished: February 20, 2008
Rating: 4/5

"By the time Mr. Watts reached the end of chapter one I felt like I had been spoken to by this boy Pip. This boy who I couldn't see to touch but I knew by ear. I had found a new friend." Page 23

The story begins on an island that has been torn apart by civil war. The only white man left on the island decides that he will attempt to run the school for the island children. He has many different techniques, but the most influential and the center of this story is that he reads to the children from Charles Dickens's classic Great Expectations. Many of the children find a "friend" in that book's main character, Pip. Matilda is one of these children. As the war intensifies the action mounts until finally all is changed.

The story has many subtle heartwarming parts and also many horrifying moments. Overall it is a book that captured my attention and for the majority of the book kept me on the edge of my chair. I did think the story attempted to carry on well past what in my opinion should have been the logical ending. But as a whole it was well worth the time spent reading it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another Bloomin' Challenge

I think the name of this challenge says it all....I really shouldn't join another challenge, but I LOVE doing so...and heck I may actually finish a challenge or two this year. For this challenge I decided to participate by reading a bouquet.

BOUQUET: Fill a vase with the bounty of the season. For this challenge level read four or more books each with a different flower in the title.

1. Wild Orchids by Jude Deveraux
2. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
3. Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate
4. Peony in Love by Lisa See

Spring Reading Thing 2008 Challenge

Well I've decided one more challenge....what could it hurt, right. And some of the books I didn't get read on my winter challenge list will naturally become part of this list. Plus I've decided to start reading some of those first time home buyer type books since we're on the hunt for our first home and hope to be buying later this year. is my list for this challenge:

1. Homecoming by Cynthia Voight

2. Julie and Jilia by Julie Powell

3. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

4. Rembrandt's Ghost by Paul Christopher

5. Don't Try This at Home Eidted by Kimberly Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman

6. 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask by Ilyce R. Glink

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spring Reading Challenge 2008

I've decided to join in the Spring Reading Challenge being hosted on the Rock Creek Rumblings blog. I'm not creating a really long list because for some reason I've been reading alot less so far this year and don't want to feel overwhelmed, but these six books are ones I've been really wanting to get read. So for now here is my list:

1. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Rankin)
2. Island of the Sequined Love Nun (Moore)
3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Edwards)
4. The Atonement Child (Rivers)
5. A Wile Ride up the Cupboards (Bauer)
6. Letters Home by Sylvia Plath (Plath)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sister Salty, Sister Sweet

Authors: Shannon Kring Biro and Natalie Kring
Genre: Memoir
Challenge: Alphabet Readers (S title)
Date Finished: February 9, 2008
Rating: 3.5/5

"It took what seemed minutes to formulate the words to express my horrible realization: "Oh, my God. We're becoming...our Barbies." - Page 230

Anyone who has grown up with a sister knows of the constant battle that can be produced by the intense sibling rivalry that exists. I'm not sure why, but it seems that females are always trying to out do each other and this is even more apparent when those females are sisters. I am the oldest of three girls and I could really smile at many points in the book because so much of it held a nugget of truth. From always competing for their parents' attention to allowing their sibling rivalry to play out in their Barbies' lives.

But anyone who reads this book just expecting a few humorous stories about sisters will find so much more. It becomes a story of dealing with issues so much bigger...including one sister's eating disorder, their family's multigenerational dysfunction, and the other sister's intense shyness that seems to border almost on agoraphobia. I was delightfully surprised that this memoir was so much more than what I first thought it would be.

Anyon But You

Author: Jennifer Crusie
Genre: Romance
Challenge: Four Legged Friends
Date Finished: February 2, 2008
Rating: 4/5

I am not a big fan of romance novels, but this fun story I devoured in less than a day! Before the beginning of the story there is an author's note stating that this book is often referred to as "Fred's Book" and it is just that. Fred is the lovable part basset hound, part beagle in the story and from his first introduction in chapter one he is the star of the show. The story begins with the line "The last thing Nina Askew needed was Fred." but the truth is she couldn't be more wrong. Nina has just gone through a divorce and sets out to get a puppy to help with her loneliness. Instead she ends up with Fred, a dog well beyond his puppy years whose breeding tends to cause him to look continuously depressed. Yet Fred is a perfect match for Nina and also the perfect matchmaker. Nina finds love with her downstairs neighbor and with Fred's help perhaps the couple can have that happy ending everyone is always seeking. My only complaint is that the author ties up the story too quickly, with all the couples problems being solved in less than 24 hours. The book is not overly sentimental, nor is it overly mushy or smutty. Instead it is a sweet little story about love and friendship and at times is even laugh out loud funny. I can NOT wait to read more novels by this author.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Author: Moshin Hamid
Challenge: Most Notables Challenge
Date Finished: February 2, 2008
Rating: 4.5/5

"Power comes from becoming change." - Page 97

After reading this work of fiction by Hamid I honestly believe that he set out to write a work of art that would stimulate discussion and through discussion, change. And although the change effectuated by the readers of this novel remains to be seen, I think the author succeeded in stimulating discussion about the ideas and viewpoints stated by the narrator of the story. Personally, the political views expressed at times angered me...heck what can I say, I'm an American and proud to be just that. But that very anger caused me to rant and my rant opened up many discussions I had with not only those who had read the book, but even just those wanting to discuss the politics of it.

The novel itself is a piece of art and a wonderful experience that is a bit different from the norm. The story is told in the form of a conversation, but the reader only hears what the narrator is saying. The only clues as to the American's response to what is being discussed is Changez's (the narrator) verbal response to those actions. The novel moves at a fast pace and is long enough to tell the story, but not so long as to become tedious in its views. What a wonderful work of art.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Title Master Reading Challenge

I really shouldn't join another reading challenge, but I just can't seem to resist, especially when I am able to make my list using books already on my TBR mountain. So, with that said I have decided to join in on the fun of the Title Master Reading Challenge. The idea of the challenge is all of the words in the title must start with the same letter. For now I am starting out with a list of four books since I'm already in so many other challenges, but I wouldn't be surprised if I add to the list as the challenge proceeds. Here's my list:

1. Lost Light by Michael Connelly
2. Fatal Flaw by William Lashner
3. Gerald's Game by Stephen King
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Eponymous Challenge

I have decided to join in the Eponymous Challenge being hosted on the Between the Covers blog. I always love treasure hunt type challenges and this one has the premise of reading books with the Title that includes the name of a main character. Sounds like fun to me! Here are the books I've chosen:

1. Taking Back Mary Ellen Black by Lisa Childs
2. Hannibal by Thomas Harris
3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
4. Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

Being Dead

Author: Jim Crace
Date Finished: January 29, 2008
Rating: 4/5

From the back cover: "The story of life, mortality, and love, Being Dead confirms Jim Crace's place as one of our most talented, compassionate, and intellectually provocative writers."

The story starts with the newly murdered bodies of Joseph and Celice on the sands of a beach and moves backward and forward in time from that point in time to tell the stories of their lives and the the story of what happens after death. The chapters describing the decomposition of the body can be a bit tough to stomach for some readers, but Crace handles it in such a scientific and yet eloquent way that even those passages add to the over all beauty of the book itself. As a reader, I did find it hard to connect with Joseph, Celice and their daughter Syl, but again I believe that was the author's intention. Its easy to sympathize and express shock at the death of someone lovable, but by taking the lovable part out of the equation the author is showing that death is still a part of life and there is still beauty in it. The book itself is unlike anything I've ever read and will probably continue to stick out in my mind in the months and years to come because it is such a unique novel...handling a common subject in such an alternative way.


Author: John Smolens
Challenge: Every Month is a Holiday (January-Snow)
Date Finished: January 7, 2008
Rating: 4.5

From the moment escaped convict, Norman Haas wonders onto the property and into the life of Liesel Tiomenen this wonderful page-turner grabs ahold of the reader and doesn't let go until the final word. Not only is there action, but also a mystery to solve and abit of go old fashioned romance. Cold is not overly sentitmental or predictible, but it also not outrageous in its explanation of what happened and why. Instead it is a truely believable story about how sometimes a person makes bad choices, how bad things can happen to good people, and about doing what is right and getting one's life back on track.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Royalty Rules Challenge

I have decided to join in the fun and participate in the Royalty Rules Challenge being hosted on the Magic of Ink blog. Here is my list for this challenge:

1. A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell
2. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
3. The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn
4. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors

People of the Book

Author: Geraldine Brooks
Challenge: The Pub 2008
Date Finished: January 29, 2008
Rating: 4.5/5

“Well, from what you’ve told me, the book has survived the same human disaster over and over again. Think about it. You’ve for a society where people tolerate difference, like Spain in the Convivencia, and everything’s humming along: creative, prosperous. Then somehow this fear, this hate, this hate, this need to demonize ‘the other’ – it just sort of rears up and smashes the whole society. Inquisition, Nazis, extremist Serb nationalists … same old, same old. It seems to me the book, at this point, bears witness to all that.”

This quote from People of the Book is in my opinion a total characterization concerning what this novel is about. The story focuses on a book restorer who sets out to restore a Haggadah (a book used in the passover celebration). While restoring the book she finds part of an insect wing, a shoddy binding, wine stains, salt crystals and a white hair. Each of these small things tells part of the interesting history of this one special book and it becomes clear that the true main character of this story is the book itself and not the individuals trying to save it. I loved the book! The writer really caught the essence of the struggles of the Jewish people throughout history and really drew me into the story. It is not an "on the edge of your seat" kind of book, but if the reader is looking for a wonderfully engaging story with a bit of a historical feel to it this book is a perfect fit for that type of reading.


Author: Lisa Jackson
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Challenge: TBR 2008
Date Finished: January 5, 2008
Rating: 4/5

The story is very fast paced and a wonderful puzzle to figure out. All of the clues are placed in the story for the reader to be able to discern who the killer is without making the clues so balatantly obvious as to offer no challenge at all. The main characters are likeable and the story is engaging. The killer's reasoning for selecting his victims seems a bit far fetched and the ending is a bit predictable, but if the reader is looking for a fast paced, thrilling little mystery this book is just that.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Banned Book Challenge

I have decided to join in on the fun of reading for the Banned Book Challenge being hosted by Farenheit 451: Freedom to Read. The challenge begins on February 24th and ends June 30th. Here are the books I plan to read:

1. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
2. The Tenth Circle by Jodie Picoult
3. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
5. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Colier

Sunday, January 27, 2008

At First Sight

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Challenge: Winter Reading Challenge
Date Finished: January 26, 2008
Rating: 4.5/5

This is the continuation of the story of Jeremy Marsh and Lexie Darnell who were first introduced to readers in True Believer, also by Sparks. The story is a wonderful love story that is often times overly sentimental and completely predictable, BUT entirely enjoyable and the story works perfectly. I love the characters! A word of warning though, this is defiantly a tearjerker of a story. Keep a box of tissues nearby!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Black Ice

Author: Cate Kennedy
Genre: Short Story
Published: The New Yorker
Challenge: 21st Fiction Yahoo Group
Date Read: January 26, 2008
Rating: 4

"For everything poisonous there's something else nearby to cure it."

That one line at the end of the story, in my opinion, sums up the entire story. The main character, Billy, sees something poisonous in the woman who has moved into the house down the way from his own and sets about to find the cure. Does he succeed? I believe he does. The story is extremely short, and only took me about 10 minutes to read. At times I found myself wondering what the point was, but then the ending made it clear....and I feel made the story worthwhile and thought provoking.

Kitchen Privileges

Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Memoir
Challenge: In Their Shoes
Date Finished: January 21, 2008
Rating: 3.5/5

Mary Higgins Clark has been a favorite author of mine since high school. Since I have read all of her suspense novels I figured it might be enjoyable to read her memoir and learn more about the author herself. I was not disappointed. The memoir focuses mainly on her childhood and adult years before her success as a writer and from those remembrances the reader is able to connect with the person Clark was. It is clear Clark always thought of herself as a writer and was willing to put in an enormous amount of effort to accomplish her goal. From her story the reader can draw hope that he/she too can succeed at becoming a successful writer by knowing their audience, their strengths and weaknesses, and having a lot of determination. The only negative to the book was that I had hoped for a little more about Clark's life after she achieved bestseller status. Other than that the book was an enjoyable read.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Author: Arthur Phillips
Date Finished: January 18, 2008
Rating: 3.5/5

This is my first ever book review so it might not be as good as I would hope, but here goes nothing...

From the inside cover: "Angelica is a spellbinding Victorian ghost story, an intriguing literary and psychological puzzle, and a meditation on marriage, childhood, memory, and fear."

Angelica is portrayed as a Victorian ghost story, but although there is a "ghost" in the story it is more of a story of the mental and emotional workings of a young family that perhaps has been touched by mental illness. I say perhaps, because some characters elude to the possible mental illness, but other characters portray it as something else entirely.

There were points in the story when I could not wait to see what would happen next, but more often than not I was left wondering what was going on! The book is divided into four sections and each section is told from the perspective of a different main character. This technique is enlightening and helps the reader to see the different events from a variety of viewpoints, but ultimately left me confused as to what actually happened. Overall, I was frustrated with the fact I am still not sure what happened in some key points in the story and why. It would be interesting to use this book in a group where discussion could occur because perhaps that would help clarify things in the mind of each reader. But as for me I remain more confused than ever.

This is my first book by this author and although I will probably read another of his books sometime in the future I will not be rushing out to buy one immediately.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

2007 Reading Wrap Up

Okay here is a year end wrap up for me for 2007. I wasn't the most successful in completing challenges this year. In fact I only completed 3 and one of those was a personal challenge. But I had a ton of fun, think I have myself more organized for next year, and look forward to more success this next year. I did read a TON of great books, possibly more than any other year in the past and discovered many new to me authors that I look forward to reading more of. Well here is my wrapup:

Challenges Successfully Completed:
Non-Fiction Five
A-Z New To Me Authors *Personal Challenge*
Christmas Challenge

Total Books Read: 124
New to Me Authors: 80

Top 10 Books of 2007 (In Order of Preference):
1. Marley & Me by John Grogan (5 stars)
2. Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch (5 stars)
3. Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran (5 stars)
4. The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle (5 stars)
5. I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis (5 stars)
6. East of Eden by John Steinbeck (5 stars)
7. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner (4.5 stars)
8. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller (4.5 stars)
9. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (4.5 stars)
10. Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (4.5 stars)

Books I Did Not Like (received a 2.5 star rating or less):
1. Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber: The Katya Livingston Chronicles by Adele Lang (0.5 stars)
2. Hush, Little Baby by Katherine Davies (2.5 stars)
3. Shadow Game by Christine Feehan (2.5 stars)
4. The Accident by Elie Wiesel (2.5 stars)
5. The Christmas Pig by Kinky Friedman (2.5 stars)

Finally Caved...

Well I've finally caved in and started a blog of my own to track my reading obsession through challenges and just reading for enjoyment. I figure if nothing else it will be a learning experience since this is my first time blogging. And who knows, it may even be fun.