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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Fifty Books in 2007!'s LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 4th, 2008
10:57 am
I've read 75 books this year:

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Current Mood: good
Monday, June 2nd, 2008
10:52 pm
I've read 50 books this year, and am in the process of reading 41;

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Current Mood: busy
Friday, January 25th, 2008
12:51 pm
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Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, January 3rd, 2008
6:33 pm
I made it!
I (just) got to 50 in '07. Bring on 2008!
Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
3:36 pm
I have created 50_in_08 if people want to migrate over there after posting your year end posts.

I did reach fifty this year, although barely. I need to make a wrap up post.
Monday, December 31st, 2007
11:04 am
My 2007 book poll!

It's interesting to see how many other people in LJ book comms have read the books I read in the past year, which books most people have read (which books nobody else has read...) and so on. I posted my last update for the year earlier today (I'm nearing the end of the final book on the list and there's not a chance I'll read another whole book before midnight) so I put together the poll and here it is.
8:32 am
146. So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (225)
147. Extras by Scott Westerfeld (417)

I really like these books - I need to buy some more Westerfeld next year.

148. *Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones (256)

I remembered where it was - I lent it to my sister. I must've finished it, but the end must not have been particularly memorable. All in all it was a hilarious book, though.

149. Looking for the Mahdi by N. Lee Wood (293)
150. *The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson (499)

At the time I'm posting this, I haven't quite finished either of these, but I am nearly done with both and will finish them today.

Final stats:

(I have two books numbered 71)
151 / 150 books (101%)
72 / 70 *new books (102%)
49196 / 50000 pages (98%)
7:49 am
Reached 52 books
I made it to 52 books, my personal goal. (x-posted to my personal journal)

Book 51 was "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse. I'd read this before about 15 years ago when I was in college, and remember being impressed by it, enough that I wrote a poem inspired by one scene from it. I enjoyed it the second time around, too. It's a slim volume and an easy read, but with plenty of food for thought, even if you don't lean toward a Buddhist-type spirituality.

Book 52 was "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." I've enjoyed all the movies but had never read any of the books. I have a lot of respect for Rowling's writing now; this was a really fun read, and I enjoyed all the little details that can't possibly be put into a movie.

In addition to meeting my 52-book goal, I met my other two smaller goals. I kept my books on CD to 23 or less, with a total of 17 for the year. I wanted to include at least a handful of re-reads, and there were 2 on my list this year, so that was fine.

Next year, I think I'm going to just track what I read but won't set specific number goals. I just want to enjoy my reading in a less goal-oriented way.

Statistics for 2007:

New Reads:  50
Re-reads: 2

Fiction: 31
Non-fiction: 21

novels: 30
-sci-fi/fantasy/speculative: 16
children's books: 1
-in another language: 1

science- or health-related: 6
memoir/personal essay/biography: 6
self-help: 3
other, miscellaneous: 6

Unabridged books on CD: 17
Hardcover or paperback books: 31
On-line books: 4
Saturday, December 29th, 2007
8:49 am
145. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern by Lillian Jackson Braun (192)

Instead of his beloved crime beat, Qwill is given an assignment about interior design from the newspaper. But (as usual) it all goes awry when something goes wrong at every home that is photographed. Also, the introduction of Yum Yum.

These are light, pretty sweet books, even with the murder and occasional mayhem.

Argh, Zotouku isn't working right. Ah, well, here's the numbers:
145 / 150 books (97%)
70 / 70 *new books (100.0%)
47506 / 50000 pages (95%)

Currently reading:
I am 9/10 done with both The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson by (xmas gift for my sister, which I read on the way to Ohio and then had to actually give to her - I'll have to finish it at the bookstore, I guess) and So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld and I seem to have misplaced Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which I'm also almost done with. Hm.
Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
6:30 pm
Book 49: Free as in Freedom
Book 49 is Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software by Sam Williams.

Book 50 is The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.

I did it.
Monday, December 24th, 2007
6:51 am
Books 49 and 50
Well, I've gotten to 50 books again this year, but I don't know if I'm actually going to make it to my personal goal of 52 books. Even if I don't, that's OK with me, because I've really enjoyed almost all the books I've read so far this year.

Book 49 is "My Antonia" by Willa Cather. I'm glad I'm listening to this as a book on CD instead of reading it as a paper book because I'm not sure I could have sustained my interest in it as a regular book. It's very episodic without much of a "plot arc"; as a book on CD, I can kind of imagine it as a bunch of tales of the end of pioneering life told by an elderly relative. The descriptive passages about nature are really lovely, and I like the insight into the social mores and milieu of that time. I'm not quite finished with it but I don't think I'm going to have any trouble finishing it before the end of '07.

Book 50 is "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back" by Frank Schaeffer. I put this on reserve at the library before they'd even got the shipment in, because I was THAT excited to read it. For some background, I grew up in a fundamentalist evangelical church and was involved in the campus Christian ministry in my early college years, and Frank Schaeffer's Dad Francis Schaeffer was a MAJOR icon to my elders and my peers; he was the guy with the sophisticated theology books that made people sit up and take notice of fundamentalists and maybe think that they were not all just a bunch of ignorant bible-thumping hicks. He wrote popular books and made several TV series about culture and Christianity that are still read and watched by evangelicals today. So, when I found out that Schaeffer's son had written a tell-all book about growing up in that atmosphere and meeting a bunch of the famous Christian evangelicals (including Billy Graham) and later walking away from it to be a more moderate, humanistic Christian, I HAD to read it! He hasn't disappointed me. It's a fun and easy read, even though it's nearly 400 pages long. He divides his childhood memoirs up into small chapters that are pretty anecdotal so you can read a few and then put it down and pick it up again later without getting lost at all. I'm loving the inside look on all this stuff very much. I'm also not done with this one yet, but suspect I will finish it later today.

I love the Harry Potter movies but have never read any of the books, and I recently decided to remedy that. I've got the first in the series, and that'll be my book #51 for the year if I finish it in the next week.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2007
7:50 pm
I read more than one book at once, and my reading speed drops dramatically:

142. *The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones (480)

Loved it, absolutely loved it. I love the old Chrestomanci books like Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant but the latest ones are, if possible, even better. This one starts out just a little bit slow with some necessary build-up, but once it gets going, it gets going and is a cracking good story the rest of the way through.

143. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (352)

I forgot I'd already read this until I was halfway through, but these books don't take long to read. And I couldn't remember what happened, so I finished it anyway. They're brain candy, light, (mostly) fluffy, fun books. Hilarious, too, I kept laughing out loud at things that happened or bits of dialog (and I was sitting in the bookstore cafe, so I was trying to be quiet).

144. Sunshine by Robin McKinley (416)

Still up there as my favorite book.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 144 / 150 books (96.0%)
Zokutou word meter 70 / 70 *new books (100.0%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 47,314 / 50,000 pages (94.6%)

Currently reading:
*Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

Current Mood: sleepy
Monday, December 3rd, 2007
6:48 am
Books 47 & 48
Book #47 was "Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Aspergers" by John Elder Robison. My husband and I listened to this as a book on CD while traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, and really enjoyed it. He is the older brother of author Augusten Burroughs. Burroughs wrote some about Robison's strange behavior in his memoirs, but then the older brother decided to write his own memoirs about growing up different, and not finding out he had Apserger's Syndrome (an "austic spectrum" syndrome) until he was in his 40s. He talks about his crappy childhood, his crazy pranks he plays on others, creating special guitars for the band KISS and electronic toy parts for Milton Bradley, and how he learned the social skills that didn't come naturally to him. Highly recommended.

Book #48 is another Memoir, "Pretty Good for a Girl" by Leslie Heywood. I'm only about 3/4 of the way through this one, but I am LOVING it. She writes beautifully about the enjoyment of her body and running, of her struggles with gender identity and not wanting to be looked over as "just another girl," the crappy childhood and the string of boyfriends, being pressured into a sexual relationship with her high school coach, and later developing an eating disorder to stay lithe and competitive in college running. She does eventually remain an athlete (body-builder) later in life but with a better relationship to food. Her prose is very beautiful and almost poetic in parts, and yet the book is an easy read. She really pulled me in and kept me turning the pages.

the other books I've read this year:Collapse )
Friday, November 30th, 2007
8:39 am
Book 48: Woyzeck
Book 48 was the play Woyzeck by Georg Bu:chner, in German.

It's the first German language lit I've read in a long time, and I realize how bad my German has gotten. I've started to read the first Harry Potter book in German but I haven't gotten very far. Reading on DailyLit.com is easier for me, because it's automatically split into manageble pieces for me.

I've signed up for Der Tod in Venedig (Death in Venice), by Thomas Mann, which I read in college. It's 28 sections so if I don't get behind I'll finish it by the end of the year.

There is no doubt that I'll read 50 books in '07, but I don't know if I'll get to 60. I think that should be my goal, but doesn't that seem like a lot? 12 more books in one month? I am in the middle of a lot of books so that's not really that difficult. Maybe.

I'll have to think about it.
Sunday, November 25th, 2007
9:22 am
138. *Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff (404)

Second book in the Smoke Trilogy, sequel to the Blood books. I liked this, although it was definitely one of the creepiest books I've ever read. I don't usually read horror (at all) and while this probably isn't as scary as as "real" horror books, it was scary enough in the middle that I had to put it down and read something else before I went to bed.

Tony, Henry, and the various other characters were strong enough in themselves that I didn't find myself missing Vicki and Mike much as I read it.

139. *Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff (407)

Third and final book in the Smoke Trilogy. This book was actually...hilarious. There were so many pop-culture references - and Tony was dealing two old-beyond-measure people who didn't pay attention to that sort of thing - that it made me laugh out loud about every third page. I also enjoyed the story, and the characters. Leah was a well-written character and Tony really came into his own.

140. *The Sagan Diary by John Scalzi (100)

I'm counting this as a new read because listening to the audio version and reading the actual book are two very different experiences. I love the audio version, but there are things I got out of the book that I didn't catch or understand in the audio. It's a wonderful novelette.

141. Squire by Tamora Pierce (380)

I'd misplaced this before when I really wanted to read it, and when I found it I used it as my "I must read something else now" book while I was reading Smoke and Mirrors. This is possibly my favorite Tamora Pierce book - Kel is my favorite, the most realistic, the least Mary Sue, of her heroines, and Squire is my favorite of the PotS books.

My favorite progress meter is down, so here are the bare numbers:
141 / 150 books (94%)
69 / 70 *new books (98%)
46066 / 50000 pages (92%)
Friday, November 23rd, 2007
10:01 am
In the middle
There are at least a dozen books I'm in the middle of, but the ones I'm actively reading are:

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewish
Woyzeck, a play by George Bu:chner (in German)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
a book of essays
Monday, November 19th, 2007
2:30 pm
Book 47: Tao Te Ching
Book 47 was Tao Te Ching: A New English Version by Lao Tzu.

Yeah, I didn't get it.
Saturday, November 17th, 2007
11:38 am
Books 45 & 46
Book #45 was "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of the last books I read, "The Double Bind", had many references to "Gatsby". and this is one of the classic novels I'd never gotten around to. Some of the characters spout some pretty disturbing racial politics, and that's a little hard to swallow even knowing when this was written. The plot is slight and it's a very slim volume. But the writing is *gorgeous*. I love Fitzgerald's descriptions of nature and of New York City and the way he writes about how you can see emotions passing over someone's face. Just fabulous. I think this is a must-read for any aspiring writer who wants to write really beautiful but compact prose.

Book #46 is "Trouble and Her Friends" by Melissa Scott. I joked to my husband that it was "Neuromancer with Lesbians". That's really not fair to the book, though. Trouble is a net-walker/hacker who tries go legit when draconian legislation to regulate the net is passed in a near-future USA. However, someone starts hacking under her name and causes her to get into trouble and lose her job. She must, of course, get an upgrade and start walking the nets again to clear her name. Fun book.

the other books I've read this year:Collapse )
My pace has slowed down a little if I'm going to reach my personal goal of 52 books this year, but I figure time off around the holidays will allow me more time to read. Next up is probably either "Pretty Good for a Girl" by Leslie Heywood or "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan.
Thursday, November 15th, 2007
6:16 pm
Book 46: The Morning Star
Book 46 is The Morning Star, by Nick Bantock, the last book in the Griffin and Sabine series. I still love the concept and the writing. I may never tire of it.
Tuesday, November 13th, 2007
11:56 am
133. Trickster's Queen by Tamora Pierce (444)

Yeah, I skimmed quite a bit while rereading this. Aly really started to irritate me.

134. *Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (310)

In a world where vampires and werewolves (and so on) are real (if not accepted), Quincie's uncle is starting a vampire-themed restaurant. Then bad things start happening to the people connected with it.

The first half of this book is fairly blah. It's all setup for what happens in the second half of the book. The second half is much more interesting, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. There are twists that aren't normally found in the vampire books (at least, not the ones I've read).

spoilersCollapse )

135. *Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint (271)

Another YA urban fantasy by Charles de Lint. This is an updated version of the Littles or the Borrowers -type of story, it's really a cute story with as much urban as fantasy. I didn't love it like I loved the Blue Girl, but I liked it.

136. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi (394)

Reread. Hilarious book. I can't wait for the sequel.

137. *Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (396)

First book in the Smoke Trilogy, sequel to the Blood books. More vampire Henry Fitzroy. So far (I'm halfway through book two) they're just as much fun as the first series, although I miss Vicki and Mike.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 137 / 150 books (91.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 66 / 70 *new books (94.3%)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter 44,775 / 50,000 pages (89.5%)

Currently reading:
Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff

Up Next:
Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff
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