Here is the second part to my previous “50 books in one year” post. [SPOILER FREE]
26 – 31. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: I re-read The Sorceror’s Stone though to Half Blood Prince and watched every movie after each installment. It was great to start from the beginning again (I usually pick up Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix whenever I need some HP time) and I really loved seeing the movies after. It reminded me how well the first two were as far as adaptations. And how much they messed up my favorite book (GoF).
32. The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: This is the second series in the Greek-myth centered universe. It’s actually quite different from the original series, and is a little more grown up. I don’t think I like it more than PJO, but I definitely like it for different reasons. There are some great new characters, an interesting plot twist, and some familiar faces that I’m glad we didn’t have to leave behind.
33. The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune: This is the sequel to the previous book. If you didn’t like TLH all that much, you’ll probably enjoy this one a little bit more. We finally get to meet up with Percy again and see a whole new host of characters. My only complaint? The cliffhanger at the end!
34. – 37. Twilight: I re-read the Twilight series so I could get ready for Breaking Dawn hitting theatres this past November. It reminded me that Twilight is still my favorite, New Moon still makes me sad, Eclipse makes me want to punch Jacob in the face, and Breaking Dawn makes everything better. I know there’s a lot of Twi-hate out there, but this really is a great series.
38. Dinnerware: Volume 1 by Lynn Dralle: Okay, this is where my “cheating” went to a whole ‘nother level. This is an ebook by a well-known ebayer (that’s my job, by the way, so this was a work-related read). It’s all about dinnerware and mostly outlines what patterns and what makers sell the best. It was actually quite interesting.
39. Dalton by C.P. Coulter: If you like Glee and you like fanfic, I recommend this story to you. Chances are, though, that if you like Glee and you like fanfic, you’ve probably already read it. This is actually the first fanfic I’ve ever read (and the only, but I’m trying to change that). And I’m definitely counting it as a book because it took me days to read and there are 26 chapters. It counts. Trust me. Anyway, it’s about Blaine and Kurt and their experiences at Dalton. The writing is not top notch – there are some spelling errors and typos, not to mention a whole host of technical problems (can someone say POV switches??) – but the storyline is perfect. I’ve read published books that weren’t as intricate or interesting as this one. And characterization? WOW! I had trouble putting it down, too, so that says something. (P.S. It actually isn’t finished yet. She’s working on chapter 27 right now, and there’s going to be about 30.) You can find the fiction at this link.
40. Dinnerware: Volume 2 by Lynn Dralle: The second installment talks about more patterns, but also about the different types of dinnerware pieces. This one was even better than the last. (Obviously, a reference guide if you’re interested, and not so much a novel!)
41. The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: I finally had time to jump on this bandwagon, and boy am I glad I did! This series is really great, and it is another one that I have trouble putting down. This is the first installment, and although she throws a lot of information at you in the first few chapters, you start getting the hang of it eventually.
42. Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket: I’ve been hearing about these books for ages, and I’ve always wanted to read them. Boy was I surprised. These books are mostly for children (I’ll get to the “mostly” in a second). Throughout the book, Snicket defines different words (ie. “briskly) for the reader. It gets a little old, but I’ve taken to reading this as a sarcastic comment to an older audience. The storyline was good, (and this is where “mostly” comes in) though I was surprised at some of the developments. They seemed a little too serious and taboo to have in a children’s book. It’s a quick read, though, and I am interested to see how the entire series will end.
43. The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare: I read this book in a day, if that gives you any idea about how good it is. It is a good book, but Clare is a master at drawing things out. And I’m impatient. There’s a few good twists in this one, like there was in the last, but the tension between certain characters (if you read it, you’ll know who I’m talking about) makes me want to throw the book at a wall sometimes. I wouldn’t say that her story-telling gifts are top notch, but her characterization is incredible.
44. The Mortal Instruments: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: We finally get resolutions to a lot of the conflict. However, there are 3 more books in this series and I wonder how she’ll continue the story and wrap up those few remaining questions while keeping it interesting. I hope to see a lot more relationship development in the next installment. Again, Clare’s characterization is perfect. I’m falling in love with secondary characters and have come to care about them just as much as the primary ones.
45. Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket: The second installment is marginally better than the first. I found, in a few places, that I actually laughed out loud. I’m treating these books as an experiment devised by an author. On the one hand, they seem to be for young children with poor vocabulary. On the other hand, some of the events and the actions of the characters appear to be a little too dark for such a young audience. I find it easier to read when I look at it as a book just dripping with sarcasm. I’m interested to know how the series ends, but not so interested in how it gets there.
46. Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket: The third installment has a similar plotline to the last. I’m starting to get a bit bored with the same series of events, even if they occur in different places with different characters and obstacles. There was one line in this book that caught my interest, and I think I may have an idea about a certain pivotal event that happened to the Baudelaire children in their past…
47. Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket: Same plotline with different characters and in a different place. What keeps me (barely) hanging on is the way in which these things keep happening. I’m morbidly interested in what horrific thing will happen to these children next, though my curiosity will soon fall by the wayside. There are just so many ways that you can tell the same story, and it happens to be far less than 13. I feel like the idea behind this books was great, but it just couldn’t be executed properly in this format.
48. Dinnerware: Volume 3 by Lynne Dralle: The final installment in this series. I felt like this one repeated some of the same information covered in the last two books, but I loved the insight into how Lynne goes from buying her inventory to finally listing it on ebay.
49. Knowing Aslan by Thomas Williams: An interesting look into the symbolism of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia series. A very quick read that highlighted several key points in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
50. The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss: I didn’t think I was going to like this book because it is about middle school girls. I’m a fantasy reader, and I rarely enjoy books that don’t fall into that category. However, this one was actually quite interesting. It shows the often precarious dynamics between girls and is a great look into the psychology of kids at this age. Everything in this book has happened time and time again, and I’m sure there are a lot of girls out there who can relate to the characters.
There we go! Fifty books in one year, whew! I’ve cut my goal in half this year, with the promise that I’ll only count books I’ve never read as a part of the goal. I’m really excited to get into a few new series and share my thoughts with you at the end of the year.