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50 Book Challenge


13 / 50 books. 26% done!
Currently Reading: The Neverending Story by: Michael Ende



★★★★★ - Fantastic novel. Very highly recommended.
★★★★☆ - Very good novel. Held my interest.
★★★☆☆ - A bad story that held my interest or a good story that didn't hold my interest.
★★☆☆☆ - Didn't hold my interest or was poorly written.
★☆☆☆☆ - Why did I even waste my time? Biggest waste of publishing money ever!

1. Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
Began: 12.29.2009
Finished: 01.10.2010
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Thoughts: Overall a good read, and a good glimpse at what it's like inside some of the psychiatric hospitals in the US. However, the author tended to sound very high and mighty about her own illness. She suffers from depression but is quick to point out that she's not as *annoyingly* depressed as everyone else. Her stance on psychiatric drugs is sort of shoved down your throat over and over again. We're always reminded how awful these meds are, while also blaming the turnaround rate on the lack of availability of these drugs to the mentally ill that are homeless. The sampling of hospitals is small, but she does go to hospitals on both end of the spectrum. In the end you're left wondering whether universal healthcare would help at all, since the hospitals taking care of those on medicare and medicaid seem to be such awful places.

2. Survivors by Terry Nation
Began: 01.06.2010
Finished: 01.11.2010
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Thoughts: I'm a bit bias since I watched the show before reading the book. The characters were very stereotypical, and not very diverse. The main character starts out as a pampered upper-middle class housewife, who quickly becomes a leader of her own commune. Though she believes her son is still alive, she doesn't spend a lot of time looking for, or even thinking about him. It was a quick read, but it had a hard time keeping my interest. The show fleshes out the characters and gives a bit more background on the plague that wipes out most of the planet.

3. Am I Bovvered? The Catherine Tate Show Scripts by Catherine Tate
Began: 01.09.2010
Finished: 01.10.2010
Rating: ★★★★☆
Thoughts: Just a collection of scripts from the Catherine Tate show. None of the Children in Need sketches are included, but I believe all the others are there. If you're a big fan of the show it's a neat thing to own, and you can find it pretty cheap on amazon marketplace (I got it for $4 including shipping).

4. The Song of the Lioness: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
Began: 01.25.2010
Finished: 01.25.2010
Rating: ★★★★★
Thoughts: ADORED this book! toasterssaymoo recommended it ages ago but I never got around to reading it. It's a quick young-adult read with the typical plucky female heroine. But I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. I ended up reading it straight through, and immediately picked up the second book after. I can't wait to read the rest of the series. I can't believe I haven't heard of Tamora Pierce before!

5. The Song of the Lioness: In the Hands of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
Began: 01.25.2010
Finished: 01.27.2010
Rating: ★★★★★
Thoughts: Loved this one too :-) It didn't take long to get hooked on the main character, and once again it's a quick read. If I could change one thing about this book, it would be a little longer.

6. The Song of the Lioness: The Woman Who Rides like a Man by Tamora Pierce
Began: 01.27.2010
Finished: 02.02.2010
Rating: ★★★★☆
Thoughts: Enjoyed it, but it didn't hold my interest as much as the others. It might have been that it was in the middle, so I knew nothing would really be solved in this novel. I still enjoyed Alanna's adventures, but I was just slightly less interested in this one as opposed to the others.

7. The Song of the Lioness: Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce
Began: 02.02.2010
Finished: 02.04.2010
Rating: ★★★★★
Thoughts: Probably my favorite in the series, even though it didn't have enough of my favorite character. I would have proferred a longer ending.

8. Diana's Story by Deric Longden
Began: 02.05.2010
Finished: 02.07.2010
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Thoughts: This book made me want to cry. It's about a woman who suffers from M.E. (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in the 70s and 80s when very little was known about it. She's completely bedridden, her hands claw and literally fold in on themselves and yet some doctors still seem to think she's suffering from some kind of hysteria. It's an autobiographical tale told by the husband who gave up everything he had to care for her. It certainly put me through a few emotions, from sadness and pity at Diana's plight, to laughing like crazy at the weird antics of Deric's mother. The only reason I gave this three stars was because it took awhile to get through for some reason. It just felt like it went on forever.

9. Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Began: 02.07.2010
Finished: 02.18.2010
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Thoughts: I know this is a classic, but I just could not get into it. The "twist" was obvious to me early on. The writing style bothered me, but I can't really pinpoint how or why it did. The only good thing I have to say about this book is that it's much more entertaining than the movie versions of it. Which isn't saying much.

10. The Lightening Thief (Percy Jackson #1) by Rick Riordan
Began: 02.11.2010
Finished: 02.17.2010
Rating: ★★★★☆
Thoughts: LOVED this book. It was really cute. I love that it's getting kids into greek myths by explaining them in fun and simple ways. The main character is the same stereotypical protagonist that's found in most young adult novels, but I got over it pretty quickly. It's SO much better than the movie!

11. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson #2) by Rick Riordan
Began: 02.18.2010
Finished: 02.20.2010
Rating: ★★★★☆
Thoughts: Just as good as the first one, but a little more predictable.

12. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie
Began: 03.01.2010
Finished: 03.03.2010
Rating: ★★★★★
Thoughts: I was shocked by how much I loved this! I always imagined Agatha Christie to be rather dry, but I was glued to this. Is it unbelievable? Sure, but most detective novels are. I'm not usually a huge fan of detective novels, with the exception of the Sookie Stackhouse books. This had definitely gotten me hooked on Agatha Christie so expect to see a few more of her books on this list.

13. Diamonds Behind My Eyes by Nicola Pagett
Began: 03.04.2010
Finished: 03.04.2010
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Thoughts: The writing is erratic and sometimes hard to understand, but it was actually meant to be written that way. It's a memoir by actress Nicola Pagett (of Upstairs Downstairs fame), about her breakdown in the 90s, and her eventual diagnoses of bi-polar manic depression. She sort of snaps, obsessively writes letters to a mystery person who is later revealed to be the Director of Communications and Strategy for British PM Tony Blair. It's really interesting to see manic depression from the point of view of an actual sufferer. And Pagett doesn't say it's this horrible awful thing that people should be ashamed of. She embraces it, and thinks it's a wonderful thing, as many talented people suffer from it. But she also stresses management with medication and insight. It's hard to find (I had to buy it from England through ebay), but if you can get your hands on it, it's worth the read.

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