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50 Book Challenge – 2011 Update

March 23, 2012
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I’m once again challenging myself to read 50 books this year. I challenged myself with this last year and made it to 30 books. Even though I didn’t make it to 50, I still managed to step away from my typical smutty paperbacks (ie brain candy) and read a few books that I normally wouldn’t pick up.  Barnes & Noble’s Free Friday books helped with this endeavor quite a bit, because I like free.  In fact, quite a few books on my TBR (to be read) list are Barnes & Noble Free Friday selections and I just downloaded today’s Free Friday selection.

Of the 30 books I finished in 2011, a few in particular stand out as really awesome. The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses both by Jeanette Walls were amazing.  I also really enjoyed The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch as somone who was going through huge life changes and reevaluating what is really important. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost was absolutely hilarious and filled me with a desire to relocate to a tropical island. The urge quickly fled when I realized that the humidity would probably kill me. 

Then there’s the Alan Jacobsen’s Karen Vail series about an FBI profilier. These are the people who take the clues and figure out what kind of psychopath would commit such crimes. I downloaded Crush, which is the 2nd book on the series, because it was a Free Friday book. Months later, I finally got around to reading it and it really sucked me in, right up to the last page. Then it ended. Okay, maybe not quite like that. The crime was solved but in the last few chapters right as they finally identified and captured the killer, a key character disappeared and a bigger conspriracy was starting to come to light. Then it ended. Now, I’ve been wise to Barnes & Noble’s trick of offering one book in a series as a Free Friday selection to get you hooked, then you buy the rest the series. I’ve heard that drug dealers use a similar tactic. They’ll give you a good deal, get you hooked then start charging you full price when you need a fix. Wait…where was I? Why am I talking about crack?  I’d apologize for the tangent and tell you it’s been a crazy and long week at work (which it totally has), but this is pretty much how I am all the time. Last week, I was thinking about writing a post about work, since it’s such a huge part of my day but then I decided that work is boring and all three of you would be asleep before I finished. Maybe I’ll try it next week, if I can’t think of a better topic.

Okay, back to the books. I’ve successfully resisted Barnes & Noble’s marketing ploy and read the free offerings without feeling the need to download the rest of the series. Then Crush ended and I had to know. You can’t just dangle a missing person, a second killer and a big cover-up at the end of an already engrossing crime drama! I folded like a lawn chair. Worse than a lawn chair, because not only did I download Velocity (3rd in the series) I also downloaded 7th Victim (first) and Inmate 1577 (last).  Crush and Velocity were the best of the four. 7th Victim had too many coincidences to be believable, same with Inmate 1577. Although, Inmate 1577 had the benefit of being set in my favorite city: San Francisco.  It was an interesting look at the process of developing a profile for a killer, but my curiosity for this series has been sastisfied. I have broken the addiction and do not plan to read any new Karen Vail novels that are published.

Ratings:
+ Highly Recommended
* Recommended, but not my favorite
– Eh.
# Avoid like the plague

Completed in 2011
1. Labor of Love: A Midwife’s Memoir by Cara Muhlhan +
2. Call me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips +
3. Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips +
4. Ruthless by Anne Stuart *
5. Reckless by Anne Stuart *
6. Breathless by Anne Stuart +
7. Highland Protector by Hannah Howell –
8. Broken by Kelley Armstrong +
9. Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong +
10. No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong +
11. The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman *
12. Every Breath You Take by Judith McNaught +
13. Alone (Detective D.D. Warner Series #1) by Lisa Gardener +
14. Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann +
15. Siren of the Waters by Michael Genelin –
16. Carved in Bone by Jefferson Bass *
17. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls +
18. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch +
19. Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware –
20. Wicked by Gregory Maguire*
21. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown*
22. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost+
23: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert*
24. Stupid History by Leland Gregory –
25. Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins*
26. Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls +
27. Crush by Alan Jacobsen *
28. Velocity by Alan Jacobsen *
29. 7th Victim by Alan Jacobsen *
30. Listen by Rene Gutteridge –

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