25 Books in 2011 Update

I set a goal to read 25 books in 2011, with a secret goal of getting closer to 30.  As of today, I’m at 13!  So just over halfway to the goal, just under halfway though the year.  Good stuff!  These are the eight books I’d read at the beginning of March, and here’s where I’ve gone since:

Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship

Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oh, I just don’t know. For some reason I had a really hard time picturing these two women in my mind, even after looking for photographs of them on the internet. I thought it was going to be more about…moments of their friendship, I suppose, and less about their relationship in the broader sense. Two ladies being bffs with their dogs? It sounded right up my alley but never quite got there for me.


SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like this book. It’s like reading a really long magazine article.


Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's Tour of Duty Inside the IRSConfessions of a Tax Collector: One Man’s Tour of Duty Inside the IRS by Rick Yancey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this a lot. I thought the information about the job was interesting and the writing was good as well.

It felt just a touch like…it was trying to tell the story of working for the IRS AND trying to tell this personal tale of woe and redemption? And not quite getting to the depth it needed to on either side.

But I still liked it. Interesting characters, for sure.


Freedom

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was strange to not like any of the characters and yet to enjoy the story so much nonetheless. The ending was a little tidy, but after sticking with these characters through almost 600 pages and four decades, you want them to have a reasonably happy ending.


The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul

The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul by Dave Bruno
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

So boring! A ridiculously fast read, I literally zipped through it in about four hours the night before it was “due” for book club. I felt terrible because everyone hated it (and it was my suggested pick, le sigh). I’ll just quote my favorite review:

“This guy is a TOOL.

Whine, whine, whine, brag, whine, whine, brag, cheat, condescend, rationalize, whine some more, relate some tangential story that leaves the reader scratching their head, more whining, more rationalizing, “gee, aren’t I great? whine, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum.”


Abandoned Books!  Ones I started, didn’t finish, and don’t count in the total:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

I had to abandon this because I had other things to read and my library e-copy expired. I liked it so far, and I hope to come back to it at some point.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Just never really grabbed me.


Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just could not get into this. I may come back to it. I was trying to make it my bedtime read and it was just a bit dry for that.

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