Sunday, December 27, 2009

Em's Reading List, 2009

This will be a week for lists. My reading (and listening) lists are up next...but, first, by popular demand, the 30 books Em finished this year:

1. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
2. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (this is Em and N's beloved Uncle S--and this book, if you haven't read it, is achingly sweet, and features a young character who is more than a little bit modeled after N)
3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)
4. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2)
5. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3)
6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Em and I read this one together...and loved every single minute of it)
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Em put a note after this one, in parentheses: "one night!!!")
8. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4)
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
11. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 5)
12. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks (Em so loved this book that she insisted I read it, too; if you know me, you know that Nicholas Sparks isn't likely to be my cup of tea, but I love talking about books with my kid, so I enjoyed it for that reason, at least, if for no other. And trust me. There was no other.)
13. Goy Crazy by Melissa Schorr
14. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
15. Maximum Ride 2: School's Out -- Forever by James Patterson
16. Click Here by Denise Vega
17. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
18. Maximum Ride 3: Saving the World by James Patterson
19. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
20. Gender Blender by Blake Nelson
21. Maximum Ride 4: The Final Warning by James Patterson
22. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
23. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Em read this for her 7th grade Advanced English class and loved it; I was impressed by the choice of book)
24. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
25. Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan
26. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (I'd heard enough about this book to know that I wanted to read it after Em had; I knew it was a pretty heavy book, and while I'm comfortable with my "no legitimate books are off limits" stance when it comes to Em, I do think a 12-year-old might need to talk about what shes read in a book about suicide that features a whole bunch of other types of ugliness as well. I'm glad I read it; it was quite good, if somewhat contrived, and it had a lot to say. It terrified me...probably a whole lot more than it terrified her. But yes, we talked anyway.)
27. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
28. Cirque du Freak 2: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan
29. Cirque du Freak 3: Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan
30. Max by James Patterson

By the way, and I know this isn't the time or place for it, but I just have to say, for the record: I find it seriously disappointing how many of the books out there these days are parts of series. Why can't anyone tell an entire story in a single, sweeping novel anymore? I especially dislike the books that pretty much require you to have read the previous books to properly understand what you're reading in one of the later books. (Hello, Ms. Rowling...) I mean...a chunk of plot that takes up where the last chunk left off, and then leaves you at the end with a cliffhanger, wondering what will come next? Didn't we used to call those chapters???

I also think that when you need your protagonist to appear in every subsequent book you write, you seriously limit your ability to be true to your story. That's part of what turned me off to those Janet Evanovitch Stephanie Plum books; you knew Stephanie wasn't going anywhere, and it made the supposed suspense feel really dishonest to me.

Getting off my soapbox now...

Next up: The books I've read this year, followed by the audiobooks I've listened to. Stay tuned! (Or sigh heavily at the thought of more freaking book talk. I won't be insulted. It's not everyone's passion.)


kris said...

i love book talk so feel free to talk away about them.

Tamar said...

Interesting to see her list. I should probably post Damian's somewhere.

I read Uglies and Pretties this past year too (yes, I sometimes read YA), and found them enjoyable reads, though a bit uneven. What did she think of them? I notice she didn't read the third one, Specials.

I agree wholeheartedly about the series problem with middle grade and some YA. Damian has developed a tendency to read only the first book unless he completely falls in love with the series (standouts in this regard are The Name of This Book is Secret and the Wimpy Kid series). I think he may have the right idea. Usually there's a pretty big falloff in quality somewhere in the middle of a longish series. And often, the surprise and wonder of the first book is gone after too much repetition of the same set of flavors.

TC said...

Tamar, she really liked Uglies; a friend of mine on my wmoms group had recommended it a few years ago, and I actually bought the first book for her. I don't know how she found Pretties; I don't think we talked about it. And I know she's planning to read Specials (and Extras, I believe), but I think she loaned it to a friend and is waiting to get it back.

Green said...

And on the flip side, I hate when I'm reading a book within a series and the author describes what happened previously or gives character descriptions using the SAME WORDS.


My mom used to give my brother and me Ten Book presents. We had to read ten books, on or above grade level, and write the name and author on our list, and give her what amounts to an oral report. When we got to ten we'd get a present - a record, a sheet of stickers, something small. Both of us read a lot as adults.

AB said...

I am off to to look for Uncle's book. (G)

Girlie said...

Has she read the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull? I absolutely am loving those books right now. I gave the series to my friend's 12 year old and she breezed through the first two in less than a week and wanted to go out and spend her own money on the rest of the books.