Tuesday, December 21, 2004

2004 Reading List

I may finish one or two more books before the end of the year (wishful thinking), but for now, I present for your perusal my 2004 Reading List. It was a banner year for me - I tried to make the most of my lunch hours! I think the list reflects quite a bit of variety, although I didn't do that well with my self-imposed reading list for catching up on missed classics or literature this year. However, I did read more non-fiction than I usually do. The upcoming year should bring some more new and different titles to the list, with the English classes I'm taking next semester. I'll link to some, but not all, of the books below and add some additional thoughts if needed. Enjoy!

Some observations, for those of you who might not know or wonder. Most of these books are from the library. I don't think I bought a single new book this year. As I've said previously, I heart and that's where I buy most of my books, anywhere from six months to a year after they are originally released. Of the 69 books below, 50 or so came from the library. If not from bookcloseouts, the others came from used book sales or were borrowed from friends.
  1. Bigfoot Dreams by Francine Prose (from my required reading list)
  2. Prejudicial Error by Bill Blum (legal thriller)
  3. The Gypsy Man by Robert Bausch (For reasons unbeknowst to me, I love reading books set in Appalachia. This book is a few years old, but I just discovered and thought it was very well done.)
  4. Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell (Catching up on this series in early 2004, however, I don't think I'll read the 2004 installment, Trace. I think I've given up on this series.)
  5. The Sculptress by Minette Walters (This is the third book of hers that I've read. Everyone I know who reads her books never has anything bad or negative to say about them and I agree.)
  6. The Kills by Linda Fairstein (series)
  7. The Quality of Life Report by Meghan Daum
  8. Nowhere Else on Earth by Josephine Humphreys (excellent historical fiction – read my previous entry about this book)
  9. Jemima J by Jane Green (chick lit)
  10. Savage Run by C.J. Box (series)
  11. The Country of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett (required reading list - I actually read this one online - thanks Project Gutenberg!)
  12. Swimming by Joanna Hershon
  13. Smoke Screen by Kyle Mills (standalone from the author of the Mark Beamon series)
  14. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  15. The Perfect Elizabeth by Libby Schmais
  16. The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson (Yeah, I know, these are so easy to read they're practically freebies for the year. I know some people can't stand his books, but I haven't grown tired of the yet.)
  17. Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
  18. Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani (I fell in love with this trilogy this year, as written about in a previous entry. I was able to purchase all three paperbacks from bookcloseouts and would take them to a deserted island with me.)
  19. Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro (Probably falls into the chick lit category, but very well written and a very original premise.)
  20. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd Monk (Even though this has been on the bestseller list forever, I read it based on a recommendation from Eliza. It was moving and touching and I can see why Eliza's loved it at this time in her life, much like the Big Stone Gap trilogy appealed to me.)
  21. Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons – (She is one of my favorite authors, because I'm a sucker for good Southern fiction. I had to wait four years for this book and I liked it, but the ending too much like “Outer Banks,” the original books that started me on ARS.)
  22. High Country by Nevada Barr (series)
  23. Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
  24. Bleachers by John Grisham
  25. 3rd Degree by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
  26. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (I wanted to read this before I saw the movie and I did. I'm not sure why some people didn't care for it. I thought it was excellent overall. I'm so glad Lehane isn't one of those authors who feels the need to explain every term or abbreviation like some authors do. For example, there was a reference to the local K. of C. and I'm sure some editor out there wanted him to tell the audience it stood for Knights of Columbus, but he stuck to his guns. It was refreshing not to be talked down to as a reader.)
  27. Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt (First in series. I didn't get to the second one yet, but I will. Lots of plot twists and the writing was so detailed, I could easily visualize this book as a movie.)
  28. Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen (Required reading list. This is the first one of her books I have ever read and I've been missing out. Hopefully I get to some of the others in 2005.)
  29. In the Forest of Harm by Sallie Bissell (This was the first in series and I went on to read the other two, even though they weren't that good. The story lines were predictable, but I liked the main character and wanted to find out what happened to her.)
  30. Flashover by Suzanne Chazin (This was the second book in the series. It had been awhile since I read the first one (2002), but there was a major overuse of similes and metaphors that I found annoying: "The pain was excruciating, tearing into her flesh like a pack of wild dogs. It [the fire] banked lower and lower, like a murderer working his way down a flight of stairs. Then, one by one, the bottles of perfume on her dresser began to shatter as if they were being picked off in a shooting gallery. The heat was on top of her now, sizzling like hot butter across the surface of the mattress. And then she heard it – a popping like gunfire, then cracks like footsteps on a frozen lake." All of these are from just one page in the beginning of the book!)
  31. Shiny Water by Anna Salter
  32. A Darker Justice by Sallie Bissell
  33. Call the Devil by His Oldest Name by Sallie Bissell
  34. No Second Chance by Harlan Coben
  35. Property by Valerie Martin (historical fiction)
  36. Third Person Singular by K.J. Erickson
  37. Live Bait by P.J. Tracy
  38. Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
  39. Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Wolf (I breezed through this one in a couple of hours in the car on the drive home from vacation)
  40. The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney (I waited a long time to read this one and thought it would be great, but I found it kind of dull. The language was rather dated for a book taking place in the late 1990’s, such as the use of the word “straight” as an adjective to describe a variety of things.)
  41. The Last Juror by John Grisham
  42. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (first in series)
  43. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (The twist at the end really threw me. I think I need to read this one again.)
  44. The Little Women by Katharine Weber (A very unique book, but I thought the ending was rushed.)
  45. Murder on Ice by Alina Adams (Reinforced that cozies are not for me.)
  46. Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank (There's that good ole Southern women's fiction again.)
  47. Just One Look by Harlan Coben
  48. Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen
  49. Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner (If you're not reading Caren's blog, you should be. She has a wonderful sense of humor.)
  50. Journal of the Dead by Jason Kersten (non-fiction/true crime)
  51. Winter Range by Claire Davis
  52. Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy
  53. The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters
  54. Unlucky in Law by Perri O’Shaughnessy (series)
  55. The Vanished Man by Jeffrey Deaver (series)
  56. America (The Book) by Jon Stewart, et al.
  57. An Open Book by Michael Dirda (non-fiction)
  58. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
  59. Killing the Shadows by Val McDermid (I'm more amazed every time I read one of her books. They are fabulous!)
  60. Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs (series)
  61. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
  62. Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt
  63. Killer Smile by Lisa Scottoline (series)
  64. Bookends by Jane Green
  65. Fireplay by Suzanne Chazin (For the record, she must have gotten a new editor for the third installment in the series. I didn't notice the crazy overuse of descriptive language per #30)
  66. Dead North by Sue Henry (series)
  67. Bad Girl by Michele Jaffe
  68. Thirty Nothing by Lisa Jewell
  69. Darkness Falls by Margaret Murphy