With about a month left in the year, I am still dealing with my one-and-only New Year's Resolution, which was to read more books this year. Last year I read sixty-five books, and at this juncture I have completed sixty books. It will be close, especially since I have a bookcrossing.com SIY going on. SIY stands for set-it-yourself reading challenge. I chose to read a particular thirteen books for the challenge, but I have also been reading other books, too. I still have a few of the SIY books to read before the year's end, but have also completed a few of them this month.
The books that I read during November are as follows:
47 Roses by Peter Sheridan*
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver*
The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood*
Married Lovers by Jackie Collins*
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb*
Once again, a very diverse set of books although most were fiction. Of the list, all were new to me except for the seventh Harry Potter novel--I re-read that after seeing the Part 1 movie by the same name. Two of the books, How to Train Your Dragon and Freak the Mighty were book-ring books from fellow bookcrossers. Both could be considered YA literature, and were light, amusing reads. The former told the story of the hapless son of the village leader who has to prove his worth by training his dragon. Every other kid is bigger and stronger, but he does manage to train his dragon and save his tribe from annihilation from an even bigger, meaner sea dragon. The latter novel is the story of a friendship between two unlikely heroes. One boy (the narrator) is not the brightest kid, but his friend Kevin is. Unfortunately Kevin has a disease that stunts his growth that eventually will kill him. They team up becoming Freak the Mighty, and battle the bullies. Both are definitely uplifting reads.
47 Roses is the story of the Peter Sheridan's parents and the "other" woman in his parents' lives. After his Da's untimely death, Peter delves into the story of the woman who has played an integral part in their lives. He wants to understand the whys of this mystery, and how it came to be. Along the way, he even becomes friends with her. It was a compelling enough read that I plan to read his other memoir, 44: Dublin Made Me, sometime in the future.
Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver was a mystery-thriller about a blog and its ramifications. Crosses placed on the roadside are predicting deaths, and are being blamed on a particular blog and the information that these bloggers reveal about themselves. Definitely a scary scenario as all of us are more exposed as we deal with this phenomenon called the Internet. This novel was actually the second in a series; but despite the fact that I haven't read the first in the series, it didn't affect my enjoyment one bit. The story stood on its own merits.
Sherwood's book was the a love story of a man who chases world's records because he doesn't really believe in true love. He spends his life verifying attempts on new world records (for example, he sits at a table timing the "World's Longest Kiss") for "The Book", which is somewhat like Guinness Book of World Records. When he receives a letter about a man eating a 747 to prove his love for a woman, he just has to check it out. Going to a small nondescript town in Nebraska, he meets the man who is slowly eating a 747 that crash-landed in his field. With his arrival, he also meets the woman and finds out about love for himself. This was a fun, quirky read.
Jackie Collins' Married Lovers was a typical Hollywood lifestyle, light read. There was a lot of bed-hopping and backstabbing and gossipy action, but every once in a while, that is okay. Enough said!
Wishin' and Hopin' is a great read for this time of the year. It is an adult version (as opposed to a children's book) of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever because the story is a look back at the narrator's (Felix Funicello, whose claim to fame is that he is a distant cousin of Annette Funicello) fifth grade year at Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School (I just have to say that I love the name of this school, but I digress). Felix's telling of his teacher's (Sister Dymphna) meltdown is as he says, "both a confession and an act of contrition". The story is poignant, but also laugh-out-loud funny at times--all in all, it was just a fun read. If all of Lamb's novels are like this, I will probably be reading him again sometime soon.
* these books are part of my SIY challenge. As of this date, I have not completed my challenge. Out of the original thirteen books that I chose to read, I still have to finish three other books and fully read three other books. Will I make it...well, I've got 29 days!
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association