Posted by Cottontimer on 20 Nov 2005
For a list of the books in reverse chronological order sans annotation, see here.
Recommended Titles in Bold
1. McMurtry Larry, Lonesome Dove
Vivid. Really grew to care about the characters.
2. Cheng Nien, Life & Death in Shanghai
Struggle and survival.
3. Growing Up Asian American by Maria Hong
4. Preston Richard, The Hot Zone
Ebola can kill you.
5. Clancy Tom, Debt of Honor
6. Rice Anne, Taltos
7. McMurtry Larry, Streets of Laredo
Not as good as Lonesome Dove.
8. Goleman Daniel, Emotional Intelligence
Be sensitive to others’ needs or fail.
9. Keneally Thomas, Schindler’s List
The power of one against the tide.
10. McMurtry Larry, Terms of Endearment
All I could picture was Debra Winger. Ugh.
11. McMurtry Larry, The Evening Star
12. Shields Carol, The Stone Diaries
Wouldn’t have read this except that it was for my book club.
13. Phillips Robert H., PhD, Coping With Kidney Failure
14. Gutterson David, Snow Falling On Cedars
Beautiful, frigid writing. Much better than the movie.
15. McMurtry Larry, Dead Man’s Walk
I still care about these characters from Lonesome Dove but didn’t learn much more about them in this one.
16. Crichton Michael, The Lost World
Not those dinosaurs again. Nothing new.
17. Ng Fae Myenne, Bone
18. Keneally Thomas, Flying Hero Class
19. See Lisa, On Gold Mountain
A saga of a family growing their roots.
20. Redfield James, The Celestine Prophesy
21. Robinson Peter _Snapshots From Hell_ (Definitely don’t want to go to biz school.)
22. Wouk Herman _The Winds of War_ (Got really wrapped up in the story)
23. _Metal Jam: The Story Of A Diabetic_ by Teresa McLean (Read this to prepare for my PhD dissertation.)
24. Keller Evelyn Fox _A Feeling For the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock_ (Being brilliant goes hand in hand with being eccentric.)
25. Roeche Berton _The Man Who Grew Two Breasts And Other True Tales of Medical Detection_ (Medicine is fascinating.)
26. Marion Robert _Was George Washington Really The Father of Our Country? A Clinical Geneticst Looks at World History_ Addison-Wesley, 1994. (Does someone’s medical condition influence their achievements?)
27. Bateson Mary Catherine _Composing A Life_ (Opened my eyes to the possibilities of life. Not everything has to be planned or scheduled.)
28. _Einstein’s Wife_ (Amazing women who suppress their own ambitions and brilliance to support their husbands.)
29. Richardson Bradley G. _Jobsmarts For Twentysomethings_ (Not particularly applicable to people who have specialized job skills.)
30. Bradford Barbara Taylor _A Woman of Substance_ (An enjoyable easy read. Fun to fantasize about these romantic lives.)
31. Cussler Clive _Inca Gold_ (Can’t pass up on the action and adventure.)
32. Hamilton Jane _A Map of the World_ (Would probably mean more to me now that I’m a mother.)
33. Bixler Susan
34. Cowen Lauren and Jayne Wexler _Daughters and Mothers_ (So I’m not the only one that is more attached to her mother than her father.)
35. Gould Stephen Jay _The Mismeasure of Man_ (Biases hiding in science.)
36. Cook Robin _Chromosome 6_ (Interesting premise about raising animals for organ harvest.)
37. Krakauer John _Into Thin Air_ (Was going through a period of armchair adventure travel.)
38. Krakauer John _Eiger Dreams_ (Actually thought I might like to hike the base of the Himalayas. Have come to my senses now.)
39. Krakauer J _Into The Wild_ (Another strange guy vanishes into the air.)
40. Crichton M _Airframe_ (Boring.)
41. Glassman Bernard and Rick Fields _Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters_ (The only thing I learned was that a person changes from second to second. Don’t assume that people are the same forever.)
42. Graham Katherine _Personal History_ (A privileged life.)
43. Bryson Bill _A Walk in the Woods_ (Hilarious and educational read about hiking the Appalachian Trail.)
44. Lewis CS _Till We Have Faces_ (Recommended by a Christian friend.)
45. Follett Ken _Pillars of the Earth_ (I like books that chronicle the generations of a family.)
46. Douglas John and Mark Olshaker _Mindhunter. Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit_ Lisa Drew/Scribner (Maybe being an FBI agent would be interesting.)
47. Wells Rebecca _Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood_ (Friendships are important.)
48. Romano Ray _Everything and a Kite_ (Love Ray and everything he does, but this book was inane.)
49. Albomb Mitch _Tuesdays With Morrie_ (Made me cry. The book is far better than the movie.)
50. Golden Arthur _Memoirs of a Geisha_ (Fascinating details. Plan to read again now that I know what Japan is really like.)
51. Quindlen Anna _One True Thing_ (Tear jerker. Movie’s good too.)
52. Robbins-Roth Cynthia _Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower_ (Got me interested in regulatory affairs.)
53. Palmer Michael _Miracle Cure_ (Don’t like this author’s writing.)
54. Quindlen Anna _What I Learned From Reading_ (Fun to learn what reading means to an avid reader and writer. Her recommended book lists at the end are interesting too.)
55. Palin Michael _Around the World in Eighty Days_ (He’s a crack-up and it’s fun to read his perspectives on traveling.)
56. Letts Billie _Where The Heart Is_ (Interesting book with some terrible plot twists.)
57. Gibbons Kaye _A Virtuous Woman_ (Touching story of a marriage. Short.)
58. Chang Iris _The Rape of Nanking_ (Unbelievable war atrocities.)
59. Austen Jane _Sense and Sensibility_ (I get this confused with Pride and Prejudice.)
60. Huff Darrell _How To Lie With Statistics_ (Simplistic.)
61. Steingarten Jeff _The Man Who Ate Everything_ (Great writing. Interesting explanations of food-related topics.)
62. Harr Jonathan _A Civil Action_ (People suffer while the law drags on.)
63. Fielding Helen _Bridget Jones’s Diary_ (A riot. Loved the movie too especially the fight scene between Mark and the buttheadb boss.)
64. Tolstoy Leo _Anna Karenina_ (She should have thrown herself under the train sooner.)
65. Editors _The Best of Outside_ (Still into armchair adventure travelling.)
66. Cook Robin _Toxin_ (Decided that Cook books are too simplistic and written for the popular audience who generally have less than 10 brain cells.)
67. Mah Adeline Yen _Falling Leaves_ (Crappy writing. Didn’t feel particularly sympathetic toward her plight with a wicked stepmother.)
68. Kingsolver Barbara _The Bean Trees_ (Good writing. Forgettable story.)
69. Reichs Kathy _Deja Dead_ (Mystery’s not my thing.)
70. Liftin Hillary & Kate Montgomery _Dear Exile_ (Loved the concept. Tried to start a similar project with friends.)
71. Stanley Thomas J & William D Danko _The Millionaire Next Door_ (It’s the modest living folks who really have the wealth. Those high rollers are probably living paycheck to paycheck.)
72. Binchy Maeve _Tara Road_ (Warm and fuzzy writing even if predictable.)
73. Smiley Jane _The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton_ (Fantastic story about a brave woman living in tough times. Enjoyed the historical details.)
74. Salzman Mark _Lost in Place_ (Hilarious memoir of an average geeky kid.)
75. Theroux Paul _Riding The Iron Rooster_ (Theroux’s writing can’t be beat. Don’t think I could wander around aimlessly all over the place and be able to make so many interesting observations.)
76. Woolf Virginia _The Years_ (Read it because my Japanese English student was reading it. Later convinced her to change to the following Bantock trilogy books.)
77. Bantock Nick _The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy_ (Interesting love story with beautiful artwork.)
78. Quindlen Anna _Black and Blue_ (Typical story of domestic violence. Didn’t really make an impression on me.)
79. Archer Jeffrey _Twelve Red Herrings_ (Read it for the same Japanese English student mentioned in 76.)
80. Tan Amy ed. _The Best American Short Stories 1999_ (I’m not a fan of short stories.)
81. Dickens Charles _Bleak House_ (This may have been my first Dickens book. Now I can understand why his writing was so popular when it was first released as a serial.)
82. McCourt Frank _Angela’s Ashes_ (Had a hard time getting going because of the thick Irish brogue. The depths of these people’s poverty and standard of living is hard to imagine.)
83. Smith Dodie _I Capture The Castle_ (Delightful, but maybe more suitable for young adults.)
84. Cunningham Michael _The Hours_ (Surprising.)
85. McBride James _The Color of Water_ (Not particularly memorable.)
86. Diamond Jared _Guns, Germs, and Steel_ (Fascinating theory of why the various continents developed at different rates depending on availability of animals to domesticate, spread of disease, inventions, etc.)
87. Rowling JK _Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone_ (Page turner.)
88. Kinder Gary _Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea_ (An esoteric topic made interesting.)
89. Tyler Anne _Breathing Lessons_ (May be more relevant for me when I’m in my 40’s.)
90. Kriska Laura _The Accidental Office Lady_ (Interesting account of a young woman’s experience in a Japanese company.)
91. Plath Sylvia _The Bell Jar_ (Superb writing. I felt as if I’d really had a taste of what it was like to have a nervous breakdown.)
92. Wiesel Elie _Night_ (Scary.)
93. Reichl Ruth _Tender at the Bone_ (Entertaining memoir with some interesting recipes.)
94. Rowling JK _Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets_ (Trying to read them all.)
95. Rowling JK _Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban_
96. Rowling JK _Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire_ (Very long.)
97. Kingsolver Barbara _Pigs in Heaven_ (Not particularly memorable.)
98. Woolf Virginia _Mrs. Dalloway_ (Stream of consciousness writing kind of confused me.)
99. Marquez Gabriel Garcia _One Hundred Years of Solitude_ (Weird. I know I must be missing a lot of the meaning.)
100. Segran Grace _Cheers to Life_ (A woman’s account of her battle with breast cancer. A little to cheerful.)
101. Green Jane _Bookends_ (Fluff.)
102. Barry Dave _Dave Barry Does Japan_ (He’s funnier than I thought, but still not that funny.)
103. Crittenden Danielle _What Our Mothers Didn’t Tells Us_
104. O’Nan Stewart _A Prayer for the Dying_
105. Erickson Carolly _The First Elizabeth_
106. Kinsella Sophie _The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopacholic_
107. Schlink Bernard _The Reader_
108. Hasegawa Katsuyuki _Secrets of the Japanese_
109. Shenk David _Data Smog_
110. Fielding Helen _Bridget Jones:The Edge of Reason_
111. Lee Kuan Yew _From Third World to First:The Singapore Story 1965-2000_
112. Jin Ha _Waiting_
113. Basalla Susan and MAggie Debelius _”So What Are You Going To Do With That?”: A Guide to CAreer-Changing for MA’s and PhD’s_
114. Theroux Paul _The Old Patagonian Express_
115. Irving John _A Widow for a Year_
116. Mary McGarry Morris _Songs in Ordinary Time_
117. Ed. Shields Carol & Marjorie Anderson _Dropped Threads_
118. McCarthy Cormac _All the Pretty Horses_
119. McGrayne Sharon Bertsch _Nobel Prize Winning Women in Science_
120. Suzuki David and Keibo Oiwa _The Other Japan_
121. Whitehead Colson _The Intuitionist_
122. Bourdain Anthony _Kitchen Confidential_
123. Brin David _The Postman_
124. Ridley Matt _Genome_
125. Ishiguro Kazuo _When We Were Orphans_
126. Gladwell Malcolm _The Tipping Point_
English short stories lent by Ikegami Sensei
127. Roberts Cokie _We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters_
128. Clancy Tom _Executive Orders_
129. Theroux Paul _The Mosquito Coast_
130. Crichton Michael _Timeline_
131. Groopman Jerome _The Measure of Our Days_
132. Kneale Mattew _English Passengers_
133. Bradley Marion Zimmer _Mists of Avalon_
134. Cussler Clive _Atlantis Found_
135. Nasar Sylvia _A Beautiful Mind_
136. Orlean Susan _The Orchid Thief_
137. Iovine Vicki _The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy_
138. John le Carre _The Constant Gardener_
139. Iovine Vicki _The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood_
140. Brooks David _Bobos in Paradise_
141. Cohen Robert _Inspired Sleep_
142. Tamaro Janet _So that’s what they’re for! Breastfeeding Basics_
143. Nielsen Jerri _Ice Bound_
144. Maguire Gregory _Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister_
145. Bateson Mary Catherine _Peripheral Vision_
146. Kraus Nicola & Emma McLaughlin _The Nanny Diaries_
147. Powell Colin _My American Journey_
148. Krouse Erika _Come Up and See Me Sometime_
149. Ehrenreich Barbara _Nickel and Dimed_
150. Thompson Michael _Raising Boys_
151. Miyabe Miyuki _All She Was Worth_
152. Good Nights
153. Our Babies, Ourselves
154. Lord of the Rings, Book 1
155. Cold Mountain
156. A Perfect Arrangement by Suzanne Berne
157. Lord of the Rings, Book 2 Two Towers
158. Loving Your Child Is Not Enough
159. The Red Tent
160. A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk
161. Who Moved My Cheese
162. Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Bumgarner Norma Jean
163. The Continuum Concept
164. I Don’t Know How She Does It
165. Fast Food Nation
165. The Lord of the Rings Book 3
166. Touchpoints Book 1, Birth to 3 by Brazelton
167. Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
168. Child of Mine
169. Dive Off Clausen’s Pier
170. Filthy Rich
171. Playful Parenting
172. Suzanne’s Diary For Nicholas
173. Girlfriends’ Guide to Toddlers by Vicki Iovine
174. The Emotional Life of the Toddler
175. Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
176. Raising Your Spirited Child by Kurcinka
177. Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
178. Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing by Ted Conover
179. The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden
180. The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt (Hard to get into. Really a way for the author to show off all the trivia she knows.)
181. The Weblog Handbook by Rebecca Blood (Interesting history of blogging and some valuable tips.)
182. The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger
183. Toddler edited by Jennifer Margulis (We’re not alone.)
184. Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam by Robert Templer (Communism is destructive.)
185. Global Woman : Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy by Arlie Russell Hochschild (Editor), Barbara Ehrenreich (Editor) (It’s hard to be on either end of the stick.)
186. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Simplistic plot, but fun to decode.)
187. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (Creative and beautiful.)
188. How Children Learn by John Holt (Insightful and liberating ideas.)
189. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Lush writing, but disturbing content.)
190. Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson (Nobody’s story is too boring to record.)
191. Backlash by Susan Faludi
We’ve got a long way to go, baby.
192. Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Getting a glimpse of how people lived in the past is fascinating to me mostly because I don’t know if I could have survived living the way they did. Focusing on a town suffering from an outbreak of plague, this book plunged me straight into the mid 1600’s. The story is gripping, and even though the writing is a bit flowery (I would be embarrassed to write that way), it helped paint the scenery vividly in my mind. The plot is definitely engrossing because I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish the book.
193. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
As expected, very flattering portrayal of herself and Bill Clinton. I wish I were half as intelligent and charismatic.
194. The Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey
I couldn’t wait to find out who dun it, but as usual, murder mysteries leave me dissatisfied. I just don’t enjoy the writing style.
195. Life Strategies by Dr. Phillip C. McGraw
Nothing earth shattering. But I could use all the help I can get to become a better person. See this entry for more on this book.
196. The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp
Excellent, practical advice for parenting toddlers and helpful insights into their behavior.
197. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Both believable and unbelievable at the same time. Fantastic tale.
198. Who’s Irish? by Gish Jen
Her characterization of people, not just Chinese-Americans, is spot-on.
199. On Writing Well by William Zinsser
Full of concrete examples and tips. Easy to read and understand.
200. Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
Entertaining and captivating just like the previous 4 in the series. Too bad I’ll forget almost all of the plot in just a few weeks.
201. The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
I am constantly looking up words and would be lost without one. So, it’s hard for me to imagine that dictionaries haven’t always been available to readers and writers. This is a fascinating account of how dictionaries came to be and along with it, the story of some remarkable people involved in making the great English dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary.
202. The Changeling Plague by Syne Mitchell
Packed full of molecular bio and IT details. Writing isn’t bad and the story provocative.
203. Between Mothers and Sons Ed. by Patricia Stevens
Powerful. Moving. Each essay a writing showcase. Gave me a frightening glimpse into the future.
204. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
Didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Truly suspenseful. Also enjoyed the writing. Made me feel as if I was standing right next to the characters.
205. The Art of Happiness by HH the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, MD
Amazing insights into human nature. Happiness and pleasure are not the same thing.
206. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Brings important attention to a neglected part of the world. Great writing. Hard to get into, but well worth the effort. See post.
207. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
The seminal work of the feminist movement. Some of the data presented are dated, but surprisingly (or not), much about the gender divide hasn’t changed. I didn’t agree with her some of views on how best to lead a happy life, however. She focuses on the woman’s happiness more than the children’s claiming that kids are always at a disadvantage when their mothers spend too much time with them.
208. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
And oldie but goodie. Written in the 60’s, it was amazingly prophetic. I hope we’re not headed for the same ending as in the book.
209. As the Future Catches You by Juan Enrique
Interesting read if only for the trivia he presents. General premise that technology is good. The weird type font was annoying and choppy writing style was annoying.
210. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Now I can see what everyone was raving about. Beautifully written with an intricate and surprising plot, I was on the verge of tears and love from beginning to end.
211. Balzac and The Little Seamstress by Da Sijie
Entertaining story full of hope that books have the power to change our lives. I need to read more about the Cultural Revolution because this book reminded me of what a strange and awful event it must have been.
212. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Punctuation is important, but boring. Truss is snarky, flippant, and annoying.
213. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Excellent summary of key philosophers and their philosophy BC and AC. Would have been helpful when I was taking my year-long philosophy series at Stanford freshman year.
214. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Brought back some fond and not-so-fond memories. Was some of what was described in the book really happening while I was in college?
215. The Bitch in the House by Cathi Hanauer
A collection of well-written essays from women in different walks of life. Found a lot to identify with esp. the rage within associated with the stereotypical female role in marriage and parenting.
216. Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
A fun, testosterone-powered action adventure novel.
217. Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
I was almost finished with the book before I realized that Marv and I had seen the volcano from Bali in 2001.
218. A Little Stranger by Kate Pullinger
I could identify with this frazzled mum up until she ran away. Strangely compelling.
219. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
I read it because we’d just moved to London. Bryson clearly loves Britain but he can be downright mean sometimes.
220. Saturday by Ian McEwan
Beautiful prose. Both intense and rhapsodic.
221. Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph
Lighthearted but also sobering. Makes me even more worried about Stephen’s future as a boy and man.
222. Watching the English by Kate Fox
Deathly boring at times but taught me a lot about the English/British way of thinking and behaving.
223. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
Hard to get into it at the beginning but I cried when it ended. A surprising love story.
224. The Universe in a Single Atom : The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by The Dalai Lama
A reminder that current scientific methods are not capable of investigating everything including consciousness, spirituality, and artistic talent.
225. Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan
I am now grateful that Marv hasn’t been posted to more “exotic” places. Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, and London seem pretty tame when compared to the places Brigid Keenan lived in as she trailed her diplomat husband.
226. Prey by Michael Crichton
As fast paced as all his other books. I learned quite a bit about nanotechnology.
227. Anxious Parents by Peter N. Stearns
Slow going because of its academic tone but an interesting look back on the history of parenting concerns in the U.S. Didn’t include attachment parenting, though, which would have been an interesting comparison with traditional ways of parenting.
228. The Odyssey Gene by Kfir Luzzatto
A spooky reflection of what’s going on in the Middle East with Israel and Lebanon.
229. March by Geraldine Brooks
For anyone who has ever loved Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I used to love the name Josephine because of this book.
230. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
As entertaining and thrilling as always.
231. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Shockingly amazing. Makes me wonder if there’s any way to keep our loved ones safe.
232. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
I’d never make it in the high fashion industry.
233. My Life by Bill Clinton
He’s brilliant but a person just like the rest of us.
234. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Quick, interesting read. Lots of trivia that have important implications in our lives.
235. No One Cares What You Had for Lunch by Margaret Mason
Some great blog prompts that helped give me some ideas.
236. This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson
Fantastic writing, fantastic story. My woeful lack of knowledge about Darwin, The Beagle, and Captain Fitzroy has been corrected. Now I can’t wait to read more and learn more at the Natural History Museum’s Darwin Centre and perhaps even visit Fitzroy’s historical home
237: What Was Asked of Us by Trish Wood
A much needed wake-up call telling us the personal side of the Iraq War. More about the book here.
238. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
As much a book about an autistic boy as it is about family, science, and the wonder of the universe. Kristina has more at Autism Vox.
239. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell has a great gift for tying bits of interesting trivia into one coherent thought. I don’t know that I believe so much in my abilities to “thin slice” situations and people esp. knowing how dangerous that can be but at least I’m more aware of it now.
240. The Hunter by Asa Nonami
Translated from a Japanese novel first published 1996, parts of the book will feel dated for anyone who has any familiarity with Japan in the past 10 years. Without ruining the plot, I just have to ask: Were there no fire sprinklers in the restaurant? Did no one know where the fire extinguisher was? Why did no one care about the burning man?
241. The Power of Nice by Linda Kaplan Thaler,Robin Koval
Too similar to Blink with many parts lifted straight out!
242. Madame Secretary by Madeleine Albright
Impressive and inspiring woman. Some parts recounting the Middle East negotiations were in excruciating detail.
243. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
Funny and utterly ridiculous.
244. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Motherhood for better or worse.
245. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Almost made me cry on BART.
246. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Beautiful, surreal, kept me up at night.
247. Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins
Helpful examples and tips on how to encourage our kids on their journey of lifelong learning.
248. Introducing Darwin by Jonathan Mill and Borin Van Loon
An illustrated guide to Darwin’s scientific career and theories on evolution.
249. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
It was fine mindless reading and I learned a little about cryptography. No need to pick apart the plot of beautiful and superintelligent woman, handsome powerful men fighting over her, and mystery and intrigue. That’s what this genre is all about!
250. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Totally engrossing. I have never been so glad to be a Chinese woman living in the 21st century outside of China.
251. A Book Addict’s Treasury by Julie Rugg & Lynda Murphy
Some good excerpts on people’s reading habits and obsession with books but also an awful lot of boring ones.
252. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
More suitable for writers of fiction but some of her insights on the writing life are gems.
253. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
I’m going to miss them. Having a series like this is a once in a lifetime experience.
254.The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (Myths) by Margaret Atwood
A tongue-in-cheek, sly retelling of an old myth. Had me laughing!
255. A Time to Run by Barbara Boxer with Mary-Rose Hayes
Totally pointless yet totally compelling. Reminds me of the year I spent volunteering for Barbara Boxer’s first Senate campaign in 1992.
256. The Agile Gene by Matt Ridley
Engaging but really dense with facts.
257. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
A powerful thesis that played a bit too much like a soap opera but that’s what kept me turning the pages.
258. A Forever Family by John Houghton
A sad, frightening, and impressive cautionary tale for adoptive families.
259. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
No matter who we are, our families go a long way towards determining the life we’ll experience both through biology and through our upbringing.
260. Survival of the Sickest by Sharon Moalem and Jonathan Prince
The premise of the book is interesting but the writing style is not my cup of tea. I don’t like the overly casual conversational style and unnecessary asides. While reading, I want to scream: “Get to the point!!”
261. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People by Toby Young
Great insider story about the world of magazine publishing. Dashes all hope.
262. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
It could happen. How far is science going to go?
263. The Innocent by Harlan Coben
Crime thrillers are usually not my thing but I keep getting enticed into reading them anyway. I wanted to read a Harlan Coben book because he was featured in The Atlantic and the article mentioned that Bill Clinton’s a fan. Yes. I’m a groupie.
264. The Secret River by Kate Grenville
For me, this was a follow-up read to one of my all time favorite books – This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson. Secret River did not disappoint with its themes of greed, selfishness, and power set against the struggles of new settlers in Australia tainted by their criminal pasts.
265. After Dolly: The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning by Ian Wilmut and Roger Highfield
Scientists will especially appreciate Ian Wilmut’s description of the research process leading up to the successful cloning of Dolly. The thoughtful book takes a difficult, but highly relevant, scientific topic and renders it easy to understand without dumbing ideas down.
266. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
An important reminder of the horrors of violence against women around the world. Not sure the play translated well to book format. The best part of the book for me was her autographed inscription to my sister and me: Bless your vaginas.
267. Digging to America by Anne Tyler
Brought up a lot of complicated, previously unacknowledged feelings in me as an immigrant to the US at age 6 – fear, shame, pride, denial, gratitude….
268. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Amazingly lucid. Bauby, who suffered a massive stroke and had locked-in syndrome, shares his world with us through flicks of his left eyelid. It’s too cheesy to say that the book inspires even though it did. In the end, it has nothing to do with us but was all about Bauby’s life. And really, that’s more than enough.
269. May Contain Nuts by John O’Farrell
Only parents who’ve ever had their children enrolled in the UK school system can understand the dilemmas of going public vs private. John O’Farrell makes laughing stock out of all of our neuroses. A much needed kick in the rear!
270. The Teeth of the Tiger by Tom Clancy
Another exciting book in the Ryanverse series this time featuring Jack Ryan’s son, Jack Jr., and his cousins. Even brought a tear to my eye not least because it’s probably the last in the series.
271. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Not being an English major and being barely able to remember the “great English literature” we read in high school, it was hard getting into the novel esp. given its scholarly style of writing. The most important thing is that the book humanized Iran for me and I learned more about the plight of women there.
272. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
Crime, post-traumatic stress disorder, literature…. People living in post-Civil War 19th century had much the same concerns as those of us living in the 21st century. Although I wish we had more poetry in our lives now as they seem to have had. I was so into this murder mystery that I had to take it out to brunch on Sunday so I could find out whodunnit.
273. Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn
Lesson #1 Extrinsic motivation is bad and can destroy intrinsic motivation. Lesson #2 People don’t like to be controlled or manipulated even with rewards. Problem: Removing punishments and rewards is hard to put into practice. I personally think everything in moderation would be fine.
274. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
History is better learned through historical fiction like this. Details of everyday life and hazards set against the backdrop of the American Revolution plus a generous dose of romance and debauchery. An addictive 1400+ pages!
275. Tough Choices: A Memoir by Carly Fiorina
Heavy on the business jargon. Good reading for those with an MBA. Not so interesting for those of us without. I had hoped to learn more about her personal life and motivations but was left wanting.
276. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
At first I was chortling over the Chinglish and astute observations of the FOB (fresh off the boat) girl from China, e.g., demon-strators but the book is not about immigrant confusion. It’s about love: from loneliness to resentful love, empty love, desperate love, estranged love, reckless love,…. I read the book in one night and haven’t stopped thinking about it.
277. Curious Minds ed. by John Brockman
Brilliant! Stories of childhood from scientists of all types. Goes to show that anyone can become a scientist if they have the right mind and opportunities regardless of upbringing.
278. Inheritance by Lan Samantha Chang
Inheritance is a family saga told through years and generations in China during the period surrounding Communist takeover. The one big annoyance for me in this book was the use of Mandarin Chinese terms when English words could have been used. Even though I could understand the words used, it was off putting and most likely more so for those who don’t speak the language.
279. Cross Stitch (Outlander in the US) by Diana Gabaldon
Now I know how it all started and it’s just as interesting as I thought it would be – time travel, romance, Scottish-English history.
280. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
More Jamie and Claire adventures. Can’t. Stop. Reading.
281. Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Full of the how’s and why’s of human relationships as it relates to brain function. Hoping it’s not too late to rewire my social brain.
282. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
Continuing this amazing series. See #279 for the first.
283. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Another well-researched investigative non-fiction into the history of the Mormon Church with emphasis on the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints Church (FLDS). Read it because of recent news about the raid of a polygamous compound in El Dorado, Texas. Their world is beyond my understanding.
284. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Totally disjointed with some small nuggets of amusing insight.
285. Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh
This book made math intriguing, fun, relevant, and most importantly, understandable.
286. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
A must-read for book lovers touching on all aspects of a reader’s life.
287. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeff Zaslow
A self-proclaimed recovering jerk, Dr. Pausch’s touching life experiences are incredibly inspiring.
288. The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8 Lee
Fun history of the fortune cookie and Chinese-American food as well as Chinese-American culture. Chinese-Americans will find much to identify with.
289. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
290. The Sushi Economy by Sasha Issenberg
291. Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello
292. Longitude by Dava Sobel
293. Leap of Faith by Queen Noor
Extremely readable personal account of adapting to a totally different lifestyle and a different perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
294. Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
Well written. Some excellent observations about what it’s like to raise a child in the 21st century.
295. Relative Strangers by Mary Loudon
296. Crisis by Robin Cook
Not worth the time.
297. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
No one lives a perfect life but life is still worth living.
298. Man and Wife by Tony Parsons
Mistakes in marriage can still be overcome. (Hope neither Marv nor I make the mistakes the people make in this book!)
299. Screamfree Parenting by Hal Runkel
300. Escape by Carolyn Jessop and Laura Palmer
Unbelievable abuse in the FLDS.
301. The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
I am Amy.
302. Audition by Barbara Walters
I was not a fan before but now I think Barbara Walters rocks!
303. Mother on Fire by Sandra Tsing Loh
If you’re as amused by cursing as I am and as consumed by parenting, this book is for you!
304. How to Be Good by Nick Hornby
Marital advice: Stay.
305. 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan
306-309 Assorted parenting books
310. Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
311. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
312. Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
313. The Trouble with Boys by Peg Tyre
314. The Daily Five by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser
315. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
316. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Gorgeous and heart breaking.
317. Perfection by Julie Metz
Brutally honest and inspiring.
318. The End of Overeating by David Kessler
Change the way we think and stop being automatons about eating.
319. Genetic Rounds by Robert Marion
Personal stories from a medical geneticist. A must-read for anyone who is fascinated by genetics
320 . Columbine by Dave Cullen
Scary scary scary and very sad. I feel tremendous sympathy for parents of the shooters.
321. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
The perfect follow-up read to Columbine. Gets pretty intense, though.
322. The Mile Hi! Club by Janet Chew
323. Parallel Play by Time Page
Life isn’t always lineary nor all roses but it can still be well lived.
324. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
325. Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison
326. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Like watching a train wreck. Riveting but more than a little sickening.
327. Dry by Augusten Burroughs
328. Intuition by Allegra Goodman
Thought it was a medical drama but it’s actually a research lab drama instead. Awesome.
329. The Ubiquitous Persuaders by George Parker
All about the advertising world…from a cynic’s point of view.
330. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
331. Run Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell, Sarah Bowen Shea
332. Running: Getting Started by Jeff Galloway
333. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
334. Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running by Dagny Scott Barrios
335. Linchpin by Seth Godin
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