Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011, My Year of The Big Read

For 2011, my goal is to read 26 books. I am really hoping that I can have a stellar year of reading and bypass that number early on. Also, if you're on Shelfari, find me (http://www.shelfari.com/awdylanis) and save me from the site always telling me that my profile isn't done because I don't have enough friends (stupid judgmental site!).

1: The Year of Yes - Maria Dahvana

My mom suggested this book to me. This is a supposed memoir, which I only sort of believe because parts of it feel so embellished for impact. The main character, annoyed with her current dating pool, decides to say yes to anyone who asks her. It was a fun read and definitely made me laugh a lot, but I spent a large portion of the time wondering how she did not get herself murdered.

2: Stuff White People Like

A co-worker loaned me this one, which is based on the website of the same name. It was funny, but in my true casperesque-whiteness, I did find myself feeling a little defensive now and then. Starbucks IS cool and my music tastes suit me just fine! Ha, but honestly, considering that it sat on my bedside table for about 6 months half read, I feel like it probably made a much better website.

3: The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight - LJ Smith

To quote The Avett Brothers... shame, boat loads of shame. Yes, I am one of those grown up women who fall prey to all the crazy teenage vampire novels. I would try to explain the plot, but it’s like 9 books in and unless you’re reading them, they won’t make any kind of sense. All I can say is that the night I finished this book, I was inconsolably bawling my eyes out (hope that doesn’t spoil anything for anyone). The last few books in this series have been so much fun, and I am heartbroken to learn that they fired LJ Smith and will have a ghost writer complete the series. I’d say that I’d stop reading them, but I’m little more hooked on bad boy Damon than I would like to admit.

4: Bossypants - Tina Fey

This book is just Tina Fey being Tina Fey. As with any girl in my demographic, Tina Fey is my hero. I obsessively read this book in less than 24 hours. I remember sitting at Starbucks at lunch (hey! I should get a free drink or something for my numerous mentions of Starbucks) and about falling out of my chair because I was laughing so hard. I think the cool thing about Tina Fey is that she just seems like a cool person to hang out with. I would also like to be invited to her Manhattan Christmas.

5: The Hunger Games, 6: Catching Fire, 7: Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

I followed up the Tina Fey reading sprint with a three day marathon of the Hunger Games trilogy. I don’t even know how to describe these books without making them sound silly, weird, or gruesome, but there was something about the writing and the characters that just completed pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go. The books haunted me for days after reading them. I adore reading a story that can do that to me.

8: Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen

I was never particularly interested in knowing what it is like living in a nursing home or in a circus, but I still found this book fascinating. It felt really genuine, but I did spend a lot of time contemplating how much I didn’t think that Robert Pattinson or Reese Witherspoon fit their roles. In the end, I fell in love with the elephant and I spent far too long afterwards contemplating why I hadn’t ever considered becoming a vet.

9: Just Kids - Patti Smith

I picked up the memoir of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe on a whim. I didn’t know too much about either of their lives or their work, but I saw that most of it happened in New York City. I have never wanted a time machine so badly in all of my life. While reading, I dreamed of running away to be with my people (I have dubbed them in my mind to be of similar dispositions). Even more interesting is that I’m heading to NYC in a few weeks and it has now become my purpose to finally see the Chelsea Hotel. In addition, Patti Smith has quite a way with words. She knows how to make the story true and real for her readers. Again, I knew what was coming at the end - I knew of Mapplethorpe’s fate and the beginning of the book even tells you, but I was still completely heartbroken... and again sobbing.

10: When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead

I love children’s literature and after the intensity of Just Kids, I needed something a little bit lighter. This book, with a subtle hint at syfy and mystery, a NYC setting, and the awesome third element of the $10,000 Pyramid, was a fun and an engaging read. I loved the main character Miranda and enjoyed figuring out what was going to happen. Good times.

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