38. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It's not the height of literature, but boy, does she have the teenage girl DOWN.
37. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by someone whose name has been lost in the last 700ish years, translated from the Middle English by Burton Raffel. My students read a short excerpt, so I reread the whole thing to get what they were missing. Their book likes to leave out important information.
36. The Solomon Sisters Wise Up by Melissa Senate. I really liked this one. The ending was a little too pat, but otherwise, it was very good.
35. More All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor. I read all of these books as a kid. They were about a Jewish immigrant family, originally living on the Lower East Side in New York in the early 20th century and having five sisters (all of a kind) and later a brother. I stole this copy from my 3rd grade teacher, which doesn't exactly fill me with pride. I do love these books! They're such sweet stories and they're history.
34. The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. I loved this book and I was so sad when it was over!
33. Girls Night by Stef Ann Holm. I think I got this in a lot of chick lit books on eBay a few years ago. I had it in my workout bag and it took me 2 years to read. I would read a few pages while I was waiting for Ryan to finish and I never really wanted to keep reading in the car on the way home. It was dreadful. It was a romance, but the man had a whole side plot about being a true-crime writer and that part of the book just never really fit. And then there was the sex scene. The now-infamous (at least at my house) Panty Elastic sex scene. "Swiftly, he hooked his hand around her panty elastic and brought the panties down her legs." Um. Not so hot.
32. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I kind of got stuck in the middle and then I sped through the rest of it. Loved it.
31. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue. A beautiful, haunting book
30. Mike, Mike & Me by Wendy Markham. A "one who got away" novel about what-if
29. Murderers Prefer Blondes by Amanda Matetsky. Cute chick lit mystery
28. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh.
27. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. This is the first time I've ever read the actual unabridged version. I definitely enjoyed it and I was interested in the little social comments throughout. The fate of Milady was stunning to my early-21st century sensibilities.
26. The Hunt by Jennifer Sturman. #4 in a fun series of chick-lit mysteries.
25. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. I got this out of the book room and thought that the kids might enjoy it. Gangs and such. They were really sad we didn't finish it. I did, though, while they were taking their finals today. Great book. And Brighton Rock is candy.
24. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. I had never read it and I enjoyed it. My students weren't sure at first but most of them ended up not hating it. It helped once they realized that it wasn't just a romance.
23. Little Lady, Big Apple by Hester Browne. A fun sequel and I'm glad that I read it now when I have the third one in the series right next to me.
22. Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman.
21. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Another summer school choice. The kids really got into it and I had forgotten how it ended, so we had a good time.
20. As You Like It by Shakespeare. I read this with my summer school class. They seemed to like it.
19. Murder in the Cathedral by T.S.Eliot. I had to break up the chick lit festival with a play by a Nobel Prize-winner. I found it to be very good. We all show our kids Becket before we read (parts of) The Canterbury Tales and this was another perspective on it. Obviously, it was about more than just one man and his struggle, as is most good literature.
18. The Matchbreaker by Chris Manby. I hate, hate, HATED the character until about 200 pages in. The last 1/3 of the book was better. Still a fun story, but it's going on the Paperback Swap list.
17. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman. Beautiful and horrifying. I couldn't put it down.
16. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Four times.
15. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.
14. See Jane Date by Melissa Senate. Finally read it--and loved it.
13. Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health, and Happiness — Before, During, and After Pregnancy by Dr. Lucy Puryear. This book was very informative and helpful. I really liked her tone. She is very compassionate and knowledgeable.
12. First Comes Love by Whitney Lyles. The same character from Always the Bridesmaid. I liked that she seemed to have some concept of what pregnancy might be about. I get so tired of all of the women in books who apparently had no sex ed, read no books, knew no one who had a baby ever or even watched no TV or movies.
11. Un-Bridaled. Surprisingly good. I thought it would be more fluffy.
10. Mood and Anxiety Disorders During Pregnancy and Postpartum, Lee S. Cohen, MD and Ruta M. Nonacs, MD,PhD, editors. Lots of good info. It seems a little more hopeful. Something about depression in a depressed mother causing chemical/hormonal changes that are harmful to a developing baby. Interesting thought, if it's true.
9. Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum. I wanted to like this. I really, really did. Come on: Paris, New Orleans, lingerie--what's not to like? Well, the book just dragged and dragged and by the end I almost didn't care if they found what they were looking for or not. And don't get me started on, "...making love, tasting love, feeling love." Blah. And no, this wasn't a "throbbing member" kind of book. Ah well.
8. Love You to Death by Melissa Senate. Such a fun chick-lit mystery. The author says the sequel is on hold because she felt compelled to write about different characters. I can handle that.
7. Extracurricular Activities by Maggie Barbieri. Also lots of fun. Ties to the first book.
6. Murder 101 by Maggie Barbieri. Chick lit mystery. A fun bit of fluff. An English professor and an attractive cop. No sex, but lots of longing. And I have the 2nd one already checked out from the library.
5. Candide by Voltaire. This one was a re-read, of course. My kids read the most boring portion that the textbook editors could find, so I had to read the rest to find some juicy bits to read to them.
4. Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read it the first time in 1990 when I was living in the Soviet Union. I was 16 and it was electrifying. This time it was still moving and I could see beyond the original analogy.
1. The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton. Yes, I'll admit that I'd never read it. When we were in Tulsa, Ryan took me by all the sites from the book and the movie, which I have only seen part of, by the way. I checked the book out of the school library and truly enjoyed it. 1/8/08