Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Books Read in 2008

Here's a list of the books I read this year:

202. The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America's Most Haunted House by Frances Kermeen (12/31/08)
201. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (12/28/08)
200. Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane (12/24/08)
199. The Great God Pan by Donna Jo Napoli (12/23/08)
198. Best Dog Stories by varied authors (12/23/08)
197. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (12/22/08)
196. A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton (12/20/08)
195. Song of the Wanderer by Bruce Coville (12/5/08)
194. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (11/26/08)
193. Picture Bride by Yoshiko Uchida (11/19/08)
192. Dream Saga #1 by Megumi Tachikawa (11/16/08)
191. Fruits Basket #1 by Natsuki Takaya (11/14/08)
190. Angelic Layer #1 by Clamp (11/13/08)
189. Star in the Storm by Joan Hiatt Harlow (11/13/08)
188. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (11/11/08)
187. The Strand Prophecy by J.B.B. Winner (11/10/08)
186. This Our Dark Country: The American Settlers of Liberia by Catherine Reef (11/8/08)
185. The Sweet, Far Thing by Libba Bray (11/9/08)
184. Into The Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville (10/24/08)
183. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (10/18/08)
182. Two Girls of Gettysburg by Lisa Klein (10/18/08)
181. The Egypt Game by Zipha Keatley Snyder (10/18/08)
180. Maximum Ride: School's Out--Forever by James Patterson (10/18/08)
179. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (10/18/08)
178. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (10/10/08)
177. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (10/7/08)
176. Robert E. Lee by James I. Robertson Jr. (9/26/08)
175. Ulysses S. Grant by Steven O'Brien (9/24/08)
174. W.I.T.C.H. Meridian Magic (9/23/08)
173. Warriors: Eclipse by Erin Hunter (9/22/08)
172. Coyote by Catherine Reid (9/21/08)
171. Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle (9/11/08)
170. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (9/5/08)
169. For Love of Insects by Thomas Eisner (9/5/08)
168. The Seer of Shadows by Avi (9/2/08)
167. Eyewitness Books: Civil War (8/31/08)
166. Triskellion by Will Peterson (8/31/08)
165. 11,ooo Years Lost by Peni R. Griffin (8/28/08)
164. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (8/25/08)
163. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller (8/25/08)
162. Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce (8/24/08)
161. Nancy Drew Ghost Stories by Carolyn Keene (8/23/08)
160. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz (8/22/08)
159. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (8/21/08)
158. Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan (8/19/08)
157. Witch-Hunt by Marc Anderson (8/17/08)
156. All the Cats of Cairo by Inda Schaenen (8/15/08)
155. The President's Daughter by Ellen Emerson White (8/13/08)
154. Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst (8/12/08)
153. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (8/10/08)
152. The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (8/7/08)
151. I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn (8/5/08)
150. Mathew Brady: His Life and Photographs by George Sullivan (8/5/08)
149. Everest by Gordon Korman (8/4/08)
148. All My Patients are Under the Bed by Louis J. Camuti (8/2/08)
147. The Fugitive Factor by Gordon Korman (7/31/08)
146. Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman (7/30/08)
145. The Princess and the Hound (7/29/08)
144. Lucy and Her Times by Paseal Pieg and Nicole Verrechia (7/27/08)
143. Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (7/26/08)
142. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (7/23/08)
141. Sunwing by Kenneth Oppel (7/21/08)
140. The Foxes of First Dark by Garry Kilworth (7/19/08)
139. Kidnapped: The Abduction by Gordon Korman (7/16/08)
138. Outfoxing Fear by Kathleen Ragan (7/15/08)
137. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (7/11/08)
136. From the Files of Madison Finn: Thanks for Nothing by Laura Dower (7/10/08)
135. From the Files of Madison Finn: Heart to Heart by Laura Dower (7/9/08)
134. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (7/8/08)
133. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (7/6/08)
132 Finishing Becca by Ann Rinaldi (7/2/08)
131. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (6/29/08)
130. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (6/29/08)
129. Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison (6/29/08)
128. Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (6/28/08)
127. Warriors: Outcast by Erin Hunter (6/28/08)
126. In The Serpent's Coils by Tiffany Trent (6/28/08)
125. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (6/28/08)
124. Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn (6/27/08)
123. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (6/27/08)
122. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane (2/26/08)
121. The Fire of Friendship by Elizabeth Lenhard (6/23/08)
120. Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn (6/23/08)
119. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (6/23/08)
118. The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin (6/23/08)
117. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (6/22/08)
116. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket (6/22/08)
115. Werewolves by Daniel Cohen (6/21/08)
114. Don't You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix (6/21/08)
113. The Grey King by Susan Cooper (6/21/08)
112. The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander (6/19/08)
111. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale (6/18/08)
110. What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire (6/17/08)
109. The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman (6/16/08)
108. 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson (6/15/08)
107. The Map That Breathed by Melanie Gideon (6/15/08)
106. The Life of Mammals by David Attenborough (6/14/08)
105. Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman (6/14/08)
104. Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold by varied authors (6/13/08)
103. Dragons: The Greatest Stories by varied authors (6/12/08)
102. Bright Shadow by Avi (6/10/08)
101. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordin (6/10/08)
100. Physik by Angie Sage (6/9/08)
99. Beauty by Robin McKinley (6/5/08)
98. A Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones (6/2/08)
97. Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones (5/31/08)
96. Greenwitch by Susan Cooper (5/27/08)
95. Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson (5/26/08)
94. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau (5/24/08)
93. Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins (5/23/08)
92. The Secret of the Golden Pavilion by Carolyn Keene (5/22/08)
91. The Haunted Bridge by Carolyn Keene (5/22/08)
90. The Clue of the Tapping Heels by Carolyn Keene (5/21/08)
89. The Wright 3 by Blue Balliet (5/20/08)
88. Ratha's Creature by Clare Bell (5/19/08)
87. Horns & Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson (5/14/08)
86. Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce (5/12/08)
85. Dragonsdale by Salamandra Drake (5/7/08)
84. The Rivers of Zadaa by DJ MacHale (5/6/08)
83. The Borrowers by Mary Norton (5/3/08)
82. Molly Moon, Micky Minus, and the Mind Machine by Georgia Byng (5/2/08)
81. The Human Lifecycle by Rufus Bellamy (5/1/08)
80. The Endocrine and Reproductive Systems by Melissa L. Kim (4/30/08)
79. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (4/30/08)
78. Finding Meridian by Elizabeth Lenhard (4/28/08)
77. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray (4/28/08)
76. Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang (4/20/08)
75. Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (4/19/08)
74. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (4/19/08)
73. Back to the Divide by Elizabeth Kay (4/18/08)
72. Ranger's Apprentice Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (4/ 17/08)
71. The Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said (4/16/08)
70. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville (4/16/08)
69. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (4/14/08)
68. Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech (4/14/08)
67. Vampire Plagues Book Three: Mexico, 1850 by Sebastan Rook (4/14/08)
66. The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann (4/13/08)
65. A Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales by various authors (4/11/08)
64. Icefire by Chris D'Lacey (4/11/08)
63. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (4/10/08)
62. Pieces of Georgia by Jen Bryant (4/10/08)
61. Mimus by Lilli Thal (4/10/08)
60. Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins (4/7/08)
59. The Real Benedict Arnold by Jim Murphy (4/7/08)
58. Starcross by Philip Reeve (4/5/08)
57. Dairy of a Fairy Godmother (3/28/08)
56. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (3/27/08)
55. No B.O.! The Head-to-Toe Book of Hygience for Preteens by Marguerite Crump (3/25/08)
54. Northlander by Meg Burden (3/23/08)
53. The Pirate and the Princess: The Timelight Stone by Mio Chizhuru (3/21/08)
52. The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene (3/21/08)
51. Rules by Cynthia Lord (3/20/08)
50. The Divide by Elizabeth Kay (3/19/08)
49. Beyond the Mississippi: Eary Westward Expansion of the United States by Angela M. Herb (3/17/08)
48. The Care and Keeping of You by Valorie Lee Schaefer (3/17/08)
47. The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey (3/16/08)
46. Amelia's War by Ann Rinaldi (3/14/08)
45. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (abridged version) by Jules Verne and retold by Diane Flynn Grund (3/12/08)
44. Stories of Young Pioneers by Violet T. Kimball (3/12/08)
43. The Alamo by Shelley Tanaka (3/12/08)
42. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (3/10/08)
41. The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono (3/9/08)
40. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (3/3/08)
39. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells (3/2/08)
38. I Was A Rat! by Philip Pullman (3/1/08)
37. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (2/29/08)
36. Trail of Tears: A Primary Source History of the Forced Relocation of the Cherokee Nation by Ann Byers (2/29/08)
35. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull (2/24/08)
34. Little Fur: A Fox Called Sorrow by Isobelle Carmody (2/22/08)
33. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (2/21/08)
32. The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine (2/20/08)
31. Urchin and the Heartstone (Mistmantle Chronicles) by M.I. McAllistor (2/20/08)
30. Vampire Plagues Book Two: Paris, 1850 by Sebastian Rook (2/19/08)
29. Assassin (Lady Grace Mysteries) by Patricia Finney (2/19/08)
28. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (2/19/08)
27. Sondok: Princess of the Moon and Stars by Sheri Holman (2/18/08)
26. Dinotopia: River Quest by John Vornholt (2/18/08)
25. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (2/18/08)
24. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (2/17/08)
23. Star Split by Kathryn Lasky (2/15/08)
22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (2/14/08)
21. The Giver by Lois Lowry (2/7/08)
20. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (2/6/08)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (2/2/08)
18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (1/31/08)
17. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (1/29/08)
16. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (1/28/08)
15. Little Fur: The Legend Begins by Isobelle Carmody (1/27/08)
14. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1/26/08)
13. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper (1/22/08)
12. Terrier (Beka Cooper series) by Tamora Pierce (1/21/08)
11. Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson (1/18/08)
10. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (1/15/08)
9. Poppy and Rye by Avi (1/14/08)
8. Underworld by Catherine MacPhail (1/12/08)
7. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (1/10/08)
6. Tithe by Holly Black (1/7/08)
5. Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The First Collier by Kathryn Lasky (1/5/08)
4. Dream Saga #1 by Megumi Tachikawa (1/5/08)
3. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne #2 by Arina Tanemura (1/4/08)
2. Larklight by Philip Reeve (1/3/08)
1. Fell by David Clement-Davies (1/1/08)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Yearling (book review)

The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, is the story of a young boy, Jody Baxter, who lives in the backwoods of Florida and must fight off panthers, bears, and wolves as he and his family struggle to make a living. The Baxters' nearest neighbors live four miles away, and they have a son nicknamed Fodder-wing. Fodder-wing harbors an intense love for all things wild, and he owns a baby raccoon, a squirrel, a possum, a bird, and a bear cub (among other things). Jody desperately yearns for a pet of his own, but his mother absolutely will not allow it. So, one lonely night, when Jody stumbles upon a young, orphaned fawn belonging to the doe his father shot, he decides to take it in. Although his mother protests at first, it is his father Penny who casts the deciding vote--to let Jody keep the fawn.

Their relationship grows into one of love and companionship. Jody cannot bear to be away from the fawn for long, and it is unhappy when parted with him. But as the fawn, dubbed Flag, slowly grows from baby to yearling, the trouble begins. Flag has a steadily growing appetite, and the Baxter crops fall prey to the ravenous deer. Jody tries everything under his power to keep Flag away from his family's food supply, but deep inside himself he knows that eventually he will have to part with Flag.

This book was okay. At the beginning I thought it was great, then in the middle it lost its flavor and I just wanted to be over with it, then at the end it perked up again. I loved the last sentence of the book, when Jody was reflecting on how in this one year he had grown from a boy to a man, and how the loss of his fawn had affected that change, "Somewhere beyond the sink-hole, past the magnolia, under the live oaks, a boy and a yearling ran side by side, and were gone forever."

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

This book was an alternate for the Chunkster Challenge (hooray, I finished another challenge!) and I used it for the Book Awards II.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Stillness at Appomattox (book review)

A Stillness at Appomattox, by Bruce Catton, is the story of the last year of the Civil War, from the second battle of the Wilderness to the surrender at Appomattox Court House. The book goes into great detail about each battle, stating not just the rudiments but also interesting little facts about the generals and soldiers fighting. There was a great deal of direct quoting from the soldiers themselves, which was highly interesting. The book detailed the highs and lows of camp life during 1864-65. During the battles, the writing and the maps provided gave me a sense of direction and let me feel as if I was marching to the scene of the fight, and I appreciated that.

However, at times I found the writing a little dry. Occasionally I had to read a paragraph over once or twice in order to fully understand its content.

Even readers with little or no background information on the Civil War would find it easy to read this book. The writing is (for the most part) very understandable, and Catton provides a great deal of background information. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in American history or the Civil War.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I am using this as an alternate for the Book Awards Challenge.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Briar Rose (book review)

Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen, is really two stories entwined together: the story of young journalist Becca and the story of her grandmother Gemma, who survived the famous concentration camp Chelmno, or Kulmhof. Throughout Becca's childhood, Gemma told her the story of Sleeping Beauty, or Briar Rose, insisting every time that she was the real Briar Rose. After Gemma's death, Becca discovers a mysterious box containing some of her grandmother's possessions from long ago. She decides to set out on a journey to discover uncover the mysteries of Gemma's box. Along the way, she travels from Fort Oswego in New York, a refugee camp for Jews, to Chelmno itself, to find out the real story behind the events in Gemma's past.

This was the first book I've read by Jane Yolen, and I thought it was superb. I loved how she entwined real places in history together with a common fairy tale that we all know and love. I will definitely be looking for more of her books.

This book is for the A-Z challenge.