26 in 52: 2010

I’ve completed my 26 books in 52 weeks challenge. I think I’ll do it again in 2011. It was nice to be actively engaging my mind via written word.

Anyway, the list o’2010 (roughly in reverse order):

  1. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
  2. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
  3. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
  4. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
  5. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  6. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
  7. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  8. Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
  9. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender
  10. Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
  11. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
  12. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  13. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
  14. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich
  15. A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel
  16. Milkrun by Sarah Mylnowski
  17. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
  18. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe
  19. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  20. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  21. Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
  22. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
  23. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab by Gideon Defoe
  24. The Yellow Wallpaper & Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  25. I Will Fear No Evil by Robert Heinlein
  26. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My least favorite were:

I Will Fear No Evil: It was too weird and a little creepy. An old rich guy dies and has his brain transplanted into a younger body, which happens to be his (female) secretary. She still seems to occupy the body in some way and there are many weird dialogues between them. She takes over when he has sex with a man, blah blah blah. Just… eh.

Say You’re One of Them: It was a good book, but it was difficult to read. I didn’t like it just because of the difficulty. I wish it would have had notes that translated some of the words. Using context clues that heavily is exhausting when you’re trying to get through a book.

Shopgirl: It was… alright. When I finished it, I didn’t feel like I accomplished anything or even that there was much of a point to the story. However, I can identify with the girl. She falls in love with someone who’s emotionally inaccessible. Been there. Done that.

My most favorite were:

Stephanie Plum!: I kind of went crazy with her books. I especially liked reading them after a more difficult read. They’re always a fun, semi-brainless read. Besides, I adore Stephanie and you should too.

The Pirates! books: These are also fabulously, silly reads. I’d recommend them to anyone, anywhere.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff: Oh my gosh, so I love Monty Python’s search for the Holy Grail. I’m probably a terrible person, but anything that takes religion and laughs at it a little is probably going to be a good time. However, I liked this book because it looks at Christ’s “missing years.” It also looks at it from a historical theory kind of way. There are some ideas that Jesus (or Joshua, in the book) heads towards Asia to learn some life lessons before he starts preaching his lessons. In Moore’s telling, Joshua’s friend Biff travels with him to protect him from evils (since Josh is a little naive/fearless). He also feels it is his responsibility to teach Josh about sex (and the horrible “sinful” nature of it, haha). Oh, and Mary Magdalene is part of a motley crew sort of family, a feminist and pretty kick ass friend to both of them. I liked her a lot. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s not offended by religious parodies.

I enjoyed all the books except for those that got the “not so awesome” shoutout above… but I’ve been particularly interested in funny reads this year. For example, A Mad Desire to Dance was interesting, but a more serious read about a man who seeks therapy over his inability to have a real relationship with a woman. All of this stems, of course, from tragedies involving his family during and after the war. I’m glad I read it, but it wasn’t particularly fun to read.

The Edible Woman was interesting, as was Herland, for the feminine perspectives they offered. The Edible Woman deals witha narrator who feels smothered by the pressures society puts on her. Herland is a short story about an isolated civilization without men (until it is discovered by 3 men). Women reproduce on their own and only those capable of raising a child do the actual raising. It’s a very interesting read.

Anyway, I suggest you all attempt your own version of 26 in 52. Maybe a 13 in 52, if 26 books seems like it’s too much. This year, I’ve found that the best way for me to unwind at the end of the night is actually reading a chapter or two before bed. No more TV in the bedroom, YAY!

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