Twilightsm (twilightsm) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Hello... Newbie post.

A short summery and review of all the books I've read so far this year... WARNING: Reviews may contain SPOILERS.

1. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury - A collection of short stories that span across a timelime of a few decades. Most of the stories were entertaining and fastly paced. However, one or two were dry and boring... I had to force myself to trudge through them. Overall, it was an okay read... but nothing I'm too excited about 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

2. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison - An autobiography about a woman with manic-depressive illness. I really liked this book. I could really sympathize with the main character... especially because my mom carries many of the signs of Manic-depressiveness. I like the motivational aspects of the book... that this woman with so much stacked against her was able to finish her doctorate and used her education to help others with the same illness. 5 out of 5

3. Half Broken Things by Morag Joss - A story about a housekeeper, a theif, and a runaway that are brought together by a house and worked together to make it a home. I was not expecting this story to end the way it did! I knew it was impossible for these people to continue living the life they wanted... but you begin to root for them and hope that things will work out. One of the few books that have ever made me cry. 5 out of 5.

4. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite - A Heartwarming tale of two serial killers that fate brings together to do what they do best... I did not like this at all. The killers were two dimensional, the victims were not likable and the ending was anticlimatic. 1 out of 5 stars.

5. Child of the Dark by Carolina Maria De Jesus - An autobiography of a woman living in the favela (sp?) of Brazil. Carolina really illustrates the hardships of living below poverty levels. She makes a living by picking through the scraps of the favela to find metal and wood to sell as scrape to feed her children. I would have liked to have known how the story ends. Does she get out of the favela or is her entire life a repeat of the year documented? 4 out of 5.

6. A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Blasi - The story of a middle aged woman who meets the man of her dreams in Venice. I liked this book. It is a fun, light read about two strangers falling in love. And she really sets the tone of what life in Venice is really like. Plus, in the back of the book she places receipes for all the dishes she creates in the story. 4 out of 5 stars.

7. The Postman by David Brin - The story of a man surviving in a postapocolpitic world. The book is much better than the movie with the same name. I thought it was a realistic take on what a postapocolpitic world would look like, how it would function, and the types of people that would live in it. 4 out of 5 stars.

8. Rachel and her Children by Jonathan Kozol - The story of Homelessness in America in the 1980s. This book was really powerful... the parellels between life in the 1980s and life during the current recession was disturbing. Plus, being on the lower end of the economic latter, I could too easily see myself in the same situation as those in the story. The book really made me want to go out and help those who are even less fortunate than I am. 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

9. Stories to Stay Awake By Edited by Alfred Hitchcock - A collection of Short Stories that disturbed Mr. Hitchcock so much that he had trouble falling asleep afterwards. This was a great collection! Each story ended on a horrible note... there are no happy endings anywhere in the book. One of my favorite stories was about a guy who killed his wife and then planned to wall her up in the basement... but the fumes and the drink became too much for him and he found himself trapped in the wall alongside her! All around a fun book where the bad guy always wins or rocks fall and everyone dies. 5 out of 5 stars.

10. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - The story of a Carnival that rolled into town unleashing shananigans everywhere. It seemed this story was focued on a younger age group. I was hoping to like this story, as I am a fan of creepy carnivals... but witches and tattooed men are just not scary enough for me. The whole story was laughable. 1 1/2 stars out of 5.

11. Black Bridge by Edward Sklepowich - The story of a Venetian murder mystery and the dectective assigned to the case. It took me far too long to get through this book. The pace was slow, the dectective spent more time whining and contemplating his relationships with people than actually solving the case. 1 out of 5 stars.

12. Dark Cities Underground by Lisa Goldstein - The story of a man who as a child was the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderlandesk stories. Don't let the cover fool you, this is a good book. Especially if you dig Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz type stories. 4 out of 5 stars.

13. When Rabbit Howls by The Troops for Truddi Chase - An autobiography of a woman with Multiple Personality disorder. This was the most disturbing book I have ever read! The events that caused Truddi Chase to create her multiple personalities were so unbelievable that I still have trouble picturing the tale as true. Her stepfather began sexually abusing her at the age of 2 and it lasted up until she was a teenager. They lived on a farm and so the sexual abuse also involved animals. Although the subject manner is horrific, the way that the Troops write about it is what draws you in. Plus, many of the personalities hadn't surfaced at the time of the books release, so it is hard to tell if there were even worse memories hidden in the depths of her minds. 5 out of 5. Wins the Most Disturbing Book I have Ever Read Award

14. Perfect Victim by Christine McGuire - The true story of Colleen Stan, a woman who was kidnapped and held captive in a box for seven years. This book was a quick read as well. Although not as disturbing as When Rabbit Howls, it does rank up there amoung the most disturbing that I've read. Colleen spent almost all of her time in a coffin like box built underneath a water bed... when she wasn't in the box, she was forced to work or endure bondage and torture at the hands of her masters. 4 1/2 out of 5.

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