Casey (lastbestchance) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Casey
lastbestchance
50bookchallenge

173-179

Treasure in the Cellar: A Tale of Gold in Depression-Era Baltimore
by Leonard Augsburger

Started: June 3, 2010
Finished: June 11, 2010

Much, much better written than your average small press local history book. This was a captivating story. Despite gearing the book primarily toward coin collectors, Augsburger managed to still make it interesting to the general reading public. 168 pages. Grade: B+
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In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War
by Tobias Wolff

Started: June 6, 2010
Finished: June 14, 2010

Not as good as This Boy's Life but still worth reading. My favorite part was his description of living with his dad after he got back from Vietnam. 221 pages. Grade: B+
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The Magic Journey
by John Nichols

Started: June 2, 2010
Finished: June 16, 2010

I liked this overall despite a couple of major complaints. First, there were way too many characters and that made the early pages read those endless Bible verses where Ted begat Sally who was betrothed to Bill who was begat by Lucy. Second, I didn't care for the mystical Indian crap with dead people appearing and this whole was that part just a dream or did it happen for real vibe. That's lazy storytelling. Still, there was a good story and a few great characters at the heart of this. It was nowhere near as good as The Milagro Beanfield War but few books are. 529 pages. Grade: B
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Brown's Requiem
by James Ellroy

Started: June 15, 2010
Finished: June 18, 2010

By far the best Ellroy I've ever read. Most of the other books of his that I've read were good but way overly complicated with too many similar characters and way too many plot twists. This book had a strong main story and protagonist moving it forward. Absolutely loved it. 248 pages. Grade: A+
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The Next Better Place
by Michael C. Keith

Started: June 16, 2010
Finished: June 22, 2010

I didn't like or hate this memoir of a kid traveling across the country in 1959 with his dysfunctional alcoholic father. Some of the little individual tidbits were OK but overall it just rang a bit false, like Keith was making false memories, like he was remembering things as he thought they happened instead of how they really happened. The author just had too clear a memory of his eleven year old memories. It didn't ring true. This was exacerbated by the author's use of the present tense when he was talking about events that clearly happened in 1959. 284 pages. Grade: C
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The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

Started: May 21, 2010
Finished: June 22, 2010

I absolutely hated this. It was a stupid misogynistic sitcom-ish piece of crap. All the men were jerks, all the women were morons. They deserved each other. 27 pages. Grade: F
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The Last Town on Earth
by Thomas Mullen

Started: June 18, 2010
Finished: June 25, 2010

I didn't like this historical novel about the 1918 flu epidemic overall. The writing style was decent, the author had obviously done his homework about the time period, and the basic story idea was a good one. But the book had one basic flaw--it was BORING. Until the last thirty pages, there was no real villain. All the main characters were bland goody two shoes. Not a page turner. 387 pages. Grade: C-
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 179
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 45,462
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