SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #25 & 26

Book #25 was "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, as a free audiobook from I tried reading this in college when taking a course on the Romantics but it was such slow going at first with the letters, and the story-within-a-story format that I just got bored and frustrated and put it down only 30 or 40 pages in. I have found that some "classics" I can't manage to read in traditional form are easier as audiobooks, and that was the case here. Though the book did start slowly, it picked up momentum. My favorite part is when the monster gets to tell his own version of things. Also, a note on librivox: I do appreciate the concept, but some readers are much, much better than others. That was a frustration in some chapters, while other chapters were a joy to listen to. If I was going to do it again, I'd listen to a version with a professional reader.

Book #26 was "Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson" by Emmy Jackson. I've read several really, really good books by self-publishers or tiny presses, and it's making me re-assess my instinct to sneer at self-publishing. This is a really good case in point. The book is self-published by a friendly acquaintance who makes a living from writing non-fiction, so I knew the basics of grammar and organization would be good, but it also has complicated, realistic characters, fast pacing, exciting conflicts, well-drawn scenes and just about anything else you could ask for in a blockbuster novel. The story takes place in an apocalyptic near future where many women have been rendered infertile by a mysterious disease called "Empty Cradle." The main character, Ivy, is a scavenger who is looking for her long-lost twin, and she brings several fellow travelers with her on a cross-country trip. I had a few small criticisms of the book, including the fact that the headline telegraphs a major plot point in advance, but overall, I really liked it and am looking forward to picking up the sequel; the author is planning a trilogy set in the same universe.

1. Blue Light [fiction]- Walter Mosley
2. Titus Alone [fiction]- Mervyn Peake
3. "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" [non-fiction]- Beverly Tatum
4. Never Let Me Go [fiction]- Kazuo Ishiguro
5. The Jehovah Contract [fiction]- Victor Koman
6. When the Phone Rings, My Bed Shakes: The Memoirs of a Deaf Doctor [non-fiction/memoir]- Philip Zazove
7. The Foreign Student [fiction]- Susan Choi
8. V for Vendetta [fiction/graphic novel]- Alan Moore and David Lloyd
9. City at the End of Time [fiction]- Greg Bear (unabridged audiobook)
10. Figuring: The Joy of Numbers [non-fiction]- Shakuntala Devi
11. Towing Jehovah [fiction]- James Morrow.
12. Black Apollo of Science: The Life of Ernest Everett Just [non-fiction]- Keith R. Manning
13. The Finster Effect [fiction]- Wednesday Lee Friday
14. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America [non-fiction]- Ronald Takaki.
15. The autobiography of my mother [fiction]- Jamaica Kincaid
16. Death du Jour [fiction]- Kathy Reichs (unabridged audiobook)
17. What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior [non-fiction]- Gwen Bailey
18. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything [non-fiction]- Christopher Hitchens (unabridged audiobook)
19. History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos [non-fiction]- Luis Francia
20. Feynman [non-fiction/graphic memoir]- Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick.
21. The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson & the Olympians series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
22. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World [fiction]- Haruki Murakami
23. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life [non-fiction]- Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey
24. Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors [non-fiction]- Lizzie Collingham


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