SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #45 & #46

Book #45 was "Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled" by Nancy Mairs. Mairs is probably best known as being an author about her Catholic faith, but she's also written extensively on disability issues. This is a collection of essays that form a sort of memoir about her life coping with Muscular Dystrophy. I liked all of the essays a lot, though they ranged from intimate musings about how to have an erotic life when your spouse has to bathe and dress you to more political pieces about the American with Disabilities Act or the story about her helping to bust snake oil salesman who robbed desperate ailing people of thousands of dollars by selling sham treatments. I loved Mairs' honest and straightforward storytelling style and would be interested in reading more by her.

Book #46 was "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky, as an audiobook. I'd never gotten around to any Dostoevsky in high school or college, and I'm kind of glad that I "read" this as an audiobook, because I'm not sure I would have gotten into it as easily if I'd read it as a paper book. It is somewhat slow, but Dostoevsky is a master of getting into a character's head and ratcheting up the tension. I understand why this is both a critically-acclaimed book and was also a best seller when it first came out (1860s). The story concerns, as you might guess from the title, a man named Raskolnikov who commits a crime and the punishment - both spiritual and judicial - he suffers after committing the crime. It's chock full of philosophy, and sometimes it seems to move slowly because not much is happening except in the main character's head. However, in its favor, the tension builds relentlessly toward the climax, and Dostoevsky was really good and drawing portraits of various characters that feel true to life. I really liked this more than I expected to.
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
25. Frankenstein [fiction]- Mary Shelley (unabridged audiobook)
26. Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson [fiction]- Emmy Jackson
27. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil [non-fictioni]- John Berendt
28. Lucky [non-fiction/memoir]- Alice Sebold
29. Soon I Will Be Invincible [fiction]- Austin Grossman
30. For a Few Demons More (Book 5 of "The Hollows" series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
31. American Gods [fiction]- Neil Gaiman
32. The Kitchen God's Wife [fiction]- Amy Tan
33. Bluebeard: The Life and Times of Gilles de Rais [non-fiction]- Leonard Wolf
34. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of Critic in Disguise [non-fiction]- Ruth Reichl
35. The Accidental Time Machine [fiction]- Joe Haldeman
36. A Discovery of Witches [fiction]- Deborah Harkness
37. The Kite Runner [fiction]- Khaled Husseini
38. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West [non-fiction]- Dee Brown
39. The Outlaw Demon Wails [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
40. Redemption in Indigo- [fiction]- Karen Lord
41. Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex [non-fiction]- Sallie Tisdale
42. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking [non-fiction]- Malcolm Gladwell
43. Act of Grace [fiction]- Karen Simpson
44. The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York [non-fiction]- Deborah Blum

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