SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #49-50 (Whoo!)

I actually finished book #50 around Nov. 28 or 29 but am just now getting around to writing it up. This is the earliest I've gotten to 50 books in many years, and I expect my total will end up around 52 or 53. (Whoo-hoo!)

Book #49 was "The Lost Hero" by Rick Riordan, as an audiobook. I loved the Percy Jackson series and when I found out Riordan had written a second series of books about demi gods, I knew I would want to read this. The Percy Jackson series is all told first-person from Percy's viewpoint, and the first book in the new series has three viewpoints, and its in third person. While I liked Percy a lot, I felt like "The Lost Hero" was even stronger, that Riordan's writing prowess has improved. The book opens with a demi-god that has lost his memory being beset by monsters. The first book sets up the premise for the whole series - the demigods in America have yet another ancient foe to hold off, and this time, two warring factions have to work together to save the world. The minor character Coach Hedge, a protective Satyr, provided some great comedy relief in the middle of the nearly non-stop action of the book. I really liked that the cast of demigods is more ethnically diverse in this series as well. I won't say more for fear of giving spoilers away, but I enjoyed this book a lot and look forward to the rest of the series. Additionally, I am really impressed with the audiobook reader, Joshua Swanson. He tackles a really wide variety of character voices and most of them very well.

Book #50 was "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs. Apparently, the author originally wanted to just put together a coffee table book of cool and creepy old vintage photos but he was convinced to try to build a narrative around it. And he did a wonderful job of it! I didn't love everything about the book; there were a few passages I found clumsy and a few too many coincidences. But overall, I liked the voice of the main character and themes in the story. The narrator is Jacob, a young man who has heard stories from his grandfather about growing up in an orphanage for "peculiar" children. He thinks his grandfather is loopy until his granddad is killed in a peculiar way, and he goes off to the island where Miss Perergrine's home for children is supposed to be located. This was a quick and easy read, and yet I didn't consider it brain candy. Underneath the silly spooky supernatural elements was a metaphor about how the Holocaust damaged people and their families for many generations after World War II ended. Highly entertaining & highly recommended. I'm looking forward to the sequel, "Hollow City."

1. Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection Paperback [fiction/graphic short story collection]- Matt Dembicki -Ed.
2. Light Music [fiction]- Kathleen Ann Goonan
3. The Indian Clerk [fiction]- David Leavitt
4. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly [non-fiction/memoir]- Jean-Dominique Bauby
5. Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast [non-fiction]- Andrew E. Kersten
6. Blue Champagne [fiction/short stories]- John Varley
7. A Person of Interest [fiction]- Susan Choi
8. Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country [non-fiction]- Louise Erdrich
9. Nobody Nowhere [non-fiction]- Donna Williams
10. The Three Musketeers [fiction]- Alexandre Dumas (unabridged audiobook)
11. The Narrative of John Tanner [non-fiction/biography]- as told by John Tanner, edited by Edwin James
12. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell [fiction]- Susanna Clarke
13. I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes [non-fiction]- Hemant Mehta
14. Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer's Craft [non-fiction]- Natalie Goldberg
15. No Name in the Streets [non-fiction/essay]- James Baldwin
16. The Hunger Games [fiction]- Suzanne Collins (unabridged audiobook)
17. Permanence [fiction]- Karl Schroeder
18. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf [poetry]- Ntozake Shange
19. An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President [non-fiction]- Randall Robinson
20. The Delikon [fiction]- by H.M. Hoover
21. Catching Fire (#2 in the Hunger Games trilogy) [fiction]- Suzanne Collins (unabridged audiobook)
22. Codex Born (#2 in the Magic Ex Libris series) [fiction]- Jim Hines
23. The Hum and the Shiver [fiction]- Alex Bledsoe (unabridged audiobook)
24. Skinny Legs and All [fiction]- Tom Robbins
25. Artemis Fowl [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
26. The Best of All Possible Worlds [fiction]- Karen Lord
27. The Green Flash and Other Tales of Horror, Suspense, and Fantasy [fiction/short stories]- Joan Aiken
28. Use What You Have Decorating [non-fiction]- Lauri Ward
29. Erasure [fiction]- Percival Everett
30. Homer & Langley [fiction]- E.L. Doctorow (unabridged audiobook)
31. The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam [non-fiction]- Karen Armstrong
32. The Beekeeper's Apprentice [fiction]- Laurie R. King
33. Wisp of a Thing [fiction]- Alex Bledsoe (unabridged audiobook)
34. The Talented Mr. Ripley [fiction]- Patricia Highsmith
35. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World [fiction]- Vicki Myron
36. Blood Work: An Original Hollows Graphic Novel [fiction/graphic novel]- Kim Harrison (author), Pedro Maia, and Gemma Magno (illustrators)
37. The Harmony Silk Factory [fiction]- Tash Aw
38. Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet [non-fiction]- John Bradshaw
39. Pale Demon (#9 in "The Hollows" series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
40. The Catcher in the Rye [fiction]- J.D. Salinger
41. Bel Canto [fiction]- Ann Patchett
42. A Death in Belmont [non-fiction]- Sebastian Junger
43. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
44. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression [non-fiction]- Mildred Armstrong Kalish
45. Me Me Me Me Me: Not a Novel [non-fiction/memoir]- M.E. Kerr
46. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes [fiction/short stories]- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
47 was "The Women" by T.C. Boyle
48 was "Two Boys, At Swim" by Jamie O'Neill

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