SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
SarahMichigan
sarahmichigan
50bookchallenge

Books #21-22

Book #21 was "Atonement" by Ian McEwan. I can see why McEwan is praised and nominated for awards for his writing. The events of this book all hinge on one day in 1935, when Briony, imaginative 13-year-old baby of the family, sees her sister flirting with the char-lady's son and interprets it as something sinister, leading to more misunderstandings later in the day that change everybody's life forever. That one pivotal day takes up about half the book, and the other half of the book shows how several people's lives unravel over the next decade, which includes the outbreak of World War II. The descriptive passages and the inisight into human motivation and how our perceptions change with time are all very elegantly done, and help propel you through the book, even though not much dramatic happens for about the first third of the book. I really loved this and will be seeking out more by the author.

Book #22 was "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin. This is a classic YA mystery novel published in 1978, and it continues to be reprinted today. When I was working at a literacy nonprofit last year, they still carried it on their shelves for teenagers. The book is really a nice bit of brain candy, but it stands the test of time as entertainment. Sam Westing calls together 16 heirs and makes them solve the mystery of his murder in order to decide who will inherit his multi-million dollar fortune. The plot may sound somewhat familiar, but Raskin was one of the first to use the structure and others have copied her since. I really loved that the cast of characters was diverse and that one of the central characters is a 13-year-old girl who goes by the nickname "Turtle" who is obsessed with the stockmarket and kicks people in the shins when they cross her. I wouldn't call this fine literature, but it was definitely a lot of kooky fun, and the audiobook reader, Jeff Woodman, did a great job.

1. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time" [nonfiction]- David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortenson (unabridged audiobook)
2. The Detroit Electric Scheme [fiction]- D.E. Johnson
3. Classic Philip Jose Farmer 1964-1973 (Volume 5  in the Classics of Modern Science Fiction series) [fiction/short stories]- PJ Farmer
4. "The Aspern Papers" and "The Turn of the Screw" (omnibus volume with notes and commentary) [fiction]- Henry James
5. Ever After (11th in "The Hollows" series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
6. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family [nonfiction]- Lisa See
7. Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama [nonfiction/ graphic memoir]- written and illustrated by Alison Bechdel
8. My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir [nonfiction/memoir]- Noelle Hancock
9. House of Leaves [fiction]- Mark Z. Danielewski
10. Ready Player One [fiction]- Ernest Cline (unabridged audiobook)
11. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America [nonfiction]- Barbara Ehrenreich
12. Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life [nonfiction/memoir]- Harriet McBryde Johnson
13. The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus series) [fiction]- Rick Riordan (unabridged audiobook)
14. Ivanhoe [fiction]- Sir Walter Scott
15. Ancillary Justice [fiction]- Ann Leckie
16. Beauty Queens [fiction]- Libba Bray (unabridged audiobook)
17. Burnt Mountain [fiction]- Anne Rivers Siddons
18. Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia [nonfiction]- David Greene
19. Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex [nonfiction]- Mary Roach (unabridged audiobook)
20. The Likeness [fiction]- Tana French
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