SarahMichigan (sarahmichigan) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books #85-86

Book #85 was "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by David Levithan and John Green, as an audibook. This is the first YA book with an LGBT theme to make the New York Times best-seller list, and it's won some awards as well. They are all richly deserved. The book takes place from the viewpoint of two teenage guys named Will Grayson who live in the greater Chicago area. One is gay, closeted and depressed. The other is straight and best friends with a very out and very large gay teenager named Tiny Cooper. In a fun twist, the gay author writes the chapters with the hetero Will and the straight author writes the chapters with the gay Will. The life of the two Will Graysons intersect in the middle of the novel, and their life trajectories are changed forever. I listened to this as an audibook, with a different narrator for each Will Grayson, and it worked really well for this book. Tiny Cooper's efforts to produce a musical based on his life are central to the plot, and so it's fun to have the two readers also singing bits from his play. I don't want to say too much to spoil this book, but I LOVED it. Not only does Tiny Cooper give a little fat-acceptance speech that totally warmed my heart ("I love my body!" he says) but the book also has a positive portrayal of a straight teenage boy being best friends with a gay teenage boy that you hardly ever see in YA fiction. Highly recommended.

Book #86 was "Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration Into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel" by Michio Kaku. I've had this on my "to read" list for a couple of years and kept wondering if it'd be worth reading since science changes so fast and this was published in 2008. I will warn anyone considering reading the book that it *is* a little bit outdated. He mentions experiments or technology that are expected to happen in 2009 or 2016 and so I think the book could use a 10th-anniversary update in 2018. Overall, though, it was wonderfully fun. Kaku divides the "impossibilities" into three categories: The first are things like force fields and invisibility, which do not violate the laws of physics but which we can't do with our current technology, but which we might be able to create in some way within a few decades. The second category are things like contacting extraterrestrials or inventing ships that can travel to other galaxies. These also don't violate the known laws of physics but will not likely be created for hundreds or even thousands of years in the future, until our technology has advanced a lot. The third category are things like precognition, which violate the known laws of physics. You get a primer on basic physics, quantum theory and string theory along the way. One of the things that makes this so much fun is that Kaku doesn't *just* know his physics, he knows his classic and modern sci-fi really well, and gives lots of fun examples of how ideas that were once considered science fiction inspired real scientific developments. I loved this and plan to seek out some of Kaku's more recent books.

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
21. Atonement [fiction]- Ian McEwan
22. The Westing Game [fiction]- Ellen Raskin (unabridged audiobook)
23. Nappy Edges [poetry]- Ntozake Shange
24. Childhood's End [fiction]- Arthur C. Clarke
25. Tartuffe [play/drama]- Moliere, translated and with introduction by Richard Wilbur
26. Bicycle Diaries [nonfiction]- David Byrne
27. Cotton Comes to Harlem [fiction]- Chester Himes
28. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
29. House of Sand and Fog [fiction]- Andre Dubus III
30. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes [nonfiction]- Maria Konnikova
31. Blood Colony [fiction]- Tannarive Due
32. All the Light We Cannot See [fiction]- Anthony Doerr (unabridged audiobook)
33. The Summer Prince [fiction]- Alaya Dawn Johnson
34. The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science [nonfiction]- Douglass Starr
35. The Three-Body Problem [fiction]- Cixin Liu (translated by Ken Liu)
36. Daisy Miller [ficiton/novella]- Henry James
37. Raven Boys [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
38. Faithful Place [fiction]- Tana French
39. Babyji [fiction]- Abha Dawesar
40. Motherless Brooklyn [fiction]- Jonathan Lethem
41. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? [nonfiction/memoir]- Jeanette Winterson (unabridged audiobook)
42. Unbound (third in the "Magic Ex Libris" series) [fiction]- Jim Hines
43. The Undead Pool (the Hollows series) [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged audiobook)
44. On Such a Full Sea [fiction]- Chang-Rae Lee
45. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek [nonfiction]- Annie Dillard
46. A Widow for One Year [fiction]- John Irving
47. The Broken Cord [nonfiction]- Michael Dorris
48. The Count of Monte Cristo [fiction]- Alexandre Dumas (unabridged audiobook)
49. The Dark Forest (second in the The Three-Body Problem trilogy) [fiction]- Cixin Liu
50. The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family [nonfiction/memoir/graphic nonfiction]- Paul Karasik (author/illustrator) and Judy Karasik (author)
51. Bossypants [nonfiction/memoir]- Tina Fey (unabridged audiobook)
52. The Golem and the Jinni [fiction]- Helene Wecker
53. Lock In [fiction]- John Scalzi
54. Broken Harbor [fiction]- Tana French
55. The Buddha of Suburbia [fiction]- Hanif Kureishi
56. Something Wicked This Way Comes [fiction]- Ray Bradbury
57. The Dream Thieves (2nd in the Raven Cycle) [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
58. The Shadowed Sun" [fiction]- N.K. Jemisin
59. Ancillary Sword (2nd in the Imperial Radch trilogy) [fiction]- Ann Leckie
60. Roadside Picnic [fiction]- Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
61. Orlando [fiction]- Virginia Woolf
62. Wakulla Springs [fiction]- Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages
63. Desert Solitaire [nonfiction]- Edward Abbey
64. The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures [nonfiction]- Christine Kenneally (unabridged audiobook)
65. A Gathering of Old Men [fiction]- Ernest J. Gaines
66. Ancillary Mercy (3rd in the Imperial Radch trilogy) [fiction]- Ann Leckie
67. Ash [fiction]- Malinda Lo
68. The Female Man [fiction]- Joanna Russ
69. Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater (3rd book in The Raven Cycle) (unabridged audiobook)
70. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence [nonfiction]- John Hockenberry
71. The Windup Girl [fiction]- Paolo Bacigalupi.
72. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage [mix of fiction & nonfiction/graphic novel]- Sydney Padua
73. Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex [fiction]- Eoin Colfer (unabridged audiobook)
74. The Comfort of Strangers [fiction]- Ian McEwan
75. Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity [collected essays]- ed. Matt (Matilda) Bernstein Sycamore
76. Cold Comfort Farm [fiction]- Stella Gibbons
77. The Raven King (4th book in the Raven Cycle) [fiction]- Maggie Stiefvater (unabridged audiobook)
78. Station Eleven [fiction]- Emily St. John Mandel
79. The Secret History [fiction]- Donna Tartt
80. Mississippi Sissy [nonfiction/memoir]- Kevin Sessums
81. California [fiction]- Edan Lepucki (unabridged audiobook)
82. Foucault's Pendulum [fiction]- Umberto Eco
83. The Conference of the Birds [poetry]- Farid ud-din Attar
84. One Kick [fiction]- Chelsea Cain

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