Amy Sisson's 2020 list of books read

KeskusteluClub Read 2020

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Amy Sisson's 2020 list of books read

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2020, 1:57pm

List of books read in 2020

1. Cats in Cyberspace by Beth Hilgartner (repeat). Read 01-14-20.
2. PKP for President by Beth Hilgartner. Read 01-18-20.
3. Joyland by Stephen King. Read 01-20-20.
4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Read 02-07-20.
5. Dear Girls by Ali Wong. Read 02-13-20.
6. Look to the Mountains by Beth Jacobs. Read 04-01-20.
7. The Witch Tree Symbol (Nancy Drew No.33) by Carolyn Keene. Read 04-04-20.
8. Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully. Read 04-10-20.
9. When by Victoria Laurie. Read May 2020.
10. Storm Front by Jim Butcher. Read 05-24-20.
11. Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith. Read 06-09-20.
12. Lost Child by Torey L. Hayden. Read 06-09-20.
13. Circles by Marilyn Sachs. Read 06-13-20.
14. Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. Read 06-19-20.
15. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher. Read 07-14-20.
16. Circle of Love by Jan Nickerson. Read 07-15-20.
17. Persuasion by Jane Austen. Read 07-22-20.
18. The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke (repeat). Read 07-26-20.
19. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Read 08-08-20.
20. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (repeat). Read 08-14-20.
21. Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (repeat). Read 08-23-20.
22. Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (repeat). Read 09-05-20.
23. Kinyuko Craft: Drawings and Paintings by Kinuko Craft. Read 10-04-20.
24. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (repeat). Read 11-02-20.
25. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (repeat). Read 11-06-20.
26. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. Read 11-09-20.
27. Jean and Johnny by Beverly Cleary (repeat). Read 12-06-20.
28. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (repeat). Read 12-10-20.
29. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins. Read 12-15-20.
30. Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia. Read 12-25-20.
31. High Note, Low Note by Anne Emery (repeat). Read 12-26-20.
32. The Popular Crowd by Anne Emery (repeat). Read 12-28-20.
33. Campus Melody by Anne Emery (repeat). Read 12-30-20.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 2020, 3:02pm

Notes on 1, 2, and 4.

Cats in Cyberspace was a re-read for me; PKP for President was the hitherto-unknown-to-me sequel. Both are about sentient cats who use the internet to benefit both their humans and themselves -- and ultimately, the country.

I was long overdue for reading Leviathan Wakes. I read the first two chapters, watched the first episode of the show, then finished the book. I'm not sure whether I'll go with the books, the show, or both from here on out. The book did get very suspenseful towards the end, and I really liked the juxtaposition of the Miller and Holden characters.

helmikuu 9, 2020, 1:22am

>2 amysisson: I have a fondness for space opera and thoroughly enjoy reading the The Expanse series but they're a bit of a commitment!

helmikuu 14, 2020, 12:42pm

>2 amysisson: I've really been enjoying the TV series, for what it's worth, although I think it took a little while for me to get really into it.

I have the first three books in the series and I'm looking forward to them, but I haven't gotten to them yet. I do keep wondering if I should wait until the TV version is finished and then go on to the books, rather than trying to keep both in my brain at the same time.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 2020, 3:08pm

Notes on 3 and 5

I already owned a print copy of Joyland by Stephen King, but I was driving from Dallas to Houston and saw the audio book in at a truck stop, read by a character actor I like but whose name I previously didn't know: Michael Kelly. (I enjoyed seeing him in the movie The Adjustment Bureau and I like his ad campaign for a hair salon chain. He's also on House of Cards but I haven't seen that.)

This book is really more a character study than "horror," although there's are some slight supernatural elements and an unsolved murder that intrigues the main character. He's a college student, recently dumped by his first love, who takes a job at a third-tier amusement park called Joyland. I loved the details of his work at the park; while it was hard work, King makes it seem like one of those magical summers you can never reproduce. I definitely recommend the book, and I loved the narration of this audio version.

Switching gears completely, I read Ali Wong's Dear Girls, a rather raunchy but funny memoir about being a female Asian-American stand-up comic. I enjoyed her tremendously along with Randall Park in the Netflix movie Always Be My Maybe and thought I'd enjoy this book, and I did. Definitely rated R.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 2020, 3:02pm

Notes on 6-7.

Look to the Mountains by Beth Jacobs is vintage YA, published in 1963 by Julian Messner, Inc. It's a terrible example of vintage YA from that time period. I wrote a review of it here on the site.

I have no idea why, but The Witch Tree Symbol was downstairs in my house instead of shelved with my other Nancy Drew books, so I idly picked it up and read it. I was reluctant to rate it because the ratings that I apply to other books I read don't feel like they jive with how much I remembered loving these books as a kid. So for Nancy Drew books, I'm making my default rating 2.5 stars, i.e. average. I'll rate others a little higher and lower if they seem to be a cut above or below the rest.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 15, 2020, 3:10pm

Notes on 8. (This is the review I wrote for the Early Reviewers program.)

I'm fond of juvenile biographies as a way of familiarizing myself with historical figures about whom I otherwise might not have known. I'd heard the name Ada Lovelace, of course, but only had a vague idea of who she was. This biography, at about 120 pages not including appendices and glossary, offered a good deal of information about Lovelace and her historical significance. While it was a little dry at times, in part because Lovelace's life was by necessity mostly mental in nature, it had short chapters that helped break up the information into manageable chunks, and included portraits and some photographs. I could see this as a useful resource for middle school and high school students.

toukokuu 25, 2020, 11:04pm

Notes on 9.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher is the first in the Harry Dresden series. I found it to be quick and enjoyable. My only quibble was with the exposition chapter at the end summing up where each character ended up. All telling, no showing. But I thoroughly enjoyed the faery (Toot?), and Bob the air spirit who lives in a skull in Harry's basement lab. All in all, I'm glad I read this and will probably continue with the series.

kesäkuu 13, 2020, 9:00pm

Notes on 10-12.

Lady Lollipop is a slim chapter book about a spoiled princess who demands a pet pig for her birthday. It was cute but somewhat forgettable.

Lost Child by Torey L. Hayden is her first nonfiction book in a long time, and I loved it just as I loved all her earlier accounts of her experiences as a teacher for emotionally disturbed children. This one takes place after she moved from the U.S. to Wales, so she's actually working as a volunteer instead of a paid professional at this point.

Circles by Marilyn Sachs was a bit disappointing. Beebe is a high school student and Shakespeare aficionado with a crush on the boy playing Romeo in the school play, while Mark, an astronomy lover, has recently moved in with his divorced father. They keep almost meeting but never quite do, until literally the last page of the book, which isn't terribly satisfying for the reader although we're meant to understand that they're going to have a very emotionally significant relationship. I was also bothered by the fact that Mark's father might try to sabotage the relationship, because he's hurt that Beebe's mother dumped him after dating him briefly, and he verbally blames this -- without cause -- on Beebe.

kesäkuu 19, 2020, 8:37pm

Notes on 13.

I became really engrossed in this prequel story to the Hunger Games trilogy. This is the backstory of the universally hated President Snow, and Collins does an amazing job showing how a sometimes idealistic boy of 18 could turn into such a monster. It sounds cliched, but she really did give him a soul. My favorite aspect of the book was that it serves as the origin of some of the songs that Katniss sings, and beautifully so.

marraskuu 9, 2020, 10:06pm

Notes on 23-25.

I re-read The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen because I was looking for something sweet and easy and comfortable. Mission accomplished. This is a charming book, sort of Southern magic realism chick lit.

I then re-read Garden Spells, so that I could read First Frost and have the characters fresh in my mind. As far as I know, these two books are her only ones that form a "series," or a duology, really. I recommend both.

I hope this author writes more; I'll buy anything she writes.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 16, 2020, 5:36pm

Notes on 28.

Hey, so it only took me six years to finish reading this collection. But that's what I like about story collections: no hurry. And since these are holiday stories, I really only wanted to read them in December. So I did ... from December 2014 to December 2020. And of course I have the excuse that my life went to hell in those intervening years.

Anyway, I rated this four stars because it's a lovely reading experience overall. I'm pretty stingy with my ratings, so the actual average rating of the 12 stories comes out to 3.71. But there were enough 4, 4.5, and 5 stars in there to make this collection stand out.