58. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
A futuristic tale of people cloned to donate their organs. I am torn about this book because the writing was good and kept me interested, but I am not much of a fan of sci-fi type books even if they aren’t exactly sci-fi. Plus the on thing that bugged me the most is that there was never any attempt at an explanation of how these clones could donate more than one vital organ and still stay alive to donate 3 or 4 organs before they finally died. I can’t suspend my belief that much, and it bugged me through the whole book. But really the book focuses more on the feelings and thoughts of these clones growing up in their special school and learning to face the life they are destined to lead. I give it a 7 out of 10.
57. Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
A fictionalized account regarding the founding of Chile. I was disappointed by this book. The last several books I’ve read by Isabel Allende have not been nearly as good as her early stuff in my opinion. It’s too bad too since House of the Spirits is one of my favorite books. I only give this book a 6 out of 10.
56. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
A non-fiction book detailing the invention of the wireless telegraph by Marconi and a murder of a wife by her husband. It was somewhat interesting, but like with his previous book Devil in the White City, I felt that Larson was really forcing the connection between the two different elements of the book. I give it a 7 out of 10.
55. The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
This book discusses the theory about how the digital age has eliminated the era of “hits” and has created the era of “niches”. He applies it to music, movies, television, and all other sorts of things. It was an interesting book, but I have to say that I don’t feel like I learned anything new that he didn’t already point out in his Wired article of the same name a couple of years ago. Thus it only gets a 6 out of 10.
54. Love Walked In by Merrillee Whren
Again not a book I would normally read, but my mom did write it so I felt kind of obligated. She’s a pretty good writer, I just don’t really care for romances. I’m not going to give this book a rating because well it’s my mother. It was good though.
53. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
I normally despise chick lit books more than any other genre of fiction. The only reason I picked up this one is because it was written by a fellow Wake Forest grad. She was profiled sometime last year in our alumni magazine for 2 other books that she had written that were big sellers. I read those and thought that they were not so horrible, so I decided to give this one a shot too. I liked it less than the other ones, and pretty much despised all the chick litedness of it. I only give it a 5 out of 10, but mostly based on my own prejudice against chick lit. If you like chick lit you’ll probably enjoy it.
52. There Goes the Neighborhood by William Julius Wilson and Richard P. Taub
This book was a sociological study of 4 neighborhoods in Chicago. It examined the changing demographics of the neighborhoods over time mostly according to race. It discussed why things changed and how they were accepted by the current residents and why. It was kind of interesting, but a little dry. I give it a 5 out of 10.
51. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
The story is about a family in England. The father goes a little bit bonkers leading up to his daughter’s second marriage. It’s told from the point of view of the father, mother, daughter, and son. It was an enjoyable book while I was reading it, but now that I’m done with it I feel like it was a bit lacking in depth somehow. The author’s first book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, was definitely better. But this one is good for what it is.
50. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Man I can’t believe how long it’s been since I had a new book to blog about. My reading habits have been really off lately. Anyway, the book is an amusing exagerrated memoir of Bill Bryson’s childhood in Iowa. Like most of Bryson’s books it is quite amusing. It’s a mix of information about his personal life and a study of life in middle-America during the 1950’s. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I give it an 8 out of 10.