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Briana and Aunty Tara

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December 31st, 2015

So once again, I epically failed at last year's 15 500 page books challenge, reading only 4 of the fifteen books I intended to read (but double on the previous year - woot woot!). So I'm having another go this year. I've deleted from the list the four books I did manage to read (The Diviners, The Girl who kicked the hornet's nest, American Gods, and The Lost Symbol - and don't forget Steve Jobs and This Charming Man from 2013) and added four new ones (Hard Choices, The Bridge, Son of a Witch, and Plain Truth).

I won't attempt to read in order. I'll just try and get them read!

I've not included authors etc here - just titles and numbers of pages

1. Hard Choices - 596 pages
2. The Bridge - 616 pages
3. Starcrossed - 514 pages
4. Helen of Troy - 606 pages
5. Fingerprints of the Gods - 719 pages
6. Gene of Isis - 621 pages
7. White Gold Wielder - 500 pages
8. Split Second - 597 pages
9. Middlesex - 529 pages
10. The Dragon Queens - 638 pages
11. State of Fear - 672 pages
12. God's Callgirl - 505 pages
13. House Rules - 532 pages
14. Son of a Witch - 501 pages
15. Plain Truth - 504 pages

January 1st, 2018

Book List 2

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As Livejournal deems my previous entry too big, the list continues here!



  1. The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson - 500 pages

  2. The Odyssey by Homer - 324 pages


The definitive list of books to read by Tara (blinger). Subject to change. Often. highlighted means there is still information outstanding


  1. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - 324 pages

  2. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir - 404 pages

  3. All the King's Women: Love, sex and politics in the life of Charles II by Derek Wilson - 373 pages

  4. The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 1: The Runes of the Earth by Stephen Donaldson - >>> pages

  5. The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 2: Fatal Revenant by Stephen Donaldson - 856 pages

  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - 353 pages

  7. The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie - 359 pages

  8. The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: Against All Things Ending by Stephen Donaldson - >>> pages

  9. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot - 308 pages

  10. Helen of Troy by Margaret George - 606 pages

  11. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot - 307 pages

  12. Queen of Babble gets Hitched by Meg Cabot - >>>> pages

  13. Jaded by Lucy Hawking - 248 pages

  14. Date Expectations: One Man's Voyage Through the Lonely Hearts by Paul Reizin - 301 pages

  15. First Impressions by Jude Deveraux - 340 pages

  16. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo - 354 pages

  17. The Longest Way Home by Robert Silverberg - 213 pages

  18. Markham Thorpe by Giles Waterfield - 280 pages

  19. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - 425 pages

  20. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - 280 pages

  21. Man of the Month Club by Jackie Clune - 336 pages

  22. Prey by Michael Crichton - 365 pages

  23. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares - >>> pages

  24. The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logsted - 296 pages

  25. The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares - >>> pages

  26. How to Meet Cute Guys - 251 pages

  27. Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares - >>> pages

  28. I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes by Jaclyn Moriarty - 420 pages

  29. Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares - >>> pages

  30. The Spell Book of Listen Taylor by Jaclyn Moriarty - 374 pages

  31. Misconceptions - >>> pages

  32. All American Girl by Meg Cabot - 232 pages

  33. The Crowthistle Chronicles: Book One: The Iron Tree by Cecilia Dart-Thornton - 421 pages

  34. All American Girl: Ready or Not by Meg Cabot - 215 pages

  35. Infidelity for First Time Fathers by Mark Barrowcliffe - 337 pages

  36. Cranberry Queen by Kathleen Demarco - 243 pages

  37. Urgent by Joleen Ryan, Julia Torpey, Megan Torpey & Tegan Watson - 171 pages

  38. God's Callgirl - 505 pages

  39. Desire: Awakening God's Woman - 381 pages

  40. The Spanish Bride: A novel of Catherine of Aragon by Laurien Gardner - 286 pages

  41. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - 529 pages

  42. Phaic Tan: Sunstroke on a Shoestring by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch - 248 pages

  43. Troy by Adele Geras - 358 pages

  44. The Last Summer (of you and me) by Ann Brashares - 306 pages

  45. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - 435 pages

  46. Claudia: Daughter of Rome - 368 pages

  47. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult - 434 pages

  48. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult - 353 pages

  49. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult - 455 pages

  50. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult - 477 pages

  51. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult - 484 pages

  52. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner - 371 pages

  53. Raising Girls - >>> pages

  54. Raising Boys - >>> pages

  55. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - 447 pages

  56. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards - 401 pages

  57. Gene of Isis by Traci Harding - Book 1: The Mystique Trilogy - 621 pages

  58. The Dragon Queens by Traci Harding - Book 2: The Mystique Trilogy - 638 pages

  59. The Black Madonna by Traci Harding - Book 3: The Mystique Trilogy - >>> pages

  60. She Went All The Way by Meg Cabot - >>> pages

  61. The Secret Life of Bees - >>> pages

  62. House of Night: Book 1: Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 348 pages

  63. House of Night: Book 2: Betrayed by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 375 pages

  64. House of Night: Book 3: Chosen by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 322 pages

  65. House of Night: Book 4: Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 411 pages

  66. House of Night: Book 5: Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 439 pages

  67. House of Night: Book 6: Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast - >>> pages

  68. House of Night: Book 7: Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast - >>> pages

  69. House of Night: Book 8: Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast - 290 pages

  70. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown - >>> pages

  71. Alter Ego by Kathy Lette - 353 pages

  72. Mercy by Jodi Picoult - 400 pages

  73. Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman - >>> pages

  74. The Time Traveller's Wife - >>> pages

  75. Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult - >>> pages

  76. Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult - >>> pages

  77. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult - >>> pages

  78. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult - >>> pages

  79. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult - 460 pages

  80. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult - 418 pages

  81. Love in the Time of Cholera - >>> pages

  82. Tuesdays with Morrie - >>> pages

  83. Sense and Sensibility - >>> pages

  84. The Mediator: Grave Doubts by Meg Cabot - 204 pages

  85. The Mediator: Heaven Sent by Meg Cabot - 212 pages

  86. Missing You by Meg Cabot - >>> pages

  87. Princess Diaries 7 by Meg Cabot - >>> pages

  88. The Princess Diaries: After Eight by Meg Cabot - 228 pages

  89. Princess Diaries 9 by Meg Cabot - >>> pages

  90. Princess Diaries 10 by Meg Cabot - >>> pages

  91. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld - 370 pages

  92. Specials by Scott Westerfeld - 372 pages

  93. Extras by Scott Westerfeld - 417 pages

  94. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich - 373 pages

  95. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  96. To the Nines by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  97. Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  98. Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  99. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  100. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  101. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  102. Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  103. Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  104. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein - >>> pages

  105. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein - >>> pages

  106. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein - >>> pages

  107. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - >>>> pages

  108. Emma by >>> - >>> pages

  109. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by >>> - >>> pages

  110. Romeo and Juliet by Wiliam Shakespeare - 242 pages

  111. Catch 22 by >> - >>> pages

  112. A Thousand Splendid Suns by >>> - >>> pages

  113. Memoirs of a Geisha by >>> - >>> pages

  114. Life of Pi by >>> - >>> pages

  115. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer - >>> pages

  116. Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer - >>> pages

  117. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer - >>> pages

  118. Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer - 343 pages

  119. Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer - >>> pages

  120. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer - >>> pages

  121. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by >>> - 388 pages

  122. Head over Heels by Jill Mansell - 346 pages

  123. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - 249 pages

  124. It Sleeps In Me by Kathleen O'Neal Gear - 254 pages

  125. It Wakes In Me by Kathleen O'Neal Gear - 310 pages

  126. How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo - 357 pages

  127. 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares - 318 pages

  128. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - 141 pages

  129. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen - 433 pages

  130. Rumours by Anna Godbersen - 423 pages

  131. Envy by Anna Godbersen - 405 pages

  132. Splendor by Anna Godbersen - 391 pages

  133. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - 302 pages

  134. Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones - 285 pages

  135. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones - 328 pages

  136. A Certain Slant of Light by >>> - >>> pages

  137. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters - 392 pages

  138. The Guy Next Door by Meg Cabot - 374 pages

  139. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold - 291 pages

  140. State of Fear by Michael Crichton - 672 pages

  141. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - 409 pages

  142. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory - 405 pages

February 20th, 2017

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February 16th, 2017

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February 15th, 2017

Books 7 & 8 - 2016

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Book 7: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they'd feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women's favour - of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business - draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.

Thoughts:
I have spent more meetings than I care to count being the only woman in the room, and I’ve been told more than once that I am too bossy. I’ve been rejected for jobs purely because I’m female, given my qualifications were the equivalent of my male competition, and I’ve been told even by other women to expect to not get jobs because of my gender. My career is important to me, so I’m often on the look out for advice from more successful women on how to cope with the challenges of being female in the modern workplace. Sandberg is an exemplary example of a successful woman, so I sought out her book with much interest. Not long after I read this book, I had a conversation with the CFO I work for on his thoughts on the book, and it gave me a different interpretation to ponder. Personally, I thought Sandberg made some valid points that I’ve taken with me and think of when dealing with problems at work, and regarding my career. But I didn’t agree with all of them, and that’s okay too. My CFO thought Sandberg focused too much on telling women to behavior like men, and that both genders should bring their own unique talents to the workplace. I’m not sure I got that from the book, but it made me think a little more about some of Sandberg’s points, particularly the ones I disagreed with. Moreover, Sandberg’s advice is based on her own experiences, and she herself acknowledges how fortunate she has been in working with some of her mentors. The challenges of the workplace are quite different between Australia and the U.S. and I wont deny being jealous of Sandberg’s opportunities. This obviously doesn’t change the fact that Sandberg also worked hard and probably deserved the opportunities she was given – more that the same access simply doesn’t exist in Australia (having said that, I’ll take our annual leave benefits any day of the week!). Ultimately, this book is a fascinating insight into one woman’s experience, and while most certainly not a bible on how to be a woman in the workplace, it provides some good advice to take on board as appropriate. Definitely worth a read!


7 / 50 books. 14% done!


1661 / 15000 pages. 11% done!

Book 8: The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 pages

Description from Goodreads.com:
Published to accompany the book Presidents of the United States of America is, of course, a book on the First Ladies. It provides considered insight into the lives of the First Ladies, drawing on portraits from the White House Historical Association's collection.

Thoughts:
When I went to America in 2015, I visited Little Rock, Arkansas, and thus was able to make a trip to Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library (which was very cool!). While there I picked up some tourist books about the presidents and first ladies of the United States. For whatever reason, I read this one first. It was a quite an interesting read, especially given I wasn’t aware that sisters, nieces and daughters had acted in the role of quasi First Lady, as seems to be happening at the moment with Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. Also interesting to see the evolving role of the First Lady from hostess to taking a more active role in policy. Not overly detailed, but a good starting point for anyone interested in American politics.


8 / 50 books. 16% done!


1754 / 15000 pages. 12% done!

Currently reading:
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages
-        Four to Score by Janet Evanovich – 311 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        Reengineering the University: How to be Mission Centered, Market Smart, and Margin Conscious by William F. Massy – 280 pages

February 13th, 2017

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February 7th, 2017

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February 6th, 2017

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January 30th, 2017

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