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Briana and Aunty Tara


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

Briana and Aunty Tara
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. Avalon High by Meg Cabot - 280 pages

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

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

  14. Jaded by Lucy Hawking - 248 pages

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

  16. First Impressions by Jude Deveraux - 340 pages

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

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

  19. Markham Thorpe by Giles Waterfield - 280 pages

  20. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - 425 pages

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

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

  23. Prey by Michael Crichton - 365 pages

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

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

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

  27. How to Meet Cute Guys - 251 pages

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

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

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

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

  32. Misconceptions - >>> pages

  33. All American Girl by Meg Cabot - 232 pages

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

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

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

  37. Cranberry Queen by Kathleen Demarco - 243 pages

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

  39. God's Callgirl - 505 pages

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

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

  42. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - 529 pages

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

  44. Troy by Adele Geras - 358 pages

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

  46. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - 435 pages

  47. Claudia: Daughter of Rome - 368 pages

  48. Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult - 434 pages

  49. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult - 353 pages

  50. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult - 455 pages

  51. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult - 477 pages

  52. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult - 484 pages

  53. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner - 371 pages

  54. Raising Girls - >>> pages

  55. Raising Boys - >>> pages

  56. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - 447 pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  72. Alter Ego by Kathy Lette - 353 pages

  73. Mercy by Jodi Picoult - 400 pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

  80. Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult - 460 pages

  81. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult - 418 pages

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

  83. Tuesdays with Morrie - >>> pages

  84. Sense and Sensibility - >>> pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  92. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld - 370 pages

  93. Specials by Scott Westerfeld - 372 pages

  94. Extras by Scott Westerfeld - 417 pages

  95. High Five by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  96. Hot Six by Janet Evanovich - >>> pages

  97. Seven Up by Janet Evanovich - 373 pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  111. Emma by >>> - >>> pages

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

  113. Romeo and Juliet by Wiliam Shakespeare - 242 pages

  114. Catch 22 by >> - >>> pages

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

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

  117. Life of Pi by >>> - >>> pages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  125. Head over Heels by Jill Mansell - 346 pages

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

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

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

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

  130. 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares - 318 pages

  131. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess - 141 pages

  132. The Luxe by Anna Godbersen - 433 pages

  133. Rumours by Anna Godbersen - 423 pages

  134. Envy by Anna Godbersen - 405 pages

  135. Splendor by Anna Godbersen - 391 pages

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

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

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

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

  140. Generation Dead by Daniel Waters - 392 pages

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

  142. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold - 291 pages

  143. State of Fear by Michael Crichton - 672 pages

  144. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - 409 pages

  145. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory - 405 pages

November 28th, 2016

My tweets

Briana and Aunty Tara

November 24th, 2016

My tweets

Briana and Aunty Tara

November 22nd, 2016

My tweets

Briana and Aunty Tara

November 21st, 2016

My tweets

Briana and Aunty Tara

November 20th, 2016

Book 3 - 2016

Briana and Aunty Tara
Book 3: Guernica by Dave Boling – 368 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
An extraordinary epic of love, family, and war set in the Basque town of Guernica before, during, and after its destruction by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War. In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. Once there, he finds more than just a new life -- he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets and the two discover a love they believe nothing can destroy ...Rich in the history of the region, the Red Baron, the Luftwaffe and even Picasso make appearances in Guernica as the fate of the Navarro family is traced through the early decades of the twentieth century.

Chatting to a friend of mine at work one day, she mentioned this book and how much she liked it. She purchased it off the internet and then leant it to me to read. Amusingly, after I’d read it, and returned it to her, she found her original copy and consequently gave me the new copy she’d purchased. Anyway, I really had no idea what to expect, and probably for the first 150 pages I was kind of bored. The book felt like it took a long time to get started and make its clear point, but once it got there, I did actually really enjoy it and it has an ending that is deeply moving. The diversity of the characters and their interactions is really good, though at times it was difficult to work out how they connected to the core story. In addition, I knew nothing about the conflict the book is centered about so it was a good learning experience. Ultimately, not a book I would have picked up myself, but a good read nonetheless.

3 / 50 books. 6% done!

874 / 15000 pages. 6% done!

Currently reading:
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 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
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages

Book 2 - 2016

Briana and Aunty Tara
Book 2: Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt – 205 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Ryan Britt is . . . the Virgil you want to guide you through the inferno of geekery. Lev Grossman, author of the bestselling Magician's trilogy Pop Culture and sci-fi guru Ryan Britt has never met a monster, alien, wizard, or superhero that didn t need further analysis. Essayist Ryan Britt got a sex education from dirty pictures of dinosaurs, made out with Jar-Jar Binks at midnight, and figured out how to kick depression with a "Doctor Who" Netflix-binge. Alternating between personal anecdote, hilarious insight, and smart analysis, "Luke Skywalker Can t Read" contends that "Barbarella" is good for you, that monster movies are just romantic comedies with commitment issues, that Dracula and Sherlock Holmes are total hipsters, and, most shockingly, shows how virtually everyone in the "Star Wars "universe is functionally illiterate. Romp through time and space, from the circus sideshows of 100 years ago to the Comic Cons of today, from darkest corners of the Galaxy to the comfort of your couch. For anyone who pretended their flashlight was a lightsaber, stood in line for a movie at midnight, or dreamed they were abducted by aliens, "Luke Skywalker Can't Read" is full of answers to questions you haven't thought to ask, and perfect for readers of Chuck Klosterman, Rob Sheffield, and Ernest Cline."

I was wandering around a Barnes & Noble in the Upper West Side of New York with my family over Christmas and stumbled across this book. I’m a sci-fi nerd, and I could instantly relate to some of anecdotes about watching Star Trek as a kid and the deep conversations about sci-fi plot lines and their potential reality held amongst my family to this day. So I need to buy it, and I read through this book’s collection of essays with avid enthrallment. Britt covers a variety of topics in a variety of ways, and so many of them echoed my own thoughts and/or life experiences, while at the same time giving me the opportunity to think about old topics in new ways. I’d never considered whether the people of Star Wars could actually read (must watch more closely next time) or the fake nostalgia that Back to the Future so eloquently taps into. On the other hand, Britt’s essays about Star Trek resonated strongly with me as did numerous others. Britt’s style is engaging and for anyone who grew up nerd this book will bring a smile to your face (I eventually led it to my brothers who concurred). In the way the Big Bang Theory guys debate comic book specifics, I will never tire of eloquent analysis of the sci-fi/fantasy world which shows us just how much these fantastical stories echo reality. A great read!

2 / 50 books. 4% done!

506 / 15000 pages. 3% done!

Currently reading:
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 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
-        The First Ladies of the United States of America by Margaret Brown Klapthor and Allida M. Black – 93 pages

Book 1 - 2016

Briana and Aunty Tara
Book 1: Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich – 301 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie's bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso a suspiciously wealthy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch only makes the hunt more thrilling. Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol-packing Grandma Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move and his next move might be Stephanie's last.

I read this book on a flight home from San Francisco (via Hawaii – a good 14 hours in the air!) having read the first one the previous year. Stephanie is a hopeless bounty hunter from the gun-wiping side of things, but a reasonable detective, and her cast of friends are pretty entertaining. Joe Morelli is a fun love interest, though I already fear that their relationship is going to go the way of Tempe Brennan/Andrew Ryan in the Bones books. Ranger is enigmatic in a way that doesn’t feel too contrived, though why he puts up with someone as inept as Stephanie is beyond me. The mysteries so far don’t feel particularly too high brow, though I do wonder how Evanovich can maintain them in a town as small as Trenton (really, there’s that many bad/dodgy people?). All in all, the series has promise (probably exemplified by the 20-something books that have been published) but I’m not sure how its going to maintain itself that long; we shall see!

1 / 50 books. 2% done!

301 / 15000 pages. 2% done!

Currently reading:
-        Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg – 220 pages
-        Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich – 300 pages
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 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
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
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