Book #18: Men Are from Mars Women are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D.

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I have heard a lot about this book over the years and I didn’t expect it to live up to the lofty claims that many people have made about it but I’m surprised to say that there was a lot of helpful information in it. The book was well written and provided clear cut examples and while I do think he went a little far in claiming that all men areĀ  and all women are a certain way I do think that he hit the nail on the head for a good chunk of the population and it did help clarify a lot of things for me. If you are on the fence about whether or not to pick this classic up I would say take the jump. It is a relatively short read and is just as relevant today as it was when it was originally written.

Book: #18 of 100

Number of Pages: 368

Total Number of Pages: 5,451

Days Remaining: 309

100 Book Challenge Now Has A Facebook Page

In an effort to encourage greater communication regarding the books and the challenge itself I have created a Facebook page for the site which I have linked on the main page. Please check it out, like the page, and share any of your thoughts or feelings on how the page, the challenge, and the blog itself can be improved. Thank you!

Book #17: The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, Ph.D.

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I really wanted to like this book but ultimately I felt like it focused too much on self confidence and not enough on how to build that confidence or use it effectively. Yes it did provide plenty of examples of how thinking big has lead to major changes in peoples lives but that is no secret in of itself. Alas like many of the books in the self help genre it seemed to do a better job of telling people what they would like to hear than anything else and while this may sell lots of books I do not think that it gives you the tools necessary to achieve any major success. I think I will look for something more practical the next time I delve into this genre and not use the number of copies sold as a major factor in making my decision.

Book: #17 of 100

Number of Pages: 238

Total Number of Pages: 5,083

Days Remaining: 311

On a side note in order to get the most bang for my buck. I do purchase most of my books through BookOutlet.com which provides major discounts and special promotions each week. This allows me to purchase my books for $1-5 dollars. If you’d like to check them out and get a $5 credit to use on starting a collection of your own please click here.

Book #16: The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer

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This book has a way of making you think. Almost philosophical in nature it shows how time and circumstance can change aspects of ourselves and the relationships we have in our lives even if the core of who we are remains the same. It was interesting to see how the author had certain peoples lives intersect in every world while in others there seemed to become a part of the Gretas lives only through conscious effort or the circumstances of one world alone. The book seamlessly dealt with issues of identity, fate vs. freewill, the self destructive nature of human vs. it’s ability to create, and so much more. The only downfall I think this book has is that because we are constantly shifting through time we never did get full and complete characters. The protagonist seem to lack some of the depth and the emotional ambiguity that someone in her situation would be likely to feel. All in all a great read though and I would recommend it.

Book: #16 of 100

Number of Pages: 289

Total Number of Pages: 4,845

Days Remaining: 316

Book #15: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

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While I loved the concept of this book I felt that there is so much that could have been explored. The novel never showed what the nation wide affects were of the ScoreCorp’s program nor did it show the full impact that growing up under the system would have on the individual in the long term in terms of ethics and relationships. It also failed to show in any way that the scoring system was corrupt or even begin to imply what companies could do with the data they collected from all that information the system continuously collected. The book seemed more focused on whether the concept was sound and spent much of the book debating whether or not it helped or hurt society despite the fact that it ultimately did not show any of the effects it was having in the macro view of the world. Ultimately, I think that the book was trying to say something profound with its ending but it came up short. It’s an intriguing enough concept to read the book but frustratingly lacking depth.

Book: #15 of 100

Number of Pages: 225

Total Number of Pages: 4,556

Days Remaining: 322

Book 14: An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

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Nonfiction that reads like fiction the author spoke with an honesty was quite refreshing. A book that is as much about her as it is about Maurice. It showed how some individuals can rise above neglect and abuse and break the cycle of addiction and through friendship, hard work, and a faith in themselves can built a happy life for themselves. The book is both hopeful and realistic which is rare in of itself. All and all a good read.

Book: #14 of 100

Number of Pages: 225

Total Number of Pages: 4331

Days Remaining: 323

Book #13: i’d know you anywhere by Laura Lippman

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I’m not usually one to read suspense but this one had an interesting premise. I think the author did a good job of giving and withholding information from the reader and the book moved at a good pace. The protagonist felt like a real person wrapped up in her own thoughts and prone to distractions. I liked the way that Eliza grew as person. It was subtle and yet still concrete. The author also did a great job of portraying the antagonists Walter’s twisted logic and his complete lack of empathy and feelings of justifications for his actions. I also appreciated that the author re-framed from needless plot twists and showed that even having undergone great tragedy one was able to move on and still create a relatively happy life and have faith in the world. I will certainly keep an eye out for more from this author but as I have 10 books waiting in Que it might be sometime before I get around to reading another one of her works.

Book: #13 of 100

Number of Pages: 370

Total Number of Pages: 4106

Days Remaining: 329

Book #12: 30 Lessons for Living Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Karl Pillemer, Ph.D.

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I do not know what exactly I was expected from this book. Some life altering piece of advice? A good idea of what lay before me when I reach the age of the people interviewed for this book? The author certainly feels that he discovered something magical in his interviews with senior citizens but for the most part their advice was common sense and things I’ve heard a million times before. I did meditate on many of the lessons and it was a good reminder of the importance of some of them but ultimately I feel like I didn’t feel like I learned any new information from this one. Perhaps it would be better for someone a little older or a little younger than myself.

Book: #12 of 100

Number of Pages: 268

Total Number of Pages: 3736

Days Remaining: 330

Book #11: Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

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A nice coming of age story Into the Wild Nerd Yonder was short and to the point. I think that I might be a little too old to truly appreciate this one but I think she did a good job seeing things from a perspective of a teenager and I did like seeing Jessie go from being a push over to being a part of a group of people that made her feel at home. The book had an easy way about it and while I did not eagerly devour it as I have some of the books on this list I easily breezed through it. Had I wanted to I think I could have easily finished it in an afternoon.

Book: #11 of 10

Number of Pages: 245

Total Number of Pages: 3468

Days Remaining: 339

Book #10: Rain of the Ghosts by Greg Weisman

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This book almost read like a screen play. In fact it felt more like the first episode of a TV show than a completed novel. Was disappointed to find that the series is still in the works since I tend to binge read series from start to finish. Had I known that it was the start of what is likely to be a long series I may have skipped it over and waited it out. I am intrigued by the concept especially the powers that come from the Zemi and what other ghosts they will find along the way but I can’t go into too many details with out spoiling things. I do want to see where it is going and at some point I will definitely come back and continue this series. I think it might be better suited for a visual media instead of a book series though.

Book: #10 of 100

Number of Pages: 229

Total Number of Pages: 3223

Days Remaining: 341

On a side note I am sorry for the delay in getting this review up. I just started a new job and the hours are a little crazy for me right night since I have issues with my commute but I will be picking up speed again soon. Still on track to reaching my goal.