Book #20: Don’t Worry It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent

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Nugent’s book is funny and written in a format that lends itself well to millennials. It feels more like a collection of long blog entries than anything else and she speaks in a way that feels very natural and more like the spoken word than most of the nonfiction I’ve experienced. There are tons of little references to things that people of our generation experienced growing up and while at the book borders on the ridiculous at times there are certainly parts that ring a chord with me. The author’s experiences certainly reflect in parts many different people I’ve known. Her humor is cynical, sharp, and more than a little jaded. A good read for millennials but not a book I would recommend to people from an older generation since I think much of her humor would be lost on them. I enjoyed it for the most part but I felt like there was more than a little filler in it and she did repeat herself a bit but most comedians do so I won’t hold it against her.

Book: #20 of 100

Number of Pages: 188

Total Number of Pages: 5,927

Days Remaining: 300

Book #19: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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I really wanted to like this book since I love the concept but ultimately I just couldn’t get into it. I found the relationship between Lord Henry and Dorian confusing. I thought it was clearly a homosexual relationship at first but then the author was careful to never state this or even heavily imply that anything aside from a strangely close friendship between the two, being clear to outline that both had pursued many woman sometimes sleeping with them more than once at a time. I found most of what Lord Henry stated quite offensive and the racist descriptions of some of the characters made my skin crawl. I understand it was just the times but ultimately that in combination with the slow writing style just killed it for me.

Book: #19 of 100

Number of Pages: 176

Total Number of Pages: 5,627

Days Remaining: 303

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 are  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

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

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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 #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 #9: The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

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While I liked the writing style, the characters and the setting I found myself putting this book down quite a bit. I feel as though it is trying to make some big statement about faith or knowledge that has been lost in the modern age but there was nothing really substantial, profound, or unique about it. It didn’t help that over all there was very little plot to this book. It felt as though someone made a rough outline of just a page and then filled it in with quotes, descriptions of the setting, short history lessons, and casual conversation. There just wasn’t anything substantial there. I think that this is one book you will likely either love or hate.

Like I stated there are a number of good things about the book so ultimately I do like the author and I would like to read more from her but I hope that her future works have a little more plot to them. Considering that this is her first novel I am sure that there will be. She definitely has a lot of potential.

Book: #9 of 100

Number of Pages: 258

Total Number of Pages: 2994

Days Remaining: 349

Book #8: Suffer the Children by Craig Dilouie

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An interesting take on the zombie/vampire apocalypse story Dilouie’s story had a clear voice and even though you knew where the story was headed you found yourself hoping that somehow things would turn around. The way that the parents and society seemed to deteriorate along with the innocence and humanity of the children was chilling and compelling. The book asked the question of just how far parents would be willing to go for their children and their families and it did not disappoint. I can’t go into to many details without ruining the book but I will say that while many questions are left unanswered such as how the “disease” took hold in the first place, if the children are still aging what happens when a child hits puberty, etc. it is ultimately satisfying.

Book: #8 of 100

Number of Pages: 342

Total Number of Pages: 2736

Days Remaining: 354

Book #7: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

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I’m not sure how I expected this book series to end but I was surprised at which characters lived and which died. I wish that the ending would have gone into some more details about how the new Capitol was structured, what happened in the last Hunger Games, and what became of some of the supporting cast but all in all I found the ending to be relatively satisfying. I thought it was fitting that Katniss ended up with Peeta and that people found a way to rebuild and move on with their lives. I also appreciated that the author did not wave a magic wand and make the wounds that were inflicted by the tragedies they faced disappear or completely fade away as authors so often do with these types of books.  May check out Collins’ Gregor the Overlander series at some point.

Book: #7 of 100

Number of Pages: 458

Total Number of Pages: 2394

Days Remaining: 357