Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quarterly Reading Challenge Update

I meant to do this at the end of the first quarter, but my procrastination skills were working overtime and I never got it done. But since I had good intentions, I'm going to call this my quarterly update anyways.

I am well on my way to completing my 100+ Challenge with 70 books read so far this year. Last year I read the most books I've ever read in a year with 110, and I am well on my way to surpassing that number this year.

The 999 Challenge is going well too. I have finished 69/81 and think I will be able to complete this one without too much of a problem.

The Read Your Own Books Challenge is the one I am failing miserably at so far. To date, I have only completed one book off my list of ten. I just started another book from the list today, so at least I will have completed two.

The ARC Challenge required 12 books to be completed and I have completed 31 so far, so I am technically done. I am leaving this challenge "open" though to see how many I get done in a year.

I am struggling a little with the Countdown Challenge and it is coming to an end soon. I have 37/45 completed and once I get caught up on my ARCs this will be where I focus my energy.

The Classics Challenge is another hard one for me. I have so many classics that I want to start, but just haven't made the time for them. So far I've completed 1/4.

The War Through the Generations (WWII) Challenge is going ok. I have 2/5 done so far, but I have so many WWII books that I want to read that I don't think this one will be too hard to complete.

I finished my Non-Fiction Five Challenge yesterday, and still need to write my wrap up post on the books I read. I knew this challenge would be easy to complete with all the memoirs I read.
I have signed up for the Book Awards Challenge but haven't started it yet. I just received Olive Kitteridge from LT and I think it will be my first book for this challenge.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my challenge progress except for the Read Your Own Books Challenge. Hopefully I will feel motivated to read some of them soon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Review: The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

Book Info:
The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Pocket (May 12, 2009)
ISBN-13: 978-1416527398
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5

London, 1672: A vicious killer stalks the court of Charles II, inscribing his victims' bodies with mysterious markings. Are these the random murders of a madman? The deadly consequence of a personal vendetta? Or the grisly result of a hidden conspiracy?

Cambridge, 2008: A Trinity College history professor is found dead, the torn page of a seventeenth-century diary in his hand. His death appears to be an accident, but the college's newest Fellow Claire Donovan and historian Andrew Kent suspect otherwise. The professor's last research subject was Hannah Devlin, a physician to the king's mistress and the keeper of a diary that holds the key to a series of unsolved murders in 1670s London. Through the arcane collections of Trinity's Wren Library, the British Library, and the Royal Society, Claire and Andrew follow the clues Hannah left behind, unearthing secrets of the past and present as both stories unfold to their shocking conclusions.

After recently completing The Rossetti Letter (review), I couldn't wait to get started on The Devlin Diary. The Rossetti Letter pulled me in right from the start, but The Devlin Diary started a little slower for me. In The Rossetti Letter you knew right from the start what the connection between the past and the present was. In The Devlin Diary the connection took a little longer to establish and this slowed down the beginning of the book a little for me.

The Devlin Diary focused a little more on the story in the past, with about 3-4 chapters set in the past for every one in the present. The Rossetti Letter was a little more balanced between past and present and I liked that format a little better. I often found myself wishing for a little more time with Claire and Andrew.

Even with the few minor quibbles above, The Devlin Diary is another fast paced, engrossing historical fiction novel and I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by Phillips. She has the wonderful ability to bring the past to life in vivid detail and I can't wait to see more of Claire and Andrew. 4 stars

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review: The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips

Book Info:
The Rossetti Letter by Christi Phillips
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Pocket (February 19, 2008)
ISBN-13: 9781416527381
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

Claire Donovan always dreamed of visiting Venice, though not as a chaperone for a surly teenager. But she can't pass up this chance to complete her Ph.D. thesis on Alessandra Rossetti, a mysterious courtesan who wrote a secret letter to the Venetian Council warning of a Spanish plot to overthrow the Venetian Republic in 1618. Claire views Alessandra as a heroine and harbors a secret hope that her findings will elevate Alessandra to a more prominent place in history. But an arrogant Cambridge professor is set to present a paper at a prestigious Venetian university denouncing Alessandra as a co-conspirator -- a move that could destroy Claire's paper and career.

As Claire races to locate the documents that will reveal the courtesan's true motives, Alessandra's story comes to life with all the sensuality, political treachery, and violence of seventeenth-century Venice. Claire also falls under the city's spell. She is courted by a handsome Italian, matches wits with her academic adversary, bonds with her troubled young charge, and, amid the boundless beauty of Venice, recaptures the joy of living every moment....

I've always enjoyed historical fiction, but up until this year I've never really made the time to read it. With some of the challenges I'm doing this year I've made the time and have discovered some great books, and The Rossetti Letter is one of them.

I actually started this book before my vacation, got about halfway through, and then left it behind as it was a hardback and I prefer to travel with paperbacks. I wish I had made an exception and taken it with me though. I couldn't wait to see how it ended and missed the story the entire time I was gone.

Claire Donovan is a wonderful character. She is honest, hardworking, smart, but still completely believable. Things don't always go like she planned. Sometimes she puts her foot in her mouth and embarrasses herself. This lack of pretension really endeared her to me.

I also love historical fiction that alternates from the past to present and The Rossetti Letter was no exception. Usually, though, I have a favorite time period and this time I couldn't decide between the past or present. Each time the perspective would change I would think it was my favorite. Then it would change back and I would change my mind again.

The Rossetti Letter pulled me in right from the beginning and I loved it all the way through. I've already started The Devlin Diary and can't wait for more Claire Donovan. 4.5 stars

Friday, June 26, 2009

Review: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Book Info:
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Unabridged Audio Length: 7 hours and 48 min
Narrator: Malcolm Gladwell
Genre: Non-Fiction
Rating: 3/5

How do we make decisions--good and bad--and why are some people so much better at it than others? Thats the question Malcolm Gladwell asks and answers in the follow-up to his huge bestseller, The Tipping Point. Utilizing case studies as diverse as speed dating, pop music, and the shooting of Amadou Diallo, Gladwell reveals that what we think of as decisions made in the blink of an eye are much more complicated than assumed. Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, he shows how the difference between good decision-making and bad has nothing to do with how much information we can process quickly, but on the few particular details on which we focus.

Leaping boldly from example to example, displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Gladwell reveals how we can become better decision makers--in our homes, our offices, and in everyday life. The result is a book that is surprising and transforming. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.

I listened to Outliers (review) earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Blink was interesting, but I don't think it quite measured up to Outliers for me.

Blink discusses the snap judgements we make and what these judgments are influenced by. Some of Gladwell's examples were wonderful. He talked about how some people could tell a sculpture was a fake just from gut feelings. Or, how facial expressions tell the same story across different cultures, and how most cultures knew exactly what was being expressed.

Other examples didn't have me convinced though. His section on marriage was interesting. He talked about how a scientist could predict if your marriage would survive just based on a few minutes of video as you discuss an issue with your spouse. Sounds great, right? But this is hardly a snap judgment as these few minutes of video tape are heavily analyzed, frame by frame. To me, just because you study a small amount of data, doesn't make your findings the result of intuition.

I enjoyed Blink, but didn't find it as strong as Outliers. If you are a fan of Gladwell's, I think you will enjoy Blink, but I wasn't totally convinced by all his examples. 3 stars

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I really enjoyed The Lovely Bones so the comparison to that book caught my attention. I have been on a bit of a YA kick lately so that was another selling point. I love the cover too.

The Everafter by Amy Huntley

On Sale: 9/29/2009
Teen Fiction
ISBN 9780061776793
256 pages

A haunting and hopeful debut teen novel in the vein of The Lovely Bones about a girl who revisits random moments in her life through the objects she's lost—and learns surprising things about her life and death.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Book Info:
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Graphia (September 21, 2005)
ISBN-13: 9780618585328
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

I don't usually like, or even pick up, ghost stories, but for some reason this one sounded interesting, and I was not disappointed. I would almost call this more of an afterlife story, than a ghost story...

I always thought the cover on this book was interesting. The bathtub is a shiny material so it really does catch and reflect the light. Now that I've read the book, I think the cover makes much more sense. I also think it's kind of creepy, but in a good way.

The characters in the book, Helen especially, grabbed my attention right from the start. I thought she was fascinating, and very worldly and well-read for a ghost. James was also interesting, but he didn't captivate me the way Helen did. Even the minor characters were colorful and believable.

The language in the book is descriptive without being sappy. There is also an amazing amount of tension in the book. I couldn't read fast enough to find out what was going to happen next. I wasn't completely thrilled with the ending though. Part of it I really liked, and part seemed all wrapped up a little too neatly. Even with that, I can't really think of another ending I'd rather have seen instead.

A Certain Slant of Light is Laura Whitcomb's first novel. Her second novel, The Fetch, was just released in February and I will definitely be checking it out. 4 stars

Friday, June 19, 2009

Review: The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

Book Info:
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Plume (June 24, 2003)
ISBN-13: 9780452284449
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin - two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family's French ancestry.

As the novel unfolds - alternating between Ella's story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier - a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women. Part detective story, part historical fiction, The Virgin Blue is a novel of passion and intrigue that compels readers to the very last page.

I really enjoy historical fiction and have been trying to read more of it of this year. I had this book on my shelf for a while and when it got requested from me on Paperback Swap, I made time to read it before I mailed it out.

I really enjoy historical fiction that moves back and forth from past to present as The Virgin Blue does. Ella is trying to find out more about her relatives and the narrative moves between times, giving you a glimpse into the lives of the ancestors she is trying to learn about. There is also a bit of a mystery surrounding her family and this adds another layer instead of being strictly a historical fiction book.

The Virgin Blue started a little slow for me. The parts of the book set in the past revolved around the religious feelings of the times and this isn't an area I know much about. Once I got to know the characters a little better I found it more enjoyable. The book usually changes time periods each chapter, up until the very end of the book. Then, the shift between the times happen more frequently. This really helped build suspense toward an exciting ending. 3.5 stars

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Vacation Time!

I am headed out today for four glorious days of fun on the water! I will be visiting my aunt and uncle who live on a lake. My dad, my sis, her hubby and their kids will also be there. Unfortunately, my hubby won't be able to make it.

We will also have another aunt, uncle and cousin drive down for a few days while we are there. I am really looking forward to this as I haven't seen them in many, many years.

When I get back, hopefully tanned and relaxed, I head to Denver to two days of class for work. So, with all that I will be mostly computer-less for almost a week. I will have a few reviews post while I'm gone, but will be absent from commenting. It will probably take me quite a while to get caught up with my reader when I get back. I may have to mark the posts read and start fresh, but I hate the thought of missing something...

See you all in a week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review: Sleep Toward Heaven by Amanda Eyre Ward

Book Info:
Sleep Toward Heaven by Amanda Eyre Ward
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 17, 2004)
ISBN-13: 9780060582296
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

In Gatestown, Texas, twenty-nine-year-old Karen Lowens awaits her execution with a host of convicted serial killers on death row. In Manhattan, Dr. Franny Wren, also twenty-nine, tends to a young cancer patient, and resists the urge to run from her fiancé and her carefully crafted life. In Austin, Texas, brassy Celia Mills, a once-vibrant librarian, mourns her murdered husband.

Over the course of the summer, fate pushes these eerily recognizable women together, culminating in a revelation of the possibility of faith, the responsibility of friendship, and the value of life. Sleep Toward Heaven is a luminous story of murder and desire, solitude and grace -- a rare literary page-turner where redemption seems perpetually within arm's reach.

Sleep Toward Heaven is the second book of Ward's that I've read, and while I liked this one better than Forgive Me (review), it fell firmly into the category of good, but not great. It was a fast read, but I just didn't really feel any real connection to any of the characters.

The three connected story lines were an effective way to tell the story, and I liked the shift in perspective. It was easy to feel all the characters drawing together and that helped build suspense. I liked the suspense in the story line. This wasn't a book where I was expecting that element, so I was pleasantly surprised by it.

I really liked the ending to the story. It wrapped things up a little neater than I would normally like, but I thought the ending was fitting. After reading two of Ward's books and feeling just so-so about both of them, I'm starting to think her style just isn't a good fit for me. 3 stars

Friday, June 12, 2009

Review: My Antonia by Willa Cather

Book Info:
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Format: Audio CD
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (June 25, 2005)
ISBN-13: 9781597371391

Widely recognized as Willa Cather's greatest novel, My Ántonia is a soulful and rich portrait of a pioneer woman's simple yet heroic life. The spirited daughter of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia must adapt to a hard existence on the desolate prairies of the Midwest. Enduring childhood poverty, teenage seduction, and family tragedy, she eventually becomes a wife and mother on a Nebraska farm. A fictional record of how women helped forge the communities that formed a nation, My Ántonia is also a hauntingly eloquent celebration of the strength, courage, and spirit of America's early pioneers.

I think I had to read some Willa Cather in school, but I couldn't tell you which one. If I did, it didn't really stick with me. My Ántonia started out very interesting. I loved the descriptions of the early pioneer life. The primitive houses and the hardships of farming really came alive for me. Near the middle of the book my interest fizzled a little. Once the Burden family moved to town the book didn't hold the same appeal.

I really liked the narrator of this audio version. He had a rich, smooth voice and I loved the Bohemian accents. They really helped bring some of the characters to life.

My Ántonia is a good example of how strong women helped shape the pioneer, but for me, the book lacked focus. It was an enjoyable listen, but it seemed to ramble at times and veer off to give updates of the different characters. It was good, but nothing amazing.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Booking Through Thursday...Niche

There are certain types of books that I more or less assume all readers read. (Novels, for example.)

But then there are books that only YOU read. Instructional manuals for fly-fishing. How-to books for spinning yarn. How to cook the perfect souffle. Rebuilding car engines in three easy steps. Dog training for dummies. Rewiring your house without electrocuting yourself. Tips on how to build a NASCAR course in your backyard. Stuff like that.

What niche books do YOU read?

I don't really read any how-to books, but one genre that I love, and is a little out of the ordinary, is travel memoirs. I was fortunate enough to have been able to travel quite a bit with my family in my teens, and I loved it. Now, I don't have the time or the financial ability to travel like I would want to. So I do my traveling vicariously.

I love to read about people's adventures in far-away places. I especially enjoy books where the author immerses themselves in the culture, without trying to change the locals. One book that comes to mind in the genre that was wonderful is Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman. If anyone has any recommendations for great travel memoirs I would love to hear them!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Review: Bloom by Elizabeth Scott

Book Info:
Bloom by Elizabeth Scott
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 24, 2007)
ISBN-13: 9781416926832
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

There's a difference between falling and letting go.

Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy?

It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things (like sex) because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend?

But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in -- and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce -- Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her.

I've heard great things about Elizabeth Scott's book Living Dead Girl (which I still haven't read). I was excited to read Bloom because it sounded so different from Living Dead Girl. There were lots of things I liked about Bloom, but I didn't think it was amazing.

Lauren is a completely realistic character, and I can see a lot of me in her. She feels like she has to do the "right" thing whether or not that is what she wants. She is torn, and because of this makes some decisions that I didn't particularly like. While I may not have always liked Lauren actions, they were completely understandable and honest.

Dave, Lauren's boyfriend, is supposed to be the perfect guy. Handsome, popular, perfect...and incredibly boring. I found him to be very flat, one dimensional and completely uninteresting. Apparently his kind perfection just isn't for me. Evan was a much more interesting character as he had a bit of an edge.

I found all of the characters relationships with their parents interesting. Some parents were super involved and others basically non-existent. Bloom also shows that the side of your friends you see at school may not give you a good picture of what goes on at home. Overall, a good book, but nothing amazing. 3 stars

Monday, June 8, 2009

Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah

Book Info:
True Colors by Kristin Hannah
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (February 3, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780312364106
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

The Grey sisters have always been close. After their mother’s death, the girls banded together, becoming best friends. Their stern, disapproving father cares less about his children than about his reputation. To Henry Grey, appearances are everything, and years later, he still demands that his daughters reflect his standing in the community.

Winona, the oldest, needs her father’s approval most of all. An overweight bookworm who never felt at home on the sprawling horse ranch that has been in her family for three generations, she knows that she doesn’t have the qualities her father values. But as the best lawyer in town, she’s determined to someday find a way to prove her worth to him.

Aurora, the middle sister, is the family peacemaker. She brokers every dispute and tries to keep them all happy, even as she hides her own secret pain.

Vivi Ann is the undisputed star of the family. A stunningly beautiful dreamer with a heart as big as the ocean in front of her house, she is adored by all who know her. Everything comes easily for Vivi Ann, until a stranger comes to town.

In a matter of moments, everything will change. The Grey sisters will be pitted against one another in ways that none could have imagined. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime will shatter both their family and their beloved town.

I loved Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane (review). I listened to it on audio and fell in love with the characters and the story. I had high expectations for True Colors, and unfortunately, it didn't quite measure up.

I expected to love the characters and was disappointed when I didn't. I found Winona whiny and inflexible at times. She got so caught up in herself that she didn't seem to consider anyone else's feelings. Vivi Ann is the golden girl, the sister who everything goes perfect for. Her perfection at the beginning of the book put me off. I much prefer flawed characters. Aurora, the middle sister was the most interesting, the most real, but she played a minor role and we didn't see too much of her.

As the story went on the characters grew on me a little, but I never loved any of them. Then came the ending of the book...and I didn't like it at all. Everything was wrapped up a little too neatly and conveniently. I also had a hard time believing that Noah, Vivi Ann's son, would be as open and accepting of the changes in his life. While True Colors didn't match up to Firefly Lane I will still be reading more from Kristin Hannah. 3 stars

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review: Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton (and giveaway!)

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (June 2, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780425228753
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 3.5/5

Money’s been tight ever since Bree Winston Beaufort inherited Savannah’s haunted law firm Beaufort & Company along with its less-than-angelic staff. But she’s finally going to tackle a case that pays the bills representing a spoiled girl who stole someone’s Girl Scout cookie money. But soon enough she finds that her client’s departed millionaire father needs help too. Can she help an unsavory father/daughter duo and make a living off of the living?

Ok, I have to admit...I generally don't read cozies or paranormals, so you would think this book would be completely unappealing to me. For some reason the description caught my eye and I thought I would give it a try. I'm really glad that I did. Angel's Advocate is the second installment in the Beaufort & Company series. The mixture of southern charm, the quirky cast of characters and suspense really works.

Since I don't usually read paranormals I was afraid there would be an overwhelming amount of unbelievable things happening. I didn't want this to be distracting as that's not my usual cup of tea. Overall, this wasn't the case. There were a few things (like the slime) that didn't really work for me, mostly because I just have a hard time believing in it, but I found the angels and their "extra" space around Savanna very fun.

My favorite part of this book, by far, was the eccentric and funny cast of angels sent to help Bree out. They range from a Russian paralegal, to a fashion conscious secretary, to a buff PI/bodyguard. The characters often had me laughing or shaking my head, but they were always entertaining.

I prefer my mysteries to be a little more hard core. Blood and guts don't bother me at all. While this wasn't my usual mystery book, I enjoyed this part of the story. However, I didn't find the mystery as compelling as the characters were.

Since this is only the second book in the series, I would recommend starting with the first book, Defending Angels. This book really helped set the stage and set up all the relationships between the characters. 3.5 stars

Be sure to visit the blog tour page and check out the other reviews, guests posts and author interviews.


The Giveaway:

Mary Stanton is giving away a signed copy of her book, Angel’s Advocate, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Mary’s book tour page, http://mary-stanton.omnimystery.com/, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 5546, for your chance to win. Entries from Shhh I'm Reading will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Mary’s book tour page next week.

Good Luck!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Bottom Line, #1

The Bottom Line is a feature to designed to give quick and dirty reviews of books I've read, but I either don't have the time or the inspiration to write full reviews on them.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (September 26, 2006)
ISBN-13: 9780060541439
Genre: YA
Rating: 3.5/5

I enjoyed this fun finding yourself story. I am insanely jealous of the trip Ginny took in the book, but thought she was a little too rigid in following her aunts instructions. I think she missed out on experiencing the great places she got to go because she was so set on completing the next task. Still a fun book though.

Resistance by Anita Shreve
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Back Bay Books; (January 1, 1997)
ISBN-13: 9780316789844
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3/5

I usually really enjoy Shreve's books but this one fell a little flat for me. I found myself more angry than sympathetic with the characters. I also wanted to know more about the Resistance movement and less about the forbidden relationship.

Defending Angels by Mary Stanton
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 2, 2008)
ISBN-13: 9780425224984
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 3.5/5

This book is a complete departure from what I usually read, but I found a fun change of pace. The characters are zany and very entertaining, and this is a great start to a new series. Check back tomorrow for my full review of the second book in the series, Angel's Advocate, and a giveaway!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Booking Through Thursday...Sticky

I saw this over at Shelley’s, and thought it sounded like a great question for all of you:

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Wow, this is a little harder than I thought it would be...

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
3. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
4. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
6. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
7. Forever . . . by Judy Blume
8. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Ok, my 15 minutes are up and I only got through about half. This one is hard for me, because I rarely re-read books, and if a book sticks with me that much I will re-read it. There are so many new ones out there that I have a hard time going back to ones I've already read. There are lots of books I could tell you about, but I don't know how many of them I will remember always...