Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How I WISH I could dance!

So I've never done a live blog before, but I am SO IN LOVE with this season's So You Think You Can Dance that I just can't help myself....

So far, we have seen Courtney and Mark, whose first dance was Viennese Waltz - beautiful, and a clever cross-promotion using American Idol winner David Cook's song. Mark is really growing on me this season, and I love that none of the judges who praised him to the sky for this dance seem to remember that last week they told him he had the worst closed-hold form they had ever seen - short memories, those judges!

Next, solos by Chelsie and

Twitch - great, as usual. As an amusing sidenote, the audience talked Cat Deeley into wearing Twitch's grill - hah!

Then we had Katee and Joshua back together again - contemporary. Incredible. Joshua Allen should NOT be able to leap that high. They are so beautiful together. This gave me chills from start to finish, especially when she leaped into the air and he caught her.

Now we have Chelsie and Twitch with some type of latin ballroom - maybe mambo? I think Twitch was lucky he got Chelsie this week, because this was tough, and she is just so amazing that noone was really watching him. Apparently the judges are proud of his respectable job - not quite the raves the other couples got, but Chelsie was amazing.

Katee's solo - not my favorite of all her dances, but of course technically fantastic.

Joshua's solo - I can't believe that a guy who is as big as he is - and by big, I don't mean chubby, I mean ripped - can possibly be as light on his feet as he is.

Courtney and Mark's jazz - weird, but so, so cool. This was really dark, and sexy, and they pulled it off incredibly well. Mark does this weird solo to Bohemian Rhapsody where he just moves around on the stage in such a unique way, and this jazz piece reminded me a lot of that. Loved it. I have to say that I was really surprised and disappointed when Will went home last week instead of Mark, but Mark proved tonight that he totally belongs in the top 6 - he has been brilliant.

Next is Katee and Joshua's Paso Doble - shirtless Joshua, and all the ladies say YEA!! There was some serious aggression in that number. Adam Shankman says Joshua makes him believe in the impossible, and it's true. Katee finally showed a darker side, and it was great. Lots of Mary Murphy screaming, and even Nigel says Joshua could steal the show.

Courtney's solo - I know she probably won't win, but I think she is the girl I just love to watch dancing the most. She dances with so much emotion - always beautiful.

Mark's solo - certainly the weakest of the guy's solos, but I can't help rooting for him.

Last but not least, Chelsie and Twitch and hip-hop - some sort of crazy conductor routine. Lots of fun, but not my favorite routine of the night. I do enjoy seeing hip hop that doesn't seem pissed off - this is Twitch's style, so of course he was great, but Chelsie really kept up with him.

I have to say that, based on tonight, I have no idea who will be in the top four, and NO IDEA who will eventually end up winning. This is such a great season, and I just love watching all six of these dancers. It will be so sad to lose anyone....if you haven't been watching this show this season, I am really sorry - it has been the most entertaining thing on tv!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mailbox Monday

Marcia over at The Printed Page is hosting a fun new weekly event - Mailbox Monday! From her blog:

Once again Monday is upon us and it's time to check those mailboxes. What did the mail carrier bring you last week? Maybe an ARC you forgot you requested? That giveaway book you won a month or so ago? Something you've been craving from Amazon?

I have three fun new goodies to report this Monday -

So Long at the Fair by Christina Schwartz - an ARC I received from the publisher.

Sweet Mandarin by Helen Tse - another ARC, which will be making it's way to Marcia's house before the week is over.

Comic Book Tattoo (Limited Edition) by a whole bunch of people, with intro written by Neil Gaiman and AUTOGRAPHED BY TORI AMOS!!!

(deep breath)

This is actually my husband's birthday present. He is a HUGE Tori Amos fan (which was one of the reasons I knew he would be the guy for me!), and this book is a rendering of 50 of her songs by fabulous graphic novelist into 50 new stories. And did I mention is it AUTOGRAPHED by Tori herself?? I'm pretty sure this is the coolest thing that's arrived in my house for quite a while, and now I have to wait until WEDNESDAY to give it to my husband....

So who else got new, fun stuff in the mail this week?? Come on, share!!

I'll take one order of Lily's Chicken Curry to go, please...

Review - Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and their Journey from East to West by Helen Tse

What would make a Cambridge-educated lawyer, winner of the Young Accountant of the Year Award in 2006, decide to open a restaurant in Manchester, England with her two sisters? That is what Helen Tse did in 2005. Sweet Mandarin is the name of the restaurant, as well as the book in which she chronicles the journey her great-grandfather, grandmother, and parents made to eke out a living in the food business, and raise their family up out of poverty.

Tse's great-grandfather, Leung, was living in destitution with his family when he had his big idea - he would manufacture homemade soy sauce from a small portion of his tiny soy bean farm. He eventually became profitable enough to allow his wife and 6 young daughters to stop working in the silk factory and move to Hong Kong, where he continued to grow his business. Soon, an established competitor began to notice how profitable Leung's business was becoming, and hired thugs to burn down the factory, and eventually kill Leung. Left alone without a man to support them, Leung's family, including Lily, the author's grandmother, quickly became dependant on the grudging support of his family.

At age 12, Lily began working as a junior amah, or maid, to wealthy British famililes in Hong Kong to help support her mother and sisters. This was an excellent job for a young Chinese girl at the time, and Lily learned quickly how to do it well. Eventually, she found a place with a family that would take her with them to England. Heartbroken at leaving her family behind, including her daughter Mabel, the author's mother, Lily knew this would be the chance she needed to change their lives for good. Once in England, she opened a restaurant, Lung Fung, that was soon a resounding success. Lily and Mabel turned their restaurant into a city gathering spot, and later Mabel and her husband, Eric, would open their own fish and chip shop not far away. So of course for the author, growing up in the food business, opening a restaurant with her sisters seemed to bring the family full circle, with their goal of serving family recipes in a neighborhood environment.

This book is truly an homage to the women in the author's family. She stresses over and over again how much they each sacrificed to give their children a better life. Each of them were faced with instances of seemingly insurmountable odds, and yet they always managed to come out of the bad situations stronger, with greater resolve to reach their goals. It is also a memoir of growing up in two different cultures, and learning how to respect and cherish each. The author is able to paint a picture of flawed, imperfect women who still command the reader's respect. As she takes us back and forth between modern times and past events, the author never loses site of the connections between the eras - good food and family. This book shows that family love and good cooking might just be able to conquor the world, and it is a great read as well!

Finished: 7/21/08
Source: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 8/10

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How have I never read this book before?

Review - Foundation by Isaac Asimov

The Empire is falling. For 12,000 years, it has ruled over countless worlds, but now it is about to collapse. Hari Seldon has found a way to shorten the darkness that will result. He assembles a group of scientists and sequesters them on a lonely planet at the edge of the galaxy, purportedly to create and maintain an encyclopedia of all the knowledge in the universe. He calls this sanctuary The Foundation. However, in the years after he dies, his followers come to realize that there was more to his plan...

It feels odd writing a review of a book that probably everyone in the reading world has already read - how have I lived 32 years without reading it myself? Thank heavens I've corrected this gigantic flaw in my reading history....

I was interested to see how a sci-fi novel written over 50 years ago would stand up in the face of modern scientific advances. I mean, we all know how dorky the original Star Wars movies look now that their special effects are years out of date. (Ducking from the inevitable protests of fans - I can't help it, they look goofy.) To me, Foundation felt like it could be a completely modern novel. Asimov was able to project far enough into the future that we haven't caught up to him yet. The book seemed almost to be more a collection of short stories about the same idea than an actual novel - each section jumped so far into the future that most of the characters had already died. I am interested to read more books in the series to see Asimov fleshes out the different eras of the Foundation that he introduced in this book. I enjoyed it enough to want to read more, but I wouldn't call it one of my favorite reads for the year. Perhaps that's the problem with Great Works of Fiction - they never quite seem to live up to the hype.

Finished: 7/19/08
Source: Franklin Avenue Library
Rating: 6/10

Thursday, July 17, 2008

With a first line like this, who needs Adam & Eve!

Review - Tan Lines by J.J. Salem

Liza Pike is a lipstick feminist with a bestselling novel, a weekly guest spot on a political newsmagazine, a ticking biological clock, and a gorgeous husband who never touches her. Billie Shelton is a one-hit-wonder trying to salvage her dying career by seducing her producer. Kellyanne Downey is an aspiring actress with a past she would like to forget, whose bills are currently being paid by a 60-year-old married man. These three college friends who normally get together for one weekend a year are about to spend an entire summer season living together in a rented house in the Hamptons. The community - and the men - will never be the same.

This novel is trashy beach fluff personified. It has a blurb by Jackie Collins, and a dedication to Jacqueline Susann, so that should be a warning to potential readers who are looking for style and substance. It is, however, a whole lot of fun. It's a bit like reading a gossip magazine - you know you really shouldn't be interested, but somehow you can't stop. There is enough sex to make it a perfect read for lounging by the pool on vacation, and the plot moves quickly enough that it is impossible to get bored.

In novels like this, often the main characters are so one-dimensional that it is difficult to root for them. Liza and Kellyanne, however, are intriguing, with many facets to their personalities. The author gives them each struggles that are easy to identify with, so the reader is able to sympathize with them, even as we watch them make really stupid mistakes. Billie is harder to like - I found myself uncomfortable much of the time when reading the sections about her. Good characters always need some flaws, but she has so many that it almost makes her irredeemable. I actually felt relieved when she rather abruptly dropped out of the novel near the end.

If you are looking for a fun, fast read to take on vacation this year, I think this novel would certainly fit the bill. Don't expect a literary masterpiece - just get hooked by the first line, and enjoy the ride.

Finished: 7/17/08
Source: review copy from St. Martin's Press
Rating: 7/10

Here's a video
shot by the publishers of a bunch of random, unsuspecting strangers reading the first line outloud - it's definitely an attention-grabber!
(Probably NSFW!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

Today's topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT's book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

I DO bookswap. It's Fun!! *grin* I have accounts at BookMooch and PaperbackSwap. I found PaperbackSwap first, so I have a gigantic wishlist on it, and probably use it more than BookMooch for that reason. Also, you can purchase credits there if you find a book you just HAVE to have - I haven't found that capability on BookMooch yet. (And yet, I realize that purchasing credits defeats the purpose of a bookSWAPPING site, but seriously, sometimes there are books I just HAVE TO HAVE!!) I have used LT's bookswapping feature a few times, and find it handy because I can save myself time by posting a book on the site where it is actually being requested. I've run into a couple of problems with books being requested on both sites, but the people involved have always been nice about the situation, leading me to believe that lots of people post books to multiple sites, because apparently swapping is addictive too. I don't participate in any of the LT groups - they just didn't ever really appeal to me. If you are not a member, Join One! It's a lot of fun!

And the winners are.....

(drumroll commences.....)

After very scientifically throwing everyone's names into a hat, and having my (completely disinterested) husband do the picking (he did perk up when I told him books were going to leave the house *grin*), I am happy to announce that:

Andi is the lucky winner of The Fires, and Julie is the lucky winner of The Dangerous Joys of Dr. Sex. Congrats, ladies! I'll get your info and get them mailed out. Thanks everyone for playing along - I have another cool giveaway planned for later this month, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Woo Hoo!! Free books!

Okay, boys and girls, it's time for the first installment of the "I need more bookshelves, and you do too!" book givaway! (cue cheers and applause) Now if only I knew how to make one of those cute little square boxes with the fun graphics...oh well.

I am giving away my copies of "The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex" and "The Fires" which I was graciously sent from the Santa Fe Writer's Project.

I really enjoyed both of these books, and I am excited to spread the love around. If you are interested, drop me a comment and let me know which book, or both, you are interested in. If you link to this post on your blog, I will toss your name in an extra time for whatever you are interested in. I'll take entries until midnight on July 14, and pick the winners randomly on July 15. Yea for more books!

p.s. #1 - this is my first contest, so if I'm doing something really wrong, please someone let me know!! =)

p.s. #2 - I'm sure all of you know about the fantabulous website at Up For Grabs, but if not, go check it out. It has tons of book giveaways, and is a great resource for those of us who are just trying to spread the book love.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's a whole new world

...or at least a whole new look. I'm trying this on for size...we'll see if I like it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The White Mary

Review - The White Mary by Kira Salak

Marika Vacera is a journalist who has written about some of the most dangerous and horrific conflicts in the world. She has just returned from an terrifying assignment in the Congo when she learns that Robert Lewis, another journalist and her personal hero, has committed suicide. Marika decides to write a biography of Lewis, and in the course of her research she comes across information that seems to indicate that he might not be dead - in fact, he might be alive in Papua New Guinea. Marika decides to leave Seb, the man she loves, and embark on a journey through the jungle to try and discover the truth. With only her native guide, Tobo, Marika struggles to stay alive long enough to find out whether Lewis is alive or dead.

This book is quite amazing. Kira Salak is an award-winning journalist, and many of the experiences that Marika has in the novel are Salak's own. I truly do not believe that this book could have been written by someone who had not lived this life. Salak literally makes the jungle come alive - each page is brimming with details. The reader can hear the sounds, smell the smells, and see the sights that Marika encounters on her travels. Salak describes mosquite bites and leaches, as well as gun battles and torture, with the voice of one who has been there.

Salak also creates rich, interesting characters whose lives jump off the page. Marika is damaged, and the defense mechanisms she has built for herself are so strong that she is virtually unable to allow herself to be happy. Seb is wise and good, but with enough past baggage to be believable. Robert Lewis is weird, and difficult, but has moments of brilliance that allow the reader to understand why Marika has idolized him for so long. Tobo is perhaps the most interesting character - thrust into a situation he never wanted, he is patient but tough with Marika, and helps her make several very important discoveries about herself and her world. None of the characters are perfect - not even likable at times - but the flaws makes them seem completely real.

Salak has written a novel about journeys, and discovery, and figuring out what truly matters in life. I loved this book from start to finish, and will be recommeding it to everyone who will listen. Go read this book! It is brilliant, and will most certainly be on my list of favorites.

Finished: 7/9/08
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tuesday Thingers - travel, anyone!

Since we're past the Fourth of July and the summer season has officially started, what are your plans for the summer? Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you're going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?

Well, if it were a normal summer, I would be getting ready to go up to Breezy Point resort on Straight Lake in Osage, Minnesota. My family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, & grandparents) have been spending a week at this cozy resort every summer for over 20 years. It's a great week - my aunt and I have an on-going challenge to see who can read the most books sitting on the beach. =)

However, since I've been married, I have a dilemma each year - my husband's birthday inevitably falls during the week we go to Minnesota. My husband works in the ice cream business, so he is not able to take a week off during his busiest time of the year, so I'm always torn between vacation with the fam, and birthday with the hubby. This year the decision was easy - my father-in-law, whose birthday is a day before my husband's, turns 60, and that is a big deal for him. So I'll be staying home to help celebrate his big day instead.

As far as reading plans, well, let's just say I have a lot of it to get done, and should get started! =)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Silent Thunder

Review - Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Expert submarine designer Hannah Bryson has been hired by a museum to inspect a Russian sub about to be open to the public for display. Along with her brother, Connor, she is to inspect every nook and cranny of the sub to make sure it is safe. When her brother discovers a plate with mysterious markings, a deadly tragedy occurs that catapults Hannah into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a former Russian submarine captain.

I don't know why I don't read more books like this. Sometimes I get so caught up in reading "serious" novels that I forget how much fun reading can actually be. This book by the mother-and-son Johansen team reminds me. They give the reader a spunky, smart heroine, fast-paced action, just enough love interest to keep things interesting, and some really great bad guys. Hannah is easy to root for - several times other characters refer to her tendency to relate better to machines than people, so when she allows herself to be vulnerable she becomes even more endearing. Her secondary characters are an entertaining mix of good and bad - noone is ever quite what they seem, which keeps the tension building right up to the end.

I'm not really sure how the writers divided up the writing tasks, but the result is seamless. The book has a consistent voice, and if I hadn't been told I would not have known it was the work of two authors. The Johansens are a great writing team, and I certainly hope there will be more from them in the future!

Finished: 7/5/08
Rating: 8/10
Source: Review copy from publicist

Friday, July 4, 2008

Popular Music from Vittula

Review - Popular Music from Vittula by Mikael Niemi

Matti and his best friend Niila grew up in Pajala, Sweden, north of the Artic Circle. It's a small town that even Sweden forgot existed. As an adult Matti narrates the story of his childhood, we are given a glimpse of what it is like to grow up in a place where time seems to stand still.

Matti and Niila shared everything growing up - their first days at school, their first tastes of alcohol, their first kisses, their first experience with death. Most importantly, they discover together a passion for music, first in a Beatles record, and later as they start their own band. As they grow from young boys to men, we share with them their loves, heartaches, and wonders.

Niemi has written a beautiful, funny, heartwrenching novel. He allows the reader to feel the confusion and frustration every child feels growing up, even in a completely foreign location. Occasionally, his narrator takes leaps into magical realism, which only serves to emphasize the dream-like world that children sometimes inhabit. Of course, he often also has the reader laughing out loud at some of the outlandish situations the boys find themselves in - wait till you read the mouse episode. Hilarious! I thoroughly enjoyed this well written coming of age story.

Finished: 7/4/08
Source: Franklin Avenue Library
Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More free books - check these out!

In the spirit of sharing, and caring, and all that good stuff, I present a short list of books I am hoping to win, and that you could win too:

S. Krishna is giving away a copy of The Beach House by Jane Green - fun summer stuff!

Kathleen has a great interview of the author of the book she is giving away - Aberrations by Penelope Przekop.

is hosting her first ever giveaway - and seriously, who doesn't want free book money?

The Tome Traveller
is also hosting her first giveaway - The Rest of her Life by Laurie Moriarty

Books on the Brain
is giving away TWO books by Elin Hilderbrand - A Summer Affair, and Barefoot.

And in the almost too good to be true category, Hey Lady has teamed up with Hachette Book Group to give away 14 - yep, FOURTEEN - books to 5 lucky winners.

So go sign up already! But I'm telling you, if you win and I don't I might be a little peaved...=)

LT Top 100

Here is the Top 100 Most Popular Books on LibraryThing. Bold what you own, italicize what you've read. Star what you liked. Star multiple times what you loved!

(I also cheated and added some ---'s to the ones I really dislike.*grin*)

1. Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone by J.K. Rowling (32,484)***
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling (29,939)***
3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) by J.K. Rowling (28,728)***
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by J.K. Rowling (27,926)***
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling (27,643)***
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling (27,641)***
7. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (23,266)
8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (21,325)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J.K. Rowling (20,485)***
10. 1984 by George Orwell (19,735)
11. Pride and Prejudice (Bantam Classics) by Jane Austen (19,583)
12. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger (19,082)
13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (17,586) ****
14. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (16,210)
15. The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (15,483)*****
16. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (14,566)
17. Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics) by Charlotte Bronte (14,449) ***
18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (13,946)
19. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (13,272)
20. Animal Farm by George Orwell (13,091)
21. Angels & demons by Dan Brown (13,089)
22. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (13,005)
23. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (12,777)**
24. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (12,634)
25. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) by J.R.R. Tolkien (12,276)*****
26. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (12,147)
27. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (11,976)
28. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2) by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,512)*****
29. The Odyssey by Homer (11,483)
30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (11,392)
31. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut (11,360)
32. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (11,257)
33. The return of the king : being the third part of The lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (11,082)*****
34. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (10,979)
35. American Gods: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (10,823)**
36. The chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (10,603) ****
37. The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy by Douglas Adams (10,537)
38. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (10,435)
39. The lovely bones : a novel by Alice Sebold (10,125)
40. Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) by Orson Scott Card (10,092)***
41. The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (9,827)
42. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman (9,745) **
43. Dune by Frank Herbert (9,671)
44. Emma by Jane Austen (9,610) ****
45. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (9,598) ***
46. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Bantam Classics) by Mark Twain (9,593) ------
47. Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club) by Leo Tolstoy (9,433)
48. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (9,413)
49. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (9,343)
50. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (9,336)***
51. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (9,274)
52. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (9,246)
53. The Iliad by Homer (9,153)
54. The Stranger by Albert Camus (9,084)
55. Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (9,080) ***
56. Great Expectations (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (9,027)
57. The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel by Margaret Atwood (8,960) ****
58. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (8,904)
59. Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt (8,813)
60. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery - (8,764)
61. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (8,421) *****
62. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle (8,417) ***

63. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (8,368)***
64. The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition) by John Steinbeck (8,255)
65. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (8,214)**
66. The Name of the Rose: including Postscript to the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (8,191)
67. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (8,169)
68. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (8,129)-----
69. The complete works by William Shakespeare (8,096)
70. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (7,843)
71. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (7,834)
72. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Barbara Kingsolver (7,829)
73. Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library) by William Shakespeare (7,808)
74. Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by John Steinbeck (7,807)
75. A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin Classics) by Charles Dickens (7,793)
76. The Alchemist (Plus) by Paulo Coelho (7,710)
77. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (7,648)
78. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics) by Oscar Wilde (7,598)
79. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition by William Strunk (7,569)
80. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (7,557)
81. The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman (7,534)
82. Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan (7,530)
83. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (7,512)
84. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (7,436)
85. Dracula by Bram Stoker (7,238)***
86. Heart of Darkness (Dover Thrift Editions) by Joseph Conrad (7,153)
87. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (7,055)
88. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (7,052)
89. The amber spyglass by Philip Pullman (7,043)
90. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin Classics) by James Joyce (6,933)
91. The Unbearable Lightness of Being: A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Milan Kundera (6,901)
92. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (6,899)
93. Neuromancer by William Gibson (6,890)
94. The Canterbury Tales (Penguin Classics) by Geoffrey Chaucer (6,868)
95. Persuasion (Penguin Classics) by Jane Austen (6,862) ****

96. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (6,841)
97. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (6,794)
98. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt (6,715)
99. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (6,708)---
100. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (6,697)

Lists like this always make me feel like I need to go read more classics. Oh well.....