The Busy Giffs: 50 Books in 1 Year

January 1, 2013

50 Books in 1 Year

Book #45

the perks of being a wallflower

From Amazon:

the perks of being a wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

I really enjoyed this book, and am really happy that it was sent to me.
I had a very "Catcher in the Rye" feel to it.
Stream of consciousness, awkward, juvenile, but understandable and heart wrenching.

Book #46

The Great Gatsby

From Amazon:
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.
The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

This is another classic book that I haven't read since high school but once again, with the movie coming out, I had to read it again!
It's classic for a reason, read it if you haven't!

Book # 47


From Amazon:

When Frank Money joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, his shattered life has no purpose until he hears that Cee is in danger.

Frank is a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary black man. As he journeys to his native Georgia in search of Cee, it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last what it means to be a man, what it takes to heal, and--above all--what it means to come home.

This book was... interesting? and a bit difficult. Although its is short and easy to read, it is hard to understand as the chapters swap between characters' points of view and there is nothing to define who is thinking. You can make assumptions based on the content but if keeping things organized is not your forte... well...

Book #48

The Perfect Christmas

From Amazon:
What would make your Christmas perfect?

For Cassie Beaumont, it's meeting her perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and so far, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the internet and certainly not leaving love to chance.

What other options are there? Well…she could hire a professional matchmaker. Simon Dodson has quite a reputation, but he's very choosy about the clients he takes on—and very expensive. Cassie considers him a difficult, acerbic know-it-all, and she's astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks to complete before she meets this paragon. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being a charity bell-ringer, dressing up as Santa's elf at a mall and preparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (most of whom she happens to dislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all—and then she's finally ready to meet her match.

But just like the perfect Christmas gift, he turns out to be a wonderful surprise!

Not much bothers me more than a super predictable book... and this one was no exception. I guessed the ending within the first 20 pages and then just watched it unfold to, ultimately, what I had predicted. This is one of those really stupid, "I'm going to the beach and just need a quick piece of crap I can forget about afterwards" books. If you're into it, read on.

Book #49

Girls' Poker Night

From Amazon:
Dissatisfied both with writing a “Single Girl on the Edge/ Ledge/Verge” lifestyle column and with her boyfriend (who has a name for his car and compulsively collects plastic bread ties), Ruby Capote sends her best columns and a six-pack of beer to the editor of The New York News and lands herself a new job in a new city. 

In New York, Ruby undertakes the venerable tradition of Poker Night—a way (as men have always known) to eat, drink, smoke, analyze, interrupt one another, share stories, and, most of all, raise the stakes. There’s Skorka, model by profession, homewrecker by vocation; Jenn, willing to cross county lines for true love; Danielle, recently divorced, seducer of at least one father/son combo in her quest to make up for perceived “missed opportunities.”

When Ruby falls for her boss, Michael, all bets are off. He’s a challenge. He’s her editor. And he wants her to stop being quippy and clever and become the writer—and the woman—he knows she can be. Adding to Ruby’s uncertainty is his amazing yet ambiguous kiss in the elevator, and the enjoyably torturous impasse of he-loves-me, he-loves-me-not.

What happens when you realize that Mr. Right has his own unresolved past? Where does that leave the future you envisioned? Ruby knows that happy endings aren’t for cowards, and she hasn’t lost hope that there are risks worth taking. As smart as it is laugh-out-loud funny, Girls’ Poker Night is a twenty-first-century His Girl Friday and a re-freshingly upbeat look at friendship, work, and love.

I apparently picked out terrible books to finish up my 50. 
This one was ehhhhh.
It was part stream of conscious, written to be put in a newspaper, part diary and really, really obnoxious.
I found myself pushing through it just to be done with it.
I really have no good things to say about it.

Book #50

Heart of the Matter

From Amazon:
Tessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon.  Despite her own mother's warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.
Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie--a boy who has never known his father.  After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance--and even to some degree, friendships--believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.
Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children.  But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined. 
In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

I will start off by saying that I'm thrilled that she didn't follow her basic formula for books and that this one wasn't expected.
Granted the outcome was ,sadly, predictable, I was impressed that although I had guessed the middle right, I was incorrect about the end, which always makes me happy.
It's another quick read but I actually got emotional while reading it, and hey, that has got to be a good sign, right?

I did it!
50 books in one year!


  1. I adore books (though I rarely have time to read now) - thanks for sharing these great picks!

  2. Wow - 50 books in one year!!! That's awesome!! :)

  3. I just got "Perks of being a Wallflower" & can't wait to read it! :) I barely got through 15 books in 2012 but I've got an eReader now so I'm doubling my 2013 goal!

  4. I read Perks recently and love it! And love all of Emily Giffins books, although Heart of the Matter was one of my least favorites. I just hated how you couldn't really root for anyone because you wanted a happy ending for everyone which wouldn't really be possible.

  5. Congrats on reaching your goal :)


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