Wednesday, May 28, 2014

50 Books in 2014: 11-15

I'm still about four books behind schedule, but here are books 11-15 out of my 50 books in 2014 goal! As always, you can follow my progress and whatnot on GoodReads (

  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum


    GoodReads says: "Over a century after its initial publication, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is still captivating the hearts of countless readers. Come adventure with Dorothy and her three friends: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion, as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City for an audience with the Great Oz, the mightiest Wizard in the land, and the only one that can return Dorothy to her home in Kansas. 

    This edition, fully annotated, faithfully reproduces L. Frank Baum’s original novel straight from the source, and free from modern edits. You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the story just as Baum wrote it over one hundred years ago, while at the same time you'll enjoy interesting facts and footnotes that expand this great story and provide a basis for Baum’s magical world."Average Rating: 3.96/5

    I said: 5/5 stars, "I had never read the original book, but have seen the movie adaptation several times, and have even studied the allegory at length in a US history course. I was very pleased to find this book available to read as an ebook on my phone through GoodReads, and I loved every minute of it. The story is quite different than that of the movie - it is filled with much more adventures. I thoroughly enjoyed this book."

  2. The Complete Guide to Growing Windowsill Plants: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply, by Angela Williams Duea


    GoodReads says: "A windowsill is among the best possible places to put a plant -- it provides ample sunlight, brightens the look of your home from the outside, and adds what amounts to a filter to the air coming in and out of your home. In winter, they can add a touch of color to an otherwise drab view, and in summer they thrive. But, not every plant grows well in these conditions - with as many as 40 percent of most houseplants according to Garden Guides not needing nearly that much sunlight. The selection of the right houseplants for your windowsill is a necessary step to ensuring they survive and thrive. 
    This book will guide you through the steps needed to select the perfect plants for your windowsill and cultivate them to both fit in with your space and to survive the conditions, whether inside or outside. You will learn everything you need to know to effectively plant windowsill plants and improve how your home and your windows look to the world outside. You will learn, through a series of detailed charts, which plants are best suited to the cramped space of a windowsill and which ones will only give you problems. You will learn how much light each plant needs and how much water and food they need and whether you need to supplement natural provision of these resources. You will learn how to care for your plants while keeping away pests and animals that may eat the leaves or dig up the dirt. 
    Top experts in gardening have been interviewed and their insights will help you learn what works and what doesn't work for your windowsill plants. From first planting, whether by seed or potted plant, you will have every resource you need to keep your windowsill plants alive and thriving in their new environment with this book.
    Average Rating: 3.5/5

    I said: 4/5 stars, "This book went into great detail in explaining the different techniques in growing a windowsill garden. I found it very useful in going through great lengths about different indoor plants and how to care for them. I was a bit disappointed with the fact that only a very small portion of the book was dedicated towards growing edible plants indoors, which is what I read the book intending to learn about."

  3. Sex and Crime: Oliver's Strange Journey, by Oliver Markus


    GoodReads says: "Sex and Crime: Oliver's Strange Journey is an autobiographical book that follows the incredible life of Oliver, a teenage hacker in Aachen, Germany, who is the victim of traumatic childhood abuse and suffers from PTSD. He falls in love with an American girl online, and spends many hours on the phone with her every day for a year, until he moves in with her in New York. After his crazy adventures as a New York cab driver, he becomes a successful cartoonist and goes on to be an Internet millionaire. A painful divorce throws him into a deep, almost suicidal depression, until he falls in love with a heroin addict and he ends up moving to Fort Myers, Florida. As his life spirals more and more out of control, Oliver gets sucked deeper and deeper into the dark world of drug addiction and prostitution."
    Average Rating: 4.09/5

    I said: 4/5 stars, "
    I was truly blown away by this book. The author's stories are so real and striking; they leave you with an impression you cannot forget. The writing style of Markus is a bit different than most authors: this book is written as if the author is dictating the stories to you. Some people may not like this casual style of writing, but it seems to make every bizarre and surreal experience you read about seem all the more true."

  4. I Garden - Urban Style, by T. Reginald Solomon and Michael Nolan


    GoodReads says: "A Garden for Your Space & Your Style You can grow delicious, healthy vegetables and beautiful flowers in your urban setting. No yard? No problem, you have more options available than you think--from containers and window boxes to raised beds and community plots. No time? No worries, there are plants and containers that accommodate even the busiest schedule."
    Average Rating: 3.36/5

    I said: 4/5 stars, "
    This book is a great resource for anyone interested in urban gardening. It covers a wide spectrum of situations, techniques, and it also includes a great selection of resources for the upcoming or active urban gardener."

  5. Snapper, by Brian Kimberling


    GoodReads says: "A great, hilarious new voice in fiction: the poignant, all-too-human recollections of an affable bird researcher in the Indiana backwater as he goes through a disastrous yet heartening love affair with the place and its people.

    Nathan Lochmueller studies birds, earning just enough money to live on. He drives a glitter-festooned truck, the Gypsy Moth, and he is in love with Lola, a woman so free-spirited and mysterious she can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them swirls a remarkable cast of characters: the proprietor of Fast Eddie’s Burgers & Beer, the genius behind “Thong Thursdays”; Uncle Dart, a Texan who brings his swagger to Indiana with profound and nearly devastating results; a snapping turtle with a taste for thumbs; a German shepherd who howls backup vocals; and the very charismatic state of Indiana itself. And at the center of it all is Nathan, creeping through the forest to observe the birds he loves and coming to terms with the accidental turns his life has taken."
    Average Rating: 3.23/5

    I said: 4/5 stars, "I really enjoyed this book. I am very interested in ecology, and a great deal of this book focused on different adventures in doing field research. The 'mini stories' in the book portray an array of different situations and range from funny to sad and everywhere in between. My only complaint is that this book seemed to be composed more of a series of vignettes that jump around quite a bit in space and time."

1 comment:

  1. I remember borrowing Wizard of Oz from my school library when I was ten and became SO hooked! I remember it was a series though- was that like the first part of it? Either way, awesome challenge! I loved hearing about all these new books.

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin


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