Books read:
1. Angle of Repose - Stegner - Rating: 4
2. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Smith - Rating: 4.5
3. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan - See - Rating: 5
4. Atonement - McEwan - Rating: 3.5
5. Peace Like a River - Enger Rating: 4.5
6. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo - Rating: 4.5
7. The Birds by Aristophanes Rating: 2.5
8. The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell Rating: 4.5
9. Silas Marner by George Eliot - Rating: 4.5
10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert L. Stevenson - Rating: 5
11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Rating: 5
12. Walking Across Egypt by Clyde Edgerton (bookclub pick) Rating: 4
13. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins Rating: 4.5
14. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Rating: 5
15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Rating: 5
16. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers Rating: 4
17. The Road by Cormac McCarthy Rating: 4.5
18. The Myth of Me and You by Leah Stewart Rating: 3.5
19. Everyman by Philip Roth Rating: 1
20. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Rating: 4.5
21. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke Rating: 4
22. The Giver by Lois Lowry Rating: 4.5

Pages read: 6033
New authors: 20
Male authors: 15
Female authors: 7
Rating of 4 and up: 18
Rating 3.5 and below: 4
From the Stacks Reading Challenge: 5 of 5 completed
Winter Classics Challenge: 5 of 5 completed
TBR Challenge: 10 of 12 completed
Chunkster Challenge:5 of 10 completed
By the Decade Challenge: 8 of 15 completed
Spring Reading Thing Challenge: 0 of 5 completed
Banned Book Challenge: 3 of 7 completed
Reading Across Borders Challenge: 2 of 10 completed
A-Z Title and Author Challenge: 18 of 52 completed
Once Upon a Time Fantasy Challenge: 1 of 5 completed
Pulitzer Challenge: 2 of 12 completed
NYT Notable Book Challenge: 3 of 10 completed

15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Rating: 5
16. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers Rating: 4
17. The Road by Cormac McCarthy Rating: 4.5
18. The Myth of Me and You by Leah Stewart Rating: 3.5
19. Everyman by Philip Roth Rating: 1
20. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury Rating: 4.5
21. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke Rating: 4
22. The Giver by Lois Lowry Rating: 4.5

Pages read in March: 2613
Pages read in 2007: 6033

The Giver
Lois Lowry


Newbery Medal

Rating: 4.5

I really, really liked this book. It is another "Big Brother" story similar to Fahrenheit 451 or 1984. Scary, scary.

Jonas is eleven years old. When he is twelve, he will receive his "assignment" or job from the Elders of his community. Everything is decided by the Elders. Who marries whom. Which occupation you will have. Which children you will raise. And even who has to be "released" from the community. When Jonas is selected for a special position that only one other person in the community has, it is considered a very high honor. What Jonas discovers about this "honor" changes his life completely.

I read this for the Banned Book Challenge. I'm not sure why it would be contested. Perhaps because there is some talk about the "stirrings" of beginning s* x u ality in Jonas. I didn't have a problem with this, but I'm really glad I read it before I gave it to my 13 and 12 year old sons to read. This book will make for a great discussion.

Info below taken from

Title: Arthur & George
Author: Barnes, Julian

Starred reviews from: Kirkus, LJ, PW, Booklist

A masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race, this tale is a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what is believed, what is known, and what can be proven. Two men's lives become interwoven and each becomes the other's salvation.

I will be reading this for the NYT Notable Book Challenge (and the Chunkster Challenge if read before June 30).

All Star Fridays presents a book which has received starred reviews from at least three publications.

Cornelia Funke

2003, 544 pp

Rating: 4

Meggie is a 12 year old girl whose father never reads aloud to her. He gives her books, he tells her stories, but he never actually reads from a book to her. One night a mysterious man comes to visit them--his name is Dustfinger. Dustfinger warns Mo (Meggie's father) that a man named Capricorn is after a book in Mo's possession called Inkheart.

It is then that Meggie find out why her father never reads to her. He has the ability to bring characters "alive" out of the book he is reading. The catch is, though, that someone else from the real world disappears into the book at the same time.

The adventure that follows includes Meggie's missing mother, her great-aunt Elinor, Inkheart's author Fenoglio, and several characters that have come out of their books.

I enjoyed this story very much and listened to it on CD with my entire family on a road trip this past week. The movie is being filmed now and will star Brendan Fraser, Eliza Bennett, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis, among others. I can't wait to see it!

Another challenge--but these were on my TBR list anyway!
Read more about this challenge here.
Challenge runs from March 22, through June 21, 2007.

Quest 1
Read 5 fantasy books.

1. Inkheart - Cornelia Funke
2. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
3. Phantastes - George MacDonald
4. The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald
5. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke (also for the Chunkster Challenge)

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Year: 1951
190 pp.

Rating: 4.5

I cannot believe I haven't read this book before. It deserves its "classic" status and should be read by all. This book is scary. Really. Scary. It is similar to 1984--a picture of what society could become if we let it.

Montag is a fireman who doesn't put out fires, he starts them. He burns books and the houses that contain them. His wife Mildred watches and listens to "the wall" all day, basically a huge screen TV. Almost all of the city dwellers are TV zombies, and then when they're not watching "the wall", to make themselves feel better they go out and ride their cars at dangerously high speeds. Most are on any number of pills.

Montag doesn't notice anything is wrong with his life until he meets 17 year-old Clarisse, his next door neighbor. She is different. She notices things he doesn't notice. Her family actually talks to each other. She is happy and asks him if he is. He says he is, but later at home admits to himself he isn't. He starts to question himself why, and from there he changes his life completely.

A quote that stood out because of its resemblance to today:

"I'm afraid of children my own age. they kill each other. Did it always use to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid. My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn't kill each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. Do you know, I'm responsible. I was spanked when I needed it, years ago. And I do all the shopping and housecleaning by hand."

A world where all people do is watch TV and become progressively more violent. A world where books and ideas are "dangerous". A world where "happiness" is supreme, but no one is happy. A very scary world indeed.

Publication Date: May 2007
ISBN: 1594489505
Starred reviews from: PW, Kirkus, Booklist

Click on the cover to go to Amazon for the plot summary.

Booking through Thursday

Short Stories? Or full-length novels?

Definitely full-length novels, but I appreciate a good short story now and then.

And, what's your favorite source for short stories?

This year I will be reading some short story collections from the 2006 New York Times Notable Fiction list.

5 non-fiction books to be read May 1, through September 30, 2007

My final five selections:

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (also for the NYT Notable Book Challenge)
2. The Bookseller of Kabul by Seierstad (also for Reading Across Borders Challenge)
3. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
4. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books - Zane
5. The Travels of Marco Polo - Marco Polo

Thirteen books I couldn't live without, in no particular order except for #1.

[The top ten books I couldn't live without were requested here, but I had to make it 13 and wish it could have been a top 20!!]

1. The Bible
We weren't supposed to count this unless we'd read it. I've read all except parts of Isaiah and Jeremiah--so I'm gonna count it!

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
This was read to my class by my 2nd grade teacher, Miss French. She read several goodies that year--who can forget their "first loves"?

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I always identified with Jo.

4. Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was another book read by Miss French. I went on to read the entire series and have probably read it at least 5 or 6 times.

5. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
I love all the books I've read by C.S. Lewis. If I only had just his books and the Bible on a desert island, I'd be happy.

6. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

7. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful writing, lessons to be learned, and I love the Russian authors!

9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
See #8.

10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Excellent book on the nature of guilt.

11. Complete works of Shakespeare
It's Shakespeare--need I say more? I think his complete works were being counted as only one by others.

12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A masterpiece.

13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Philip Roth

182 pp.

Rating: 1

Everyman could have been a good book. If only. . . Had he not. . . I will get to those details later.

The book traces a 70-something man's history of his health problems, his three marriages, and his affairs. After doing some research on Roth, I wondered if it is a bit autobiographical. At the end of the novel, he regrets his life. His sons and his ex-wives hate him, and he doesn't get to spend time with the one person he does love, his daughter Nancy. He is even jealous of his brother's good health and stops calling him--a brother who has always been there for him. There are lessons to be learned from the novel, sure, but here is my objection to it.

He could have written this novel without the graphic s * x scenes. It really does border on p * r n. How such a le wd book could be awarded the PEN/Faulkner is beyond me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

An NPR interview with Philip Roth about the book Everyman is here.

Kailani's Written World wants to compile a Bloggers' Top Ten List of books we could not live without. She took her idea from the Guardian poll below, which also shows the results of 2000 respondents. I will be posting my top thirteen in my "Thursday Thirteen" post tonight or tomorrow. Consider participating by going to Kailani's Written World.

The Guardian conducted a poll to mark World Book Day, which was on March 1 in the UK. 2,000 people took part and were asked to name the 10 titles they could not live without. The top 100 results were:

1 Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen [in my top 20]

2 The Lord of the Rings JRR Tolkien [in my top 25]

3 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte [in my top 20]

4 Harry Potter series JK Rowling [I haven't read ANY of the Harry Potter series yet]

5 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee [in my top 13]

6 The Bible [My #1 book--and yes, I've read all but parts of Isaiah and Jeremiah]

7 Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte [in my top 30]

8 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell [I read this in 1984 in high school. It would probably fall in a top 30 for me]

9 His Dark Materials Philip Pullman [Have not read]

10 Great Expectations Charles Dickens [Probably in a top 30]

11 Little Women Louisa M Alcott [in my top 13]

12 Tess of the d'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy [Have not read--slated for later this year, though]

13 Catch-22 Joseph Heller [Have not read]

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare William Shakespeare [in my top 13]

15 Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier [Have not read]

16 The Hobbit JRR Tolkien [in my top 30]

17 Birdsong Sebastian Faulks [Never heard of it]

18 Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger [Yuck!]

19 The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger [I liked this book, but nowhere near my top 100]

20 Middlemarch George Eliot [Have not read]

21 Gone With The Wind Margaret Mitchell [Have not read]

22 The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald [I think this is an important book, but I'm not sure where I'd place it]

23 Bleak House Charles Dickens [Have not read]

24 War and Peace Leo Tolstoy [Have not read--slated for 2008]

25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams [Have not read]

26 Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh [Have not read]

27 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky [in my top 13]

28 Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck [in my top 30]

29 Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll [Have not read]

30 The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame [Have not read]

31 Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy [in my top 13]

32 David Copperfield Charles Dickens [Have not read]

33 Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis [in my top 13]

34 Emma Jane Austen [Have not read--loved the movies]

35 Persuasion Jane Austen [in my top 20]

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe CS Lewis [in my top 13, but it's part of #33]

37 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini [Have not read--slated for later this year]

38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin Louis de Bernières [Have not read]

39 Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden [Have not read]

40 Winnie the Pooh AA Milne [in my top 30]

41 Animal Farm George Orwell [in my top 20]

42 The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown [Have not read]

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez [I did not like this one]

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney John Irving [Have not read]

45 The Woman in White Wilkie Collins [Enjoyed this one]

46 Anne of Green Gables LM Montgomery [Have not read]

47 Far From The Madding Crowd Thomas Hardy [Have not read]

48 The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood [Have not read--slated for later this year]

49 Lord of the Flies William Golding [in my top 30]

50 Atonement Ian McEwan [I didin't like this one]

51 Life of Pi Yann Martel [Have not read--slated for later this year]

52 Dune Frank Herbert [Have not read]

53 Cold Comfort Farm Stella Gibbons [Never heard of it]

54 Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen [Have not read--loved the movie!]

55 A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth [Never heard of it]

56 The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon [I did not like this book]

57 A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens [Have not read]

58 Brave New World Aldous Huxley [Have not read]

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon [Have not read--slated for later this year]

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez [Have not read]

61 Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck [not sure where I'd place this one]

62 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov [Have not read]

63 The Secret History Donna Tartt [Have not read]

64 The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold [Have not read]

65 Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas [Have not read]

66 On The Road Jack Kerouac [Have not read]

67 Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy ([Have not read]

68 Bridget Jones's Diary Helen Fielding [Have not read--liked the movie]

69 Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie [Have not read]

70 Moby Dick Herman Melville [Have not read]

71 Oliver Twist Charles Dickens [Have not read]

72 Dracula Bram Stoker [Have not read]

73 The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett [Have not read--loved the movie!]

74 Notes From A Small Island Bill Bryson [Never heard of it]

75 Ulysses James Joyce [Have not read]

76 The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath [Have not read]

77 Swallows and Amazons Arthur Ransome [Have not read]

78 Germinal Emile Zola [Have not read--loved the movie with Gerard Depardieu]

79 Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray [Have not read--liked the movie]

80 Possession AS Byatt [Have not read--slated for later this year]

81 A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens [Good book, not sure where I'd place it, though]

82 Cloud Atlas David Mitchell [Have not read]

83 The Color Purple Alice Walker [Have not read]

84 The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro [Have not read--LOVED the movie!]

85 Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert [in my top 20]

86 A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry [Never heard of it]

87 Charlotte's Web EB White [in my top 13]

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Albom [Have not read]

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [Have not read]

90 The Faraway Tree Collection Enid Blyton [Never heard of it]

91 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad [Excellent writing--not sure where I'd place it on my list]

92 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupery [Have not read]

93 The Wasp Factory Iain Banks [Never heard of it]

94 Watership Down Richard Adams [Have not read--maybe next year?]

95 A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole [Have not read]

96 A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute [Never heard of it]

97 The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas [Have not read--want to someday]

98 Hamlet William Shakespeare [in my top 13 as the Complete Works]

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl [Loved this as a kid!!]

100 Les Misérables Victor Hugo [Have not read--definitely want to someday]

You can see the article by clicking here.

I had planned all along to join the Banned Book Challenge, but just registered a few days ago. The Spring Reading Thing sounds fun, too. Who can resist the cute button?

March 21 through June 21, 2007

Read more about this challenge here.

1. New Testament
2. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
3. March by Geraldine Brooks
4. Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates
5. Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos

You may read more about this challenge here.

The challenge runs from February 26 through June 30, 2007. I chose my books from the lists they provided on their site.

1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
2. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
5. Grendel by John Gardner
6. The Giver by Lois Lowry
7. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Source: Critical Mass

The complete longlist of 20:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
Clare Allan, Poppy Shakespeare
Rachel Cusk, Arlington Park
Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
Patricia Ferguson, Peripheral Vision
Margaret Forster, Over
Nell Freudenberger, The Dissident
Rebecca Gowers, When to Walk
Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Jane Harris ,The Observations
M J Hyland, Carry Me Down
Lori Lansens, The Girls
Lisa Moore, Alligator
Catherine O'Flynn, What Was Lost
Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves
Deborah Robertson, Careless
Rachel Seiffert, Afterwards
Jane Smiley, Ten Days in the Hills
Anne Tyler, Digging to America
Melanie Wallace, The Housekeeper

I really enjoy reading other book blogs. I don't have any on my sidebar, though, because I'm always afraid I'll leave someone important off the list. I do want fellow book bloggers to know that I have over 30 blogs on my feed list. I'm reading your posts, but I sometimes don't comment very much because I'm on sloooooooow dial-up. I'm really enjoying this new-found community!

Info taken from

The Dead Fathers Club
Author: Haig, Matt
Publisher: Viking $ 23.95
ISBN: 9780670038336
Date: 2007

Starred Reviews from: PW Kirkus Booklist

Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem. It all begins when his dad appears as a ghost at his own funeral and introduces Philip to the Dead Fathers Club. Philip learns the truth about ghosts: the only people who end up ghosts are MURDERED. So begins Philip's quest to avenge his dad. Hilariously funny, it is full of poignant insights into the strange workings of the world seen through the eyes of a child.

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Speaking of writing in books, what about writing the entire thing? Do you write? Aspire to write? Dream about writing? Answer: I don't currently write, but I do feel the inspiration sometimes and also feel there's a book in me somewhere. My 13 year old son is writing a book, though!

  2. If you do write, do you do it for yourself, or because you hope to be published? (Or because you ARE published?) Answer: N/A to me, but my son hopes to be published someday.

Books that left an impression on me as a child and made me the reader I am today.

In no particular order.

1. Charlotte's Web
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
3. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
4. Dick and Jane books (luckily my school taught phonics as well)
5. Nancy Drew series
6. Hardy Boys series
7. Little House series
8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
9. Dr. Seuss books
10. Little Women
11. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
12. Frog and Toad books
13. Cricket magazine

To view other Thursday Thirteens, go here.

To see more of Candida Höfer's library shots, buy the book Libraries here.

All Star Fridays will present a book that has received starred reviews from at least 3 publications.

I have bought Finn, and it's on its way to my personal library. It looks really, really good.

Info below taken from

Author: Clinch, Jon
Publisher: Random $ 23.95 ISBN: 9781400065912 Date: 2007

Starred Reviews from: Kirkus PW LJ

In this masterful debut novel, Clinch takes readers on a journey into the history and heart of one of American literature's most brutal and mysterious figures: Huckleberry Finn's father. The result is a deeply original tour de force that springs from Twain's classic novel but takes on a fully realized life of its own.

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Do you lend your books to other people? If so, any restrictions? Answer: I try not to, but I will on occasion if I really trust the person

  2. Do you borrow books from other people? (Friends or family—I'm not talking about the public library) Answer: Yes, but rarely.

  3. And, most importantly—do the books you lend/borrow get returned to their rightful owners?? Answer: I have had to wait a looooong time to get some of my books back. That's why I try not to lend anymore.

Thirteen books that I have rated 5 or 4.5 in the last year. To see any of these reviews, go to:

Rated 5 (in no particular order)

1. The Book Thief
2. Gilead
3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
4. The Alchemist
5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
6. To Kill a Mockingbird
7. Heart of Darkness

Rated 4.5 (in no particular order)

8. Peace Like a River
9. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
10. The Woman in White
11. Silas Marner
12. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
13. A Redbird Christmas

To see more of Candida Höfer's library shots, buy the book Libraries here.

I started this challenge as a personal one, but some have expressed interest in joining me, so I would be delighted to be the hostess for it. It really is meant to just "work in" with your other challenges.

My goal is to read 15 books published in 15 consecutive decades in 2007. You don't have to choose that many books, though! In fact, my original goal was 10 books in 10 consecutive decades, but I realized my 2007 TBR list made it easy for me to go ahead and do 15.

1. First, there will be a prize--a book of your choosing from that is priced $15.00 or less. Only one prize will be given.

2. You may choose the number of books you read. If you read 4 books in 4 consecutive decades, you will have 4 chances for the prize. If you're really ambitious and read 18 books in 18 consecutive decades, you will have 18 chances for the prize. Books may be read in any order!

3. Books read for other challenges are totally acceptable. Almost all of mine are cross-posted with other challenges.

4. This is meant to be a fun challenge. Most of us are reading fools and have so many challenges going on. Don't let this one stress you out. Most could probably muster up at least 3 or 4 books for it without even trying.

5. The challenge lasts from January 1 through December 31 of 2007. Any book you've read this year will count for the challenge. However, you must sign up for it by midnight ET on June 30, 2007. If you're later than that you can still participate, but you won't be eligible for the prize. To sign up, go here:

A good source to find out when books were published is wikipedia. For example if you follow this link, you will see how it is easy to search for titles in a particular decade

My list for this challenge is here.

Have fun reading!


Trade Paperback Fiction

1 The Memory Keeper's Daughter
Kim Edwards, Penguin, $14, 9780143037149
A tragic snap-decision about a handicapped baby, played out among the affected.

2 The Inheritance of Loss
Kiran Desai, Grove, $14, 9780802142818
A rich Book Sense Notable and winner of the Man Booker Prize. Set in India on the eve of the Nepalese movement for an independent state.

3 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Lisa See, Random House, $13.95, 9780812968064
A #1 Book Sense Pick in hardcover, set in 19th-century rural China.

4 Labyrinth
Kate Mosse, Berkley, $15, 9780425213971
Present-day collides with 13th-century Carcassonne in a quest for the Holy Grail. A Book Sense Pick in hardcover.

5 The History of Love
Nicole Krauss, Norton, $13.95, 9780393328622
A #1 Book Sense Pick in hardcover that travels deep into the mysteries of love and survival.

6 March
Geraldine Brooks, Penguin, $14, 9780143036661
2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction and #1 Book Sense Pick. The Civil War experiences of Little Women's absent Mr. March.

7 Case Histories
Kate Atkinson, Back Bay, $13.99, 9780316010702
A Book Sense Pick in hardcover about the cost of unsolved crimes on the lives of the survivors.

8 In the Company of the Courtesan
Sarah Dunant, Random House, $13.95, 9780812974041
Enchanting historical fiction, bringing Renaissance Italy to life.

9 Astrid and Veronika
Linda Olsson, Penguin, $14, 9780143038078
The stories and secrets of friends, in Sweden. A Book Sense Pick.

10 Snow
Orhan Pamuk, Vintage, $14.95, 9780375706868
The Turkish author takes a poetic look at the complicated politics of his homeland in this stunning novel and Book Sense Pick.

11 The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini, Riverhead, $14, 9781594480003
A Book Sense Pick, now in paperback. A stunning, enlightening novel of friendship and Afghan culture and politics.

12 The Alchemist (Updated)
Paulo Coelho, HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 9780061122415
A boy's journey and metamorphosis, with new bonus material.

13 The Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri, Mariner, $14, 9780618485222
A mesmerizing and melancholy Book Sense Pick about a first-generation Indian family in America.

14 Arthur & George
Julian Barnes, Vintage, $14.95, 9781400097036
Based on a Conan Doyle investigation of a crime in Victorian England. A Book Sense Pick in hardcover.

15 My Sister's Keeper
Jodi Picoult, Washington Square, $14, 9780743454537
Sensitive and thought provoking. A dying child ... what would you do, as a parent? As a sibling? A Book Sense Pick in hardcover.

Hardcover Fiction
What Is the What
Dave Eggers, McSweeney's, $26, 9781932416640
Fictionalized memoir of a survivor of the tragedy in the Sudan.

Ten Days in the Hills
Jane Smiley, Knopf, $26, 9781400040612
That's the Hollywood Hills, and war lurks in the background.

Step on a Crack
James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge, Little Brown, $27.99, 9780316013949
Difficult family circumstances mix with terror in this latest Patterson "team" thriller.

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen, Algonquin, $23.95, 9781565124998
Indies are still buzzing about this rich, romantic story set in a long-ago traveling circus. A #1 Book Sense Pick.

The Double Bind
Chris Bohjalian, Shaye Areheart, $25, 9781400047468
This Book Sense Pick is a layered beauty about a woman's obsession with uncovering a dark secret.

You Suck
Christopher Moore, Morrow, $21.95, 9780060590291
Young vampires in love. (You were expecting...?)

For One More Day
Mitch Albom, Hyperion, $21.95, 9781401303273
A mother's death, a time of regret.

Innocent in Death - Debut
J.D. Robb, Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154010
Nora Roberts' new Eve Dallas thriller.

High Profile
Robert B. Parker, Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154041
The murder of a right-wing radio commentator takes center stage.

The Alexandria Link
Steve Berry, Ballantine, $25.95, 9780345485755
Rare book dealer becomes action hero.

Returning to Earth
Jim Harrison, Grove, $24, 9780802118387
A beautiful, earthy Book Sense Pick that considers death and dying from different perspectives.

Suite Francaise
Irene Nemirovsky, Knopf, $25, 9781400044733
Long-lost vignettes set in German-occupied Paris, by an author exterminated in Auschwitz. A Book Sense Pick.

Plum Lovin'
Janet Evanovich, St. Martin's, $16.95, 9780312306342
A ripe, juicy, romantic love-Plum.

The Castle in the Forest
Norman Mailer, Random House, $27.95, 9780394536491
Mailer's fictional tale of Hitler's childhood.

Heart-Shaped Box - Debut
Joe Hill, Morrow, $24.95, 9780061147937
A modern, creepy ghost story and #1 Book Sense Pick.

2006 National Book Cricitics Circle Award Nominees

On January 20, 2007, the National Book Critics Circle announced the nominees of their annual Awards, which honor outstanding writing in books and reviews published in English. The winners in the following five categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography/Memoir, and Criticism will be announced at the NBCC Annual Awards Ceremony on March 8, 2007.

The nominees of the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Awards for Fiction are:

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
What is the What by Dave Eggers
The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
The Road by Cormac McCarthy

13 New York Times Notable books that I would like to read in 2007.

I've only committed to 10, though, in the NYT Notable Books Challenge

1. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
3. Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski
4. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
5. Lisey's Story by Stephen King
6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
7. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
8. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
9. The Translator, by Leila Aboulela
10. The Dead Fish Museum, by Charles D'Ambrosio
11. Old Filth, by Jane Gardam
12. Intuition, by Allegra Goodman
13. The Stories of Mary Gordon, by Mary Gordon

To view other Thursday Thirteens paticipants, click here.

To view my other Thursday Thirteens, click here.