Book Club Friday

Yesterday, as I was checking out fellow bloggers’ It’s Ok Thursday link-up posts, I stumbled upon a couple who participate in Book Club Fridays. How have I not heard of this before? This is pretty much my ideal topic since I am an absolute bookworm (case in point: I’ve read 43 books since Memorial Day). I’m so excited to jump in and share some of my favorite books!

I’m going to talk about two books today because I read really quickly and ended up finishing the one I wanted to blog about and then getting 1/3 of the way through a new one.

I am a sucker for anything free, especially books, and have weekly visits to the Kindle Top 100 Free list to download everything I can. This was a free featured book a couple weeks ago and I decided to give it a go this week.


Book One in the Daughters of Fortune series. The beautiful heiress daughters of newspaper magnate August Price have been given everything their hearts desire. But what if they want only to be loved–without an enormous price tag attached? When one daughter pursues a desirable marriage, she secures for herself a comfortable and glamorous life. But among the duties of privilege, will she also find the happily-ever-after she seeks? Her sister rejects the trappings of wealth, choosing instead to build a new life on the still-untamed frontier. Will she find happiness in independence or discover that she’s left her heart behind in New York’s glittering society? Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, each woman discovers that being an heiress just might cost her everything–including the chance for true love.

My review:

I love this time period. I was lucky to visit Newport this year during the off-season for practically free and could not get over the giant mansions and the pageantry that accompanied the Gilded Age. This is what drew me in, but the characters and stories are what kept me. It was so interesting to see young women pursuing what they think they want in life and what the outcomes are. I definitely related to it on a personal level since I have often mistaken what I really want. This book had a bit of a Downton Abbey feel to it, with plenty of scandal, and since I’m a huge fan of the show I really enjoyed this novel.

I just started Triangles last night, and I’m already enthralled. Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorite authors. I’m still a sucker for YA (even though I’m a super old 23) and I was introduced to Crank by a friend in college. I’ve since read everything she’s ever written and was so excited to finally borrow this from a friend. If you’ve never read anything by her, you should. She explores a myriad of social and family issues in the most beautiful way. These are also some of the only books I refuse to read as ebooks – her verses are formatted in a way that creates a complementary visual art.


In this emotionally powerful novel, three women face the age-old midlife question: If I’m halfway to death, is this all I’ve got to show for it? Holly, filled with regret for being a stay-at-home mom, sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea, a single mom and avowed celibate, watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Then there’s Marissa. She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts. As one woman’s marriage unravels, another one’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s is reconfigured into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all three of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness before it is through.


PROGRESS: 100 books to read before I’m 30

The title of this post is incredibly deceptive considering that, since making this list in November of 2010, I have read exactly 4 books on the list. That’s right, 4.  A blind lizard could read faster than that. Well, I’ve technically read way more than 4 books over the past year and a half, but only about 1% have been from my classics list.

(PS – if you’re on Goodreads, come be friends with me and make me follow through with this!)

I’m going to make my life a tid bit easier and pull out the books I’d like to read this summer (summer being Monday night after my last final until classes start in August. So, about 4 months). This is a bit ambitious, but I think I can do it. (Note: this is in addition to all the other summer reading I want to do which includes at least 8 more books). I have included two Russians, but I’m balancing it out with a lot of fun English writing (my favorite) and some sultry French/Spanish work. This is actually my third time attempting Anna K: I finished about 80% of it when I was living in Manhattan, but work got crazy and it was long overdue from the library (I’m not allowed to go to libraries) and I never finished it. Then I tried again back in January before this semester started, but I got distracted by new, shiny books. My plan is to do about one classic per week, with longer for the Russians.


  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (about halfway done)
  2. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  3. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  4. The Beautiful and Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. The Arabian Nights – Anonymous
  6. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. Emma – Jane Austen
  8. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  9. Les Liasons Dangereuses – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  10. A Room with a View – E.M. Forster
  11. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
  12. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

THE FULL LIST (bolded titles are complete)

  1. This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  3. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  4. The Beautiful and Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Emma – Jane Austen
  6. Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  7. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  8. The Aeneid – Vergil
  9. The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
  10. Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte
  11. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
  12. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  13. The Arabian Nights – Anonymous
  14. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  15. Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
  16. Billy Budd and the Plaza Tales – Herman Melville
  17. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  18. The Bostonians – Henry James
  19. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  20. Candide – Voltaire
  21. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
  22. A Christmas Carol & The Cricket on the Hearth – Charles Dickens
  23. Collected Works of Oscar Wilde
  24. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. Common Sense – Thomas Paine
  26. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx
  27. Confessions – Saint Augustine
  28. The Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas
  29. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  30. Daisy Miller and Washington Square – Henry James
  31. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Essays & Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  33. Essential Dialogues of Plato
  34. Fairy Tales – Hans Christian Andersen
  35. Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  36. The Federalist – Hamilton, Madison, Jay
  37. The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
  38. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Jacob and Willhelm Grimm
  39. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
  40. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  41. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  42. The Illiad – Homer
  43. The Importance of Being Earnest & Other Plays – Oscar Wilde
  44. The Inferno – Dante
  45. The Interpretation of Dreams – Freud
  46. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte *technically re-reading*
  47. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  48. Lady Chatterly’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
  49. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
  50. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Writings – Washington Irving
  51. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  52. Les Liasons Dangereuses – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  53. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  54. The Mayor of Cambridge – Thomas Hardy
  55. The Metamorphoses – Ovid
  56. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  57. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
  58. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  59. My Antonia – Willa Cather *technically re-reading*
  60. My Bondage and My Freedome – Frederick Douglass
  61. My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
  62. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
  63. Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
  64. Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
  65. The Odyssey – Homer *technically re-reading*
  66. Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham
  67. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  68. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  69. The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
  70. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  71. The Paradiso – Dante
  72. Persuasian – Jane Austen
  73. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie
  74. The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux
  75. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  76. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  77. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  78. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  79. The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain
  80. The Purgatorio – Dante
  81. Pygmalion and Other Plays – George Bernard Shaw
  82. Republic – Plato
  83. A Room with a View – E.M. Forster
  84. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  85. The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
  86. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  87. Selected Stories of O. Henry
  88. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  89. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
  90. Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
  91. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  92. Tess of d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  93. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  94. The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James
  95. Villette – Charlotte Bronte
  96. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  97. The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope
  98. Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
  99. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  100. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte