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Books 47 and 48
kitty, reading
sarahmichigan wrote in 50_in_2010
I feel like I'm cutting it close to get to 50 books by the end of the year, but I have a couple of books I'm in the middle of, so we'll see!

Book #47 was "Shanghai Girls" by Lisa See. I read another book by her (#12 for this year) and enjoyed it, but I think "Shanghai Girls" was even better. It tells the story of two girls growing up in Shanghai of the 1930s, balancing tradition with modern sensibility. They endure hardships in Shanghai and eventually end up trying to make a go of arranged marriages with two brothers in America. The book covers the era from just before World War II to just after Korea and all the social and cultural upheaval Chinese Americans went through during those eras. See creates characters that you just really believe are real, and I enjoyed this novel a lot.

Book #48 was "The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases" by Michael Capuzzo. It took me a little bit to get into the book, because I found the storytelling style kind of odd, but eventually, I really got sucked in and enjoyed it. It's the true story of a group of forensic investigators and other law enforcement and detective types who form a club called The Vidocq Society to investigate old cold case murders. They bring their expertise in profiling, reconstructing faces from skeletons and old-fashioned detective work to old unsolved cases and end up solving more than 80 percent of them. Some of the cases are well known, while others are more obscure. I liked the structure the author picked. He could have devoted one chapter to each case and could have wrapped each up neatly. Instead, he teases you with the case, then goes on to another, and then circles back to give more information on various cases as the investigators discover new clues and make new connections. Several cases mentioned early in the book don't get wrapped up until almost the very end, and this made me want to keep reading and reading. I'd highly recommend this to fans of both true crime and traditional detective fiction. The grim subject matter had me thinking some pretty heavy thoughts, and yet, it's still a fun and compelling read.


1. Kiss of the Spiderwoman [fiction]- Manuel Puig
2. The Garlic Ballads [fiction]- Mo Yan
3. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World [non-fiction]- Michael Pollan
4. Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood [non-fiction/memoir]- Jennifer Traig
5. Bleeding Kansas [fiction]- Sara Paretsky
6. The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas [non-fiction]- Jerry Dennis
7. The Last of Mr. Noris [fiction]- Christopher Isherwood
8. Goodbye to Berlin [fiction]- Christopher Isherwood
9. The Golden City [fiction]- John Twelve Hawks
10. The Scarlet Pimpernel [fiction]- Baroness Emmuska Orczy (unabridged book on CD)
11 Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo, and Pygmies [non-fiction/memoir]- Stewart Copeland
12. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan [fiction]- Lisa See
13. The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali [non-fiction]- Ian Gibson
14. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life [non-fiction]- Barbara Kingsolver (unabridged book on CD)
15. The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup [non-fiction]- Susan Orlean
16. Bee Season [fiction]- Myla Goldberg
17. Kiss Me Like You Love Me [fiction]- Wednesday Lee Friday
18. The Buffalo Soldier [fiction] Chris Bohjalian
19. 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs - The Election that Changed the Country [non-fiction]- James Chace
20. Thirteen [fiction]- Richard K. Morgan (unabridged book on CD)
21. The Waters of Babylon: A Novel About Lawrence After Arabia [fiction]- David Stevens
22. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior [non-fiction]- Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Roscio and Barry L. Beyerstein
23. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love [fiction]- Oscar Hijuelos
24. Metatropolis [fiction/novellas]- Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi and Karl Schroeder (unabridged book on CD)
25. Under the Eye of the Clock [non-fiction/memoir]- Christopher Nolan
26. Iron and Silk [non-fiction/memoir]- Mark Salzman
27. Ventus [fiction]- Karl Schroeder
28. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin [non-fiction/memoir]- Benjamin Franklin
29. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life [non-fiction]- Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey.
30. Ancient Puzzles: Classic Brainteasers and Other Timeless Mathematical Games of the Past 10 Centuries [non-fiction]- Dominic Olivastro
31. Anathem [fiction]- Neal Stephenson (unabridged book on CD)
32. Almanac of the Dead [fiction]- Leslie Marmon Silko
33. No Surrender: My Thirty Year War [non-fiction/memoir]- Hiroo Onoda
34. Brideshead Revisited [fiction]- Evelyn Waugh
35. Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders [nonfiction]- Mary Pipher
36. The Confessions of Nat Turner [fiction- William Styron
37. Bag of Bones [fiction]- Stephen King (unabridged book on CD)
38. The Merry Recluse [non-fiction/essays]- Caroline Knapp
39. Drown [fiction/ short stories]- Junot Diaz  (unabridged book on CD)
40. Unholy Ghosts [fiction]- Stacia Kane
41. A Fistful of Charms [fiction]- Kim Harrison (unabridged book on CD)
42. Rebecca [fiction]- Daphne DuMaurier (unabridged book on CD)
43. Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945 [non-fiction]- Ruth Brandon
44. When We Were Orphans [fiction]- Kazuo Ishiguro
45. The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao [fiction]- Junot Diaz (unabridged book on CD)
46. Dared and Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning [non-fiction/biography]- Julia Markus

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