Tag Archives: rory list

Review of the Year 2014- Challenges

I’ve done just two challenges this year. I’m only doing The Rory List this year, I am trying to make my blogging more relaxed, and Rory is really an if it comes up challenge rather than a strive for numbers challenge

Edward Herman (who played Richard Gilmore) died on New Year’s Eve so it seems fitting that The Rory List should be my only challenge this year

The Rory List (ongoing challenge)

There has been a bit of a crossover with my other challenge, which is good, so I think I did good on this this year, 7 books:

Night (not yet reviewed)

31 Songs

Slaughterhouse 5

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Little Women

House of Sand and Fog (started 2013)


I gave up on the TBR Pile Challenge About half way through the year, I was having stress in other parts of my life and wanted to make other things relaxed. I read 5 of 12 books:

A Game of Thrones



The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Little Women


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House of Sand and Fog- Andre Dubus III

This book was read as part of The Rory List

Synopsis (from amazon)

Kathy is a young recovering alcoholic recently seperated from her husband. When her family home is repossessed she is devastated. Her house is sold at auction to Behrani, a former Iranian Air Force officer for whom it represents an entry into real estate and a passport to the future for his family and his own version of the American Dream. For Kathy, its loss is the last of a sereis of insults life has dealt her and the stage is set for a gut-wrenching tragedy.


This book was on my wishlist for years, then on my TBR pile for years, and now it’s been in my review queue for about a month, it’s almost as if the fates are against it. I read a review which finally made me take it off my TBR pile and start reading it. I can’t for the life of my remember where the review was, how I wish feedly had a search function! It’s the thing I most miss from google reader. Anyway, if it was you, I apologise, but if you let me know in comments I’ll add a link to it.

So almost a month after reading my overriding thoughts are about the characters. Maybe my reading is a bit character driven because I didn’t really like any characters enough for me to like the book.

My dislike for Lester is probably in fact what connected me most with the book. I couldn’t quite decide if he was just an idiot or was somehow naturally destructive. Loosing her house wasn’t the worst thing that happened to Kathy, meeting Lester was.

I had the most sympathy for Kathy as a character, everything seemed to go wrong for her, although I didn’t think she was completely clean of fault. Maybe she was just naive, but thins did seem to get worse because she didn’t see the big picture, and because she didn’t think things through carefully enough. I can see it as being somewhat a form of denial, if she avoids situations and decisions then how can anything be her fault? I felt sympathetic because she probably got the worst and least deserved problems through most of the book.

I also had some sympathy for Behrani. Really he was just trying to make something of his life. Choosing Kathy’s house to buy was bad luck really, and I can see why he felt he should get something out of it. He didn’t show much thought for others when it came down to it, but for him the house was more than a house. It was his only chance to make something of his life. He was too stubborn mainly, but I didn’t begrudge him.

In the end of things it was too much. The end was a surprise, but somewhat inevitable when you look at past reactions and experiences of the characters.


Buy it:

Paperback (£6.47)

Other reviews:

Have you reviewed this book? Leave a link it comments and I will add it here.


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review, Literary

Review of the Year 2013- Challenges

I’ve taken part in 3 challenges this year, err and not done great in any. I’m considering the TBR Challenge for next year, but may just go for a challenge free year (except for Rory)

The Rory List (ongoing challenge)

This year I’ve read only 2 books from The Rory List


House of Sand and Fog (not yet reviewed)

Less than last year, but I have a few lined up for 2014.

I was so excited for the Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge but things didn’t go so well. I started off well, but partly problems with other people not really participating, partly a lack of finding enjoyable books, and partly trying to save money meant it dropped off my radar after a while. I read only 4 books (and one was an accident!), having aimed for 12

Deep Powder

The Pearl Savage

The Woodcutter

Capitol Hell

Wishlist Challenge 2013

I did better with the Wishlist Challenge 2013 and read 9 wishlist books:

The Snow Child

The Lifeboat

Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé

Painter of Silence

Dearly Devoted Dexter

Diary of a Jetsetting Call Girl

Still Alice

The Woman Who Died A Lot

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

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What Would Rory Read?



The Rory Challenge has been my longest standing challenge, it dates from the days before my book blog. The idea is to read books from the list of books which are mentioned or seen in the television show The Gilmore Girls.

Recently I’ve found that I’ve been reading books and thought ‘This is a book Rory would read’ if the show still existed. I think as I’ve read more from the list I’ve started to see a bit more what Rory’s taste is, and what her motivations for reading some books may be. Knowing her from the show certainly helps too.

So basically this post is like an extended Rory list. A list of books I think Rory might have read if the series continued. If you can think of any more I’d love for you to tell me in comments.

I’m including books which were released since the show finished and whilst it was still running, because she didn’t only read current books after all. I’ve only included books I’ve read.  I have some ideas for books I haven’t read which seem like they may fit on Rory’s list but can’t judge so well on these.

So without further ado…

The Etymologicon– What girl who wants The Complete Oxford English Dictionary more than any other book wouldn’t want to read a book all about words?

The Lover’s Dictionary– I can see Rory getting into the understated beauty of this one. It seems like it would fit with the poetic side of her.

How to be a Woman– Not sure how popular this one has been in the US but it’s feminist side would attract Rory I think, and if she had any knowledge of Caitlin Moran through her articles (as with Nick Hornby) I think she  might enjoy her writing style and want to read her book.

Anything by Murakami– How Rory managed to avoid Murakami I have no idea. He’s had quite a cult following for years and his first popular novel was released in the early 80s. She would totally love him. There’s a fair bit of translated fiction in her reading history too, although I don’t think any of it is Japanese.

Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism– There are a lot of feminist books on Rory’s list. I can certainly see her wanting to read a modern feminist’s view of the world.

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series– would appeal to the book lover in her, I’m sure she would get a kick out of all the literary references.

The Help– Rory seems to like fiction about those who are marginalised (e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). I think The Help would appeal to that side of her, would be quite a good contrast to Gone with the Wind too.

Midnight’s Children– actually I mean anything by Salman Rushdie, but Midnight’s Children is the one I’ve read. I think Rory would enjoy the beautiful and complex language. Links well with her classics.

Oranges are not the Only Fruit– would both fit with her feminist side and her like of stories about the marginalised. Another one I’m surprised isn’t already on the list.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas– There a lot of war writing (mainly focused around the Jews) on Rory’s list. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is one of the most popular in recent years and looks at the same area from a slightly different perspective.


Are you a fan of The Gilmore Girls? What books do you think would have made The Rory List if the series had continued?



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Review of the Year 2012- Challenges

The Rory List (ongoing challenge)

This year I have read 5 (arguably 6) books from the Rory List

The Crimson Petal and the White

The Great Gatsby

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Pride and Prejudice

(Grimm’s Fairytales– I had already read a different version of this)

The Virgin Suicides

I beat last year’s total, which had been my aim, being able to get some for free on my kindle has helped.

Murakami Reading Challenge 2012

Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2012

Didn’t do well on this one at all this year, only one book. I had aimed to read 5, but I struggled with 1Q84 and I have an edition with books 1 & 2 together so I wasn’t allowing myself to get another Murakami until I had finished that- which I still haven’t done. The site doesn’t appear to be as active this year either so I don’t know if it will be happening next year.

1Q84 (Book 1)

Next year I am really excited for my own challenge The Out of Your Comfort Zone Challenge. The idea is that you read books you wouldn’t usually read, and hopefully find something new to love.

Wishlist Challenge 2013

I’m also participating in the Wishlist Challenge 2013.


Filed under Challenges, general

The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Image from Amazon

This book was read as part of The Rory List

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Jay Gatsby is a self-made man famed for his decadent, champagne-drenched parties. Despite being surrounded by Long Island’s bright and beautiful, he longs only for Daisy Buchanan. In shimmering prose, Fitzgerald shows Gatsby pursue his dream to its tragic conclusion.


So what can I say? Is The Great Gatsby great? (God how clichéd, I wonder how many times that has been written?) Well to be honest not really. I know lots of people love it but I must admit most of the time I was just waiting for something to happen. Then when finally things seemed to be starting to happen it ended. Actually the tone reminded me of Catcher in the Rye (which I wasn’t that impressed by either).

Having said that it was an easy read for a ‘classic’. And quite short.

I like the look of the film too. I can see Baz Lurhmann doing the extravagance well (after all he did make Moulin Rogue)


Buy it:

Kindle (£0.49)

Paperback (£1.60)

Hardback (£7.69)

Other Reviews

As the Crowe Flies (and Reads!)

Have I missed your review? Link me up!


Filed under Challenges, Classics, Fiction review, Literary

Review of the Year 2011- Challenges

The Rory List (ongoing challenege)

This year I have read just 3 books from the Rory List

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Everything is Illuminated

Grimm’s Fairytales

Am hoping to get a few more of these in 2012.

Take a Chance Challenge 2011

I have read 8 books for this challenge. I missed out the What Should I Read Next? choice (number 7) and failed to finish the staff picks book.
I am Number Four- Pittacus Lore
The Siege- Helen Dunmore
The Hare with Amber Eyes- Edmund de Waal
About a Boy- Nick Hornby
The Terrible Privacy Of Maxwell Sim- Jonathan Coe
The Earth Hums in B-Flat- Mari Strachan
The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge

I read 2 books for this challenge. which gives me Hijami level of participation:

Sputnik Sweetheart

A Wild Sheep Chase

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Hippity hoppity whooo

I thought it was about time I did a post to go with my blog hop again. I have been a bit lazy about it recently. There is lots of new stuff on my blog this week so have a look around and drop me a note here and I’m make sure I visit you in return.

For those who haven’t heard of the hop before it’s a great way that book bloggers can find one another, just visit crasy-for-books, add your link and visit otOnto this week’s question:

“What are you reading now and why are you reading it?”

I’m reading Everything is Illuminated- Jonathan Safron Foer. Partly I’m reading it because I’ve heard lots of good things about it and it sounded interesting to me. Partly I’m reading it because it’s on the Rory List and we’re reading it as the group read from the Rory List over at The Bookclub Forum


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