Wednesday, November 26, 2014

On Ferguson

It's a quiet day at work - most of the office is on vacation this week for Thanksgiving, and (at least for the moment) all the systems I look after are up and running, sans issues.

500 miles away, though, I know today is not a quiet day. It has not been a quiet week. And I imagine for many there is not much apparent cause for "thanks-giving." 500 miles away, there are protests, some peaceful, some not. 500 miles away, there is hurting, on all sides of a complicated story, and on all sides of larger, deeply complex issues.

I do not have a well-formed opinion about Ferguson. I recognize that with my white-male privilege in a society that promotes white-maleness, it's difficult, if not impossible, for me to understand much of what's going on. However, mere impossibility does not absolve my social responsibility to try anyway. So for now, I'm reading. Most of what I'm reading comes from my friend Elle's Facebook feed. She's one of the church-affiliated people marching in Ferguson, and someone who's opinions I respect a great deal. Whether your mind is already made-up, or you're searching for understanding (like I am), I invite you to check out these pages that I thought were well-presented.

The confrontation: Different stories
If you're behind the times like I was and just need a basic primer of what went down, start here.

When they yell: "F@#$ the police" What would Jesus have me do then?
Reflections from a clergy member involved in the protests. Very insightful and well-thought-out blog post.

Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress

Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters
Not all protestors are being destructive.

Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

Ferguson Grand Jury Evidence Reveals Mistakes, Holes In Investigation

Clergy Work Through Night, Day Calling For Justice With Peace In Ferguson

The National Bar Association Responds to the Grand Jury's Decision not to Indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Audiobook reflection: Insurgent

Insurgent (book).jpeg

Where Divergent felt coherent and driven, it's sequel, Insurgent, felt like reading about the Israelites in the book of Exodus: numerous semi-disconnected mini-stories, lacking a definitive destination. On the other hand though, and also like Exodus, sometimes it's nice reading chaotic, my-world's-falling-apart-around-me stories like this, because I'm reminded just how little I actually have to worry about in my life, and how even my most-distressing problems pale in comparison to what these characters face. I mean, yes, of course it's fiction, but still it's a nice reminder.

On the positive-feedback side: something that stood out to me in particular were the occasional references to God, and even a couple prayers. Hundreds of years in the future, faith still exists.

And I have a new favorite insult I hope I get to use in real life: "pansy-cake."

Lastly, I'm sure you've noticed every author has a favorite word or two that they overuse? Veronica's favorite (and overused) word is "breaths". Odd, but there it is.


My favorite quotes

"We have before us today an urgent question... how will we conduct ourselves in this time of conflict, as people who pursue peace?"
Every Amity in the room turns to the person next to him or her, and starts talking.
"How do they get anything done?" I say as the minutes of chatter wear on.
"They don't care about efficiency," Tobias says. "They care about agreement. Watch."
Two women in yellow dresses a few feet away rise, and join a trio of men. A young man shifts so that his small circle becomes a large one with the group next to him. All around the room, the smaller crowds grow and expand, and fewer and fewer voices fill the room, until there are only three or four. I can only hear pieces of what they say. "Peace." "Dauntless." "Erudite." "Safehouse." "Involvement."
"This is bizarre," I say.
"I think it's beautiful," he says.
I give him a look.
"What?" He laughs a little. "They each have an equal role in government. They each feel equally responsible. And it makes them care. It makes them kind. I think that's beautiful." - 26:45
The truth has a way of changing a person's plans. - 43:03
"It's wrong," he says [referring to Tris's parents' deaths]. "It doesn't matter if your parents are in a better place. They aren't here with you, and that's wrong, Tris. It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened to you. And anyone who tells you it's okay is a liar." - Tobias, 1:06:27
I read somewhere once that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes, there's no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion. I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity... - 7:28:11
"Spoken like a true Dauntless... It's either one way or the other. No nuances. The world doesn't work like that, Beatrice. Evil depends on where you're standing." - Caleb, 8:04:12
...it occurs to me that I might be meeting Tobias's true faction. They are not characterized by a particular virtue. They claim all colors, all activities, all virtues, and all flaws as their own. I don't know what binds them together, the only common ground they have as far as I know is failure. Whatever it is, it seems to be enough. I feel as I look at him that I am finally seeing him as he is, instead of how he is in relation to me. So how well do I really know him if I have not seen this before? - 8:58:51
All I can do is decide if I trust Marcus or not. And while he has done cruel, evil things, our society is not divided into good and bad. Cruelty does not make a person dishonest, the same way bravery does not make a person kind. Marcus is not good or bad, but both. Well, he is probably more bad than good, but that doesn't mean he's lying. - 9:08:31
I was worried she wouldn't want to come with me, but I forgot where Christina came from. Candor, where the pursuit of Truth is more important than anything else. She may be Dauntless now, but if there's one thing I've learned through all this, it's that we never leave our old factions behind. - 9:21:58
"When you are entrusted with all the information you have to decide how much other people should know." - Marcus, 9:29:33
"May the peace of God be with you," she says, her voice low. "Even in the midst of trouble."
"Why would it?" I say softly, so no one else can hear. "After all I've done."
"It isn't about you," she says. "It is a gift. You cannot earn it, or it ceases to be a gift." - 9:36:37
People, I've discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them. - 11:01:33
"Do remember, though, that sometimes the people you oppress become mightier than you would like." - Johanna Reyes, 11:10:50

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Audiobook reflection: Divergent

Divergent (book) by Veronica Roth US Hardcover 2011.jpg

I'm stumped how I managed to remain oblivious to the world of Divergent for so long, but that changed a month ago when, in a craving for SciFi, I bumped the DVD to the top of my Netflix queue. As I reclined on my couch, teacup in hand, my friend Joe called and when I told him what I was watching, he emphatically informed me it was a great movie and I'd enjoy it. He was 100% correct. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I watched it two nights in a row. Upon learning from the credits that the movie was based on a book, I checked Audible for an audiobook, and in short order had acquired the entire trilogy.

Written by Veronica Roth and published in 2011, Divergent follows the life of Tris, a 16-year-old girl living in a post-apocalyptic Chicago, hundreds of years in our future. Her dystopian society is divided into five Factions: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite, each identified by particular traits and societal roles. For example, the Abnegation are selfless servants to the poor (the factionless) as well as government officials; the Erudite are the scientists and scholars; the Dauntless are the soldiers; the Candor are 100% honest, 100% of the time; and the Amity are peace-loving farmers. Tris is born into Abnegation, but on "choosing day," leaves behind that life and becomes Dauntless.

(Side-note: I just discovered the author, Veronica, is three years younger than I am. What am I doing with my life?!)

Divergent lives in the same dystopian family of books as The Hunger Games, a genre that may well be my favorite. My Candor opinion is that while the Divergent book was certainly good, it felt scattered when compared against its cinematic counterpart. What I appreciated about the movie over the book (in addition to an awesome soundtrack) was 1) a smoother, easier-to-follow flow of events, 2) they toned down the violence, and 3) they make Tris stronger and more heroic (for example, her refusal to be kicked out of Dauntless, which strictly speaking wasn't in the book). On the other hand, as is always the case, the book gives much deeper insight into character motivations, which you simply can't capture on camera.

(For a general list of differences between book and movie, check out http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Divergent-10-Big-Differences-Between-Movie-Book-42202.html and a complete list of all the differences at http://divergent.wikia.com/wiki/Divergent_Book_to_Film_Differences.)

I think one sign of a good book is whether it engages the reader to the point of asking, "where would I fit into this story, if I lived in this book's world?" (For example in Harry Potter I'd be sorted into Ravenclaw). I pondered this question as I listened to Divergent, and came to the conclusion my in-world aptitude test would yield either Erudite or Abnegation. Or, possibly, like Tris, I'd find affinity with both, and be labeled Divergent.

Unlike Tris, I doubt I would fit into Dauntless, although I do admire some of what the faction stands for. An excerpt from the Dauntless manifesto: (lifted from http://divergent.wikia.com/wiki/Dauntless)
We believe in freedom from fear, in denying fear the power to influence our decisions.
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
We believe in shouting for those who can only whisper, in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
We believe, not just in bold words but in bold deeds to match them.

One might argue those attributes are rather Christ-like. Which is a good segue here. Something else I loved about Divergent was that Tris's family mentions God, her father prayed before meals, and Tris's outlook on the world is influenced, to some degree, by this faith. At the same time, it's not overt and the author doesn't beat us over the head, it's just a tiny treasure tucked into the pages.

Lastly, I've noticed my mood is affected by the books I read, and Divergent in particular made me more willing to face fears. For example, my friends and I went to ValleyScare on Halloween, and other than my fear of un-enclosed heights on the PowerTower, the rides that used to intimidate me when I was younger, didn't; instead I was all, "yeah, let's do that!" Also I really don't like haunted houses, but I faced that fear as well (even tried asking out one of the cuter zombies for a drink of brainz, but she declined). Knowing my friend Anne dresses as a zombie performer for similar events out in LA, helped me keep focused that these were all just actors doing a job. I digress. Point being, in small ways, Divergent made me feel more brave.

And lastly lastly because I just remembered there was more I wanted to say: this novel carries important social commentaries, which I'm sure are dependent on each reader's individual worldview, but my takeaways were 1) a re-affirmation about how crucial is community (first quote below, which also reminded me of Beggars in Spain); and 2) a reminder about the complexity of society and how it truly "takes all kinds" to run the world - scientists, farmers, peacekeepers, caretakers, etc. No single faction of people has the complete set of skills necessary for a functional community.


My favorite quotes

"To live factionless is not just to live in poverty and discomfort, it is to live divorced from society, separated from the most important thing in life: community. My mother told me once that we can't survive alone, but even if we could, we wouldn't want to. Without a faction, we have no purpose, and no reason to live." - Tris, 27:59
"The houses on my street are all the same size and shape. They are made of grey cement, with few windows, in economical non-nonsense rectangles. Their lawns are crabgrass, and their mailboxes are dull metal. To some the sight might be gloomy, but to me their simplicity is comforting. The reason for the simplicity isn't disdain for uniqueness, as the other factions have sometimes interpreted it. Everything, our houses, our clothes, our hairstyles, is meant to help us forget ourselves, and to protect us from vanity, greed, and envy, which are just forms of selfishness. If we have little, and want for little, we are all equal, we envy no one. I try to love it." - Tris, 38:43
"My natural tendency toward sarcasm is still not appreciated. Sarcasm is always at someone's expense. Maybe it's better that Abnegation wants me to suppress it. Maybe I don't have to leave my family. Maybe if I fight to make Abnegation work, my act will turn into reality." - Tris, 39:50
"We sit at the table. We always pass food to the right, and no one eats until everyone is served. My father extends his hands to my mother and my brother, and they extend their hands to him and me, and my father gives thanks to God for food, and work, and friends and family. Not every Abnegation family is religious, but my father says we should try not to see those differences because they will only divide us. I am not sure what to make of that." - Tris, 45:43
"Would it be worth my effort to try to help her, if I know I'm too weak to do any good? I know what those questions are: Excuses. 'Human reason can excuse any evil. That is why it's so important that we don't rely on it.' My father's words." - Tris, 2:23:59
"I suggest you take this time to formulate a strategy. We may not be Erudite, but mental preparedness is one aspect of your Dauntless training. Arguably it is the most important aspect." - Four
He is right about that. What good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind? - Tris, 3:14:16
"He is not sweet, or gentle, or particularly kind, but he is smart, and brave. And even though he saved me, he treated me like I was strong. That is all I need to know." - Tris, 6:35:14

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Audiobook reflection: The Time Traveler's Wife

TimeTravellersWife.jpg

The Time Traveler's Wife, written by Audrey Niffenegger and published in 2003, is a romantic drama about a time traveler and his wife (go figure). To fantastically over-simplify the plot: Henry has a genetic disorder called chrono-impairment, which forces him to travel through time, and he has no control over 1) when he leaves the present, 2) when he arrives in the past, 3) how long he stays there [though it's rarely more than a few hours/days], and 4) how much time has passed when he arrives back in the present. In his travels he is always drawn toward people and events that are significant in his life, for example his younger self, his parents, and his to-be wife, Clare, throughout her childhood. The first-person narrative alternates between Clare's and Henry's voices.

When I saw the movie years ago, I had no idea it had been a book first. After learning this, I was excited to experience the written rendition, since I loved the movie, and I know books are usually better than their movies. Upon finishing the novel, though, I think I've found another rare exception where the book !> movie.

My three primary complaints are:

  1. The book was just plain vulgar, much moreso than I expected from my memories of the movie. The author's favorite word started with an "f" and rhymed with "firetruck", which, even if it is vernacular, I generally view as a lewd lack of creativity.
  2. The book was in no hurry to get anywhere. While cutting the page count in half might sound extreme, I nevertheless left with the feeling the author had crammed a 10-hour story into one 17.5 hours long. (yes, you read that sentence correctly).
  3. (Spoiler alert) After Henry's death there is a heart-breaking scene where Clare is raped by her best friend's husband, and she's too emotionally devastated from losing Henry to resist this douche-tool's advances. This scene was omitted from the movie, so it caught me completely off-guard; and frankly I don't see why the author felt compelled to include it - the story would be no less complete without it.

On the other hand, things I did like:

  1. TTTW is a love story that happens to have a science fiction element, rather than the other way around. Once you accept the premise, the characters respond to each other realistically.
  2. Every chapter opens with a date and the characters' ages ("Henry is 32, Clare is 24"), which makes following Henry's time travel infinitely easier.
  3. From Henry and Clare's daughter I've collected another name for my list-of-possible-kids'-names: Alba. When we meet her late in the book at the age of 10, she's clear-spoken and wise beyond her years, and so I really like her character as a namesake. (as you probably know I'm hoping to adopt, in which case I don't think they let you rename the child(ren), but hypothetically if my future wife strongly desires bio-kids, then I'm keeping a list of names I'd advocate for).
  4. (Spoiler alert) The final scene in the book is beautiful, and a tearjerker. Clare, 82, stares out a window, waiting for Henry, waiting for a moment she knows will come because of a letter Henry left for her before his death. In his letter Henry implored Clare: "Until then, live. Fully. Present in the world, which is so beautiful." We are left to our own imaginations whether Clare ever fell in love again, married or raised Alba as a single-parent, or continued waiting on Henry. No matter Clare's path, the author gives the reader a gift of [partial] closure via this one last meeting of Henry and Clare. For anyone who's ever longed for a lover's return, the Truth and Hope found in this scene are palpable.

As alluded, both book and movie have sad endings, though it is sadness mixed with hope, reminding me of my emotions at the end of Bridge to Terabithia, Star Wars III, and The Fault In Our Stars (off the top of my head).


My favorite quotes

Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Clare is 30, Henry is 38.
I wake up at 6:43, and Henry is not in bed. .... In the living room, Henry is sitting on the couch with Alba cradled in his arms, not watching the little black and white television with the sound turned low. Alba is asleep. I sit down next to Henry. He puts his arm around me.
"How come you're up?" I ask him. "I thought you said it wasn't for a couple of hours yet."
On the TV a weatherman is smiling and pointing at a satellite picture of the midwest.
"I couldn't sleep," Henry says. "I wanted to listen to the world being normal for a little while longer." - 13:21:26
"Do you worry sometimes that all the really great stuff has already happened?" - Clare, 14:09:20
"Every angel is terrifying. And yet, alas, I invoke you, almost-deadly birds of the soul." - Clare (remembering something Henry quoted), 15:45:30
"We will see each other again, Clare. Until then, live. Fully. Present in the world, which is so beautiful. It's dark now and I am very tired. I love you, always. Time is nothing. Henry." Henry's letter to Clare after his death, 17:06:50

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Audiobook reflection: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

WillGrayson.jpg

Co-written by John Green and David Levithan, WGWG follows two high school boys both named Will Grayson, each of their narratives penned by one of the authors. By the second paragraph of the second chapter, I already was hooked by Will Grayson #1, and deeply loathed sailor-mouthed will grayson #2. (side-note: I listened to the audiobook, and so it's only now after reading the Wikipedia article that I've learned the second will grayson's name apparently never is capitalized). Despite my intense initial hatred of wg2, within short order the authors had captivated me, enthralling me in the emotional ups and downs of all the main characters, even beyond the two Will Graysons. The book particularly excelled at hilarious hyperbole: every metaphor surrounding Tiny Cooper (WG1's best friend) was delightful, to the extent of me giggling out loud more than a few times. Tiny Cooper, as you might expect from his name, is a physically ginormous human being, and the authors missed no opportunities to exploit humor from his gargantuan stature. Just one example: "I notice Tiny looking blankly at me, swaying back and forth like a skyscraper in the wind..." (31:35 in the audiobook).

Pencil-whipping here, but I'd argue one metric for defining whether a book is "good" ought to be: am I, the Reader, invested enough in the characters' lives that I care about what happens after the narrative ends? (coming to mind: Hazel Grace from The Fault In Our Stars yearned, longed, to learn the fates of her beloved characters from her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction). My answer here is: yes. If there were a sequel, I'd give it a listen. By the end even wg2 had weaseled his way into my heart. I was also proven wrong about Tiny Cooper, whom I'd initially pegged (and dismissed) as ├╝ber-annoying and one-dimensional; the boy has wisdom beyond his high school years. Oh, and one more thing about Tiny: through the WGWG book, he's busy producing (and eventually starring in) a musical about his life. Coming up in March 2015 David Levithan will publish "Hold me closer: the Tiny Cooper Story," the complete in-story musical, which should be entertaining, and also, an excuse to keep hanging out with these characters I've loved.


My favorite quotes

I don't really understand the point of crying. Also, I feel that crying is almost like, aside from deaths of relatives or whatever, totally avoidable if you follow two very simple rules. Number 1: don't care too much. Number 2: shut up. Everything unfortunate that has ever happened to me has stemmed from failure to follow one of the rules. - 4:05
And I say, "you can trust that caring, as a rule, ends poorly." Which is true. Caring doesn't sometimes lead to misery, it always does. "My heart is broken," Tiny says, as if the thing has never happened before to him. As if it has never happened before to anyone. And maybe that's the problem. Maybe each new breakup feels so radically new to Tiny that in some way it hasn't happened before. - 28:37
He's still looking at me quizzically, when, sounding stone sober he [Tiny] says, "Grayson, something needs to happen." And I say, "huh?" And Tiny says, "because otherwise, what if we just end up like everybody at The Hideout?" And I'm about to say "huh" again, because those people were far cooler than our classmates, and also far cooler than us, but then I know what he means. He means, what if we become grown-ups waiting for a band that's never coming back? - 31:00

And what I appreciated most of all, came in the authors' acknowledgements after the closing chapter:

We acknowledge that being the person God made you cannot separate you from God's love. - 7:50:22

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Audiobooks

Since [re-]discovering the world of audiobooks three years ago, I've "read" 76 books, for a grand total of 777 hours and 29 minutes. I think "rediscovered" is a fair word to use because I know that when I was little I listened to Winnie-the-Pooh books on cassette tape, in fact so often that I wore the tapes out! My return came from lacking sufficient paperback reading time in my calendar, whereas with audiobooks I can listen while driving, doing dishes, mowing the lawn, and, thanks to a recent purchase of a waterproof bluetooth speaker, even while I shower. Combined between all these activities, I typically listen for over an hour every day. The books I've "read" have ranged in length anywhere between 5 to 20+ hours, though most are around 10-12. The complete stories of Sherlock Holmes, on the other hand, will be 71 hours, when I eventually get around to it.

Past titles gracing my eardrums have included: the Hunger Games trilogy (my first listen in my re-introduction to audiobooks), the Star Wars Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy (and numerous other Star Wars titles), classics like 1984, 2001, Fahrenheit 451 (irony?), and How to Win Friends and Influence People, theologically-oriented books by Rob Bell and Timothy Keller and others, and a large number of SciFi/urban fantasy novels, such as the Mercy Thompson series, and one of my new all-time favorites: Beggars in Spain. I'm currently reading Insurgent, the second book in the Divergent trilogy.

Lest you accuse me of cheating because I'm not risking paper cuts by turning physical pages, I will respond by pointing you to a blog post written by family friend and author Michelle Griep, after I asked her whether my affair with audiobooks could be considered a legitimate form of "reading": http://writerofftheleash.blogspot.com/2014/07/are-audiobooks-kosher.html.

We'll see how long I keep up with this idea, but I'm hoping to write a short reflection upon finishing each book. It may include some of my favorite quotes or just my overall impression, I'm not sure. I'd simply like something tangible to look back on in a few years when I ask myself, "I know I read it, but what was that book about?" Coming up soon: posts on my most-recently-read books, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, The Time Traveler's Wife, and Divergent.

And coming up immediately: a complete table of the audiobooks I've read to-date!

(Updated to include the remainder of 2014's books)

Title Author Length Date finished
Looking for Alaska John Green 7:06:57 11/29/14
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely 7:22:57 11/24/14
Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) Veronica Roth 11:51:15 11/15/14
Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2) Veronica Roth 11:22:30 11/6/14
Divergent Veronica Roth 11:11:43 11/2/14
The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger 17:38:11 10/28/14
Will Grayson, Will Grayson John Green, David Levithan 7:52:14 10/19/14
Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness Jessica Valenti 5:16:47 10/16/14
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke 6:42:51 10/13/14
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky 6:20:06 10/11/14
Boundaries Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend 11:00:03 10/7/14
I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: Hidden Enemy Pittacus Lore 7:55:48 9/21/14
The Revenge of Seven: Lorien Legacies, Book 5 Pittacus Lore 9:59:32 9/18/14
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis James Luceno 14:45:34 9/13/14
Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Siege Karen Miller 12:42:09 9/3/14
Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth Karen Miller 12:08:49 8/28/14
Every Man's Marriage Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, Mike Yorkey 8:26:36 8/20/14
Mockingjay Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:41:06 8/6/14
Mockingjay Part 1 Suzanne Collins 6:00:08 8/3/14
Catching Fire Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:40:49 7/31/14
Catching Fire Part 1 Suzanne Collins 5:58:16
Beggars Ride Nancy Kress 15:31:03 7/20/14
The Hunger Games Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:39:33 7/9/14
The Hunger Games Part 1 Suzanne Collins 5:32:05 7/5/14
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon 6:02:44 7/2/14
Every Man's Battle Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker 6:45:12 6/27/14
Beggars and Choosers Nancy Kress 12:07:47 6/22/14
Kenobi: Star Wars John Jackson Miller 13:36:39 6/14/14
Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown Joe Schreiber 12:20:09 6/8/14
The Fault in Our Stars John Green 7:14:24 6/2/14
Allegiance: Star Wars Timothy Zahn 12:46:52 5/30/14
Vision of the Future: Star Wars (The Hand of Thrawn): Book II Timothy Zahn 26:16:22 5/19/14
Star Wars: Specter of the Past: The Hand of Thrawn, Book 1 Timothy Zahn 14:31:45 5/6/14
The Meaning of Marriage Timothy Keller 8:15:47 4/30/14
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas John Scalzi 7:41:56 4/12/14
The Book of General Ignorance John Mitchinson, John Lloyd 4:20:34 4/3/14
Beggars in Spain Nancy Kress 16:10:52 3/30/14
Night Broken: Mercy Thompson, Book 8 Patricia Briggs 10:06:01 3/20/14
How to Get a Date Worth Keeping Henry Cloud 7:08:12 3/14/14
If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat John Ortberg 7:51:15 2/12/14
Secret Histories: I Am Number Four: The Lost Files Pittacus Lore 8:23:36 12/22/13
I Am Number Four: The Lost Files: The Legacies Pittacus Lore 7:53:45 12/15/13
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Matthew Stover 13:39:13 12/9/13
The Lean Startup Eric Ries 8:38:46 11/7/13
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones R.A. Salvatore 10:21:19 10/8/13
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Terry Brooks 9:33:59 9/11/13
The Fall of Five: Lorien Legacies, Book 4 Pittacus Lore 9:06:59 9/3/13
Halfway to the Grave Part 2 Jeaniene Frost 5:21:19 5/17/13
Halfway to the Grave Part 1 Jeaniene Frost 5:56:53 5/13/13
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 3: The Last Command Part 3 Timothy Zahn 5:28:49 5/9/13
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 3: The Last Command Part 2 Timothy Zahn 5:15:39 5/7/13
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 3: The Last Command Part 1 Timothy Zahn 5:04:28 5/5/13
Star Wars: Dark Force Rising: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 2 Part 2 Timothy Zahn 7:31:52 5/3/13
Star Wars: Dark Force Rising: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 2 Part 1 Timothy Zahn 7:25:14 4/29/13
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1 Part 2 Timothy Zahn 6:23:30 4/23/13
Star Wars: Heir to the Empire: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1 Part 1 Timothy Zahn 6:46:56 4/20/13
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury 5:37:21 4/16/13
The Autobiography of Black Hawk Black Hawk 3:33:58 4/13/13
The Shack William P. Young 8:31:26 4/11/13
Fair Game: Alpha and Omega Part 2 Patricia Briggs 5:13:51 4/4/13
Fair Game: Alpha and Omega Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:44:48 4/2/13
Hunting Ground Patricia Briggs 8:25:24 3/31/13
What We Talk About When We Talk About God Rob Bell 4:25:20 3/25/13
Cry Wolf Part 2 Patricia Briggs 5:16:44 3/18/13
Cry Wolf Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:47:34 3/17/13
Alpha and Omega: A Novella from On the Prowl Patricia Briggs 2:25:11 3/14/13
Frost Burned: Mercy Thompson, Book 7 Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:30:54 3/11/13
Frost Burned: Mercy Thompson, Book 7 Part 1 Patricia Briggs 5:32:08 3/9/13
River Marked: Mercy Thompson, Book 6 Patricia Briggs 8:54:38 2/28/13
Silver Borne: Mercy Thompson, Book 5 Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:10:13 2/17/13
Silver Borne: Mercy Thompson, Book 5 Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:55:38 2/15/13
Bone Crossed: Mercy Thompson, Book 4 Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:32:22 2/12/13
Bone Crossed: Mercy Thompson, Book 4 Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:36:22 2/6/13
Iron Kissed: Mercy Thompson, Book 3 Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:33:04 2/3/13
Iron Kissed: Mercy Thompson, Book 3 Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:39:52 2/3/13
Blood Bound: Mercy Thompson, Book 2 Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:28:39 2/1/13
Blood Bound: Mercy Thompson, Book 2 Part 1 Patricia Briggs 5:34:33 1/30/13
That Is All Part 3 John Hodgman 4:58:32 1/27/13
That Is All Part 2 John Hodgman 5:39:19 1/25/13
That Is All Part 1 John Hodgman 6:00:14 1/18/13
Moon Called Part 2 Patricia Briggs 4:38:33 1/12/13
Moon Called Part 1 Patricia Briggs 4:36:32 1/10/13
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived Rob Bell 3:39:27 1/7/13
The Rise of Nine Part 2 Pittacus Lore 4:29:04 8/28/12
The Rise of Nine Part 1 Pittacus Lore 5:36:42 8/26/12
The Eyre Affair Part 2 Jasper Fforde 6:21:21 6/17/12
The Eyre Affair Part 1 Jasper Fforde 5:53:23 5/23/12
Ender's Game: 20th Anniversary Edition Part 2 Orson Scott Card 6:17:45 5/13/12
Ender's Game: 20th Anniversary Edition Part 1 Orson Scott Card 5:40:54 5/11/12
The Areas of My Expertise John Hodgman 6:57:19 4/26/12
A Monster Calls Patrick Ness 3:59:47 4/18/12
More Information Than You Require Part 2 John Hodgman 5:49:27 4/17/12
More Information Than You Require Part 1 John Hodgman 6:55:29 4/5/12
The Power of Six Part 2 Pittacus Lore 5:25:35 3/31/12
The Power of Six Part 1 Pittacus Lore 5:22:39 3/29/12
I Am Number Four Part 2 Pittacus Lore 6:34:54 3/25/12
I Am Number Four Part 1 Pittacus Lore 4:50:59 3/22/12
1984 Part 2 George Orwell 5:51:16 3/19/12
1984 Part 1 George Orwell 5:32:11 3/13/12
How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age Carnegie & associates inc 7:06:33 3/7/12
A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis 1:50:52 1/8/12
Steve Jobs Part 3 Walter Isaacson 8:40:10 12/23/11
Steve Jobs Part 2 Walter Isaacson 8:37:59 12/16/11
Steve Jobs Part 1 Walter Isaacson 7:48:00 12/4/11
Mockingjay Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:41:06 11/22/11
Mockingjay Part 1 Suzanne Collins 6:00:08
Catching Fire Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:40:49 11/18/11
Catching Fire Part 1 Suzanne Collins 5:58:16
The Hunger Games Part 2 Suzanne Collins 5:39:33 11/14/11
The Hunger Games Part 1 Suzanne Collins 5:32:05