32. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner – Why did I not read this book years ago? Several of my college roommates read it, but I assumed it was a romance novel and ignored it. I was stupid. If you have also been under a rock for the past 8 years, climb out and get this book. I really adored what she had to say about body image and relationships, even if the plot turns were a bit much at times.

33. Memoir: A History by Ben Yagoda – I was drawn to this book because of the memoir controversies in recent years (James Frey, anyone?). It is somewhat academic, but definitely accessible.

34. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth – This is an alternate history looking at what America might have been like if Charles Lindbergh had won the 1940 presidential election instead of FDR. The story focuses on a Jewish family in New Jersey dealing with burgeoning Antisemitism. If you like the idea of exploring other possible histories, I would recommend this book.

35. The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Great Texas Oil Fortunes by Bryan Burrough – As a non-Texan living in Texas, I found this book fascinating. Burrough gives the history of the big Texas oil men and how they changed the state, and in the process shares a lot of fascinating historical bits about Texas in general. I particularly enjoyed learning about local Dallas history along the way (though for most of the time period this book covers, my neighborhood was an empty field). This is a big ol’ book, but if you’re at all interested in  Texas history or the crazy, corrupt power structure of oil money and politics, read it.

36. Love, Cajun Style by Diane Les Becquets – This is a YA novel I picked up at the local library book sale solely based on the title. And yes, Cajun husband laughed at me for getting it. If you’re into YA books, this is a quick, fun read that includes all the teen crises – friendships, relationships, and family. The Cajun flavor isn’t particularly strong, but it is woven into the details.

37. The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffery and Mercedes Lackey – One of the many sequels to The Ship Who Sang that I read in July, and I won’t go into descriptions for each of them. Each of these books tells the story of a ship inhabited by the brain of a person whose body couldn’t support them. Depending on when the person lost their body (many were infants), they either think they’re far superior to humans or they miss human connection. These are quick, interesting sci-fi reads about space exploration and the relationship between the brainship and its “brawn” – the ship’s human partner.

38. The City Who Fought by Anne McCaffery and SM Stirling

39. The Ship Who Won by Anne McCaffery and Jody Lynn Nye

40. The Ship Avenged by Jody Lynn Nye

41. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson – Book three in Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. I enjoyed this one and zipped through it more quickly than the first two, but I still think these three huge books could have been consolidated into ONE novel. But they’re all international best-sellers, so what do I know? I found the first volume a bit tedious, especially in the first half as it set up the story. The second volume really got into the meat of the story and made me appreciate the series more. Some reviewers have complained that this third volume is set after all the real action has taken place, but Larsson still worked a lot of action and twists into the story.

42. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner – This sequel to Good in Bed is set years later, and the narration alternates between Cannie and her rebellious pre-teen daughter. I understand that motherhood can change someone, but I found many of the changes (and the extent of the changes) in Cannie unrealistic. The central plot line appealed to me as they dealt with the delayed aftermath of the novel Cannie wrote about the experiences described in Good in Bed, and I would recommend this sequel to Weiner fans. Definitely don’t read it without checking out Good in Bed first!

43. The Ship Errant by Jody Lynn Nye

44. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley – Between the combined influential forces of Cajun husband and lovely book bloggers, I finally gave in and read the SP books. This was the first graphic novel I’ve read, and I enjoyed it enough to speed through all the sequels and watch the movie. Hubs was afraid I wouldn’t understand all the video game references, but I’ve spent enough time around him and his sister soaking up video game jokes and terms to enjoy the books and movie. You don’t have to be a comic book or video game expert to get into these, but an appreciation of geek culture would be good.

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