#50Book50Author Challenge: Second 25

Ok, I must begin with a sheepish confession: I didn’t officially win the challenge. Sad, right? But, well it can be argued that I did actually read 50 books! My mistake was being sucked into This New Ocean: The story of the first Space Age, by William E. Burrows. It’s a good one, which you’ll see later, but it’s like a thousand pages! Anyway I’m reading it and the one on Charleston, so those make 49 and 50 respectively. And I’ve read half of it, making probably near 2 regular books. Can that be accepted as finishing? Weigh in.

So without further delay, I give you the second 25 books I read in 2015. There may be diamonds, and there may be duds. Only you can decide that.

RELATED: First 25

An alphabetical listing of my second 25 books read of 2015
Title/Author Genre/rating App/File format My 20-word summary
Mean Streak, Sandra Brown Crime Fiction, 4/5 BARD Audio Action-packed especially at end, woman kidnapped in NC mountains; does rely too heavily on Southern stereotypes
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson Nonfiction Memoir, 4.5/5 BARD Braille Man attempts walking Appalachian Trail, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes, adventurous, pretty funny
Impasse, Royce Buckingham Crime Fiction, 4/5 BARD Audio Boston-area lawyer sent by friend to wilds of Alaska for birthday trip, not superb writing but craz
The Deepest Secret, Carla Buckley Crime Fiction, 5/5 BARD Audio Mother of son with rare condition commits accident, runs away, causes suffering to all, more than I can summarize!
This New Ocean: The story of the first Space Age, William E. Burrows Historical Nonfiction, 3.5/5 BARD Braille In-depth telling, from ancients to US/Soviet Space race to Shuttle development, very political and can drag for long swaths
The Forgotten Room, Lincoln Child Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 4.5/5 BARD Audio Story of sonic machine in old secluded lab that could produce horrifying effects, breaking up friendships and lives. Page-turner
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline Sci-fi/Fantasy, 5/5 Audible Audio 80’s meets 2045, contestants compete in computer game to unlock billions by referencing old movies, also warring with big business
The Fold, Peter Clines Sci-fi/Fantasy, 4.5/5 Audible Audio Essentially 2nd in series, California company opens “door” shrinking distance, with unforeseen consequences
Missing You, Harlan Cohben Crime Fiction, 4/5 Audible Audio People inexplicably disappear, discovered that it is due to online dating scam
The Secret of Fair Hill, Faith Cummings Religious Fiction, 3.5/5 Kindle Text Woman grows up in 18th-Century Vermont, grapples with feelings on God, marriage, and family
The Solomon Curse (Fargo Series Book 7), Clive Cussler Adventure Fiction, 4/5 BARD Audio Couple seeks to unearth treasure on Solomon Islands, must survive deceit from those known and unknown, and uprisings
What Is Visible, Kimberly Elkins Historical Fiction, 4.5/5 BARD Braille Fictionalized telling of the story of Laura Bridgman, deafblind woman educated at Perkins in 1800s
Sycamore Row, John Grisham Legal Fiction, 4/5 BARD Audio Black housekeeper is willed inheritance from white man, children try to fight it
The Art of Forgetting:Rider, Joanne Hall Sci-fi/Fantasy, 4/5 iBooks Text Boy separated from family in faraway land, taught to fight for army, primarily on horseback. Deals with adolescence, sexuality
Locke and Key, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez Sci-fi/Fantasy, 4.5/5 Audible Audio Amazing multi-narrated story about ghosts, a magic residence, and a New England town. Hard to follow at times, though
Charleston: A Novel, John Jakes Historical Fiction, 5/5 BARD Audio Fictional family that follows the arc of real Charleston SC history, from late 1770’s to middle 1800’s
Middle Passage, Charles Johnson Historical Fiction, 3/5 BARD Audio story about a freed black man on slave ship in mid 1800s, slaves revolt then must survive return to New Orleans
Descent, Tim Johnston Crime Fiction, 4/5 Audible Audio Girl is kidnapped while hiking trail in Rockes, family spends 2 years living in region to try and find her
The Bullet, Mary Louise Kelly Crime Fiction, 4.5/5 BARD Audio
Darkness, Take My Hand, Dennis Lehane Crime Fiction, 4/5 BARD Braille Story about organized crime in 1990s Boston, couple of detectives battle to solve case that has links to their childhood
The Wright Brothers, David McCullough Historical Nonfictional, 5/5 Audible Audio Tells great and fairly simplified story of the famous aviators’ track to the air
Liars and Saints, Maile Meloy Family Fiction, 4.5/5 BARD Braille Sex, between family members and adult-teenage, results in many and varied consequences
Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult Sci-fi/Fantasy, 5/5 BARD Braille New Hampshire girl searches for her mother, a prominent elephant researcher in Africa, enlists psychic for help
The Transcriptionist, Amy Rowland Psychological Fiction, 4/5 BARD Braille Transcriptionist at New York paper becomes fascinated by encounter with blind woman, finds ways to work through issues
Shadows Over Paradise, Isabel Wolff War Fiction, 5/5 BARD Audio Englishwoman ghostwrites story about another’s experiences on Java during World War 2

Observations

Whew! That record-shattering challenge took a lot to pull off, at least to the extent that I did. No question, I won’t be able to try it again for the next couple of years at least. Let’s take a look at the trends.

Most of the books I read this time were via BARD, not surprising as I don’t have to pay for that ha ha. Eight were audio, and 5 in Braille. I did also enjoy the Joe Hill book that came free from Audible around Halloween.

< p>I also didn’t stick as closely to half and half men and women as I had last time, with only 10 being by women during this 25. I suppose that’s still a fairly decent number. The most important thing was to hear from a number of voices and backgrounds. Probably my favorite thing was taking in work from authors whom I’ve known, at least online, for a long time: Faith Cummings and Joanne Hall.

I don’t know what kind of challenge I could come up with for 2016, but think it’ll mostly be trying to survive grad school! Stay tuned, and thanks for your support.

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