Thursday, September 25, 2014

What happened????

Okay.  What happened, too much popularity, too fast?

I really enjoyed Divergent and then Insurgent... and then along comes this book.  I came so close to laying it down and running away and picking up one of the other books that started to beckon to me.  This book really came apart at the seams for me.  If the story and characters moved and were entertaining in the first two books, the shift to a dual narrative (without truly distinctive voices) and a plot that crumbles made this not quite the story that the first two installments were.  About 250 pages in, I started making mental comparisons to reading 50 shades of gray (not a good thing) and how I felt reading that... at a certain point you just start to skim read... Now I just kind of feel relieved that I finished the book and I can move on.  I was disappointed by how this one was written, how the story collapsed, and about the ending - given how it started, it just didn't satisfy.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A fantastic tale...

This was an excellent book.  Almost 500 pages, and I found the story to be compelling from start to finish.  This was a very unique, well written, mystical novel about a golem (jewish creature made from clay) and a fire jinni (a supernatural spirit below the level of angels and devils in Arabia) that meet in New York, somewhere around the turn of the century.  It was hard to  put down this book, and it was also a pleasure beacuse of how it was written and it wasn't a book that I devoured all in one sitting.  In a sense, this novel caught me a bit off guard, and it also reminded me of the kind of books that I do like to read - ones with a bit a magic, or other-worldliness about them.  I enjoyed reading about the Jinni's past, and how the lives of the golem and the jinni intertwine, and then come together, and apart.  If you are looking for an intellectual, almost romantic, supernatural novel, this one is a sure bet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Books, books, and more books (not just mine!)

There is a new meme travelling through Facebook, and I would admit I have been stewing over titles for a few days before I post my own list of 10 books that have had a lasting impact on my life.  Of course I have been over thinking this one… it is also an interesting exercise when I troll my memory through all the books that immediately jump and demand attention.

The 100 Books that Facebook Users love… is a great summary of the list of the top 100 books that people identified in their meme, and it is interesting.  Even checking out how the books are related and mapped out, is also an interesting exercise to check out folk's literary tastes.

In no particular order, I will list my work in progress and call it done for now:

Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
Lamb, Christopher Moore
Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins
The Power of One, Bryce Courtney
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell
Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
Works of William Shakespeare
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
No Great Mischief, Alistair MacLeod

I don't do well in limiting myself to a list of just 10 books.  I have a hard time not weighing and assessing and fretting over a list like this. I have missed some, ones I would not expect, like The Bees, The Gargoyle, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, My Name is Memory, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Unbroken to name but a few.  I also think about other books that impacted me as a youth - The Outsiders, Charlotte's Web, A Wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Narnia, Bill Peet books, The House with a Clock in it's Walls, and of course, Are you there God, it is me, Margaret?. What I can tell you with feeling is that my life would not as rich as it is without books. It feels like each year I have been making better and better choices in what I have been reading - in my own geeky way, this has been really exciting.  My next reads are the Golem and the Jinni, then Jonathon Norrel and Mr. Strange, and then the latest Harkness and Gabaldon books.  I have at least 4-6 weeks of amazing reads to go! That doesn't even count the books I have ordered through the library that I hope don't come in any time soon...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Entertaining series... again, far better than Twilight...

Since it has been a few weeks since I read the first book it took me a while to pick up the threads again in this second book in the trilogy. Is it a guilty pleasure to admit I am really enjoying these books?

I am.  I am looking forward to reading the third, and even to read Four, which is from Tobias/Four's perspective.. which I wasn't all that sure I would want to read. 

These are enjoyable books, there with the Catching Fire series, way better than Twilight, and for me, better than The Giver.  Given the stack of books I have waiting to read, I would assume I won't be reading the next book until closer to Christmas. 

On a related side note, I finally have read more than 41 books in a year! It was a quiet goal to read more than 50 books in a year, and this year, it feels achievable. It has been great to have such a long stretch of great reads, and from all different genres. I have not been bored reading a book for quite a while.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pretty much one a week...

There is more to life than just reading, but blogging the books that I have been reading makes it easy to track where my headspace was.  This was an entertaining and humourous book, but not as funny as a few of the others that I have read by Moore.

The South Pacific is an interesting plcae, and I have enjoyed my literary forays in to the region since I had just thought all the islands were little slices of paradise.  Moore has a great sense of humour, and is very intelligent.  I enjoy how his books are a departure from the every day, and how they can challenge your perceptions.  Worth a read, but not the best one to choose if this is your first time reading him.