Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

I suppose I shouldn’t find it odd that I discovered this book by reading other book blogger’s blogs (say that three times fast!). The friendly internet book-world informed me that The Name of the Wind was the next Lord of the Rings and would absolutely rock my world.

And it did. I probably wouldn’t go so far as to put it on a shelf with Lord of the Rings, but that is probably because I’ve immortalized Lord of the Rings beyond all possible comparison. It would be like comparing Mother Teresa to Jesus. Mother Teresa is cool and all, but did she walk on water? No, I don’t think so.

Despite that it isn’t Lord of the Rings, this is one of the best fantasy novels that I’ve read. It is definitely on par (maybe exceeds?) the Terry Brooks Shannara series. I was riveted from about 30 pages in to the very end of the book (and the sequel to come!). Like so many great novels, it starts out a little slow, but builds into a crescendo of pure awesome. If awesome could be refined into purer awesome, it would be this book.

So all that said, my rating is: 9- Top 100 - this book tops the charts of my favorite books!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eeek!

You can lynch me now. I know that I've disappeared from the world of blogging for months now - three to be exact - but I really do have good excuses.  What? You don't want to hear my long list of excuses?  Good beacuse I didn't want to tell you anyway. 

Well I'm back now and I have a TON of books to catch you up on. This first blog will be a summary blog so that I can keep nice and neat records of my reading history and then I promise you'll get real posts with lots of interesting factoids.

The Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins - Good, but it was slightly less captivating than the two prequels.  My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.



Echoes, by Danielle Steele  - Suprisingly delightful. I really should stop being surprised that I have actually enjoyed two of Danielle Steele's books. Again, there was no smuttiness. It was simply a beautiful story about a girl and her family trying to survive the Holocaust. My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.



Only the Good Spy Young, by Ally Carter  - I can't honestly remember this book very well. I'm pretty sure there is a sequel and I'm also pretty sure that I'll read it, but while this series is enjoyable, it is also forgettable. As such, I can't remember whether I liked it or not, so I can't even give it a rating. :(



The Han Solo Trilogy - Paradise Snare, by AC Crispin - AWESOME. I'm a nerd. I like Star Wars. However, I thought it would be all action and no sappy romance crap, but there was!!  Han Solo falls in love... and then... well, you'll have to read it to find out, but it certainly explains the tough demeanor that you see in the Star Wars movies. I definitely enjoyed this read that took me back to my childhood.  My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.



The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski - Love and Hate. Sometimes they can be felt simultaneously. This book was incredibly written, but frustrating for various reasons. It really deserves its own blog post in which I vent and rave, but unfortunately, it gets a short summary. I wouldn't recommend it, but... it deserves a little more than that as well. It is sad and it doesn't have a happy ending. The writing though = superb. 



The Alchemist, by Paul Coelho - LOVED. It was fascinating and challenging. I found myself thinking about it all the time during the following weeks and analyzing life through the lens presented in The Alchemist. I believed I actually tried to quote it a few times. Thank you to my blog readers for recommending this book! My rating: 8- Holy Cow! This book rocks my socks off.



Need, by Carrie Jones - Blah. I can't remember it. I don't think I liked it.  I probably won't read the sequel.  Imagine Twilight gone wrong.  My rating: 3- Bleh. I wouldn't bother, but maybe you have more patience.



The Vampire Diaries, Vol 1 & 2, by LJ Smith  - Interesting, but not captivating. My rating: 5- Pretty good, for the most part.



The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa - I'm pretty sure I really enjoyed this book and I'm definitely planning on reading the sequel, but my memory is so bad, I just can't remember. Which was initially why I started this blog - to help me remember the books I forget! My rating is probably (if I can remember correctly...): 6- Good. Solidly good.



Sphinx's Princess, by Esther Friesner - I love this series. I love Esther Friesner. These are definitely my childish indulgence books, but I can't help it. They're just so fun!  7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.



Burned, by PC Cast & Kristin Cast - Boo. This series gets worse and worse and I still can't put it down. I hate that I'm interested even while I'm not. I'm determined to NOT read the next book in the series. Someone - please keep me accountable to this. Remind me that the series is a waste of time and is trash.  Help please? My rating: Runaway while you still can. Don't let this book snatch you in its clutches to hold you for all 8+ books...



That's all for now!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

Per many recommendations from my lovely blog followers, I've just finished reading The Help.

I loved it.

I was a little sad that the ending wasn't wrapped up all nice and neat, but even so, everything was concluded well. 

My rating: 8- Holy Cow! This book rocks my socks off.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender

I've had the unfortunate experience lately where EVERY book I pick up is either dull, badly written, or depressing.

I'm definitely getting sick of it. I've stopped mid-read in five books now, which is A HUGE deal for me. I, rarely, will stop in the middle of a book - this occurrence happens maybe once to twice a year. So, five books in one month seems a tad bit extreme.

This ridiculously high number of book failures is either due to karma, my mood, or stupid publishers. I voting for the stupid publishers.

Either way, I won't be blogging about the stupid books because I just can't bring myself to think about them any longer.

However, if you want to feel depressed all day long and contemplate how miserable the world is, go ahead and read "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake."

You would think the name would tip me off - the PARTICULAR SADNESS. But no, I dive in expecting a happy delightful novel full of lemon cake with a twist of sadness that still ends up happy.

Well, it isn't happy. There's not one moment of sustained happiness in the whole book. All happiness dies.

I will give it this - it definitely has that Independent-film style, which I know a lot of people actually like. Me? I don't like Independent films. I much prefer Disney.

Interestingly, the author apparently did not learn how to use quotation marks in school as all dialogue is quotation-mark-less. I've never read anything written like this before and it definitely lends the book that noted independent-film style, but I am not keen on this writing technique. And I'm a little annoyed at whatever publisher was like - "Hey, let's be unique. Let's publish a book with no quotation marks in our dialogue. No one's done that before..."

Unlike the idiotic publishers and this artsy-fartsy author, I like quotation marks. They help move the story along without stopping every moment with he-said and she-saids.

She said, I love the flowers.

I love them too, he said.

Doesn't that just sound so morose and melancholy? 

At any rate, the book was written with enough to keep me interested until the end, but I just don't love this writing style so I can't highly recommend it.

However, if you are one of those goth souls in surburban clothes then maybe this book will be right up your alley. However, I'm really a disney princess dressed up as your average American and this book just didn't sweep me off my feet.

My rating: 5- Pretty good, for the most part.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I was hesistant to start reading this book initially. It is just so darn popular and my inner self rebels against doing something popular. I don't want to follow the crowd. I'm a unique invididual. Right? Wrong.

With books, however, I'm quickly slowly learning that popularity usually denotes a delicious read. And fortunately (or unfortunately?) Eat Pray Love was indeed yummy.

When this book was recommended to me (by several people), all of them agreed that the pray part of the book was a bit dull. A few friends also mentioned their theological diferences and how it made them unable to relate to her experiences.

Interestingly, while I found this section somewhat slow, it felt somehow necessary to the telling of her healing experience. However, this section wasn't interesting to me because of her spiritual experience(s), but rather because of her interactions with her gregarious friend - Richard of Texas. You'll have to read it to understand. But he made me laugh.

I really enjoyed this book - way more than I thought I would. Perhaps because I, like many other women, have experienced similar struggles as Ms. Gilbert. Struggles like bouncing from guy to guy in my younger days in an effort to find fulfillment or avoid depression. Or struggling with being who everyone else wants me to be instead of who I really am. Or struggling with the value of your dreams.

I don't think her answers are my answers. I don't even know that her answers are healthy answers. In some ways her book felt like a story of a runaway - a girl who was just trying one more thing to deal with her pain.

But I don't think her intent was to say "This is how you deal with your crap" or "This is the right way to fix your life." I don't think she was trying to change anyone's life when she wrote Eat Pray Love. I think she is just telling her story.

And all of our stories are worth telling and being heard. Which is one reason why I think I enjoyed reading this book so much. I love listening to life stories. People fascinate me.

It doesn't help that she tells her story oh-so-well. :D

My rating: "7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephanie Meyer

As many of you know, I'm a Stephanie Meyer junkie. You might interpret this as being a Twilight junkie, but I'm not. I don't love all things Twilight. I don't want my own personal Edward. I don't make believe I'm Bella. I'm not going to name my first-born Jacob.

But I do love reading Ms. Meyer's books - all of them. I love The Host. I love the Twilight series. And Stephanie Meyer's new book - The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner - is no exception.

The only sad thing about this book is that the ending was already written in Eclipse; Bree, the main character, dies at the hands of the Volturi. I wish I could change the ending, but so does Stephanie Meyer. At least we both agree on that.

This book isn't really a stand-alone. I wouldn't recommend it if you haven't read the Twilight series since the ending won't make much sense.

My Rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.

I listened to this book on audio and loved this reading format.

(I think the cover art is pretty clever considering the ending of this novella).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stories

I'm getting so behind on blogging about books that I'm going to blog about a slew of books all at once. I've choosen to blog about all the books I've read recently that are enjoyable and worth recommending, but which aren't going to completely revolutionize your world or bring you to tears if you don't get the sequel. Right. Now.



Heist Society, by Ally Carter - If you liked Ally's I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You series, then you'll love this new adventure in the world of adolescent art thieves.

My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.





H.R.H., by Danielle Steele - I was convinced that Danielle Steel was a smutty writer who put lots of sex and lusty scenes in her book, but I'm happy to report that this book (my first foray into the works of Ms. Steele) was as clean (or cleaner!) than most of the YA books I've read.  It does allude that the couple sleeps together, but it leaves out all romantic descriptions thereof.  I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book and that it was a clean romance.

My rating: 6- Good. Solidly good.


 



The Last Juror, by John Grisham - Another fantastic John Grisham novel. What can be said except that John Grisham consistently publishes interesting and fascinating tales that revolve around our justice system?

My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.





Sea Glass (Book 1) & Storm Glass (Book 2), by Maria V. Snyder -  This series is captivating and full of adventure and romance in unexpected places. I'm excited for the next book in the series (Spy Glass) to see where Ms. Snyder takes things. I'm happy to report that this series gets better as it goes along.

My rating: 7- Great. This book is worth reading AND recommending.






Princess of the Midnight Ball, by Jessica Day George - A delightful retelling of the old faery tale of the twelve dancing princesses whose father promised one of his daughter's hand in marriage if their suitor could discover where they went dancing each night. Jessica does a fantastic job of weaving a believable and interesting back-story to this commonly known tale.

My rating: 6- Good. Solidly good.



That's it! I'll blog about some of the books I've really enjoyed recently and some of the books that I disliked immensely soon!