Thursday, September 2, 2010

August Reading

I had so much fun discussing my summer reading list that I thought I would add a monthly book list to my blog.

Ok, I'll confess...my OCD nature LOVED entering all of my books into GoodReads, but then it occurred to me that I might be forgetting a lot of books (for example my audio books from the library) because I wasn't keeping an actual record anywhere. A quick trip to B&N, during which I perused the shelves for a reminder of all of the books I've given away over the years, and I realized that I would be in trouble if I didn't start an ongoing list somewhere. (The fact that I spent about an hour in the middle of the night during a particularly troublesome bout of insomnia going through all of the audio books available online through the library to make a list of the ones I'd checked out might have also had something to do with that....)

So yes, this is largely for me....but I hope you enjoy it, too!

Actual books that you hold in your hands:
  1. Indigo Springs, A.M. Dellamonica - It's not often that you stumble across a new concept in science fiction or fantasy books. (Although, admittedly there's a better chance of that happening if you read more sci fi....and I don't. I'm strictly a fantasy girl.) Amazingly enough - that's exactly what I found in this book. It took a little while to truly get into it, but now I'm chomping at the bit for the sequel. I had to laugh a bit, though. Rather inadvertently I managed to have an entire summer full of books about Salem and/or witches!
  2. The Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry - I was very, very pleasantly surprised by this book. One of my pet peeves about modern literature is that so often writers rely on abuse as the primary conflict of the story. Now, before you jump all over me, I would like to state that I did work at a home for abused and neglected girls and I am, therefor, fully aware of the extent and seriousness of the issue. However. I will spare you my soap box to simply say that it's just not my cup of tea. Early on in this book I guessed that abuse would be involved...and I'm glad I ignored my impulse to toss the book in the trash rather than keep reading. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it certainly was about one of the most complex, interesting characters I've ever come across. (The Green Woman would like you to know that she did her utmost best to convince me to start bobbin lace while we were reading this book. She also seriously tempted me to try reading the future in one of my lace shawls. I resisted....barely.) Loved that she didn't cop out with the ending!
  3. Divine Misdemeanors, Laurell K. Hamilton. Another confession. I love Hamilton's books, for all that they are what we call 'schlock' novels. This is one of her Merideth Gentry novels, which still have a lot of life in them. (Sorry Anita Blake...after 17ish books you're getting a bit stale.) Pure escapist fiction...lots of fun...but no substance whatsoever. Sometimes a girl just needs that sort of book!
  4. A Homemade Life, Molly Wizenberg. We've discussed this one already! (And yes, I'm going to write Molly directly to thank her!)
  5. The Tree Bride, Bharati Mukherjee. This is one of my Endicott reading group books, and I have to say I just didn't care for it that much. The author's writing style was a bit too convoluted - often feeling as if it was complex and fancy for complex and fancy's sake. I appreciate good word craft, but if you lose your narrative in the process than it's just not worth it.

Audio:

  1. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dierser. Couldn't get through it all and gave it up at roughly the half-way point. It's a very well-written book, with an interesting storyline. I just didn't find any of the characters to be particularly sympathetic and so it was difficult to stay with it.
  2. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy via The Classic Tales podcast. I've read it before and I absolutely adore it. Soooo glad B.J. Harrison decided to serialize this for his podcast! He's one of the best voice actors out there, and I always enjoy his work. It was especially fun because I had the music and lyrics from the musical (one of my favorites, even though it's not well known) playing in my mind the entire time!
  3. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Aimee Bender. I've decided Aimee Bender is one of my new favorite writers. Yes, it's a very odd book.... but it's also rather fabulous. My only complaint is that Bender herself read it...and she may not have been the best for the job.

Ongoing Podcasts:

  1. A Connecticut Yankee, In King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain via Craftlit
  2. The Riddle of the Sands, Erskine Childers via Forgotten Classics.

July Books (The summer reading list was posted in mid-July, and I had already read many of the books on the list. These are the few that I finished the month with, and do deserve a mention.):

  1. The Girl In The Glass, Jeffery Ford This was my first Endicott Reading Group book, and it was phenomenal. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. Bravo, Mr. Ford!
  2. The White Road, Lynn Flewelling. Sadly, this series is loosing steam - as so many series do. It was better than the last, and I still enjoyed it, but I find myself hoping that Flewelling will move on. She's a phenomenal writer, and I want more from her.
  3. The Virgin Queen's Daughter (audio), Ella March Chase. Yep, it was silly. But it was also fun! AND, I was right - it was a nice antidote to having just slogged through The Tudors.

As last time - recommendations for the coming month are always appreciated!

2 comments:

quantumtea said...

I keep a list of books I'm reading, or re-reading, and flag those I actually finish. I adore Jim Butcher's Dresdon Files series, he's up to book 12 or 13 now and stil going strong.

I've noticed a definite trend towards zombie fiction in the last year. Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys was wonderful, and anything by Mary Roach will keep me engrossed for days. Her book on what happens to corpses, Stiff, was fabulous. She has another one, Spook, about ghosts, and one called Bonk about sex.

Sergei Lukyanenko is a fantastic Russian urban fantasy author, start with his Nightwatch book. It's 3 novellas in one, very VERY Russian in outlook, quite dark but well written.

David Brin is an excellent hard SF writer, as is Alastair Reynolds. Seanan McGuire has a trilogy starting with "Rosemary and Rue" which is good, as Mira Grant she also wrote Feed, which is the best zombie fiction I have ever read.

A Day That is Dessert said...

I love the idea of keeping track of what you've read. I used to do that for my book club, but stopped years ago for some reason. I was just thinking today, I need something to read! Thank you for the ideas.