Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Books!

1.  The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky (audio) Truth be told, I only made it a third of the way through the book, which is a real shame.  I actually enjoy heavy, Russian novels, and the beginning of The Brothers K is quite good.  However, by the time I quit I was thoroughly disgusted with every single character.  Even worse, Blackstone audio used an aristocratic Brit as the reader, and his accent really seemed to confuse everything.  This is the first classic novel I've listened to where I found a trip to Spark Notes was neccessary to make sure I hadn't missed anything....largely because the reader was so difficult to follow.  And dull...he was dull. 

2.  Howard's End, E.M. Forster (audio)  Probably a result of my Downton Abby craze.  I remember reading lots of Forster in college, but honestly didn't remember the contents of this book at all.  It was delightful.

3.  Blood Work, Holly Tucker (Ebook)  I heard a rather extesive interview with the author on one of my podcasts, and was intrigued.  Consequently, when my desire for nonfiction appeared out of nowhere this month this is the first book I turned to.  Blood Work is the story of the history of blood transfusions, complete with all of the religious and philisophical ideas that existed at the time and a mystery surrounding the first successful experiments.  Tucker managed to solve the mystery during her research, and the result is a fascinating book.  Don't read it if you are on the squeamish side...especially when it comes to animal research. 

4.  Allergic Girl, Sloan Miller (Ebook)  Sloan Miller is somewhat of a celebrity in the allergy world, and her book was an interesting combo of memoir and advice.  I have to admit, though, that it left me feeling pretty cold.  There is a lot of time devoted to helping allergy people eat out safely...and that's just not my thing for a lot of reasons.  Also, Miller falls into the camp that seems to believe that if you don't go into anaphylacsis with the barest touch of your allergies than it doesn't count.  I don't know that she honestly believes that....but it sure felt that way.  I was pretty upset when I finished the book....and a tour of popular food allergy blogs and websites didnt' help. 

5.  Franklin & Eleanor, An Extraordinary Marriage, Hazel Rowley (library) - A Books On The Nightstand recommendation, Rowley's book was delightful.  The Rosevelts had a very unconventional marriage, and the story of it was fascinating.  I've wanted to read ths for a long while, and it didn't dissapoint. 

6. Outlander, Diana Gabaldon (Ebook)  I actually read this book years ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit.  For some reason, though, I never read any of the other books - preferring to take this one as a stand alone.  I might have been perfectly content to never, ever read these books if they hadn't started popping up on list after list after list.  SO, needing a break from heavy classics and nonfiction, I read the whole thing - all 800 some odd pages - in just a few days.  Super fun, can't wait to read the next one.

7.  Hit List, Laurell K. Hamilton (library) - I'm done with Hamilton, and I'm done with Anita Blake.  The problem is that after 20 books it feels like Hamilton has exhausted her ideas for that particular character and has fallen into the dasterdly trap of lazy writing.  Done. 

8.  War Horse, Michael Morpurgo (audio) - The audio is only four hours long, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I don't think I realized it was a children's book...but I love children's books so that wasn't a problem!

9.  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling (library) - A quick and very entertaining read.  Little bit like Tina Fey's Bossypants....but that didn't take away from it at all.  Kaling is very relatable.

10.  Let's Take The Long Way Home, Gail Caldwell (library Ebook) - Another BOTNS recommendation, I was  a bit hesitant.  For starters, I'm a dog person who has no patience with dog people...and the friendship the book memorializes was built around that dog people thing in the beginning.  It also felt a bit syrupy due to Caldwell's writing style.  But I stuck with it anyway, and I'm glad I did.  It's a short book...and well worth it.

PS.  Blogger and I had an argument this morning, and as a result the spell check didn't work.  I have notoriously bad spelling, so please forgive my errors.  Part and parcel. 


Bonnie said...

I didn't know Mindy Kaling has a book out! Off I go to B&N to get my free Nook sample and check it out!

A Day That is Dessert said...

I, too, am on a Downton Abbey craze - cannot wait for the next season! (What are you watching in the meantime? - we need another 'show'...) Thanks for the Howard's End recommendation - will put it on my list.

I've never 'gotten' the whole Russian Lit thing.

We saw War Horse over New Years and thought it was well done - I assume the movie was based on the book?

Years ago I read a biography about Eleanor Roosevelt and loved it - I'll look for this one about the two of them. I love biographies.