Monday, November 30, 2015

November Books

1. Career of Evil, Robert Galbraith (audio) -  Heck.  I'm not into hard boiled detective novels or crime novels or mysteries...but I love the Golbraith books!  Though often pretty darn grisly and grim, I do have fun reading them.  The relationship between Robin and Cormorine is the best!  But darn it, a cliffhanger?!?  on a book that's not even been out for a month...thus making me wait how long to find out what happens?!?

2.  Tower of Thorns, Juliet Marillier - Truth, I love Marillier, but I was disappointed by this - the second of the Blackthorn and Grim series.  About 1/4 of the way in I completely lost interest...which is NOT a good sign.  Part of the problem is that I saw one of the major plot points coming from a mile away, and it both annoyed and disappointed me.  I won't give up on Blackthorn and Grim - Celtic Fairy Tales are my favorite - if there are future books I'll try them as well...but it's apparent that this series is nowhere near the quality of Marillier's Sevenwaters books. 

3.  The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Pico Iyer - I was introduced to Iyer by the lovely podcast On Being, hosted by Krista Tippett.  This slim book was produced by TED in conjunction with Iyer's TED talk, and I imagine it'll lead me down a rabbit hole when I go to watch the talk tomorrow.  It's fall, and I'm in a very quiet, contemplative, withdrawn mood...thus, a book on meditation, on being still, on stepping back from the world.  It's given me some things to think about, and I may be putting some new practices in place because of it.  I also may be tracking down more books by On Being guests.  I'm in the mood. 

4. Slade House, David Mitchell - Readers of Mitchell's The Bone Clocks will doubtlessly recognize key elements of this small book,  although it clearly stands on it's own.  It's creepy, and fun - made special by the fact that Mitchell is so very talented at capturing clear, unique voices with each of his characters. It was a fun read...and I cheered when a familiar character showed up in the end!

5. Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell - Russell is one of my favorite writers, but I had long avoided her first   book about Doc Holiday and the Earp brothers because westerns just aren't my thing.  What finally drew me in was the excellent narration in the audio format...and truth be told I am completely disappointed that my library didn't get the digital audio for this sequel.  These books are amazing.  The characters are richly drawn, the language is gorgeous, and the story sweeps you up and carries you along.  Here's the thing, though....Epitaph is most definitely a Greek tragedy, and you know absolutely what's coming (darn that historical record!) and it can be a bit much at times.  I wound up only reading half of the book because it was a bit more depressing than I really wanted at this time of the year.  I did spend some time online tracking down the historic record about all of the characters, and I think that was good enough for me. 

6.  Mort(e), Robert Repino (audio) - This has been on my reading wish list for a while because of BOTNS, and so when I found it on a routine browsing through the newer titles on Hoopla I thought I'd try it out.  It's very, very hard to describe. (Should I even try?!)  Our Protagonist is a former house cat named Mort(e), who becomes a war hero when the ants engineer a war against human and transform animals into high-functioning two-legged....oh yeah, it's a crazy-cakes story, and I loved every minute of it!  You can't help but be swept up in Mort(e)'s search for his lost dog friend Sheba, and the truly unique story will carry you along. 

7.  Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, Connie Willis - A dear friend suggested this in my FB plea for book ideas this month, and it was the perfect thing to read during the Thanksgiving break.  I'm honestly not sure why I hadn't tried it before, given how much I love Willis.  It was charming and fun and thought provoking.  I loved the twist on some of the traditional Christmas stories that Willis created, and the honor she paid to some of her favorite Christmas tales.  Will definitely be added to the annual Christmas fun. 

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