Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November Books....AKA, A Dry Spell

We can blame this horrible reading month on two things.  1.  The election and all of the stress it caused. and 2. American Horror Story, which I binge watched because I desperately needed something to distract myself.  (It was a lot better than I expected.)

So, the books I actually read:

1.  Den of Wolves, Juliette Marillier - the newest Blackthorn and Grim!  So, so good.  Unlike the second book, which dragged a little bit, I had no trouble slipping back into Blackthorn and Grim's world with this one.  I'm also happy to say that Marillier decided to finish this series up as what's apparently a trilogy rather than drag out the main conflicts as I had originally feared she would do.  Loved the little nods to her other world.  Loved the growth of both of her main characters.  Loved the new fairy tale beneath the plot.  If anything, I think the ending felt a tad rushed.  Would like to have seen it drawn out just a bit more!

2.  The Book of Joy, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams - This has been my early morning reading for a couple of months, and it's wonderful.  I've used quotes in two seperate sermons now, and have found myself refering to passages to help deal with my own life.  My favorite thing....the humor and love between the two men, which kind of suprised me, although it shouldn't have.

3.  Smoke, Dan Vyleta - This one got a lot of buzz when it was published, and I was really looking forward to reading it.  I am left more perplexed than anything.  The concept was unique - I've only read one other book with a similar, although very different, central idea.  I pretty much hated all of the characters, though, and felt that there were some significant pacing problems that made it difficult to stick with at times.  Truly not sure what I think.

4.  The World According to Star Wars, Cass R. Sunstein (audio) - This was just fun.  I'm not near the Star Wars fan that my husband is, but I'm glad I gave it a listen.

5.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire- I don't remember how I found this book, and I wish I did so I could give credit.  It was amazing.  I'd had a couple of people tell me they liked it...but I wasn't prepared to be as deeply affected as I was.  It's going on my list of favorites for this year, for sure!  I don't really want to gush or give anything away.....if you like fairy tales, or stories about children who travel through doorways...read it.  The emotional payoff is one of the biggest I've had all year!

6.  Rue and Rosemary, Seanan McGuire - I need fairy tales right now, so after the grand success of Every Heart a Doorway I decided to try McGuire's Toby Daye series, which was recommended to me on facebook recently.  Good news - I LOVED it!  Bad news/good news - there are 10 of them!  I'll want to own them eventually, but I think  it's time to head to the library.  (Also for the Naomi Novic dragon books....just can't invest in big series right now, although I'm desperate to read them.)  I absolutely love modern fairy tales, and Toby is just what I needed.

Unfinished:

7. The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (audio) - I tried, I really tried.  It's not that long of an audio book, and I thought I'd be able to get through it. The reader is great, and I understand why Donoghue gets such good reviews.  She does rather have a knack for taking a very confined story and making it large.  However, I just didn't care about the characters or the outcome, and with so little going on I gave up at the half-way mark.

8. Emotionally Weird, Kate Atkinson - I still think Life After Life is one of the best books ever written, but I've grown steadily less enamored of Kate Atkinson since then.  This is the last of her books that I'd wanted to read - it's been on my wish list for forever.  Glad I only checked it out through the library.  It was just a bit too much for me...too precious in its language and style.  Perhaps this is a timing thing.  I may try again later.

9.  The Land of Stories, Chris Colfer (audio) - My girls love Colfer's Land of Stories books, so I thought I would give them a try.  After all, I love great YA and kids' books!  Ahem.  It just wasn't for me - although theoretically you'd think it was exactly my thing.  I found the characters to be so flat as to be ridiculous, though, and Colfer's narration bordered on annoying at times.

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