Friday, May 8, 2015

I got you that book last year; wasn't everything in there?

It's May.

I've been thinking for a couple weeks about writing some books reviews.

But it's May. Do you know how overwhelming it is to consider writing book reviews for the 40 books that I have read in the last 4 months? And really, I only listened to a couple of audiobooks in January, so 40 books that I have read in the last 3 months.

But out of loyalty to you, my dear reader, I am going to make a valiant effort to get some thoughts down.

Rather than set this up chronologically like I normally do with my book review posts, I'm going to set it up by categories. So sit tight, grab a beverage, and let's get some reading on.



Paper Towns by John Green
Here's what I like about John Green: He loves literature. He is so completely passionate about literature that it pervades everything that he writes. So this is a standard teen novel -- a rebellious girl, a guy who loves her, weird family, etc -- but throughout all of it, Green is pouring out his love of literature and that captures me every time. I would appreciate anyone who has that much passion for anything, but since this happens to coincide with how I feel, I like it even more.

I recommend it with reservations.

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
This is a seriously long, winding, "epic" narrative that tells the life of one man, two women who run from a bad situation that he takes in as his daughters, and then their daughter. So a sweeping epic of three generations growing up in a huge orchard in Washington state. The problem with the sweeping epic is it was seriously boring. I'm not completely sure why I continued to read this (hoping it would get better), but I did read the entire thing, and it didn't get better.

I don't recommend it.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss wrote one of my favorite books, The Name of the Wind. This takes one of the characters from the world he created in The Name of the Wind and tells her story. It's short, just a novella, and I loved how he created the story and gave some background and additional insight to the character of Ari.

I recommend it if you've read The Name of the Wind.

Rogues edited by George RR Martin
This is actually a collection of short stories by a variety of authors. I picked it up because I wanted to read the story by Patrick Rothfuss (see above). So in the novella, Rothfuss follows Ari around for the day. In this short story, "The Lightening Tree," he follows Bast. Now Bast is, of course, one of my favorite characters, so it is automatic that I would love this story. And I did.

I recommend it if you've read The Name of the Wind.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven is Mandel's take on a post-apocalyptic novel. And I loved how she approached it. She has a great set up for the actual apocalypse itself, which is usual because most novels of this genre just skip what happened and let you attempt to imagine it. I was so caught in the descriptions of what was happening as the world as they knew it ended that I found myself panicking because I also don't have a landline telephone! Then Mandel moves to how the survivors build a new world and likewise that is also something that most post-apocalyptic novels don't deal with. It was truly imaginative and original and completely engaging.

I highly recommend it.

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio
I'm going to be completely honest here. I don't remember this book. I'm sitting here looking at the title and the cover and I have no idea what it was about.

Here's what I know: it was cute, it was a light read, it was entertaining... Clearly only for the moment.

I can't recommend it!

The Kate Daniels Series (Numbers 1-7, starting with Magic Bites) by Ilona Andrews
I'm listing these together as one entry, because I basically devoured the series, so now they are all muddled in my mind anyway. This is Urban Fantasy that takes place in an Atlanta that is being eaten by magic and is home to vampires (not sparkly ones) and shape-shifters.

I'll be honest, the first one is a hot mess. The authors did not do a good job of introducing Kate Daniels' world or explaining how that world operates and what her role in it is. But there was enough there to get me to read the second book, and they got a lot better at explaining as the series went on. It's a cute, light and fluffy, fantasy series with a strong female heroine.

I recommend it with reservations.

Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
Wow. This novel by Margaret Atwood does not stand up to the passage of time. Written in the late 1960s, it is deeply deeply entrenched in that time and that world. That doesn't sound that odd, but Atwood was trying so hard to make this universally applicable, and it just doesn't work. This is a super short novel, but it was really difficult to get through because of how she set it up.

I don't recommend it.

Next time: Look forward to these additional categories!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Shadows at Dawn by Karl Jacoby
Quiet by Susan Cain
Tracks by Robyn Davidson
Everything Changes by Kairol Rosenthal
Anticancer by David Servan-Schreiber

I am Malala by Malala Yousafazai
Two or Three Things I know for Sure by Dorothy Allison

How to Expand Love by the Dalai Lama
Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron
No Time to Lose by Pema Chodron

The Eight by Katherine Neville
Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
The Song of the Lioness Series (Numbers 1-4) by Tamora Pierce
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Emily of New Moon by LM Montgomery
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne
The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

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