Sunday, August 2, 2009

July's Reading List

Ok... only two days late, here it is! July's reading list is just as varied as usual. Cavemen, British royals, Pugs, time travelers, polygamists, and the Stones. Like I said, varied. I'm up to 35 for the Book Challenge and I'm beginning to think that I was a tad over confident. One hundred books is going to be a real stretch.

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict - Laurie Rigler (3 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) The sequel to the bestselling Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, it was funny but just not as good as the first. The premise, that a woman from regency England has somehow miraculously traded places with a woman from present day Los Angeles, causes one to have to suspend disbelief in certain things. But the funny parts (imagine someone from the 1800s encountering our technology, our vehicles, our foundation garments!) made it a fun read.

Clan of the Cavebear - Jean Auel (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) I had read and re-read this series ages ago. But a while back I saw a documentary about how europeans may have come to north america as early as 17000 years ago, and it put me in mind of the series. The story of an abandoned little girl taken in by a clan of cave men, it is an interesting read. The rise of 'modern man' set against the decline of the cave man is intriguing and the storyline definitely pulls you along. My only frustration with the series as a whole is that it's not complete. I waited ten years for book 5, and it's now been 7 years since and I'm still waiting for book 6.

Stone Me: The Wit and Wisdom of Keith Richards - Mark Blake (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) Pardon the pun, but this book totally rocked! I will confess to not being a big fan of the Stones, but I have always been fascinated by their incredible popularity. This book is a collection of quotes from the always blunt, always irreverent, almost always high Keith Richards. His thoughts on Mick, on drugs, on faith, and even on his family... all hysterical.

The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff (4.5 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) All I can say is wow! A tremendously powerful story, based in historical fact. Two parallel stories, one present day, one set in the 1800s at the birth of the Mormon church, are entwined. Both stories deal with polygamy and the affect is has on the women and children involved... even on the men involved. One part murder mystery, two parts family drama. Historical figures become full-blooded characers, and they really make you ponder how they came to live these incredibly bizarre lives. Without going into my opinions on Mormon theology, I have to say this book was completely fascinating in that it provides a glimpse into what life might be like within the polygamst sects that stil exist. Well written and creative in style and format, I think that anyone who picks up this book will be hard pressed to put it down!

A Rose For the Crown - Anne Easter Smith (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) The first in a series (that I mistakenly read the second book in first) about the War of the Roses, in the 1400s. Told from the perspective of the mistress of Richard of Gloucester, who later became King Richard III. Traditionally believed to have been one of Britain's more notorious royals, it is assumed that he was responisble for the deaths of his nephews (known as the Boys in the Tower). This novel takes a different stance. He's portrayed as a man who is thrust into a position of power, who struggles to know who he can trust, and is ultimately decieved by those he relies on. It was a great read, and the author really did a great deal of research and made it really accessible. If you like British historical fiction, you've got to check this one out.

It's Not That I'm Bitter - Gina Barreca (3 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) This collection of humourous essays was a fun read, most of the time. All dealing with life as a woman in North America in the 21st century, most were funny to the point of making me laugh out loud in the lunch room. Some of my favourites had to do with swimsuit shopping and how women are hard wired to start their Christmas preparations in July... Pretty hillarious. As with all collections like this, there are a few duds, but over all, a fun read.

Barron's Dog Bible: Pugs - Dan Rice (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit-toes) I know that not everyone is going to be looking for a book about pugs, but I have to say that I strongly recommend this series to anyone considering getting a new dog. Written by a vet and pug owner, I felt like I was getting an honest appraisal of what it means to own and care for a pug. It didn't sugar coat some of the cons (shedding, respiratory issues, etc) and didn't over do the praises of the breed. After reading this book, I really feel like I know what I would be getting into if we decide to go that direction.


  1. Wait, you're aiming to read 100 books this year? Good gravy! I thought I was doing good at averaging 1.5 a month. I guess not. ;)

  2. Whoa! All the best with the reading!

    Mrs. Gamgee, thanks for the comments on my blog. Standing on your head? Oh God, you do good by not discussing IF with her. Her intentions are genuine, that is for sure.

    Much luck to both of us.

  3. A couple of excellent selections there, Missy! I'm going to check out the Keith Richards and War of the Roses books. Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Love your book reviews! Going to have to check a few of these out. Thanks and hope you are doing well.


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