Thursday, November 5, 2009

September & October Reading List

Greetings Humble Readers! Okay, so I'm a bit behind. I missed posting my September reading list because of our vacation, and then November just kind of snuck up on me. Over the last couple of months, I have become addicted to a new-ish teen series... and have found a couple of new authors that I'm stoked about. I'm up to 50 books towards the Book Challenge, and no where near the 100 I predicted. Oh well... still some great reads! Maybe next year I will make a better prediction on how much I will read.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - Wow! You know how the Twilight series is getting all the press these days for teen fiction? Well, I can honestly say that Hunger Games is by far the best teen fiction I have ever read! A blend of sci-fi futuristic-ness and well crafted adventure, this series will appeal to both boys and girls. The Capitol uses the annual Hunger Games to keep the twelve districts in line. Every district must send two competitors, chosen by lottery, to battle for their lives inside the arena that the gamemakers control. Katnis and Peeta, the representatives from District 12, are the dark horses in the competition, and must work together if they want to last even one day inside the arena. Victory equals food, comfort, and ease for their families... losing equals death. Sooooo good! (And not a vampire or werewolf in sight!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - Ok, so you just read what I think of Hunger Games? Well, this is the follow-up to it. I don't want to give too much away here, but let's just say that the Capitol's hold on the Districts is weakening and rebellion is brewing! Katnis and Peeta are the faces of the rebellion and the Capitol is not pleased! Very well written, engaging, and I am dying for the third book in the series (not out until next year!).
Alana... you must read these! No ifs, ands, or buts!

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jefferies (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - This book would fall into the trashy smut category. I think it's the last book in the School for Heiresses series... I think. Good time wasting reading! While all the other stories in the series are about the students and their adventures in finding husbands, this one is about the headmistress. The thing that I loved about this book is that you finally get to find out who the mysterious Cousin Michael is. Fun and a quick read!

The Eight by Katherine Neville (2 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I really looked forward to reading this one. The tale of Charlemagne's chess set, rumoured to destroy any one who played with it... it is a quest story a la the Davinci Code or the Labyrinth. For centuries the set was hidden by the church, but to protect it from a power-hungry archbishop, a nun separates it and scatters it across Europe. Present day power-mongers are on the hunt for it, and there is only one person who can truly bring the set back together. I had heard lots of great things about this book, but honestly I was bored to death.

The Pages In Between by Erin Einhorn ( 4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I will admit that I am not quite finished this one. It's my 'break' book at work, so it't taking me a while to get through. That being said I am loving it! It's the memoir of a young woman on a search to find the Polish family that hid her mother as a child during the holocaust. Relying on just scant information she was able to get from her mother before she passed away, Erin seeks out the remaining members of her mother's foster family. But, instead of a fairy tale ending with happy reunions, she finds that her mother's memories were those of a young child, coloured by the pain of losing the only family she had ever known. She also finds a property dispute that goes back more than 60 years. It just goes to show that family stuff is never cut and dried. There are always secrets, there are always other ways to remember how things happened.

Extreme Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean (3 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I want to preface this by saying I love Stuart McLean's work... usually. For my readers south of the border, think of Garrison Keilor minus the Lutheran references. McLean is a CBC radio personality, who tells the funniest stories about Dave, Morley, their kids, and their community (a neighbourhood in Toronto). For those who haven't read or heard it, you have to check out "Dave Cooks the Turkey" sometime before Christmas. You will be crying from laughing so hard. All that said, I was greatly disappointed with his new book. There wasn't even one story that really made me chuckle. Two of the stories weren't new at all, I was familiar with them from his audio books. I bought the book soley because I was jazzed about it being a new Vinyl Cafe book. I was just very disappointed.

Valley of Horses by Jean Auel (4 out of 5 hobbit toes) - The second in the Earth's Children series (the first was Clan of the Cave Bear), I have always enjoyed this book. This is my 6th or 7th time through it, and I love it as much as I did the first time I read it. It follows the journeys of Ayla, now on her own, bannished from the Clan and Jondalar, a man of the Others. Ayla's journey is one of discovery, as she learns to live on her own and debates seeking out the people she was born to. Jondalar's journey is to follow his brother to the end of the Great Mother river. Ayla and Jondalar are destined for each other, and are brought together through tragedy. My only complaint about this book is that the author spends a lot of time in flashbacks, repeating the same elements over and over.

Love Comes Softly by Jannette Oke (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I have a soft spot for this series. It's pretty tame, very similar to Little House and other prairie stories like it. Marty, a young widow, marries Clark out of convenience. She needs a home, his daughter needs a mother. Marty must learn how to live on the prairie, with few neighbours, and fewer conveniences. Her first attempt at baking biscuits results in black lumps that even the dog won't eat. In an effort to clean their cabin, she ends up destroying the chinking between the logs. As she becomes more comfortable in her new home, she finds that she is also becoming more comfortable as Clark's wife. It's a sweet story, albeit with too happy an ending. Something fun and quick to read on a Sunday afternoon.

So, humble readers... besides blogs, what are you reading these days?

1 comment :

  1. I'm about to re-read The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper - I love all of her books, and I remember this one being the least weird. Almost finished with The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell, a sort-of memoir about his cousin who lives a subsistence lifestyle in the bush in Alaska )really good non-fiction).


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