Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly

Well.....this was not my favorite book.  First off, I found it ridiculous that the characters should be related to the Little Women characters and have no idea who they were.  Jo wrote a book about her family.  How could they not know about that?! It was also very predictable.  Aside from that, I did enjoy the characters, just not the story.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander

I fell in love with this book immediately.  I'm not going to discuss the plot as it will give away too much but it is one of the most unique books I've read in a long time.  Auslander has an absolutely wonderful and refreshing method of storytelling.  That is all.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Something Completely Original

This is what I'm reading right now and I really love it!

Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini

This book has been sitting on a very large stack of "to-read" books for quite a long time.  I don't have a whole lot to say about it.  I enjoyed reading it.  Being someone who has family and friends that have been touched by the monster of depression, I found it a story that was very easy to relate to.  My version of this book is an advanced copy so I'm not sure if there was a bibliography in the final published edition, but I would have loved to see one with a list of all the cookbooks Butturini was referencing.  I ended up adding several more cookbooks to my Amazon wish list thanks to this book.  The big gripe I have is that books like this always make me want to visit Italy and I have no idea how many years it will be before I can make that journey. *sigh*

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

I put of buying a copy of The Clockwork Prince for some time after I'd discovered that it was out.  I'd loved Clare's first trilogy but was not overly impressed with the book that preceded this one in her new trilogy.  Then I started reading reviews that compared the storytelling to an Austen novel and became intrigued enough to order a copy.  I disagree that this is anything like a Jane Austen story.  It did, however, feel more akin to the excellent storytelling that hooked me when reading her "City" trilogy.  I'm not going to say much about it but that I really enjoyed it and was always looking for excuses to pick up the book.  I am now looking forward to the next book and will probably re-read the other five when it comes out.  Brava! Cassandra Clare got her groove back!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney

I just finished reading The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney.  This was an advanced copy, the book will be available sometime in January.  I'm not really one for mysteries but I did enjoy reading this book.  The story takes place in England in the 1980's.  The main character is a half-gypsy P.I. who is hired to investigate the disappearance of a gypsy girl that occurred 6-7 years ago.  I really enjoyed this author's writing style and am tempted to go back and read her other book, The Tenderness of Wolves, even though I don't know anything about it.  Penney is a good storyteller.  There are plenty of twists and turns in the story to keep a reader's interest.  Some of them are more obvious, so you get that lovely smug sensation of thinking you've figured it out, and others you don't grasp until the moment she wants you to.  I recommend it.  Read it when it comes out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Darlings by Christina Alger

I recently finished reading an advance copy of The Darlings by Christina Alger.  I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.  The story takes place around Thanksgiving of 2008 and revolves around the falling rich and mighty in New York.  It felt a bit like an attempt at mixing John Grisham and Candace Bushnell, not a combo I am fond of.  The writing style was definitely not bad.  The story moved along at a decent pace but it felt like the author needs to do a bit more work before she's really good.  I'm still galled over her using sea-faring metaphors when narrating from the point of view of a character named Marina.  The other beef I had with the story is that it's not very long and she changed the point of view to a different character (some of them very minor) for every chapter.  This is a device that can work well with a longer story, like the Songs of Fire and Ice series, but just ends up being troublesome for a book of this length.  The main problem I had with this book is that I couldn't relate to the characters and had a hard time feeling sympathy for any of them. For the most part, the plot moved in a predictable line.  Even the events that were fictional were easy to see coming.  That said, it was a fast read and not horrible.  I'm sure there are some people that will really enjoy this book but I don't think I'll ever read it again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children

Just finished reading this book this morning.  I pretty much devoured it, such an excellent read.  It's one of those strange stories that straddle the line between YA fiction and adult fiction.  The truly pleasant surprise are the photographs.  When you grow up you just assume that your days of reading books with pictures are done.  It was fun to see that notion tossed aside.  This is one of those books that appeals the the portion of everyone's psyche that thinks they don't fit in with everyone else, the misfit in all of us.  Just read it.  It's good.  You'll like it.