Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2008 book 59

Terry Prachett's Witches Abroad
I've been meaning to read (I accidentally just typed "reading to mean" btw) Prachett's books for ages, since I loved Good Omens, but I never knew where to start, as he's written like 1200!! This is part of the Discworld series, but it certainly didn't need to be read in sequence or anything--I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Anyway, it's the story of three witches who are trying to stop a servant girl from marrying a prince--and have many hilarious adventures on the way. I cracked a grin at least once a chapter. So which Pratchett books should I read next? Are there any others that turn fairy tales on their heads? A.

Monday, April 28, 2008

harry potter book discussion #2

Our discussion of HP and the Chamber of Secrets will take place on this blog on May 16th! Look for a post on that date and post your comments in the comments.

2008 book 58

Marianne Wiggins' The Shadow Catcher
What is wrong with me that I dislike these books that are on like everyone's best of the year list? I checked this out of the library three times before finally reading it, and I only read it this time b/c it was in my car on the way to be returned unread, again, but I had a long wait at the dr's office and nothing better to do. Anyway, it's the story of an author named Marianne Wiggins who likes to talk in random CAPITAL LETTERS for no REASON at all, and her story is interspersed with the story of the photographer Edward Curtis, who the fictional Wiggins has written a book about (titled, of course, Shadow Catcher). Anyway, I didn't find either half of the story that compelling--I was interested in Curtis' wife, but after the first section she receives short shrift. Anyway, I didn't like it at all. C.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2008 book 57

Nina Revoyr's The Age of Dreaming
This excellent novel starts up when a young reporter in LA tracks down a formerly famous silent film star, who then reflects back on his rise to fame and his sudden departure from the spotlight in the wake of a murder. It touches on anti-Japanese sentiments in California in the early 1900s and really captures the era of silent films. A/A-.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

2008 book 56

Kate Christensen's The Great Man
The only other book I've read of Christensen's was In the Drink, which I vaguely remember liking but not taking very seriously, so I was really mostly impressed with this book, which centers on a deceased womanizing painter who suddenly has two biographers circling around the women in his life--his wife, his sister, his longtime mistress, and his two daughters by his mistress. All the characters in this book are great, even the ones who only appear in one or two scenes, and I really liked it (except for one plot twist that I thought was a little cheesy, but it was relatively minor). A-.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2008 book 55

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I finished rereading this just in time for tomorrow's virtual book group meeting!! I'll post an entry lunchtime-ish and discussion will take place in the comments.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 book 54

Joshua Ferris' And Then We Came to the End
I started rereading this on the plane back to Tally, read another big chunk at the dr's today, and finished it as soon as I was done with dinner. Yup, it's still awesome. Here is my original review.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2008 book 53

Karen Joy Fowler's The Jane Austen Book Club
Hey, I finally read it! It was pretty entertaining--I liked the characters, though did find most of the end unbelievable. My favorite parts were the book discussions--no surprise there. :) B+.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

2008 book 52

Sarah Hall's Daughters of the North
I'll say this for Hall, she is super versatile. None of her books are anything like the others, though her characters are always great (I especially love her book The Electric Michelangelo). Anywya, this book takes place in England in the near future in some sort of dystopian hell where woman are not allowed to reproduce without government permission ad no one can leave their towns. One woman flees to a farm run by a group of women, though their mission has changed slightly over the years. It's pretty dark, but well worth the read. A-/B+.

Friday, April 18, 2008

2008 book 51

Lisa Lutz's The Spellman Files
This was a perfect re-read for the trip to Pittsburgh!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

2008 book 50

Stefan Merrill Block's The Story of Forgetting
Convalescing on the couch gave me time tofinally finish reading this novel, which centers on a teen whose mother is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. He attempts to track down info on her past, while her father narrates other parts of the books. Interludes in a fictional mystical town that the family created didn't really do much for me, and I thought the ending was abrupt, but the information on early-onset Alzheimer's was pretty interesting. B-.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Originally uploaded by wordnerdy
I got hit by a car this morning, which totally sucked, and I lost several of my prized teeth, and I'm bruised all over (check out Flickr for more gross pics!). So, I've had better days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

2008 book 49

Karen Joy Fowler's Wit's End
I was really looking forward to this--I've read almost all of Fowler's books (except Jane Austen Book Club, b/c of course I only got into Austen recently) and really enjoyed them, and this one had an interesting premise: a young woman whose whole family has died goes to lie with her godmother, a famous mystery author who once wrote a book with the young woman's father as a character. But sigh! It was kind of boring! The protagonist is really passive, and information is just randomly revealed to her, and even the twist ending is really boring. The whole thing is BORING! The characters had a lot of potential but it all jsut felt thrown together. B-/C+.

Friday, April 11, 2008

2008 book 48

Stephenie Meyers' Eclipse
Christina warned me that this was her least favorite of the series, but I thought it was pretty good (though nothing much happens in 600+ pages). My problem with these books is that as they go on it becomes more and more apparent that the vampire boyfriend has absolutely no personality. Seriously, he's just this handsome love interest guy always saying passionate things or whatever. I'm way more into the Jacob character, who's kind of funny and sweet. He's a lot more interesting than the vampire boyfriend, for sure.

harry potter book group

OK, so at least one of you was interested in my idea of a Harry Potter read-along, and she and I have decided that book group starts today! We're reading all seven books in order and discussing them here. We're going to give everyone two weeks to re-read each one, which means the date of discussion for book 1 is April 25th. Get those reading glasses on and pick up your copy of HP and the Sorcerer's Stone! Then look for a post on April 25th for comments and discussion.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 book 47

Theresa Rebeck's Three Girls and Their Brother
OK, I am having a ridiculous day, but this book was just so vivid and painful and great that everything else is forgotten. It was in my library book stack, but then Jexebel recommended it and I snatched it up and I looooved it. It's about three redheaded sisters, gradndaughters of a famous lit crit guy, who get photogaphed for the New Yorker and their lives totally go haywire as they become little starlets. And they have an absolutely wonderful and kind of tragic brother. I got a little weepy at parts, no lie. A+.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

2008 book 46

Stephenie Meyers' New Moon
I cannot believe how much I'm enjoying a series of books about a girl dating a vampire.

Monday, April 07, 2008

2008 book 45

Laura Joh Rowland's The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte
This would be a much better book if it didn't involve the Bronte sisters--if it was just a tale of a woman caught up in international intrigue etc. Instead, it required serious suspension of disbelief to buy the Brontes getting into such scrapes; my suspension of disbelief ended completely during a ridiculous scene where Charlotte dry-humps her love interest. No, really. C.

2008 books 43 and 44

Sorry for the total lack of updates--I was having wireless problems and was too busy having fun in NC over my birthday weekend to bother to use anyone else's computer. A quick trip to the Apple store made things right and now I'm in the Charlotte airport enjoying their free wireless!

Scarlett Thomas' Popco
I'd read this before, but it had been several years and I didn't remember the ending at all. It was thoroughly enjoyable the second time around and I still recommend it highly!

Stephenie Meyers' Twilight
Christina recommended this to me and I finally got around to reading it--OMG, teen vampires and angst! I am in love!!! I already put the rest of the series on hold at the library, though the wait is long and I'm impatient!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

yay for cupcakes

Here is a handy cupcake-themed gift guide just in case someone you know (ahem!) has a birthday or other cupcake-related event coming up.