April 27th, 2010

Dead Dog Cat


So, Sunday I finished reading the third book by Toby Frost about Space Captain Smith, called Wrath of the Lemming Men</b>. This is another parody of space opera. It was mildly amusing, and a quick read.
hand, butterfly

Done for this year (though the reading goes on)

I finished a whole lot earlier this year than I did last year, which I find rather interesting, especially considering I was unemployed for two months during the last 'book' year. Still, it's nice to go into medical school knowing that I've managed to read well over 100 books in the past two years. It makes the sting of my lack of time going in a little less potent.

46. The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mythological

This was a nice ending to the tale of Percy and his friends. It brought everything full circle, though the manner in which various things were revealed got on my nerves. At one point, I had to steal Book 4 from my sister to make sure that we hadn't heard about something that was repeated several times during the first part of this book. Still, it was a satisfying ending.

Rating: 4/5

47. Wings, by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairies

This is a quick and easy YA book to read, introducing the world of the fae. Most of the book is spent exploring Laurel's new found identity, and what it all means, and the action of the book doesn't really start to take place until the last third. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing just how the next book turns out.

Rating: 3.5/5

48. Spells, by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairies

Another quick and easy read; only took me a couple hours to get through. Once again, though, the action is confined to perhaps the last 30 pages of the book, which I find a little frustrating. Still, there's a nice cliffhanger at the end that leaves it wide open for another book, so I look forward to that one coming out in the future.

Rating: 3.5/5

49. Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir
Genre: Historical Fiction

This is my first Tudor novel away from Phillippa Gregory, and I enjoyed it immensely. I feel that I can relate to the characters better (though that might be due to the subject matter... I can see myself being more like Lady Jane than Anne Boleyn). I'm very interested in reading Weir's non-fiction pieces on Tudor England, and she certainly proved herself capable of writing fiction with this piece.

Rating: 4/5

50. Wicked Lovely, by Melissa Marr
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fairies

I was expecting this book to be a little bit more than it was. I'm not sure in what ways I expected this, I just did. I also feel as if things weren't entirely resolved by the end.

Rating: 3/5

Upcoming: The Things They Carried (Tim O'Brien),


It's easier to read books than to type up reviews. But with my left arm slowly regaining function, and with the semester winding down, there should be time (first stolen as procrastinating with the grading, then as required to decompress) to unleash another sequence of Book Reviews. Whether we will see the fifty remains to be seen. First, though, the first quarter report for 2010. Please follow the link for the date the report was posted to read the diary entry, or book review, at Fifty Book Challenge. I evaluated some books as particularly good (+) or particularly bad (-).

  1. The Best Years: 1945-1950, 10 January 2010.
  2. Super Freakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, 16 January 2010. (-)
  3. No Less Than Victory: A Novel of World War II, 29 January 2010. (+)
  4. The American Civil War: A Military History, 4 February 2010. (+)
  5. Secrets of The Lost Symbol: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code Sequel, 13 February 2010. (-)
  6. An Imaginary Tale: The Story of i, 28 February 2010. (+)
I'll start another bookworm.


(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
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Shadow Art

Shadow Baby, by Alison McGhee
I am absolutely in love with this novel's narrative voice and will probably reread it all over again some day just to enjoy that some more. Some people online called the narrator "one of those precious 'wise children'" and they were WRONG WRONG WRONG (or else me thinking that the narrator sounds like I sounded inside my own head at the age of eleven has warped my perspective). The plot is nothing to write home about but the language and the characters are delightful. <3 <3 <3 for this book.

Twixt Art and Nature: English Embroidery in the Metropolitan Museum 1580-1700, exhibition catalog for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Melinda Watt et al.
I'm linking to an exhibition review for this book, with pictures, because I didn't really *read* it - I skimmed most of the text - I treated it the way I'd treat an actual museum exhibition (only with less walking and more page-flipping). And so having you go look at some pictures from the book seemed sensible. Anyway, the objects represented are absolutely stunning and the photos are crisply taken and superlatively reprinted. If you're at all interested in handwork, I suggest you track down a copy of this book so you can oooh and ahhhhh and flip back and forth and squint to make out the fine details of the stitches. This sort of book always points out to me that no, really, people back then were every bit as complicated as modern people, just in different ways. Because anyone whose brain was capable of this squirrelly, inventive, multi-layered work would've been equally capable of any modern task (assuming they didn't die of culture shock first).
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