December 2nd, 2010

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Over the last few days, I read a very short book by Tom Holt, called Someone Like Me, written as if from the POV of a hunter of what sounds like a werewolf, but isn't. Very short, very quick read, and he does a good job of describing the hunt.
Jazzy Looking Around the Corner

November Reads

85.  Bound by Sally Gunning  This book is a tale of a young woman who is sold into indentured service in order to pay her father's debt.  Her first master is a kind man, treating her almost like another daughter.  When his daughter does marry he gives Alice to her as a wedding present.  The husband forces himself on Alice and mistreats her along with his wife.  Alice finds a chance to flee the situation by stowing away on a ship bound for Satucket on Cape Cod.  When she is found on the ship a local widow takes her in and discovers that she is a hard worker and can spin wool into cloth.  This story is set right before the American Revolution and the book does include some of the political issues of the time in her story.  You also get a glimpse of how women were treated during this time and the double standard for both men and women in having sex outside of marriage.
86.  The Heart's Song by Winnie Griggs  This is a sweet story about how a handbell choir can be used for healing in the community.  When Reeny Landry's husband died there was some money left for her to memorialize him.  She chooses to start a handbell choir that can minister to both the community and those in it.  When widower Graham Lockwood comes to town he is recruited to help her with the handbell choir.  He also has some hurt from the death of his wife and small daughter where he is mad at God for their deaths.  He also starts to act as the father figure of Reeny's two children.  As the two of them work on the handbell choir they discover that they are attracted to each other.
87.  The Scrapbook by Lynette Kent
88.  Therapy, A Novel by Harrie Rose  This is a tale of self discovery of a middle aged woman who discovers who she is when she starts to see a therapist.  She falls in love with him and starts up an affair with him.  She also finds the courage to divorce her husband who has a surprise of his own.  She starts out from being suffering from crippling depression to being able to live life on her own terms without doing what society dictates what she does.  She discovers that she doesn't need an affirmation from anyone else to determine her own self worth.  By the end of the book she doesn't break down emotionally when she discovers that Alex is unable to continue their relationship.
89.  Fame: What The Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity by Tom Payne  This is a study of how fame today is similar to fame in classic works of literature.  There are some places where I didn't know some of the present day celebrities since the author is British and he uses British references.  Overall though he does make some good points about being a celebrity today.  He also described how people became famous in ancient times.
90.  Dream City by Brendan Short This is a story about one man's quest to find as many Big Little books that he can find.  The book starts out when Michael Halligan, the main character is a young boy and his mother is still alive.  Before his mother's death she takes him to the World's Fair in Chicago where he sees a show put on by Buck Rogers one of his heros and he passes out the Big Little book about the World's Fair.  His mother takes him away before he can get a copy of the book and dies shortly afterwards when she tries to abort her unborn child at home unsuccessfully.  Michael starts to write to a sales and marketing person at the publishing house where the Big Little books are published.  This is when he starts his collection of Big Little books.  After his mother's death he is raised by his gangster father, Paddy Halligan until he runs away to live with his mother's sister Mae who is an alcoholic.  After graduating from high school he enrolls in junior college for accounting and then gets a job after graduation.  He gets married, loses a child and then gets divorced.  By the end of the book he discovers that the book collection isn't as important as the memories that the books bring back for him.
91.  Now and Not Yet:  Making Sense of Singleness in the Twenty First Century by Jennifer Marshall This book takes a look at singleness today for those in their twenties and thirties who never thought that they would be single at their age.  This book is only targeted to single women who had never married not those who find themselves widowed or divorced at this age.  The suggestions are good to be heeded by today's single woman since it is easy for us to either not go to church or hang out in the singles ministry which is very similar to the youth ministry.
92.  Priceless by Nicole Ritchie This book gives a different point of view about a rich person getting in trouble for embezzling money from their investors, that of his daughter.  When Charlotte Williams's father is sent to jail for an embezzling charge Charlotte Williams is left alone for the first time in her life.  Her bank accounts are closed and she is forced out of her apartment plus her partying friends leave her in her time of need she goes to New Orleans in order to stay with an old nanny.  While in New Orleans she meets Kat, a local fashionista who takes Charlotte under her wing and Jackson, a local boy.  She takes a job working in a restaurant kitchen and works to start her singing career.  She finds out who her true friends are in times of hardship.
  • slickmc

Books 87-91/100

87.  The Children's Book - A.S. Byatt
                 I'm not even sure what to say about this book.  It's extremely long and dense, with frequent information dumps and such a large number of characters that I had difficulty keeping track of them all.  So many sections were just lists: Tom was 13, Dorothy was 11, Phyllis was 10....Tom was wearing a green jacket, Dorothy was wearing a grey dress....etc.  It felt very much like Byatt had tons of information, had done lots of research, and couldn't bear to edit any of it out.  Maybe she just should have made it a series out of it.  I don't mind a lot of detail normally, but this had tons of extraneous information with very little left over about the actual people. 
                I liked the ending, but hated reading the middle.  And there was 700 pages of middle.

88. When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge - Chanrithy Him
                  An autobiographical account of the Cambodian Genocide.  The actual writing was pretty bad, and I'm not such a fan of the present tense anyway, but the story itself was interesting enough to keep me reading.  I felt like there were some discrepancies with dates and ages, but maybe I just wasn't following along well.  I also recommend knowing about Cambodian culture and the history of the Khmer Rouge, since this book is about the author's personal experiences as a child. 

89. Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch
                    An audiobook read by Benedict Cumberbatch, who has a lovely deep voice and an English accent.

90. Divisadero - Michael Ondaatje
                 About division, as the title would suggest.  The story starts with three siblings, who are separated by a traumatic event.  Then it moves on to tell about a man that Anna, one of the siblings, meets as an adult, and finally to tell the story of a French writer Anna is studying.  It was all very dreamy and kind of vague.
                 Enjoyable, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would, considering how much I liked The English Patient.

91. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Book Three of the Millennium Trilogy) - Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland
                     A really great finish to the trilogy.  The beginning was great, not slow like the first two books, because it starts in the middle of the action from the second book.  The middle dragged for me, and it took me some time to get into it, but the final 200 pages or so had me absolutely glued to the pages.  A four hour bus ride went by in a flash, and I frankly wouldn't have minded it being another hour longer so that I could keep reading.

Book 44

Title: Practical Demonkeeping
Author: Christopher Moore
Themes: Humor, Demons

Christopher Moore, I love you. Sure, it is one of his earlier novels and nit my favorite but it amused and entertained and was creative as he'll, all I have come to expect from him. I can't wait to start the vampire trilogy.