January 9th, 2011

El Corazon

4. The First Part of King Henry the Sixth; 5. Prayers For Rain

The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
by William Shakespeare

Started: December 28, 2010
Finished: January 9, 2011

Yeah, I really should just stop my goal of reading every Shakespeare play because I'm not enjoying 90% of them at all. This was boring and repetitive and just not my style at all. 27 pages. Grade: D
***

Prayers For Rain
by Dennis Lehane

Started: January 5, 20111
Finished: January 8, 2011

Since I started keeping close track of the books I've read at the start of last year, this is the first book I've read twice. I picked this book up on a whim the first time because Lehane was one of the novelists employed by The Wire. I gave this book an A+ upon first read and reread it now that I know the characters a little better. I remembered the story a bit too much on second read to give it another A+ but it's still a great read. I'm looking forward now to the last (so far) Patrick Kenzie novel. 337 pages. Grade: A-
***
Total # of books read in 2011:
5
Total # of pages read in 2011: 1,118
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I finished reading, last night, another book that deals with the art of communication, called On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser. It has a lot of useful things to say about this skill, and may even have some use for those who want to write fiction, as well.

Book Number One - Mr Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll

Published:  2004
Genre: Regency Romance
Pages: 476
Medium: Kindle e-book
Acquired: Free download from their limited popular offerings
Normal Cost: 11.00

This book picks up where Pride and Prejudice leaves off. While there are a lot of sequels out there, this one is especially good. This is a re-read for me but I read it when it first came out. Linda Berdoll fleshes out the characters that are so loved in the original. From this book, we learn that Darcy's aloofness and restrained composure is more to a passionate nature than one of arrogance. We see that Elizabeth brings out the best in him. We learn more about Georgiana Darcy (the little sister), Colonel Fitzwilliam and Anne de Bourgh. Lady Catherine and George Wickham are still the villians we love to hate.
Berdoll writes in the manner of Austen with one big exception - the romantic scenes are much more explicit. So if you want a regency that remains true to the regency sensibilities - this is not the book for you. Other than that, it is a fun read that uses the same language and mannerisms. Even the romantic scenes are conducted in privacy - not in a public arena.

Books Read: 1/50
Page Totals: 476
Money Saved: 11.00
 


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New Year, New Challenge

#1: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson (2007, 563 pages)

Finally, I get my hands on the last book in Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy. And I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the conclusion.

In the first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, we're introduced to journalist Mikael Blomkvist and ne'er do well (or so it seems) Lisbeth Salander, who solve a 40-year-old mystery of a missing heir to a major corporation. And then, in The Girl Who Played With Fire, Blomkvist comes to Salander's aid when she is named the prime suspect in a series of murders that you learn have been planned by her scheming Soviet-defector father and the government who helped hide him.

At the end of the second book, Salander's father has been injured, and she has been shot in the leg, the shoulder and in the head. The journey of the third book, from Salander's arrival at the hospital, to Blomkvist's campaign to save her and to the lengths a secret government agency will go to in order to bury her into psychiatric care for the remainder of her life, definitely will keep you turning the pages.

I had to admit, as the book got closer to the end, I worried that the end would be rushed, but Larsson did such a splendid job of wrapping things up in a believable package. My one beef with the series as a whole is that the Blomkvist character is just such a charming ladies man that EVERYONE will hop into bed with him. I feel as though it was the writer's way of living vicariously through the character - I feel the same way about Robert Heinlen's Friday character. But, that small niggle aside, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a great ending to the series, which is why I give it a pretty good four out of five government conspiracies.

Total Books Read: 1 / 50 (2 percent)
Total Pages Read: 563 / 15,000 (4 percent)
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El Corazon

6. Feel Like Going Home...; 7. The Walking Dead, Volume 3....

Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues and Rock 'N' Roll
by Peter Guralnick

Started: January 7, 2011
Finished: January 9, 2011

I'm not a big fan of blues music myself. Too repetitive for my tastes, but Guralnick is such a great writer that I still found this book of autobiographical sketches of blues singers to be quite entertaining. 246 pages. Grade: B+
***
The Walking Dead, Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars
by Robert Kirkman

Started: January 8, 2011
Finished: January 9, 2011

Holy geez, what an utterly engrossing but depressing read. I've always been a fan of fiction about the apocalypse and so far this series is about as good as anything else I've ever read on the subject. 136 pages. Grade: A-
***
Total # of books read in 2011: 7
Total # of pages read in 2011: 1,500