February 24th, 2011


Books 6 & 7

Chocolat Joanne Harris
Vianne and her daughter Anouk move to a small, conservative town in France and open a chocolate shop. Priest Francis Reynaud feels threatened by Vianne and believes that she encourages others to "indulge" and behave immorally.

The imagery in this book is absolutely exquisite. I love Harris's use of vivid colors and, whenever she describes food and sweets, I can guarantee that it will make you hungry! There are a lot of touching, heart-warming moments with Vianne and her new friends as well. This is a re-read; I'll read it again eventually, and I heartily recommend it!

The Gun Seller Hugh Laurie
Thomas Lang gets mixed up in terrorists' ploy to sell more helicopters.

My favorite thing about this novel is the narrator's sense of humor and wit. Whether coincidentally or not, Thomas Lang kind of reminds me of House (who, I'm sure most of you know, Hugh Laurie plays on TV). The novel is well-written and face-paced. Lang and his friend Ronnie are very likable characters. This was a re-read as well. I didn't like it as much the second time around. I wanted a bit more focus on characterization, but - overall - it was still a very enjoyable read.

Books 8 & 9

Waifs and Strays, Charles de Lint
I usually try to write a short summary of what I read, but this one's a short story collection. Summing up each story would take too long. I did notice a few running themes, which include fantastical and/or urban settings, coming of age, and/or coming into one's own.

My friend recommended that I read anything by Charles de Lint, and now I understand why. His writing style is really to-the-point and lovely. His characters are relate-able and inspiring. It was a wonderful read. I generally don't like short story collections. Most authors just seem more suited to write novels, but this was fantastic! If you're going to read a short story collection, I definitely recommend one of Charles de Lint's (and Neil Gaiman's). If you're feeling lost or out of sorts, this collection is especially uplifting.

Maus II, Art Spiegelman
In this graphic novel, Spiegelman explores his relationship with his father and recounts his father's experience as a Jewish man in various work and concentration camps.

Obviously, the subject matter here was pretty dark. It was really depressing and graphic at (most) times. It was also really honest and touching. Spiegelman was really upfront about his relationship with his father-- even given all that his father has been through. It was an informative and compelling story.

Books #19-25

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Austen & Grahame-Smith
Maus I by Art Spiegelman
Maus ii by Art Spiegelman
Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas
Someone to Watch Over Me by Lisa Kleypas
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Disquiet by Julia Leigh

1) I read the prequel first so PPZ was most definitely a dissapointment compared to that constant action. I know that Grahame-Smith had to work within Austen's frame, so I'm led to wonder did Dawn of author Steve Hockensmith really work within theirs. Lizzy has two different pseudo-suitors in the prequel that express characteristics of both future suitors Wickham and Darcy, but while Lizzy in the prequel makes very bold statements of how she will be a better judge of character in the future it just doesn't transition into the main story. Is what all the girls critics say true? That women are too changeable a lot, and therefore cannot be bothered to hold fast to their own principles let alone save king and country from Unmentionables? Or was Hockensmith simply trying to be cute by using Austen's plot device? (Let's not get into semantics, I'm sure she wasn't the first.) Oh well. Zombies.

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