May 5th, 2011

rose

Books 16 -18 / 75

16. Blood Kin - Ceridwen Dovey
                This turned out to be a much more interesting and complicated novel than I thought.  Don't get turned off by the first couple of pages.  The writing can seem simplistic at first, which bored me a bit in the beginning.
                 The novel (or novella?) takes place in a nameless country where a coup has just occured, and the first part is narrated by three men who were close to the former president : his chef, his portraitist, and his barber.  The second part is narrated by three women related to those men in some way, and then the final part goes back to the three men. 
               As they tell their stories, you see that there was more to their relationships with the president than the professional aspect, and that their connections are sometimes subtle but almost always filled with secrecy, guilt, and perversion.  The end has a nice little, completely unexpected, twist. 

17. Shadow Puppets - Orson Scott Card
                 Another sequel to the Ender's Game series.  This book was enjoyable, but I didn't love it.  I was especially uninterested in the romance.   Card didn't sell it, in my opinion.  The characters were like bad actors just reading the lines.

18. Game of Thrones [reread] - George R. R. Martin
                 I've decided to reread this series for a few reasons:  It's been seven years or so since I last read the books, and they're complicated enough that I don't really remember what happened.  I'm pretty excited about the HBO series, too, and I hope it's not terrible.  I've also been convincing my friend to read this series, and since we're hiking together, we can read the same book and save on some pack weight. 
                That said, the book was fantastic and anyone who reads fantasy should read this series.  It's one of the best.  
                 I had some different reactions this time around, perhaps because I knew what the outcome was going to be, and perhaps just because I'm older.  The first time, I was all for the good guys and was outraged at the terrible underhanded things the bad guys did (Martin doesn't hesitate when it comes to killing or maiming main characters, even in the first book, so there are plenty of outrageous, underhanded things going on).  This time, I thought the protagonists were being idiots.  Sure, honor is great, but could y'all please use a little strategy?  The bad guys are going to KILL YOU.  Don't let them! 
El Corazon

51. The Poet and the Murderer; 52. The Walking Dead, Volume 11...

The Poet and the Murderer
by Simon Worrall

Started/Finished: May 4, 2011

I have read the two main previous books written about Mark Hoffman, the man who forged hundreds of historical documents before murdering two people in Utah in the mid-80s, but they had focused almost 100% on his Mormon background and forgeries. This book was cool because of its look at one of Hoffman's forgery in particular--a previously unknown poem by Emily Dickinson. Fun, quick read that I learned a lot from. This also made me want to get a good biography of Dickinson. 270 pages. Grade: A-
***
The Walking Dead, Volume 11: Fear the Hunters
by Robert Kirkman

Started/Finished: May 4, 2011

Some pretty good action in this one. I'm beginning to like this Abraham character more. 136 pages. Grade: A-
***
Total # of books read in 2011: 52
Total # of pages read in 2011:
12,729