September 15th, 2011

Dead Dog Cat

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Yesterday, I finished reading the second book of Allen Steele's series of novels about Earth colonizing an extrasolar planet; called Coyote Rising, it deals with conflict amongst the colonists. Very good read; I'm looking forward to getting into the next novel of the series.
did you know you could fly?

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Book #63 -- Emily Rodda, The Key To Rondo, 368 pages.

The old music box has been passed down in Leo's family for generations. All the children learn the rules: Wind the box three times only. Never shut the box when the music is playing. Never move the box before the music stops. When Leo inherits the box he intends to keep the rules as his grand-aunt did before him. His adventurous cousin Mimi, however, has different ideas. When Mimi breaks the rules of the box she unleashes a terrible power that threatens to consume not just the world in the box, but Leo and Mimi as well.

Book #64 -- Chris Platt, Star Gazer, 144 pages.

Jordan McKenzie has just moved to rural Michigan from California, and she is enraptured by the big draft horses used by the local Mennonites. Jordan desperately wants a horse of her own, but her mother is reluctant, until the day Jordan accompanies a friend to the auction and makes an unplanned purchase - a lame draft mare destined for the slaughterhouse. Now Jordan has to nurse the mare back to health, and convince her mother, and the whole town, that she's not just a clueless city girl.

Book #65 -- Warren Fahy, Fragment: A Novel, 528 pages.

Hender's Island is a no-mans-land - an impenetrable fortress out of the way of the major shipping lanes and untouched by man for centuries. Botanist Nell Duckworth hitches a ride with an adventure reality show, hoping to discover new plant species on an island ecosystem isolated from the rest of the world. What they find, however, goes beyond what anyone could have imagined. Turns out Hender's Island has been isolated for a lot longer than anyone though - long enough for evolution to take a completely different path. And the creatures
of Hender's Island are hungry.

Book #66 -- Sam Bourne, Righteous Men, 416 pages.

Mediocre murder mystery/religious conspiracy story.

Book #67 -- David Gregory, The Next Level: A Parable of Finding Your Place in Life, 119 pages.

An interesting parable about different ways of looking at live by comparing the universe to a global corporation. Some of the insights were actually rather good and well articulated, unfortunately the end conclusion is far too religious for my tastes.

Book #68 -- Marcus Sedgwick, My Swordhand Is Singing, 224 pages.

A vampire story the way vampire stories *should* be.

Progress toward goals: 257/365 = 70.4%

Books: 68/100 = 68.0%

Pages: 21268/30000 = 70.9%

2011 Books

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven
book and cup

#92 Kartography - Kamila Shamsie (2002)

Kartography is Kamila Shamsie's impressive third novel. At its heart is rather a traditional love story-cum-family saga. Karim and Raheen are anagram swapping "fated friends". Until the age of 13, when Karim moved to London, they were virtually raised as brother and sister. Their parents had once been engaged to each other. The unravelling of quite why this matrimonial square dance occurred is juxtaposed with Karim and Raheen's own, and decidedly more protracted, romance.

I love Kamila Shamsie's novels, and this was the last one I had yet to read. "Kartography" is a touching coming of age novel, Raheen and Karim's relationship is beautifully portrayed and infectious. Their's is an anagram speaking, perfect friendship, which is threatened by the secrets of their parents past.
Alongside the story of modern Pakistan, and it's inhabitants is the story of Raheen and Karim's parent's relationships, what happened to them in 1971 during the civil war, and the repercussions that has for Raheen and Karim years later. This is an enormously readable, poignant read, which captures the atmosphere of Karachi, the spirit of it's people and it's problems.