March 14th, 2015

flower

Book 1- The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

Pages: 379
(The following summary is from Amazon, my copy is in a 3 book set so the individual books aren't summarized on the back.)
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.


I really liked this book. I try not to compare books to movies, but this one was very similar. I was afraid I would lose interest (I am a serial reader and have many books going at once) but it kept my attention throughout. Tolkien is a great author and I lost myself in this book more times than I care to admit. I recommend this book to anyone who has seen the movies and love them, even if you aren't necessarily a sci-fi person.
Dead Dog Cat

#36, 37, 38

Although I was taken aback by the death of one of my favorite authors this week, and thus was derailed from posting a few things, I didn't stop reading. In fact, I found solace in some books, even if they weren't written by PTerry.

Anyway, I finished several books in the last few days.

First was Little People by Tom Holt. This author is another British fellow writing humorous fantasy. I find his work somewhat hit and miss. Some books I enjoy very much. Others are a chore to read. This one was the latter. Its protagonist starts in boyhood having run across an elf in his garden, and it all builds from there. Disappointing.

Next was The Churn, a novella from The Expanse series of stories by James S. A. Corey, a nom de plume for two authors working together. It's backstory for one of the characters in later novels, I gather, and sets the scene on Earth, giving an idea why humanity is shifting off-planet. Very good piece. I can't wait to start reading the second novel, now.

Finally, Osprey Raid #39: Takur Ghar: The SEALs and Rangers on Roberts Ridge, Afghanistan 2002. Something about this book rubbed me the wrong way. It's too detailed. There were places in the narrative where they were detailing individual wounds that the special forces troopers were taking. Really? Not one of the best Osprey books I've ever read.

So now I continue in the post-Pratchett period, and wonder if anyone will take up the challenge of writing Discworld novels. I mean, folks still write Sherlock Holmes material, and Oz books, so why not?
Briana and Aunty Tara

Books 27 & 28 - 2014

Book 27: Mortal Remains by Kathy Reichs – 306 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
When Tempe is called to the scene of an autoerotic death, she has little idea of the tangled chain of events that will follow. Because the man whose body she is examining apparently died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam 40 years before. So who is buried in the soldier's grave? Tempe's investigations take her to Honolulu where she is caught up not only in the mystery of the unidentified body in the soldier's grave, but also dragged into investigating who, or what, killed the young men whose body parts have floated up onto a popular Hawaiian beach. And as Tempe gradually unravels the tangled threads of the mystery, it becomes clear that there are some who would rather the past stays dead and buried. And when Tempe proves difficult to frighten, they turn their attention to the person who means more to her than anyone else in the world.

Thoughts:
Either I am getting used to Reichs’ writing style, or her books are getting better. I actually quite enjoyed this one. Maybe this is partly because I have been to Hawaii, and knew many of the places Reichs references. Maybe it was because it was one with Andrew Ryan, whom I enjoy. Basically the premise is Reichs must go to Hawaii to investigate a death that seems to be have been of a Vietnam Vet who apparently is already dead. She takes her daughter Katie with her, Katie having just lost her boyfriend who was killed in Afghanistan (or Iraq, I can’t remember which). Eventually Andrew Ryan and his wayward daughter Lily join them, and the plot of the Vietnam Vet gets all the more confusing. The murders are pretty typical Reichs, but I really enjoyed the relationship between Andrew and Temperance, and Katie and Lily. Definitely more readable than the first few.


27 / 50 books. 54% done!


9453 / 15000 pages. 63% done!

Book 28: A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the Eighth: The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket – 255 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
The Baudelaires need a safe place to stay - somewhere far away from terrible villains and local police. A quiet refuge where misfortune never visits. Might Heimlich Hospital be just the place? In Lemony Snicket′s eighth ghastly installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events, I′m sorry to say that the Baudelaire Orphans will spend time in a hospital where they risk encountering a misleading newspaper headline, unnecessary surgery, an intercom system, anesthesia, heart-shaped balloons, and some very startling news about a fire.

Thoughts:
The Baudelaires story continues. This time the kids find themselves working in the library in a hospital. They are also still trying to solve the mystery of Jacques Snicket and his involvement with their parents. Olaf, of course, finds out where they are, and in a rather disturbing scene, tries to amputate Violet’s head. These books are getting less and less playful and more and more ‘unfortunate’ in the stories, and the final scene of this one sees the Baudelaires effectively climb into the snake’s nest, if you will. With each book, these definitely get more interesting to read, but maybe not so good for a young audience.


28 / 50 books. 56% done!


9708 / 15000 pages. 65% done!

Currently reading:
-        Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton – 596 pages
-        A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book the Twelfth: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket – 353 pages
-        The XX Factor: How Working Women Are Creating a New Society by Alison Wolf – 401 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        One for the Money by Janet Evanovich – 290 pages
flower

Book 2- Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Pages: 352
Review from the back of the book:A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that Miss Peregrine's children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow-impossible though it seems-they may still be alive.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked how the author included photographs, and supposedly all of the photographs are real. There are so many twists and turns in the book, and the ending was a complete surprise. I found myself wondering what was real (in the book) and what was made up (by the character). I think it was intended for a younger audience, but it's not really obvious, and if you have preteen or teen children it would be one both of you could enjoy together!