For Christmas my friend gave me a subscription to Bookmark and I have to say that this gift is going to be as damaging to my social life as crack is to people's health. I've marked down eighteen books that I feel I have to read now, and this is only the first issue!
I've seen two "must read" lists pop up in the past week, here at Editorial Ass and Sassymonkey and I have the feeling that at least one more is going to show up soon before the end of the month.
I've started reading The Screwtape Letters on my way to and from work (I ride the subway, so I have at least twenty minutes each way to read) and while I'm enjoying it, I think that it might not be the right subway book for me. The book is written in a very dry tone with bits of English humor popping up here and there. (It's kind of like reading Good Omens, but even dryer.) I find myself rereading passages each day as I try not to get lost in the tangle of Lewis' writing. The only other books by him that I've read have been the Chronicles of Narnia, and I don't remember them being quite so densely written.
Feast of Fools and The Westing Game are still the only books I've read so far in 2009; I don't know what my deal is, although I think it might have something to do with all of the holiday knitting I'm still trying to finish. Both were quick, simple reads.
Feast of Fools is a continuation of the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. I was reading her Weather Warden series (and grew tired of that), so I switched over to her Young Adult series. Basically, our heroine is a sixteen-year-old genius who had the chance to go to MIT, but her concerned parents wanted her to go to college closer to home, which meant the nearby community college. What no one knew was that the town was actually run by vampires... Claire gets involved with some local kids, struggles to stay alive and out of both human politics and vampiric ones, and eventually becomes the "servant" of the head vampire, Amelia.
In Feast of Fools, Amelia's "father", Mr. Bishop, comes to town and demands that everyone in the town swear their loyalty to him. In addition to that, Claire's parents have just moved to town (brought there by Amelia) and now Claire is struggling to protect them from the truth about Morganville, stay alive, keep her boyfriend and friends alive, and figure out what Mr. Bishop's end game is.
It could have been a much better story, but it was so rushed. Half of the plot seems to take place off page, details are glossed over, and a lot of information was left out, in my opinion. I don't know that I'll continue reading anymore in this series, although I do like Claire. I also really want to take the college classes she's taking.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin was a much better story, in my opinion, although I think it was written for the pre-teen reader. Very simplistic writing, short sentences, but it had a great plot and anyone who likes a clever whodunit would enjoy this book.
Sixteen different people, all of whom live in the same building, find out that they are the heirs of Sam Westing, one of the richest and most reclusive men around. Some of the heirs have had contact with Sam Westing in the past, while others have only heard of him. What makes this novel so interesting, is that in addition to trying to solve the mysterious clues that Sam Westing left behind in his will, we are also trying to figure out which of the sixteen heirs is the thief, the bomber, the bookie, and the mistake.
What I'm reading now, beside Bleak House, is The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen. I also need to get started on my WWII list and my nonfiction New York museum books.
So, bookwise 2009 hasn't started off with the bang I wanted it too. Despite my excitement over Bleak House and the other books I posted about two weeks ago, I haven't turned a single page on any of them. Instead, my time has been spent either working, knitting, or trying to sound out Korean vocabulary.
Still, I have faith that I can accomplish all of my reading goals this year, even if I don't start until tomorrow.