Friday, April 30, 2010

Monthly Update

So April is the first month that I actually met (mostly) my monthly reading challenge. I read 14 books this month, but now feel the slightest bit burned out. I haven't wanted to read anything since finishing Silver Borne on Tuesday. (That will pass, right?)

As for the rest of my goals, well, I haven't touched any of the stack of military nonfiction I have piled up since, hmm, February, haven't started the Harry Potter reading challenge (although I have until the end of July to read the books), and I haven't finished Mere Christianity or Bleak House. I did pick up 2666 and read about four pages before putting it down. I just can't get into that book.

Books read in 2010: 39
Books that should have been read in 2010: 59
Time I have to catch up: limited

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Realizing a truth can be interesting.

It's slowly dawned on me that the novels I'm choosing to read have all been mysteries. It wasn't a conscious decision, but looking over the list of books I've read this year, there are only a handful that aren't mysteries.

I suppose I lulled myself into thinking I wasn't reading mysteries because they weren't the type of mysteries I had been reading, with police officers and private detectives. So much for branching out.

Still, I can't really complain about this, because if I didn't subconsciously sabotage myself into reading nothing but mysteries, I wouldn't have read the Julian Kestrel series by Kate Ross, or the Sebastian St. Cyr series by C.S. Harris. I wouldn't have read The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault, which gave me words like editrix. And sentences like this, on page 320:

I tried not to despair too much in the notion that this holding pattern of identical days might eat up life while I waited for weekends.*

I would have read the Marilyn Todd titles, but I wouldn't have remembered her if I hadn't read the collection of short mystery stories, which I only read because it featured a story by Kate Ross. (And let's not forget that the Marilyn Todd titles are mysteries.)

So maybe I should just accept that I like to read mysteries and move on. To reading another mystery.

What? It's not like I don't have a stack of them waiting for me.

*Sadly, I find this sentence to be closer to my life sometimes than I'd like.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Victory is mine!

Read Silver Borne yesterday, which brings my total books read for the month to fourteen!

I feel very, very accomplished right now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Once again, I'm so close, so very, very close

I just have to read one more book this month and I'll meet my goal of fourteen books in a month. Now, if only the weather would cooperate and not rain during my lunch break...

Via the NYT: New York Public Library Sorts Books By Scanner
Whereas in the past the volume of materials coming through frequently required him to hire temporary employees, now his permanent staff of 14 can easily sort 7,500 items per hour, or 125 a minute, he said. As a result, he added, the time it takes for a book to travel through the system has been reduced by at least a day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Long overdue book post...done

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan was nothing like the BBC adaptation. And the BBC adaptation--with Rupert Penry-Jones, aka, the reason I watched the adaptation--was the reason I read the book in the first place. It was a good book, but I wish it had followed the plot of the movie more. (And yes, I know how wrong that is.) (March)

The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris was not the sequel to Chocolat that I expected. For one, I honestly didn't care what happened. Two, I thought that Roux was supposed to be in love with Josephine and that's why Vianne left without telling him she was pregnant, not because she was in love with him and thought he didn't want to be tied down. Third, I really didn't care what happened. Very disappointed by that, because I wanted to like this book as much, if not more, than I liked Chocolat. (April)

Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett; I think I saw this first on Danielle's blog, but I'm not 100% sure. I totally loved this story, except for the very ending. Isabel was such a great character and she stayed true to her character up until the very ending. I'm not going to spoil it for everyone who hasn't read this book, but her sudden "realization" that she can't imagine her life without this certain person in it just strikes me as false. I don't disagree with the actual ending, but this pairing at the end? Yeah, no. (April)

When Gods Die by C.S. Harris was an excellent continuation to the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. Sebastian is once again caught up in a woman's murder, only this woman--found dead in the Prince's arms--has an unexpected connection to his long-dead mother. He's a much darker hero than Julian (from Kate Ross' series) and his family life is very twisted. Secrets and lies, fake deaths, illegitimate children; it's all very, very good. I'm really enjoying this series, and this author. (April)

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I love Jelico Road, so every time I read something by Marchetta I have these incredibly high expectations. This is the first fantasy novel I've read by Marchetta--I think the only one she's written--and while it was good, it just wasn't great. I feel like it was missing something though. (April)
Dream Boat by Marilyn Todd is another book in the Claudia series that I discovered while I was living in London. Unfortunately, neither the NYPL or the BPL has all the books in this series. I think together they have 1/3 of the series. In this book, Claudia ends up trying to rescue her kidnapped stepdaughter, while also discovering who has been killing Roman citizens of an Egyptian cult. And Marcus, the Roman Security policeman, can't help her as he's under house arrest for discovering a corpse bricked into a wall in his house. Hee. (April)

Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris (yes, I'm really tearing through this series) drops us straight into a murder investigation that began at the end of When Gods Die. Someone, for unknown reasons, is killing the children of wealthy men, savaging parts of their bodies, before shoving an object into their mouths. While trying to discover the why's and who's of these crimes, Sebastian is also reeling from the revelation of two long-buried family secrets, both of which effect him in different ways. (April)

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear was just kind of eh. I'm sad to say it, but I think I'm kind of over Maisie. Ever since An Incomplete Revenge, the fifth book in this series, I just can't seem to enjoy these stories. I'm actually quite saddened by this, because I used to love this character. Maisie is her usual brilliant self her, piecing together the truth about an American cartographer's death in WWI, while also tracking down his mysteries lover, preparing for the loss of a loved one, and finding herself in love again. (April)

Sour Grapes by Marilyn Todd (yup, another one) is (currently) the penultimate book in the Claudia series. It's also the last book that either library system here has. This book finds Claudia visiting her mother-in-law, chasing down murders and false gods, while also trying to stop a wedding--or two--and completely failing to avoid Marcus, who happens to be there for a couple of reasons, only one of which is Claudia. I'm incredibly frustrated that I can't get my hands on the last book in this series, because at the end of Sour Grapes, it really seems like Claudia and Marcus might *actually* be moving closer to, oh, I don't know, resolving all tension and mistrust and moving this part of the storyline forward already. But yeah, who knows? Not me. I don't have the last book. (April)

Friday, April 09, 2010

March update

So close. So very, very close.

In March I read thirteen books. I was ONE book away from reading the required fourteen. I was so, so close.

I know it's early days and all for April, but I've read four books in eight days. April may be the month...