Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book #4 The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen One is a little book, but it was a hard book to read. The story focuses on the life of a young girl living in a polygamist community with her family, including her father and his three wives. To go into much more detail about the story would risk ruining the book for other people. I found it to be really difficult to read, especially, as the parent of a young girl. I'm sure that there could be a polygamist sect out there that isn't terrible and misogynistic, but I'm not sure how such a thing could exist.
Kyra's character was very well-developed in such a short book, I was really taken with her story the entire time. I will say that I was a bit disappointed as the book ended to not get to find out more about what happened after, but it is often that way with books that I love.


I have several books to add to this blog, I have just been lazy about it. No excuses! I will start adding the books that I have read today! I don't know if I will make it to 52 books, but I am still working on it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

#3 The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

The Year of the Flood is a sequel to Atwood's Oryx & Crake. It is a bit different, however, than many sequels in that you can read it without having read the first book. I did read Oryx & Crake several years ago, so perhaps I would have had a different experience had I reread it before this one.
Like many of Atwood's other books it took me a while to finish it. It is not that her books are difficult to read, they are not filled with words that require a dictionary be nearby. It is just that her subject matter has the tendency to be so heavy and delivered in such a way that I have to read it in smaller increments. It took me two weeks to read and it was not a huge book. It is as though she wants you to feel every moment fully. She does not resort to over-the-top descriptors of sex or violence and still I find that I feel it more deeply than if she went into detail about what has happened.
The Year of the Flood, like Oryx & Crake, is set in a dystopian future. One in which most of the human race has been eliminated by "the waterless flood", a plague that kills it's victims quickly and painfully. The characters that we learn about are women, primarily. The p.o.v. stories come from a female perspective. I think that this is where Atwood is at her best. In Oryx & Crake she takes a turn at a male narrator and falls short. I find her at her most authentic when writing about women.
It is hard for me to say that I recommend her books. I think that it really depends on the sort of book that you enjoy reading. If you enjoy Atwood's other books I would recommend this one without a second thought.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

#2 The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

I read every night to my eight-year-old daughter so there are likely to be several books for children mixed into my own individual reads. At just over 200 pages this book was quick and lovely. We read it in the space of three nights and I really enjoyed it. Like DiCamillo's other books this book was a delight. Her prose is always lovely and this book was no exception. I think that I actually enjoy her books more than my daughter does. I found myself actually tearing up a bit as I read the last chapter.
The story concerns a young boy, a magician, and an elephant (among other players). The young boy is at the center of the story, Peter Augustus Duchene, is a ten-year-old orphan who lives with his guardian, an old soldier by the name of Vilna Lutz. The story takes place in a land of Baltese and begins with Peter's choice to spend the coin in his pocket on a fortune teller, rather than the bread and fish he was sent to buy.
I think that the book is aimed at a middle school audience, but I would likely have read it even if I hadn't been reading to my daughter. The cover illustration and the illustrations throughout the book by Yoko Tanaka are absolutely beautiful and worth taking a look at all on their own.
I'll leave this with a quote:
Magic is always impossible.... It begins with the impossible and ends with the impossible and is impossible in between. That is why its magic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

#1-Infected by Scott Sigler

I heard about this book while listening to the Grammar Girl podcast because Mignon Fogarty mentioned that the author, Scott Sigler, had published his novel originally as a podcast. I was rather intrigued and on a random trip to the bookstore I decided to pick it up. It sat on my bookshelf for months and then I finally decided to pick it up to begin my first official book for the big book read of 2010.
I'm a big horror fan and this one was a treat, for sure. It's something like a combination of The Hot Zone and an alien invasion story. I read the whole book in the space of two days. I literally fell asleep reading it the first night. To talk much about the plot would really potentially ruin the book for anybody interested, but I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is interested in fast-paced medical horror. There's a sequel that just came out in paperback and I figure that I'll pick it up in the next few months. While I really enjoyed this book I'm not sure that I am ready to dive in for more just yet.