Friday, June 27, 2014

on book 30 and the half way point.

i'm halfway done with my challenge and right on schedule, yo!

book 30 of 60: the death cure by james dashner
date started: 6.24.2014
date completed: 6.27.2014

y'all, i tried.  i really did.  i HATED the first book so much.  the second one was much better.  this one was somewhere in the middle.  

i don't think i'll move on to the prequel.  james dashner, i'm done.

probable next read: i have absolutely no idea. 

on book 29.

book 29 of 60: cartwheel by jennifer dubois

date started: 6.15.2014
date completed: 6.21.2014

i think i like this book.  it was engaging, and generally easy to read.  the fact that it was ripped off from inspired by the amanda knox case neither troubled or interested me--it was simply just a book.

similar to my experience with marisha pessl, though, the ending just kind of fizzled out for me.  there was so much build up about the main character's uniqueness and difference from those around her that the ending felt like a cheat.  instead of working through all the interesting parts of this girl, dubois just stops.  she gives you resolution, but noting feels resolved.  i did enjoy the fact that we never really find out what happened, especially since the details don't matter as much as the characters in this book.

but maybe the dissatisfaction is the point.  read the book and that sentence will make sense.

i don't know that i'd recommend this to anyone, but it certainly wasn't bad.

probable next read: the death cure by james dashner

Sunday, June 15, 2014

on books 25, 26, 27, and 28.

i'm a bit behind.  on the blog, that is.  i'm right on track with my reading goal, but since i'm teaching summer classes, i have VERY LITTLE time to do any writing of my own.  in fact, i should be grading and prepping classes for tomorrow as i type this very sentence, so this post will cover four books instead of one.

book 25 of 60: lost at sea: the jon ronson mysteries by jon ronson

date started: 5.24.2014
date completed: 6.9.2014

ugh...i have...trouble...with jon ronson.  i adored them: adventures with extremists, and was entertained by the men who stare at goats, but i've abhored everything else he's ever written.  

sidenote--his psychopath test is the book that taught me it was okay to cull--to just stop and put a book down in the middle if you aren't getting anything out of the read.

so i was doubtful when i picked this one up.  

it was fine. fine, not good, not bad--just fine.  the stories were quick, engaging, and varied.  i tolerated them and even found a few to be downright interesting/entertaining.
book 26 of 60: four short stories by emile zola

date started: 6.3.2014
date completed: 6.8.2014

amazing, spectacular, peculiar, sad, and beautiful.  everything you would expect from the master that is zola. 

seriously, "the death of olivier becaille" might be the best piece of short fiction i've read in a very long time.
book 27 of 60: percy jackson and the lightning thief by rick riordan

date started: 6.5.2014
date completed: 6.12.2014

while this book series tracks a bit younger on the YA spectrum, A LOT of my students love it, so i thought i would check it out.

it was fun, lighthearted, and a delight to read.  i'm a sucker for ancient mythology, so it was great fun to see how a contemporary writer could work figures like medusa into contemporary settings.  so much fun!

i plan on continuing in the series, when i get to it...
book 27 of 60: confessions of a latter day virgin: a memoir by nicole hardy

date started: 6.12.2014
date completed: 6.15.2014

so i've had this memoir on my to be read for a long time, and some of my friends have read it and rated it highly, so i thought i would check it out.  plus, i've been craving a bit of narrative non-fiction, so this definitely fits the bill.

while this is a book very much about sex, and the writer's lack of it and quest for it, there is deeper, much more substantial material at work here.

hardy was, as the title implies, a mormon woman who chose, after suffering from an extreme case of cognitive dissonance, to leave the church.  the reasons for her split are multi-layered, only one of those layers dealing with sex.  she did not feel at home in her own society, being told that she had to be married, be a mother, and give up her career to be complete, accepted, and worthy of the eternal afterlife the LDS church touts. 

this book is uncomfortable.  while it kind of reads like an eat. pray. love. kind of tome (which is totally NOT my kind of read), ultimately it is timely (given all the press on the LDS community lately) and speaks to womens' rights. 

i'm not sure what, exactly, i think of this book, but i'm glad i read it.  i think there is always value in understanding that difference exists in the world and that we, as individuals, don't always fit where we imagine we should/will.

probable next read: cartwheel by jennifer dubois

Monday, June 2, 2014

on book 24.

book 24 of 60: the extraordinary adventures of alfred kropp by rick yancey

date started: 5.30.2014
date completed: 6.2.2014


this was an unplanned read.  a librarian friend of mine recommended it ages ago, and while it is a bit on the younger side of YA, it was a delightful, fun read.

about a boy who discovers he plays a part in a larger mythos, the narrator here is a bit slow at first, and, in my opinion, asks entirely too many questions.  but he is likeable and funny, so that kept me engaged.

i enjoyed the interwoven mythology, despite the fact that i have a rather notorious hatred of all things historical fiction (i'm looking at you, philipa gregory!).

all in all, this is a delightful book, and i look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

probable next read:  lost at sea: the jon ronson mysteries by jon ronson