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Plyte's Books in 2012

Club Read 2012

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Edited: Sep 3, 2012, 1:19pm Top

Hi everyone. I just joined a few days ago and I really wanted to start getting into the community. I love books a lot and it would be good to begin logging the books I have read so far this year. I don't remember all from the beginning of the year, but I'll start with the ones I recall reading. I post reviews of all the books here, on Goodreads, and my blog, http://booknummies.blogspot.com. Hope you guys check it out.

Edited: Nov 23, 2012, 5:52pm Top

1. Earth by David Brin
2. New Spring: The Novel by Robert Jordan
3. Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
4. Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
5. Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
6. Animal Farm by George Orwell
7. Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind
8. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
10. A Clash of Kings by George R.R Martin
11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 12:05am Top

1. Earth by David Brin

Earth, written by David Brin, is an unforgettable journey and story though a not-so-distant future that stresses the importance of taking care of the environment. With the well thought out characters, wonderful story line full of twists and quirks, Earth grabs your attention from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the final word.

The story takes place in futuristic 2030. Not so far from where we are today, but the book was published in 1995. However, Brin paints a situation that doesn't seem so far off. Because of global climate change, seas have risen way past current day levels, species have gone extinct, and many other problems that society has taken note of today are found in amounts not to far from what we could expect. With the introduction of new technology, society has become completely connected with one another through the use of a global online resource, sort of like the Internet of today, but much, much greater in extent. All of these things are not too far off from where we are for now, and give a realistic touch to the book that many science fiction stories do not.

Throughout the story, Brin takes the viewpoint of different characters from all over the world. Young teenagers, astronauts, and physicists are just a few types of people that make there way onto the list of characters. At first, none of them seem to correlate with each other and are seen as completely individual stories. However, Brin does a good job and ties all of the people together in a way that rivals the similar style found in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Each character is well thought out and completely burst with personality. As the story goes on, they face increasingly difficult situations.

However, there are some bad points about the book. With all the details, the book can get bogged down a bit. Some of the more intricate scientific matters presented in the book can still be confusing even though it tries to explain it, but it does a good job at simplifying the hard subject matter.

Earth is one crazy journey through science, disaster, and human intuition. Brin calls upon some of the newest sciences of the day and uses them in a way that shows everyone what new technology could do if we are not careful. All of the science found in the book is well explained and will not confuse people without a background of what's going on. The story is gripping and will leave you with wanting to read more to see what continues. Earth is a powerful book and is a must read for all science fiction lovers and environmental enthusiasts.

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 12:05am Top

2. New Spring: The Novel by Robert Jordan

There is a lot of information stored in just one small book. New Spring: The Novel is a prequel that takes you through the beginning of the entire series of The Wheel of Time. Written by Robert Jordan, it explains what the mysterious Aes Sedai are and some of the mysteries that are found inside the White Tower. The book also explains some of the myths and legends found throughout the entire book and the future storyline.

I started the entire series with this book. I came into it with no prior knowledge of the universe it is set in and didn't know the style it was written in. Upon reading the first couple pages, I knew that it will be quite a good book and that I will most definitely have to buy the rest.

The book is filled with witty banter and funny scenes that will connect with everyone's childish side. Also, it really makes you remember times when you where in school and your teachers would be quite strict with you, no matter what you ended up doing. Jordan really transports you to the world of the book with his captivating descriptions and wonderful dialogue. Throughout the story, he introduces new characters with a personality of their own, and makes you love and hate them at the same time.

However, I did find myself lost in all the new information some of the times. A lot of things going by very quickly in the book and you my find yourself not knowing what the characters are talking about when the reference a myth or an item here that is very briefly mentioned at early stages of the book. Some of the things aren't very clearly explained though they are clearly important part of the entire book. It seems that he had wrote it where by reading through some of the main books of the series, you would already know some of the things mentioned in the prequel.

Overall, the book is a good way to enter yourself into the world that Jordan has woven in the other books he has written. It provides you with some insight into some of the more mysterious and less talked about parts of the entire series. However, there are some things that aren't explained completely clearly in the book, and you may have to read it over again once. New Spring: The Novel caught my attention at a local bookstore and it hooked me onto the entire series. Most likely, it will hook you on as well.

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 12:05am Top

3. Without Remorse by Tom Clancy

Without Remorse is a action/thriller during the Vietnam War. The book is filled with twists and turns at every corner. You'll find yourself flying across oceans, on ships, underwater, or in the big city. It will keep your attention and you will not want to put it down.

The takes place in America and Vietnam. The book follows the life of John Clark, a Vietnam War veteran whose wife just died in a deadly automotive accident. He will meet new people from around the world and do things many people will never even consider doing. At the same time, a up-and-coming drug dealer is beginning to emerge from the shadows to stake their claim on the East Coast.

Clancy writes the book from multiple perspectives. This allows the different viewpoints on the same situation to allow you to see through both sides' perspectives. You will come to know the characters throughout the book and learn more about their life.

I started this book with no prior knowledge to how Tom Clancy writes. The detail of everything astonished me.Tom Clancy somehow finds to includes small military words, speech, and other things that make it such a realistic experience.While reading the story, you will be immersed in the world of covert operations, intelligence agencies, and underground drug dealers. Each one of these lives are brought out to full detail.

The story grabs you from the beginning and won't let you go until the end. There are many twists and turns throughout the book that will keep you guessing all the way to the end. The story makes you want to see each plot lead through. Every character is created with care and has their own personality.

Edited: Aug 23, 2012, 12:05am Top

4. Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

Patriot Games is a roller coaster of a book. There are twists and turns at every turn of the page and events build up to create very dramatic drops every so often in the book until the very end. The characters seem real and will make you want to know each of their life stories. The book is James Bond meets Robert Langdon. Patriot Games will grab your attention from the very begging and not let go until the very end.

The story starts off in London. The protagonist of the story, Jack Ryan, is visiting with his family, Cathy and Sally. There, he helps save some people from dangerous gunman and the story begins to take a turn for the worst for Jack and his family. The story deals will international terrorists and multiple intelligence agencies from around the world.

As in his other books, Tom Clancy tells the story from multiple perspectives. Each one is going on almost simultaneously with the others, giving the reader different perspectives on each situation. Sometimes, some small hint is hinted during another character's perspective that directly affects another character, building up the tension when you may be guessing at what exactly may happen. Each person is brought out with wonderful detail. Everyone has their own personality, their own character, and their own reactions to the same problem. The details you see when Jack works at all his jobs is astounding. You really feel like you've become someone who was there with him, even though some of the places are very secretive in the real world.

Patriot Games is one crazy ride of a book. You'll be flying across oceans and continents to get to each of the different events throughout the story. Some small details in the story will have much greater impacts later on that you may never imagine. Tom Clancy did a wonderful job providing small hints and teasers throughout the book, making you guess at every little mystery or problem each character faces. You'll find yourself tied with the characters and what they go through. Patriot Games is a wonderful book that everyone should take the time to read.

Aug 19, 2012, 11:55pm Top

Never read a Tom Clancy novel, but enjoyed the movies. Your reviews make them sound like a lot of fun. This is my first year as part of Club Read, there's lots of good stuff here. (Maybe too much!) Welcome to the Club :)

Aug 20, 2012, 12:36am Top

Yeah. They are really great. Thanks for the welcome!

Aug 20, 2012, 12:21pm Top

Welcome and a good start with an excellent review of Earth, David Brin

Aug 20, 2012, 8:33pm Top

Welcome, Plyte!

Aug 23, 2012, 12:04am Top

5. Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

Wizard's First Rule is an amazing book for any reader. It is filled with witty humor and a wonderful cast of characters. Little bits of the story will definitely surprise the reader and what you think will happen may not entirely come true. The plot is engaging and provides a good debut book for the series. Terry Goodkind did a wonderful job crafting this wonderful book.

The story follows the path of a young Richard Cypher, a young woods guide. His brother is a large political figure in the area, but Richard shuns the spotlight. He meets a young woman named Kahlan Amell, in the forest and his peaceful world gets shattered. He will be introduced to the world of magic, monsters, and face countless challenges and dangers.

For the most part, we see the world of Wizard's First Rule through the eyes of Richard. We will learn more about him, his beliefs, and his secrets throughout the story. Each of the characters he interacts with have their own personal touch that singles themselves out from the rest, creating a lively group of adventurers. Each have their own dark secrets that are hinted throughout the book, making you want to keep on reading to find out. The story does a good job of keeping your attention. Just as you think they characters have finally had a break, some new thing will come and shatter that illusion. As the story goes on, we see how the characters grow and change. The plot thickens the further you are in, but still keeps it easy to understand what is going on.

The book is written in its own style of writing. It feels humorous and lighthearted all throughout, even through the darkest of times. When things go good, it really emphasizes the mood that you feel. But when things good bad, it still keeps some of the humorous feel to it while still conveying the feeling of despair and sadness. Even though it may seem cheerful and good for young children, it may not be the best choice. There are events in the book that should not be read about by young children, so be aware.

Wizard's First Rule is a wonderful book. The characters are witty and well thought out. The plot will keep you reading until the very last page. The way Goodkind has wrote the book gave it a very unique tone throughout and makes it all that much more interesting. Be aware of the events in the book that are not for a child's eyes. I really love this book and Goodkind has made a wonderful masterpiece of fantasy literature.

Aug 23, 2012, 12:40am Top

Fantasy lit. is not my cup of tea but enjoyed reading your review just the same.

Aug 23, 2012, 7:11pm Top

6. Animal Farm by George Orwell

I have never read any book quite like Animal Farm before. It is filled with speeches, slogans, and corruption. When the book was first written, it was meant to target Stalinist Russia. However, it still is very relevant in today's modern world. It captures your imagination and makes you think about our lives that we live in today.

Animals living on Manor Farm have just taken over the farm. All the animals believe in a new life for themselves filled with equality, safety, easy living, and retirement. As the years go by, readers watch how their new society grows and changes within themselves. It is not to different than what we experience in the real world.

The book was very intriguing. It replaced humans and our social classes with those of other animals. We learn of the different ways they act and see almost a mirror image of what life would be like under the conditions of total freedom. However, we also see how power will change those in charge, a change that we see during our lives in the real world.

Readers will be able to make their comparisons of the new animal society and our everyday world. You could see the different social classes, the corruption, the lying and deceitful nature that can come about with the access to rule over others. All of these ideas create a very lifelike group.

Animal Farm is a very interesting book. We see how power and freedom affects those who aren't used to their influence and glimpse into the evolution of a government. We see a model world just like ours, but in a way that sets it apart and makes it more interesting than just a model using humans. The book was good and very intriguing.

Aug 24, 2012, 6:15am Top

Good thoughts on Animal farm considered a biting satire in it's day and it is good to see that you still found it relevant today.

Aug 30, 2012, 1:18am Top

7. Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

Stone of Tears is the powerful next book in Terry Goodkind's series, The Sword of Truth. It is filled with dangerous missions, beautiful cities, and many other wonders that we have not yet seen in the first book, Wizard's First Rule. The main cast of characters are back again to save the world from destruction. Stone of Tears is a perfect follow up book the the debut novel and surpasses its predecessor in some ways.

The book continues right where Wizard's First Rule leaves us. After a brief build-up to the main story, we are plunged right into the thick of things. Just as in the first book, we follow Kahlan, Richard, and Zed in their quest to save the Midlands, D'Hara, and Westland. They are still the same beloved characters from the first book, with all the quirks and peculiarities, but they all grow through the book. It's interesting to see their development throughout the story. Many of the places in the book are consistent with the first.The reader will find themselves in familiar territory if they have read Wizard's First Rule, but newcomers should feel at home quite quickly. What's good about the book is that it also introduces so many new areas that have great potential for further development.

The main story is really a work of art. I found myself wanting to keep reading no matter what was going on in the real world. It's filled with climatic scenes, huge battles, quiet moments, and love scenes. You will find yourself laughing along with the characters in some parts, crying at the sad moments, and sitting at the edge of your seat in others. Everything introduced in the book is wonderfully tied into the first. New places, ideas, and characters merge seamlessly with the world we knew of. Most of the time, we learn more about the characters. The book seemed to spend a lot of time developing the relationships and personalities of many of the characters, especially Zed, Kahlan, and Richard. This made for a more thought provoking story than just one of action and killing

Stone of Tears adds on to its predecessor in many different ways. New characters, places, and ideas all continue to flesh out the world. We see the characters we loved come back and continue their quest to find happiness and save the rest of the world. The book leaves room for many books to come and I look forward to reading those as well. Stone of Tears is a wonderful book that will attract fans and newcomers alike.

Sep 6, 2012, 12:59am Top

8. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago is a wonderful, moving book. Boris Pasternak wrote a story of a young boy and his life. We see the changes he and the his home country, Russia, go through as the story unfolds. We feel the despair,the sorrow, the happiness, and the excitement of the time period even though the book is over fifty years old. Doctor Zhivago is a masterpiece of a book and is book everyone should read.

The book takes place around the time of the Russian Revolution. The reader is thrust into this world just before the revolution begins. We learn of the current ideals, philosophy, religions, and politics circulating around Russia. Just as we begin to settle down in this short time of peace in the book, we are quickly swept away by the story of how one man lived during this time period. Doctor Zhivago, at the time, was suppressed in Russia at the time of it publishing, but was able to be published in Italy, and from there, the rest of the world.

The story follows Yurii Andreievich Zhivago, who starts out as a young boy at the very begging of the book, but will become a man soon enough. We see the Russian Revolution through his eyes, and through the countless other characters throughout the book. The number of characters introduced is staggering. Character after character was introduced throughout the beginning of the book and some are slowly integrated later on through the story.

Each person has a story of their own and all are tied in to Yurii. The reader sees how each character reacts to different situations, how the beliefs change over time, and how their relationships grow between each other. Every event, every passage is important to the overall story and you never want to miss any part of it. Little instances or words could end up appearing in the least likely of places throughout the story.

However, some things about the book can make it confusing and difficult to read at times. Each character has at least two names, a first and a surname. Many of the characters have multiple nicknames as well. Throughout the book, the characters can be called by any one of these names or by a combination of both, making dialogue and plot a little confusing at the beginning. By the end, you get used to the names and it will not bother you as much.

The book focuses on building the back story and characters at the beginning, the book starts off very slowly. It speeds up to the end, but never reaches the pace or action that many books in the 21st century now produce. This is due to the beautifully crafted story line and the thought provoking passages make you want to take a moment and really think about whats going on or about your own life. This opens up a whole new realm of thought that many books in our times never brings a reader to. However, this may turn off some readers, as they may think the book just drags on for an eternity.

Doctor Zhivago is one of the most touching, thought-provoking, and powerful books I have ever read. We see the hardships that some people faced back then and pulls us back to reality about how well we live now. We see the power of the human mind and how each and every person is important in some way. However, in current times, many younger readers may pass on reading it because of its slower pace. Doctor Zhivago is a masterpiece of literature that everyone should try to read at least once in their lifetime.

Edited: Sep 6, 2012, 10:03am Top

Anthony - welcome to CR. I'll come back and read your reviews when I have more time. Not often that Robert Jordan comes up recently...and mixed with Pasternak...

ETA - Feel free to post links to your reviews on your blog with your review posts, if you want. They do look very pretty over there.

Sep 6, 2012, 10:06am Top

>16 Plyte: Nice review of Doctor Zhivago. You have convinced me to read it.

Sep 6, 2012, 5:40pm Top

Good review of Doctor Zhivago which has made a real impression on you. I will get to it one day.

Sep 6, 2012, 6:04pm Top

>17 dchaikin: I'll start posting only a small bit of the review here and just link to my blog post for the full review. Also, Doctor Zhivago is the current Academic Decathlon literature book for this year. I didn't know how well I would have liked it, but ended up being one of my all-time favorites.

>18 avidmom: That's good. It's worth it.

Sep 6, 2012, 8:19pm Top

You are reading Wheel of Time for the first time? Based on your review, I think you're in for a treat. I liked New Spring, but it's the simplest book in the series, and certainly not the best. Unfortunately books 8 - 10 are soft.

Enjoyed your review of Doctor Zhivago.

Sep 6, 2012, 8:22pm Top

Actually, I've read through book 6 so far. However, I reviewed New Spring, but never found time to do the rest of the books I read. I started reviewing books again once I joined LibraryThing.

Sep 20, 2012, 1:13am Top

9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A Game of Thrones is an tale of epic proportions. The story is believable and the characters are just as corrupted as one might think they would be in the real world. Every detail has meaning and you will never know what might be around the corner. This book marked the beginning of an epic journey through this well thought out world. Fantasy readers and any others will surely enjoy it.

Full review at: http://booknummies.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-game-of-thrones.html

Sep 30, 2012, 4:01pm Top

10. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

A Clash of Kings is a wonderful book that surpasses its predecessor. It continues the legacy of the wonderful characters, the wonderful settings, and the corrupted story line that made A Game of Thrones so good. You will not want to put it down until the very end.

Full review at: http://booknummies.blogspot.com/2012/09/review-clash-of-kings.html

Nov 23, 2012, 5:51pm Top

11. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 is a very different book than what I normally read. It is very comical, crazy, and confusing, but Joseph Heller somehow mixes all of the craziness together to create a somewhat sensible piece of literature. This is not one of my favorite books, but it is quite funny at times.

Full review at: http://booknummies.blogspot.com/2012/11/review-catch-22.html

Group: Club Read 2012

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