macart3's reading for 2010
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Thank you! It's great to be back. Guess what?! I'm in Boston right now attending the American Library Association and I met Tim Spalding!!!! It was so cool! I think I fangirled him a bit!
5. Fallen by Lauren Kate.
Yeah, I saw a couple of pics from the ALA event. If you've got any more, I'd love to see 'em!
6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
#6 Unfortunately, my camera was not working so I couldn't take any pictures. :(
#9 It was okay. I think the author relied more on describing the story rather than tell it. Like when Lord Elgin was courting Mary Nisbet, the author told described their feelings, i.e. Mary felt x, y, z, and c when Lord Elgin kissed her hand and not the emotions that overtook her. Also, there was a whirlwind courtship later on in the book and it took me by surprised when it happened. Great potential but it kind of fell flat. Though I would highly recommend that you look for a different author's rendition of the Elgin Marbles because it's a fascinating story.
8. The Silver Rose by Susan Carroll.
9. America (the book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart.
10. Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie Stiefvater.
#10: Thanks for the input. I think I will give Stealing Athena a miss.
#15: Great male objectification novel
I have no idea what that means, but I suspect that it is not a book for me. Glad you enjoyed it though.
#16 Objectification is when the viewer looks at you and evaluates you, whether with words in novel or screen time in a film. Usually it's women who are assessed because the majority of the films, novels, etc. are made by men and are assuming, however unconsciously, that the viewers will be male as well. A lot of women do this too as well, having been brought up in a male-centered society.
Some time ago I saw a fantastic example of this in an early 20th century cartoon: in the scene an older man is to the right side looking at, evaluating at a what appears to be valuable object. On the left side is a woman sitting in a wing-backed chair looking coyly at her admirer while the young man looks at, evaluates her. The caption above the cartoon says, "To each his own". Each man evaluates his object.
I took film theory class where we were shown movies where female directors do the reverse: the camera looks at the male instead of the female, thus objectifying *him* and not *her*. In Menage, Emma Holly has the female character evaluate the men, something I thought unusual since most of the novels evaluate the female characters than the male and have noted it in the short blurb in message #15.
I try to read a new thread on 75 every day -- and yours was such a pleasure to find! Your profile page also, so thoughtful, funny and full of interesting observations and ideas! We have similar reading tastes -- I like almost anything as long as it isn't trashy - though I do avoid horror as I actually get seriously creeped out. I want to look into Melissa Marr..... she sounds like fun.
#17: Thank you for the explanation. I am not sure I have ever heard the term before, although I am certainly aware of the reality of it.
16. What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell. An extremely well-written book of Evelyn Spooner, a sixteen-year-old girl growing up in 1947 America, is finding her place in the world of adults, deceit, and herself. Fantastic characterization.
#21: I already have that one in the BlackHole. If whoever has it overdue from the library ever returns it, I may actually have a chance to read it.
#22 How long has it been overdue?
17. Princess Izzy and the E Street Shuffle by Beverly Bartlett. A great monologue narrated by an intimate, but mysterious person connected to Princess Isabella of Bisbania detailing the travails of her rise to princess-ship in the tiny city-country. Has all the juicy twists and turns of a soap opera plot, or real life royalty.
#23: There is no way for me to tell. I checked on an overdue book a couple of weeks ago and was told by the librarian it had been overdue for 6 years. I asked her when they actually considered it missing!
21. The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig. In this installment of the Secret History of the Pink Carnation series, Ms. Willig shows her maturity in writing the complex characters of Penelope Staines, nee Deveraux, and Captain Reid in British India. Has romance a-plenty, but involves more of the historical aspect that the series had begun to lose in the previous two or so books.
28. What did you think of Soulless? I started to read it last week and found that I couldn't get past the first few chapters. I usually like steampunk-y books, but the whole vampire and soulless thing was a little strange. Should I press on? :)
#29 I didn't find it particularly odd, and that just may be because I'm into the whole fantasy/supernatural genre. Have you seen the movie "Underworld" with Kate Beckinsale? The whole vampire/werewolf animosity in the book reminded me of this movie, although in the book it's not as intense-there's some civility between the two. I thought the book was bit of a Victorian mystery novel with a Frankenstein twist and a lot of dry humor thrown in. I enjoyed it, but I'm not going to rush out it buy the next book in the trilogy; I'm getting it through Interlibrary Loan. I give it a middling review.
#31: I have seen several good reviews of that one. Did you enjoy it?
30: You know, I have not seen that movie but know enough about it to understand what you mean. I have several friends who really enjoyed Soulless and perhaps I was just not in the right mood at the time. I think I'll give it another go the next time I head down to the library. Thanks for your review!
#32 Hard to say. I like how the author plays out the themes of perception, appearance, and deception. I think s/he did a good job on it. However, the main character, Pekkla, is suppose to be the legend, some one to hold in awe as per what the other characters said about him, but I didn't sense the awe. And when Pekkla got answers, the questionees gave it to him in large chunks after a minimal pretense of stubborness, he didn't have to tease the answers out from the other characters. This is something I found highly suspicious since the time they're in is in Soviet Russia, a time where no one trusted any one else. The author did grab me enough that I may read the second one. I'll just get it through interlibrary loan or the ARC, if I win it.
Sorry you did not like Hush, Hush. I hope your next read is better for you.
Congratulations on making it 1/3 of the way through the challenge.
28. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Eh, it was okay. Minimal dialogue and lots of narrative. Don't think it deserved all that praise.
#38: I did not think it deserved all that praise either and nothing was going to induce me to read the follow up.
#39 Hehehe. I found that if I skimmed the pages I could figure out what the main gist of the situation without getting bogged down in the details. I "read" eight hundred pages in four hours. If I were his editor for Pillars of the Earth, I'd be brutal: go through several boxes of red pens, licorice bitter comments, no restraints. If you're going to devote so many years of your life to writing a book of this magnitude, do it right. Although, it's not as bad as Hush, hush (that woman owes me fours of my life back. If you want to see why I hate the book so much, I wrote a review of it in my account and am thinking about expanding it), but I've read Jackdaws and that was better.
#40: I will have to give Jackdaws a try. I am a WWII buff, so it looks right up my alley. Thanks for the mention.
#44: How was that one? I read Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by George and enjoyed it very much.
#45 Ohhhh, it was soooo cute and Germanic small town-like. In it, the sisters actually have intelligence and are not portrayed as vapid females who enjoy dancing. And the common boy has character as well: a soldier come back form the 12-years' war and becomes an under-gardener who knits. I highly recommend the book.
#49 I was not too thrilled with The Blue Girl. It was kind of amateurish writing and not exciting.
That's really a YA sort of Lint -- my daughter read it at 13 and was thrilled, I found it lesser...... she tried one of the more 'adult' ones and got bored.....
38. Horns by Joe Hill. I picked up the book because the premise was intriguing: Ignatious Perrish, guy with strong Christian morals, brought up in a weathly home, but modest grows horns year after the town pins the rape and death of Merrin Williams on him. These horns can make people react negatively or say negative things. You can tell the story and writing are good, but I just didn't click with the novel.
FYI, Ignatious means "ardent"; Perrish as in "perish/destroy" or "parish".
#58: Not my cup of tea at all, so I will give that one a pass. I hope you enjoy your next read more.
39. Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen. What goes behind restaurants: rampant sexism, belittling of co-workers, hazing, and intricate pecking orders all written poorly.
A book along the same lines, but well written by a New York waiter is Waiter Rant. He kept a blog for years that I enjoyed reading and found success in writing a book from his experiences.
I read Waiter Rant recently and really, really enjoyed it. I recommend it as well! And his blog is worth checking out.
41. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Oh how I love, thee, Jane Austen Fluff. Goes nicely with ice cream. :)
#68 Very good. It's about a former literature professor in Soviet Russia destroying manuscripts of other writers during WW2 and the political and personal intrigue of Soviet Russia.
I read The archivist's Story last year and liked it a lot. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it too.
How did you like Devil in the White City? I loved it when I read it.
I'm also curious about book #47. What a title! What's that one about?
#74 I was a little disappointed with Devil in the White City. I can't exactly put my finger on why. Larson said he followed the style of Capote's In Cold Blood and one of the salient features I remember from reading it was that Capote was meticulous in his level of detail. I'm sure Larson was, but I found Capote's work to be better. Larson's book didn't get me involved or in the mindset of the atmosphere at the time.
The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris is about the sexual mores of Islamists in Paris, the culture and belief of Islamists in Paris, the tensions they face from their adopted culture and mother culture. And it centers on this 40-year-old Islamist banker living in Paris trying to get a place of his own. It is a book that engrossed me from the start: I loved how it's told, the rhythm of the story, the discussion of Islam without being dogmatic. I recommend it. Penguin owns the publishing house, Europa, which is dedicated in making quality translations of foreign works, and this is the second book I've read from them (the first being The Elegance of the Hedgehog, also very good) and I have not been disappointed by them. This is a division I'm going to follow in what is published.
Sorry to hear about Devil in the White City. I haven't yet read Capote so I don't have the experience to pull from, but I get what you mean.
Your second book does sound interesting though! I took a class on Islam last year and have been diving into more Islamic related reading ever since. This one might have to go on the wishlist as well as Muriel Barbery's books. Thank you for the recommendation!
Sorry to hear about a death in the family. My grandmother passed away last week and it is hard to jump back into one's interests. All the best.
53. Bad Shoes and the Women Who Love Them by Leora Tanenbaum.
54. Spinning Straw Into Gold by Joan Gould.
55. All Dressed in White: The Irresistible Rise of the American Wedding by Carol Wallace.
How did you like Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie? It looks like it got good reviews.
#91 I didn't really like it because...well, I thought the narrator was very hyper and fidgety and it just wasn't my cup of tea. Also, an event in the book reminded me of something not good and I wasn't ready for that.
61. Torment by Lauren Kate. Hooray for Lucinda getting some gumption!
Lucinda gets a little more backbone, you say? Hmm... I admit I'm still undecided on whether I want to continue the series.
#93 Yes, she does. It's kind of touch and go, like she's trying how to assert herself and what works and doesn't, but I'm glad about the ending.
#96: I do not think I have read any of that series. I will have to look for them. Thanks for the mention.
#97 I kind of like her Wallflower series (I'm assuming that you're commenting on Lisa Kleypas's books). And this is from someone who really hesitates on reading romance books. And admitting it too.
68. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler. Excellent book about an anexoric girl becoming the Famine horseman.
#102: That one sounds interesting. I will have to look for it. Thanks for the recommendation!
# 104 It really is awesome. It's the second book I've read this year where I'm thinking: "Why do I have to eat/go to work/shower/sleep, etc.?" It's really engrossing. It's less than 200 pgs. and the plotline could have been a bit more developed, but I still love it. Her next book, "Rage", is coming out in April 2011 and I cannot wait. My only hope is that what I figured out beforehand in Hunger won't repeat in "Rage".
#106 Oh, she's doing all Four Horsemen, and there's no way I'm waiting until she's done writing book four to read them.
#113 It's pretty good, though, I did read the penultimate book in the series first. Ah, well. :)
How was Fat Vampire? I keep seeing it and wondering whether it's any good...
84. Tarnished Beauty by Cecilia Samartin.
85. The King of Lies by John Hart.
#131 It was okay. It had a geeky slant to it, the vampire and his friend went to Comi-Con, comic book fans, etc. There were some funny parts. The way the girls spoke, you could tell it was obviously written by a guy because I don't think the author quite knew what went on at slumber parties. I thought about buying, but I'm really glad I just borrowed from my library. I read it and won't be reading it again.
87. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.
I liked The Help. The author certainly got the subtleties of racism in the book, but I couldn't fully feel righteous indignation of behalf of the black maids. I didn't think that there wasn't enough everyday drama in the book. However, I did stay up during the night to read the entire thing. The only times I put it down was to leave the neighbor's house (a bit of treacherous walk with the ice) and to change into my pjs.
#136: I am definitely going to have to get to The Help in 2011. Of course, I said that in 2010 as well.
Why are you going to your neighbor's house to change into your pjs?
88. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.
#137 My parents and I went to our neighbor's house, where I started to read it, and then I had to quit reading it when I left their house. I also had to put the book down when I changed into my pjs at my house. Sorry if I didn't make that clearer.
I'm about to read The Iron King; Finally! Somebody spelled "Meghan" right!
#139: I have had The Iron King in the BlackHole for a while now. Thanks for the reminder that I need to check and see if the local library has it yet!
#141: I got that one through PBS, but still have not read it. One of these days!
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