Monday, December 31, 2012

Austenland - Shannon Hale

Date Started: 12/19/12
Date Finished: 12/22/12

Obviously I still wanted something light to read, hence this choice. I've had the sequel to The Passage sitting on my Kindle for weeks, but I know once I start it I am going to be completely sucked in (haha - you'll get the joke if you've read the books) and I haven't wanted that kind of commitment...yet. Maybe it will be the first book I tackle in 2013.

Anyway, onto this choice. I saw it on a list of books that are being made into movies. I feel like this might be one of those books that is actually better as a movie (so few fall into that category for me; really the only one that stands out is The Devil Wears Prada, which I thought was waaaay better as a movie).

Read on for my thoughts...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, Book 1) - Kim Harrison

Date Started: 12/10/12
Date Finished: 12/17/12

Something to note here (when wondering how in the world I went from reading Mansfield Park to this one) - while I admittedly love a good Young Adult series, I'm also trying to write a YA book. In speaking with someone who went over some of my work, they recommended I do a lot more YA reading than I have in the past. Since I love Kim Harrison's adult writing, I thought I'd see how she handles this genre. Oh, and I wanted something light to read. There's that too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

Date Started: 11/20/12
Date Finished: 12/9/12

Ah, one of the remaining Jane Austen books that I had yet to read. I had to tackle it! It was 100% what one expects from a Jane Austen story - romance, class issues, family parties, intrigue, betrayal and finally a happy ending.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Dance with Dragons - George R.R. Martin

Date Started: 10/8/12
Date Finished: 11/2/12

A big thanks to Frankenstorm Sandy, without whose help I would not have had last week to devote to finishing this book. Thanks also goes out to the Con Ed explosion at 14th street, whose tenacity ensured that I had no electricity and thus nothing to do BUT read last week.

And so, it is least until the next book comes out... sometime in 2018, right?!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin

Date Started: 10/1/12
Date Finished: 10/8/12

Where did all of my favorite characters (besides Arya) go?! That was my first reaction as I made my way through this book. But of course, I ended up loving it and how so many other characters were further developed along the way. And it didn't hurt that the book ended with a note from the author directly addressing the absence of the major characters, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Fire and Ice) - George R.R. Martin

Date Started: 9/13/12
Date Finished: 9/23/12

And the saga continues. Obviously, as I'm now well into the series, you should not click on the link to continue unless you have (a) read the book or (b) don't mind complete spoilers. My biggest surprises ahead...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cleopatra's Daughter - Michelle Moran

Date Started: 9/9/12
Date Finished: 9/13/12

Being that this is the third book I've read in the last year or so that relates to Rome and Ancient Egypt, one could probably guess that this is a time period that interests me. Having read Cleopatra: A Life, it was interesting to move to this historical fiction account of her daughter's life.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer - Steven Millhauser

Date Started: 9/4/12
Date Finished: 9/8/12

This book came highly recommended and the cover touts "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize"(!). It seemed a little out of my typical reading fare, so I decided why not. And I have to say, I liked it a lot. Didn't love the ending, but we'll get there.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Game of Thrones - Season 1 Comparison

I think this is tangentially related to books, so I'm going to go ahead and post on this: a comparison of the first book of Game of Thrones with the first season of the series on HBO, plus other observations. Obviously, this ruins both the book and season one, so don't read if you don't want to see spoilers.  Let's get started:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Date Started: 8/27/12
Date Finished: 8/30/12

So this appears to be the rare case for me where I actually read a popular book at the very minute it is popular. My mother had purchased this one and having finished it, was raving about it. Since I'm home on vacation I decided to make a quick read of it (didn't want to drag the hardback copy back to NY with me). It was an engaging read and while certain elements were predictable, I did find myself surprised by the ending. Spoilers ahead...(seriously, the whole plot and ending).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne

Date Started: 8/13/12
Date Finished: 8/27/12

Now the interesting thing about reading this book is that I grew up watching the 1959 movie. And when I say I "grew up watching" it, I mean I watched it a LOT. Like I know basically every line of dialogue. It was recently on TV (which is so much more exciting than popping in the DVD you already own, right?) so I re-watched it for the first time in a while. Still loved it. But watching it made me think - "you know, I've never actually read the book this is based on." Given how much I love 19th Century writing, this seemed like it would be right up my alley, and that was right.

And ALSO, after tearing through the first two books in Game of Thrones, I knew I needed to take a break, otherwise I'd finish the series without stopping.

So here we go...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin

Date Started: 7/31/12
Date Finished: 8/8/12

As predicted, once I started this series, that was the end of me. I'm loving them. The only sad part about reading them so quickly is that once I'm fnished with the series, that's it. Now, before I get to my "summary" (loosely termed, since again, no real way to summarize a book of this scope), I want to relay an interesting story as it relates to my reading of this book.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Grove - John Rector

Date Started: 7/30/12
Date Finished: 7/31/12

Ok, it's confession time. I started this blog to keep track of the books that I've read. The great thing about the blog is that it really does help me keep track of all of the books I've read, and remember more details about them than I otherwise would. The bad thing is that I can now compare how many books I've read year to year. And what I realized this month was that I am pretty far behind where I was last year. Not that it is some kind of competition with myself, but still. I think it's because of the Russian literature I started the year off with, but who knows. The Paris Reviews have also been quite long. In any case, I wanted a book I could get through quickly and based on the amazon reviews, this one looked like it fit the bill. So chalk another one up for July.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin

Date Started: 7/16/12
Date Finished: 7/29/12

Wow. Ok, so I'm not a big fantasy reader, but I've been wanting to start this series for a while and definitely wanted to read it before watching any of the HBO series. And wow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shadow of Night – Deborah Harkness

Date Started: July 10, 2012
Date Finished: July 16, 2012

Let me start by saying that I really liked this book. As previously mentioned, I LOVED the first book, “A Discovery of Witches,” and haven’t been this excited about a sequel in quite some time. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Date Started - 6/29/12
Date Finished -6/30/12

Not going to lie, I didn't think I would finish this one so quickly. I was kind of counting on it to hold me over until the sequel to A Discovery of Witches comes out. Oh well! This was a great quick read and one that I would definitely recommend.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Ahab's Wife - Sena Jeter Naslund

Date Started - 6/?/12 - I forget but it feels like forever ago
Date Finished - 6/29/12

Good Lord, I finally finished this book. I was done with it about 90 pages in but because I'm no quitter, I stuck with it and finished all 666 pages (that should have been my first clue - any book that has the mark of the beast is probably not going to be great).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky

Date Started - 5/16/12
Date Finished -- 6/8/12

Woo-wee, I finally finished this one. It DID end up taking me a bit longer and I have to say, it wasn't my favorite. Read on for more...

A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

Date Started: 5/1/12
Date Finished: 5/11/12

One-Word Summary: Spectacular

This was a re-read; I actually read this book for the first time about a year ago. I liked it so much I bought it for my mom for Christmas and after an initial hesitation (I think based on the title) she adored the book as well.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Great Gasby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Date Started: 4/2/12
Date Finished: 4/5/12

One-Word Summary: Gilded

I read The Great Gatsby in high school but had only vague memories. I seemed to recall something about a car wreck but that was about it. I'm glad I finally revisited this classic, especially in light of the fact that a movie is being made, which I will likely see.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Catcher in The Rye - J.D. Salinger

Date Started: 3/20/12
Date Finished: 3/23/12

One-Word Summary: Adolescent

When I decided to read this book, my husband said "you won't get it." I forged ahead and while I did get it, I can see where he was coming from.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Paris Review

Currently reading the Paris Review so I'll be a bit delayed in my next post.... until then, happy reading! And I'd encourage anyone who hasn't done so to read The Hunger Games before the movie debuts later this month, because it is amazing.

A Perfect Blood - Kim Harrison

Date Started: 2/21/12
Date Finished: 2/26/12

One-Word Summary: Demonless

As I may have mentioned in a previous post, I love the Hollows series, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I got the first book for free on my Kindle. That was how they sucked me in. So here we go with the next one in the series...

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Magician King: A Novel - Lev Grossman

Date Started: 2/9/2012
Date Finished: 2/18/12

One-Word Summary: Disappointing

A note before we get into this summary: this is the sequel to The Magicians: A Novel, which I previously reviewed here. I knew I would get around to reading this sequel, despite some of my earlier misgivings about the first book. I just went back and re-read my review of the first book and found it surprising how insightful some of my questions were - the questions about Julia and Penny were both addressed in the sequel. Anyhow, onward with this review...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pale Demon - Kim Harrison

Date Started: 2/5/12
Date Finished: 2/8/12

One-Word Summary: Fun

Ok, no full review here because this is the second time I've read the book. I wanted to re-read it in advance of her next book coming out (which will be available for Kindle on February 21st). What can I say, I'm a sucker for these books - witches, vampires, pixies, weres, fairies, elves, demons and more. These books are pure fun.

Roma - Steven Saylor

Date Started: 1/29/12
Date Finished: 2/4/12

One-Word Summary: Roman

When I bought this book at the half-price store I really thought it was going to take me a while to get through. Turns out it was an enjoyable, fairly easy read, that I went through pretty quickly. Oh, and no spoiler here - but imagine my surprise when I got to the end of this behemoth only to find out that there is a sequel (which I will now obviously have to read).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Resurrection - Leo Tolstoy

Date Started: 1/4/12
Date Finished: 1/26/12

One-Word Summary: Inspiring

I decided to start the year off with a light read - ha! I found this one in a half-price book store and didn't recognize the title so I bought it on a whim, figuring that I like everything that Tolstoy writes. True to form, he didn't disappoint.