Saturday, March 01, 2008

February 2008 Reads in a Nutshell

So that I can move on to my March reads and think myself caught up, I've chosen to post a nutshell-review post of February's reads. Abbreviations are as follows:
NF - Non-fiction
YA - Young Adult
ARC - Advanced Readers Copy

February Reads, in a Nutshell:

#8 - The World According to Mimi Smartypants by Mimi Smartypants (NF)
Blog entries by the pseudonymous Mimi, who records her experiences living, working, and loving in Chicago. She's a hoot, but Mimi can also be incredibly raunchy. I loved the book because it made me laugh.

#9 - Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman (Contemporary Fiction)
The novelization of Blachman's fictional blog, a tale in which a cut-throat lawyer plots his path to the top, regardless of whom he must knock over in the process. Hilarious. I could not put this book down. It's wickedly fun reading.

#10 - Sailing Alone Around the World by Capt. Joshua Slocum (NF)
An account of the author's 3-year journey around the world, the first solo round-the-world trip. Stunningly adventurous and fascinating, a little heavy on the nautical terminology. The author had a great sense of humor.

#11 - The Giver by Lois Lowry (YA)
Futuristic tale about a boy who is chosen to inherit all of his village's memories, which are kept by the Giver, a man who lives in agony from the weight of the images he's unable to share. A beautiful story of courage and humanity.

#12 - Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz (YA)
The second in the Alex Rider spy series. I can't remember what it's about. Ugh. This particular series has exaggerated, almost clown-like characters and is wildly adventurous; you really have to work at shutting off disbelief to enjoy them because they're so utterly impossible. That impossibility factor also makes the novels a fun escape.

#13 - The Night Lives On by Walter Lord (NF)
An update of the author's classic account of the Titanic's sinking, focusing on what's been learned since Bob Ballard and crew discovered the ship's remains in 1985. A quick, fascinating read.

#14 - A Hawaiian Reader, Vol. 1, Ed. by A. Grove Day and Carl Stroven (mostly NF)
A collection of literary writings about Hawaii, mostly anecdotal and in chronological order, chosen for literary value, ability to evoke place and time, and interest. This book includes the tale of Captain Cook's discovery of the then-named "Sandwich Islands", an account of Cook's death, and writings by Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stephenson, Jack London and many others. Absolutely one of the best collections I've ever read; the book gives readers an excellent perspective of rapid cultural change since the time of Cook. Highly recommended.

#15 - The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (YA)
A young boy who refuses to confront feelings after the death of his mother finds a tiger caged in the woods. A housekeeper at the hotel where he and his father live and a new friend help him face his grief while he ponders whether or not he should release the tiger. A little too sad for me, but I loved the characters.

#16 - Cotillion by Georgette Heyer (ARC/Regency Romance)
Young Kitty must marry one of her guardian's nephews in order to inherit a fortune. Check Estella's Revenge for a full review in the March issue, coming soon (I'll be sure to chime in when the new Estella issue has been posted).

#17 - A Night to Remember by Walter Lord (NF)
The classic tale of the sinking of the Titanic, including a passenger list. Excellent writing (well researched), a quick and absorbing read and pretty darned depressing.

#18 - Waiting to Surface by Emily Listfield (Contemporary Fiction/ARC)
A novelized version of the author's own experience when her estranged husband, an artist, disappeared during a trip to Florida. Decent writing, but I never warmed up to the protagonist and the book was an odd blend of tragedy with chick-littish moments.

#19 - Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy)
Young Tristran enters Faerie on a fantastic adventure when a dying king tosses a necklace into the sky and knocks a star to earth. The first Gaiman I've actually enjoyed. I thought the movie was better; the book is worth reading, though, in my humble opinion.

#20 - Dreadful Sorry by Kathryn Reiss (Time Travel Mystery/YA)
A young girl who irrationally fears water unravels the cause of her nightmares and aquaphobia when she moves into the setting of her recurring visions and begins to travel back in time mentally, seeing through the eyes of long-dead Clementine. A tremendously gripping, spooky read, unfortunately poorly written.

Coming up: A review of Coma by Alex Garland, a book I made the mistake of beginning at 11pm. I have a book hangover, but one that deserved the pain.

Bookfool, in need of nap


  1. Again you make me realize that I need to read more. What a great list!

  2. Wow! You had a good month! I only managed to read three. The Winter Rose took most of the month!

  3. Nikki,

    Thank you. :) I had a great month, chiefly because January was so awful that I buried my nose in books in order to catch up. I feel better, now. LOL


    Thank you. The Winter Rose is a chunkster, all right! It ought to count as three books.


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