Tuesday, September 10, 2013

August Reads 2013

Today's reflection on one month's reads is brought to you by our fearsome library tiger.  The Boston Public Library has lions.  We have a tiger.  I think it works.

August Reads in Review (with links, if applicable):

**Absolute Favorites
*Secondary Favorites

86. *Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum - A fictional account of abuse in a facility for disabled teens (based on reality).  A strong story is slightly marred by the use of vernacular, which is sometimes difficult to wade through if you're unfamiliar with the Chicago South Side accent.

87. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - The first in a YA series about teenage Evie, who works for an international paranormal agency, "bagging and tagging" paranormals to keep the world's human's safe, and falls in love with a half-human, half . . . um, water sprite, I think?  But, when someone starts killing off paranormals, her life begins to change dramatically and Evie is called on to save the world from an evil "Empty One".

88.** The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (reread) - Gaiman's latest fantasy, the story of life as a nerdy outcast little boy wrapped in a scary fantasy with a touch of good magic on the side.

89. The Curiosity by Stephen P. Keirnan - A dead man is brought to life by scientists, who hold him captive. Religious fundamentalists go nuts, a lonely female scientist falls for the man and risks her career to spring him.  There is a lot in this book to talk about but everyone's an archetype and the story is told through 4 separate POVs.  Argh.  It has a terrible ending! Double argh! But, I don't regret reading it. I had a nice discussion about the ending with Ryan of Wordsmithonia, so that added some extra fun to the reading.

90. **The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey - A story of murder, greed and how violence is passed down through the generations. This one got high marks because it broke a brief reading block.

91. Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat - The story of a young girl's disappearance serves as the framework for a novel about the interconnecting lives of people living in a small coastal town in Haiti.

DNF: The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan - I enjoyed this book as it opened but found the jumps between the story of the development of atomic bombs and the building of a secret facility in Tennessee hard to follow because of the way the chapters were laid out. I was also disappointed that the personal accounts of women who worked at the site were minimal and, at times, confusing because it's not told chronologically.  So I set the book aside at just over 100 pages.

92. *Novel Ideas by K. B. Dixon - A quirky book of fictional excerpts from fictional letters of a fictional author.

93. *The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon - A modern mash-up of "Rapunzel" and "Snow White" in which Rapunzel learns her adopted mother's witchy ways and becomes envious of beautiful Snow White.

94. The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen - A suitcase sent to the wrong place, a missing woman, the shattering end of an affair.  I kept my review of this one short because I found it disappointing, although, again, I don't regret the time spent reading it. Kind of a beachy read.

95. *Players (Dr. Who) by Terrance Dicks - The 6th Doctor finds that Winston Churchill is being targeted by assassins from a race of time-traveling beings who like to play games with human history, removing important characters to see how time will change.

DNF: Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley - I was really excited about this book but the author's style put me off in some way and Paris itself seemed deadly dull, as if the author was describing written directions rather than painting Paris as a vibrant setting. I only made it to page 53.

96. **The Book of Someday - Dianne Dixon - The interwoven stories of three women, one living in the 1980s and two in 2012, and how they're all tied to each other via the same image of a woman in a silver dress with pearl-button shoes.  My favorite of the month.

97. Supernaturally by Kiersten White - The 2nd book in the Paranormalcy series. I bought the two remaining books from Book Closeouts because I wanted to know what was going to happen and also wanted to avoid that, "Oops, I've forgotten everything between installments" sensation.  The paranormal agency has closed and Evie is attending school but now she's wanted back for occasional work and there's an impish new character named Jack causing trouble. Jack was a hoot.

98. Endlessly by Kiersten White - The 3rd and final book in the Paranormalcy series lands Evie in the world of Faerie, where she encounters the nasty Dark Queen and is asked to risk her life to send the paranormals back through the gate to their true world.  Nice ending to the series.  I enjoyed all three but came out of the reading feeling like I had little to say, so I don't plan to review the 2nd and 3rd titles.

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  1. Looks like a pretty darn good month!

    1. It was not bad. My attention span was out the window but at least I managed to keep reading and there were a few stand-out reads. I'm happy. :)

  2. Wow!! That's a lotta reading--though sadly the only familiar title to me is the Gaiman one. It's been getting so much great buzz lately! Happy September--hope you have even more ** reads this month.

    1. The Gaiman deserves the buzz, in my humble opinion. I loved it. Happy September to you, too!

  3. The Book of Someday sounds like the one I’d like to read. It looks like this month I have only been reading non-fiction – I got started reading on American sprawl – how it started, etc. it was an eye opener – as I had never realized why it is so – and so different from Europe. But a good fiction would be a nice change.

    1. I occasionally read nothing but nonfiction, too. The Book of Someday would have definitely kept me up all night if I hadn't been so tired. If you do read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


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