Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching Up

Despite my house guests and lack of posting I have still been reading; nothing significant however, here is a list with mini-reviews of the books I read lately. Please understand that I spent all of Monday at Barnes and Noble waiting for Grand Junction Toyota to give me my car back, so this list is somewhat inflated.

Zoe's Tale. This was a book that reminded me of the teenager I think I was. After twenty years I realize my memories are a bit subjective, but the narrator of this book felt much more real than most and much more appealing that others I have tried to read (4 book series beginning with T.) The plot is a standard science fiction one but the honesty of s an almost child telling the story was compelling and wonderful. I may force my daughters to read this book when they get a little older.

Summer Knight. This series is like M&Ms. You start reading and think, just a little more. I like the noir-ish voice of the main character, along with the sense of the ridiculous that makes the horror aspects of the novel not so dark that I won't read it. The continuing thread of the series is beginning to get deeper and more interesting as the main character becomes more important to the "unreal" world and discovers more about himself.

Death Masks. Another Dresden Files book, but I must admit, as much as I like these books, when the Shroud of Turin showed up I almost quit. The only reason I kept going was because the silliness of it was not lost to the characters involved. If he had written it 100% straight it would have been too corny and I would have had to stop. As it was, not too bad, followed up the previous one quite nicely. I like the ideas of extended consequences that Butcher is working with in this series. That some things have more repercussions that just the next book.

Darkfever. Once I have read a few of a certain type of novel, I tend to keep in the genre until I find something so bad it kicks me out to another type. This book is another urban fantasy, very similar to the Dresden Files. The twist in this one is the protagonist is a happy-go-lucky young woman who has no desire for powers, detests wearing black and is as completely pink and rainbows as you could imagine. Putting her in a dark fantasy world causes some interesting conflicts.

Bloodfever. These books are too easy to read. When it takes only a couple of hours to finish it is too easy to read a couple of them in not very long. I still like the idea of this series but the sexual tension thing, which seems to have become mandatory, is getting on my nerves. Do non-married women really think about sex this much? Was I an abnormal person in that I didn't even before I was in a stable relationship? It is just irritating and makes the strong, independent heroine lose a lot of the respect I might have had for her.

Why We Make Mistakes. This was the most comforting book I have read in a long while. It explains that our brains are wired in a certain way and so are the mistakes we all make. For example, names are hard to remember because they have very little meaning, other than as random syllables that indicate a certain person. We can remember their job or their family status or their connection to us much more easily because that has more content we can remember.
The book was full of that type of explanation for mistakes we all make. It suggests that instead of trying to change the way people are, we make adjustments for it to prevent errors; things like checklists and written reminders.

Death's Daughter. I read this one just for the name of the main character: Calliope Reaper-Jones. That must be one of the best names I've seen in a while. The rest of the novel was only so-so. The ending wasn't a surprise, a serious flaw in a whodunit, even a fantasy one, and the heroine seemed purposefully dense, which is annoying. I'm glad I read it while sitting in B&N and that I didn't pay for it.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour. Meh. It was OK, but not great, a wonderful example of what happens when a genre gets really popular and many things are published just because they are perfectly moderate examples of what is currently "hot." I wonder what will come after the urban fantasy craze? I blame you Stephanie Meyers.


jendoop said...

Let's all blame Stephanie Meyer. She has enough dough to take the blame :)

The why we make mistakes book sounds interesting.

I still can't believe how much you read and how fast. Remember Angle of Repose I started reading at your house? Last night I finished the first chapter. I'm such a reading loser.

readerMom said...

Don't feel bad, that is about how far I got into that book before I quit.