Friday, June 19, 2009

Reads: May-June


Okay, I'm gonna catch up on reads, quotes, thoughts on reads, and recommended books for this month.

1. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
This was the last book I read in May, which was a puny reading month. (Only four out of a required ten. :( ) Anyway, I think this was either the second or third time that I read it through all the way, and each time, I am awed by the poetic, descriptive prose of Funke. While it requires thought and time to read, it's still easy and not tiring. The first time I picked up Inkheart, I was intrigued by the dedication at the front. It said something like, "For Anna, who put even The Lord of the Rings aside to read this..."
So I had to check it out from the library. Even the first time I began reading Inkheart, I recognized a beautifully written book. It may have the been the first book I bothered to write quotes down from. It was several years ago when I discovered it for the first time, but I don't remember when.....

2. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
I had borrowed this from Mikaela (I actually gave it to her for Christmas one year, and this isn't the first time I've borrowed it...) on my trip to San Antonia with my brother and sister-in-law and their kids. I started it immediately after Inkheart, but didn't plow through it quite as quickly...probably because it is much longer, and I had just read Inkheart, I wasn't as eager to finish it, so far a few days I just piddled and read it whenever I felt like it. Later, though, I started reading it more regular, and then reading it hungrily. The Inkworld is so vivid...the books are just incredible. I can't wait to read Inkdeath. I cried when my favorite character died, even though I had already read the book before...and even though I know this character is safe and comes back, it was still a devastating thing to do. Loved it the second time. I'm in a big Cornelia Funke mood right now, after reading both of those. :)

3. Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
Also a book I borrowed from Mikaela, I've had this one for quite a long time now, and she said it was good, but I was never in a hurry to read it, even though it looked like a reasonably good book. After watching all this Star Trek lately, I was in a science fiction mood, so I decided to read it. If I remember correctly, I finished it in two days, vigorously, and loved it. Heinlein has lots of other novels, many of them his 'juveniles' and I'm looking forward to reading more. It was written in great, flowing prose that wasn't really poetic, but very vivid. I could see Mars. The characters were well-rounded and the dialogue was great. I know I at least chuckled inwardly when I read the following:

"Quit squirming!" commanded the doctor.
"That stuff stings," protested Francis.
"I meant it to. Shut up."

4. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
I confess I wasn't very impressed by this one. I wanted to be, and I was going to read Dancing Shoes (both of which I borrowed from Mikaela...again) but I just didn't want to read another Shoe book. I've heard lots of good things about them, but Ballet Shoes was enough. It was still cute, and probably engaging, if you like that sort of thing, but it was just very hard to be impressed after reading a string of such good books (J.K. Rowling, Will James, Cornelia Funke and Robert A. Heinlein) that I couldn't wait to finish it so I could get started on something else.

5. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
This one I liked, and I'm pretty sure I read this in two or three days. Not long. It was an easy book to read, written for a younger audience, and actually pretty good. The story was original, written in an engaging voice, and full of references to Greek mythology (that's probably putting it lightly. The whole book centers around the son of Poseidon, and features many well known Greek characters, including Medusa, Zeus, Ares, Hades, Chiron, and a satyr) and I thought it was really pretty good. I kept thinking I had read a book similar; easy to read, and lots of fun, and then I realized it was probably Warriors. So, these are similar to those in literary quality and easeness of reading, if that helps any.

6. Rattlesnakes by J. Frank Dobie
I have wanted to read this book for a very long time. A friend gave the book to us for awhile, and I started it, but never finished, and I think my Mom read quite a bit of it. It was loads of fun! Lots of lore, legends, tall tales, facts, and other things, all about rattlesnakes. :D

7. The Reason for God by Timothy Keller
This is the first theology book I have read in three days. It was great; I finished a while ago, collected lots of quotes from it, and it forced me to think. Not that I wasn't trying to; but you can't read the book and not think seriously about what he's saying. Let me try summing up in one word: Awesome. I don't mean like, "Cool!" I mean like "I just touched a living dolphin" awesome. You know. Actually awesome.

So, my two recommended books for this month are Red Planet and The Reason for God. Of course I loved Inkheart and Inkspell...but I'll probably recommend those in July, when I read Inkdeath, if I decide to recommend Inkdeath as a book of the month. :) So there you have it! Happy reading.

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