Monday, August 10, 2009

July - August Reads


Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted! That feels like awhile...and July wasn't super busy. Or maybe it was....I'm recovering from a very bad day yesterday. My minor cold turned severe, and I had to spend the whole day in bed. I feel a lot better today. I still feel a bit weak and my throat is still sore, but I can walk around and sit up. :) Which is an improvement from yesterday. I only got up twice, I think.

So, anyway, I'm here to update on my July reads, and the two books I've read since August started. Pitiful, considering I have twenty more I NEED to read this month to be completely caught up, which is very unlikely to happen, but you never know. I've pulled some good reading months before...June I suppose. Fourteen books, I think, but that's six shy of twenty. :) Oh well....

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Oh! This was excellent. It was fun to read, but a bit challenging. Still, I loved reading it! All the characters were wonderful, the writing original...I mean, I knew that already, I had heard lots of good things about the book, and seen the movie, which I watched again shortly after finishing the book. And the story was superb. (French accent..separb!)

2. The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Pretty good. I don't think I'll be going back for more...I almost didn't finish this one, but some good plot twists kept me reading. Good stuff for younger readers, and the idea is creative.

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This was good! I enjoyed reading this a lot, even though it was a bit more challenging than To Kill a Mockingbird. And it was a serious read, too...futeristic and depressing. I'd like to read more books like this (1984, Brave New World, The Giver, Animal Farm.)

4. Dinotopia by James Gurney
Disappointing, honestly. The illustrations were really good, and the story could have been good too, but I mostly felt that it was a bit silly, and boring. I expected something entirely different....something more like another world where there were dinosaurs rather than horses and cows, or maybe some kind of Star Wars flavoring, without all the cool stuff and fewer creatures. I won't be returning for more.

5. Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Loads of fun to read, creative, and some of it was very beautiful. The very last chapter was disappointing, and I'm not sure how I feel about Meggie ending up with Doria rather than Farid...I mean, I thought Doria was very sweet. And Dustfinger's role, while fascinating, left out a crucial element to his character for most of the book that made him the fire-eater he was before. There really wasn't any fear in him...and there didn't need to be, not with all of his new powers. I also felt that some of it went back and forth to much...Mo is captured one minute, and escaped the next. Or should I say the 'Bluejay?' Dustfinger wasn't the only one that stepped out of the skin of his original character. Mo did as well...I never would have seen him becoming the almost bloodthirsty robber that he became in Inkdeath. Still, other than all of those things, the characters were still wonderful. It was a great read, but probably not my favorite of the series. It's a toss up between the first two. :)

6. New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
This was fun to read too, and much faster than Inkdeath. I think it took me two days? The writing is less literary than Inkdeath was, much faster paced. I always have fun reading the Twilight books, although Edward can be extremely annoying. I like him, but I think I would still have to say that I'm on Team Jacob. Although I'm pretty annoyed with both sides right now.

7. Renegade by Ted Dekker
This was good too! One of my favorite features of each book concerning the Circle is the Roush. I would love to meet one! This probably isn't my favorite, because it heavily featured Darsal and Billos, my two least favorite characters of the four featured. (Not including characters such as Thomas and Rachelle) However, by the end of the book, Billos and Darsal had redeemed some of their worse characteristics by heroics. And one part I did enjoy was the villain, Marsuvees Black...much more colorful in this book than in Showdown.

8. Faerie Gold edited by Lindskoog and Hunsicker
I received this as a Christmas present....shameful that it took me so long to get to it, I know...and there were some very good stories in it! Saying that most of them take after Tolkien and Lewis is a bit generous, I think, but the very best ones were the ones that took after traditional fairy tales. The others were a bit preachy. I'm very glad I read it though, for the few really good ones in it! I think one was by George Macdonald....and I don't remember the authors of the other ones, although one was about a boy that was turned into a fish for awhile. That one was fun!

9. Heavan by Randy Alcorn
This I read all month...or to be more specific, I read quite a bit at the beginning of the month and quite a bit at the end. I'm glad I read it. It had a few very good points in it, and I felt like the middle was the best part. The beginning was a bit boring, then it got interesting, and by the time the end floated around, it got boring again. Most of it was just speculation, but it was well worth the read.

10. I Am Spock by Leanard Nimoy
I've been looking for this book for awhile. I looked in biography sections at bookstores, and never found it, which was extremely annoying. I finally asked the library to see if they could order it from another libary in Lubbock for me, and they got it in! I also asked for his first biography, I Am Not Spock, but they never got it in, so I went ahead and read this one. It's full of conversations between Nimoy and Spock (very entertaining!) and Star Trek memories, which were the most fun to read about. Definitely worth reading if you're a Star Trek fan, and particularly if you're a Spock fan. I would like to read his other biography sometime, and also some William Shatner biographies. Shatner has quite a few more than Nimoy does....four or five, I think? Loads of fun for Trekkies.

August Reads:

1. Phantastes by George MacDonald
Honestly, it wasn't as good as I expected. It was one of C.S. Lewis's favorites...and I may enjoy it more when I get older, I dunno...but it really didn't have an interesting plot. It had lots of good passages in it, and it was poetic. I'm still really glad that I read it. I would like to read more of MacDonald's stuff sometime. Maybe Lilith. The main character takes a trip through Faerie Land...which, in the time of his own world, lasted about a month. He's twenty-one, and encounters various friends, beauties and enemies. Some of these encounters were quite interesting, fascinating to read about.

2. The Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein (a.k.a. Space Family Stone)
I had fun reading this! (Quite a lot of fun, this post, I know!) The Stone twins remind me of the Weasley Twins (perhaps not quite as fun-loving as money-loving) right down to the red hair.
The flat cats featured in the book are incredibly similar to Star Trek's Tribbles...and this book came out about fifteen years before Star Trek ever aired. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? David Gerrold, the write of that particular episode, may have read this book. What science fiction write wouldn't have read Heinlein? There are a few differences, but the similiarities are almost identical. Fluffy, cooing, purring things, that reproduce INCREDIBLY fast if fed a lot...difference wise, the flat cats are flat, not round, like tribbles, and they have three visible eyes, unlike Tribbles, who have no visible eyes. Flatcats also have one color, while Tribbles have lots. Hazel, or Grandma Stone, was an excellent character, my favorite, as good as the twins (Castor and Pollux). I like Heinlein for a relaxing, but interesting sci-fi read. I'm sure I'll read more of him!

4 comments:

Mikaela said...

Finally a new post!! Took you long enough!!! An the Percy jackson books rock man!

Anna said...

sorry, I just can't get into them. The writing isn't that good. And yes I know! Finally a new post. I'll probably keep it up better this month.

Mythopoeia said...

I agree entirely with your 'Inkdeath' review. As I complained to my brother: "Here I spent all the first two books wishing that Dustfinger could be happy, poor chap, and now he is, and I don't /like/ it!" I thought Mo's transformation due to the words was interesting, but Meggie was too sidelined, and her break-up with Farid just didn't seem to make sense based on how they had been written the past two books. Oh well.
You have me interested in 'I Am Spock', now, I should look that up.
I haven't been blogging in sooooo long because I've had such a full summer, but I plan to bring folks up to date soon. I've read a lot of great books this summer too, so I should actually get around to sharing them :)

Anna said...

I know what you mean about Dustfinger! If I had written the book ;) I think I would have had to make him happy...but not that way. And I've been missing your blog!