Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November Reads

At the beginning of November I set a goal to not read or listen to anything for the entire month. I didn't exactly survive the experiment. Over the course of the month I listened to 6 books. But In October I listened to 18 books, plus I read 6 others. So while my fictional fast may have been a bust, I at least got a fictional diet. The six books I listened to this month weren't bad, so even though this will be a shorter post, I figured I'd still give you an end of month book review.

These are the six books I listened to in November in the order I listened to them.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer - Science Fiction - This was also the last book I listened to in October, and it is a really great book. Out of the 100+ books I've read so far this year, this book was my favorite. It is the first book in Meyer's new series, which means the ending leaves the door wide open for future adventures. It isn't quite Snape killed Dumbledore now wait two years to find out why, but I still recomend waiting until after the entire series is published before diving in if you suffer from impaciants like I do.

When I first started not reading, the only characters I could think about were the ones in "The Host". I spent about a week thinking about all the things that could happen in book two of the series and cursing the fact that I had started a series before book two came out. Then I just broke down and desided to relisten to book one again, a week after I had listened to the first time. I think I sort of have it out of my system by now, I haven't listened to it a third time or anything. But I will likely be in line at a bookstore at midnight on the day "The Sole" (book 2 in this series) comes out.

Jinx by Meg Cabot - Young Adult - I keep trying to be a Meg Cabot fan, but it really isn't working out that well for me. I did like Avalon High, but The Queen of Babble was only okay and How to Be Popular was sadly predicable. I would probably give Jinx about 3.5 stars out of five. It isn't a horrable book, it's just kind of cute. The teenage witch who doesn't want to be a witch has too normal of a life - for a witch that is. That's the main problem I have with all of Meg Cabot's books, her characters are all nice - sort of like vanilla ice cream. Sure nice is a great characteristic among actual people, but normal life is boring which is why we read books. And when I pick up a YA novel about a cursed teenager who is a witch but doesn't know it and causes all sorts of havic on her friends and family, I want Harry Potter and not the Princess Diaries. And lets face it, Meg Cabot's most famous novel is the Princess Diaries, and everything else she writes is just as nice.

The Shack by William P. Young - Spiritual - I read this book more out of curiosity than anything else. It is the latest thing to rock the christain world since the NIV bible, and I wanted to know what all the hype was about. I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected to, and I felt oddly pleased that so many christians are getting excited about it. Because it presents a version of god very close to what I've always believed in, and I rarely think of my religious views as main stream. A longer review of this book is available here.

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld - Young Adult - This book stressed me out. Maybe it is overstating things to blame all my stress on this book, because I was under a huge deadline at work at the same time as I was listening to it. But my anxiety was high the entire time I listened to this book and for several days after I finished it. The narator of this book is a total doormat who has a lousy life and it is entirely her fault because she never does anything about it, and I do think her high anxiety level helped to boost my own. I thought about this book a lot for about a week after I finished it, so I can't really say that it was bad. Causing an emotional response in the reader is normally very good. But I mainly just wanted to slap the MC upside the head and tell her to grow a backbone, so I guess I didn't really like it all that much either. Plus feeling super stressed out isn't exactly the emosional response I hope for when picking up a YA novel.

The Imimitable Jeeves by P.G. Woodhouse - Classic/Comedy - I listened to this book to help cheer myself up after my "Prep" induced panic attack. There really isn't anything stressful about Barty Wooster, so I think Jeeves was a good listening choose until things calmed down for me at work. I've read several of P.G. Woodhouses books, and they are all basically exactly the same. The situations are slightly different, but not very, so everytime I pick up another of his books I spend the first three chapters asking myself, "did I read this two years ago?" Still frivalis comidy can be great for ones mental health when facing a major deadline.

You Suck by Christopher Moore - Comedy - Once I finished the project that was driving me bonkers at work, I sort of lost the desire to listen for a while. I spent almost two weeks just day dreaming about the characters in my old novel and listening to music and generally embracing reality before I got around to listening to any books again. When I did, the first book I picked up was You Suck, which I blogged about on Monday. I don't feel the need to rehash it again, except to say that it is really funny and holds true to the classic vampire lore while being absolutely nothing like any of the other vampire books currently topping the best seller lists. It is actually a sequil to Blood Sucking Fiends but I didn't realize that until I was half way through the book, and it works perfectly well as a stand alone. But if you do want to read it, starting with the first book might not be a horrible idea. It at least makes more sence then reading the books in reverse order, which is what I'll likely do.

Joke of the Day
Why does the elephant use his trunk as a bookmark?
So he always nose where he left off.

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