Wednesday, July 02, 2008

June Reads

Wow, can you believe it's July already?

Strapless by Leigh Riker - 06/01/08
Fair - Chick Lit
Darcie travels to Australia for work and meets Dylan, a handsome sexy sheep rancher. Explicit sex.
I read this because it was here and I was bored and needed a light read. I don't recommend it.

Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick - 06/18/08
Good - Fiction
Anna Maria is a 14-year-old student of Antonio Vivaldi at the Pieta' music school & foundling home in 18th century Venice amid intrigue, lies, and amazing music.
We have listened over and over to the Classical Kids audio cassette Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery which takes place at this school. Quick's book is probably a lot more realistic; it certainly is a lot more earthy. Vivaldi is a real man. The orphans sneak out, but for more risque purposes than Katarina in Ring of Mystery. But, the music! Oh, the music. Did you know Vivaldi's music was largely unknown until the 20th century? Anyway, this was a satisfying read.

Emma by Jane Austen - 06/18/08
Fair - Classic
Emma, a rich 21 yo with tendencies toward meddling and matchmaking, finds herself humbled and on the brink of love.
Ok, I'll admit it. Emma bored me. I had the MOST difficult time reading it. Note the dates here? The first book of the month was completed June 1. This one was completed June 18. Vivaldi's Virgins was started only AFTER the Austen Book Club on June 14. No, I didn't finish Emma in time for Book Club. Although it's a classic, I think it's beyond the ken of the average modern reader. Don't bother with it. However, if you want to know the story, watch the BBC film instead of the Gwyneth Paltrow version. It's much closer to the book.

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich - 06/19/08
Good - Fiction
Stephanie's ex-husband is missing and she is suspected in his disappearance, so she and Ranger must track him down. (listened to the audiobook)
Listened to the audiobook to refresh my memory of the plot before reading Fearless Fourteen. (see below). I hadn't listened to any Evanovich books on audio before and I REALLY enjoyed it!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - 06/20/08
Good - Fiction
A classic tale of love and high adventure. (audiobook)
The kids and I listened to this on audio in the car. It was exciting and romantic, but had a different 'feel' than the movie. It was read by Rob Reiner, who is evidently a better director than a reader. If you want to listen to it, I'd suggest a different version (although I don't think one exists). I also didn't realize it was abridged, so at some point, I'll probably read the original.

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer - 06/21/08
Excellent - Non-fiction
Chris McCandless was a young college graduate with everything going for him, but he gave it all up to walk into the wild of Alaska.
I watched this movie a few weeks ago and thought I had read the book. Eventually I realized I had just read what I think was a Reader's Digest condensation of a longer article. So, I picked up the book. It was FASCINATING.

Back for Seconds by Peter Bowerman - 06/22/08
Excellent Non-fiction
A second helping of “how-to” for any writer dreaming of great bucks and exceptional quality of life (a companion volume to The Well-fed Writer)
I read The Well-fed Writer a few weeks ago and ordered this volume from the author. In case you've been wondering, this is the business I am going to start - commercial freelance writing. This is an excellent book - while I am reading it, I feel completely confident that I can succeed at this business. Hopefully I can take the principles and apply them effectively.

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: PARENTING by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, Sarah Jordan - 06/22/08
Fair - Non-fiction
Illustrated step-by-step instructions to tell you what to REALLY expect when your worst-case scenario is all in the family.
This was stupid. Half of the instructions were serious and the other half I THINK were supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but it was hard to tell. Don't bother with this. Luckily it was short.

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich - 06/28/08
Good - Fiction
Stephanie finds herself taking care of a teenager whose mom has been kidnapped and she needs to find the location of 9 million dollars.
The latest eagerly-awaited installment in the Stephanie Plum series. I read it in a day. I plan to re-read it before returning it to the library. Exciting!


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