Sunday, April 15, 2012

March Reads

An Experiment in Criticism by C.S. Lewis 3/5/2012 
 Excellent - Non-fiction
A short but meaningful and deep book on literary criticism.
Wow, this book was deep. I started out disagreeing with him quite a bit, thinking he was a snob. But by the end, I was nodding my head furiously and making plans to purchase this book. It was out of print, but is going to be published again shortly, if not already.

El Dorado by Baroness Orczy 3/6/2012 
Excellent - Classic
The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues the Dauphin from the Temple Prison but is captured.
This is the second book that my favorite Scarlet Pimpernel movie is based on. Surprised me how much of the movie is straight from the book. Did you know there are about a dozen Scarlet Pimpernel books?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 3/12/2012 
Excellent - Young Adult
Re-read
Wow, great book! I read it before a couple years ago and wanted to re-read for the movie, as well as for book club. Powerful and well-written!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 3/21/2012 
Excellent - Young Adult
re-read
Liked this one much better the second time; maybe I understood it better. This is the sequel to The Hunger Games

God's Story, Your Story by Max Lucado 3/23/2012 
Excellent - Inspirational
See how your day-to-day story intersects with God's grand epic of everlasting redemption.
Fit very well with the themes of the prayer book I read twice recently (A Praying Life by Paul Miller). Hadn't read this one by Lucado before but I read many of his about ten years ago or so. 

Ghosty Men by Franz Lidz 3/25/2012 
Fair - Non-fiction
Story of the Collyer brothers of NYC interspersed with stories of the author's hoarder uncles.
The Collyer brothers were interesting but I didn't care for the stories of the author's uncles. It felt like he was trying too hard to draw the connections. Plus I picked up the book to learn about the Collyers.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova 3/25/2012 
Excellent - Historical Fiction
Historians track down the real Dracula.
Wow, this was an interesting read! The story was told from several characters' perspectives. It was one of my first Kindle library loans and I didn't finish it in time, but I borrowed it again. Long book, but really really interesting!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 3/27/2012 
Excellent - Young Adult
re-read
The first time I read this I was not happy at all. But this time (second time's a charm?!), I understood better what the author was trying to do - again, very powerful!

What are YOU reading?

February Reads

The Count of Monte Cristo (abridged) by Alexandre Dumas 2/2/2012 
Good - Classic
In the abridged version, one loses a lot of detail!
I want to read the long version again now! If you've never read Monte Cristo, I recommend it! But give yourself a lot of time and be patient!

North by Northanger (or, The Shades of Pemberley) by Carrie Bebris 2/5/2012 
Good - Historical Fiction
This is my favorite one yet in this series - not surprising since it features Mr. Henry Tilney. Darcy, a pregnant Lizzy, Lady Catherine, and a whole slew of others are all on the trail of an item lost by Darcy's mother just before her death. The story takes them to Northanger Abbey and to Pemberley.
I'm really enjoying this series. Bebris seems to have hit her stride. 

Tag Man (A Joe Gunther novel) by Archer Mayor 2/9/2012 
Good - Suspense
Rich Vermonters are waking up to find post-it notes next to their beds. "You're it!" But the Tag Man, as the perp is soon known, is in over his head due to dark secrets he uncovers.
Interesting suspense novel

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James 2/10/2012 
Good - Classic
A governess is sent to a country estate in England to care for two young siblings, but apparitions appear to her.
Read this for book club and ALL of us without exception got to the end and said, "WHAT?!?!" Glad I read it, but it wasn't a favorite of any sort.

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson 2/13/2012
Good - Young Adult
Eleven year old Jack wakes up at his Maine campground to discover his mom has vanished. Has something bad happened to her or has she just left him (again)? He decides to look for her on his own.
Interesting young adult novel. I loved it!

A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 2/14/2012 
Excellent - Mystery
The first Sherlock Holmes mystery brings Watson and Holmes together for the first time to solve a case involving Mormons and 2 dead men.
Read this before for book club; read it again for Brit Lit. Liked it lots better the second time. 

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy 2/24/2012 
Excellent - Classic
The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues French aristos from the guillotine but his secret identity is endangered.
Read this before for book club too and read it again for Brit Lit. Liked it lots better the second time. I am finding that to be a theme. Books are better on re-reading!

The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair) by Carrie Bebris 2/26/2012 
Good - Suspense
Anne de Bourgh is about to be married off to a scoundrel, but elopes to Scotland with another man. Darcy and Elizabeth need to solve a series of murders related to the elopement.
Another good one in the Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery series. 

Spin by Catherine McKenzie 2/26/2012 
Good Chick Lit
Kate shows up still drunk for an interview at a magazine and they offer her a chance to go into rehab and write an expose about a celebrity who is drying out.
Chick lit - predictable but entertaining. 

What are YOU reading?