Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Books I've Read in 2009 - November

64.Night of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy.

This is the third of hers I’ve read and this didn’t annoy me nearly as much as the first. Just going on what I’ve read and the movie I’ve seen (Circle of Friends), she has a formula and sticks to it – basically, there are is group of people or girls, fleeing something. Bad stuff happens to A. show them it’s really not that bad at home or B. they need to move on, perhaps with one of the new characters they’ve met). As with the first book I read there was the VERY annoying girl who couldn’t see that the man she had chosen was a complete prat – either because in true family saga style, they are already married, thus cheating, have done something to hurt those they love, they like to beat their wife/girlfriend. Although it sounds like I don’t enjoy Binchy, I actually think her books are well written, it’s just her characters and the plot lines that tend to make me cranky.

65. Persuasion by Jane Austen

I’ve seen the mini series, I’ve watched the movie and now...drum roll please… I’ve read the book! This is my second favorite Austen book, I love Anne and Frederick together, all the angsty stolen glances, and it’s fully of Austen’s wit.

66. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

This was quite good, another teen verse novel, I’m about to read the follow up to this title. This is all about first love, second love and the sometimes rocky relationship that you have with your parents. I found it insightful, funny, it was easy and fun to read.

67. Free Fall by Robert Crais

This is 8th? in the Elvis Cole series, I’m really enjoying Crais’ books, I find them hilarious, the writing is strong and I’m liking the character development of EC and JP (although I’m not sure if we’ll every learn too much from JP, he keeps it all hidden with those glasses). This adventure sees the boys getting themselves in trouble with the LAPD and the 8 deuces gang.

68. Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka

I actually started listening to this on a Playaway, but it stuffed up so I hade to read the end. This was a little weird, I didn’t mind it, pretty much the same I felt when I read the Tractor book for BC, the dog section on the Playaway was weird also, as his POV is all loudly whispered and very fast, in the book it’s written in capitals. However, it is effective in getting across the excitement a dog feels going about its doggy bid’ness.

69. Emma by Jane Austen

This could possibly be one of my least favorite of the Austen novels. I don’t particularly like Emma, which makes it hard I guess to fully appreciate or like the character.

70. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

If you haven’t guessed I’m on an Austen kick, I’ve never read any of the other books, apart from Pride and Prejudice, so I though I’d give them a go. It’s also part of my plan to read the 1001 books to read before you die. I’ll have to get reading if I’m ever going to finish – I’ve only read about 10 on the list so far.

71. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

This was a follow up to What my mother doesn't know, it's a verse novel as well and told from Robin's POV, the male character from the first book. Great writing, captures being a teen well.

72. Betrayed by P.C. + Kristen Cast

This is the 2nd in the House of Night series. This is part of the explosion of teenage vampire novels that have cropped up since Twilight. While I have enjoyed the first two books and the writing is improved from the first one (Marked), it’s still no masterpiece. I’ve not read any of P.C Cast’ other books, but I think her daughter is putting her stamp on the series and that’s where the annoying part comes in. I quite like the main character of Zoey Redbird, she’s now become the head of the Dark Daughters after her showdown with Aphrodite. She’s learning about her new powers and trying to accept all the changes. From my distant memories, the interaction between different groups at the school is pretty spot on, but really, that stuff doesn’t change too much, it doesn’t matter what school you go to There are six books in the series so far and while they do annoy on occasion, they also make me giggle and I like the general storyline, characters, so I’m going to finish the series.

73. Undine by Penni Russon

I enjoyed this beautiful tale and have always been fascinated by magic and the pull of the ocean, which is what Undine feels. I remember wishing I was a mermaid when I was little and on occasion I still think it would be awesome to be able to swim for as long as I wanted underwater. Russon weaves a delightful tale of first love, magic, family and coming of age. Her writing is almost lyrical in places and I’m looking forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy.

74. That Was Then, This Is Now by S. E. Hinton

I was putting books away last week and saw this. I’ve not read it for ages, so decided to take it home on the weekend. I still love Hinton’s writing, I remember reading her books a number of times growing up and I was so glad that they still read the same for me. I know that isn’t always the case with childhood memories, (I remember when they released Kimba the White Lion on DVD – such a disappointment!) I love the way she really seems to capture the feeling of the small town where it’s set, the discontent that the characters feel. The ending between Bryon and Mark is so sad. I’ll now have to hunt down her other books, I read The Outsiders for Uni last year, but haven’t read her others since school.

No doubt I’ll be reading a few of my old favorites, we’ve just had a huge withdrawing bee at work and a whole heap of books I read eons ago were taken off, so I grabbed them all in the near future.

75. Shadows in the Twilight by Henning Mankell

This is the sequel to A Bridge to the Stars, Joel will soon be twelve. After he is struck by a bus, but is unharmed he believes that a miracle has happened. He now has to find a way to repay the miracle. Again, Mankell has written a brilliant story. I love Joel’s view of the world, how his imagination works.


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