Easily my favorite book of the year. Author Kate Atkinson applies her masterful command of the written word to a twisting and turning narrative that’s...moreEasily my favorite book of the year. Author Kate Atkinson applies her masterful command of the written word to a twisting and turning narrative that’s riveting right from the start, captivating in concept, devastating at points, and thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. The setting, the period, the memorable characters, the humor, the anguish, and the complex, intertwining stories of the lives of Ursula–I loved it all and couldn’t put the book down until the end. Or, should I say, another beginning. Thought provoking and demanding of a good discussion. (Excerpt from my blog post.)
Well, this book killed my love affair with "The Game of Thrones" series--the books, not the TV show. Ponderously long, repetitious, and at times downr...moreWell, this book killed my love affair with "The Game of Thrones" series--the books, not the TV show. Ponderously long, repetitious, and at times downright dull, I kept slogging on with the faith in others who told me the book would pick up in the second half. I made it through (skimming my way to the end) and gratefully shut the book, thinking, “that’s it for me.”
From here on out, I’ll wait for the HBO series to reveal further chapters in the Thrones saga. Filmmakers will entertain me without wasting my time, cutting down on the minutia of R.R. Martin’s fantasy world and surely avoiding the tediousness that made me wonder if the author was paid by the page. (less)
It’s been years since I last curled up with a good Stephen King tale and reading this was like catching up with an old friend. I’d forgotten how much...moreIt’s been years since I last curled up with a good Stephen King tale and reading this was like catching up with an old friend. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy King’s storytelling and unique style. I’d say reading a King novel is a guilty pleasure, if he wasn’t such a fine writer.
When King’s protagonist Jake Epping is clued in to a portal back in time, to say his life is never the same is an understatement. Stepping into the year 1958, Jake has the opportunity to alter one of the most infamous moments in recent history--the assassination of JFK. With that responsibility comes all the attendant moral and psychological quandaries that ripple out from a change in history. How Jake goes about planning and executing his mission to intercept Lee Harvey Oswald, all the while navigating the unfamiliar (yet strangely familiar) decades of the middle 19th-century, makes for a very entertaining bit of escapism. King displays his trademark ability to create vivid, believable characters while spinning a wicked time travel tale in which time itself is a force to be reckoned with.(less)
I would never have chosen to read this book--despite the raving popularity of the HBO mini-series adaptation--had it not been recommended to me by som...moreI would never have chosen to read this book--despite the raving popularity of the HBO mini-series adaptation--had it not been recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust, and boy, am I glad I did. This first installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series was the big surprise of my reading year and easily one of my favorite books of 2011.
That this series is classified as fantasy fiction was a huge red flag; scifi and adult fantasy novels hold no appeal for me. (Young adult fantasy is another story.) However, on the strength of solid writing and fantasy elements that are suppressed for much of the story, I was able to enjoy the book as a work of period fiction, completely immersing myself in the details of the medieval setting, the complex characters, and an exciting, tangled drama of warring kingdoms.
This tome is a breathless, whirlwind of a read. By the end, when a fantastical storyline reared its head, I was so invested in the characters, I hardly minded and couldn’t wait to start the next book in the saga.(less)