Cover to Cover Challenge discussion

2015 100s Reading Club > mehitabels neglects family for books_2015

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message 1: by Valissa (last edited Jan 10, 2016 12:30PM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) trying again for 120, sooo close last year

WOOT - not to brag or anything, but beat my goal. and neglected family.

message 2: by Valissa (last edited Mar 30, 2015 11:35AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) January - 7 books

1. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner ★★★★
2. Horrorstör ★★★★
3. Back Channel ★★★★
4. Superman: Red Son ★★★★
5. Through the Woods ★★★★★
6. The Falcon Throne ★★★☆
7. Broken Monsters ★★★

dishonorable mention: I Hunt Killers, Dorothy Must Die

honorable mention: Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy

message 3: by Valissa (last edited Mar 30, 2015 11:37AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) February - 9 books

8. The Girl on the Train ★★★
9. Saga, Volume 4 ★★★★
10. Ruby Red ★★★
11. The Entity
12. Explorer: The Hidden Doors ★★★★
13. Karen Memory ★★★
14. Wither
15. The Little Friend ★★★
16. Irène ★★☆

Worth mentioning if not reading:
The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel
The Bone Clocks

message 4: by Valissa (last edited Apr 06, 2015 10:20AM) (new)

message 5: by Valissa (last edited May 26, 2015 05:24AM) (new)

message 7: by Valissa (last edited Jul 09, 2015 06:42AM) (new)

message 8: by Valissa (last edited Sep 04, 2015 06:06AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) July - 24 books

73. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ★★★★★
74. Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery ★★★★
75. Uprooted ★★★★★
76. Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice ★★★
77. The Lunch Witch ★★★
78. Prince of Fools ★★★★★
79. Wonderstruck ★★★★★
80. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 ★★★★
81. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls ★★★
82. Legends of Zita the Spacegirl ★★★
83. Re-Gifters ★★★★
84. William and the Lost Spirit ★★
85. The Knife of Never Letting Go ★★★★
86. My Faith in Frankie ★★★
87. Confessions of a Blabbermouth ★★★
88. The Plain Janes ★★★★
89. Dark Triumph ★★★★
90. Clubbing ★★
91. Nimona ★★★★
92. Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! ★★★
93. The Adventures of Superhero Girl ★★★★
94. Suicide Squad, Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth ★★★
95. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ★★★★
96. Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising ★★★

message 9: by Valissa (last edited Nov 11, 2015 12:40PM) (new)

message 10: by Valissa (last edited Nov 11, 2015 11:10AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) September - 12 books

110. The Dinosaur Lords ★★
111. You're Never Weird on the Internet ★★★★★
112. Dragons Beware! ★★★
113. Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories ★★★★★
114. Poppet ★★★
115. Bee and Puppycat, Vol. 1 ★★
116. Fort Freak ★★★★
117. The Never List ★★
118. The Potty Mouth at the Table ★★★
119. Where They Found Her ★★★
120. The Eternal Smile: Three Stories ★★
121. Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal ★★★★

Vanishing Games

message 11: by Valissa (last edited Nov 11, 2015 11:11AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) October - 8 books

122. Dope ★★★★
123. The Winter People ★★.5
124. Hack/Slash Omnibus Volume 1 ★★★★
125. Chew, Vol. 8: Family Recipes and Chew, Vol. 9: Chicken Tenders ★★★★
126. MIND MGMT, Vol. 2: The Futurist ★★★
127. MIND MGMT, Vol. 3: The Home Maker ★★★
128. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (audio) ★★★★
129. The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories ★★★★★

message 13: by Valissa (last edited Jan 10, 2016 12:28PM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) December

137. The Silkworm ★★★★★
138. A Head Full of Ghosts ★★★
139. Less Than Hero ★★★
140. The Final Silence ★★★
141. Outlander ★★★

message 14: by Valissa (last edited Jan 01, 2015 06:01PM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Working Stiff Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek ★★★★

1. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek

This was incredibly enjoyable, I actually read over the course of the first day of a new year. At times gorily frank, sometimes heartbreaking, but endlessly fascinating. I have definitely learned a number of interesting party facts (sure to end conversations at least), and my respect for those who deal with the human body, inside and out, alive and dead, only grows.

The good doctor gets it right, facing death in its myriad forms is more uplifting than morbid, and my gratitude for this new year seems appropriately molded.

message 15: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix ★★★★

2. Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

I really enjoyed this. It held up in so many ways. I can pretty much guarantee that I will NEVER be shopping in an IKEA (mail works fine). A lot of genius artistry went into this book. It was creepy as hell. I am pretty sure my dreams will be infected.

I think my only complaint is that it was short. I wanted more. I can't imagine the time it took to put together, but it was worth it.

message 16: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter ★★★★

3. Back Channel by Stephen L. Carter

You know those books that invigorate you? That lead you to read other books, especially nonfiction and everything else the author has written? That leave you aching to talk to someone about the book?

This was my first of 2015, and a wonderful one. Any aspect that seemed historically unlikely was worked in such a fashion as to be believable, nay, desirable. Suspenseful despite knowing the general outcome, spies, Russians, nuclear weapons, academia, and patriotism. Fantastic.

Now I must go to the library to further my knowledge. The time period involved must be one of the most thrilling in American history, if it comes even close to this fictionalized account.

message 17: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Superman Red Son by Mark Millar ★★★★

4. Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar

Fantastic. I am a sucker for Russian/Commie stories (see Back Channel), but this had such great twists to it. Plus, my favorite Batman evah!! If all the Superman stories were set in this world I would like him a lot more.

message 18: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Through the Woods by Emily Carroll ★★★★★

5. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Sooo creepy. I loved it. I definitely recommend reading these comic-style scares late at night, alone, just for the supremely satisfying feeling of being scared shitless by simple stories.

message 19: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Falcon Throne (The Tarnished Crown, #1) by Karen Miller ★★★☆

6. The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller

It is so hard to rate a book so big in scope, character, and tree pulp. I found myself looking forward to returning to the book, thinking about the places, people, and conflicts when away from it, and I really enjoyed pondering the way things could turn out. So an easy four stars, yeah?

Unfortunately, I have to retract at least half a star, which I can't really do on Goodreads. I imagine there is at least one more book to come to finish off the story. Because if not, a lot of readers will be disappointed. Too much is left unfinished at the end. And to be honest, that is probably why I won't pick up the next book. My favorite characters were slighted, promises were left unkept, and to imagine involving myself (and my bookish heart) in another go-round, well, I shudder. Perhaps if my "to-read" shelf were not so overburdened . . . then again, if Patrick Rothfuss hasn't published anything by the time Ms. Miller gets out her next, well, I have made no pledges.

message 20: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes ★★★

7. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

All Detroit/Michigan lovers - this is an exciting thriller for you. Taking place in the artistic wastelands of Detroit, among the cops, students, and wannabes who washed out of NYC, mixed with the reality of homelessness and those who need help but are abandoned by so much of the public. It is a book on the edge of nearly every genre, and definitely solidifies Beukes literary voice.

I enjoyed it while reading it, but the quick jump (view spoiler) left me a little chilled. Mostly I was reading it so to throw out references to my Michigan-born husband, who kept trying to wrest the book away from me. Since he read it in three days, I guess he enjoyed it more than I.

I can't keep away from Beukes. I know I am going to keep reading her books, no matter how little I take away. Her voice and style gives me hope for those innovators and individuals that are writing now and in the future.

message 21: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) January Mentions:

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Could not finish. I got about halfway, with a fair amount of eye-rolling. The extraneous gore, the misunderstood teenage protagonist, the perfect girlfriend, and the flawed best friend were all too much, and after nearly puking at a particular description (stuck in a car, listening on audio), I ejected the book with great fervor.

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

The attempt to build off the success of other revisionist Oz books (cough cough Gregory Maguire), it steals too much, cliches too much, and lacks charm.

My recommendation? Go pick up some Terry Pratchett.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
One of the worst things about working in a bookstore is how quickly I am distracted by new books. Or reprinted books. Or collected books. Or shiny things.

Anyway, started this but ran out of time to finish it (vacation, packing, moving, unpacking). I will be picking it back up, although I may look for other editions, something about the print of this one (soooo tiny) made it hard to snuggle up and read. Still, totally fascinated by the premise and looking forward to returning to it.

message 22: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ★★★

8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

What can be said? I read it in a day. I stressed and chewed my nails and felt feverish and embarrassed and empathetic and creeped out. People compare it to Gone Girl, of course, but it is not the same, not really. Don't be fooled.

The worst part? I can't even say (view spoiler) without spoiling it.

I liked it, I really did. It did not make me want to throw the fucking book across the room like Gone Girl. I will proudly keep it on my shelf, and loan it out sluttishly. For all that, . . . meh.

message 23: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Saga, Volume 4 (Saga #19-24) by Brian K. Vaughan ★★★★

9. Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan

Love it. makes me want to go back to reading single issues, just so I get more immediate satisfaction (like I had to do with Chew, Vol. 1: Taster's Choice.

I don't have a clue what the storyboard looks like, but I can't wait to see the next one.

message 24: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1) by Kerstin Gier ★★★

10. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

It's totally fine if you mock me for my YA tastes. I know that I gravitate towards modern (or historical) fairy tales. I am not ashamed. Much.

Despite being teased for the obvious teen audience I am not a part of, I really enjoyed this book. I could tell it wasn't going to be a stand-alone, there just wasn't enough book left and so many questions. Which makes me glad to have picked it up late, because I am going to have to get the next one. Today. Right now. When the library opens . . . daggit.

message 25: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) 11. The Entity

Just revisiting a mistake I made in junior high, but couldn't remember what it was . . . now I regret remembering.

message 26: by Valissa (last edited Feb 23, 2015 11:09AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Explorer The Hidden Doors by Kazu Kibuishi

12. Explorer: The Hidden Doors by Kazu Kibuishi

I am really impressed by these. When I read the first one I thought it was too mature for my 7-year old, but actually it was perfect to capture her attention and open up some really interesting conversations about stories, culture, and history.

I highly recommend. Waiting for the third book to show up!

message 27: by Valissa (last edited Feb 23, 2015 11:17AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear ★★★

13. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

1st - an aggravation: the character is Karen MemEry . . . and if there is a reason for changing the title then I completely missed it.

2nd - the cover and minor parts of the story claim steam-punk, but it is really more of a low-key whorehouse western. not complaining, per se, but I could have done with more technological. It fits for the narrator, but I always want more.

Still, enjoyable read. I would have liked to see this as a series, either following Karen or the Marshall.

message 28: by Valissa (last edited Feb 23, 2015 11:30AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1) by Lauren DeStefano

14. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

I am not sure why I bothered to finish reading this one, perhaps in the vain hope that it wouldn't be a complete rip off of The Handmaid's Tale. Which it wasn't, in DeStefano's defense. It just wasn't nearly as good. It made me want to scream at all the teens that were missing out on Atwood, but I did manage to check myself. The world is very different, I am now old, and I have to let other generations have their say. I think the secular life most people live now made this such a miss for me, not that I am overly religious, just that I grew up completely differently, and therefore this little copycat didn't hold the same power of Atwood.

Still, if I catch anyone reading it, I will be unable to push them towards a better book. All fairy godmother and no blood makes for a poor story.

message 29: by Valissa (last edited Feb 23, 2015 11:02AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Worth mentioning if not reading:

The Hawley Book of the Dead A Novel by Chrysler Szarlan
The Hawley Book of the Dead: A Novel by Chrysler Szarlan
I didn't finish this one, it started of in one direction, then lost the thread in another. And by the middle I felt like it was going on another tangent. Perhaps just the wrong time and wrong place in my life, perhaps too influenced by the scope of The Goldfinch. I don't feel bad walking away from this one.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Sigh. Much like Cloud Atlas I am really really interested in the story . . . but keep zoning out when I am away from it. There is depth, and interest, characters that loop and circle, a fascinating premise, and then . . . it is similar to the aftermath of a good party. Loads of early memories, fuzzy visions of toasts, and then an embarrassment of no memory but the fear of having done things regrettable.
Except in book form.

message 30: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Little Friend by Donna Tartt ★★★

15. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

This is another tough one to rate. Gripped me immediately, but then I spent the rest of the book wondering what the story was about. It is a beautifully written, emotional, realistic drawing of a time and place and culture, and for that I could not stop reading. But I also had to dedicate serious attention. Not a book for casually reading. Once inside the covers, it was definitely engrossing, demanding, heart-breaking, and so real that I forgot several times that I wasn't part of the family, just an observer.

And while it was lovingly and descriptively written, I feel let down. Perhaps because I was looking for something different, a ghost story, a murder mystery, a romance, revenge, or just a happy ending. It provided all and nothing, slipping through the gaps of genres, and leaving me in desperate need for a laugh.

This seems to be the way that Tartt puts her books together, and they are great for enveloping the reader in another world, another life, but I will always crave a different ending . . .

message 31: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Irène (Verhœven, #1) by Pierre Lemaitre ★★☆

16. Irène by Pierre Lemaitre

Here is another tough one to review. I liked it, it was a good read. It was really gory though. It ended . . . awkwardly. If it were a tv series I would immediately stop watching it. Now I have to decide if I will look for another one by this author. The writing was good. The pacing was good. The characters were good. The twists were good. It was . . . good.

But not great. Which makes it . . . a bit of a letdown. I am soooo spoiled.

message 32: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1) by Rin Chupeco ★★★

17. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

I love my current job. Receptionist, with access to computer, and lots of freedom. I can do my job, filing, making copies, greeting clients, and have an e-book on the screen for when it's quiet. The curse of it all is that the job only lasts two months, then back to the grind of real work and its associated pain.

So this is the book I read. It was filed under mystery from the library, weirdly. I suppose because it was suspenseful, although I would have filed it under horror, and maybe even YA. I wouldn't recommend it to adolescent readers, but 15-and-up seems a likely age, for the subject matter and the creep factor. I was really very entertaining, which made up for the slips in editing, sometimes stilted dialogue, and generally gentle handling of the grotesque. Color me impressed.

Based on the Okiku story (or for most people, the Ring/Ringu movie), ghosts, possession, dolls, serial killers, Japan, and girls from wells. I really enjoyed it, a quick read, easy to disconnect from when needed, and easy to pick right back up.

message 33: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1) by Gail Carriger ★★★★★

18. Soulless by Gail Carriger

Good gods. Reading this in public didn't seem like such a bad idea until the steamy (if chaste) scenes started. And by then I couldn't STOP reading, so public titillation may have happened. A lot.

An excellent fun girly read. Steampunky, supernatural (werewolf/vampire) mystery/adventure/bluestocking novel. It hit all the right buttons! Victorian England, dirigibles, tea, Scottish lords with all the right muscles, undead politics - just fantastic.

Of course I am also a sucker for Victorian erotica, and this certainly held my attention.

message 34: by Valissa (last edited Mar 10, 2015 05:17AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Season of Blood A Rwandan Journey by Fergal Keane ★★★

19. Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey by Fergal Keane

Apparently I have reached the age when I can spend a Friday evening reading about genocide and call myself content. This is not a full history of the Rwandan genocide, but offers a brief explanation of how/what/why/when/where during a journalists trip through part of the country.

It is harrowing, horrible, affecting, confusing, depressing, amazing, and the courage of so many people is vastly contrasted against mob mentality, bigots, and extreme grudge holders. It is amazing that after, what, 6000 years of human civilization, this petty bullshit is still going on. I can only imagine the jerks fighting over something minor (an imaginary border or the last piece of fruit or an accidental bump) that led to this genocide eons later are really embarrassed. The jerks.

I am giving three stars not because it is not excellent, but because it is one man's brief visit to the area, and is not a full description of the horror. And because, who can give a book about genocide five stars?

message 35: by Valissa (last edited Mar 10, 2015 05:08AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Cardboard by Doug TenNapel ★★★★

20. Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

This was adorable and redeeming. Loved the art, story was well presented. Stole this one from the seven-year-old who read it first.

She was right, it was great!

message 36: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Princesses Behaving Badly Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie ★★

21. Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

Well, I am better read than I thought. Most of these historical women I knew about already. And sadly, much of the information had a wikipedia feel to it. I had hoped for something either more in depth or new information. Still, props must be given for at least pulling a wide range of historical princess information together.

As for behaving badly, well, that was disappointing too. I applaud the idea, but since I am either fighting a boy vs girl stereotype or pushing the more modern princess (Mulan, Tangled, etc), none of these stories were exactly inspiring for sharing with my 7 year old daughter. Perhaps when she is older, and mad that there is a dearth of strong women in written history. Except I think this is changing so rapidly . . . I guess it just feels like this book is for mums who are overly concerned about their daughter's penchant for pink dresses and horses. Meh.

The most intriguing "princess" was the last one mentioned, who has a couple books, and a BBC film, and probably a PBS special - so at least there is quality information to look up. And that rather redeems the whole book.

message 37: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, #1) by Jussi Adler-Olsen ★★★

22. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

It is an interesting phenomenon, this seemingly sudden rush of new authors from the coldest reaches of Europe. Surely they have been there all along, enjoyed by the scope and breadth of European readers. I will never find the time to read everything I want, but the addition of a slew of new authors is killing me.

This was quite enjoyable, a crusty injured detective and his potentially fascinating sidekick, banished to the basement to "solve" cold cases. This first one was a doozy!! The reveal was subtle enough that I thought it was all me, but in retrospect it was slippery and smart. I haven't fallen in love with the main character, but the sidekick is why I immediately going to pick up the next one.

message 38: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt ★★★★★

23. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Dammit. The dust in here.

This, this, is the best book I have read this year. It is so beautifully written, so brave, so true and heartbreaking and rapturously presented that I cannot even imagine ever reading another book again. And while I know that I will be reading something different shortly, I feel like I will never get over the feeling this book has created in me.

The tragedy, the anger, the angst, the love, the beauty, the simplicity, and the unbelievable stupidity of AIDS and the world and bigotry - these are all woven into sentences that are so achingly perfect I think I could die. This is a book that basically gets copied into my quote book as a whole, and the quotes resonate and echo in those misty, lonely moments when you feel like poetry is real life, or at least, should be.

I couldn't say enough in honor of this book. I am just glad to have met these people, to have felt the yearning and sadness that they brought. Teenagers, parents, lovers, accountants, taxi drivers, drama teachers, sisters, every one drawn in perfect artistry.

message 39: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Last Dead Girl (David Loogan, #3) by Harry Dolan ★★★

24. The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan

After all the excitement and twisty new books it was wonderful to slip into a familiar and normal mystery. This plays out very well, but lightly, gently following the tropes typically associated with mystery stories without being dull or predictable.
My favorite part was the main character, a side person instead of the dead, the murderer, or the police. It was excellent and unbelievable, and completely took me away from reality (which is exactly why I read so voraciously).

Fast, light, distracting, fun, and not taxing or emotionally fraught.

message 40: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Jellaby (Jellaby, #1) by Kean Soo ★★★★

25. Jellaby by Kean Soo

This is a tough one to rate. Too simplistic for adults, but too adult (subject) for kids? Perhaps I am nerfing the ability of my child to comprehend. Still . . .

A young girl, friendless and awkward, meets a strange creature, is caught up in an adventure and a classmate. But there is an underlying story about parents and truth and mystery that is spooky and potentially heartbreaking.

I bought this for my 7-year old, but I am really tempted to hold onto it until I read the second book, just to see if it is going to be emotionally scarring. I can't protect her forever, but I would like to give her one or two more years of innocence . . which just goes to show how much I know about 7-year olds. Le sigh.

Beautiful art, fantastic coloring, and I really really like it.

message 41: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) 6th Grade Supernatural Abigail's Curse (Book 1) by J. B. Cantwell ★★

26. 6th Grade Supernatural: Abigail's Curse by J. B. Cantwell

*Librarything Member Giveaway Book*

This book was received as a Member giveaway book in exchange for an honest review.

Sixth grade is hard enough without demons, new girls, and fall dances. But Zander Casey has to handle all of these in this book.

It is a cute book, but lacks scope and depth, I'm afraid. There is a lack of character fill-in, especially with the family (why does the mom put up with it? I just don't know). Additionally, the dad seems overwrought throughout, but the lack of explanation makes him seem rather stupid instead of just eccentric. The transitions between scenes are choppy.

The premise is good, the characters seem like they could be really great, and the story lends itself to more books. But the current iteration needs a few chapters more to give structure to the world and story. I hope it gets a chance for more edits and improvement. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

message 42: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Didn't finish, but still worth a gander:

Wicked Plants The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

my gods, I hope no one around me dies suspiciously in the next year or so. My browser history is full of poisonous plant pictures . . .

Interesting, if a little dry. I had hoped for more stories relating to the plants (you know, murders, idiot campers, historical assassinations), but it was pretty circumspect. Chock full of information and warnings, but not enough pictures (hence my browser history).

I got up to "p" before it was just too much. Not something I'd recommend for guest room reading, but definitely worth the browse.

message 43: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin ★★★★★

27. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

A reread (well, rerereread). I can't get over how much fun it is to read these, and now that I have been through the entire series (to date) I am making connections I did not catch before. Of course, the first (and second . . and maybe third) time I read the book I was gobbling, and this time I actually sat back and savored.

message 44: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ★★

28. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I . . . skimmed at least 500 of the 700 pages in this book. For every sentence that was well constructed, every image that was beautifully built, there were pages and pages of mopey, angst-filled man-child that I could not relate to.

Beautiful dead mother. Small, simple, yet powerful, painting. First love obsessiveness. And the easy hardship of drugs and lies and slippery identities. My favorite character was most likely my favorite because he spoke Russian and was violently sad and realistic.

Tartt definitely has talent, and her books are written with love and understanding of the flawed humans that are the center of the story, but I just can't relate.

message 45: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ★★★★★

29. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I realize that I am going nuts with five-stars this season, but it is so hard to resist. I loved this book, it was sweet, romantic (not in love but in atmosphere), horrible, enlightening, and surprising in the end.

Reading it really brought home how much I love my sight. If I could not read with the speed and elan that I do now I would die. I need that freedom from my own mind and the world around me. That being said, sometimes I read about horrible things, like WWII, and learn something new, something terrible, and something heart-breakingly human. This book offers a new side to the Nazi (much like the excellent book The Good German), while now shirking away from the horrors committed.

Historically, a fascinating read, and well researched.
Personally, lovely and evocative of a time and place that I both esteem and fear.
Literately, excellent. Not a speed read, but like a long gentle ride in a canoe down a shady river in late spring. Without bugs. And maybe a handsome but silent rower.

I kinda hate when the hoopla is right, but this really was an excellent book, and deservedly on the bestsellers list.

message 46: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) How to Be a Heroine Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis ★★★★

30. How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis

Loved this book! Wish I could do the same, go back, remember what my initial reactions and loves of books read as a child and on were, and then reread and compare. There is simply no way I could find the time or energy to do so (I have read so many mediocre books), and besides, it would seriously interrupt my ability to read NEW books.

But I loved her connection to the heroines and her willingness to step back and reevaluate what they meant, what they promised, how they achieved their status, and how it fit into her life, originally and currently.

It was also a great way to be introduced and led through some of those classics (Wuthering Heights) and those unknown stories (Lolly Willowes?) that every girl seems to know or need to. I was inspired and uplifted, and I laughed, and I teared up a little. Most excellent.

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Valissa (mehitabels) Didn't finish, overwrought:
Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister

Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister

I think if I were in a more frivolous mood, or perhaps still single and searching, I would enjoy this book more. As it is, meh. Love the idea, interesting premise, and Dorothy would probably love to haunt this way (at least for the half that I read).
And, certainly, it made me crave a cold gin & tonic.

message 48: by Valissa (last edited Apr 06, 2015 10:11AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) The Voices by F.R. Tallis

31. The Voices by F.R. Tallis

A little disappointing. Certainly creepy. I sorta liked the technical descriptions of music recording and composing, but the main characters were unlovely (in a very slimy 70's way). So mad props for writing stylized people with very little moral character. Vain, selfish, prideful, adulterous, lazy and perhaps even stupid, but perhaps I just don't like the bad habits they reflect in me.

I did ponder buying a jumpsuit and listening to some theremin music, do get in the mood. In the end, I just held my nose and read as quickly as possible.

message 49: by Valissa (last edited Apr 06, 2015 10:41AM) (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Bone, Vol. 1 Out from Boneville (Bone, #1) by Jeff Smith ★★

32. Bone, Vol. 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith

I read this mostly because it was recommended for my daughter, but also because I never had. I can't really say for sure that it is appropriate for a 7-year old, but then again, she loves Raina Telgemeier, and I probably should have checked those out first too.

It is a cute story, interesting enough and basic. The art is fantastic. If it appeals to the child I will undoubtedly end up buying the series (or at least renting).

message 50: by Valissa (new)

Valissa (mehitabels) Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird by Brandon Seifert ★★

33. Disney Kingdoms: Seekers of the Weird by Brandon Seifert

Not bad. I really like the premise, and I could see this as an ongoing series. I could definitely see it as a tv series, the a rather dashing uncle character to make all the ladies swoon.

Not great. Probably written for older Disney fans, who long for the nostalgic Walt Disney world versus the youth of today (who don't even remember Captain EO, tsk). A little choppy in the explanatory areas, but lively and exciting all the way through.

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