Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This book was recommended to me by a friend who said it was so good, she read it out loud to her husband who actually requested that they stay up late to finish it (I guess that never happens). Perhaps because of this glowing review, I was expecting something great (and the fact that it's a Newbury Honor book), but I was a little disappointed.

The story is set in a made up version of ancient Greece, so the names are Grecian sounding and they have a pantheon of gods similar to the Greek gods. It follows a professional thief who steals things for the various kings and queens on the island. It's interesting and exciting and I read the other two books in the series (The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia) which I thought were much, much better than the first.

Here's the problem, I think the author's mind eye works differently than mine. For example, in the last book, she describes a scene that takes place on a rooftop and I couldn't figure out how the characters were standing in relation to each other or what the geography of the roof looked like. I had to re-read the section to understand what was happening. I thought this confusion was just a product of my mind turning to applesauce from watching too many episodes of Handy Manny, but my friend Bridget, who, I think, is much smarter than I am, read them as well, and she had the same problem.

So, to sum up: the story is great and interesting and worth your time, but the writing is a little confusing, especially for juvenile fiction.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In a Sunburned Country

This book gives you a real sense for what it is like going Down Under without even leaving your house. I read this on the way to Sydney--well not the whole thing in one sitting, but if you've ever wondered about the Aussies this book is for you.

To whoever wants to post

If you want to be able to post here, just email me with your gmail address, or whatever address you use to access blogger, and I'll add you.


I don't know who has the controls of this, but Anne would like to be able to post.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

You must read this book. That's all there is to it.

It's science fiction, sort of. I'm going to very cautious compare it to the Twilight series, but it's not really the same at all. It's got the same sort of vibe: juvenile fiction, can't put it down but don't know why, the main character is a girl. But there are no vampires or a *real love story. (*There is a love story, but it is tangential to the plot. We don't have to hear about his marble chest and fruity breath every page for 400 pages.)

Tyler read it in a few days and I read it in one sitting when I was really sick last week.

Read this book, you won't be sorry.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

random review

I have officially read all of Jane Austen's novels (over a period of many years). I like them, but I have to be in the right mood to get into it. Pride and Prejudice was my favorite. I think it helped that I watched the movie first, the one with Keira Knightley. I wouldn't usually say that about a book made into a movie, but I think in this case it helps you get a feel for the setting with the costumes and the period music, etc. Persuasion was also good, and I liked the movie of that as well. Austin calls them 'bonnet' movies. I like that they stick really closely to the plot and the text of the books.

I randomly read a book called The King's Daughter by Sandra Worth, which I read about on curled up with a good book. It was a little more romance-novel-ish than I was expecting, so I wouldn't really recommend it, but it did give me a greater interest in the period. It's about Elizabeth of York who ends up marrying Henry Tudor and becoming the first Tudor queen. It is a novel, but "meticulously researched" so has good historical detail.

Also, the Fablehaven books are pretty good, by Brandon Mull. I read the first in the hospital while Austin and Andrew were in surgery. Jules had it with her. I just read the second and third in January. I think they age well. I just hope it doesn't go on and on like the Tennis Shoes among the Nephites series, where by the six and seventh books they end in the middle of the story, completely unresolved. How can you end a novel on a cliffhanger? That's annoying. I haven't heard if Fablehaven will end at a certain point, but the fourth book is coming out in March, for all you fantasy lovers (mostly just me, I think).

I started The Hunchback of Notre Dame but haven't been able to get into it yet. What else have y'all been reading? Let's hear it.

Sorry for no pics. You're smart, though, you can look it up if you really want to see the covers. =)