Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reading update: week eleven

I'm a little behind on my updates. My excuse is that my family and I just spent a week in California for Spring Break, so I didn't post.

Now I have to actually remember what I read before the break.

I know I read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which was breath-taking. Seriously. I don't usually like weepy books (this is no spoiler--you know going into a book about kids with terminal cancer that it's not all going to end well), but this one felt so honest and non-manipulative. And who can make teenagers quoting Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot's Prufrock actually sound cool? I'm sure I couldn't. The book was smart and beautifully written. I'm tempted to re-read it just to study some of the passages but I'm pretty sure the library needs their copy back.

I also read (shifting into break mode) Rhys Bowen's Naughty in Nice, which is actually the fourth or fifth in a mystery series, but I enjoyed it anyway. I liked Bowen's Evan Almighty series, and this was a similar pleasure (esp. for fans of cozy mysteries). The heroine, Lady Georgiana (Georgie) Rannoch, is a distant cousin of the Queen of England. She's nobility, but she's also broke and can't find a job. She lives on her brother's meagerly largesse and spends her days serving soup at a local soup kitchen--a noble, if depressing job. When her brother invites her (not seriously) to come spend the winter with him and his wife in Nice, if she can find her passage over, she jumps at the chance. Especially when the Queen gives her an assignment in Nice that will pay for her passage over. The murder/mystery wasn't especially profound here, but I loved the glimpse into Georgie's world: she meets Coco Chanel and hobnobs with British elite. A great escapist read.

I also read a couple of books from the Whitney list: Pride and Popularity, by Jenni James (a rather obvious retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a voice so teenagerish that I found it kind of painful to read) and No Angel, by Theresa Sneed, which had an interesting premise--a reluctant guardian angel--but was a little heavy on the moralistic side and which spent more time describing the role of guardian angel than actually showing that role. There was also a long discursion where the main character (Jonathan) gets separated from his charge and I was frankly kind of bored during this section. For me, his role as guardian angel was much more interesting.

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