Sunday, August 12, 2012

Catching Up

It's been a while since I posted--with good reason. This has been a crazy summer, given the premature birth of my son, his long hospital stay, and our adjustment at home.

But, I have been reading. Quite a bit, it turns out (funny how much time you have when feeding a baby or pumping milk for a feeding). I don't have time to review all of them in-depth, but here are some of the books I've read the past month.

Lindsay Leavitt's Farewell to Charms, the final book in her Princess for Hire series (very cute books; I imagine they'd be popular with pre-teen girls).

Deborah Harkness, A Discovery of Witches. Very cool book--even for people who are tired of vampire love-stories. Even though there are vampires, demons, and witches here, the academic geek in me loved the arcane trivia and the fact that the early part of the novel takes place at Oxford, in the Ashmolean museum.

Charlaine Harris, Real Murders. An interesting cozy mystery where a small town psycho recreates famous historic murders. I think I'll like the others, too, but the end of this book (which puts a 6-year-old in jeopardy) hit a little too close to home for me to be entirely comfortable with the story.

Stephanie Perkins, Lola and the Boy Next Door. I really enjoyed Perkins' Anna and the French Kiss, so I was excited to find this one the library. I liked this one, but didn't love it. Lola is an interesting character, and I loved Cricket (the titular boy next door), but I didn't love some of Lola's decisions.

Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why--major YA book, about a girl who commits suicide and then sends tapes, explaining why, to the 13 people involved in her death. Interesting and harrowing at the same time.

G. M. Malliet, Death of  Cozy Writer. I picked this up because it was compared to Agatha Cristie, and while I can see some resemblance (the upper-class characters in England), this was just okay for me.

Maeve Binchey, Minding Frankie, like all of Binche's books, this involves a vivid cast of characters and some heart-warming moments. I find it a little ironic that I read this shortly before Binchey passed away, since I haven't read any of her books for several years. But I liked it.

Ali Wentworth, Ali in Wonderland. I don't often read memoirs, so I'm not sure why I picked up this one (for a woman I don't really know much about, no less). It was a quick read, but I didn't love it.

Elle Lothlorien, The Frog Prince. Very light-weight, very predictable. Not sure I'd recommend it.

Myra McEntire, Hourglass. I know lots of people love this, but it didn't really work for me. I liked the characters, but I felt that the mood of the first part of the book didn't fit the tension/action of the second part of the book. Plus, I got irritated with the way the hero kept refusing to tell the heroine relevant information.

Carla Kelly, Borrowed Light. This won the Whitney award this year for best LDS romance--and I was surprisingly moved by it. This is a departure for Kelly, who usually writes regency romances, but I enjoyed the frontier story and the gradual transformations about the characters. It was less a love story and more a story of two people growing together.

Rachel Cohn, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. I kept thinking, as I read this, that it reminded me of the movie Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist--but it wasn't until I finished the book that I realized why: Cohn wrote the book that the movie was based on. This was a fun, smart, unusual YA book about a girl and boy who meet when the girl leaves a notebook with a dare in a bookstore--and the boy finds it and leaves his own clues in the notebook.

Alexander McCall Smith, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones. Another 44 Scotland Street novel. I love Bertie--he's such a funny, sweet, sad, precocious six-year old. And now that my own son is six, I appreciate Bertie even more. The other characters are interesting, but Bertie is my favorite.

There are a few other books I've read in here too, but I can't remember what they are at the moment.

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