Friday, December 28, 2018

16. A Court of Wings and Ruin

By Sarah J. Maas (699 pp)

I was determined and I finished. Lots of war in this one. And lots of complicated relationship angst. Got a wee bit long winded for me in the end but still greatly enjoyed.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

15. A Court of Mist and Fury

By Sarah J. Maas (624 pp)

I devoted my time off to finishing the first three in this series. So much going on in Prythian. Sexy fae with powers and wings and bad tempers. A bad guy is stirring up trouble. Complicated relationships. Recommend.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

14. Sharp Objects

By Gillian Flynn (393 pp)

I watched the HBO series earlier this year and wanted to read the book. Super creepy and terrific characterization.

Friday, December 7, 2018

13. A Court of Thorns and Roses

By Sarah J. Maas (416 pp)

My friend Kira gave me this book and when I read the first couple of chapters I wasn't sure. But then I got hooked. Then I squeezed in extra time to read it so I could finish it this week. She told me the next two are better and suggested I buy them right away so I didn't have to rush out and panic-buy them later. It's the holidays so I had to make a Powell's run anyway, so the next two tomes are sitting here. It's about young woman trying to help her family survive in poverty at the edge of the wall between the human world and the faerie world. She unknowingly kills a faerie and ends up with a ton of new problems. Fun reading.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

12. The Girls

By Emma Cline (355 pp)

This writer had a story in the New Yorker that I liked so I wanted to try this book. The story is about a woman who was 14 in 1969 and falls in with a cult that was clearly inspired by the Manson family. The story is creepy and foreboding and the author perfectly captures the confusing internal life of a fourteen year old girl.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

11. Eligible

By Curtis Sittenfeld (488 pp)

I read a short story in the New Yorker by Sittenfeld and have wanted to try one of her novels ever since. I randomly picked out this one, which I did not know was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I was disappointed because I don't really like stunt books. To me, a stunt book is retelling a classic or mixing a classic with horror or those memoirs where someone doesn't buy anything for a year and writes about it. I loved this book. And even though it didn't fit, I pictured 1995 BBC Colin Firth as Darcy.

Monday, October 8, 2018

10. The Idiot

By Elif Batuman (423 pp)

I read an excerpt from this in the New Yorker and I kept an eye out for the book. It's about a woman just starting college in the 90s. It's hard to describe -- the book is made up of short sequences. There's not a huge story but it's very funny. The characterization is terrific. I loved it in the beginning and then sagged a little in the middle but then enjoyed it again by the end. The author perfectly captured that feeling of being in college and feeling like everybody else has it figured out and you're just pretending to fit in.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

9. In The Distance

By Hernan Diaz (256 pp)

I actually finished this a week ago and it was buried on my desk. A couple of friends read this and thought I would like it and they were right. It's kinda like Cormac McCarthy but exchange some of the dark and grim with loopy. It's about a kid who comes to American in the 1800s from Sweden and ends up in the west, alone. Really good.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

8. W is for Wasted

By Sue Grafton (483 pp ebook)

I must have picked this up on sale. It was on my phone and I needed something easy to get into and this was it. This one was a bit of a slog. It cracks me up how often there are long descriptions of completely mundane activities. But I love the setting and the timeframe and Kinsey and sorry that Y is the last book.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

7. The End of the Perfect 10

By Dvora Meyers 298 pp.

This is a non-fiction book that is probably only interesting to gymnastics nerds like me. The central thread is a discussion of how scoring in gymnastics has changed from the 10 to the open ended system used now. The book also talks about gymnastics history, how the sport has transformed, and some hints about the negative aspects of the sport. I feel bad for this author, busting her ass to write this book and the abuse scandal breaking shortly after it was published. The book feels outdated already. Still worth reading for gymnastics nerds.

Friday, August 17, 2018

6. Bleaker House

By Nell Stevens (241 pp)

I knew I wanted to read this book when I read the review somewhere. I hardly ever read book reviews so I'm not sure how it came to my attention. It's a memoir about a woman who did an MFA program and then went to a remote island to write her novel and does not accomplish her goal. This sounds like something I would do and I finally got my hands on a copy. It's better than I expected--a mix of memoir and fiction. I'm not sure if a non-writer would enjoy as much as I did but I recommend.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

5. The Girl with All The Gifts

By M.R. Carey (403pp)

I didn't expect to finish another book so quickly but once I started this I had no choice. I think this book is enjoyed best going in with as little knowledge as possible. I guess I can say the setting is post-apocalyptic and there's lots of scary action. RECOMMEND.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

4. This One Summer

By Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (319 pp)

This is a fantastic graphic novel. The illustrations are wonderful and the story perfectly captures that feeling of friends and a special summer place and summer rituals. Recommend.

3. Miles Morales: Spiderman

By Jason Reynolds (273 pp) (ebook)

I can't remember how I got this book and I am no expert on the Marvel Universe and did not know that there was a African-American/Puerto Rican Spiderman character. This is a YA about Miles juggling  high school troubles, girl problems, family issue and his super powers and a creepy bad guy. Fun to read, great setting and characters. Recommend.

2. Seriously Wicked

By Tina Connolly (224 pp)


I've been working on writing and my reading has dwindled to rushed skimming of the New Yorker and starting books and never getting a chance to finish. Like this one.

This is a YA fun witches in high school story. There is a demon summoned, a boy band, dragons, mean girls and a halloween dance. Recommended for YA fans.

Friday, January 19, 2018

1. The Hero of Ages

By Brandon Sanderson (724 pp)

Not even three weeks into 2018 and I already finished a 724 page book. How is that possible? Well, for one, I gave up non-essential Internet for the month of January. And then I got the crud and spent most of last weekend in bed with my cough drops and my tissues. This is the conclusion of the trilogy and the reason I picked it up was so many fans of this series said it was one of the most satisfying series ends they'd ever read.

That was not my experience. It took me several days to get through the last 100 pages. I didn't even want to carry it on the bus. This thing just went on too long for me and I lost interest in all the parts that originally drew me in. I get why fans liked it and would still recommend to fantasy fans.