Here's the list of books I managed to read last month:
Live To Tell- Lisa Gardner- Her latest book, featuring BPD homicide detective D.D. Warren which featured an all too brief cameo appearance by Bobby Dodge. I always like Lisa’s novels, at least right up until the end. The climaxes of her books often times feel too elaborate. All I can think of is Seth Green’s character in the Austin Powers movies asking Dr. Evil why he’s dangling Austin and the girl over a pool of sharks with laser beams attached to their heads when a bullet to the brain would be quicker and more effective. Plus, I hate when the bad guys start monologing about why they’re the bad guys. There’s got to be a better way to get that information out. Still, this is a very engrossing book right up until the last few chapters. I nailed the bad guy the very first time I saw him but then Gardner made me question my choice later on. Nice use of misdirect. She’s one of the few writers who I think improves with each outing.
Lament- Maggie Stiefvater- She’s totally one of my new favorite authors. This is a great book. If you like stories that revolve around faeries, you’ll like this one. The language is lovely, the use of ballads is great. It’s a very short, sweet story. Thank goodness there’s another one to follow.
Ballad- Maggie Stiefvater- As much as I enjoyed Lament, I liked this book (the aforementioned follow up) even more. The only thing(s) that annoyed me were the text messages that appeared every so often because I HATE TEXT SPEAK and the fact that the book ended. James Morgan is one of my favorite new literary characters and I would read anything in which he appears.
Jackaroo- Cynthia Voigt- The first novel in her Kingdom cycle. It’s been at least a decade since I read these books last and the novels that follow this one are about to be bumped for Suzanne Collins but I’ll get to the others eventually because I really like how Voigt writes this world and the characters in it. Gwyn is a pretty awesome character.
Graceling- Kristin Cashore- I picked up this novel a while back because the cover was pretty and the story sounded interesting, a girl with a gift for fighting. That’s combat-fighting/killing, not arguing (no, that would be me.). It’s a pretty good book. I had no idea where/how it would end and while some parts I thought dragged a little, I was never bored. Very much looking forward to reading her next book which, if I understand correctly, is not a sequel to this book but rather a companion. Cynthia Voigt’s kingdom cycle books are like that too.
Fire- Kristin Cashore- I honestly don’t know what to make of this book. The beginning bored me, the middle thrilled me, the end irked me. There’s some excellent stuff in this book so I guess that’s the most important thing. It’s interesting that this book came out second when the story comes before Graceling. They share one common character who is pretty pivotal in Graceling but I didn't feel any real sense of urgency where he was involved because I know he makes it to the next story. But regardless of everything, there is some lovely writing to be found here and that I appreciate above all.
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins- I may have mentioned this before but I frakking LOVE this novel. There is no good place to stop reading this damn thing and even though this is not the first time I’ve read it, and I knew what was coming, it still gripped me and affected me as though it were the first time I’d experienced its brilliance. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins- The second book in the series. Love this one too but I hate the way it ends because I still don’t have the third book to start reading immediately. Must. Know. What. Happens. Now.
Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins- At long last, it's here. Okay, I know there are some people out there maybe reading this blog who haven't yet read the book and plan to so I shall do this spoiler free. Forgive the generalities. Email me if you're interested in a more in depth specific discussion. Anyway, It took me eight hours to read the book. I didn't sit still for eight hours (though I would have if I could have) because I had dogs to take outside and dinner to cook and laundry to do and a nagging urge to empty my own bladder, but it was terribly, terribly hard to pull myself away from this novel at each and every one of those interruptions. For the record, I totally would have skipped dinner in order to keep reading but Joe insisted. He just doesn't understand. Again, there was no good place to stop reading this book. After a couple of chapters though I did have to stop and catch my breath. I love books that take you on a ride, that don't spell out exactly what's going to happen in the first couple of pages. I was reasonably assured that Katniss would still be standing at the end of it all because well, she's the main character and it's written in the first person. But Collins really did a great job on this novel. I find it to be more than brilliant, especially the end. I find it to be rather inspirational. There were a couple of tiny, stylistic things I wasn't thrilled about but after reading the ending, I can't even really remember what they were. Loved it.
And that wraps things up for the month of August. I have four month left on my 100 book goal. So let's check the tally and see what kind of shape I'm in...
August Books: 9
Year To Date Total: 73
Books Remaining: 27
Well, hot damn! I just may make this goal yet! Woo Hoo!!