Thursday, August 6, 2015

it's really just a list

I was at the library today, returning a book and picking up another.  I usually have one laying around to work through when I get around to recreational reading, but I don't buy them.  Yay for libraries.

And maybe since I don't buy them, I don't put a lot of research into it.  I typically grab something off the "popular" shelf or "staff picks" shelf.  I was looking through my goodreads account to see what books I've read so far for 2015.

Here's a brief look at my year of reading so far...

  Sorcerer's Apprentice:  My Life with Carlos Castaneda

Gawd, this book was awful.
I've read most of Carlos Castaneda's books and found them interesting even if a lot of it was totally made up.

I thought this book would be an amusing look inside CC's "gang".  Well, maybe if that gang was a buncha rotten middle schoolers.  Obnoxious.  Couldn't finish, it gave me headaches.

The Book Thief

Not much to say here since most people who would care to read this one probably already have.  One review I read likened it to a chocolate chip cookie in that regard...

 Meego read it for school, so it was laying around the  house.  I liked it well enough, but honestly thought it got overly sappy at times.

Life Drawing

A bookie friend of mine recommended this one.  It's about a reclusive artist and her writer husband whose lives get complicated when a neighbor woman moves nearby.

It was okay.  I didn't really like the characters much, though.  Three stars

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

Oh, now this one was quite a ride.  It's a true account of a couple of freshly graduated college girls who set off to travel the world for a year.  I thought it would be a fun travelogue to live vicariously through, but it was something totally different.

Things get a little... crazy.  Plan B!

The Book of Strange New Things

Same bookie friend who recommended Life Drawing recommended this one, which I actually liked.  It's about a Christian pastor who goes on a mission.  To a faraway planet.  Preaching to the aliens.  Because they asked for him.

It sounds very scifi, I know, but it was actually very human.   Emotional and imaginative.  And not real churchy.

Her Fearful Symmetry 

Diva twin sisters move to their dead aunt's home in England, hook up with dead aunt's boyfriend and OCD neighbor.  Dead aunt's ghost hangs around and they all become friends.  This book was just weird, and I didn't even share the spoilers.

Chaco read the title, "What does that even mean?"  Heck if I know.

The Girl on the Train

I thought this one was really good at the beginning.  A real page turner.  But then it just seemed to slow down too much in the middle.  Pages and pages of, "I can't remember"... "I'm going to do this thing to try to remember"... "I can't remember"... I'm going to do this thing to try to remember"... "I can't remember"..."I'm going..."  Well, y'know.

Predictably, she eventually remembers.  Not bad, not great.

So seven books so far for the year - one for each month.  I picked up another I've never heard of.  It's titled The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle.  I've read one page, and so far, so good.

I will say that, if you do a search on that title, the results are all kinda nasty!  This book isn't one of those.  I don't think...

So, whatchya readin'?

For Mama Kat's prompt:
4. Book review!



terri said...

Another blogger friend gave rave reviews to The Girl on the Train. I had it on my list, but now I'm doubtful. Oh, well. I tend to pick up a book, read the first page or two and I can tell if I'll keep going, so I don't find it hard to choose my next read.

One I just finished is The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. I always find FF's books to be fun, and this one had an interesting bit of history interwoven. It was an entertaining book and I was sorry when it was over.

I also just read one of my daughter's books - Paper Towns, by John Green. (Same guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, which I really enjoyed.) Paper Towns? Very disappointing.

Also just finished Waking up in Heaven, which is a true near-death experience story about a woman who's had a pretty rough life. She dies and comes back, then as a result, figures out how to cope with her past and make the best of her circumstances now, and how to help others who have have suffered similar abuse to what she did.

I'm looking forward to seeing what others might recommend here in your comments!

Abby said...

I haven't read any Fannie Flagg, but have heard good things so maybe I'll check out TAGFSLR. I read Looking For Alaska by John Green. Didn't like it.

I have read a couple of near-death experience books. Always interesting!

And don't skip The Girl on the Train just on my account. It's gotten plenty of good press, and maybe my expectations were too high. I did like it for the most part, just not the tedious bits.

JBean said...

The Book Thief is on my must read list! And I'm entirely intrigued by the Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven one now!

Jerralea said...

I don't read fiction much but I have been considering reading the Book Thief (or is that a true story?). Anyway, I do love to read about what people are reading because otherwise I'd probably never heard about the newer books.

Abby said...

I really enjoyed reading Undress Me... What a "trip"!

ShadowRun300 said...

All my books are hand-me-downs from my mom. It's free, but I don't get to pick what I want...
Right now I'm reading Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett. I've loved all his books and so far this one is just as good. It requires me to concentrate though, so once I'm finished, I'll have to read something quick and easy.

Abby said...

The Book Thief is historical fiction, an interesting point of view of WWII. I like comparing reviews and seeing how some can love a book while others hate it!

Abby said...

Some books can require more energy than others, but hopefully be worth the effort! I like Ken Follett too.

Guano said...

Parasite Rex. About the macabre world of living entities living off other living entities, often jumping from one to another, changing forms, etc. Non-fiction 'cause you can't make that stuff up.

Abby said...

Wait... "changing forms"?? Hey, thanks for the nightmares!

Linda Hensley said...

I like the way you review books. I'll see what grabs me next time I'm in the library. Thanks!

Abby said...

Libraries are great. If I don't like a book, I've only wasted my time.

Ginny said...

I have been reading the Book Thief for a while and I just haven't been able to finish it. It's not bad it's just a bit slow moving. I'll have to check some of these out.

agg79 said...

I have to take a look at those books. I typically read a book on my travels, but tend to stick with the John Grisham or Lee Childs sagas. I just finished up Wild by Cheryl Strayed and found it pretty darn good. A very interesting reed but something I would definitely love to do.

Abby said...

The Book Thief took me a while to get through too. I think a lot of stuff could've been edited out, but what do I know?

Abby said...

I really liked "Wild", now I want to see the movie. It was one of those rare books that I was sad to have end.

Mama Kat said...

Oooh I loved Book Thief! But then I can definitely be the overly sappy type. ;)

Abby said...

I love how the author made such a grim historical period so knee-slapping entertaining without losing the grimness. It got a bit long for me, though. I'm not the overly patient type.

Riot Kitty said...

OMG, you crack me up! Love the mini-reviews. I have been on a British mystery kick. Good ones though, not junk food books.