Saturday, January 06, 2007

other recent reading

All American Girl by Meg Cabot
Written for the teen/tween set, the book is light-hearted and will appeal to anyone in the mood for a sweet book with a happy ending. Protagonist Sam is a sympathetic character, a spunky social outsider with a good sense of humor and a crush on a guy who she can never hope to get. The story, outside of the romantic bumbling, does have a message. The only thing that I didn't particularly like were the lists, but they are Cabot's MO in this novel and serve both as summaries and as a way to add Sam's voice to the narrative.

Drowned Wednesday & Sir Thursday by Garth Nix
The third and four books in Nix's wonderful Keys of the Kingdom series.

Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
I've been listening to this book in the car for quite some time and I finally finished it yesterday. While I appreciated how moody and episodic it was, I did get irritated with it occasionally.
I also found it quite uneven. For a book that was supposed to be jumping between two different time periods, it seemed like 3/4 (or more) of the book took place in the 18th C and I was amazed (especially since 'Hawksmoor' is the title of the book) that Hawksmoor isn't even mentioned until practically its midpoint.
That being said, Ackroyd does bring 18th Century London alive and protagonist Dyer's belief system is fascinating (especially in as much as it clashes with the Enlightenment thinking all around him).

Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap
A collection of seven stories set in Thailand from a young (my age) American author.
I really felt that the first five stories in the book were too similar - it was almost as if the stories were all about the same person. "Don't let me die in this place" was the first deviation from the young Thai boy protagonist and I thought it was a wonderful change of pace. The other story that I really liked was "Cockfighter," again because it was so different from the other stories in the book (not that the other stories were bad, but just that they became - for me at least - a bit homogeneous).

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
I thought it was a good read, long but thoroughly engrossing. Though the ending is a bit unrealistic; everything is tied up too well. I think it is probably more of a historical romance than a work of realistic fiction.
That being said, Donnelly's descriptions of 19th Century London (and to a lesser extent, New York) seem fairly realistic. The author's take on Jack the Ripper is also interesting (and more plausible than some of the other things in the book). Additionally Fiona is a very sympathetic character as well as being a viable heroine (despite her modern sensibilities).

Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath
J.A. Konrath's debut novel and the first in a promising series (the Jack Daniels mysteries).
This book is full of gruesome murders, which in all honesty really aren't my thing (I'm one of those people who watch horror movies through the cracks between their fingers). Of course, that's not going to stop me from reading the next book in the series especially since it is already on Mt. TBR (to be read).


  1. Hmm. Where'd those Konrath books come from? Hmm?

    Glad you liked Wiskey Sour. I thought it was as fun as the man himself, although more gruesome. Joe's pretty harmless in person. Or was when I met him, anyway.

    I'll be picking up the Tea Rose at some point because of you. Sounds neat.

  2. I'm actually planning on starting 'Bloody Mary' as soon as I get off the computer...

    btw, I'm amazed at how quickly you commented. I *just* posted... lol

  3. Good timing, I guess! I've had quick comments like this; wild, isn't it?

    I read Bloody Mary in a day, during the Tour Manager's Great Gallbladder Escape. It's good company, so enjoy!

    Now we need to find the recent one...

  4. I've heard the fourth one is pretty good too. :)

  5. Well, Joe, you know that Karen reviews for Front Street, among others. Think you could fix her up with an ARC????

  6. :D
    My first author comment (besides Susan, of course).
    Great to see you here, Joe.
    I'd love an ARC of Rusty Nail...
    Bloody Mary was good, even better than Whiskey Sour

  7. Well, I'm not published yet, so I think Joe wins the award. What should we send him? An empty beer can? *grin*

  8. I need to quit reading your blog, Karen. There are just too many new books here that want to jump on my list. I really don't mind that, except that it's getting so unreasonably long. *smiles*