Sunday, August 29, 2010

busy august

I've been neglecting the blog, I know. My summer has been hectic, but I hope to get back on track in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Ladies of Grace Adieu

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

I had a really difficult time of it with Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (see post) so I wasn't sure how I'd like The Ladies of Grace Adieu. But, since it's short stories and I liked the cover art, The Ladies of Grace Adieu went on my to-be-read list.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu is not a quick read. One needs to spend time with these stories, to give them one's undivided attention. Philip Womack of the Spectator writes, "these tales read as if Jane Austen had rewritten the Brothers Grimm," which I think it a pretty good summation.

Monday, August 02, 2010

weekly reading recap

This week I finished reading: I'm currently reading quite a few books:

Others on Reading

I just read a wonderful article in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "On the Pleasures (and Utility) of Summer Reading."

In it, author Rachel Toor (who is an assistant professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University) shares what she reads and why she reads what she reads. She and I seem to have the same general philosophy on reading. What I liked most about the article is that she writes about the importance of taking a break from the kind of books we feel like we should be reading and read for pleasure.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Vampire Kisses

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

In her small town, dubbed Dullsville, sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long...
The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people — especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town prattle actually ring true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth.

Vampire Kisses is the first book in a series that currently has ten installments. I started reading (listening to) it after I downloaded the audio version as part of an Audible promotion (see post).

I imagine that Vampire Kisses is a short book as it was a relatively quick listen. I'm happy to report that I liked it much more than I thought I would. I chose Vampire Kisses from the list on free options because I wanted something light. I didn't really have high hopes for the book: teen paranormal titles can be very good, but in most cases they fall flat for me. I expected to lose patience with Raven, but instead found her to be an unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist. The paranormal element isn't overdone (in this first installment at least) and while I didn't finish the book dying to pick up the next in the series, I would be open to continuing with it.