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June Books

Is it July already? Time flies when your’e working 40-50 hour weeks and trying to get your career off the ground!

If I am not working, sleeping, or eating (or any combination of the three), I am reading. Nevertheless, June was an extremely busy month for me, so I didn’t read quite as much as I normally do. Still, three novels is above average.

Micro, Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Rating: 2 stars

Review:

I did finish this book, though it was certainly painful at times. The cardboard characters and sloppy writing style that can only be attributed to an unfinished work completed by another made this my least favorite Crichton novel. I love Crichton and enjoy Preston, but not together.

I did find the plot intriguing, however. It had good potential; the writing just didn’t follow through. Recommended to die-hard Crichton and sci-fi fans who don’t mind trading low quality writing for a good plot.

Empty, Suzanne Weyn

Rating: 2 stars

Review:

The plot is unarguably intriguing, thought-provoking long after the books is finished. But the writing style, dialogue, and characters desperately needed work. A good revisions editor or ghostwriter could have easily taken this from a two-star book to a five-star book.

Uglies, Scott Westerfeld

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:

Keeping in mind that this book is intended for YA audiences, I really enjoyed it. I did find the overuse of “bubbly” and “bogus” annoying, though I do understand their purpose. It also took me awhile to get used to terminology like “New Pretty Town” and “Uglyville”, as I can not imagine a less imaginable name for the sectors. However, I found the technology fascinating, plot exciting, and history interesting enough to make up for it.

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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in What I Read

 

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May Books

I read quite a few books in May! Some I had started months ago and finally finished, but I still read quite a lot. Here’s the list!

The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Review:

I definitely need a dietary change, and found this quite interesting. The overall tone grated at times, but the information was convincing. Now if I could only discipline myself enough to follow the advice!

Wicked, Gregory Maguire

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

I love books that ask big questions, and this book delivered. I desperately want to see the musical, but living in the middle of nowhere affords little opportunity. Reading will have to suffice for now. Though slow at times, I definitely enjoyed the read.

11/22/63, Stephen King

Rating: 3.5

Review:

I am not always a huge King fan because the paranormal horror genre just isn’t my cup of tea. However, he definitely knows how to spin a good story, and I did enjoy the plot twists and suspense.

****SPOILER ALERT BEYOND THIS POINT!!!!***

I did find the ending rather cliched. Every book, it seems, focuses on how much worse the world is if one thing changes. It’s like JFK had to die or the world fell to pieces. I don’t buy that. Things might be different if details change here or there, but planet altering chaos? Meh. Maybe. But probably not.

A Stolen Life, Jaycee Duggard

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

I was absolutely blown away by Jaycee’s account of abduction. I seriously cannot even imagine what it must have been like. The book left me speechless.

The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review:

I am in absolute agreement with Valenti’s eloquent opinions. However, the book read more like a blog post; full of opinion with little fact to back it. I felt slightly disappointed in that, but still enjoyed reading the work and finished it in one day.

Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:

Highly fascinating, Gladwell’s ideas are definitely worth pondering. Do I agree with it entirely? I don’t know. I am still musing the deterministic ramifications. I would definitely like it better if he had fleshed out some solutions; how people can learn to network and get the help they need, etc.

Savvy, Ingrid Law

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

This imaginative juvenile/YA novel was a delight to read. I love Law’s writing style.

Legend, Marie Lu

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:

I enjoyed this YA novel more than I anticipated. I read the entire thing in a day; I couldn’t put it down. If you are a fan of dystopian literature, this is a must-read.

Guerilla Marketing for Writers, Jay Conrad Levinson

Rating: 3 Stars

Review:

While I did find a few helpful hints for selling my future non-fiction books, I found little help for fiction. This book is tailored to writers who have published multiple books with traditional publishers and a good platform. Beginning writers may not find it as useful. Suggestion: check this book out from the library before purchasing to make sure you are the target writer.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in What I Read

 

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April Reads

I am a bit late getting up this post, but here it is!  These are the books I read in April:

The Scorpio Races, Maggie Stiefvater

Rating: 3 Stars

Review:

This book was interesting, though a bit dry in places. I am not a horse lover or I think I would have liked it more.

Divergent, Veronica Roth

Rating: 4 Stars

Review:

This was a light, easy read, full of action and suspense. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs

Rating: 5 Stars

Review:

I read this book because it is a classic. I didn’t expect to become so caught up in it. It is extremely interesting and horrifying to imagine.

The Everything Glycemic Index Cookbook, LeeAnn Weintraub Smith

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

I’ve made a few recipes from this and liked them all so far!

Green Angel, Alice Hoffman

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

This is the first book I ever read that falls into the category of “magical realism”. I noticed reading other reviews that many people didn’t like the story. It’s definitely a “feeling” book more than a book full of interesting plots; it’s a story of loss and healing and it is beautiful in that way. I really enjoyed it.

How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To, Janice Abrahms

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

We’ve all had a hurt in our lives that is extraordinarily hard to forgive. This is the best book on forgiveness I have ever read. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. She outlines several paths of forgiveness, each dependent on the hurt and the reaction of the offending party. There is no one size fits all approach, and Abrahms is the first to recognize that. She also recognizes that not everything is forgivable, and gives the reader a solid plan to reach emotional health when that happens. For those of us steeped in a culture of “forgive people or God won’t forgive you,” you can call this plan a different kind of forgiveness so you aren’t breaking your religious code; it entirely depends on your own definition of what forgiveness is. Either way, this is a freeing book I think should be on the shelves of everyone.

The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch

Rating: 2 stars

Review:

I am going to hell for not liking this book as much as everyone else, but I did not find it all that profound. Middle class white guy achieves all of his dreams before succumbing to cancer. That’s very sad and I do feel much empathy for his situation, but I don’t understand how the book has become as popular as it has. It’s rambly, repetitious, and not at all deep. Maybe because I read this after reading Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, it just sounded shallow and dull.

That’s it for April! Hopefully, I’ll get May’s post up before we are in the middle of June!

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in What I Read

 

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