Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Guess what? I read some more books!

Yep, yep! I finished more books.  If you know how to become a professional reader of good books, sign me up. You can follow along on my reading adventures on Instagram @ladyfacereads where I post more often and just about books. Anyway, here's the latest:
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith - If you don't know already, Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J. k. Rowling.  Man, she knows how to create a world! Though this mystery isn't set in a magical world, it is very well fleshed out.  The characters are great and well developed of course, and complicated, human, and full of growth.  This story is about Cormorant Strike, a PI who is hired to investigate the apparent suicide of a model.  I found it a little too densely rounded at times, which made it a bit of a slower read, but in the way where I kept reading, and thought it was going by quickly, but it had only been a page or two.  It's a long book, but enjoyable.  I liked the ending, it resolved in a way I felt satisfied with.  Though the revelation of "who" wasn't a huge surprise to me, the putting everything together and presenting the actual truth was very interesting and well done.  I'm looking forward to seeing what The Silkworm is about (it's already on my nightstand), and hoping it will be less background oriented now that the I've already gotten to know the main characters involved. 

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barberry - This one I listened to through audible and I loved it.  I read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, also by Muriel Barberry, and loved the way it was written, and this one did not disappoint.  This one is told through several points of view, all residents of the same apartment complex, over the period of time of the death of one of its inhabitants, a famous food critic.  The critic is facing imminent doom, and is trying to recall a flavor, but cannot figure out what it is.  I most enjoyed his memories of food, of meals, and of memories associated with each that resonated with me and my own favorite dishes.  I love the way this author puts words together with such precision and exactness and delicacy it's extraordinarily delightful.  And listening to it was really neat also.  I'd definitely recommend this one, it's practically a vacation and an uplifting joy to read.  The ending is pretty great and that never hurts. 

The Last Town by Blake Crouch - This is the final book in the Wayward Pines trilogy and it had me gripped from the start!  It picked up exactly where the second book left off and as you may have guessed, things are in serious chaos and extreme danger.  There are lots of things facing these characters, and in this book, we get to view memories and past lives from many more characters than in the previous two books, which I thought was really interesting and made their experiences more powerful and real to me.  Just a warning though, this book is intense, with some violent and bloody scenes so if you don't like suspense or the potential for characters to die, don't pick up this series.  It reminded me a bit of Twin Peaks but with actual monster monsters. That should give you any idea of why not everyone should go for it, but also why it's so intriguing and thrilling! While it is very intense, I appreciate that it's logically intense.  Crouch doesn't waste words on gore that is uncalled for or has nothing to do with the plot.  I also appreciate that he asks the what if... question that starts the books, and then sees it through.  Sometimes I think authors get scared or nervous or something of telling action as it happens, and resort to things being told to their characters rather than having their characters experience it along with the reader, and I don't like that (ahemMockingjayahem).  Big pet peeve of mine.  In this series you are right there with them as they face monsters both physical and psychological and Crouch sees his story through to the end, going to all the places and facing ALL THE THINGS and all the feels that go along with it.  AND! The end is satisfying also!!  Bravo Mr. Crouch (I sooo wish his name was Barty...ha). Now I'm looking forward to how the new TV series on FOX will compare with the mental version I've got from listening to them! 

Under Wildwood by Colin Meloy - This is the second book in the Wildwood series and it's very enchanting.  The story is about the "impassable wilderness" and everything inside it, and everything trying to get inside of it.  It's a YA series full of fantasy, struggles and triumph, and growth.  I like the world Meloy has created and the pictures illustrated by his wife are incredibly gorgeous and whimsical.  I'm all for a book with pictures!  It's a wonderful trip, and would be great to read aloud as a family.  The journey in the first book is mostly discovery based, as the two main characters, Prue and Curtis, discover and explore this world of Wildwood and the power struggle for control of the woods.  This second book is about what happens after the power balance has been upset by Prue and Curtis' arrival and things are being reconfigured.  There are villains, heroes, and characters that make bad decisions, but aren't 100% bad individuals.  It's a great progression, and I'm excited to see how the trilogy wraps up in The Wildwood Imperium, which is also on my nightstand.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein - I'm listening to this on Audible also (side note: I clearly use this a lot, but I have had my account on hold for 4 or 5 months, so it's not unreasonable, more like a special treat every once in a while for me, that I get weeks of use from, so don't think I've listened to these all in a few days.  Most of them I've been working on for months, listening to a little at a time as the mood suits me and depending on how much I'm avoiding my chores).  I'm a total nerd and am loving these.  I didn't like the movies so much because Elijah Woods triggers my gag reflex, but it's such an amazingly epic story that we own the DVD's anyway.  Ugh, this trilogy is SO GOOD.  But whenever I've tried to read it, you know, in a real book with pages, I fell asleep.  Like, instantly.  I've been trying to read this series since I was pregnant with Matthew and only made it a few hundred pages.  So listening to it, in amazing accented voices, is really wonderful for me.  Anyway, it's fun to be like, hey! I know that part from the movie, and it's word for word accurate.  I am anxious for the rest of the Hobbit movies to come out too, I'm a huge Morgan Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch fan (who isn't).  There's not much to say about these books that hasn't already been said better by experts, so I'll leave it at this: If you don't have it in you to read this story in a physical book form, I highly recommend the Audible version.  It's great.  And great to listen to while you do chores.  Then you're multitasking.  Plus, Tolkein is really a wonderful story teller, it's absolutely worth listening to for your own improvement.  I've got a lot of classics on my Audible list.  And by classics I mean books I was supposed to read in high school and college that I never finished...I'm waving to you Moby-Dick...

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! You've been reading some GREAT books! Well done! I've just finished a biography by Laura Hillenbrand called, "Unbroken". It is about Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic runner who competed in the Olympics in Germany before WWII. He survived a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean, 40+ days on a raft in open waters, and was then in a Japanese prison camp for two years before returning to the United States. He survived a rough life but managed to pull himself together. It is a remarkable story and testament to the human spirit and strength. I even managed to read it in less than a month...pretty good for me. In the car, I've been listening to a book on CD. It is entitled, 'The Map that Changed the World'. It is much more scientific, and another biography, but it is read by the author, Simon Winchester, and his word choices and impeccable English accent make it fun for the ears and mind. I do have to listen to each CD 2 or 3 times to get the gist of everything but, it does help pass the time in the car.
    P.S. Your 'Princess blouse' for Abby is Fantastic! It really looks great on her and it seems so comfortable an stylish. Well Done!!
    You are doing GREAT!!! Keep up the good work!!!!