Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday

It's Friday! And a holiday weekend! So much more time to read. I love it.  That also means that it is time for another Follow Friday.
This week's Featured Blogger is Louise from Book Bliss.

Question: . How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?

My answer: The number of book I read in a week depends on what is going on in our homeschool, kids' activities, family obligations, etc. I read a lot of books that I don't keep track of on Goodreads and don't reveiw here -- mostly education or homeschooling books. In summer and over holidays, I read more. But, I usually read one or two books a week at a minimum. Lately, I have been reading books on my Kindle. We made the choice to go digital because we have no room left for so many physical books - between the homeschool books and all the many books that we buy just for fun, we are surrounded by books and no room for more bookshelves! I almost never listen to audio books -- I have a hard time paying attention for some reason - I need to see the words.

Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book OneGame of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
kindle book purchased from Amazon.com
Description from Goodreads:
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective wall. To the south, the King's powers are failing, and his enemies are emerging from the shadows of the throne. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the frozen land they were born to. Now Lord Eddard Stark is reluctantly summoned to serve as the King's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder not only his family but also the kingdom itself. A heroic fantasy of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and evildoers who come together in a time of grim omens. The first volume in George Martin's series

My Take:
I can't believe I hadn't read this series before. I started watching the HBO series and, naturally, I decided that I  had to read the book before I got too far into the television series. The endings for the episode were killing me and I just couldn't wait.  While there were some changes from the book to the series, I thought most of the changes were fine and some were necessary, like making some of the characters significantly older than they were in the book.

This being the first book of the series, there is a lot of time spent in introducing the characters, their families, lineages, kingdoms, etc. There is so much information thrown at the reader, but it is never boring. I loved the world that Martin has created here. It feels very medieval and even though this series is what I would call epic fantasy, it feels very gritty and real - not fairytale-like.

Most of the characters seem pretty real too --- no one is all good or all bad. Having said that, there are a couple of really great bad guys that are so fun to dislike (read hate). At least in the first book, Jon Snow and Eddard Stark seem to be the best of the "good guys", but this could change with later books.

One of my only issues with the book is the way that most of the females are portrayed. They are property to have children on or just there for men to take their pleasure. Granted, this idea of women goes along with a medieval mindset, but I still have issues with it.  Arya and her mother Catelyn Stark are exceptions to this -- they are both smart and strong willed and don't seem to be as subservient as so many of the other females.  Cersei Lannister is also a smart woman, but she is just awful.

I really enjoyed the story and I am reading the second book in the series, A Clash of Kings. I would highly recommend this book for mature readers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Year Blogoversary

I almost missed it! Today is my one year blogoversary!



It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for a year now. I have had so much fun. I hope to post even more now that summer is almost here. I'm looking forward to lots of summer reading.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wicked Lovely

Wicked Lovely (Wicked Lovely (Quality))Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
kindle book purchased from Amazon.com
Description from Goodreads:
All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.

My Take:
I really wanted to like this book, and there were some things that I actually did like. For instance, the cover is just so beautiful! It definitely gets major points for great cover art! I liked the premise of the story as well, but I didn't think it actually delivered what was promised. At least for me. I know several readers/bloggers who just loved this book.  I felt that it was just okay. I also think that I am not the target audience and that played a role in my opinion.  I just didn't care all that much what happened to any of the characters through most of the book. I tried, I just couldn't.  But I have to admit that towards the end, I got more caught up in the story line.  I thought the descriptions were just a bit bland and I didn't really like or dislike most of the characters.  Now, having said all that, I did finish the book -- I didn't just give up on it. So, I think that if you like faeries and that world, you might give it a try.

I do think that Tyger,Tyger  and The Iron King both did a better job of building the faerie world and making it believable and both had much more exciting story lines.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In My Mailbox


Last week I received my latest book parcel from Kennys Bookshop.

All of these book were purchased by me but chosen by Des Kenny. Included are:

Long Time, No See by Dermot Healy
Long Time, No See

Dance of the Mocking Birds by Dick Donaghue
Dance of the Mocking Birds


The City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

City of Bohane
Mistaken by Neil Jordan
Mistaken
The Boy in the Gap by Paul Soye
The Boy in the Gap

The New North: Contemporary Poetry from Northern Ireland
A Donegal Trilogy: The Derry Boat by Little John Nee

The Night Post: A New Selection by Matthew Sweeney

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Zombie Autopsies

The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the ApocalypseThe Zombie Autopsies by Steven C. Schlozman
kindle edition purchased from Amazon
Description from Goodreads:
As the walking dead rises up throughout the world, a few brave doctors attempt to find a cure by applying forensic techniques to captured zombies. Based on the research of renowned zombie expert Dr. Stanley Blum, performed at a remote island where a crack medical team has been sent to explore a radical theory that may lead to a cure for the epidemic, THE ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES documents for the first time the unique biology of zombie organisms. Twenty-five detailed drawings of the internal organs of actual zombies provide an accurate anatomy of these horrifying creatures, including zombie brains, hearts, lungs, skin, and the digestive system, while Dr. Blum's notes reveal shocking insights into how they function, even as Blum and his staff themselves begin to succumb to the plague. No one knows the ultimate fate of Dr. Blum or his researchers, but now that his notebook, THE ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES, has been made available to the UN, the World Health Organization, and the general public, his scientific discoveries may provide the last hope for humans on earth!

My take:
The Zombie Autopsies is not your usual zombie book. It is written as a brief to be read before a UN meeting - think technical writing. Apparently this bothered some people. I was not one of those people.  I really enjoyed this book and read it in a day.  There are several sections to the book -- some summaries of historical information about the whole zombie infection and how it got so bad, the world's reactions to it, the results of their actions to eradicate the zombies, the status of zombies and the various stages of the infection. There is a personal journal that was recovered and pencil drawings and then some more summaries.  The whole thing is put together as if it were a package handed out before a meeting to catch everyone up. Despite this rather dull sounding premise, I found it to be quite a suspenseful and, honestly, one of the gorier zombie books I've read. This book probably isn't for everyone, but if you like zombie stories, you might give it a try.