I heard from a fair amount of people that this was one of their top reads of 2017. It was pretty hefty (576 pages!) so I used one of my Audible credits for it back in November. It took me two months to get through it and I can honestly say it was not one of my top reads for 2017. Its not that I didn’t like it. I did. But it was so loooong. And there were so many stories. Stories within stories within stories. Good God. The current day story is about two scholars who find papers from the 1600s hidden in an old house. Then you follow the story of the woman who wrote those papers in the 1600s. Then each person has their own story within those two stories. The stories were good, they were just long and intricate. So many words. I can’t say I was very invested in the letters and papers of the woman in the 1600s which was half the book. I kept wanting to get back to the scholars. Usually I enjoy multiple POVs but this was too much. I would suggest this book to people who really enjoy rich historical novels.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s more than 500 pages – I did get it on Kindle in order to get through it faster so technically I read some of it
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 – I’m not sure it ever says Helen Watt’s age but she’s retiring so I assume she’s over 60
I had been meaning to read Caraval ever since it came out last January. It had a lot of press hype before its release and I ended up liking it a lot. It reminded me a little bit (just a little!) of the Night Circus (which in case you didn’t know – I adore). There was way too much dialog and angst though, but it is YA so that should be expected. Night Circus was often times a lot more about the setting than what was happening with the characters. The ambiance seemed to be its own character. Caraval was very character driven, but not in an overwhelming or annoying way. I could’ve done without the epilogue set up. Book two could’ve told us what the epilogue did in its book jacket summary without leaving such a cliff hanger in book one. I will probably read book two though, but since it took me a year after book one’s publication to read it I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon. Book two is titled Legendary and set to be released May 2018.
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : the first book in a new-to-you YA series
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to
I finished La Belle Sauvage aka The Book of Dust. I have never read the Dark Materials series, of which this is a prequel. It was sort of slow at the beginning with the character building and occasionally a character would be introduced and it would seem like, had I read the other books, there would be a light bulb going on in my brain like “oh that’s who that is” but because I hadn’t, there was not. It might be better for those who know the foreshadowing. I liked the characters, Malcolm was endearing. Also, because I haven’t read Dark Materials or any other Philip Pullman I didn’t know what to expect. At times I was thinking, is this supposed to be current times? There are cars but no phones. Oh and people have demons. And then there were giants and magical fairies and all pretense was lost. Michael Sheen is the reader, and he does a great job at the exciting parts. Detour, did you know he’s with Sarah Silverman? And has a kid with Kate Beckinsale? I went on a serious black hole with all that information. I digress, although there are loudly narrated exciting parts at the same time there’s also a lot of nothing. I wasn’t completely enthralled and it took me awhile to finish. Read if you liked Dark Materials.
I finished my book. The one I was so excited about. Origin by Dan Brown. And it was good! But maybe not worth the excitement level of a squee! I apparently forgot my annoyance at the Inferno book, which I talk about in my blog post. And he did not spend the first five chapters explaining how people were not infertile. So that’s annoying. Way to follow-up. This book is just as far fetched as the others. Obviously. That is the Dan Brown M-O.
Langdon’s friend, Edmond Kirsch, has been murdered right before his world wide presentation on where we came from and where we are going. Thus begins the journey to broadcast the presentation with the help of his female sidekick, the soon-to-be Queen of Spain. The do this via the assistance of an artificial intelligence computer named Winston. Spoiler alert, Winston is bad and technology is taking over the world.
I liked most of the book but since I was listening to it I found some phrases to be repetitive. Perhaps I hadn’t noticed before that he does this but when you’re listening to every single word and can’t skim it becomes more apparently when he overuses certain phrases. For example, Winston, the computer has an artificial awkward laugh. So every time Winston laughs Brown says, he laughed awkwardly. Yes, I get it. He has an awkward laugh. You don’t have to tell me every.single.time. Aside from that, I liked the plot and I love Robert Langdon. It was enjoyable and if there is a sixth book I will read it as well.
I am doing the real time reading of Discovery of Witches. It is very nerdy. Let me tell you about it. The events in the novel take place from September 18 to Halloween in 2009. The author, Deborah Harkness, in her infinite wisdom set up a real time read along of the book. When events in the book happen on September 27 you read the chapters that correspond with those events on that day in 2017. It’s great. Not only that, she has a free Kindle book with photos from the places that inspired the book’s settings and a real calendar with each day written out. I have now put them all on my Google calendar and I will be reading it every year with this read along.
It’s one of the best things I’ve ever discovered. Other books that use specific dates and timelines should follow suit.
Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge : a book you’ve read before that never fails to make you smile
Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2017 : read a book you’ve already read
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017 : a book you’ve read before
I have finished The Resurrection of Joan Ashby. It is 544 pages and / or 20 hours on audio. I bought it with my Audible subscription and then ended up reading the last 2 hours of it because it was only 53 book pages. Honestly, two HOURS equals 53 pages? Seriously?? But that’s a rant for another day..
I found this book intriguing because there are lots of stories within the story. The main story is about Joan Ashby, an author, who gets married and has two kids. Her whole life leading up to that she spoke openly about not wanting either of those things : no marriage, no kids. I found this interesting because I always say I don’t want kids and I was talking to a high school friend last week and she said that she always thought I didn’t want to get married either. But here I am, married. Still no kids. I wanted to hear Joan’s point of view. She had them and she loved them. However, it ruined her career. Not just having the kids but the actual kids themselves ruined her career. I can’t say that would happen to me because I’m a librarian however, I always tell people that if I had kids I’d be worried I wouldn’t enjoy my job as much. I am a children’s librarian. I find kids entertaining. This is because I see them full of joy at my storytimes or playing in my library’s play space that I built (via grant). I don’t see them kicking and screaming. And I feel like, if I had to go home to my own kids I wouldn’t want to see more kids at work. All day. Every day. God help me.
Anyway, lots of stories within the story. Because Joan Ashby is a writer there will be parts of the book where you read her works. Her short stories, parts of her novel. The book opens with some interviews and articles written about her. I liked this a lot. I did not like Part 3, it went on way too long. Overall it was enjoyable and I would recommend it to those who like character driven novels that move slowly without lots of action. Think John Irving or Kent Haruf.
Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge : a book set in a hotel (Part 3 at least)
I downloaded I am Pilgrim with my Audible subscription on the recommendation of Jessica Turner. She suggested it to people who like Homeland or Alias and I love Alias. If you’ve never seen it go watch it, it used to be on Netflix. I also love intricate plots. This one has lots of characters and story lines and they all come together at the end, which I love. It is a very long audiobook but I’ve officially come around to the 1.25x speed so it goes by faster. I have no idea how much time that actually shaves off, but it makes me feel better. The actual plot about the small pox disease is terrifying. I hope to God none of that could really happen, but I’m sure it could and we all just go on blissfully living our lives *shiver*. Goodreads summary below.
“A breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy. An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey.”
My only complaint is that it takes awhile to connect the stories together. Which could be annoying to some if they don’t want to keep going until everything makes sense. I am usually one of those people. Push on, friends!