Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 Reading Challenges

It has been a couple years since I joined in on a challenge other than R.I.P. I feel it is time to dip my feet back in a bit. I have been neglecting the blog and my reading habit for way too long. So, here are a couple challenges that I am looking forward to.

Literary Escapism's New Author Challenge
I will try for 15 books by new-to-me authors. Starting slow and going to attempt at least one new author a month. Seems doable.

1. Rebecca Skloot, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
2. JoJo Moyes, The Last Letter From Your Lover
3. Hilary Thomson, A Will to Murder
4. MJ Rose, The Book of Lost Fragrances
5. Ethan Coen, The Day the World Ends: Poems
6. Darby Rae, Merciful Law
7. Lucinda Riley, The Orchid House
8. Susan Straight, A Million Nightingales
9. Deborah Davis, Guest of Honor
10. Susan Straight, A Million Nightengales
11. Theodore Weesner, The Car Thief
12. Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
13. Elizabeth Haynes, Into the Darkest Corner
14. Allen Wyler, Dead End Deal
15. Posie Graeme-Evans, The Island House

Rose City Reader's European Reading Challenge
I will be attempting the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage)- Five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larssen (Sweden)
2. The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes (England)
3. Are You Somebody? by Nuala O'Faolain (Ireland)
4. The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley (England/France)
5. The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans (Scotland)


FTC Disclosure: Clicking on title and image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

November/December Book Group: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This months book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Thoughts about the book:
This was a DNF for me (my review). I just couldn't make myself finish it. I had plenty of time to, but I threw down the book (or would have if it wasn't an ebook on my iPhone) when the drama kept piling on, one event after another. It felt forced and not real and the last one just made me mad and I didn't want to read any more.

Everyone else really enjoyed the book and didn't have the same issues with it as me. There were a couple who agreed that the racing analogies were a bit boring and admitted to scanning over a lot of those chapters. 
In my reading, I felt that Denny was allowing a lot of these dramas into his life without fighting for what was best for him and his family. He seemed resigned to the pain, loneliness and guilt. I got fed up with him, really, not the book entirely. So, I have started back up again and am enjoying it a little better especially since Denny started fighting and Enzo agreed with my assessment of him a few pages in from where I quit.

Popular Question:
How would the book have been different had Denny been the narrator instead of Enzo, the dog?
So different. There is so much inferring done on his part when it comes to things that happen away from him. Also, I would finally understand what Denny was thinking and feeling as he starts losing everything in his life he holds dear. It would be a completely different novel.

Next Months book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

FTC Disclosure: Clicking on title and image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the RainThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I started off really enjoying this book. I loved Enzo humour and take on life as a dog. His view on evolution and how "the man" is keeping him down is hilarious. I was laughing out loud for the first few chapters. Then the car racing analogies came in and they were a little boring but I could ignore that and still enjoy reading about Enzo's life with Denny, Eve and Zoe. It was still an enjoyable book and still had some funny parts and some sad.


Then, about half way through, the drama starts…wife gets sick but refuses to go to a doctor. Then, Denny allows her parents to keep her and their daughter at their house for months after she gets out of the hospital and ignores all the signs that they are trying to keep their daughter longterm.

Oh wait, there is more…Denny stupidly takes a teenage girl home from a ski trip and allows her to finagle a night stay not realizing she has developed a crush on him. His wife then dies, his inlaws sue for custody of Zoe, the girl accuses Denny of rape…


There was probably a lot more but I gave up. I just couldn't continue. How completely oblivious can one guy be? How much crap could befall one person and have only the dog realize what is going on? I wasn't expecting a Jodi Piccoult type storyline in this book. I don't read her books for this reason.

Lighthearted and fun, this was not. I saw the dog on the cover and immediately thought this would be a book to put a smile on my face. I should have stopped reading around Chapter 11. If you like books full of drama and don't mind it being narrated by a dog you will enjoy it. This just wasn't for me.

Source: purchased ebook for book group

FTC Disclosure: Clicking on title and image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5)Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Another fun installment but wasn't as good as the previous one. The storyline was all over the place and more focused on the shifters, who I am not all that interested in.

A sniper is roaming Bon Temps and with no apparent link between the victims, the police are stumped. Sookie, however, realizes that all who have been shot are shifters and despite her hope for some non-supe time for herself she is once again in the middle of it all.

Taking a break before starting the next book so I can get my book group book read, but will hopefully get started on Book 6 soon after.

Source: borrowed

FTC Disclosure: Clicking on title and image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.