- CA, USA
- member since January 15, 2010
With a month left in 2013, I thought I'd reflect on the reading goal I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I wanted to read 44 books (one more book than I read in 2012) and that three of those books would be Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Wild, and Lonesome Dove. So far, I have a book count of 35 and I only have Wild checked off that pre-selected list. I'm not in the mood to read Strange or Dove at this time, so I doubt I'll be taking either of them on in the 30-remaining days of 2013. I'll probably put them on my 2014 list (and maybe I'll even surprise myself and read BOTH of them!).
I know I will add at least one or two more books to my "Books I've Read in 2013" list before the 31st. This spring, a co-worker plopped six Highland romance books on my desk saying I should read them. She was considerate enough to have put all the bulging six-pack covers in a plastic sack before she gave them to me at least. :) I have stored them in my closet ever since I brought them home and I feel guilty having had them so long (especially without even trying a single one of them), so I may take them out and give the first one a shot next. Books like that are usually quick reads, so maybe I'll come closer to the 44 goal than I thought I would. However, two of the last three books I read had Scottish characters in them where the author wrote the dialogue to actually sound Scottish, so I'm a wee bit weary of reading Highland language. Maybe even managing one more book before the end of the year given my reading selection may be a bit of an overreach on my part.
Have you been thinking about having any reading goals for 2014 or do you think you just want to read whatever? One thing I know for sure, Mara Dyer 3 WILL be on your list!
I am positively INFAMOUS for spoiling things for myself--books, TV shows, movies; you name it and I almost always have the tale ruined. My problem is that I read too many reviews.
I thought Joyland was a decent, light kind of read. It wasn't great, but I was into it, if that makes sense. I did wonder if I'd have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read The Traveling Vampire Show first. The stories had similar feels and themes to them, but I thought Laymon (the author of Vampire Show) did a better job with his story than King did. The book did make me want to go back to college and have a summer job experience like the kid in the story does.
The book I'm going to start reading now (Into the Wilderness) is apparently some kind of sequel to The Last of the Mohicans, of which I have only ever seen the movie (which I know is different than the book), so I'm hoping I won't feel too lost with it. I picked the book because I (now don't laugh at me too hard, Randee) wanted a romance that took place sometime between the time of the Pilgrims and the Revolutionary War. Perhaps not surprisingly, there's really not a market out there for Pilgrim or American rebel romance, especially books that aren't bodice rippers you'd find for sale in the grocery store check-out line. I'm slightly nervous about my pick, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
I also have The Rosie Project shipping to my library, so I hope to put a dent in Into the Wilderness this weekend.
Do you plan on reading any books that have a Christmassy kind of setting?
What a blessed occasion--Shelfari actually notified me of notes being left for me!
Way to be aggressive with your reading, Randee! You're totally grabbing those novels by their bookmarks and telling 'em whose boss. :)
I really enjoyed The 5th Wave. It had a completely different voice than the characters in his Monstrumologist series, so it's nice to know Yancey isn't a one trick pony who writes just a few characters and recycles them in all his stuff. I know a criticism other readers had of the series was the alternating narrator, but I didn't mind that, although perhaps I didn't mind it because I knew about it in advance. I also thought he could write a girl well. Not all male authors can. I liked Yancey's take on the way an alien invasion would happen and admit to you here that it made me think about what a well thought out plan those aliens actually had. (Note: I was relieved to see I would have died in the first wave.)
I didn't care for the (albeit one-sided) love story between the main girl and the alien boy. I don't dislike his character, but I do not see how he fell for her and thus turned his back on his kind. He shot her, for some reason decided to nurse her back to health (Is it ever stated why? I honestly cannot recall.), and then, at some point, for some reason, he begins loving her. Also, and this is probably an odd sounding nit pick, but I wish the aliens were actual corporeal beings and not just some sentient life form.
All that said, I'll definitely be reading book two when it comes out next year.
Your thoughts? I know you read it quite a bit ago, but I love when we've both read something and get to discuss it.
Ugh! I cannot stand when something like that happens. You can be surfing around the net innocently enough and the, BAM, you're hit with a spoiler. Even though you know what happens in the end of Allegiant, you'll still read it, won't you? What do you think of the ending (at least what the spoiler had to say about it)? Do you own the Divergent series?
I just finished Coldest Girl in Cold Town. I thought it was decent. I also like the fact that, at least so far, I believe it's just going to be a one off and not a part of a series. I feel kind of silly admitting this, but through the end, I kept wondering if any of Cassie Clare's vampires would show up in this story. (They don't, by the way. Sorry, I should have said "spoiler" before typing that.)
I read the last book in The Monstrumologist series last month, so I checked out Rick Yancey's 5th Wave from the library today. I remember you saying it was an enjoyable enough read. I didn't get to The Golem and the Ginni before it was due, but I plan on checking that out again and giving it a whirl.
Did you start The Things They Carried?
I came on here to let you know that The Coldest Girl in Cold Town is being shipped to my library now. I'll be sure to let you know when I get it. If I get my hands on it while you're reading something else, don't worry because The Golem and the Jinni is also being sent to me, so I could always give it a whirl first. I'm a little unsure of that book and whether it's for me, but I won't know unless I give it a shot.
It was a surprise to me when I logged in and saw I had a post from you because, yet again, I didn't get an e-mail notification from Shelfari and it looks like you left me the message almost two weeks ago. Sorry about that!
Are you enjoying being back in Stiefvater's world with The Dream Thieves?
I did not see Clare's Tumblr post. I actually checked her site just this morning, but it was a lot of illustrations I didn't care about (I don't care for Cassandra Jean's artwork) and a few posts I didn't feel like reading. It's odd to me that I can enjoy CA and CP so much and yet, now that the series is over, I really don't find myself checking in on Clare very often. Despite that, I am still interested in reading the final book in The Mortal Instruments series and would certainly look into what The Dark Artifices are all about once they're published.
Thanks for finding something that answers the question we had about Mara's release date. I wish that wasn't the case, but I feel it really is for the best if Hodkin wasn't feeling her previous attempts at writing the novel. I applaud Simon & Schuster for allowing her the extra time to start over and make the book the story she wanted and knew it to be. Riverhead (publisher of My Name is Memory) should take a page from Simon & Schuster's book. I wonder if Amazon has a finger to a publishing pulse that Hodkin doesn't have since the site gives a June release date whereas Hodkin says she knows the book will come out in 2014, but doesn't know exactly when.
I would recommend The Humans. It was quirky, had whimsy and humor, and is observant about human nature in rather poignant ways. I can't say the book made me want to read anything else by the author, but I really enjoyed THIS book. Haig said it was the book he'd always wanted to write and you can tell because of the heart it had.
I know what you mean about not being able to read at the moment. Sleepiness ALWAYS wins in the battle over plans to do other things, or at least it does for me. I really want to start the last book in the Monstrumologist series, but with how I've felt, I just don't have the concentration for reading.
With Mara's release date pushed back, do you have anything else you're looking forward to reading this year? The Final Descent (book four of the Monstrumologist series) was the last one on my 2013 list.
I finished The Humans tonight and really enjoyed it. I loved the alien's perspective on humanity and Earth in general. It was very astute and thought provoking, yet had its funny moments.
According to the author's note at the end, Haig is adapting it for a screenplay. It would probably work OK, but I worry it'd come off like K-Pax (which, admittedly, I have not seen, but I stand behind my comparison). I worry about it in the same way I worry about the film version of The Book Thief; so much of it is inward and noted observations that I just don't know how the screen would be able to capture the beauty of the book.
Are you finding much time to read this semester?
I started "The Girl Who Chased the Moon" last night! So far, I really like it. My husband gets all my books for me from online. I have no idea how, but it has something to do with the internet beneath the internet. Whenever he tells me I just kind of glaze over, so I'm pretty sure it's witchcraft.
Are you interested in reading Coldest Girl together when I get it? No pressure. Is your sis thinking of giving it a try?
People are actually buying that Noah's dead? Like, REALLY really? I will be blown away with shock if he ends up truly having kicked the bucket in the second book. If he's going to die at all, it'll be in the third book and even then I'll be surprised if that happens. Let me re-define that: I'll be surprised if he dies in the third book and the death sticks. Authors are good at using momentary death where a character is dead but are somehow brought back (either naturally a la shocks to the heart or supernatural means). Did you remember what you were going to say about his contraindication?
Can you refresh my memory? Are Mara's facial features literally changing as time is going on? I remember Mara and Noah having a discussion about how she looks different, but I couldn't recall anyone else commenting on it, so I was wondering how apparent this transformation may be.
It was considerate of you to give the lady that wrote Bone Season an extra star for all the work she did in creating the world she wrote. From what you said, it does sound like an odd book to use for a Today Show book club read, although maybe there will be lots to discuss (and not necessarily in good ways, mind you) because of the strange things she's used in her writing. I totally buy what you're selling about the publishing company and The Today Show partnering up on this venture because of who they're both owned by.
I liked Greta more than Shannon did, but I was let down. It wasn't developed enough for my taste. It seemed more like a first draft in that way. I still like the premise, but I was definitely left wanting more (and some explanation).
I'm reading a book now by the guy who wrote The Radleys, which I remember you read. Have you read anything else by that author (Haig)? I'm barely into The Humans, but I'm quite enjoying it so far. It's humorous a la John Connolly.
Alright. I am going to admit this outright: I am confused. I thought the third Mara Dyer book came out this October. However, I just looked on Amazon to get the exact date and was surprised to see it doesn't actually get released until June 2014. Man, was I off! For some reason, I couldn't let it lie because I'd been so certain of the October release date, so I did a little Google search and saw people on GoodReads discussing how the book comes out in October (the discussions were taking place back in December), then went to Hodkin's own website where she says the release date is this October. Can you shed any light on my confusion? I'm hopeful Amazon just has the wrong details, but if not, I wonder what happened.
Regarding Jamie, it certainly appears that his power is having the ability to command others. I do not believe Noah is dead. He will be back and it will be in a corporeal, not spiritual, form. One thing *I* would NOT like to see is that Noah was died in the attack, but someone brought him back from the dead. I think that's an overused "superpower," so it's a cliché I'd like to see the story avoid. If it does utilize that storytelling device, it won't ruin the book for me; I'd just like to see it take a different direction. I'm suspecting Noah's dad will probably be behind some aspect of the experiments. Whether he's directly involved or indirectly (i.e. funneling money to the program), I'm not sure, but Noah's criticisms of his father and some of the other clues seem to point that direction.
When I was researching the actual release date, I saw a couple interesting things another user pointed out (who admitted he or she may be reaching, but I still found them to be noteworthy observations):
-The numbers 1821 or 1281 (the same numbers in reverse) seems to be important. Evidence: 1) When all the stats of the Horizons patients are posted for Mara to read, the patients with powers are said to have manifested with "G1821" original carrier. 2) The address of Jude's former residence was 1281 Live Oak Court. 3) The disk with the recording of when the building collapsed killing Claire and Rachel is labeled "31281."
-It turns out that 213 is another important number that signifies bad stuff. 213 is the room number of her Spanish class where the teacher dies. The disk that has the video that Claire made of the asylum collapsing is 31281 (312 is the first three numbers). When Noah catches Mara sleep walking and holding a knife in the kitchen, it is 2:13 in the morning. The room Jude and Mara were in at the asylum was numbered 213. The courtroom where Lassiter comes out of and is shot is number 213.
-Mara's and Noah's initials spell M.A.D.N.E.S.S. Mara reads at the end of the book that her stats posted by Dr. Kells say her suspected Contraindications is "n.e.s.s." Maybe this means that her contraindication (AKA weakness) is Noah since that's his initials. Similarly in Noah's stats, it says he was tested with a bunch of barbiturates he was unresponsive to. Then is says, "test m.a.d.," which is then crossed out. Perhaps they are trying to find his contraindication and they were trying to see if m.a.d. (Mara) was it, which was the whole point of having Jude torture Mara in front of him during the standoff in the zen garden. Since Mara ended up bringing down the building, interrupting the experiment, maybe that's why "test m.a.d." is crossed out.
Like the poster said, perhaps these observations are nothing more than grasps at those proverbial straws, but it impresses me that these things/patterns/trends were noticed.
I took My Name is Memory off my bookshelf last night and was flipping through it and rereading passages. That blasted Riverhead company either needs to allow Brashares to finish the story she set out to tell or allow another publisher to pick it up and distribute it. I hold out faith it will happen. The company that publishes The Monstrumologist series originally said they weren't going to allow the author to finish his last book. However, there was apparently a writing campaign from the fans and the publisher changed its mind. Memory just needs the same kind of fans to take up its banner and see the cause through. (This being said by someone who's hoping others will act because, well, it's just easier to set a spark to the flame.)
The lack of parental units in YA lit is still something I cannot relate to, but what you said is interesting. Just because my experience and those I grew up with was not that way does not mean it isn't out there.
Did Bone Season get better? I see you gave it two stars, but I was thinking it would get only one based on what you were saying the last time I checked in with you about it.
There was something I wanted to ask you yesterday, but forgot. Is Mara Dyer supposed to be a scary novel? Many of the quotes of praise from other authors that are on the back of both books mention something about the novels' creepiness and have a warning to make sure you read the books with the lights on if you're going to read them at night, but (and perhaps this is my age, although I don't think I'd have found it creepy even 15 years ago) I really didn't see anything that was supposed to keep you up at night, let alone be frightening. I am just curious if the publisher is trying to push this as a paranormal YA book and the author blurbs are the ones bringing up these horrific qualities or if the publisher wants this billed as a book in the horror genre. Perhaps all books with a paranormal bent are immediately classified as being a branch of horror and I'd find mention of "scariness" in any blurb of a book with supernatural elements.
So far I've only read two Kindle books through my library--Fingersmith and The Enemy. I have others I'm interested in, but I keep getting the regular book copies because they're available first. It's funny that you bring up the lacking quantity/quality of e-books available at Shannon's library because the same is true for mine. Just yesterday the county sent out an e-mail saying why that is. Apparently publishers are really resistant to libraries having e-books for patrons to check out, so many refuse to make their electronic materials available to libraries. It's absurd isn't it? How is loaning an e-book to a patron ANY different than loaning a traditional book? It's not. I guess authors are taking up a petition to send to publishers asking them to make more materials available to us patrons, so GO AUTHORS!
Is Will's betrayal of Tessa anything to do with his reading her private letters? It's the only other "betrayal" I can think of besides the one you mentioned. The rooftop discussion makes more sense to be classified as a betrayal, but the word "betrayal" seems awfully strong for that situation. Nate's behavior was most certainly a betrayal. Will's lying and offending Tess in order to protect her? Eh, not so much to me. Perhaps Clare is just being dramatic with her word choice in her Q&A. It wouldn't be the first time.
I never disliked Tessa, but I do STRONGLY dislike (perhaps even bordering on hate) her decision to leave her children. Yes they were grown and, if I remember correctly, had families of their own, but that just seems like such a weak move on her part. The whole series showed what a strong female she was. SHE was the one who ultimately saved everyone. Someone with that sense of courage at that young of an age wouldn't abandon her family later in life. It is a literary decision Clare made that will never sit well with me no matter how she explains and justifies it because it is so blatantly out of character from the Tessa we've been shown over the course of three books. When something like that happens, I generally fall back to saying 1. People (and fictional characters) don't always do what you'd expect them to; sometimes behavior or actions will be out of character and/or 2. The author knows his/her character best, so he/she knows what a given character would do (and perhaps that action really would be uncharacteristic behavior in a particular situation). However, I genuinely believe Clare made a mistake in the scenario she created. So, should I dislike Tessa or dislike Clare? For me, it's more the latter overall.
I liked the second Dyer book. I truthfully didn't know anything about the plot of the series before starting it. I just knew how much you liked it and that's what made me want to give the books a try. Since I didn't know what the series was about, I must admit that the story is going in a direction I never would have guessed (the whole psych ward being a front for studying the characters' powers). I'm extremely curious to see what the author is going to do with that. As an aside, I wish I could find more decent books like Dyer and the ID series that are YA, have some kind of paranormal aspect to them, and have a romantic side to the story. I'm really into that kind of read lately.
You asked me what parts I didn't care for. One thing I never really got used to was the way the author frequently had Mara think a thought and then IMMEDIATELY say it. I had a difficult time at first figuring out what was going on because I thought she kept repeating herself. I'd go back and realize that, no, she's thinking something and then saying it. That was on me though because I just didn't pay attention to where the actual quotation marks were and her actual thoughts weren't italicized in order to set them apart. There is another plot decision that seems popular in a lot of YA books these days and that is having a teen character that is basically on his or her own even though they have parents. Bella Swan's having a father who is rather incapable of taking care of himself and Grace from The Wolves of Mercy Falls series spring to mind. Noah's having parents, but not really having parents fits in with that. It's a small thing, but something that bugs me nonetheless regardless of what book I'm reading (whether it's one I love or one I'm not enjoying). I don't know what that says about me and probably don't want to analyze it too much. :)
Was Noah the only character you cast in your head? (You said you pictured Max Irons, right?) I honestly didn't use anyone famous, but made up the way characters look in my head. It's somewhat funny to me that the person I picture most clearly is actually Mara's mom. Haha!
I finished Something Wicked This Way Comes. I read it because I heard it's the book that inspired The Traveling Vampire Show, which is a book I really enjoyed (up until the horror reveal at the end). However, I didn't care for the way Something Wicked was written. I had a really hard time following what was happening without it feeling like it was work. I wanted to get lost in the story of an evil carnival visiting a town, but, at best, I felt merely an observer...and a rather disinterested one at that. I know it's a movie and I debate about looking to see if my library has it so I can actually understand what happened in some scenes. I have Bradbury's The Halloween Tree on hold for me at the moment and I admit that after this foray into his writing, I'm a little nervous at the idea of reading another story by him so soon. I'll still check it out though.
However, as a good reading note, my library's system shows it got Greta Wells, so I put a hold on it and am second in line, so yay for me!
It is sounding like Bone may have had a fun concept, but didn't have a very good editor to help the story be all it could. How can both the author and the publisher not even make it apparent where this book takes place?! Unless you're writing a story like Planet of the Apes, isn't it, like, writing 101 to make your reader be able to identify when and where the story is set? So far, do you think you'll stay on board with the series to see how it ultimately resolves or is this one book enough for you? Are you nearly finished?
P.S. Love your open letter to Clare!
I have a question for you. I was skimming Clare's latest tumblr post about CP2 and this was part of one of her responses:
"After all, what’s so wrong and terrible about Tessa? That she did her best, that she read a lot, that she believed in a brother who betrayed her, that she still found it in her to love others when her brother and then Will betrayed her within a tiny space of time in the very same book..."
My question is this: What is she referring to when she's talking about Will betraying her because I honestly cannot figure out a time he ever did that, let alone around the time Nate did in CP1. Do you remember?
I'm kind of second guessing the early references to Rowling that Bone Season is garnering. I already get kind of "meh" when a book has a glossary, but the fact that you were only 25 pages in to the book and had to reference it three times is bothersome to me. Having to do that takes you out of the story that's being woven as you read. I wonder if the author is going for an epic fantasy-type novel a la Tolkien with all his appendices. I hope your glossary jaunts have slowed down and the book has gotten better.
I haven't been reading anything since finishing the first Dyer book, but the second one is on hold for me at the library now, so I'll get it today. It's not supposed to be abnormally hot this weekend, so if I have time to read it, perhaps I won't think book two is overly long. :) Oh, and TRUST me when I tell you that it does not sound weird or even remotely strange to me that you will pull out a book and re-read a section. I like to do that very same thing (and sometimes for no good reason at all)! With the books you own, do you mark them up as you read or put Post-Its or anything like that in them (to immediately find certain passages or sections you particularly like) or do you like to keep the pages clean and crisp?
Although I have never authored anything before, I imagine it would be difficult to write the second book in a trilogy. You have to write it in such a way that the story recaps enough of the events from the first book so those readers who read book one when it originally came out will get a refresher and the people who finished it and then immediately get to read the sequel won't be bored to tears and annoyed with all the recapping. On top of that balancing act, you still have to work on setting up the resolution the third book will bring. It sounds a bit mind boggling as to how to go about doing that, especially depending upon how convoluted and complicated your story is. I guess that's what re-writes are all about.
I have found myself wondering why Clare writes most of her lead male character's voices the same way, too and I'm glad you brought up Magnus because even some of his dialogue is strikingly similar to Will's, Jace's, and Simon's. I liked Magnus a little in Clockwork Angel and Princess, but after reading all the MI books and CP2, like you, he bugs me. I don't actively dislike him (meaning, it isn't like I can't stand it when it's a scene involving him and he's on the page), but I. Just. Don't. Get. The. Adoration. For. Him. There are smaller players I much prefer to him and they're not even developed. Different strokes for different folks. Those who disagree with me about Bane would almost assuredly disagree with me about the second-tier characters I like and that, I suppose, is part of what is so enjoyable about being a fan of something (having opinions, whether differing from others or not, and being able to discuss them with other fandom members).
Now that you mention it, it is a rather funny thing that you can loan whatever physical book you buy to anyone you like as often as you like, but you're verboten from doing any such thing with e-books. In fact, I second what you said!
I was very tricksy regarding Mara Dyer! As I was reading it and thinking it was a bit on the long side, I found myself wondering if the fact it was almost 100 degrees in the house and I was basically laying in a puddle of my own sweat led to my conclusion that the book had a few too many pages to it. I was probably a bit fed up with a lot of things by that point in my day and the book may have been a poor victim of my heat-ittude. That said, despite my objections to the final page count, I DO wish Hodgkin included the R-rated Seuss stuff she wrote. It would have been funny to hear about that along with the adventures of the uber Curious George.
Thank you for the heads up that you thought some of the sections of the next book dragged. Do you know why the author had a hard time writing it? If you can't say because it will give plots point away, you don't have to tell me. It looks like the book has been shipped, but it hasn't reached my library yet.
I actually got a bit of a kick out of Hodgkin's writing style. I liked the spunk behind the narration and the fact that Mara's not a Mary Sue. She also manages to write some of the dialogue with sass and snark, but have that dialogue sound different from each character (as opposed to Clare who, in my opinion, has Will, Simon, AND Jace all talk practically the same--really, I bet you could choose random quotes from all three of those characters and, apart from anything era specific, you would have a somewhat difficult time discerning who was talking).
The Bone Season's going to be a seven book series?! *whistles* Wait, AND the author was only 20 when she was signed with a six figure deal for that series?! *double whistle* Well, you go girl! If she's already being compared to Rowling, that could either be a wonderful foreshadowing or a death nail in her career. I'm super interested in hearing what you think of it once you've finished the first book. I can see why you picked up The Return. It's quite a premise! That one interests me, too. The Gaiman novella kind of draws me in and Karen is reading it now, so I'm waiting to hear what she thinks of it before diving into it. I've only ever read Coraline, but I do believe I would enjoy his other stuff and think I should give them a shot at some point. I haven't read anything on any of the Amazon lists yet, but The Golem and the Jinni intrigues me because it's such an odd premise and Life After Life (the one you read) is still on my "To Possibly Read" list. There's a book coming out called The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells that I'm hoping my library buys because it's another novel whose premise intrigues me (a woman who can see what her life would have been like if she'd been born in different eras).
I really like Yancey's writing and stories. It sounds like it's the same style as it is in The Monstrumologist, only I'm guessing The 5th Wave has a bit more updated language since it takes place in the present day and The Monstrumologist series occurs mostly in the 1800s. Did there end up being an Aliens reference afterall? Does it appear that it will be a series?
I started and finished the first Mara Dyer book yesterday and enjoyed it overall. It was a just a tad overlong for me, but that may have been because I chose to read it all in one day rather than space it out. I've requested the next book from the library, but there aren't any copies currently checked in, so I'll have to wait until one becomes available. Alas, the mysteries of the second book shall allude me through at least the rest of this week.
Is that pre-pub ANY better...or worse (if that's even possible)?