Friday, June 12, 2009

Some reviews

It's been a long time since I actually made a blog post (2 months? really?). When I logged in, I saw the little box that says "Remember me" and read it as more "Remember me?" That seemed more appropriate.

I've been remiss with book reviews but have several to post about. I'm just going to do a review blast here and will hopefully get back into posting "real" reviews soon.

I try to fill in the "stopped" field in LibraryThing when I finish a book, but I forgot on a couple, so these may not be perfectly chronological.

All Other Nights
by Dara Horn: I got this one from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, and I am fascinated with the period surrounding the Civil War, so this one was a perfect match. I very much enjoyed this book, although I did feel the ending was lacking. It's hard to write a review a couple of months after reading, so I'll just mention that I gave it 4.5 stars in LibraryThing. Highly recommended.

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway: Another LT Early Reviewer. This one was literarily very good and it was a quick read. It was, however, quite bleak. It is based on a true story of cellist who played for 22 days in the middle of war-torn Sarajevo in honor of 22 people killed in a market bombing. Told from the perspective for 4 different characters, Galloway brought to life the horror of living in a city under siege. I gave this one 4 stars.

Ringside, 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial by Jen Bryant: This children's book about the Scopes Trial regarding the teaching of evolution in a Tennessee classroom was written in verse. There were several narrators, and all had their own unique voice. This was a very quick, enjoyable read. I gave it 5 stars.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This book is more of a novella than a full-length novel. It was the first Garcia Marquez book I've finished (having started 100 Years of Solitude and putting it aside a while back) and I enjoyed it. The main character is an elderly man (approaching his 90th birthday, I believe) who has never married but has frequented "houses of ill repute" for most of his life. He falls in love with a young girl who he has hired, but cannot bring himself to actually touch. There is magical realism and the book is quite odd, but also rather sweet. I gave it 4 stars.

The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber: This one is a mix of historical fiction and contemporary fiction. An old manuscript, thought to lead to the hiding place of an undiscovered Shakespeare play, is found. Gangsters are after it, and a few people die. There is romance. There are chases. :-) I enjoyed the book, but it's just ok. I gave it 3 stars.

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery: Sigh. I wanted to love this book, because I've heard such wonderful things. It just didn't do anything for me, unfortunately. I gave it a reluctant 3 stars.

Currently I'm reading (and am almost through with) Helen of Troy by Margaret George. I should finish it this weekend and will *hopefully* post a review. Also on the nightstand is (still) The Mists of Avalon, which I'm reading intermittently.

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