I've been rather too busy to post about what I've been reading, so it's been a while. I hate leaving books out because I feel it's unfair to tout one book but not another. So, this is going to be a quick, collective update (book links on the side):
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Gripping, excellent mystery novel. There are a few sexually explicit and some rather violent scenes, but they are neither out of context nor tasteless. I'm not one who usually enjoys violence, or indeed sexual violence, but this was warranted and helped tell the story, even if it was momentarily disturbing. All in all a great book which I can recommend to any adult mystery lover.
The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton
The Story of Bagman's Uncle
These are both short stories by Dickens. They're interesting and a bit spooky. Enjoyable if you want a quick read.
The Edgar Allan Poe Collection - What can I say, it's Poe. You either like him, or you don't. I like most of his work, so reading the collection was enjoyable for me. I suppose The Fall of the House of Usher is my favourite because of the parallels between the downfall of the house with the downfall of humans, specifically those living in the house. It takes being haunted by your past to new heights.
Free Range Knitter - Excellent book, even for non-knitters. Insightful, interesting, touching and funny. I've recommended it to several people so far and everyone has enjoyed it.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Cute book and a good background read if you're into Harry Potter. I suppose it wouldn't make much sense if you weren't. As I am, I quite enjoyed it.
The Victoria Vanishes
The Water Room
Both of these are from Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crime Unit series. Both are good, homey mysteries. Neither too brutal, gory, scary, nor too silly. It's like reading Agatha Christie. You know it'll be a good read, but it won't haunt you for ages to come in your nightmares.
The Last Battle
Both of these are out of the C.S. Lewis children's series. I liked The Last Battle much better than I did the last time I read it, possibly because it's easier for me to see the symbolism now. Both were good reads, regardless of whether you look deep into them or not. I still like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe best out of the series though.
Magyk / Flyte / Physik / Quest by Angie Sage
These are most definitely children's books, but they are so fun. I know a lot of you have already heard me gushing about them, but I really did like them. They aren't a deep read, but the characters are engaging, the stories are interesting and much of it is just fun. Darn good stories. We could use more of those in children's lit. Loved them and they are on my very soon to be re-read list.
The House of the Seven Gables by Nate hawthorn
I do really keep trying to like American Literature and this was my latest attempt. I'm sorry Inkysticks, I know you loved it, but I just didn't. Hawthorn uses a lot of symbolism, which is good, but he tends to go on and on about it until you feel like screaming at him that you "darn well got the point already so move on would you please!?" I don't necessarily need action packed books, but this one could have done with a little more interaction with the characters instead of the circuitous explanations of things past. It's only redeeming factor is the ending, which is at least quite a bit less dismal than the rest of the book. As for the Gothic mystery part, Nate should have taken courses from Poe because it sort of left me feeling like it was a weak attempt at Poe imitation. This book didn't do it for me at all I'm afraid.
Wizard's First Rule
I understand this is being made into a series, but I can't imagine it will be good. The book itself is a bit of a conundrum for me. It was engaging enough for me to finish it fairly quickly, but there were parts I would have edited out heavily. Goodkind took certain things too far, as in too much of a good thing is no longer good. Specifically I remember beginning to think that Goodkind must be some kind of sado-masochist or something because the torture scenes just went on and on and on and...You get the point. Even though he used them to make a good point, they were overdone in my opinion and the point could have been made with fewer words. That doesn't mean to say I'm criticizing the violence, just the length. There were a few other places I felt like could have benefited from a good editor as well, but it was a decent read all in all. I'm just not sure I will be reading any more of his books, or at least not if I have to purchase them to do so.
Typical Terry Pratchett. If you like Mr. Pratchett's works, you'll like Making Money. It's full of satire which happens to be particularly poignant in today's economy. Enjoyable story, with lots of subtle and not so subtle humour and commentary, a good, quick read.
Finally, The Shell Seekers
I read this because Inkysticks recommended it to me. I had seen the movie, but just thought it was fluff. The book was much better. There was so much more behind the characters that didn't come out in the movie, although they did portray the money-grubbing children fairly accurately. It's difficult to describe this book. There was so much happiness and yet so much sadness, much of which was unnecessary. It's a book every young girl should read before her first serious relationship. It might make an impression as to how much a decision can effect your life. Again, sometimes I found myself wondering why I was reading it, but I have to admit that it haunted me for several days after I finished it, so it wasn't just a fluff book. It introduces many themes which deserve thought and reflection and creates a surprising emotional attachment to at least one of the characters. All in all a good book. I might read more by Rosamund Pilcher.
That's all for now.