Monday, April 14, 2008

book comments 5 (in which i briefly wax political)

Most of my latest reading adventures. I think I'm forgetting a few, but I'm sure those few of you who actually read my book reviews will forgive me. ;o)

"Velocity" by Dean Koontz
--fast-paced, entertaining, good read, kept me on the edge of my seat
--Billy Wiles is the tormented main character, and I just wanted to cuddle him.
--SPOILER: The love of Billy's life is in a coma, and she doesn't wake up before the end of the book, if I recall correctly. This is a little too close to the situation of one of Koontz's other leading men, Odd Thomas, the love of whose life is dead. I'm starting to get a little tired of Koontz Leading Men who don't get to move on emotionally because their girls are either incapacitated or deceased. I'm a girl. I like a little requited romance here and there.
--That said, I still recommend the book. ;o)

"The Crucible" by Arthur Miller
--I will betray my ignorance of classic American literature by admitting that before I picked it up, I thought this was a novel, not a play.
--So it was a faster read than I'd been anticipating. ;o)
--thoroughly enjoyed it, thought it was a great comment on society, both past and present
--saw the movie a few years ago, so had trouble not seeing Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder in my head while reading
--no complaints about Day-Lewis visual; "Last of the Mohicans" is still a favorite
--but I digress
--"Crucible": highly recommend, especially in light of society's continuing penchant for inciting hysteria among the masses; nowadays, this takes place a great deal over email forwards :oP

"Cat O'Nine Tales" by Jeffrey Archer
--picked it up because the author is a British politician telling stories he heard while he was in prison (true!)
--collection of extremely clever short stories with often hilarious criminal punch lines
--fascinating, fun, excellent read
--Archer writes in a style I call "veddy British," and I love it.
--highly recommend

"Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" by Immaculée Ilibagiza
--Um. Wow. Scary. Heartbreaking. Infuriating. Horrifying.
--I thought after watching "Hotel Rwanda," I had found out as much as I wanted to about the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. Well, I was wrong, and I'm ashamed of my prior lack of interest. I think everyone needs to read this book. Especially everyone who has a strong opinion about the war in Iraq.

You think political errors have been made in regard to Iraq?

The political errors regarding Rwanda--specifically, the barely-there and very late-in-coming involvement of the world's democratic governments--stand out much more starkly. And are a whole lot more embarrassing. Those people needed the Western world's help *a lot sooner* than any of us gave it. I am embarrassed that we didn't give it.

But Rwanda doesn't have oil.

'Nuff said.

"By the Sword" by Mercedes Lackey
--classic sword-and-sorcery fantasy
--reminded me pleasantly of Andre Norton
--for the most part, fast-paced and action-packed
--got me interested in checking out Lackey's other novels set in this particular universe ("Heralds of Valdemar")
--I had some trouble relating to the heroine, simply because I'm much more of a girl than she is. ;o)
--I did get bored with and skimmed over a lot of the battle tactic and war strategy stuff, especially toward the end of the book. Those parts made me think, "Get on with the story!" The large gaps of time (one spanning ten years!) between chapters and parts were a little distracting
--recommend to anyone who likes "old school" fantasy ;o)

Coming Soon to a Courtney's Blog near you:

(drumroll, please)


"The Golden Compass" trilogy, more correctly known as "His Dark Materials"!!!

Lighting will strike! Run for your life!!!!!!



Patricia said...

Crucible is SUCH a well-written work, I'm glad you liked it!!

I'm not sure how it'd work on your blog, but you might like

Court said...

I've considered shelfari, and I do believe it would work here...but I resist, because it would be Yet One More Thing On The Internet To Keep Up With. With Which To Keep Up. *sigh* You know what I mean. ;o)

I'm still considering.