Saturday, January 01, 2011

book comments 33 and my book count for 2010

Welcome to 2011, everybody! I intended to write this post before the new year was upon us -- but instead, I spent the last week of 2010 in bed with the flu. So here are my very brief comments on the books I've read since August:

"Lord Prestimion" by Robert Silverberg
--had high hopes for this one because I've loved Silverberg's "Kingdoms of the Wall" for years
--broke my own rule of not reading a book from a series without having read the rest of the series first
--shouldn't have broken my rule
--cutting unnecessary description would cut 50% of the novel; sorry, but I simply don't care what the jungle looks like
--skimmed the 2nd half of novel, read the end and found out guy gets girl, didn't finish
--don't recommend

"Sybil" by Flora Rheta Schreiber
I wrote more extensively about this book here.
--totally fascinating story of a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder (aka multiple personalities)
--Schreiber's style is a bit dry and academic at times, but Sybil's story still kept my attention.

"The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri
--kept having to remind myself that Dante was writing from a 15th-century mindset --
'cause I had a real problem with the dude's worldview
--I mean, really...children in hell?
--And don't even get me started on the physicality of Dante's "hell."
--Oh. And his view of the nature of God. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
--I can't figure out if Dante was informed by Catholic thought of his time, or if his work has informed Catholic thought since his time. Or both. I kinda think he messes with Catholic minds the same way Milton ("Paradise Lost") messes with Protestant minds.
--interesting read, though only in small chunks at a time (took me 6 months)

"His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik
--Napoleonic Wars + dragons = awesome history/fantasy mashup
--There are sequels. I will be reading.
--highly recommend

"Protector of the Flight" by Robin D. Owens
--had high hopes for this modern fantasy, too
--Sadly, the protagonist didn't interest me by the end of Chapter 1, so I gave up.
--might be a good read for teen girls with keen interest in horses and fantasy
--don't recommend to adults

"The Dragons of Babel" by Michael Swanwick
--had high hopes for this, my first real steampunk read
--sadly, no go on this one either
--both story arc and protagonist's main goal get lost in oodles of (albeit cool) action sequences
--beginning of the story really grabbed me -- but after he killed off the dragon (almost immediately), it just wasn't exciting anymore
--don't recommend

"Necroscope" by Brian Lumley
--really interesting take on the vampire legend, plus all sorts of paranormal goings-on
--a few very gritty scenes, so let the reader beware
--recommend only to horror fans

"World War Z" by Max Brooks
--of all my zombie reads thus far, this is probably the best yet
--premise is post-zombie-apocalypse, world is recovering and cleaning up, people are telling their stories of how it all went down
--This novel, more than anything else, showed me how the zombie genre is really all about the survivors
--highly recommend to genre fans

"Serpent" by Clive Cussler
--my first Cussler read, and enjoyable
--vivid descriptions and extremely clear characterization
--gotta admit, I didn't care for the details of all the boats, diving gear, digging equipment, etc.
--Cussler got me into the head of the main female character early on, then didn't spend much time with her after that --> disappointing
--but kept a good pace throughout, which kept me reading
--recommend to adventure genre fans

"The Walking Dead, Vols. 9-11" by Robert Kirkman et al.
--continuing graphic novel adventures of Rick & co., trying to survive in a world filled with the living dead
--still enjoying this series immensely
--highly recommend to graphic novel and/or zombie genre fans

Courtney's Total Count of Read Books for 2010: 58.5

2009's book count was 46 (or 49, if you look at the plumped count), so: In 2010, I achieved my goal of reading more books than in 2009! Yay me. I hope somebody gives me cookies.

Or at least more books to read. ;o)