Uncategorized,  Week in Review

TSS – 01.31.10

The last day of January, 2010. Oh my….where does the time go?!
Well, we started the year with winter storms, and we ended the month the same way. Although it never snowed a great deal at any point in time this past Friday, it did snow most of the day which resulted in about an inch of the fluffy white stuff on the ground. While some may be tiring of this winter weather, I love the fact that I can curl up in my nook and read…..which is exactly how I spent most of the day yesterday.

As you recall, I have been bringing home some serious stacks of books from the local library, as mentioned here and here. I knew there was no way that I could fully read all of them, but I was hoping to at least skim through them all and decide which ones I wanted to read immediately, and which ones could perhaps wait until another time. Well, that is what snowy Saturdays are made for!
I must say I did indeed hit the motherload! I was able to read the first 20 or so pages of all these books and the vast majority of them I desired to read on and finish in one sitting (I used great will-power, don’t you think?) Each of these books resonate with me in a different way, and yet all of them are vying for the top of the TBR pile.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Larsson Stieg. I can’t tell you how many of you highly – and I mean highly – recommended this book. However, I think Kay offered some sage advice: wait and read this book when I have the time to read the entire trilogy! So with that, I have decided to wait until summer to begin this mesmerizing series.
  • American Rust by Philipp Meyer. This has received some wonderful reviews in the bloggosphere, and some have even gone so far as to compare this debut author with John Steinbeck. However, after reading the first 20 or so pages I decided that this is not the book for me for now. The writing style is very fragmented, and while I am sure this is indicative of the subject matter and characters’ way of thinking/speaking – I am truly not in the mood to read a depressing, disjointed tale. I will add this to the TBR list and perhaps comes back to it at another point in time.
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker. I am already enthralled with Truly and I simply must discover the true story behind Dr. Robert Morgan (and why is he never referred to in first name only?) I love the author’s writing style: so descriptive using very unusual metaphors that transmits emotion as well as accurate detail.
  • Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler. I have not read this author before, but I can understand why she is popular. I was instantly drawn into this novel, mostly because I could totally relate to Liam, the main character, who at the age of 61 has been “forced” to retire from teaching. But more than that, the author’s easy writing style has gently carried me along in this narrative. I am anxious to discover what truly happened to Liam and what he has blocked out of his memory; I already care deeply about this man’s future.
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. Again, after only reading two short chapters I am very much involved in the lives of these three women and the caring relationship they share with one another. I am also wondering what role Mrs. Kelly plays in their lives, because right now she is not a woman that I trust with a ten foot pole. I must admit that I had a personal interest in this story as I used to live in New York City. I think once a Yankee, always a Yankee.
  • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin. Ok – so many of you ranted and raved about this book that I truthfully had my doubts that it could live up to the hype. Well, I am eating my words now. It is fantastic! I really know nothing about Alice in Wonderland nor its author, Lewis Carroll, but I am totally engrossed in this historical fiction narrative of the “real Alice.” I expect that this will be the first book that finish.
  • The Motion of the Ocean by Jana Cawrse Esarey. This would be the surprise book of the stack. I absolutely LOVE her writing style. She is witty, funny, poignant, and descriptive. She uses a bit more colorful language than perhaps I am accustomed to….but that doesn’t matter. I care deeply about her story – and I know that if it gets too serious, she will be sure to throw in enough humor to keep me from becoming too melancholy. This is probably the second book that I will finish as I feel it is the perfect book for me at this point in my life.
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. I discovered this series while searching for the Percy Jackson series online. Five years ago I would not be caught dead with a fantasy novel in my hand. It isn’t that I have anything “against” them, but I just don’t “get” them. At that time I forced myself to read The Hobbit as a compromise activity with my British literature class, and that has warmed me up to the genre, just a bit. I am currently listening to the Harry Potter series and totally enjoying that experience. I know that I will come back to the Fablehaven books soon and read the series as I found the opening chapter very well written and captivating. I feel that I should read the Percy Jackson series first, however, since so many of my students have told me that it is “amazing” Fablehaven is definitely high on the TBR list!
  • Mr. Dixon Disappears by Ian Sansom. After reading the first page (and perhaps that is too generous….the first paragraph), I decided that I must add this book to my personal library collection. I will gladly return this copy to the library for someone else to discover, and I will soon read the series in its entirety — chuckling as I go.
Hopefully I can continue this reading trend today.
I hope you have had a relaxing weekend, no matter the weather, and have found some time to pursue literary adventures of your own.

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