August Reading Log

I was busy in July, but I still managed to notch 10 books in my “read” belt. Some were short reads, like Playing with Power and The Seventh Princess, some were much longer, like 1984 and Bitten. I actually wrote reviews of a few of these, so I’m going to do some copying and pasting of them. Hope you don’t mind.

I also managed to fulfill one of my reading goals for the year: read 60 books. Book #60 was The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.

Magic’s Pawn – Mercedes Lackey
Oh Vanyel. Vanyel, Vanyel. Vanyel. I LOVED this trilogy when I was younger, and my heart would always bleed for poor Vanyel. Misunderstood, in love with a guy who probably didn’t love him enough, and gifted with talents that he didn’t want.

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George Orwell’s 1984

I participated in 2 swaps this month that ended up having me read George Orwell’s 1984. The first was called “Pick My Next Read” and the second was one where the genre changes each month. This month? Dystopias.

Originally, I was going to read The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau for the dystopia swap. However, it got close to the send by date, and I hadn’t even cracked the cover of it. I’d been tasked with reading a combo novel of Animal Farm & 1984 for the other swap, and so I am going to end up using 1984 for both. Sorry for being lazy.

Ultimatey, I can sum up my review of 1984 (and to a lesser extent, Animal Farm) this way: Continue reading

Mozzie is Lazy

20140812_223622Mozzie loves soft things. The softer, the better. He kneads on stuff, and then drools buckets. He will drool big enough puddles that if you sit in them, they will soak through your jeans, to your skin.

So living with us, he’s in soft thing heaven. Pet and I are fond of soft things too, and almost all of our blankets are soft, fuzzy ones.  Mozzie has no shortage of blankets to drool on.

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July Reading Log

July saw me chewing through seven books, which is more than average. One was a non fiction, 2 were books I had been waiting for, and two were even out of my comfort zone! That being said, only two were books I really, really liked.

 

Silver Shadows – Richelle Mead

Silver Shadows is the fifth book in the Bloodlines series, a spinoff of the wildly successful Vampire Academy series. Personally, I like Bloodlines far better than I like the VA series. Sydney, the main character, is far more intelligent and quick thinking than Rose, who was the lead for the VA series.

In this book, Sydney has been sent to re-education by the Alchemists, who discovered she’s in love with Adrian, a Moroi vampire. After spending who knows how long in solitary confinement, in the dark, Sydney figures her best chance of getting ahold of Adrian in dreams is to pretend to go along with the Alchemist’s “re-education” tactics. When the book isn’t being told from Sydney’s perspective, we’re getting Adrian’s, and his views from the outside as he struggles to free Sydney and figure out his own life.

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The Maze Runner

I participated in a swap on Swap Bot about Young adult books. Seems like YA novels have made the news quite a bit lately, and not just because piles of them are being made into movies. There’s a lot of controversy over adults reading YA, Ruth Graham had an article chastising those of us who are adults and reading YA, saying we should feel embarrassed.

I read a lot of YA, and I’m not embarrassed about it. YA seems to be where the interesting books are right now. My problem with a lot of “adult” fiction is that they deal with “adult” situations that I can’t relate to. Maybe I’m stuck in limbo somewhere, maybe I’m supposed to be making specific decisions that get me out of there, but I don’t relate to a lot of currently popular adult fiction.

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June Reading Log

June was short on reading material, I only managed 4 books, and 3 were really novellas or partials. I discovered a podcasting app on my phone, so I listened to a lot of those instead of audiobooks.

The Prince – Kiera Cass

This is technically a novella, since it’s only about 55 pages long. I read it after The One, because I noticed an ad for it in the back of the book. It’s about Prince Maxon, and a girl who’s a princess in another country. She’s in love with him, but he only likes her as a friend.

It was a short, easy read, and not a bad one. I’m fond of Maxon as a character, so I enjoyed reading this. It wasn’t particularly memorable though.

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2014 Reading Goals

On Swap Bot, I’m a co-founder of a group called Carpe Librum. As you might expect, it’s all about books. One of the swaps I started at the beginning of the year was for 2014 reading goals. I find I do much better with goals if I have accountability, and a swap provided that. Eventually I had to cancel the series due to lack of interest, but I kept to my 2014 reading goals.

To continue accountability, I thought I would post my 2014 reading goals, and where I’m at with them. Even if no one reads them, I still feel like I’m being held accountable.

#1: Read 60 books
I figured I could manage a book a week, so my original goal was 50 books. Then I thought that looked puny, so I upped it to 60 books.
How many have I read? 40 according to Goodreads. Goodreads counts short stories, so the actual number of novels is 36. I’m still head of schedule, since I should be about the 25 book mark.

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May Reading Log

Witness In Death – JD Robb
One of my reading goals for the year was to read (and re-read) the first 10 books of JD Robb’s In Death series. I’d read the first 8, plus a few additional ones throughout the series, and I thought it would be nice to work my way through them again. This was book 10.
I hadn’t read this one before, and it was nice to get a book where I didn’t automatically recall everything about it. This one’s interesting too, in that it takes place in a theatre, on stage, with lots of people watching the play. Also, the murdered guy is an asshole, that almost no one likes or cares about. He gets what’s coming to him, and even Eve agrees, but she does her job, and makes sure that the actual murderer is caught.

Panic – Lauren Oliver
I was going to read Panic for Carpe Librum’s book club, but I ended up reading The Fault In Our Stars instead. I couldn’t get Panic soon enough from the library to finish it in time.
Panic is an interesting book. Oliver’s books usually focus around a character that usually comes from a messed up family, usually a poor one. Her best friend is usually more well off. And every character is flawed, usually to an extreme. This book is no exception to it.
I did find the game of Panic interesting: doing crazy things, starting with jumping into a quarry, and ending with a vehicular version of chicken, all to win a potential chance to get out of Carp. From what you see in the book, no one who’s won has really made good for themselves, and in a few cases, it’s messed the people up royally.
One thing I didn’t like was how predictable a couple things in the book were. First, Heather’s best friend Bishop is tied into Panic, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll catch on to why a couple chapters before it’s revealed. Also, there’s a woman who’s caring for tigers, and they escape, and one of them ties into the ending. I didn’t guess it in advance, but when I read it, I wasn’t surprised.
There’s one nitpick I have of the book, and it’s the amount the winner of Panic gets: $67,000. Seniors pay a fee of $1 per day school is in session, and at the end, the winner takes all. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s just the seniors, because paying into it every year for 4 years of high school seems excessive.
It doesn’t add up. Assuming every senior chips in $365, or $1 for each day of the year, you’d have to have 184 students in the graduating class. In a town of 12,000, that’s possible. I had 182 students in my graduating class, and I went to school in a town of 11,500 people.
But this is a case where it’s every day of school. The average in the US is 180 days, according to most sources I’ve read. So that’s just under half of 365. So, doubling the 184 kids means there would have to be a graduating class of 368 people to make up $67,000 (368 kids * $180). That’s way high for a town of 12,000 people. Even if that’s an usually large class, nearly ¼ of the town is under 18, and I don’t buy that. A minor nitpick, but it stuck with me.

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