October 2, 2011

september reading review

A once-a-month review of the books I read.

The rating is the same as Goodreads--5 stars means "it was amazing," 4 is "really liked it," 3 is "liked it," 2 is "it was okay," and 1 is "didn't like it."

Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery (3 stars)

Fourth in the Anne series, this one coves the three years between Gilbert’s proposal and their eventual marriage (which happens at the start of the fifth book). I didn’t like this one half so much as the first three, and I think that’s largely because it was largely written as letters from Anne to Gilbert. I missed the antics and situations that Anne always finds herself in. There were a few, but not enough for my taste.

The Bride Collector by Ted DekKer (3 stars)

It had been a few years since I picked up some DekKer, so I snagged this one when I saw it at the library.

It's classic DekKer--thriller, spiritual elements, smart characters, and rambling plots that you let him get away with because he usually goes somewhere interesting with them.

It was good--but there were a few things that bothered me. If you want to see more, check out my review on Goodreads.

What I Didn’t See by Karen Joy Fowler (3 stars)

This is a collection of quirky short stories. I really liked the title story, the rest of them didn’t make a huge impact. Good writing.

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas (3 stars)

I got this one for just a few dollars right before vacation, but didn’t get to reading it until after we got home. The story of an elderly woman who grew up in a mining town in the Colorado Rockies, this book feels a bit more like the collection of short stories that it started out as rather than a novel. I think Dallas tried too hard to make it a novel, and the plot she overlaid onto the stories was a bit flimsy. The book has character enough, but I’m unlikely to read it again.

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (3 stars)

I picked this one up at Goodwill for about $2, and I can say that the money was not wasted.

Mosse does a good job of weaving her story lines together (something I'm always a bit in awe of because I don't plot well). While other reviews have criticized her lack of character development and her tendency towards description, without giving away too much, I can say that what she did do took a great deal more effort, and in the end, I think it worked very well.

The book is cleanly written (my internal editor did not rear up at all), and the story is engaging.

Note to my younger friends--this is an 18 and older book.

To the Hilt by Dick Francis (4 stars)

Dick Francis is the favorite author of my friend Dara. This is the first book I’ve read by him, and I have to admit it was fun. With lots of humor and touching moments, Francis crafted a solid story that kept me very engaged. His writing wasn’t anything special, but it was clean. And his main character was adorable. I’ll be picking up more of Francis’ work in the future.

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