December 5, 2011

november 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."

The Painter of Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein (4 stars)

Epstein understands both words and art, and that made this book a great read. The story of a young girl sold into prostitution by her uncle, we follow her through her two years in the house, her rescue by a government official, her introduction to the art world, and her studies that take her around the world.

Due to the subject matter, I do not recommend this for most reader, and not for any of my teens (wait until your 25, please and thank you!).
Dara loaned this one to me, and it's no surprise that she liked it, being so art focused!

A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 6,7,& 8 by Lemony Snicket (3 stars to each)

The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital

They are still pretty quick reads (2 hours or less), but I'm sorta falling out of enjoyment with them. They are great stories, and if I was a kid or had kid, I'd likely enjoy them a tad more. I'll finish the series, but won't be rereading them soon.

Real Life and Liars by Kristina Riggle (3 1/2 stars)

I picked this one up because it was agented by an agent I'm interested in, and it was well worth the read. A story about a mother who is dying of cancer and her three adult children, this is a well-written exploration of family dynamics.

I'm not a huge fan of the multi-narrator/POV style (The mother is first person, the three "children" are in third), but it wasn't as annoying as some.

This is NOT a book for any of the CPers to be reading--wait until you've graduated college.

In the Frame by Dick Francis (3 stars)

Another fun read by Francis--this one is about a painter who ends up trying to clear his cousin, who is suspected of murdering his wife. Francis combines the art world, the wine world, and Australia into this one, and it's a blast. What was even more fun was realizing it was written before I was born--in the days when you could travel under any name you liked and had no cell phones :P.

Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins (4 stars)

I think once I have time to really spend with these poems, the ranking will go up to 5 stars, but on first read, I had a harder time than usual getting into this collection (that's to say it took five poems instead of the normal one!). Collins is still the best, and I love hi,

Hold Still by Nina LaCour (3 1/2 stars)

This was another one I picked up in my agent research. LaCour is one I'll watch for in the future. It was really a good read, I just don't know that I'll read it again. This YA tale is about a 17-year old whose best friend commits suicide. A few months later, the MC finds her friend's journal tucked under her own bed. She starts to read and finds out she how much she didn't see, and that her friend left her one final gift--a way to deal with the loss.

While it says YA, I'd say only the older YA set (17+) due to some subject matter.

It looks like I'm going to round out the year just over 100 books. I'm already reading number 99, and the month is young!


stephanie said...

The Unforunate Events series gets more and more tedious as it goes on...but still worth reading to the end to see how it ends. I hear Lemony Snicket has a series of 4 that have to do with some different aspect of the original series coming out in 2012.

Sara said...

Tedious is a good word for it! I'll finish just to see how it ends, but then I'll be done for a while :P I've already finished book 10--need to get the other three from the library soon.