Wendy (here_be_dragons) wrote,
Wendy
here_be_dragons

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Books - #s 58 through 61

There are some things that might be considered spoilerish behind the cuts . . .

#58 -
Eragon by Christopher Paolini

I haven't read a whole lot of fantasy in the past several years (the HP books notwithstanding), but I read lots and lots back 15 years or so ago. And I enjoyed this book as much as any I can remember reading. It's a story about a young man and a dragon (I don't imagine this is a spoiler, considering the dragon is pictured on the front cover ::grin::). I don't want to say much more because just about anything else I say would be a spoiler. The book (it seems to me, anyway) moves along a fairly common fantasy theme - I didn't find anything particularly unique or surprising here, but I enjoyed the writing, and the world the author has created. I'm also intrigued by his system of magic. More than anything, I'm impressed by the fact that he was only 15 years old when he started writing this book. As with "Tithe," I'm at a bit of a loss as to why this book was classified as "young adult." Probably, as pointed out by professoralan here, that many publishers seem to think grown-ups don't want to read about dragons and wizards and such. (Wrong ::grin::). My only disappointment with this book was to discover that this was the first in a trilogy. ARGH! Now I have to wait for the next book to be published, and THEN I'll have to wait for the third. Shades of Harry Potter, except that in this case, I don't plan to become obsessed (which makes the waiting much much harder). (Library book)

#59 -
The Jane Austen Book Club - by Karen Joy Fowler

I enjoyed reading this book, but I can't say that I loved it . . . the story was interesting and mildly humorous, but I didn't *like* any of the characters well enough to really get involved. I probably missed some of the undercurrents of certain sections for not having read all of Austen's books (I've read S&S, P&P and Mansfield Park). Even so, I just didn't find it as "clever" as others seem to have. I also disagreed with some of her synopses of Austen's books (for example, I don't consider Colonel Brandon "dull" by any stretch of the imagination). I'm not sure I'd recommend it, although anyone who is a big Austen fan would probably find it of interest. Hee - I think this was the most negative review I've given in quite a while. I suppose that's a good sign; that even a book I didn't really like was still enjoyable. (Library book)

#60 -
Digital Fortress - By Dan Brown

I liked this book, but didn't love it. It found it very predictable (I'd guessed the identity of the bad guy ridiculously early on in the story. Seriously. Like the first time this person's name was even mentioned. And I'm dumb about stuff like this, so it must have been obvious). There were some fun twists, but nothing mind-blowing, and (as with DaVinci Code), I found myself figuring out stuff more quickly than the "experts" in the book did. The "element" thing at the very end was SO obvious to me, it never occurred to me that it could mean anything but what it ended up meaning, but it took all these 170 IQ types ages to figure it out. (I don't think that is a spoiler, btw, even though it might sound like one). ::grin:: I was also a bit put off by the Mary-Sue and Gary-Stuishness of the main characters. Breathtakingly gorgeous, perfect bodies, smart and athletic - too perfect. The woman is even described as having a willowy figure and "full" breasts. Oh yeah, skinny and big boobs. ::grin:: Plus an IQ of 170. Damn - if I'd known he was going to base his book on me, I'd have asked for a cut of the profits. ;-) I find that sort of thing annoying . . . when all the male characters notice how "striking" and angelic she is, even when she's covered in grime. Not necessary to the plot, and it . . . well, I notice it and it distracts me from what's really happening in the book (unless this chick's beauty is really integral to the plot, which in this case it wasn't, IMO, although I suppose a case could be made the other way), and I just don't enjoy it. In spite of these things, though, on the whole, it was a decent read for anyone who likes techy-thriller sort of things. Reminiscent of Michael Chrichton, but not as well executed, IMO. (Library book)

#61 -
Confessions of a Shopaholic - by Sophie Kinsella

I loved this book, partly because I can relate (a bit too well) to Rebecca's plight. I definitely have shopaholic tendencies of my own (although I've gotten better). But I really enjoyed both the humour and the *accuracy* with which she described her behaviour. The rest of this might be considered SPOILERish, so beware:

I *know* that feeling of anxiety . . . what if someone else buys it? What if they run out? What if they're sold out of my size before I get there!!!!! I'd have hidden the zebra trousers, too. And the bit about the scarf . . . I was literally LOL - it was obvious what was going to happen, but it was still so funny to watch. So, in some ways I found it really funny, but at the same time, I understand that the author is describing something *real* - I'm not often able to empathize quite so strongly with a character in this sort of book, but I could really understand Rebecca's feelings. And her behaviour. Because I've been there. Anyhow, I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to reading more by this author. One of the things I really liked about it was the way that Rebecca ended up succeeding by believing in herself (for once) and by sticking to her morals and being truthful, sort of (also for once ::grin::). I was really rooting for her, especially when she appeared on the television show after watching Luke and his staff prepare to defend themselves. Great book. And it will be great currency for Book Relay - finally, I can get in on one of the chick lit relays. (I usually check these sorts of books out of the library, but I bought this one at the used bookstore). :-) (purchased used; plan to BookCross)
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