"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reader Quiz

BuzzFeed thinks it can guess where you live based on your reading preferences. I got New England as a result, which isn't bad, though NY is a Mid-Atlantic State. But so many of the question choices were not the ones I would have preferred, especially my favorite type of protagonist. "Quirky and dysfunctional" wasn't an option.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Goblin Emperor

TITLE: The Goblin Emperor
AUTHOR: Katherine Addison

Katherine Addison is the new pen name for Sarah Monette who wrote the wonderful Labyrinthine series, so I had high hopes for this. It's well written, for starters. Addison's prose is most readable. The story is told from the pov of the title character, a half-breed (elf-goblin) teen whose father, the emperor, and all his half-brothers are killed in a suspicious accident. Maia, living in exile with a guardian after his mother died, as his father's remaining heir, is brought to the capital and elevated to emperor despite having no training in the affairs of court and not knowing who he can trust. Thus begins a fish-out-of-water tale as Maia begins his on-the-job training while also trying to discover who killed his father and brothers and while others are plotting against him. It sounds great. If only more of that got on to the page.

Being all told from Maia's pov, we see only what he sees and does and that's mostly affairs of court, which isn't really my thing despite being competently written. And though there is some mention of tension between elves and goblins, there's not a whole lot of fantasy going on in the book. There is some actual action, which made me wish for more of it, and then it ends rather nicely, setting up the universe for more stories.

The lack of much of anything really going on made this an easy book to put down and I think it took me as long to read it as it took me to read all 5 published Song of Ice and Fire books combined. If this sort of book is your thing, you'll probably enjoy it. Maia is a pleasant, likable character and the prose moves along nicely without a hitch. I just don't think this sort of book is my thing.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Books I Won't Read

This post intrigued me: "Ten Books We'd Probably Never Read," over on The Broke and Bookish.

So, here are 10 books I haven't read and have no plans to ever read, in no particular order.

  1. Fifty Shades of Grey. It's fine that there are people who love it, but it's not for me, and not just because of the subject. I've read that it's poorly written, too. Not something I plan to spend time on when there are plenty of other books to read, including plenty of erotic ones. 
  2. Gone with the Wind. Yeah, I know. It's a classic. But I never did read it and I think the ship has sailed on this one for me.
  3. The Vampire Lestat and other books by Anne Rice. I had the series for years before I decided to take a look at them. I can usually get hooked on a book that interests me by skimming it. It didn't work for me with these.
  4. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I barely heard of them when I was growing up, preferring science fiction to fantasy. Now that I've seen the movies, unlike with "Game of Thrones" that led me to devour "The Song of Ice and Fire" books, I have no interest in Tolkien's books. The movies were fine.
  5. Harry Potter series. What I said about Tolkien's books above applies to these, too. Watching the movies was sufficient.
  6. Outlander series. I watched the first half of the first season of the series but lost interest after the second half of the season started. Which tells me I probably shouldn't bother with the books.
  7. Anything by Joyce Carol Oates. I tried one of her books, didn't get past page 2. So boring.
  8. Anything by Hemingway. I had to read one of his books in high school. I got up to page 7 or 8 before I quit and faked my way through the classwork.
  9. The Great Gatsby. Yeah, another classic. People love it. It never interested me, and it was never assigned in my classes, so I lucked out. 
  10. Vanity Fair. This classic was assigned in other classes, but not in mine. I always meant to read it on my own, the way I did with so many classics, but in the past, many decades, I've never gotten around to it. I think this is another case of too late.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Reading List

Well, I read one of these 16 Books to Read and Love Forever. And I want to read at least 3 or 4 of the others. So that's good, right? For the record, the one I read is The House of Sand and Fog.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Deal Makers

The Broke and the Bookish asked what books are deal makers. Aside from reviews in Publishers Weekly or Entertainment Weekly that make a book sound intriguing, I'm a sucker by books by an author I already like. I'm also intrigued by historical fiction, especially historical mysteries set in places and/or time periods I don't know much about. Science fiction is pretty much a guarantee I'll be interested, but if a book also has an alternate reality or time travel element, I usually can't buy it fast enough. I'm also a sucker for dysfunctional or emotionally damaged protagonists.

So, what are your bookish weaknesses?