Saturday, February 20, 2010

Books I've Loved or Read Recently

Cara Jean (MeanJeansArt and D.I. Denizen) asked me what books I read...well, um, I read those children books. BUT! I do read some more mature books sometimes. This is what I said (and then some) in one of those tiny little comment boxes before I realized it should be a post:

I was thinking of doing a post of books I read, but I don't know...I still read a lot of YA books!
I loved the Hunger Games.Hunger Games 2-Pack: Hunger Games & Catching Fire Hardcover Books
It's surprisingly easy to relate to heroine Katniss as she's thrust into a carnal game of murder celebrated by the cruel Capitol every year. Every move she makes is with the intent to play the game--which plays with her mind until she can barely distinguish between what she does for herself and for the Capitol.
It is not overly graphic.

I have recently been reading the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld--I suppose they're sci-fi, but not invasively so. Tally lives in a society obsessed with beauty, so much that they perform surgery on every sixteen-year-old with the claim that the resulting beauty is the only way to be accepted. Having grown up with this idea ingrained in her mind, Tally will do nearly anything to be pretty. What she doesn't know yet is that the surgery does more than change your appearance...
Throughout the series, it becomes more and more clear how the city manipulates Tally into making their plans work. Tally somehow finds a way to defy them every time.
Uglies (Boxed Set): Uglies, Pretties, Specials (The Uglies)

I really loved a book called Kiln People by David Brin, and that is classified as sci-fi, but it's also a mystery that is really well spun. Albert is a fairly predictable man with a fascinating career as a detective, but he's far from traditional. In an age where people can make clay copies of themselves (in varying ranks and colors) for various chores and leisure--or anything they don't want to do in person--Albert has replicas of himself all over the place solving his mystery for him. There's a constant danger for the dittos, though; their only hopes of sharing their data with realAlbert is by "inloading" their memories at the end of their 24-hour shift, and it looks like their's been some ditnapping... ;)
Really, this is such a cool book. I love the very idea.
The only complaint I have for it is that once in a while the dialogue goes on for too long without tagging who's speaking, and one sentence suddenly turns out to be spoken by Albert when you thought it was his friend. Oh well. Still good reading.

And...I love the Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, but again that's meant for a younger audience...this book is so innocent and sweet. It's charming and clever, too. I loved it from the beginning!

[younger audience]The Larklight series by Philip Reeve is funny! It's told by a younger brother who thinks his sister is ridiculous, and he's hilarious the way he talks about her and everything. There's even a part or two where his sister (Myrtle) gives her own account of what happened, and the comparison is so funny; it reminds me hugely of my sister Rae! HAHAHAH!!!! Sorry, Rae. Myrtle is cute.
It all takes places in a world where England is still the biggest world power, and space is breathable (hence liveable). I actually laughed aloud pretty often!

You see, I really do like children's books! :D

But! More adultlike: The Poisonwood Bible (you MUST) by Barbara Kingsolver. I felt like I had been to Africa, and more importantly, I felt like I understood Africa. The family is absolutely believable. They're also loveable...and hateable.
The Poisonwood Bible (Oprah's Book Club) (Paperback)

Dragonwyck by Anya Seton (generally out of print but some libraries might have it). The first time I read this book, I did not sleep. Except by accident for ten minutes, after which I jerked awake, completely alarmed that I had lost my place. I found it and resumed reading immediately.
Quite a load of romance and mystery...a dangerous sort of secret that maybe Miranda doesn't want to discover...
I love Miranda. She starts off so naive (but so spirited) and learns the darkness of men only after she's been blinded by what she thought was love. That sounds melodramatic, doesn't it. But I can vouch for its coolness, don't worry.
Oh man, and the fat fat fat woman Johanna...I pity her disgustingness. Poor huge thing.

I'll try to think of more, especially more that are for us "Older" people. :)
Oh yeah, and I read a pretty interesting one called A Shortcut in Time by Charles Dickinson (yeah, what a name--but it was cool).
At first, he only cut 15 seconds back in time, but after he examined his route again, he found that the shortcut could take him a hundred years back. I forgot what his name is. Hee hee...
A young girl appears from seemingly nowhere, and everyone thinks she belongs in the foster home. Only the Man believes her story of whence she came ("where she came from" would be poor grammar, oh dear). And...I'm having a hard time making this sound as interesting as it is. :\ TIME TRAVEL = INTERESTING, right? I hope so.
A Shortcut in Time

And one more, but I wonder how well I can recommend it. It's called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, by Mark Haddon.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Sadly, it had so much profanity, but it's so sensitively written. It's about an autistic boy and the way his world is. REALLY really interesting (to me). Christopher's mind pretty much divides the world in black and white, and somehow, his views are more tender than those of people who should be able to understand more than he does.
Christopher hates anything yellow because he figures if he likes one color, he should dislike another.
He likes to be crouched in tight, tiny spaces.
He can play Minesweeper in so few seconds it's crazy.
He hates people who lie, and he believes most people lie.
Christopher will not use a toilet besides the one at home, and he's glad he's not like another boy at their special school who will poop on purpose when he's mad.
And...someone killed the neighbor's dog, which disturbs Christopher more than it disturbs anyone else. He goes about solving this little "mystery," intent on writing a book. The answer to it all is so terribly heartbreaking.

GASP! And I LOVE the book the Count of Monte Cristo, if you're looking for a classic, but maybe that's just me. I adored it. Don't watch the movie--it's stupid because it does not at all capture the old fashioned exoticness of the Count, who returns from years in a dark prison with its darkness reflected in his deep, enigmatic eyes. No one understands how he came to be so incredibly skilled at all he does and so impossible to figure out.
The Count of Monte Cristo (Barnes & Noble Classics)

One more. Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. It's poetic, so beautiful. As influential as Poisonwood Bible in the way that it made me feel like I knew Japan (I do to some degree by now from having been there, but this was beforehand). The world of a geisha is harsh and beautiful with infinite precision. Sayuri's heart is deep from the beginning as she recounts her life's story.
*I personally love the way she understands the cruel Hatsumomo who is evilly intent on ruining Sayuri's career as a geisha...

My "style" for books has a wide range. :)
I'll try to think of more if you want!

Sheesh, this should be a post!

(Hmmm, yes, yes it should...)


  1. I love book recommendations from people whose reading tastes are those I trust! :) I LOVE Hunger Games/Catching Fire and cannot WAIT for the next one to come out...

  2. Thank you for these, Qait :) :) I haven't read a good book in aaaages! I used to be such a bookworm when I was younger. I think I will make a trip to my library with your list! Cheers me dears! :)


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