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Sunday, March 20, 2011

What We're Reading Linky Party!

Hi everyone!  Just a reminder that Ricki Jill at Art@Home and I are hosting our monthly "What We're Reading" party today.  So please join us and let us know what you've been reading!
I've had Freedom on my bookshelf for several months now.  It's a thick, daunting book and I just hadn't taken the plunge.  Then I found it on our library website to download for free and I was thrilled to do that.  I listened to it on my iPad on a recent trip.

I wasn't a big fan of this book, and I don't think it had to do with listening vs. reading although I've thought about that.  I just didn't like the characters.  None of them were that sympathetic.  I was happy when I was through with the book so I didn't have to stay in these people's lives anymore.  It's well written and the novel format worked well - following these characters from adolescence to adulthood, but all of them need intense therapy.  I realize I'm in the minority here.  Oprah said this was one of her favorite books of all time.  I'd love to know what you thought if you've read it!

I had not read a Jesse Stone novel in quite awhile so I listened to this one on my iPad as well, while I worked out.  I didn't like it at.all.  In fact, I took the rest of the series off my to-read list.  Robert B. Parker is a good writer and I like his other series (Spenser and Sunny) but this is not my favorite.  I've actually heard that the mini-series with Tom Selleck is better than the books.  This one may very well have to do with the fact that I listened to it instead of read it.  The writing seemed overly simple.  Lots of 3 word sentences with "Jesse said", "Rachel said", "he said" at the end.  It got old fast.

Here's one that I really, really struggled with.  I listened to it as well.  I downloaded this because several friends who enjoy The Da Vinci Code type capers were going to read this one as well.  It just wasn't that good.  The early chapters that dealt with concentration camp abuses in detail were definitely not for me.  The rest of the book, while similar to the mystery-through-different-countries feel of The Da Vinci Code and others was good, the characters were not well developed and weren't that likeable.  I'm on a pretty bad streak so far this month!

But here's one I did enjoy!  Matched is the first release in a new trilogy by Ally Condie.  I know virtually nothing about the author's other works but apparently she is popular in the Young Adult (YA) genre.  I'm new to this genre - the Hunger Games trilogy being my introduction.  I found a lot of similarities in the Hunger Games and Matched.  In fact, this book has to be a tribute to Suzanne Collins' fantastic series.  While Matched was definitely lighter, I liked it and will probably read the other two when they come out. 

To balance out all the fiction, I took on a couple of non-fiction/resource books as well.  I purchased Scott Kelby's follow-up to his bestselling Digital Photography book that I finished last month.  This one too was really good.  I got through it much more quickly.  There was not much repetition in the two books, which was good.  There were some chapters in this book that I skimmed because I'm not planning to become a professional photographer.

And I checked this book out of the library and copied a dozen recipes that I want to try out.  This is a great companion to the Abs Diet book that is one of the best nutrition and weight loss books I've read.  It's nice to have simple, tasty recipes to try out.

And finally I just finished Cleopatra this week.  This is my book club's April read and I'm so glad one of our members chose it.  I knew virtually nothing about Cleopatra and her relationship with Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Plutarch, Cicero, Herod, et.al.  I learned a great deal and thought the author did a fantastic job of pulling together an un-biased view of the Egyptian Queen.  Evidently most of the information on Cleopatra was lost to history or has been written by biased Roman authors.  This is a dense book and reads like a doctoral dissertation at times.  Some of the paragraphs are long with repetitive descriptions.  Overall though, I really enjoyed this book and am glad I pushed through to finish it.

And, one from my Daddy!

He recently finished reading Decision Points.  Here's what he had to say:

I just finished reading President Bush's book Decision Points that you and David gave me for Christmas.  I can highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history and how history evolves.  I think that President Bush gives very good insight into the decision making process at that level.  He also gives some good background on the controversial decisions that were made during his tenure in office.  He seems to be very honest in his reporting of events and decisions admits when he thought he made errors.  All in all, it was a very good read.

So, what are you reading? 
Please go to Ricki Jill's blog and link up!


Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

OH my goodness, what a lot of books you plowed through this month (as compared to my lonely one book). Thanks for trying out those first few books and letting us know to give them a pass - always good info. Cleopatra does sound like a good read.

Maggie said...

I'm impressed that not only did you find the time to read/listen so many books this month but reviewed them for us too.
I read Frantzens "The Corrections" and didn't like it one bit, so now I know to avoid this one too!
I think I'll pass on Mr Bushs book too!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I am just off to link up as Rikki Jill invited me to do so. I see you are also on Goodreads do look me up there if you have time.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

I have been wanting to read Freedom for quite some time. It has won so many awards, and critics love it. It is definitely on my to be read list!!!!

J.J. said...

How exciting! Love me some books. I have Matched and Leopard are on my list already. Can't wait to read them. I loved the Hunger games trilogy. New follower BTW :) have a great week!

TeeBLiterary said...

Just found your blog - love it!!! My blog is also a lot about what I read - I challenged myself to read TEN books a month this year (yikes)! Its bee a lot of fun. Right now im read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I love it so far. I will link up my thoughts so far! Im your new follower:) teebliterary.blogspot.com