Friday, March 1, 2013

Read So Far This Year...

100 Cupboards; Dandelion Fire; The Chestnut King by N. D. Wilson
This trilogy, about a Kansas boy who finds a wall of cupboards in his bedroom and discovers a magical heritage, is beautiful and weird in a good way.

Divergent, Insurgent by Veronica Roth
I love The Hunger Games, but this series is better in my opinion. One of The Hunger Games' failings was the way it fell into the love triangle trap so popular to YA fiction, and the Divergent series largely avoided that. Plus, as a person who loves studying personalities, the Factions of the Divergent world is fascinating to me.

Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
I love a good fairytale, and the Tales of Goldstone Woods are some of the best I've found. the author did a good job with weaving in bits of old fairytales and picking up threads of previous books to expand upon.

Gunpowder Green; Shades of Earl Grey by Laura Childs
They're not the best-written books, but they're wonderful brain candy. And they have a lot of stuff about tea, which can be over-the-top, but which is also kind of fun to read about to me. :)

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L Sayers
I don't like all of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, but this one is a pretty good puzzle. Lots of twists.

The Jane Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
I remember reading the second book in this series a few years ago...I don't think I finished it. I recently ran across the author's name again and thought I'd try again. It's a really convoluted storyworld--time is in major flux and there are lots of weird things going on, including the theft and change of old book manuscripts. I'm not sure what I think of this one...I want to like it because it's such a book-nerd book, but for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, this wasn't fascinating to me. 

Elementary, My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark
This whole series is like a chick-lit and a mystery rolled into one--a gal who writes household tips columns and also solves murder mysteries. They're fun light reads.

Murder In Retrospect by Agatha Christie
It's a Hercule Poirot book, which to me means a perfect mystery read. Poirot has to solve a 16-year-old murder. 

The Third Lynx by Timothy Zahn
The sequel to Night Train to Rigel, which is a hardboiled detective story set in a sci-fi universe. It's some of the only science fiction I like, and definitely a good one to check out.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
A girl playing a virtual role-playing game gets stuck thanks to sabotage, and has only a limited amount of time to win the game and escape the virtual reality before her brain is fried. Again, not the best-written book, but an entertaining fantasy.

Bid the Gods Arise by Robert Mullin
An epic that throws fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural stuff all into a mishmash that somehow works--and does so brilliantly. There are definitely some adult themes, but all handled fairly tastefully.

Imager's Intrigue by L. E. Moddesitt Jr
I love the magic system in this series, but even better is the political and social intrigue the main character, Rhenn, manages to get himself tangled into. I've never read fantasy books before that have such a complicated and workable social system.

Seeking Unseen by Kat Heckenbach
The sequel to Finding Angel--and just as good. More expansion on Toch Island, more Kalek, more Horatio...what could be better?

As you can see, I've mostly been in the mood for murder mysteries lately...I usually go through a phase or two a year where I re-read all my Poirots, Tea Shop Mysteries, Sherlocks, and Father Browns. It sounds weird, but I read murder mysteries like some women might read chick lit, for a light, brain candy read. I think it's because I know I absolutely suck at/have no desire to re-try writing mysteries, so I can completely turn off my brain while I'm reading them. About the only mysteries I've ever read that I can't turn my brain off are Back On Murder; Pattern of Wounds; Nothing To Hide by J. Mark Bertrand, because the man is a genius and probably the single best Christian author out there today. I wish I'd gotten a chance to discuss writing with him when I attended Worldview Academy and he was a lecturer there, but I was too shy...a mistake I certainly wouldn't make today.

On the TBR Pile:
The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams
Avenir Eclectia: Volume 1 (to Justin aloud, since he won't read things on his own)
Hero of the Ages by Brandon Sanderson

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