Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 first quarter reading round up

Posted by lea at 11:12 AM
Brief review of books read between January and March, 2010:

Stardust, Neil Gaimain
Wonderful imaginative story of Tristan Thorn, who travels to another realm to find a star. It's fantasy with heart and head - Gaiman is a great author.

People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks
Brooks is Australian, so there's a great Aussie no-nonsense about the heroine Dr Hannah Heath, a skilled conservator, who travels far and wide to trace the history of the fictitious Sarajevo Haggadah and the people who sheltered it. It's a story with great richness and history.

The Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
Cross between fairytale, chicklit and young teen fiction. Not a standout.

Finger-Lickin' Fifteen, Janet Evanovich
Fifteen novels so far and Stephanie Plum is just as trouble-prone but no closer to settling down with Joe Morelli or Ranger. Still funny, but the shine wears off after a while.

The Glorious Nosebleed, Edward Gorey
Interesting. Very strange and interesting.

The Slap, Christos Tsiolkas
An interesting insight into the intimate lives of a group of Melbourne friends after one parent slaps the child of another person at a BBQ. Tsiolkas is a talented Australian writer but his characters aren't very likable.

Fly Me to the Moon, Alyson Noel
Why do I allow myself to read such terrible chicklit? Awful, awful stuff and total waste of time. Infuriated me so much I wrote a post on badly cobbled fiction.

The Case of the Imaginery Detective, Karen Joy Fowler 
Slow, gentle, forgettable. Not as good as her previous novel, The Jane Austen Book Club.

This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper
I think Jonathan Tropper is a really talented and humorous writer, but his angst-ridden heroes tend to blend into one another after a while. Author review here.

Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut 
Why hadn't I read this before? Fascinating and weird stuff. Left me with a similar feeling as Catch-22 - something about futility and questioning human existence.

Revenge of the Spellmans, Lisa Lutz
Funny! I love all the characters in the Spellman books and Lisa Lutz is my new favourite humorous author.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy 
Bleak but beautiful. Sparse writing but it fills your reading world with a haunting sense of the apocalypse that this father and son walk through.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Stieg Larsson
Absolutely gripping books with a truly unique and fascinating heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Loved them. Review here.

Unseen Academicals, Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett rarely fails to deliver. This one took me a little while to get into but once you're in his world, he's got you by the funny bone.

My Latest Grievance, Elinor Lipman
Elinor Lipman is a great writer with a razor-sharp wit.This story about precocious 16 year old Frederica, child of two kindly hippy professors at a college campus, is intelligent, funny and quirky.


snowdomes said...

Tell me more about The Glorious Nosebleed! Did you review this one?

lea on April 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM said...

I didn't review this book but you can find a good review at withextrapulp:

It's strange and interesting... you might like it!

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