Books I've Read

We the Animals

And I am back once again. This time I am blaming my absence on a nasty cold that is still lingering, but at least the fever is gone.

My book review for today is We the Animals: A Novel by Justin Torres. I first saw this book reviewed several places on other WordPress book blogs and the opinions were a little mixed. On Goodreads, the same thing happened. People either thought the book was brilliant, or thought that it was terrible. Naturally, this made me want to read it and form my own opinion, and luckily, my local library had it available on digital reserve. Yay!

I also really like the cover.

To call this a novel is a bit misleading. Since I read it on Kindle, I’m not sure how many pages there are, but it’s fairly short. I think Goodreads had it listed at 128 pages, which is closer to a novella, maybe. What it is is a series of vignettes around these three brothers, growing up in an impoverished and sometimes violent home. The stories are told through the eyes of the youngest brother and it is clear that, although at times they do seem more like wild animals than children, the relationship between the three brothers is the most important thing in their lives. They run through the neighborhood, getting into trouble, making kites out of trash bags, throwing rocks, experiencing life as “half-breeds” (their mother was white, their father Puerto Rican). It’s all very beautifully written, although it does feel somewhat disjointed at times. And that may have been deliberate, in order to show how rocky their lives where.

All in all, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed it.

Books I've Read

Fairies and Digital Downloads

This week I learned how to check out e-books from my local library and have them wirelessly downloaded to my Kindle Fire. That’s so cool! One problem I’ve always had with library books is getting back to return them, especially now when my schedule is so tight. Now, I can do it all from home and, although they don’t have all their titles available in Kindle format, they have a lot of them. So to test this new technology, I checked out Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception by Maggie Stiefvater.

She’s a young harp player with psychic gifts. He’s a young man who may or may not be part faerie, but definitely has a secret to keep. Why shouldn’t these two fall in love?

Deirdre thought she was ordinary, but turns out to be part of a family that can see the fair folk. At a music competition, she meets Luke, a gorgeous fellow musician who seems a little too perfect for her. And what the heck are all these four leaf clovers doing everywhere? And who is the strange freckled faced kid who keeps popping up?

Deirdre has attracted the attention of the Faerie Queen, who is always on the lookout for beautiful new “toys” to play with. And since Deirdre has such interesting talents, she is even more tempting. Can Luke help her, even with his own curious ties to the land of the Fae?

I liked this book, although I felt it started off a little slow. I liked Stiefvater’s take on the Faerie realm and the dangers therein. This is the first book of a series – the second book is already out and third one looks to be due out next year. I will definitely continue reading this one.

Books I've Read

Book Round Up

I’ve been trying to figure out which books I’ve blogged about and which I haven’t. So far, I am 26 books in to my goal of reading 60 books this year. A lot of them have been re-reads of books that I already own – there are so many on my bookshelves right now that I barely remember reading! It’s been nice to go back and revisit them.

Example: The Shining Ones and The Hidden City, both by David Eddings, books two and three of his Tamuli series. Mr. Eddings is one of my favorite fantasy authors, one of the first fantasy authors I ever read. His books all have a rich story world that is easy to immerse yourself in. The Tamuli series is no exception and it has been a blast reading it again.

I also read Diana Pharaoh Francis’ Path of Fate for the book club over at The Mallorean Tavern. While it was an okay read, I felt some of the pieces of the story were a bit too cookie cutter. It also seemed towards the end that the heroine ended up getting too much power too easily. There wasn’t enough struggle, at least not how I read it. There were several things I liked about the book though, including the ahalad-haaslane – a bond between a human and an animal sent by the goddess to help serve the people. The characters were likable, but for the most part, very average.

Finally, I finished reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (as if I really needed to say) with The Return of the King. I read this with the lovely crowd over at Mark Reads and it was really fun. It has been forever since I read these books, and reading along with someone experiencing them for the first time was a great experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo is going great. I’m still keeping up with my word count goals. My current word count is 6,855, which is just above target. Are any of you writing this summer?

Books I've Read · Movies I've Seen

Les Mis Forever!

So . . . the first trailer for the new Les Miserables movie is out.

First thing you need to know – I have loved this musical ever since middle school. Yes, I realize that the story is a bit deep for a thirteen year old, but what can I say. I fell in love with the music, with the characters, with everything. I did try to read the novel, probably when I was in high school, but barely made it through. That thing is huge! I’ll have to try it again sometime. When I first heard they were making this into a movie, I was excited. And then I was concerned. Until I heard the cast list.

Hugh Jackman as Valjean? Bring it.

Russell Crowe as Javert? As long as he can sing well enough (I’ve never heard him), he definitely has the acting chops for it.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine? I adore her!

Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the Thenardiers? Holy cow, what perfect casting!

So I am cautiously optimistic about this, especially after seeing the trailer. It looks like they’ve captured the essence of the show perfectly. I’m sure there have been some cuts, and usually that’s where my complaints lie whenever a longer work is being reduced for film. But so far, it looks wonderful.

In other news, Camp NaNoWriMo started today. One day in and I already have 2,090 words. Pretty good, considering that my daily goal is only 1,667. I’m trying to get extra words in per day before I get burned out. We’ll see how well that works out.