Tuesday, October 8, 2013

September Reads in October

My Goodreads reviews for my September books go a little something like this (with some extra commentary in parentheses) :

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean.......5 Stars
Big Snow

I bought this one in hardcover and I'm so glad I did. I wait all year for BIG SNOW so I completely get this protagonist. I've been looking forward to this book and it did not disappoint, and I had set the bar very high, believe me. I always love Jonathan Bean's illustrations, but this book is the first one of his that really speaks to me through art AND writing. It's a simple story and I love that. It lets the snow have center stage! I'm in love!!!!

(Yes, this one is really good. I'm glad I own this one because I like to collect books with Winter illustrations that really move me. This is definitely one for that collection.)

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma........4 Stars
Imaginary Girls

This book was so completely original. It really had me captivated. I'm giving it 4 stars b/c there were some holes in the plot that I just can't overlook, also a bit repetitive in parts, but it was a really unique story and it had me hanging on and wondering where the author was going with this odd story line. I'm not sure the title really goes with the book exactly. I do love the cover. Ruby's red ribbon is a very nice touch.

(I'm tempted to give this one 5 stars in spite of the plot holes. And the sometimes-amateurish style kind of lent a bit of charm to the whole thing. I felt like I was living inside this book as I was reading it. A good one.)

The Diviners by Libba Bray........1 Star
The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

I got about a third of the way through this one and realized I was not getting any less bored with it. I really, really wanted to like it b/c I enjoyed the Great and Terrible books so much. Also I really love the 1920's and all the boozing and flapping and what have you. I did appreciate that Libba Bray kept the protagonist pretty well drunk the whole time (if I can't drink, I'm glad to see someone is...), but it wasn't enough to save this for me. I have to be pretty selective these days. With an 11 months old babe, reading time is precious and scarce. I might have stayed with it if not for that. Nah, just as well. On to the next.

(Just fell flat for me, what can I add?)

The Lonely Planet Book of Everything........1 Star 
Book of Everything

This book is so utterly random and completely NOT a book about everything. If this book was NOT one thing, that thing is thorough. It should be called The Book of Just a Very Few Random Things, About 35% of Them Pertaining in Some Way to Travel.

(What WAS this? Kind of feel sorry for the trees...)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn........5 Stars
Gone Girl

If I didn't have three little kids, I would have read this book straight through to the end. It killed me to have to put this book down. I had to force myself to get some sleep. It was every bit as good as it's reputation. I'm so glad that I didn't know about THAT. I'm so glad it was a complete surprise. When I turned that page and found THAT out... it was like a perfect reading moment. This was such ride. I didn't see it coming. Then I didn't see it coming again. It was..."Amazing". ;)

(Oh man, I cannot tell you how deeply I was a slave to this book. And the worst part was I just could not seem to get more than 20 minutes to read it at a clip.  I was going crazy. It was everything it promises to be.  And I am always skeptical about the popular books that everyone is crazy about. I have never even picked up a Harry Potter and I never will. I just can't do it. But this is everything. EVERYTHING.)

Jerusalem, A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi........5 Stars
Jerusalem: A Cookbook

I just got this cookbook from one of my best friends for my birthday! I took it out of the lib months ago and they had to tear it out of my hands to get it back. But now it's my very own! YAY! Fantastic recipes with great pictures, but even if you never make a single one, it's a gorgeous book. It's armchair travel with food as the focus: Divine! I'll write more as I continue to experiment with the recipes. :)

(I kid you not, I had this one in my hands at WS and I had to put it back because I was already going to be over my gift cards.  THEN a month later my friend sends it to me in the mail for my birthday and I never even mentioned it to her! What a dear. I love this book. Gorgeous and delicious.)

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood........5 Stars
Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)

I am madly in love with the savvy, promiscuous, and fashionable Phryne Fisher. The greatest part of all this is that I just now found the series, 19 books in (Cocaine Blues is the first). I picked up the newest in the series at the lib and read a few pages and was hooked, so I forced myself to put it down and go get this one. It was really great, such fun. Five stars! 

(SO much fun, love the boozy, flapping 20's!)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton........1 Star
The Secret Keeper

I'm thinking that this author might be a one-hit-wonder for me. I loved the Hidden Garden, so I keep giving her other stuff a go. But I may call it a day after this one. The Hidden Garden, however, is tremendous.

(I think I'm done being disappointed in Kate Morton. I keep looking for another Hidden Garden. I can't do it again Kate. I did love HG though...)

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