Books Part: I don’t know

I have several books today, but I must say I’m in a bit of book rut right now. I’ve started several and am having trouble on all of them slogging through to the finish. Not sure exactly who the culprit is – the new job, the side effects from my new anxiety medication (now under control, 8 missed days of work later), the hullabaloo that comes from putting a house on the market, etc. I must confess, I also dedicated a fair amount of time last month to watching The Office in its entirety, which I thought was a worthy venture, but did detract from the written word.

Anyway, for the record:

#49: Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
In coming to read this book, I must give a nod to Nancy Pearl, who gives great recommendations. I’d highly recommend checking out her blog if you are looking for a good read. She also appears on our local NPR station from time to time.

That aside, I enjoyed this book. Set during the reign of Henry VIII (just after the death of wife 3, Jane Seymour), it features a hump-backed reformist lawyer who is in the employ of Thomas Cromwell. Some historical context: the book takes place following Henry’s break from the Roman Catholic Church, when many of the monasteries were being forced to close. The protagonist is set to investigate a murder of a colleague that occurred at one such monastery. The book involves intrigue, a few good twists and turns, and some interesting religious and historical nods. I was surprised by the ending, which is always nice when reading a mystery. I believe this is a series, so who knows; maybe when I am out of my rut, I’ll go back to it.
Grade: A

#50 (HALFWAY THERE!) Glimpses of Heaven: True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life’s Journey by Trudy Harris
So, not my typical book. However, working with cancer patients, it does make you think about your own mortality (not one of my favorite topics, I assure you). I thought this book was at times heartwarming, at times a bit cheesy, but always honest and hopeful. Whatever your beliefs are (mine happen to include a belief in God and an afterlife), the stories of people dying peacefully – ready to die – were encouraging.
Grade: B

#51 Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett
So, for those who aren’t familiar with Pratchett, he’s written about a billion Discworld books. Some I like, some I don’t. Michael really seems to enjoy them. I wish I liked them better actually – these are books that Michael actually laughs out loud to. I did enjoy this book, which features the witches – one set of Pratchett’s recurring characters. The plot is loosely based on MacBeth (which I haven’t read). At times, the pace felt rather plodding. They aren’t long books, but it felt like it took a long time to get through. Still, I enjoyed it enough to read another one.
Grade: B

#52 Witches Abroad, by Terry Pratchett
See above. This book, also featuring the witches, was basically about Cinderella, fairy godmothers, and stories. The same criticisms apply – it felt hard to get through. Still, I read the entire thing. I like the all of the witches – they each bring funny personal traits to the story – and I appreciate the satire. Deep down, I guess I’m just not a true Pratchett fan, no matter how hard I try to be.
Grade: B

#53 The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
Ah, the second Flavia DeLuce novel. Readers of this blog will remember my review of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the novel that introduced us to fair Flavia. While I found this novel to be a bit harder to get into, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I just love Flavia – her wit, her wisdom, her cynical outlook on life. I enjoyed the mystery of the story and also that it didn’t follow the same formula as the prior installment. Here’s hoping that Alan Bradley writes a third.
Grade: A

#54 Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Another in my unending quest to fill the void that Harry Potter left. I look at it this way – reading children’s literature is preparing me for the day when I actually have children (with the added bonus of nurturing my inner child). Anyway, I liked this book well enough. Basic plot – two siblings (bro and sis) have to stay with their paternal grandparents, who haven’t played much of a role in their lives before. The children discover that their grandfather is the caretaker for a preserve for magical creatures called Fablehaven. Chaos, mischief, and magic ensue. I found the book enjoyable. I like that the heroine is self-sufficient and smart, though she’s no Hermione Granger. This is a series and I am currently reading the second. Much like Artemis Fowl, I’m not sure that it will hold my attention for more than one or two books.
Grade: B

Now, here comes a tough decision. At the beginning of this experiment, I stated that I would count books I re-read. At the time, I left it general and did not determine whether I was referring to books I had read prior to beginning the count, or books I read initially during the count and then re-read. It’s a dilemma for me thusly: During my medication related incapacitation, I reread all of the Percy Jackson books (the closest to Potter there is) as well as Wally Lamb’s Wishin’ and Hopin’.  So, do I count those as books 55-60 or leave them off? I did read them, after all, and the goal isn’t to see if I could read 100 new books just 100 books in 365 days.

So, I suppose unless I hear a huge outcry in the comments (and considering how few people even read this blog, I doubt that will happen), I am going to count them.

Thus, the current book I am reading, Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star will be counted as book #61 when I do that review (Unless I finish Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin first, that is).

Until then …


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