Showing posts with label leo tolstoy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label leo tolstoy. Show all posts

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 2012 In Review


Me, Instagramming October.
October, in addition to just being one of my favorite months (gotta love the changing of the leaves), was a great bookish month for me.  Lots of reviews, my first giveaways, and I've bumped into some fun new book blogs along the way.  I feel like October was the kickoff to what is going to be a very busy holiday season.

I tried to focus more on scary/suspense books this month, and I kind of succeeded.  Genres are difficult for me to stick to.  I start reading one thing, and then all of a sudden another book grabs my attention like a shiny object.  "Oooooh David Levithan new release MUST READ THAT NOW!"  So I did jump around a little.

I read and reviewed 8 books (click links for my reviews):
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn  <--this book still blows my mind, you MUST read it
Every Day by David Levithan
Rogue by Mark Sullivan
Feed by Mira Grant
The Mistaken by Nancy S. Thompson
'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I also posted a full review for 1 past read:
In The President's Secret Service by Ronald Kessler

And 2 mini reviews of past reads:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

AND I started a lil new meme: Small Fry Saturdays!  Join in anytime if you have favorite children's books to share.

In the midst of all this, I met Junot Diaz, completed my first two giveaways, and took part in my first blog tour review.

November should be an exciting month, with election season, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of Christmas shopping (gahhhhh)!  Plus, it's my husband's birthday--woohoo!

Last month I asked if people had any good recommendations for Halloween reads (and there were TONS), but now I wonder if there are any good ones for this less-written-about holiday.

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving reads?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Deja Vu Review (2)

The Deja Vu Review is hosted every Sunday by Brittany at The Book Addict's Guide.  It's a chance to mini-review books that I read pre-blog.  This week's topic is to choose some of the longest books you've read.  I was tempted to jump right to Stephen King (The Stand and Under the Dome?  Hello!).  But I read a lot of King, so I mixed it up.  Instead, I have 2 very different books to contribute!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Yes, I read this monstrosity a few years ago.  It was my ultimate reading challenge for a long time; I had a vision in my head of completing W&P and automatically receiving a bejeweled crown and years of adoration from all that came into my presence.  Instead, I received looks of genuine puzzlement ("Wait...you didn't do it for a class or anything?") and carpal tunnel after holding up that heavy tome for 3 months.

Okay, it wasn't as bad as all that.  It's actually a pretty decent novel (English professors the world 'round are keeling over at me calling War and Peace "pretty decent").  There are a lot of intersecting storylines, all sorts of romantic drama, and hello!  War!  With Napoleon!  Good action there.  It's hard to keep all the Russian names straight, and the second epilogue made me want to cry (it's very philosophical, and I may have skipped it), but otherwise, if you have the time, it's not the boring trudge that everyone makes it out to be.  The bonus is that it will make you interesting at cocktail parties.

I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

I told you I had two very different books to review!  I Am Charlotte Simmons is actually on my all-time favorites list.  It follows the title character as she begins her freshman year at fictional Dupont Univerity (a thinly-veiled Duke).  Charlotte is a bit sheltered, having been raised in a small North Carolina town.  She does not expect that she will so quickly have to deal with things like sex, drugs, and other debauchery when she reaches campus.  The book follows her throughout her first year, as her innocence and values are continually challenged, and she tries to discover herself through a new lens outside of her small town.

I read this book not long after I graduated from college, and I think that is a lot of why it spoke so loudly to me.  If you had the "traditional" 4-year university experience (living on campus, away from parents for the first time, etc), I'm sure at least some part of this book will resonate.  Wolfe does an awesome job of fleshing out Charlotte's character, and paints a realistic portrait of university life (as much as parents and college administrators probably wouldn't want to admit it).  Yes, it is long--but Wolfe takes his time telling Charlotte's story, and it's worth the extra pages.  I've been meaning to re-read this one for a while, because it's worth savoring again!

What are some of your longer reads?
 
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