Sunday, November 06, 2011

i've run out of boxes

and my 4-year-old is asleep.

Book: Deja Dead
Author: Kathy Reichs
For my classes: No
Comment:The writing was very good, in spite of negative elements.  I disliked the author's (over)use of fragments.  Also, it seemed like there were some leads the author didn't explore to their full potential, so those details ended up feeling useless and unplanned.  Overall, there was alot of violence and blood, but it was as well done as possible.
(I don't remember reading this.)

Book: The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
For my classes: No(?)
Comment: I can't say I really liked [it].  First, you rather could guess from pretty early on how it was going to play out.  Second, and I guess this is really a good thing, the author conveyed all the emotions so well that I was tense and edgy all the during my reading-- not from the crappiness of the book, as has happened before, but because of the character.  I empathize.

Book: Diary of a Fairy Godmother
Author: Esme Raji Codell
For my classes: No
Comment: Although for very young readers (9 maybe?), this book was a fun read with its own little moral.  Readers will enjoy the plays on words, though.  The main character is certainly realistic and one readers will be able to relate to.
(I don't remember reading this.)

Book: Digital Fortress
Author: Dan Brown
For my classes: No.
Comment: Although a well-written book, especially by modern standards, this book is plot-driven.  That is not to say that it is not masterfully suspenseful or an ingenious example of the mystery genre.  I have and will recommned it for personal enjoyment reading.
I did not enjoy this one quite as much as I did the other two, I think mostly because of the subject matter-- computer programs don't interest me as much as the subjects of the other two books.  But it is still very good.  Without wax.

Book: Dime Store Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
For my classes: No
Comment: I enjoyed this book  Although the first of a series, it implies a back story of substantial size but then gives enough detail not to leave you lost.  Its take on the magical "races" is unexpected, which makes this book stand out, even though most of its other elements are not exactly exemplary.  They are good, yes, but not amazing.

Book: Divine Victims
Author: Mary Wings
For my classes: I'd consider it
Comment: My initial impression is that this is not the best book.  I say that because, although the plot is decent, the way in which the author conveyed it was not.  It disctinctly felt like important connecting bits were rushed through and not delved into deep enough.  Several events were a surprise, not because they had been hidden within the story, but because they just cropped up, almost unreasonably.  Things were not tied together enough.
(I don't remember reading this at all.)

Book: Doctor's Orders
Author: Diane Duane
For my classes: No
Comment: These Star Trek books are fairly good about keeping true to the characters.  They rely too heavily through, I think, on a reader who has seen every episode and read all the previous books.  The story is clear enough when one has only a general knowledge, but one misses a fair amount of detail, it seems.
(I don't remember this at all.)

Book: Dragonfly in Amber
Author: Diana Gabaldon
For my classes: No
Comment:This book was not so different from the first and third (which I am currently knee-deep in).  What I greatly disliked, however, was that it jumped ahead 20 years, and then, several chapters later, began the flashback.  As as such, was mainly told from the first person, of which I am not overfond.  This series has also portrayed almost every English army officer as a sadistic flaming pervert; I rather doubt it is true, at least to this extreme.  With that exception, as well as some specific individuals, the historical content in general seems to be fairly accurate, if not too trustworthy as to the details.

Book: Dragon's Milk
Author: Susan Fletcher
For my classes: No
Comment: For once, I read the series out of order.  As it so happens, however, I read them in chronological order based on content.  that was a fluke, but still.  It was a pretty good story.  The author still doesn't really believe in complete sentences, however.
(I have no memory of this book whatsoever.)

Book: Dragonwings
Author: Laurence Yep
For my classes: Yep.
Comment: For younger readers, I think.  Issues of race, family, and the supernatural/spiritual beliefs, but nothing too deep, which might keep high school minds thinking critically.
I loved the language and the imagery.  I would recommend.

Book: Drums of Autumn
Author: Diana Gabaldon
For my classes: No
Comment: The bad thing with reading a series is that all the books run together in one's mind; the story coaleses and the distiction made by a cover and a few interceding pages fades coompletely.
I have nothing noteworthy about this book.  Everything has already been said.

Book: The Eagle's Brood
Author: Jack Whyte
For my classes: No
Comment: This has to be the most frustrating book I've ever read, simply because it contradicts legend.  The conception of Arthur, by the mystical aid of Merlin, is completely left out.  In fact, Merlin only begins to really understand his calling as sorcerer in the last few pages of the book.  In addition, the book palced the characters in situations and gave them attributes, characteristics, and personalities that have not been previously credited to them through legend.  Furthermore, while the county is falling rapidly into disrepair, there is no evidence of the society, the castles and hall of Arthur's time-- only 15 years distant.
However, the author is taking giant steps in the way of emotional writing.  The story is less of actions and battles, although they are still present.  My emotional response was profoundly increased from my response to The Singing Sword.

Book: Echoes of the Well of Souls
Author: Jack L. Chalker
For my classes: No
Comment: Ah, if only the story would just hurry up and end already.
What really frustrated me in this book was that every time Brazil shows up, he's something different.  Consider:
1.  First sentient being, creator fo the cosmos.
2.  Mere man, once mortal, now torch bearer and liar, especially about that story about being god.
3. Something called "the Watcher," except that he doesn't know about it, and does not seem compatible with is last story.
Who the crap writes like that? Figure out what is going on and stay with it, moron.  Also, I've decided that this guy must have the smallest [expletive] ever, since all his characters are so overly blessed.

Book: Educating Esme
Author: Esme Raji Codell
For my classes: Undecided
Comment: The diary of a first year teacher.  While it is not high-level writing, it's very deep.  It makes you think about things like race, class, how children can make it to the 5th grade without being able to read... bureaucracy, the love of children, of learning, of reading... what this life will mean.  She used her own money to buy so many things.  She admits, her personal relationships suffered.  It's not just a job or a career.  It's a way of life.  Can I live this way?

Book: The Elder Gods
Author: David and Leigh Eddings
For my classes: No
Comment: This book is the first of a series, which I will not pursue, uncharacteristically.  The writing was not all that great and neither was the story.  Definitely not he kind of thing to keep you on the edge of your seat, it was rather predictable and altogether not very exciting.
(I have no memory of this book.)

Book: Eldest
Author: Christopher Paolini
For my classes: only as an example of what not to do.
Comment: The problem with this book is two-fold: One: it's a sequel, and Two: this author is either catering to an audience of science-fiction fans, or he's read far too much crappy sci-fi himself, or more likely both.  Sequels tend to be problematic in nature.  In this one, the plot mostly followed, but its major drawback was my second point.  It's so full of the flowery fake language used by crappy sci-fi novelists (and romance writers) that it seriously took away from the story.  The first book struck a good balance.  This one was so far over the edge that it was halfway up the other side.

Book: The Elvenbane
Author: Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey
For my classes: No
Comment: I really enjoyed this book, despite the fact that I was ready to strangle the authors over their insistance on using fragments, ending sentenses with prepositions, and leaving out commas.
The plot and characters, though, were excellent, and, for once, I'm upset at the lack of a sequel.  Scratch that-- a closer examination reveals there are sequels.  Good job to me.
But yeah, great, plausible, believable, understandable, enjoyable, if annoying.

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