Thursday, February 28, 2013

American Elsewhere, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Publisher: Orbit
662 pages
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Note: I read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), so there may be some differences between my copy and the final version.

Description: Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map.

In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things.

After a couple of years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's house in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different... (From the back cover.)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

Rating: 4.5/5
Publisher: Daw Books
662 pages
Source: Library

Description: The tale of Kvothe (pronounced nearly the same as "quothe") from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more-for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe's legend. (Slightly edited bit from the end of the book jacket description.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire, and the Birth of Europe, by William Rosen

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Viking
367 pages
Source: Library book

Description: In the middle of the sixth century, the world's smallest organism collided with the world's mightiest power. Twenty-five million corpses later, the Roman Empire, under her last great emperor Justinian, was decimated. Before Yersina pestis, the bacterium that carries bubonic plague, was through, both Rome and Persia were easy targets for the armies of Muhammad on their conquering march out of Arabia. In it's wake, the plague~history's first pandemic~marked the end of a multinational Mediterranean imperium and the birth of the European  nation-states... the transition from late antiquity to the medieval world. (Copied from the book jacket.)

Review: I found this book to be fascinating, but a little disappointing.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

Rating: 3.5/5
Publisher: Penguin
374 pages
Source:Library book sale

Description: Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide. (Copied from Goodreads.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Unfinished books of 2012

I read a lot of books, but I don't finish everything. They aren't all bad books, some just don't click with me and I decide to move on. Sometimes I still have thoughts on them.

Sweet Valley Confidential, by Francine Pascal

Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: 0.5/5
Reason for reading: I was looking for a fun, cheesy read after finishing House of Leaves and Battle Royale back-to-back.

Description: Hooking up with your twin's long time boyfriend causes family rifts. Who knew?

I read the Sweet Valley High series growing up and I was expecting more of the same. Maybe, if I took down the nostalgia filters, I got more of the same. My expected fun, cheesy entertainment turned out to be moldy Limburger.

After about 100 pages, what finally got me to give up was the ice.

I don't drink, and I don't hang out in bars or clubs, yet I was thrown out of the story when someone requested ice in their white wine and the person offering the drink didn't  find this strange. After I was thrown out of the story again when a bartender asked if someone wanted a dirty martini, "on the rocks," I didn't go back.

White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: N/A
Reason for reading: A random number generator assigned me this book for a group reading project.

Description: Middle-aged man hooks up with teenager, and it actually doesn't come off as creepy. Then we follow his family and the family of his good friend.

This is not a bad book, it just didn't work for me.

The main reason it didn't work for me was, whenever Archie came on the page, Beck's "Loser" started running through my head, and I really hate that song.

 Skarlet, by Thomas Emson

Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers program
Rating: 2/5
Reason for reading: I liked The Passage and The Strain.

Description: Drug dealer passes out drug that turns people into vampires. They run amok in London. 

This was an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC), so maybe the "queasy bladder" and the "sagging bladder" will be gone by the finished version. But the unlikable heroes, the plot holes, and the villains who where creepy, but in the wrong way for a horror book, will probably all make it.

The two stars is probably generous, but it might have redeemed itself in the final third of the book.

Friday, February 1, 2013


This is, obviously, my first post. It's mainly here to help me format this blog to my liking.

I plan to follow this up in the near future with book and movie reviews. If you stumble across this before I get any up, please check back in a couple of days.