August Reads, 2010

ReadingRoundup_dsThe coastal counties are now under a Hurricane Watch.  And, despite the official track from the National Hurricane Center, it doesn’t look like that front is going to do what they say it will.  It hasn’t really moved today.  Hopefully, it will tomorrow, but I’m not betting on it.  Earl is coming, one way or another.

August was a good reading month.  Many of the books were lackluster, but the ones that were good were really good.  I especially loved The Passage and A Breath of Fresh Air.

  • Lady Jane Grey:  A Tudor Mystery by E. W. Ives – An interesting new perspective on the events shrouding the sudden emergence into the spotlight of Lady Jane, and her premature death.  It was nice to see a book on the subject that wasn’t on the “Blame Northumberland for Everything” bandwagon.  Things in Tudor politics were rarely as cut and dried as that.  And Edward VI was very much a Tudor.  All of that having been said, I wasn’t completely sold on his arguments, and some of his “revelations” have always been self-evident.  At least to me.  For instance, his implication that Simon Renard was the one who used the panic of the Wyatt Rebellion to persuade Mary to execute Jane.  Well, duh!  He also tried his very best to get her to execute Elizabeth as well.  Rating:  4
  • Insatiable by Meg Cabot – I was enjoying this book, though I kept reading Mina Harker instead of Meena Harper, no matter how hard I tried, until the scene where Alaric arrives at her apartment.  And when her brother, Jonathan Harper, comes in.  That scene was so utterly ridiculous that it spoiled the whole book.  After that, I did some skimming to find out what happened, but, this book was a huge disappointment.   I enjoy a good tongue-in-cheek spoof, but not blatant stupidity.  Rating:  2/DNF
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin –  I found this book very intriguing.  An unusual twist on the vampire story.  The parts about Zero and Babcock are particularly well written.  Just plain creepy.  You know, the more I think about this book, the more I like it.  I have so many questions!  The sequel can’t come out soon enough.  Rating:  4.5
  • Arranged Marriage:  Stories by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni –  I didn’t enjoy these as much as I did Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies and Unaccustomed Earth, but most of them were pretty good.  I especially liked “The Bats”, “Doors”, “The Disappearance”, and “The Ultrasound”.  Rating:  3.5
  • Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey –  This is unquestionably the worst Pern novel I have ever read.  It was boring.  I did a whole lot of skimming, let me tell you.  The characters didn’t really do much besides be “dozy”, bitchy, or horny.  I get why there were so many mating flights in this book, the dragons have to build up their depleted numbers in order to fight Thread, but what’s with all the threesomes?  I swear, the next time there’s a mating flight at Third Pass Telgar Weyr, there will be an orgy.  Rating:  2.5
  • The Search by Nora Roberts –  Much better than her last couple of hardbacks.  Although, she seems to have this thing, lately, about heroines and violent crime.  Not to mention heroes that are rather rough edged, if not downright bastards.  What saves this book from joining its recent predecessors in complete mediocrity are the dogs.  No one writes dogs with such vivid joy than Nora Roberts.  I’m more of a cat person, but I just love her canine characters.  Rating:  3.75
  • Solar by Ian McEwan – DNF
  • The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore – Anyone but me wonder if Theo’s bong collection was modelled on the author’s own?  Rating:  3.5
  • Austin by Linda Lael Miller – Austin is definitely the best of this trilogy.  Granted, that’s not really saying all that much.  But…  Unlike his brothers, this hero, at least, is not entirely made of cardboard.  The conflict between Austin and Paige was too easily resolved, and it seemed to me that the whole oil well thing was just there to add pages to the book.  Rating:  2.75
  • A Breath of Fresh Air by Amulya Malladi –  I was crying at the end of this book.  That poor boy.  I wanted to smack Prakash for being such a spoiled, overgrown adolescent ass.  Why couldn’t Indira have better aim?  Anjali is a strong, courageous woman.  It took a lot of guts to do what she did and not buckle under the pressures of her culture.  I loved this book.  I wish my local library had more from this author.  Rating:  4.5
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