June 28, 2010

Hawksong (The Kiesha'ra, #1) Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my third time reading this book and I still love it. Her writing is amazing and always draws me in as does her plotting and characters. One of my favorite novels.

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was hilarious. Vampires and Abraham Lincoln combining seamlessly for an enjoyable romp through history. If you like to read history with a grain of salt or would just love to see a new take on one of our nation’s greatest presidents, please read this book.

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I read an article in the New York Times this morning about the sequel to one of my favorite books, “Less Than Zero” which is “Imperial Bedrooms” by Bret Easton Ellis. The reviewer states that this is not one of Ellis’s best works as it is his polarizing books like “American Psycho” that show his range and that this novel does not have much to offer to new readers. It starts me thinking on the place of sequels or continuations. We all know how many movie sequels are produced but also in the book world. I cannot count the numbers of sequels that are written and read but it becomes a question of being better than the original. Most sequels seem produced for money nowadays but years ago, a three-volume novel was the norm and people waited patiently for it. Have we become jaded in our world that we automatically disparage continuations of our favorite works instead of looking to the publishing past to see the truth? We have done this for centuries so why would we dare stop now?


New Experience

June 23, 2010

I have recently done something I never thought I would do – I did not read a book to the end. To anyone who knows me, this never happens. I always power through to the end of a book no matter what. I would not say that the writing was bad in this particular book but I just could not get into it. Then I passed over two more books on my shelf because they were not appealing. Are my reading habits finally emerging in full or is this a fluke?

Persistence of Memory Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is one of my favorite authors and she continues to amaze me with her plots and her writing. She connects this work with all of her earlier books without overshadowing the characters she has created for “Persistence of Memory.” It kept me entertained and was a very quick read. Her books are never long but she does introduces a lot of story, characters, and twists into a small amount of pages. She does not write as long of novels as her vampiric successor, Stephenie Meyer, but Atwater-Rhodes is an often overlooked supernatural writer that can and should be enjoyed by more readers.

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Kushiel's Mercy (Kushiel's Legacy, #6) Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is amazing. I have always loved Jacqueline Carey’s books ever since a friend recommended them to me to read. She draws you into the world of Terre D’Ange and makes you feel like you are living it. Yes, they are long books but you never feel like it takes long because the story is always so engrossing. I cannot wait until I have the chance to start reading her next series of novels.

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I have become a recent convert to the world of digital books. Yes, I have read many things online before such as fanfiction, but I have only bought my first e-reader in the last few weeks. Friends of mine have had the Kindle and I did hear a great review of the Nook but I was not at the point of converting myself to a device yet. I bought the Sony Pocket Reader and added 56 books onto it within the first day of owning it. Coincidentally, I read an article in the editorial section of the New York Times this past week and wondered if I was betraying my literary roots by enjoying the convenience of my reader.

Many of the books I have read have been from the library but I do have a vast selection of books I own as well and I find my e-reader to be easier. I do not need to leave my home to borrow or buy a book that I want. I can make the text easier to read. I can search within my books for certain quotes or selections that I want to share. I understand this may be not right to others but I like it when things come to me. Our world becomes more of an open and sharing place every day and the library has always been a shining beacon of this type of thinking. With the advent of social networking, there is more connection between people though it may be through a computer screen. Digital books are a natural evolution. You can fight all you want against it but the printed word is now likely to be printed on a screen as well as on paper. One could even argue it is more environmentally conscious to have books digitally presented as we no longer need to cut down trees to make the paper to use to print our books. I will always love the smell of an old edition of a book but I also enjoy having more than one book at my fingertips.

Some comments from Klinkenborg I will agree with are the commercialization of books. I do not enjoy that certain companies including Apple and Barnes and Noble encourage only the purchase of books but you must remember that these companies are in business to first and foremost make money. They do encourage more reading but they can only do this if they remain in business. Also, a digital reader’s guide has become necessary but where is the best physical book guide? How many translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey have been published that have been at times wonderful and horrendous? The questions I present is does it matter? I want people to read and if a new high definition, best quality, newest edition ever has been released and it will encourage more people to discover the beauty of reading and reading often, is that wrong? If more kids will read Wuthering Heights because they have reprinted it with a cover reminiscent of Stephanie Meyer, is that wrong? In my mind, no. once we have the readers hooked, we can present them with better editions, more options, and similar books and turn them into a voracious supporter of the written word in all of its forms.

I found this article to be very interesting but I cannot agree with the complaints of Klinkenborg. Reading and literature is always evolving and that is one of the most enduring aspects of it. We are now living in a world where we read and write more than we have ever before. The world may feel smaller because we can connect with people everywhere with the touch of a button but that means we can expand our reading into worlds we have never before explored. This is my vote for the digital revolution!


June 2, 2010

Welcome to my blog. I have decided to use this forum to speak about my love of books and reading. I am never without a book and I am always interested in reading more so I have decided to share my thoughts about a variety of topics that all relate back to literature, its place in the world, and my musings on what I read.