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February 06, 2006

January Reads


Since I have a goal of 100 books this year, I'm going to start numbering them in the monthly lists.

(Explanation of the ratings)

Genre: Women's studies
Rating: 3
Comments: Dowd had some interesting points and anecdotes, as well as some infuriating ones, but overall - well, I couldn't even figure out what point she was trying to make, never mind whether I agreed with it. It might have been Maureed Dowd Hates Everyone and Everything, or it might have been her answer to nosy relatives asking why she's not married, or it might have been all about Hillary Clinton. I just don't know. It would have worked better as a book of essays, I think. There wasn't the cohesion necessary to sustain a narrative.

Genre: Mystery, chick lit
Rating: 4
Comments: The first in Meg Cabot's new mystery series for adults. Fun! Cabot's signature style and tone is great as always, both the main character and potential romantic interest were very likeable, and, to be honest, the mystery itself was pretty good for a primarily non-mystery writer. I did figure it out before the end, but not too much before. And the song lyrics were hilarious. A little suspension of disbelief is necessary, but I am eagerly anticipating more of this series.

Genre: Young adult fantasy(ish)
Rating: 4.8
Comments: Oh my GOODNESS did I love this book. Arthurian legend, smart main character, wonderful romantic interest, medievalist in-jokes... I mean, what else would you need? My favorite of Meg Cabot's books so far, and that's saying a lot - but then, I'm a sucker for all things Arthurian. (Except that horrid Merlin movie I watched last night. Helena Bonham Carter, what were you thinking?) If you find it at all amusing that a girl named Ellie floats around on a pool raft all summer, go read this book NOW.

Genre: Young adult chick lit
Rating: 4
Comments: I'd been meaning to read this series for a while, and finally got to the first one. It's British and snarky, basically Bridget Jones for young teens. The British slang was fun, although the main character's writing style (the book is in diary format) was occasionally a bit too cutesy. The plot isn't terribly memorable, but it's hilarious. I really did laugh out loud. A lot. And I'm planning to read the rest of the series soon, in order to continue laughing.

Genre: Young adult
Rating: 4
Comments: Sarah Dessen is one of my favorite young adult writers, and I have now read all six of her books published thus far. I didn't like this one quite as much as some of her others, especially This Lullaby and Keeping the Moon - it was more of a "problem novel" and the supporting characters, especially the romantic interest and the parents, were less complex. That said, it was still very good, and I'd recommend it. Can't wait for her new one, Just Listen, coming out this spring.

Genre: History, science
Rating: 4
Comments: Very interesting but a bit hard to get through. This was the second time I'd tried to read this book - I gave up about 150 pages in last time. I'm glad I persevered. The various information that Diamond gives about cultures around the world and their development is fascinating, but the narrative seemed to get a bit redundant - he had me sold on his main point by chapter two or so, so toward the end I was feeling a bit "Yeah, okay, I get it already." I will definitely be looking for more information on some of the issues he deals with, and I'm going to give his more recent book, Collapse, a try as well.

Posted by Kat at February 6, 2006 04:14 PM

Thanks for the capsule reviews! I just logged into my library and put holds on the two Meg Cabot books.

Posted by: Chris at February 6, 2006 07:35 PM

I've found your blog because of--what else?--the knitting olympics. Love the book reviews and seems we have some of the same takes and likes. I'm going to check out your blog for other reviews. I'm behind on my YA reading and haven't yet tried Cabot or the Angus series. Thanks so much for the fun!

Posted by: MaryMR at February 7, 2006 02:58 PM

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