Saturday, August 20, 2011

IMM (3, I think)

Book Nooks: With the recent announcement of the closing of Borders, my TBR list has grown tremendously with the number of purchases I've been making. The following is a list of the books I bought from Borders:

1-5. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod- Heather Brewer
6-8. The Immortals Series (#1-3)- Alyson Noel
9. The City of Spark- Jeanne DuPrau
10. The Diamond of Darkhold- Jeanne DuPrau
11. Revolution- Jennifer Donnelly
12. Jane- April Linder
13. Virals- Kathy Reichs
14. The Last Olympian- Rick Riordian
15. The Van Allen Legacy- Melissa de la Cruz
16. Forgotten- Cat Patrick
17. Divergent- Veronica Roth
18. Dune- Frank Herbert
19. Genesis
20. Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte

I have a lot of reading to do!

Friday, August 19, 2011

On the Extreme Awesomeness of John Green, or I Attempt to Review LFA and AAK and Fail Epicly

"Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."

There is some genius in the way that John Green is able to perfectly capture and describe the human condition. In every word, he is able to illustrate in ink the hopes and fears of people in their most basic sense. It is a remarkable gift. He wields his pen and digs it deep into your heart and your brain. You don't walk away from a John Green work feeling content and accomplished. You don't feel like you've mastered the text and anaylzed the themes. You don't feel like you fully comprehend the novel. No, you put the book down and think, "Fuck!" Then, you mull over the words for hours, days, maybe even weeks and the themes and concepts start to sink in and you find yourself sitting at work and critically reviewing the novel.

"You don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened."

This quote is the epitome of all that is John Green. It's simple, only eleven words spread over two sentences. Yet, the meaning behind those words so perfectly capture how we, as people, really think and feel.

To John Green, the most awesome of the nerds.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes and the Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

This novel did nothing to abate my fierce desire to just get on a plan and drain my bank account on an expedition throughout Europe. How awesome would it be to have an aunt like Peg who funded a cross-country trip to help you discover who you are? I think that the idea of setting a novel in a distant country was handled superbly. By placing Ginny in an unfamiliar area, the character development was highlighted and as the reader, you could watch the growth.

I think the sequel was well worth the years it took.

It's Maureen Johnson. I don't think it even needs a recommendation.

Quickie Review: Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning

This novel was really quick and easy to read but it had a powerful message that stayed with me long after turning the last page. An overall simple yet poignant story of self-discovery that tells the tale of how to find who you are and how to stay true to who that is.

Quickie Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I'll admit that I have never really been interested in werewolves or shape shifters or anything of that sort. It was never a concept that really intrigued me. I didn't see the allure. So, when I received Shiver for my birthday I wasn't all that excited to read. I put it on my TBR list and moved on. However, it did not sit on my TBR pile for long. Something in the book really drew me to it; I'm not sure if it was the awesome color coordination betwen the title, cover art, and text or the cover art itself. Whatever it was, I picked up Shiver and didn't put it down again until it was finished.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. My favorite thing about it was the writing style. I loved the inclusion of lyrics (Sam in general was a very nice addition) and I liked the flow of the novel.

Definitely looking forward to picking up the sequels.

Quickie Review: On Fallen Angels

Few things have intrigued me the way that fallen angels do. The concept that a being that was created in the image of purity and faith could fall so far from that and corrupt in the antithesis of its very existence is interesting beyond words. With that said, I have had very little literary contact with the idea of fallen angels. Other than one novel that I read in grade school, What Happened to Lani Garver by Caroline Plum-Ucci, I have never encountered angels in written word.

Since I've started blogging and watching videos on YouTube, I've been introduced to some amazing books that I don't think I would have read otherwise. Hush, Hush and Crescendo are two of those books. The first two in a trilogy (Silence is due out in October 2011), both HH and C chronicle the lives of Patch, a fallen angel, and his love interest Nora. One of the most poignant moments of the novels is indeed the love story that emerges between the two. It was really powerful to see the lengths that Patch went, at least intially, to get love. It was also a commentary on how love can create but also destroy.

These novels are certainly recommended. I can't wait for the final novel!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quickie Review: Kane Chronicles

As an Egyptologist, I tend to read literature on Egypt from a purely academic standpoint. Therefore, it was a treat to see the myths of Egypt woven in a fictional way. I absolutely enjoyed both The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire and I was surprised at how historically accurate they were. Throughout both novels, there was only one "error" that I found. In the novel, the Kane siblings pronounce the sky goddess Nut, like a peanut. It's more commonly pronounced Nut, like moot or boot. Other than that, the factual basis was solid. I also really liked the fact that the novel was written like a transcript of a recording.

I'm looking forward to the third and final novel in this trilogy. It is still in the beginning process but sure to be a great read.

Quickie Review: Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart is a dynamic novel that features pre-colonial Africa at the turn of the nineteenth century. As an anthropologists, its always interesting for me to see a culture represented by one of its people. We look at other cultures through the lense of our own and we often compare the culture rather than immersing ourselves in it. When we analyze a culture it is often in relation to our own. How they do things is criticized because it is not the way "we" do it. Being able to explore a culture as though you are a member is truly an amazing thing. Achebe really captures what it was like for African tribesmen during the turn of the nineteenth century when British colonizers were beginning to take over the area and convert the people to Christianity. It really puts our world and our lifestyle in perspective.

This is definitely an enriching read and will not disappoint.

Quickie Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss was the first light, realistic fiction novel that I read in quite some time. After being in a "heavy" book mood, AFK was the perfect book. It was adorable, filled with awesome characters, and was genuinely funny. I also really enjoyed the culture of the book, from old movies to Parisan landmarks, this book definitely felt real.

I cannot wait for the companion novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, which is available starting September 29, 2011.

Upcoming Reviews!

It's August! I cannot believe how quickly this summer is passing.

Let's talk. I devoured so many books in the months of May and June but I was not so great at reviewing those books. As it stands, I have over a dozen reviews that need to be written. The bad thing is that I feel so overwhelmed with the amount of reviews that I can't read anymore. I don't want to keep burying myself in more books. So, I will be instituting the quickie. The quickie will be a very quick review that just overviews the major points that I liked about the book. I'll probably only use a couple of words. I do feel bad that some books won't get the full recognition they deserve, but I miss reading.

Without further ado: let's have some quickies.

The Book Nook