Thursday, April 02, 2009

March Book List

31. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket- (*****)

32.  Theater Shoes by Noel Strefeild
- (****) 
Very cute.  :)

34.  Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective by Agatha Christie- (*****) Short stories.  Very fun.   Parker Pyne is a fun character.  I wish Christie had written more books about him. 

35.  Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
- (***) 3 stars. Beautifully woven plot, enchanting story, very exciting and gripping. Only 3 stars because there were a couple of things I didn't care for so I hesitate to recommend without a slight warning. Firstly, that this book is of the fantasy genre if you object to that. Secondly, that I do not and never will understand the fascination with skinwalkers. Ick. But this is the first book I've read of Hale's and I will be checking out more of her books. She has a beautiful gift with words.

36.  Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster- (*****)  This book is adorable-ness.  Recommended by my friend Krista  How does she always find such awesome books???

37.  And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie- (****) I didn't know what I was getting into when I started this one.  How was I to know it would completely freak me out?  ME!  I read mysteries by the dozens!  I'm a Christie fanatic!  I've never read a Christie novel that did this to me.  The howling wind, creaky house and dark, dark night didn't help at all either.  According to my research...  this is the most widely read and most famous of Christie's novels.  There are many film adaptations.  All of which change the ending.  Actually, to be fair, Christie herself changed the ending when she adapted it to the stage, because she realized (rightly) that the book just didn't translate to stage.  So, she made the end much less creepy and far more romantic. I haven't seen any of the movies, but I'm guessing they'll maybe be easier to watch than the book was to read?  ALSO! Do not start this book late at night.  Of course, I couldn't put it down!  I would have had bizzarre dreams all night wondering who the insane murderer was!  The plot and story telling in this book are absolutely stellar.  But, be warned!  Deliciously horrific. 

38.  The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket- (*****) When I first started reading the Series of Unfortunate Events (about a year ago) I was talking with my friend Maureen about them.  She warned me that the first four books were rather formulaic but the series gets better as it goes along.  Having read the whole series, now (a few times:) I have to say I totally agree.  If you want to start reading the Unfortunate Events, persevere through the first four.  They're great, but somewhat the same thing over and over again, and don't start thinking "oh my gosh, 13 books like this!?!" because the farther you read the better they get.  In Book #8 The Hostile Hospital Snicket brings a whole new meaning to the term "No news is good news", or as he prefers to say: "No news is no news" and "Stiletto Heels"  ouch. 

39.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- (*****)  Reviewed Here

40. Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck (**)  Just ok.  Not highly recommended.  The writing was witty in some spots, and the characters like-able.  But, the timing was confusing, I often thought a week had passed when in actuality it had only been a day?  Or, a few hours?  Unrealistic.  WAY a lot of dialogue.  Normally I prefer dialogue, but for crying out loud! When two characters have a conversation for 5 pages and they never actually resolve any issues or come to any sort of conclusion, it gets a little old.  I skimmed through some parts when I got bored. 

41.  Austenland by Shannon Hale- (***) Classic example of: "I can't recommend this book to just anyone because of too much inappropriate stuff"  Wish I could, though.  The story has a lot of potential.  Classic Jane-Austen-Extreme-Addict tries to get over her addiction by total immersion method.  Quite hilarious in some parts.  Very laughable.  But, seriously, do we have to have so much... STUFF?  PG-13 rating.  By that, I mean, anybody over 13 WITH a parents permission.  And if you're a person with parents (ok, if you're under 18) and your parents want to know if this book is ok for you to read... sorry.  I'd say no if they asked my opinion.  That aside.... I enjoyed the story.  I don't know if I'd shelf it with my faves, but it was enjoyable and I read it in a couple of hours on a quiet Saturday.  So, time not totally wasted.  And, like I said up a couple of reviews ^ I'll definitely be looking into more Shannon Hale.  I like her style.  It intrigues me. 

42.  At All Costs by Carolyn Keene- (***) Yes, I'm 27 years old and I still read Nancy Drew.  It's like downtime for me.  A nice trip down memory lane.  When I read Nancy Drew I'm 14, laying on my bed, surrounded by horse posters and getting that little thrill down my spine.  My only concern is whether or not I'll be able to finish the book before one of the little sibs finds me and makes me help them with something.  Back then I used to escape into books.  Well, I still do. :)

43.  Princess Academy- (****)  Sweet and inspiring, Shannon Hale has an amazing gift with words.

44.  The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket- (*****) :)

45.  The Human Comedy by William Saroyan- (****) A very poignant story.  It's a coming-of-age story on many different levels.  Not just for Homer (the main character) but his little brother, older brother, the people he works with, just about every character in this book is learning to cope with the realities of life and death in World War 2 California.  Homer is only 14 but is forced to grow up fast when his older brother goes to war (their father has died a few years before).  He takes a job delivering telegrams, doing what he can to support his family, declaring he'll "make all the money this family needs."  I found this tale deeply moving and would recommend it to anyone.  It's not an easy read, but the format is very palatable. 


An Old Fashioned Girl said...

I love Shannon Hale's books!! Princess Academy is so adorable!! Unfortunately I read Austenland (with a LOT of skimming) it's a great pity it has so much content.

*Puts "And Then There Were None" on my read-when-my-life-slows-down list*

Moriah said...

I Love Shannon Hale's books as well...Book of a thousand days is not her best work, but I think that you will like her other books! They are my faves!

The Books of Bayern(are a series sort is better if you read them in order!):
-The Goose Girl
-Enna Burning
-The River Secrets

I also really like the Princess Academy! My mom loves it too!

Jodes said...

If you loved Daddy-Long-Legs, look out for Dear Enemy, also by Jean Webster. It's the sequel, and it's as sweet and funny as the first!

Alexandra said...

I just saw the 1945 version of "And Then There Were None" last night on TV! I LOOOOOVED it. It's very good, a must see! Barry Fitzgerald is the judge. First time I saw him in anything else than a nice, kind, eccentric grandfatherly-type role. No more said, so as not to spoil it for anyone else. ;-)

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