Saturday, June 30, 2012

June - This Month in Reading

As I thought, this month was bookended (no pun intended) by some very busy weeks at work, which seriously cut into my reading time. The good news, however, is that I managed to make my goal of reading one book for each of my 4 reading challenges - hooray! I even managed to sneak in a second book for my Around the World Challenge, and a sixth book for no good reason. So 6/4 is much better than making a goal of 10 and only getting to 6 :-) 

I'm hoping July is less busy and that I can read more, but for now I am going to make July's goal the same - to read one book for each challenge (and a few more if possible). Last year I had my special reading theme in July, and I was hoping to repeat it this year, but frankly I have too many TBR books I need to read so I will look forward to repeating it next year instead. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In My Family Tree: A Life with Chimpanzees - Sheila Siddle with Doug Cress

Came across this book while searching for books for the Around the World Challenge. The author has a chimpanzee sanctuary in Zambia, and this book tells the story of how the sanctuary began with a single chimpanzee and has grown over the years. I found it fascinating, although it is very hard for me to read about cruelty to animals, and the fact that most of the chimpanzees were victims of terrible cruelty before coming to the sanctuary was hard to read about. I'm so thankful that there are people in the world like the Siddles that help animals in need.

Tales of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This was an enjoyable and entertaining book. My copy is an undated edition I found in an antique shop that is obviously old and has a handwritten name and a 1921 date inside, so I assume it is from that time period. I am not sure how the Holmes stories were originally published; this book has 6 stories: "A Study in Scarlet;" "A Case of Identity;" "A Scandal in Bohemia;" "The Red-Headed League;" "The Boscombe Valley Mystery;" and "The Sign of the Four." I now know about the seven percent solution and who the Baker Street Irregulars are, and I'm looking forward to reading more Holmes stories. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

What a fun book this was! I stumbled on it when I was searching the online library catalog for books for my challenges and I couldn't resist the premise, plus the pervasive 1980s references. Although I've never had the hand-eye coordination to play video games, I enjoyed reading about games I remember being around (and a lot I wasn't familiar with). This book was almost impossible to put down once I started reading and it was a really fast, fun read. Highly recommended.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Benny and Omar - Eoin Colfer

When I thought up my personal Around the World Challenge, it didn't occur to me that it would be so hard to get books set in some of the countries on my list! I picked this one up for Tunisia, and I was happy that it was written by the author of the Artemis Fowl series, since I have read and enjoyed most of those books. I didn't dislike this book, but I didn't like the writing as much as that in the Artemis Fowl series. Omar speaks in a bizarre patois that he supposedly picked up from TV, which seems somewhat unrealistic and gives a sort of Max Headroom feeling to the dialogue, and the other narration is done in a slangy Irish voice that would have been much harder for me to follow had I read it when I was younger and had had less exposure to slang and general everyday speech patterns from Ireland than I have now. The Benny character was somewhat unlikable but I think that was actually a realistic portrayal of a 12 year old boy, and I didn't dislike the character overall, although he could be frustrating. All in all though I found it a quick easy read, and I'm glad I got another challenge book read!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

This book was a deceptively fast read but was very powerful. I liked the straightforward, clear writing style  that really underscored the semi-unreliable narration. I have been avoiding the movie for years now but now I am more interested to watch it, to see how they adapted the book for the screen. Highly recommended.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Amberville - Tim Davys

One of the many things I love about browsing a bookstore is the ability to stumble on a book that you absolutely love. OK, in this case it was more like I picked this up because it was there on the crazy Borders last day shopping spree I did, but just because the "browsing" happened at 50 miles per hour doesn't mean the end result isn't the same - I now have a new author to love, and a new book that I am head-over-heels in love with. This book was amazing! It's a hard-boiled noir-style story with sentient stuffed animals as the characters. It's actually not even half as weird as that sounds. It's a great story well told and I can't wait to read the other books in what will eventually be a quartet. HIGHLY recommended.