Monday, January 31, 2011

How Did That Happen?

I was just updating my book list this morning, and I was somewhat shocked to discover that I read NINE books in January.  Wow.  That is about how many I used to read before I had kids to suck up every ounce of spare time from my day.  I guess that's what happens when I support my husband in not drinking for the month of January*.  Oh, and the fact that I read four YA selections (three of which were part of the same series) probably didn't hurt.

Here's the list, with a short review of each and the completion date:

  1. (1/4) Cutting For Stone (Abraham Verghese) - Loved it!  Writing style reminded me of John Irving and the story was riveting.
  2. (1/5) Raising Boys (Steve Biddulph) - This book meant more to me the second time around, now that we have a boy rather than a baby.  I’m sure I’ll come back to it as Jude gets older.
  3. (1/9) The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) - Very fun YA with a great female heroine, quick-paced story, and the promise of more to come.  Can’t wait to read the next installment!
  4. (1/17) Half Baked (Alexa Stevenson) - I’ve been reading Alexa’s blog for a while now and I’ve always appreciated her voice - funny and introspective.  The book was better, in that it’s a more complete story, but I sometimes grew annoyed with the writing - not that it wasn’t good, but it just seemed like every word was too carefully chosen, like she used big words when simpler ones would have done just as well.  Maybe I was annoyed because I write like that sometimes too...
  5. (1/20) Catching Fire (Suzanne Collins) - Not quite as engrossing as the first book in the series, but still fun and a fast read.  Cliffhanger ending makes me want to read the next one as soon as possible!
  6. (1/23) Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins) - And I guess I did read the next one very quickly!  This was a decent ending to the series, but the first one was the best.
  7. (1/25) Princess Academy (Shannon Hale) - We chose this for our book club this month.  It’s a good YA book, with depth and a not-completely-obvious ending, but I’m not sure it’s going to provide enough fodder for discussion next month...
  8. (1/28) Your two-year-old (Louise Bates Ames) - Follow-on to the one-year-old book from Teacher Karen last year.  This one was not quite as good, but there were a few really good sections.  Jude is classic two-and-a-half these days. The seriously outdated Q&A section was good for a laugh as well.
  9. (1/30) The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides) - Did I really read nine books this month?  I’ve had this one on my list for a while, ever since I read Middlesex last year.  I knew the story already from the movie, and the writing style did not disappoint.  Recommended.

* Meaning: "please drink this glass of wine so that I can live vicariously through you."

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