Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recent Reads

The great thing about a dull winter (definition: no skiable snow) around here is that you do get some reading done, at least in between tap-tapping on the keyboard and consulting travel guides about our upcoming trip to England.

Here's the recent under-the-covers-with-the-flashlight tally:

1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Yup, I'd never read it. And it's a jewel: funny, intriguing, endearing, fluent...all the good things. I loved American Gods, so now will rush out and grab Anansi Boys and whatever else I can get my hands on.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Nope, never had read that one either. It, too, is very funny, but I found myself just slightly let down, probably because I'd been hearing about it for so long. I don't have much explanation for the fact that I had to make myself finish it--I got tired of the clever "book about a book about a movie and a book" framework, I guess. I'd still recommend it--it's a great ride, funny, suspenseful and, of course, well written.

3. The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher. OK, I had to read it because she's in the Class of 2k8 and it just came out. But I didn't have to love it, and to be honest I didn't expect to because I'm not a big teen romance reader. I keep saying this...teen romance has changed A LOT since I was a teen. It used to be a barren wasteland of clean-shaven boys and girls in pastel dresses. But Alice and Jewel, the star-crossed best friends in Gallagher's book, are great characters--lots of edges and interesting corners.

4. Ditto I Heart You, You Haunt Me by 2k8er Lisa Schroeder. It's in verse, and it works like a house afire. It's a simple story of guilt and love-beyond-the-grave, and the verse format gives it its third dimension. Wish I could figure out why, but it does.

5. I knew I was going to love A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce. (Yeah, yeah, another 2k8er. So sue me.) It's based on Rumpelstiltskin but is NOTHING like a fairy tale. It's kind of a romance, kind of a ghost story, but mostly it's about a young woman taking charge and making things right at a time when women often didn't (or at least didn't get credit for it in history books written by guess who). Great detail about the era (late 18th century, as I recall) and the textile trade.

6. A Fall from Grace by Robert Barnard. A good ol' British murder mystery. Not much to it, but fun.

Right now I'm reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, a Christmas present a friend gave to Rob. It's sci-fi, which I haven't read for a long time. I'm enjoying it. Tell you about it later.


TJ Brown said...

I have read three of those books... Opposite, Invisible, and the Princess Bride. I lurved the Princess Bride and absolutely adored the movie. Have you seen it? We quote it around here.

Barrie said...

Ender's Game is one of my all time favorite books! Let me know what you think of it. :)

I too loved The Opposite of Invisible and I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I haven't read Elizabeth's book yet (because amazon hasn't dropped it by my front door). I've read some Neil Gaiman, but not Stardust. So must try that.

And I don't want Teri to see this, but....I haven't read or seen The Princess Bride. yes, I do live under a rock!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, Stardust. I listened to that one on audio, and it was wonderful. Neil Gaiman read it himself, and his voice is wonderful. As for the Princess Bride, I loved that one. But I know what you mean about being let down when there's a lot of hype about something. I've been let down so many times. Oh, and at the risk of building the hype, I loved Ender's Game.

Ellen Booraem said...

I did see the Princess Bride movie, years ago, and loved it. And don't get me wrong--I liked the book a lot. I just wasn't as ecstatic as I expected to be.

Ender's Game is getting better and better. (Taking forever--this seems to be a magazine/newspaper week for some reason.) Expect a learned lecture comparing Ender to Harry Potter as a hero, because I'm thinking about that as I read it.