Thursday, June 29, 2006

The City of Ember

I listened to The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and since I kept listening to it in the same room as my husband, he listened to it too! It's a wonderful tale of adventure, in which Lina and Doon, two twelve year olds who have just left school and been assigned jobs, realize that something is wrong in their City, which is the only point of light in a world of darkness, because the lights keep going out and the generator in the pipeworks is getting old and worn. When Lina finds a message full of holes (her baby sister found it first and chewed on it a bit), she and Doon try to discover what the message says - hoping that these are the instructions that will save their city.
I checked it out. The Listening Library production is AWESOME as it includes great sound effects along with the narration of the story. 6.5 hrs.

Monday, June 26, 2006

So Many Books, So Little Time

I got a little behind, but I am going to try to catch up now.

I listened to the audiobook To Say Nothing of the Dog; or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis. I know, I know, I account for at least half of the circulation of the library's copy of this audiobook. But I love that book so much.
21.25 hours

Been There, Done That by Carol Snow
A30-ish journalist stuck writing education fluff pieces gets a chance to go undercover as a freshman at a nearby private college in an attempt to uncover illicit activities. It was a cute story, but the best part was the unexpected prostitution sub-plot!
I reviewed it. 329 pgs.

The Balance Thing
My perfect idea of a chick-lit romance novel. Bitchy career gal turns out to be the beloved of a kind and secretly successful young man who loves her for her true self. Also, Vladima the online animated vampire comic figured promimently into the plot. Work/Love. How to choose?
I reviewed it. 352 pgs.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
Bobo and her family live in several African nations during tulmultous times in the 1970's through 1990's. It's hard to like her parents, but their lives and choices aren't up for serious criticism since this is a memoir not a work of fiction. It's a brave story about a unique family.
I read it for my book group.
301 pgs.

Also, I've watched season one of Everwood, Undeclared, a couple of Pride and Prejudice adaptations, and season of of Futurama. And all 6 of my WoW characters have ding'ed 10.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Of Mice and Men

I re-read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck for my Monday afternoon book group. I also read a handful of biographical and critical essays and some historical research on the time period which made it more interesting and really added a lot for me in terms of understanding that things in Steinbeck's book were actually much better than average compared to the real lives of bindle stiffs and migrant laborers in California in the 1920s. And WOW the writing is wonderful, moving, descriptive and sparse, and very visual. I loved it, and cried at the end, of course.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Undead and Unwed

Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson
I listened to this on my portable media player, after downloading the eAudiobook from the library. It was probably a weird choice (vampire chick-lit) to try while visiting my baby nephew, but I ended up listening to it in bits and pieces while on the airplane, taking walks or doing laundry. The story was straightforward enough - disgruntled secretary gets laid off, hit by car, wakes up undead, tries to figure out what to do next, meets men, hangs out with her best friend, lusts after designer shoes, fights bad guys, finds out she might be the Queen of the vampires, and then sets us up for the next book in the series. My main complaint (and trust me, everything I know about vampires comes solely from the first 2 seasons of Buffy) is that Betsy Taylor doesn't seem to have to deal with all of the real concerns of the other vampires, which makes her easier to relate to, but somehow less believable. Not that I believe in vampires anyway, but she doesn't seem to fit within the fictional world she lives in. Probably for people who have read about vampires before, it is okay when Mary Janice Davidson breaks the mold here with her heroine, but since I am new to the concept I mostly found it confusing.
Also, I loved Betsy's sarcasm and skepticism, but sometimes the super hot vampire sex scenes caught me off guard.

I checked it out. 9 hours.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lost and Found

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

Since I'm on vacay this week, I brought along an ARC of a novel based on a reality television show. The two-person teams work on challenges to travel the globe on a scavenger hunt, collect Found Objects that they must continue to carry with them, and decipher clues on where to go next. Reality shows are, of course, more about the characters than the concept, and this story stays interesting by varying the point of view. Also, a sub-plot with gay characters added some thoughtful situations about reality and identity.
Carolyn Parkhurst breaks the fourth wall of the reality show and lets us see the behind the scenes action, as well as the scenes are captured on film but will never make it past the editing room.

I read it. 304 pgs.