Monday, January 31, 2011

What I read in January

Here's my month-end summary of my reading activities and blog posts at Marie's Book Garden.

Rock Paper TigerRock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann, 2 stars: A female Iraqi vet ends up in China and ends up on the run from both Chinese and American authorities. Riveting in the beginning, but ultimately I was disappointed, especially with the ending.

This month I read two connected Dean Koontz books for my book group:

Odd ThomasIn Odd We TrustI'd never read Dean Koontz before, and I liked Odd Thomas much more than I thought I would (3 stars). Odd Thomas is a 20-year-old pancake cook living in the California desert...and he sees dead people. In the spirit of "Medium," he solves crimes by using this gift. In Odd We Trust (2 stars) is a graphic novel, a prequel to Odd Thomas (which is the first in the series of novels). I was less impressed with this one, but it took me only a few hours to read.

Knowing Jesse: A Mother's Story of Grief, Grace, and Everyday BlissMy only 5 star rating this month went to Knowing Jesse: A Mother's Story of Grief, Grace, and Everyday Bliss, by Marianne Leone. Leone gave birth to a 30-weeker (premature baby) who developed cerebral palsy. Although he couldn't talk much or walk, he lived a vibrant, loving life until he died at the age of 17. This book is not for the faint-hearted, but I loved it.

Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less TimeNext I read a quick little time management book, Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy (2.5 stars).  It gave me a few organizing ideas that I've put into place at work.

Up in the AirThe loser award for "put down before finishing" this month went to Up in the Air by Walter Kirn (2 stars), which is not a bad book, per just wasn't what I was expecting. I didn't find it be particularly compelling, although the writing was sound. Perhaps if I had been in the appropriate mood, I would have enjoyed it more.

The Lightning Thief (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Percy Jackson and the Olympians)I've been reading the Percy Jackson series with Kieran, and we started with Book #1,  The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (3 stars). Were Kieran giving the rating, it would be 5 stars. Now we are nearly done with the Sea of Monsters, although Mike's been reading part of it too so I have lost the plot!

The 19th Wife: A NovelThe 19th Wife by David Ebershoff (4 stars) was the best novel I read in January. I enjoyed the mix of historical fiction (about the "19th" wife of Brigham Young) and modern-day polygamist murder mystery.

I also wrote about other topics:

 The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Or On the Segregation of the Queen/A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (Mary Russell Novels)I'm a little over halfway through our February book club selection, The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King, and am enjoying it. Why had I never heard about this series--about a spunky young woman who becomes apprentice to Sherlock Holmes? It's great fun.

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