Monday, 2 August 2010

Weekly Book Poll

This past week I've had a week of female authors. I finished up "The Pact" by well-known author Jodi Picoult. It was ok but didn't live up to my expectations.

Next I read "The Neighbor" by Lisa Gardner. It wasn't as good of a read as her previous book "Gone" but did have some good suspenseful parts ... unfortunately they were all in the last third of the book.

Over this past long weekend I read "Body Movers" by Stephanie Bond which is a milder "Stephanie Plum-type" read. I have the next 3 books in the series which I'm looking forward to reading to see where the author takes the characters and their relationships.

Tonight I started a new historical fiction novel called "The Birth of Venus" by British author Sarah Dunant. I have heard of Dunant but have never read any of her books. So far (I've merely read the Prologue) it sounds like a great book. From what I can gather it's based in Florence which was one of the main draws for me since Brad and I visited that beautiful Italian city a few years ago. It was, hands down, one of our favourite cities on the trip.

The story is written in the early 1500's and is about a 15 year old Italian girl named Alessandra Cecchi. Alessandra is enamoured with a young painter that her father brings in to decorate their villa. But Alessandra's father has other ideas for his daughter's future and marries her off to a much older merchant. Meanwhile, Florence is caught up in the tension between the Medici family who adores excess and luxury and the hellfire and brimstone preachings of a monk called Savonarola and his mercenary followers. Alessandra must find her own way during this tumultuous time in Italian history.

I thought it sounded really good and I was in the mood for a historical fiction read after a couple of mysteries. You'll notice that I like to change up the genres of books I read. Too much of one type of book and I (of little attention span) get bored and need something new. This book was actually one of my finds at that used book sale back in early May. I'm hoping this was a good buy but for the $2 I paid I'm figuring it was a good buy either way.

So, what are you all reading? Don't be shy! Comments are good!! Share your thoughts on the books you've read over the past week or so. Did you love it? Why? Was it a stinker? Why?

9 comments:

Sharilyn said...

I'm halfway through Star Wars: Fatal Alliance (because I'm one of those sad geeks who lists "Jedi" as their religion).

I too have a short attention span and have to mix up genres.

Laurie said...

Sharilyn,
I haven't read any Star Wars books but I have learned to be open to all genres. :) I never would have thought that I would LOVE supernatural books (ie Kelley Armstrong, Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling ...) but I do! What genre would Star Wars books be in? Fantasy?
Ahhh, many genres does a happy reader make!

Sharilyn said...

Star Wars books are a mixture of fantasy and science fiction and, to be honest, you need to have knowledge of the films to enjoy them.

I didn’t read Harry Potter for the longest time because of all the hype. Usually, if everyone else loves it, I hate it. When I finally broke down and gave it a try, I ended up reading the entire series in a two-month period.

I’ve read the first three Twilight books, but I have to wonder if I read the same books everybody else did. A couple women I know are obsessed with the books. I enjoyed them, but they certainly aren’t the be-all and end-all in literature.

Laurie said...

Sharilyn,
Then I don't think the Star Wars books would be for me. I've seen movies #1,2, 4, 5 and 6 (really enjoyed the three made in the 70's but didn't like the new movies at all). My boys, especially Karate Guy, are really into Star Wars and I honestly try to keep track of all of the newer characters but I fear I lack that gene. Bobofet? The guy with the duck bill and funny voice? Ya, I just can't keep track of it all. Ask me to name a Harry Potter spell and I'm totally there though!!!

Ah, yes, Harry Potter. That series totally jump started my love of reading again. Rowling is such a talented writer who can truly bring the reader into her magical world. I have read those books at least 4 times.

I've read the entire Twilight series and I really enjoyed it. I didn't like who weak and whiny Bella was made to be but overall a good read. I agree that it will never be considered the be-all, end-all of literature but they are a fun read. I have to give Meyer credit. Just like Rowling did with Potter, Meyer has brought a whole group of people back to reading. They've both also gotten people interested in supernatural reads (like me!) who otherwise would never have thought that was a genre for them.

I agree with the whole hype thing though. There have been MANY books that have been critically acclaimed that I just didn't like For example, The English Patient, A Complicated Kindness (Toews), The Girls (Larsens), A Million Little Pieces (Frey), The Bridges of Madison County .... All of the books mentioned, I have to say, I never finished b/c I totally and utterly lost interest. Some people are shocked when I mention some of the books I've not liked especially when they were such huge hits. It all depends on when you read a certain book in your life too. I strongly agree with that. How you view a book according to how you're feeling really does influence if you like or hate a book.

Laurie said...

Sharilyn,
Then I don't think the Star Wars books would be for me. I've seen movies #1,2, 4, 5 and 6 (really enjoyed the three made in the 70's but didn't like the new movies at all). My boys, especially Karate Guy, are really into Star Wars and I honestly try to keep track of all of the newer characters but I fear I lack that gene. Bobofet? The guy with the duck bill and funny voice? Ya, I just can't keep track of it all. Ask me to name a Harry Potter spell and I'm totally there though!!!

Ah, yes, Harry Potter. That series totally jump started my love of reading again. Rowling is such a talented writer who can truly bring the reader into her magical world. I have read those books at least 4 times.

I've read the entire Twilight series and I really enjoyed it. I didn't like who weak and whiny Bella was made to be but overall a good read. I agree that it will never be considered the be-all, end-all of literature but they are a fun read. I have to give Meyer credit. Just like Rowling did with Potter, Meyer has brought a whole group of people back to reading. They've both also gotten people interested in supernatural reads (like me!) who otherwise would never have thought that was a genre for them.

I agree with the whole hype thing though. There have been MANY books that have been critically acclaimed that I just didn't like For example, The English Patient, A Complicated Kindness (Toews), The Girls (Larsens), A Million Little Pieces (Frey), The Bridges of Madison County .... All of the books mentioned, I have to say, I never finished b/c I totally and utterly lost interest. Some people are shocked when I mention some of the books I've not liked especially when they were such huge hits. It all depends on when you read a certain book in your life too. I strongly agree with that. How you view a book according to how you're feeling really does influence if you like or hate a book.

Sharilyn said...

I think some books become popular simply because the author and/or publisher is skilled at operating the publicity machine. If you get yourself booked on the right talk show, you can have a Top Ten seller because of the herd mentality that says “everyone else is reading it so it must be good.”

You’re right: a person's mental, emotional and physical state does impact their perceptions of a book.

Which brings this conversation full circle. The joy of reading vastly different genres is that you have a much greater chance of finding a book that resonates no matter what’s going on in your life. I’m reading Star Wars right now because I need a little comfort and what’s more comforting than spending time with old friends?

Oh and give Karate Guy a hug for having excellent taste and liking Star Wars! :)

Laurie said...

I totally know what you mean about a comfort. Like with certain foods I do have some books that comfort me. I know I can always re-read Harry Potter or books by Sara Donati and Janet Evanovich for a pick me up. It's almost like revisiting an old friend. :)

I agree with how certain books get lots of media attention which propels the book to the top of the charts. Sometimes the attention is warranted but other times?? Not. Sadly, it's not always about the story being told but if you can get on Oprah's couch. ;)

Allison said...

I finally opened "A Woman of Fortune" on the plane. Loving it so far!

Laurie said...

Allison,
Is "A Woman of Fortune" by Brian Cleeve? Amazon doesn't have a description of the book. What's it about? :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails