Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Reviews

So, in January, I was going to make a Top 10 list of books I read in 2010. But the more I thought about it, I realized I couldn't remember 10 books I read in 2010. I know I read more than 10 books, I just couldn't remember which books I read and when I read them. So I've decided to keep track of each book I read in 2011 by reviewing them in this blog.

Ground rules: I'm only counting books I read for the first time, not old favorites I'm re-reading. And I probably won't count short story anthologies, just because they're too hard to review. But I might count one if it really makes an impression on me.

I've read three books so far this year, so I'm going to start with three mini reviews:

1. "Changes" by Mercedes Lackey. (Published 2010)
A novel of Valdemar, and the third book in the Foundation series, about the founding of the Herald's Collegium. And if you don't know what that is, you can stop reading now, because if you haven't read any of her Valdemar books, this isn't the one to start with. Go read "Arrows of the Queen" and come back later.

 The series is a good expansion into the history of Valdemar, with likable characters the reader can identify with, believable dialogue, and enough action and adventure to keep you reading long after you should have gone to bed. I've read this book twice in the last two months, and it was better the second time. I thought this was originally supposed to be a trilogy, but nothing was resolved so I hope there's going to be a fourth book soon.

2. "The Ghost In Love" by Jonathan Carroll. (Pub. 2008)
 Nothing like the jacket blurb. I though it was going to be a light, supernatural romance - actually, it's a deep, thought-provoking, existential romance. A man has a near-death experience, and has to come to terms with a failed romance, and all of the past decisions he's made, good and bad, the made him the person he is. Difficult to explain in a few sentences, it's the kind of book you keep thinking about for a long time after you finish.

3. "The Lady of the Rivers" by Philippa Gregory. (Pub. 2010)
 Another historical novel by the author of "The Other Boleyn Girl." This one covers the War of the Roses from the point of view of Jacquetta, mother of Elizabeth Woodville, the future Queen of England. It's a prequel to her previous novel "The White Queen" but you don't have to have read that one to enjoy this one.

I almost always enjoy her novels, and they're so well-researched, they make me want to pick up actual biographies of the people involved. Anyone with an interest in English history should be reading her novels, and this one is as good a place to start as any.

So there's the first three. More reviews to follow, as I read them. I plan to do the same thing to keep track of all movies I see in the theater this year. But considering how often we get to the theater these days, there will be far fewer movie reviews here. :(

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