March 30, 2010

I’ve been reading a lot lately – and I mean a LOT!  So I thought, the Oscars and Razzies recently being past, I’d nominate the books in the following categories –

  • You must read this!
  • Definitely worth your time.
  • A curate’s egg…
  • Meh…
  • Reader beware – I read this, so you don’t have to!

The awards are as follows:

You must read this!

Smile or Die (Bright Sided in US) by Barbara Ehrenreich (thanks for the lend, OH)

Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (again, thanks for the lend, OH!)

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (thanks for the proof, S) A very good young adult proof, due to be published in early June.  Reworking old myths and fairytales seems to be where it’s at in y/a right now, and this is one of the best I’ve read in ages.  Taking the story of Little Red Riding Hood and giving it a Company of Wolves/Buffy spin is a very clever idea, and in this book is very effectively worked through.  Highly recommended.

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys  We read this for the last ever *sob* Hughes & Hughes Dun Laoghaire Book club – and thankfully, everyone loved it!  I would have hated us to end on a bad note…and I would like to thank all the members since we began for their support and intelligent, informed comment.  Especially, I would like to say a heartfelt ‘Thank you!’ to everyone who showed up at this final meet.  Hopefully, I will post up the list of all our choices from the beginning, along with our comments!  As for this book, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Suffused with the lush but foreboding atmosphere of Jamaica in the 1830’s, this novel takes a minor female character from ‘Jane Eyre’ and fills in her back story, to devastating effect.

Definitely worth your time.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett, illustrated by Paul Kidby

The Dramatist by Ken Bruen

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Bill the Conqueror by P. G. Wodehouse

Quick Service by P. G. Wodehouse

A curate’s egg…

The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon


Night Shield by Nora Roberts

Risky Business by Nora Roberts

Reader beware – I read this, so you don’t have to!

Everything and the moon by Julia Quinn – a shudder worthy Jane Austen/Georgette Heyer pastiche; beyond horrible.

You know the quote in Ecclesiastes – the one that says to everything there is a season?

“A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…”

Well, there were two books I was, reluctantly, forced to cast away; I can’t tell if it was me or the books, but I’d rather give the books the benefit of the doubt!  The first was The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz  – I just couldn’t warm to it, despite the fact that I was lent it by two people who’s word I trust on reading (QueenGeek & CupcakeGirl, take a bow!).  I got half way and gave up, but this may be because a lot of it is in Spanish slang, and apart from “habla usted Ingles?” I have no Spanish… The second book was one of a young adult series I’ve heard a lot about; the Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman, and the book I had may have suffered from the fact it was the last of a series I haven’t read any of.

So, out of sheer boredom during my (f)unemployment period, I calculated the rate at which I’ve been reading books over the last month, and I reckon it’s roughly about three a week.  All this spare time is good for something!



  1. brief wondrous life of oscar wao was excellent! I don’t have that much spanish either but I didn’t care.

  2. “Smile or Die” is definitely a great read! They should give it to every customer buying “The Secret” since it’s a good eye opening book about positive thinking.
    I loved Oscar Wao. I was lacking the spanish slang so it put me a off a bit the first reading, but it’s more the writing, the depiction of the family which won my heart. It was this kind of books in which you care for every character and really feel for them and that’s what I loved. I loved the first chapter as well.
    Wide Sargasso Sea and Maus are two I delaying to read, I really have to correct this.
    Please post more recommendations!

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