Sunday, February 27, 2011

Catching Up on 2011

I've been a very bad blogger. I don't even know for sure that I qualify as a blogger right now. I've been extremely busy and reading a lot but I failed to transfer all that reading into blog posts. I've decided to do a quick catch up post and then, I promise, I'm going to try lots harder to do individual posts on books as a I read them. So, what have I read so far this year?

Author: Catherine Fisher

I enjoyed this book a lot. It wasn't the best book ever but it was entertaining. I also have to give the author a lot of credit for creativity. Although the book had most all of the usual fantasy tropes, this book was creative - probably one of the most unique settings I've come across in a long time. 

  Witch & Wizard
Author: James Patterson
Narrators: Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke

This book was just okay. It was an average fantasy and quite predictable at times. I got extremely upset with one aspect of the book (which I won't mention here so that I don't spoil anybody who plans to read it). But, I have to say, I was highly impressed with Elijah Wood's narration. He was a shining bright spot in this audiobook.

Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life, Volume 1
Author: Bryan Lee O'Malley

I enjoyed this graphic novel and found the drawings very interesting but I don't know that I found Scott Pilgrim interesting. I actually found it difficult to like the character. Maybe he'll become more likeable as the story goes along.

Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days)
Fables: The Good Prince
Fables: The Dark Ages
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall
Author: Bill Willingham

I'm still enjoying this series. 

Any Human Heart
Author: William Boyd

This book entranced me. I didn't find the main character sympathetic and actually had a hard time feeling for him. At the same time, though, I couldn't put the book down. I couldn't wait to find out where he was going to go next, who he was going to meet or what part of history was going to come into play next in the book. I had never been more conflicted in my life about a book and it's main character. At times, I forgot that it was a work of fiction.

  The Scorch Trials
Author: James Dashner

  This was an excellent follow up to The Maze Runner. There were aspects of this story that I enjoyed better than the first book in this series. 


 Sandman: The Doll's House
Sandman: Dream Country
Author: Neil Gaiman

I'm still enjoying this series a lot. Gaiman is a master storyteller no matter what the medium.


 The Invention of Huge Cabret
Author: Brian Selznicck

This is at the top of my list for my favorite book so far this year. It's a beautiful, heart-warming story. Extremely imaginative. I love the way that the author expertly tells the story with both words and pictures. Many of the pictures told the story better than any words could. I definitely recommend this book to everyone.  

Jack of Fables: The (Nearly) Great Escape
Jack of Fables: Jack of Hearts
Author: Bill Willingham

This is a spin-off from the Fables series. This series seems to be more fluff and entertainment than the mother series. It's just okay to me.

My Soul To Steal
Author: Rachel Vincent

This series just keeps getting better as it goes along. I found Sabine an excellent addition to the storyline. I also love that Tod is getting more story time. He may be becoming my favorite character in the series. I can't wait to see where the author takes these characters from here.

Mr. Peanut
Author: Adam Ross

This book had an excellent beginning and an inventive ending but it lost me in the middle. I had heard so many good reviews that I was disappointed in the book. Maybe I should just stay away from reviews.


Author: Craig Thompson

I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot. It told a good story and was moving.  It was well drawn and heart touching.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
Author: Laura Hillenbrand
Narrator: Edward Herrmann

This is the book at the top of my favorite books for 2011. I found it impossible to quit listening to this book. Everybody I talked to got lectured on what an amazing story this is and how much I was loving the book and how they absolutely, positively had to read it. Louie's story was inspiring. I grew up ignorant of the Japanese part of World War II (except for Pearl Harbor) and never realized just how horrible the Japanese POW camps were. I just hope that if I am ever in a position similar to Louie's that I am able to stand up and be as strong as he was under pressure. In addition, Edward Herrmann's narration was perfect. Read this book!

Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books
Author: William Kuhn

Another terrific biography. I have to admit this is another part of history that I'm pretty ignorant about. I know who the Kennedys are (you couldn't be American and not know that) but I just didn't know much about their background. I still don't know a lot about the Kennedys but I did learn a lot about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. I had no clue that she had ever worked as an editor. I felt like I got to know who she was by reading about her choices in books to publish and her feelings about the subject matters and the authors. I also liked her sense of humor.

 I Am Number Four
Author Pittacus Lore

I enjoyed this book. It was a fun fast read with lots of action (especially at the end).  

The Immortal Life of Heinrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot

This was another great biography on the year. I don't even think that it was so much Henrietta Lacks' story that made this such a great book. I was intrigued by how much all of science could be changed by one person's cells. On top of that, I was appalled by the different scientific experiments that have been conducted over the years. It was like reading synopses of horror stories. I think, though, that the driving force in this book was the stories of Henrietta's children. I felt for them and felt their pain in the loss of their mother and not understanding the things they were reading about cells and the injustice of their situation. 

So, now you're caught up with what I've been reading this year. I promise to do my best to stay caught up and not get behind again.