Oct. 12th, 2010 09:05 pm
listersgirl: (books)
[personal profile] listersgirl
If you're on Goodreads with me, you may have read some of these reviews. Sorry. :)

Kelley Armstrong Bitten

What I liked: not about vampires, despite the title! It's about werewolves instead, but I'm not quite as over them, so it was all good. Also, Toronto author, set partially in Toronto. There was a lot of interesting back story about how the main character became a werewolf and her relationship with the rest of the Clan. What I didn't like: I don't know, it was a bit...bland. Or something. I enjoyed the book, but I wasn't totally grabbed into the story. I would try something else by this author, though.

Mary Balogh A Secret Affair

Disappointing. I felt like I didn't know either of the main characters until at least halfway through the book - they were both hiding their real selves from each other, fine, but they were too hidden from the reader as well. And then there was one giant matching personality/character point that was just too much. Some nice romance, but the trappings didn't totally work. It's too bad, because I usually enjoy Mary Balogh.

Mary Balogh Seducing an Angel

I was fascinated by this book, because the hero was a type that doesn't come up in romance novels often - completely led by the heroine, who was determined to get him as a rich protector. I've read a few with that vague plot, and normally the hero takes over pretty early on, but here, at least for the first part of the book, there was a certain amount of finding himself in situations he wasn't even sure he wanted to be in. Kind of refreshing.

Bill Conall The Rock in the Water

I liked it, but it didn't totally grab me. The book is a series of vignettes about various characters living on Quadra Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island. I've never been to Quadra Island, but I've met people like these on Salt Spring Island, where my family had a cabin for many years. Individually they were charming and mildly funny stories, but they didn't really come together for me in the way that the author intended. The final story was very entertaining, though. The book is nominated for a Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and this is very much a book in the Leacock vein, with gentle character-based humour that makes you smile, not writing that makes you laugh until you can't breath.

Lynn Flewelling Luck in the Shadows

I enjoyed this quite a lot - it's one of my favourite types of traditional fantasy, with charming thieves, spying, politics, and magic. It felt a little plotless for the first part, but I didn't mind because I was enjoying the characters. Ends a bit like the author wrote one giant book and split it in two.

Jessica Grant Come Thou Tortoise

I knew I had to read this book when I read the front flap:

Here's a bit of information about our heroine, Audrey Flowers, which may come in handy while reading this book:
- she applies the rules of the board game Clue to help her with many of life's quandaries
- she's terminally afraid of flying
- she finds comfort in making lists, lots and lots of lists
- her tortoise, Winnifred, often ponders Shakespearean speeches and the nature of exponents
Set mostly in St. John's, Newfoundland, where Audrey returns home after her dad is hit by a Christmas tree, it's a charming and somewhat addictive novel, with a nicely skewed POV from Audrey, who is aptly nicknamed "Oddly". Good stuff.

Eloisa James Duchess by Night

I quite enjoyed this story of a woman who disguises herself as a man to accompany a friend (with a long back story of her own) to an estate renowned for its rather shocking goings-on. There the host of the continual party finds himself very attracted to her, to his own dismay, since he believes she's a man, and a very young one at that. The moment where they first kiss felt a little abrupt, I think because of some decisions by the author, but I liked the change from ballrooms and giant dresses.

Seanan McGuire Rosemary and Rue

I was skeptical - the combination of fairies and detective novel worried me. But I liked the San Francisco setting and the world-building of the fairie kingdoms, and the lead character grew on me quite a bit. Definitely enjoyed it, and I will read the next one. I hope they don't become too much like mystery novels, though.

Laurie Notaro Spooky Little Girl

A very fluffy book about a woman who dies and ends up in ghost school. Meh. But it kept me entertained on the subway. :)

Mary Roach Spook

A look at ghosts, reincarnation, mediums, and near-death experiences, from the point of view of someone who believes in science, and delves deep to see what scientists and non-scientists have discovered. I think I enjoyed this so much because the author has the same set of (non-)beliefs as I do. I also appreciate how she seems generally interested in what she's discovering - I never got the impression that she was hoping not to find proof. Also, she's got a lovely dry humour that comes through in the writing.

Nora Roberts Savor the Moment

It's funny, because I love the idea behind this group of books, that they're friends who run a wedding planning group. I liked reading about them organizing the weddings, and I like the detail Roberts gives to each job. But by the 3rd book, with 2 of the 4 friends planning their own weddings, it was way too much wedding talk for one book. So over the top! Plus the central story didn't grab me that much. Not my favourite in the series.

Lisa Shearing Magic Lost, Trouble Found

A genre I would call thief-fantasy - magic and elves and goblins, but all with a sort of Victorian feel. Scott Lynch-lite. I didn't adore it, but I liked it. The writing felt kind of choppy, which took me out of the story a bit, but I liked the characters and I definitely want to read the rest of the series.

Lionel Shriver So Much for That

Shep plans for The Afterlife, of running away from society and living the rest of his life on a beach. But when he is finally ready to leave, terrible news from his wife, Glynis, changes everything. A good, if uncomfortable, read - excellent writing, and one of the most appropriate final sentences I've read. A lot of the first part of the book, though, is about how depressing everyday life is, which I'm fully aware of, and don't particularly need to read about. So I liked it more by the end than while I was reading it.

Rob Thurman Nightlife
Rob Thurman Moonshine

A dark urban fantasy series about brothers, one of whom is half monster, who are being hunted by the one brother's "family". I got a bit tired of the voice of the narrator by the end of the 2 books, but they were interesting reads.

Jonathan Vance A History of Canadian Culture

This was a mostly fascinating look at Canada's cultural past, with a heavy emphasis on the politics and policies that got us where we are. For instance, did you know that historically Canada wasn't allowed to run its own professional theatre companies - American companies had the rights of all of North America - so actors had to move to the States if they wanted to work professionally. It explains so much. Definitely worth reading if you're interested in this sort of thing, although give yourself a good chunk of time, because it's heavy on the detail.

Jennifer Weiner Fly Away Home

A great book about a politician's wife who discovers her husband had an affair, and the fallout it has for her and her two daughters, who are each going through changes in their lives already. Nicely written, and not the ending I totally expected.
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