Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year in Review

At the beginning of this year we challenged one another to read a book a week and thus this blog was born.  Did we make it?   Not quite, but we tried hard and read much more than we did the previous year! 
For those of you looking for excuses for not finishing our project on time, well you aren't going to get those here; but I will say it is interesting how one book can throw you off your book-loving game and another can re-ignite your passion for reading.  So here's the report card for the year:

Books read: 47 (not too far off target)
Books started and not finished: 2 (The Reader - yeah, not so much into the porn, Vanity Fair - still holding out hope in the bedside basket for books better left for tomorrow).
Books finished and not yet reviewed: 7 (yeah, that list is long, blame it on the baby growing in my tummy, so good to know I will always and ever have someone to blame things on - welcome to parenting 101)
Favorites of the year: The Road, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Books read; 43 - farther off target, but could count 44 as I didn't count The Jesus Manifesto. Meh
Books started and not finished: Towers of Sunset, The Passage, The Stand, and Wolves of Calla. It's not that I don't want to finish the books, but I have some background to finish. With WoC I needed to read The Stand first. I stopped reading The Stand b/c of the size and thought I should try to get to 52 books but then started a couple 1000 page books in it's stead. I'm currently reading ToS and The Passage before picking the stand back up
Books finished and not yet reviewed: 1 - No Country for Old Men
Favourites of the year: That's a tough one - The Road, Soldiers Live, and The Gathering Storm. 

I was thinking about the fact that I didn't finish up 52 books this year, but I was able to read a ton of pages! I have nearly 10,000 pages in Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie. That's eleven books only. That's 33 300 page books. =\ But our challenge wasn't to read the most pages, but to read 52 books in a year. 

It sounds like we're going to be a little busier next year so we might not get through the same amount of reading as this year. But we'll keep plugging along with Leah reading books that people are interested in and I'll live in my little fantasy world. 

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

American Gods

American Gods: A NovelAmerican Gods: A Novel happens to be my second Neil Gaiman novel and neither of those has been the novel I was planning to read of his. I've been meaning to pick up Coraline since purchasing and enjoying the movie. It was a cute but freaky kids story that shouldn't be shown to kids under a certain age unless they are incredibly morbid. The movie takes me back to a Grimm's Fairy Tales type of dark story. Anyways, the first reviewed book with Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch which was humorous and just a delightful story. American Gods falls into a different category.

In American Gods, a storm is brewing throughout America and somehow a seemingly normal ex-con has a pivotal role. You're greeted with plenty of mythology from the beginning that is carried on until the end. I found it amusing that you had a chance to see all types of different old god/s mythologies including Norse, American Indian, and other odd fairy tales to go along. What Gaiman didn't touch base on was Christianity, for the most part, and Santa. I'm not sure how he would have fared, but I'm assuming that he left those out so as not to alienate a good portion of his readers. The story is quite engaging and well written. He reminds me of a cross between Chuck Palahnuik and Stephen King. The way he writes dialogue was amusing.

I wasn't happy with the amount of smut that he decided to write about in the first hundred of so pages. There were three sex scenes and one was a homosexual scene. It didn't really bring the story along in any way. I felt that it took away from what could have been a story for multiple age groups. I was also happy that we weren't inundated throughout his book with the same type of imagery. I believe that I would have put the book down had that happened. It still affects my rating and recommendation in a not-so-good way.

Rating: 5 CBs - I can't recommend this b/c of the sex stuff at the beginning. If I wanted to read a romance novel then I'd go pick up one. I have a feeling that he was somewhat tamed by having a co-author with the first book I read of his. I will attempt to read a couple other books by Gaiman in the near future hopefully with better results. reader beware.