Category Archives: It's Monday What Are You Reading

It’s Monday. What Have I Been Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

What I’ve Read:
Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle — Getting ready for “Iron Man 2,” of course.
UR by Stephen King (audio) — An intriguing novella about a guy who gets a unique Kindle. Ties in to the Dark Tower series.
The Swimming Pool by Holly Le Craw
Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague De Camp
Eyes Like Leaves by Charles De Lint
You Are Here by Jennifer A. Smith

What I’m Reading:
The Dark Room by Minette Walters
Riding the Rap by Elmore Leonard — Been watching and enjoying “Justified” on FX. Was curious about the source material for the character of Rayland Givens.

What I Plan to Read:
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells — a re-read for book club. Our theme this month is time travel and the book goes with “Lest Darkness Fall.”

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It’s Monday…What Am I Reading?

Well, it’s Monday and that can only mean one thing….

It’s Monday. What Are You Reading?

Here’s what I’ve read since last week:

WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer
I hit the library jackpot last week with three books I’ve been looking forward to coming in at the same time.   However, it was the new Sawyer novel that grabbed my attention first.  It’s the middle installment of a new trilogy and if you haven’t read WWW: Wake, you’re going to be pretty confused.   The first book put the pieces in place and the second book begins to move them together toward the final installment.   I’ll have to say that the book doesn’t suffer from middle book syndrome with a lot of treading water as we set a few events in motion for the final leg of the journey.  The story concerns an emerging artificial intelligence on the World Wide Web and its unique relationship with Catlin Decker and her family.   Sawyer juggles several different plot threads as they effectively come together, building up to the novel’s final few pages that end on a cliffhanger.  No one is in danger but there are still a lot of things left to resolve and it should make it difficult to wait a year to find out how it all plays out.

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
In the preface, Scalzi talks about his being his “tester” novel–the one he wrote to see if he could do it.   It’s the story of an alien race that decides to come to Earth after intercepting our broadcast signals.  They’ve decided not to invade but instead hire a Hollywood talent agent to help them make their big debut.   There’s just one small problem–the aliens are gelatinous and smell pretty foul.

The story takes off from there, alternating between the alien (whose name is Joshua) trying to find a way to live among humanity and Scalzi’s narrator taking funny shots at various Hollywood celebrities and films.   The tone is very much like his “The Android’s Dream” at times with a more Pratchett-like tone to some of the segments.  Thankfully, unlike a lot of imitators, Sclazi can pull off being witty without it feeling forced or overstaying its welcome.  Had I not known this was a first novel for Scalzi, I might not have necessarily guessed.

Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles
Ellie and Josh are two teenagers who have a one-night stand in the back of Josh’s van.  The novel starts off in the awkward moments after their coupling and explores their reaction to events as well as that of two close friends.  Told from the first-person perspective of each character, the story switches points of view, allowing us inside the heads of each character and offering a fascinating, compelling and (at times) frightening look at what it’s like to grow up today.

Of course, Ellie ends up pregnant after a mishap with the birth control and the story begins to examine the impact of that on all the players involved.  By going inside the minds of the various characters, we get an interesting view and Jo Knowles captures a lot of the angst and uncertainty of being a teenager without being over the top or overly angsty about it. The novel does look at the decisions made and their impact on each of the characters in an honest, refreshing way.

What I’m Reading Now:

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
Still reading it since the other three books vied for and won my attention.   I know, I know…I’m terribly unfaithful to my books.

Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Reading it for a book group and honestly, not loving it.  I love the Miles space opera stories, but Bujold’s fantasy just doesn’t grab me.  Every time I try to read it, I get frustrated by it.  I may have to give up on this one again and throw in the towel

Heat Wave by Richard Castle
Audio book.  I like “Castle” and am intrigued by how the novel is referenced on the show.  It’s one of those that makes for a good audio read…it’s brain candy while doing other things.

What I Plan to Read:

Well, I ordered the novel version of “Iron Man 2” today and a new “Star Trek” book is coming out.  I’ve also got the new Connie Willis book just calling to me and then there’s that new Elizabeth George novel I mentioned last week…

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

For the past few weeks, I’ve seen this meme lurking on several other book blogs I visit and I’ve thought–next Monday, I really need to play along.  Then it’s Tuesday and I find myself going “D’oh! Maybe next week!”

So, here we go.  It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

What I read last week

14 by J.T. Ellison
A serial killer mystery set in Nashville, Tennessee.  I currently live near Nashville and work downtown, so it’s fun to have real-world settings be used in the novel and to go, “Oh, I’ve been there” or “Oh, I know where that is.”   The novel worked fairly well, but it fell into the trap of trying to be too much of everything for everyone.  It has a serial killer novel coupled with touches of a romance novel (it’s not a bodice ripper, but it does have the scorned ex- and our heroine is trying to solve the mystery before her wedding.)   There were a few twists and turns I saw coming before they are revealed in the story, but overall I found it a compelling enough page turner to keep me interested until the end.  And interested to pick up another book by Ellison in the near future.

Doctor Who: Castrovalva by Chistopher H. Bidmead (audio book, read by Peter Davison)
It’s a straight-forward adaptation of the television story by script-editor and writer Christopher H. Bidmead.  Bidmead does try to sew up a few plot holes from the television story.   However, given the visual nature of the story and the revelations about the nature of Castrovalva in episode four, I think this is one story that works better on the television screens.  I found myself yearning to pop the DVD in and re-watch it several times as I listened.  Or maybe that’s because I listened while jogging and was ready to be in front of the TV enjoying a cool glass of water with my feet up….

Changes by Jim Butcher
The twelfth installment in “The Dresden Files,” which I’ve called the most satisfying fantasy series currently being published.  Nothing Butcher does here will change that opinion.  If anything, Butcher raises the game for the series but offering a book so full of revelations, turning points and plot twists that it’s virtually impossible at times to put down.  When you start a story with the revelation that our hero has a daughter he knew nothing about who has been kidnapped as a pawn in the on-going war between magical forces and that’s a minor revelation by story’s end, you know you’ve got something great on your hands.  Butcher does end the novel on a cliffhanger, which only makes me that much more anxious for the next installment.   (I plan to do a longer review at some point if I can make it more than just–wow, that was good!)

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Holling Hoodhood is a Presbyterian, facing his seventh-grade year at Camillo Junior High in Long Island in 1968. Each Wednesday, half of his class goes to Catholic classes while the others attend Jewish classes at their local churches.  Holling is left to spend the afternoon with Mrs. Baker, who he assumes hates him because he’s left behind for her to watch over.  After a disastrous incident involving cream puffs and chalk dust, Mrs. Baker decides that she and he will read and discuss the works of William Shakespeare together.  And so begins a fascinating friendship between two people who might not otherwise see eye to eye but bond over the works of the Bard.  No, it’s not one of those inappropriate student-teacher relationship books.  It’s a good-natured memoir of a year in school at a time when our country and the world faced political and social unrest.  The backdrop of the Vietnam War is never forgotten and it does have an impact on the story.  The book is touching, funny and heart-felt.

What I’m Reading Now

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
Steampunk novel.  Only about 50 pages in, but so far it’s interesting.  It may get put aside when a certain book gets released tomorrow.  Which is a segue way to…

What I Plan to Read

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
It’s a new Lynley and Havers novel.   I’m excited…..I love Elizabeth George.  I’ve had it on pre-order for months now and it should arrive tomorrow or Wednesday.

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