Monday, May 30, 2011

I finally finished Mrs. Dalloway and am still working my way through all the Harry Potter books (again). I just started Room by Emma Donoghue. I don't really know what to think at this point. I'm not very far along, but once I'm finished, I'll write a real review.

In other exciting news, I went to my elementary school reunion the other day. It was painfully awkward. I'm definitely OK with waiting another 10 years before doing that again. I did, however, reconnect with two friends, so we'll probably do something in the near future. Small victories.

I'm currently in the midst of some sort of educational existential crisis. Grad school and finding a job are battling each other as I sit here freaking out that I don't have anything to do. It's like I'm in withdrawal. Well, I'll figure it out eventually. I have a list of a bunch of people I need to call tomorrow. I had it all planned out to start making calls today, but I forgot about the holiday, so now I get to sit here all jittery for another day. I'll be OK. I just have to breathe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review of Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence

I finished this book the other day, and now I'm finally getting a chance to post a review. So, without further ado Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence by Pamela Cory:

Hassie Calhoun comes out June 1, just in time for summer vacation. Keep in mind, this is all coming from someone who brings The Aeneid to the beach, but I think this is the type of book people are talking about when they mention a "beach read." Personally, I have very little patience when it comes to books like this. The plot was circular and most of the characters hair-pullingly stagnant and just plain unbearable. I hated the characters. Truly hated them. In my opinion, they all need to wake up and get a life (get lives? I don't mean one collective life). This book is apparently the first in a series though, so maybe that comes later? I just felt like as much as the narrative tried to move on, the focus remained constant. There were places or characters that would have made the book much more interesting had they been elaborated upon, but instead they were just sort of side notes — mentioned when it was convenient and then forgotten.

In the end, Hassie Calhoun just isn't my style. Given a choice, it isn't what I would pick to read. That being said, there's tons of drama and a peek (which makes up with style what it lacks in exactitude) at Sin City during the hey day of Sinatra and the Rat Pack. It's a good-sized book, but you can get through it quickly. I didn't like it that much, but who's to say it won't suit others as a fun beach read? Not I, said the chicken.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize that you read a book and then completely forgot that you did so. Like... within a day?

So I read Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, which was a really great read. It had everything I look for in a book: a great story, humor, and conflict. Even more, it's really... real. She doesn't hold anything back, and that makes the book that much better. 

Anyway, it turns out I'd put it on my challenge list and then completely forgotten about it. Now it's crossed off though, so there you go!

I finished Hassie Calhoun and have the review written, but not near me at the moment. I will post it soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Catching up

So it's been about a century since I've updated. In my defense, I had my thesis, finals, and graduation to deal with. Now that's all over and I'm home and avoiding unpacking. I can't get away with that much longer though, so I'll have to just suck it up and do it. The main problem is that there isn't really anywhere to put all of the stuff, even after I have it organized.

Since my last post, I've finished a few books: The Eyre Affair, Zel, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and The True Story of Hansel and Gretel. I pretty much enjoyed all of them.

For whatever reason, it took me quite a long time to finish The Eyre Affair. I had some trouble getting into it at first, but it eventually caught and held my interest. It's essentially a mystery that takes place in an alternate universe where literature is a big deal. I don't think I'd mind living there. Anyway, The Eyre Affair is actually the first in a series of Thursday Next books. Even though I enjoyed it, I don't see myself continuing with the series. I could be wrong, though. It has been known to happen.

Zel is an alternative telling of the story of Rapunzel. It's short YA, but a great read. A lot of YA can't really hold my attention, but that was certainly not an issue with Zel.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a retelling of Cinderella (anyone seeing a pattern here?) by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, Son of a Witch, etc. Again, it was an enjoyable read, but I'm not sure I have that much more to say about it.

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel isn't exactly a retelling of the traditional story, but it takes its cues from it. It is actually a story of two children managing to survive in Poland during WWII. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that it's an intriguing story and I highly recommend it.

And with that, I take my leave. I should be posting another book review in the near future, but right now, Jeopardy is on!