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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Recently Read

In the last three weeks or so I have actually completed two books, and read half of a third! This means the slump is over, right? Here's a couple of quick reviews of two wildly different books.

First, on October 8th my office was closed for Columbus Day. My daycare was open. At that time I was still pretty darn sick, so I opted to take the monkey to play with his friends while mommy "rested". After lunch I crawled into bed with a stack of books, and actually read one. COVER TO COVER!! Shocking. The book I chose to read was The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn. Now, if you have browsed my LibraryThing*, you know that I used to be a big romance reader. In the last few years I've moved away from it, but I do still love a good romance. Julia Quinn is my favorite of them all. Her Bridgerton series was great, even if I do occasionally get them confused.

The Secret Diaries was not great. It might not have even been GOOD. I read it, all of it, and had a great time while doing it, but afterwards- eh. It wasn't that it was a romance and I'm out of the habit. It was just a ho-hum storyline. I'm not going to summarize the plot, in the land of romance novels there is a lot of overlap on plot, but this was not done well. It did't seem fresh. The writing wasn't great. There wasn't a great moment or plot twist to make this a great Julia Quinn novel. I later read that this was the first novel she actually wrote, but it was just recently published. I would believe this. It is not up to her standards at all. If you're gonna read JQ, skip this one. I give it a 3/5, because I DID read it in one sitting, but it's not terrific.

The other books I recently finished was A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison. This is the fourth book in the Rachel Morgan series. I've mentioned this book a few times in the course of this blog, and it's this book that made me realize something about my reading habits (namely, I don't like it when series characters travel out of their native areas.) It took me something like 8 or 9 months to read this one. It wasn't that I didn't like it. I would be loving what I was reading and put it down not to return for days. Or weeks. I finally finished it up last weekend, and while it is definitely (obviously) not my favorite, it does wind me up to read book five. I loved where it eventually went with Ivy and Rachel (and Kisten). I like the way the Brett storyline concluded. I missed Trent. I hated Nick, but I was supposed to. I also give this one a 3/5, because while it's not bad, it took me months to read it.

In other bookish news, a friend and I recently made a detailed spreadsheet of all the series we were both reading, or potentially both reading. It's got Jim Butcher, Laurell Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and lots more. I think we're up to about 20 series. We tend to trade books back and forth through Paperbackswap and this makes it so much easier. We totally geeked out one afternoon and set it up on google documents and then used google chat to discuss it. In addition to the series names and authors, it tells which book each of us is at, and it would appear that she is AHEAD OF ME on EVERYTHING. Except J.D.Robb. Thank God. I think those 27 (28? 29?) books might bring me close to tied with her for sheer numbers.

*I use LibraryThing to list the books I have already read, not the books I own. The list dates from January 1993, when I was in high school. To see any given year of my life, you'd select the tag for that year (so anything tagged 2007 is something I read in 2007.)


  1. I have Fistful on Mt. TBR, too -- so that means YOU are ahead of ME on at least that series. Most others, too, I bet.

    There are too many good ones out there right now!

  2. Oh, what a good way to use Library Thing! If I ever have time, I'll start tagging my books with the year I read them, too.

  3. great idea on Library thing. I just started there and it is so cool...


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