Bookpile: September 2010

What happened this month? Surely I read more than this? Hmmm. Whole point of writing these is for me to keep track of what I read, so I’m failing mightily to reach my goal. Or failing mightily in reading time lately. Either way – boo. And given three of these were books I couldn’t even finish? Sad.

Catching Fury and Mockingjay – Books two and three in the Hunger Games trilogy. Which might should have stopped with book two. Sigh. The first two in this series are great, gripping, stunning. But the last book was – disappointing. And while I’ve pondered and pondered just what it was about it that was wrong, I can’t quite put my finger on it. (I’m waiting for Kevin to finish it so we can discuss.) One big thing I can agree with other reviews on is that Collins sacrificed the core truth of some characters in order to convey her point that war is horrific. In doing so, Katniss loses her ability to think, Peeta loses his humanity and some characters lost depth. There had to be a better way for this story to unfold and maybe it would have been better if she had gone deeper and longer. Or dropped the first half of this book to flesh out the second half more appropriately. It wasn’t exactly the unfolding we were breathlessly waiting for. Sigh.

The Winthrop Woman – This book was loaned to me by a friend who shares my love for historical fiction. And … I should have known when I read the introduction by — that we might be running into trouble with this one. She makes mention of –‘s penchant for the historical record and that she would have stopped the story at its peak when Anne Winthrop finally finds true love, but that –‘s choice to go to the end of Anne’s life was a valid choice. Red flag. Because, while I really wanted to read about this unconventional woman, — seemed determined to tell every tiny detail of the story along the way, bogging it down quite a bit before we ever even left the shores of England. There’s so much here to be learned about the Puritans, the witchhunt that drove them overseas and the role of women at the time. But I just couldn’t manage to make it very far before I realized I was so not engaged in this story. (Granted, I was in the middle of my three-week stay taking care of my mom at the time, which could have had a bearing.) Unfinished.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder – Also loaned from a friend with a chick lit penchant. And … nope, I didn’t finish this one either. Wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t engaging. (Oh, and the girl’s mom dies of cancer in the first third and I’m bawling and that might have tipped the odds in favor of not finishing.) We follow Calla Lilly from childhood to adulthood and let me just say that her life to the point where I stopped reading was dull, dull, dull and ordinary. And I don’t read books for ordinary. And maybe I was being too harsh and needed to lighten up a bit here, but this was a coming of age tale in which nothing much was happening. And I got bored. Sorry.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – This was not my month for books. Because this one, I was bored and then repulsed. And that was the end of that. I was ever so slightly, marginally interested in the story of the girl but we kept spending a lot of time with mister self-indulgent reporter guy and not enough time advancing anything that would be close to a story. Someone assured me it picked up after 100 pages, but given I was already at about page 150 by that point, I was losing hope. Then, the girl gets violently assaulted by her guardian. And … you have completely lost me. Dang it. Feeling like this is one of those books everyone buys, but no one actually reads but they can seem cool because they have it. Just not worth it in my book.

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4 thoughts on “Bookpile: September 2010”

  1. A shame that you didn’t get into Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. I have read (honestly!) the whole trilogy now and loved them. There are truly horrific scenes in all of them and none of the characters can be considered lovable. You do have to get past the convoluted descriptions of Swedish streets and locations, which I’m sure mean more to the Swedish readers.

    On the other hand, I still haven’t finished Hunger Games, so will have to wait for books 2 and 3. I found the content so disturbing (perhaps because it is a children’s book with child characters) and found myself having nightmares (I read before going to bed). I’m still saving it for my next holiday, whenever that might be.

    Lisa

  2. Susan, I have to agree with your analysis of the final Hunger Games book. Speaking of which, have you watched “Person’s Unknown” (available on Netflix). Worth watching and it get’s a little hunger gamesesque in the final episode.

    Miss ya.

    Jon

  3. @Lisa Hartwell:

    Yeah – just had to give up on that one. But I’ve added the movie to my Netflix instant queue so I can at least try to get the story. And hubby finds the Hunger Games series disturbing as well, especially the last book. Not for the same reasons I was disturbed, though. 🙂

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