Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Finished Reading

As well as Michael Connelly's Echo Park, I'm also reading The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn, as my non-fiction book, and The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, as my at-home book. Here's what I've finished:

Number the Stars: Lois Lowry. My daughter was reading this book to me and quit, which was a shame since I was enjoying it. I bought it the other day and finished it today, and for such a simple and short story, it's an amazing book. Lowry makes the characters real. The dilemna they face, smuggling Jews out of WWII Denmark, is as scary as any adult book on the subject. Spend some time getting to know 10-year-old Annemarie; she's worth it.

Heart-Shaped Box: Joe Hill. I'm a fence-sitter with this one. The action grabs you from the get-go, and the main character, Jude Coyne, who is unlikeable (at least to me) grows and learns something by the end of this ghost story (not the least of which is "Never buy a ghost over the Internet") -- not always something that happens in a horror novel. Some of the elements of the plot were predictable; I knew the story of Anna's childhood long before Jude figured it out. Hill also has a tendency to go for the gross out if he can't genuinely scare you. Overall, though, I liked Heart-Shaped Box, and I'll read the next Joe Hill novel when it comes out.

Maisie Dobbs: by Jacqueline Winspear. I like Maisie -- both the character and the different take on mysteries that this series presents. I was a little put off by Maisie's perfection at first; she's incredibly intelligent and she always seems to know exactly what to say and exactly what to do. Lazy Cow assures me, though, that Maisie becomes more human as the series progresses. This first book is set in 1920s England, but because the mystery involves a place called The Retreat, which was set up for WWI veterans, the reader is taken back in time to WWI and Maisie's experiences as a nurse in that war. I look forward to my next Maisie Dobbs novel.


Rogue Librarian said...

I was not a big fan of Heart Shaped Box for the very reason you mentioned. I didn’t like the main character so his fate didn’t particularly matter to me. There are so few horror stories with truly developed characters who you really care about that grow throughout the story. Stephen King usually has very complete characters so I read him, but other than that the only authors I can think of that write horror with compelling characters as apposed to just scary horror is Richard Matheson.

By the way I loved Eco Park. I hope you’re enjoying that.

nutmeg said...

Ditto on the Maisie Dobbs - I've only read the first so far and I was heartened by what Lazy had to say about the next ones.

I can see already that you and Babelbabe are going to cause me a few "problems" - my TBR pile and wishlist are going to grow and grow and grow!

I tracked down When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit based on Babelbabe's recommendation and now I'm going to have to track down a copy of Number the Stars.

I've just started The Lost as well. Hope we can compare notes - but I'm a bit of a slow reader at the moment - start of school year, new routines, lack of sleep, etc etc!

nutmeg said...

Oh. And I forgot to add that I liked The Thirteenth Tale - but I wasn't blown away by it like I thought I'd be. But it inspired me to go and read Jane Eyre which I had been meaning to do for some time :-)

Katya said...

I'll have to go find When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. That's not one I've heard of. Babelbabe is REALLY bad for me with the books!

BabelBabe said...

Heheheheee (evil laughing and hand-rubbing...)

I am on the third Maisie Dobbs and find her much more human by now.

I have The Lost sitting on my shelf, but have to finish The Nazi Officer's Wife first. And I did love 13th Tale - I admit it. I thought it was wonderful. But it does seem I am in the minority.

Hilda said...

So you haven't read "Like Water for Elephants" yet? I really liked that book - I can't wait to see what you think.

I'm still reading "The Last Cato" (I'm reading it in Spanish though) and I like it, but it is long! Too much detail but a good storyline. And I'm also reading a series of essays about New Orleans since we're going to spend a week there in April.

I just bought three "Mary Poppins" books that I'm looking forward to reading, I hear the Mary Poppins charcter is very different than in the movie.

Katya said...

Hilda: I started Water for Elephants just about 5 minutes ago. So I'm on the second chapter -- actually the first after the prologue.

bb: we're going in similar reading directions right now -- I just bought The Nazi Officer's Wife for my reading after The Lost.

nutmeg said...

I finished the The Nazi Officer's Wife a week or so ago (thanks again BB) and I was riveted - especially to the second half about her time living in Germany and then later after the war ended.... Oh I better leave it there! Edith's character "annoyed" me a little though in all honesty :-)

Katya said...

nutmeg: I saw the dvd and I found her to be annoying there too. I can't wait to read the book, however.