A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. LeGuin. I'd always meant to pick up something of hers to try—in fact I discovered during my LibraryThing cataloging that I own book 4 of this series—but I was finally convinced to do it when Stine and I went to the library. She's read them, and she says she's the only person she knows who has, so she can't talk about them with anyone. Well, say no more. I really enjoyed it; it's very typical high fantasy (wizards, dragons etc.) but none of it feels generic or like it's been done before. In fact, it made me think that Christopher Paolini must have read Earthsea to get the idea of knowing something's true name to control it. -_-;
Gaia Girls: Enter the Earth, by Lee Welles. This book is written by a local woman and set in Upstate New York, not far from here. That in itself made me willing to give it a shot. It's basically an environment-saving girl power book. It's a tiny bit preachy at times even on non-environmental subjects (such as advertising), but it was a good enough read that I'm going to pick up book 2 when I go to the library.
Now I'm 200 pages into Inkheart... Kim omdog will be excited to hear that. :D
I haven't done Booking Through Thursday in forever (since Nov. 15th!)... and go figure, last week they used the question I sent in! So, here I am trying to play catch-up in a big way. I'm not going to answer them all, just ones that pique my interest.
Nov. 29, 2007:
Do you get on a roll when you read, so that one book leads to the next, which leads to the next, and so on and so on? I don’t so much mean something like reading a series from beginning to end, but, say, a string of books that all take place in Paris. Or that have anthropologists as the main character. Or were written in the same year. Something like that… Something that strings them together in your head, and yet, otherwise could be different genres, different authors…
Yes, sometimes. While most of the time it's series that this happens with, right now for example I am reading Alison Weir's The Six Wives of Henry VIII because I just finished The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory; sometimes I get on a fantasy kick, or a sci-fi kick (from I, Robot to Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)), etc. I know that my father tends to do this a lot, where he will read not only an author's books, but books written by the author's contemporaries that they are known to have read, things like that.
Dec. 13, 2007:
Do you use any of the online book-cataloguing sites, like LibraryThing or Shelfari? Why or why not? (Or . . . do you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking to?? (grin)) If not an online catalog, do you use any other method to catalog your book collection? Excel spreadsheets, index cards, a notebook, anything?
Yup, proud card-carrying (er, maybe not) member of LibraryThing. My catalog is here.
Dec. 20, 2007:
1. What fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007? (Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
2. What non-fiction book (or books) would you nominate to be the best new book published in 2007? (Older books that you read for the first time in 2007 don’t count.)
3. And, do “best of” lists influence your reading?
1. I would probably say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
2. I'm not sure I read any non-fiction in 2007, and definitely not any published in 2007.
3. I don't think these really affect my reading. Once in a while I might pick a title or two off the best-seller list that sounds interesting, but it's really rare.
Dec. 27, 2007:
It’s an old question, but a good one . . . What were your favorite books this year? List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007?
I would say... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Looking Glass Wars. Persuasion.
Jan. 3, 2008:
Last week we talked about the books you liked best from 2007. So this week, what with it being a new year, and all, we’re looking forward… What new books are you looking forward to most in 2008? Something new being published this year? Something you got as a gift for the holidays? Anything in particular that you’re planning to read in 2008 that you’re looking forward to? A classic, or maybe a best-seller from 2007 that you’re waiting to appear in paperback?
The second book in the Looking Glass Wars series, Seeing Redd! New volumes of Fruits Basket and Lovely Complex... Whee!!
Jan. 24, 2008:
What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”
Probably The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. At least, I don't believe I've ever met anyone (other than my mother, who is a children's librarian) who knew of it. What a great book. :D
Feb. 14, 2008:
Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?
I am currently in the process of very likely falling out of love with Piers Anthony. I loved the Xanth books when I read them in high school, but re-reading them now with a ten-year-older perspective, I find them sexist and a bit tedious. I am reading the series through to give it a fair shot, but if it keeps up this way I think the books will be on their way out. It makes me sad because I liked them so much when I first read them!
Mar. 13, 2008:
How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:
__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.
Oh, that's pretty easy. Eldest would have been a much better book if it was about half as long as it ended up being. I swear, the middle 2/3 of that book read like one giant training montage. I thought I would never make it to the end. Eragon wasn't the greatest book I ever read, but it was Eldest that nearly made me give up on the series. I bought the first two, but I don't think I'll be buying the rest unless there is a drastic change in the writing style. I am still interested just enough to see what happens, plot-wise, but.... yikes.
Mar. 20, 2008:
You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What? (Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)
It depends on the book, whether I have a pile of library books to get through on a deadline, and whether I'm in the middle of a reading kick or not. At the moment, I'm both on a reading kick, and reading from a huge pile of library books that all have to go back in a couple of weeks. So, I've been finishing one and moving seamlessly on to the next.
Overall, though, I prefer it when I finish a book and I can't stop thinking about it for hours, sometimes days, sometimes weeks! Harry Potter did this to me, and The Looking Glass Wars, and Robin Hobb's Farseer/Liveship Traders/Fool books (I still find the characters popping into my head YEARS later) and most recently The Other Boleyn Girl. To me, THAT is the clearest sign of a an excellently crafted and well-written book.
Mar. 27, 2008:
While acknowledging that we can’t judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?
Gee, I guess I better answer this one, being that it was the question I submitted! :D I try very hard to choose my books based on subject matter/content, and not just on design. There are so many gorgeously made books out there these days that I have to be somewhat choosy. However, the design of a book does affect me. I was planning at one point to major in graphic design, and am minorly obsessed with fonts... I also love books whose pages flop in just a certain way. My favorite books are those that are not merely entertaining and engaging, but are typeset in readable, pleasing typefaces and have jacket designs I would have been proud to have created. I also like books that have that certain feel to the cover—a smooth texture that feels good to the touch. Lately it's harder to find a book that DOESN'T have great design, particularly in the young adult section. Gorgeous imagery, great fonts, and interesting book dimensions are really the norm. :)