Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Review 4: Put Yourself In My Shoes

Well this challenge certainly was interesting. The first book I read was one of the Goosebumps series, and it made so little impression on me that I can't even remember the title (something about mud men? - ah yes: You Can't Scare Me). It was followed by a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys book - Gold Medal Murder, which was easily preferable (If nothing else because the cover had Nancy on it, and she's hot :P). Apart from the cover art it was a bit more complex, and I had to think for at least a few moments to figure out what was going to happen.

Next up were the two horse books (Western Star and Star's Chance for Thoroughbred and The Saddle Club respectively). These were mildly entertaining, but unfortunately did have any hot girls on the cover art... disappointing. Although I probably did learn something about horses while reading them, so that was good. Last of all was Sweet Valley High (The Treasure of Death Valley). I can't say I particularly enjoyed this one all that much, and I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps just because it was so divorced from what I usually read. On the bright side, it did have treasure, so it wasn't all bad.

Now, on to the most important matter: From my studies, and extensive research in these books, I have concluded that Long Blond hair is preferable to strawberry blond, and that you can never go wrong with blue eyes.

So, all in all, while I am not in awe of these books, they did provide a moderately entertaining 3-4 hours reading. Thinking about it, they really didn't last long... It was also interesting see how much my tastes in books has evolved, which is to be expected, but is still interesting.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Challenge 5: 'Never Cry Wolf'

Emma, you have hereby been Challenged!
You must read Never Cry Wolf,

By Farley Mowat.

I have only actually read this book twice, but that is mostly because (until a short while ago) I didn't own it. It is the true story of the naturalist Farley Mowat, who is sent to the Arctic to find out why wolves were killing all the caribou. This may not seem like a good basis for an entertaining read, but he tells his story well and with a fair amount of humour.
I think Emma will like this book (It has wolves dude!) it's mix of humour, the recounting of the idiocies of bureaucracy and dealings with the local population (and wolves) are just great. And she may even learn a thing or two.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

I'm Reading: Girly Books

I've been reading a lot of, well, crappy girly books lately. Partly because my reading happens on the train, which means I need something that doesn't require a long attention span or detailed attention to plot points, partly because I am swamped up to here with uni assignments so I need something light to give my brain a break, and partly because I like them.

Sisterhood Everlasting - Ann Brashares

I am a fan of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books. Mostly the first one, I think. (I always want authors to write more and then get mad when they fail to impress with later books.) Sisterhood Everlasting jumps to when the girls are adults. Some things that should have changed are exactly the same (move ON, girl!), and some have changed that I didn't like.

The main thing about this book is that it is SAD. A mind-fuck event happens quite early on. The rest of the book is quite emotional, but as soon as I figured out that what appeared to be true could not be, I was mad at her for continuing to jerk my emotions around. There are some good emotions that happen later - whatever else, she does emotion well.

10/10 for the message about the power of friendship.

Chasing Harry Winston - Lauren Weisberger

Lauren Weisberger also wrote The Devil Wears Prada, which I have not read although I've seen the movie. Although I didn't really want to read that book, I was interested in what else she might have written. I read this one a while ago, so this might be a bit vague and fuzzy.

Three friends make a bet to take place over the course of a year re: being a slut and getting engaged and something else respectively.

It was a fun read, the interactions between the girls were mostly supportive, there was lots of name-dropping (people and brands and places).

Minus points for neediness in finding a man.

Smoking Seventeen - Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter who is really bad (but lucky) at her job, and who has two totally hot men crazy for her. This is the seventeenth book about her, and while I was annoyed several books ago about the decline in quality over the series (and length of book, and complexity of mystery), I've accepted that it's light, fluffy adventure, and can now enjoy it as such.

Nothing particular awesome or particularly offensive, girl-power wise. Oh, she does get the vordo - an Italian curse that makes her want to have lots and lots of sex. Lucky for her, she gets to have it with Ranger and Morelli. I suppose having two hot guys on the go at once might be empowering for her.

The Rouseabout - Rachael Treasure

Rachel Treasure is an Australian author that I've been wanting to try. Her books seem to feature Australian country girls doing it tough and then (I assume) returning home to the land and making a (happy, with husband) life there.

I haven't actually finished this one yet, but I'm pretty sure I know enough to write about it. I like it, it's easy to read, there's a ton of Australian references (too many?). I like Kate, who is tough and independent and loves her property fiercely. Sometime the mothering stuff is a bit too real - I think I like my heroines a bit nearer to perfect sometimes. I wish she wasn't quite so obsessed with Nick, pretty sure there's a better message in it if you make a life for yourself with friends, daughter, work, family, and then find yourself ready for a bloke.

Yay for independence, Boo for obsession with a bloke, Yay for mates, Boo for killing off a bunch of people, Yay overall.