Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monthly report: January & February 2011

Because it often happens that I read a book but don't review it (or I take a long time writing a review), I've decided to start posting brief monthly reports on what I read, including a sentence or two about the book if it was not reviewed.
Since I didn't do a Monthly report for January yet, I'll bundle it together with the February report. :)

I've read a lot - considering that I had exams and everything - in both January and February. March has been slow going in comparison, but I still have a week left. I can read a lot in a week. :P

The Passage (Justin Cronin): Thrinidir found this one for me I didn't need a lot of convincing to buy it - a post-apocalyptic book that's being compared to The Stand? I'm sold.
The Passage didn't disappoint - it was more than decent, even though it's not terribly innovative or incredibly well written. It's a very enjoyable read despite that, and even though the last third of the book made me suspect that the ending will be corny as hell, I was proven wrong (and liked it).

Mr. Shivers
(Robert Jackson Bennett): I've expected much, much more from this book. This was yet another title from someone's best of 2010 list, so naturally, I expected the book to be at least decent, but it left me completely cold. Not that it was horrible, but it was incredibly predictable and gave me the feeling that the author wrote it in a hurry. (Review upcoming)

(William Gibson): Usually, my uni obligations do nothing to help me with my TBR pile, but this time around, they actually did ... I had to read Neuromancer for a paper I was writing, and I enjoyed it a lot. I can see why it is a classic, and I can also understand why so many people dislike it. As a read, it was a bit confusing at first, but I got hooked in the last third of the book and was glad that I didn't give up on it. (Review upcoming)

(Joe Hill): I actually don't have much to say about this one. I enjoyed it, but it was not as good as I'd expect (I saw it on numerous Best of 2010 lists). I also hoped that the author would focus on the whole 'horns that make you speak exactly what's on your mind' thing, but the book ended up being very similar to the wonderful Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrarri - only with Ig being more like Joby in reverse. (Review upcoming)

(Chine Miéville): Ah, Kraken. How can such a disappointing novel hide behind such a great cover art? I loved The City and The City, I loved Un Lun Dun and I really wanted to love Kraken, too. I mean, it's a book about a giant squid, what is there not to like? Sadly, I found plenty of things I didn't like about Kraken, and by the time I got near the end of it, I had long stopped caring about the characters. I can't help but think that I somehow got the wrong novel, that there must be another Kraken, the one that everyone loved. (Review upcoming)

The Half-Made World (Felix Gilman): This was one of the novels that actually lived up to its reputation. The Half-Made World is exactly what I was looking for - well-written steampunk with vivid imagery. The protagonists were a tad archetypal, but my journey through Gilman's half-made world was still enjoyable. (Review upcoming)

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins): This novel was a huge surprise for me - I really didn't expect much from it, but I ended up completely enamored with it. I read it in one sitting and enjoyed it immensely. (Review upcoming)

The Road
(Cormac McCarthy): A long overdue re-read, again for uni-related stuff. What can I say? I'm still convinced that The Road deserves to be called a post-apocalyptic literature classic.
(You can read Thrinidir's review of The Road here).

The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin): Another re-read for the same paper I had to read Neuromancer for - what can I say, I've had some interesting papers to write this year. In Monthly report for December, I wrote that I found The Left Hand of Darkness somewhat odd when I first read it; I guess that was because I was still a more or less inexperienced reader at the time. I liked it much more this time around, but I can't possibly review it - not after reading so many different analyses of it.

The Reapers are the Angels (Alden Bell): I hate it when I buy a book despite my initial skepticism only to find that I was actually right about it. The Reapers are the Angels (or, as I much less eloquently dubbed it, 'The Crappy Title Book') is one of such cases - there are so many positive reviews on it that I ordered it despite my initial suspicions. While it was not terribly bad, it was still far from being good, and I was left wondering how the hell it managed to get all those positive reviews. (Review upcoming)



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