Sunday, April 09, 2006

Reading Update

Blogger isn't letting me upload pictures right now. So I'll just refer you here and here to take a look-see. You should go there anyway.

So this year a friend encouraged me to keep track of all the books I'm reading, or attempting to read, this year. So far I've completed 18 novels and 2 novellas, and attempted 8 that I didn't complete. I rate them all, 1-10, and the average is 7.14 (higher than I expected!). I have one 1, and until this past week, I had one 10.

Now I've added two more!

These two books are very different. The Gate to Eden is a historical western, not my usual choice of reading. Don't Look Down is a romantic adventure, my preferred genre. Both have stuck in my head.

I'm not great at reviewing books. They're like art to me. I read them and like them, or not.
Analyzing them, breaking them down and telling what I like, is difficult. But these two deserve it, so I'll try.

(No blurbs. I can't summarize my own books, never mind someone else's, so go to those links I posted above to get the gist of the stories.)

The Gate to Eden
I like modern heroines, which is probably why I don't read a lot of historicals anymore. I hear many of them now contain willful, independent heroines, generating complaint that they are anachronistic. I'm happy to say, TGTE contains an independent heroine who fits perfectly in her time period. Maddie and hundreds of other women and children have been thrown into a terrible situation, and she will stop at nothing to improve it. Everything she does is well-motivated and believable, and I found myself rooting for her to marry Scott and make her life easier. Scott's backstory is well structured to feed the conflict yet make the outcome inevitable. It's a well-crafted story that will make you surprised to see modern conveniences when you finally look up from the page, and emerge from their world.

Don't Look Down
This book had a lot to live up to. I've been a fan of Jenny Crusie's for a long time, and jumped on her blog the minute she opened it. I've been following the evolution of the Crusie/Mayer collaboration almost since it started. Those two share a brain, I swear. They are the funniest couple who isn't a couple, and a pair of talented writers. But when you "live" with them every day, peering through the portal of their blog into the portion of their lives they share, it can be easy to have high expectations. And mine were light-years high. But the book definitely lived up to them. I laughed out loud often enough to exasperate my coworker, my kids, and my husband. I told my father-in-law, who will love this book, all about it. I also told my mother-in-law, who never reads anything more than People magazine. The worst part is that I have to wait a whole year before the next one. At least I have their blog.

So go now. Check out these two books, and buy them. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

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