Long overdue book reviews…

So, slowly my moving nightmare at least seems to be stabilizing (I did get stuck in the bathroom this weekend when the doorknob decided not to turn but that’s a little thing at this point) so it’s time to get back to some semblance of a schedule. And I am WAY behind on some book reviews so here they come, drive-by style:

Parrot and Olivier in America: This was a quirky fat paperback book I found wandering Powell’s last September and I am only now getting around to it. I liked this book; both for what it was commenting on and the ludicrous characters. Peter Carey built an incredible ensemble to surround his two named heroes and I was happy with the ultimate ending as well; Parrot deserved a happy ending and I loved the wacky way he gets it. Olivier, on the other hand, needed a swift kick in the pants and even once he got it and was STILL ridiculous. I figure the France of the 1830s deserves him back.

White Teeth: This was one of the books I received through the Reddit Book Exchange earlier this year. It wasn’t bad; it had some laugh out loud moments but it ultimately suffered from the Contemporary Novel disease for me. At least it was a contemporary novel set in London so I could enjoy that aspect of it.

Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women: A friend recommended this to me as something to help process what was, at the time, still the primary season. Glass ceilings have since shattered but this is the book that looked at the giant crack Hilary put in it the first try and does an excellent job of discussing all the aspects of that 2008 primary.

From Hardtack to Home Fries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals: I really enjoyed this when I read it but now I can’t remember a thing about it…another reason to write these reviews sooner.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: So many people have recommended this to me over the years and it was as good as they said it would be. Fascinating read; I didn’t know anything about the Lacks Family or Henrietta’s story before reading. Well presented and never over anyone’s head. It also is a book that makes you think about your own tissues out there floating in the world and what science might make of them (with or without your consent).

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School #2): In an effort to get back to what my actual reading challenge was for the year, I did pick up a few books in series I need to get back to. This series is getting more delightful by the book; this time Sophronia is on the hunt for the reason why her floating spy school is headed towards London with (gasp) boys aboard from an evil genius school and why the vampire teacher is acting so odd. Well, more odd than usual. Some days just call for a steampunk alternate timeline supernatural spy thriller complete with ball and tea party and this fits the bill nicely.

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2): So, apparently this is no longer a trilogy but longer? Sigh…That said, it still suffering from some “second book in a trilogy” issues but a solid installment nonetheless. Amy continues to be fun to watch develop as a lead (anti) heroine. I’m also not entirely sure where the series is headed which is fun and makes for a good and thrilling read each time.

Cinder & Ella: I don’t usually review all the romances and silly freebie ebooks I pick up on my Kindle but this one deserved at least a line since it is yet another Cinderella re-telling. This one is decent but the DRAMA…oy. This book was one act short of a teenage pregnancy and I feel like a few more chapters and she would have been there but the title characters are fun, actually have some depth to them and the stepsisters get played out well here (I always have a soft spot of the stepsisters) here so if you are a Cinderella re-telling junkie (like myself), this one is worth a few dollars on your Kindle.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: This was lovely; if nothing else, now I REALLY want to go on a walking tour of England. Like, tomorrow. But, beyond that, Harold is such a wonderful character. Someone you want to reach in and hug periodically and assure him that it is OK, that he is not a failure. That he did his best and life spit his efforts back in his face. And that happens sometimes. But as long as you remember the journey, and the good times along it, the ending is really just another place to start again.




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