Monday, May 3, 2010

What I've Been Reading Lately: a catch-up list

Now that the 15 books in 15 days challenge is over (wow, what a ride!), I wanted to post a few mini-reviews of books I read but didn't manage to review before the challenge started, plus the one I read since it ended (because it was Lee and Miller, and I just couldn't help myself):

The Two Towers  – Tolkien, J. R. R. - This was via audiobook; it's what my husband and I have been listening too in the evenings while we do clean-up and dishes. This is still just so, so good. 

How to Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably, and On Your Own  – Farber, Barry. - I quoted this one here. This book really does live up to its title, and I'd recommend it even if you don't want to learn a second language, just for the stories Farber tells! He's a great character, and he's used his gift for languages to travel all over the world and meet all sorts of interesting people. Practically, what I took away from this book was the truth that flashcards are not a bad, boring idea. I've been using them ever since I read this book, and my Spanish vocabulary is growing in leaps and bounds. He also encouraged me to use multiple methods to learn my target language, and I'm finding that that is paying off to. He encourages you not just to listen to tapes or to only do the exercises in your grammar book, but to listen to tapes, do the grammar lessons, listen to the radio, talk to people, read the books, use the flashcards - in other words, the more ways you can get the target language into your head, the better. I'm finding that he's right. Great book.

The Kitchen Madonna  – Godden, Rumer. - This one was a big surprise. It's beautiful, it's wonderful and it won't take you long to read. Go for it. (But make sure you get a copy with the Carol Barket illustrations.)

The Host  – Meyer, Stephanie. - After reading the Twilight series, and enjoying it almost as much as I enjoyed criticizing it, I thought I'd give her adult sci-fi a try. It was entertaining, though I had huge problems with the ending, which might or might not be her fault. I thought she was going to end it one way, and she chose another way - a way that felt like a bit of a cop-out.* Much like happened in Twilight, it felt like the characters didn't have to pay for their happy ending. But it was certainly a fun read - she really is good at world-building.

Fledgling – Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve. - Oh goodness, this ruined me. I read it after the 15/15 challenge, and now I want to read nothing but Lee and Miller! They just write exactly what I want to read: fun, swash-buckling sci-fi, full of nobles and alien etiquette and mystical heritage and futuristic societies and spaceships and dancing and coming-of-age stories and adventure and . . . and everything. They're just fun. This is hands-down my brain candy of choice. More, more, more!

So, what are you reading?

peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

*SPOILER: I thought she was going to have the alien parasite end up living in her lover's head, which would have made sense. But instead she magically procured another body for her, solving our heroes' problems at no cost to them. Okay . . . 


MomCO3 said...

Your spoiler totally cracked me up-- and as an aside, I think ending up with an alient parasite lump in MY head would spoil things for me. =)

Jessica said...

Weellll . . . maybe I wasn't clear: I thought the alien parasite would end up living in the head of the lover OF THE ALIEN PARASITE. See, there's the heroine, the alien parasite in her head, the hero (with whom the heroine and the alien parasite are in love) and the lover of the alien parasite . . . clear as mud?

Again, credit where credit is due, it's one of the most creative love triangles I've ever seen . . . three people but two bodies. The, later, four people and three bodies . . . a love square-triangle? thing? I don't know. :)