Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Books Read in January

Progress toward my 20-book goal was much stronger than I anticipated.  By January 10th, I was through 3.5 books, though I'm not sure I'm counting Hunger Games, as I had read it before.  By the end of the month, I had read 6.  I may have to up the goal!  Here's what I thought of them.

Rating: ***

I know, I know, it's a classic.  And most people read it in high school, but I never did.  I picked it up off of my parents' bookshelves over Thanksgiving, and started it shortly before Christmas.  So, this may be cheating a little bit.  I FLEW through the first half of the book.  I absolutely loved it.  Recommended it to too many people.  Then, I hit the second half.

The premise is fairly popular at the moment.  It's a distopian society of the "future" (it was written in 1949) where people's lives are controlled to an unbelievable extent.  In fact, the term "Big Brother" was originated in the book.  The premise, character development, and initial pace drew me in.  However, the second half becomes very philosophical and preachy.  Those last 100 pages or so absolutely dragged.  If you can let yourself read 1/2 a book, do so.  I'm not one of those people.  It ends exactly the way you expect it to by the time the lecturing starts.  Do yourself a favor and stop then.


OK, I liked this book way too much, and I never would have picked it up myself.  My husband gave it to me for Christmas.  You know what the best indicator is?  I want to go find an actual biography of Abraham Lincoln to figure out exactly how much of it was true.  It seemingly is incredibly well researched, and then twisted.  This is by the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I may have to now find and read.  This is an entertaining, fast read.  Though, now my grasp on reality will forever be a little off.  


I gave this book 4 stars, but I'm honestly a little torn.  I thought it was heavy handed and sacrilegious.  But, of course, I think it was intended to be exactly that.  In THIS distopian society (you may notice a theme in what I read yet), criminals are punished through "melachroming" or the tinting of their skin according to their particular crime.  As this is a modern take on The Scarlet Letter (which, now I need to re-read), the protagonist, Hannah, is guilty of adultery and having an abortion.  Essentially, this is supposedly the near future where the far-right has taken control and implemented stringent religious controls on the population.  The author quite clearly does not share those views.  For the most part, what was intriguing was the character's inner torment, but I thought that the need to eventually quickly trample through every moral premise became tiresome and unnecessary.  Be forewarned that there are graphic scenes in the book.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I actually re-read all three of these.  I like them a lot, but I fly through them.

Which, means my total as of the end of January was 6.  I slowed down after that and am currently in the middle of 3.  (19Q4, The Alchemest [re-reading], and Portrait of a Lady)  The only one I read in February was Catherine the Great.  I think.  Honestly don't remember.  That one was fantastic, though.

1 comment:

  1. I must be at 20 books.....one fish two fish, scout the fire dog, berenstein bears, etc. But yours sound like they're a higher reading level. Keep it up.