Happy New Year!

Out with 2013 and in with 2014!

I did not reach my goal of reading 100 (for fun)books this year. I only managed to read 95. I thought that I would have a reading marathon these last few days of the year and speed though a couple of mind-candy type books. Instead, I decided to end the year reading an epic fantasy (Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson), which while freaking awesome, is not a quick and easy read. I’ve about half way through that book, so really you can say that I’ve read 95.5 books.

Oh well, there’s always next year!

I also totally didn’t write or post my remaining reviews. I swear, I’ll get to it soon.

Anyhoo, Happy New Year to one and all. Happy reading and writing in 2014!

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Quick Writing Update

A couple days ago, Greg and I finally finished the first draft of chapter two of the book we’re working on. It came in at ~18 pages/5,500 words. It was an intense chapter with some heebie-jeebie moments that were a bit difficult to work through, but we did it.

This chapter included references to pygmy sheep, which will be cropping up again later!

Now on to chapter three and slightly less cringe-worthy story.

 

Holiday Excuses

Because of the holidays, I’ve really dropped the ball on keeping up with my reviews–really just posting in general. But have no fear, I will be posting them soon and probably in bulk. I have seven more books to read before the end of the year to reach my goal of 100 books (that’s only 1.4 books a day. Think I can do it?).

I will be posting my literary Christmas booty soon, and I’ll also be posting my end-of-year top ten books list. Stay tuned.

November Reads

November was a sucky month for reading. I only managed seven books. With it now being Dec. 13, I have 15 books left to reach my goal of 100 by the end of the year. That’s fifteen more books to finish in two and a half weeks. Think I can do it? I’m gonna give it my best!

5-Star Reviews:

4-Star Reviews:

3-Star Reviews:

2-Star Reviews:

 

Stormy Weather: A Review

stormyStormy Weather is one of the many novels written by Florida Author, Carl Hiaasen. It has all of the classic elements of a Hiaasen novel: A Florida setting (duh), a couple of scammers, a message about the preservation of natural Florida, and at least one person who’s slightly off their rockers.

Stormy Weather doesn’t just revolve around one or two characters, there’s a whole cast. There’s Bonnie the newly-wed, Augustine the rich skull juggler, Edie the beautiful con-artist, Snapper the ugly con-artist, Skink the crazy former governor, and a host of other, minor characters. The characters’ stories are all very different, however, due to the strange events that follow a devastating hurricane, their lives get intimately entwined. There’s murder, monkeys, money, shock collars, and more.

Though entertaining, there’s nothing new here. Though specific acts can be a bit wild and unpredictable, the overall story is safe, comfortable, and predictable—in-so-far as it’s a Carl Hiaasen story. It’s worth reading, but it isn’t memorable.

3/5 Stars

Agnes Grey: A Review

agnes greyAgnes Grey is a novel by arguably the least known of the Brontë Sisters, Anne Brontë.  I listened to a free audio version (a dramatic reading) courtesy of Librivox.org.

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a poor minister. Wanting to help her family, Agnes becomes a governess. She bears many trials and tribulations with patience and composure. She finds little comfort in her life as a governess, except for the occasional interactions with the local parson, Edward Weston.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to Agnes Grey. This story is a subdued one. It’s comfortable. I’ve read people comparing Anne Brontë’s work to that of Jane Austen, and while I can see the similarities, Austen’s work is more intricate and complex. Agnes Grey is simple and straightforward. However, it gets a big bonus for its support of animal welfare. Agnes’s heart is wrenched when one of her first students is cruel to birds and beasts, and she finds companionship in a scrappy little dog. In her timidness and compassion, I saw a little of myself in Agnes.

4/5 Stars