Since I certainly haven't been WRITING much over here lately, right? Sorry . . . it has been up around 100 degrees every day over here and I've hit the breaking point I hit every September. I want to wear the cuddly warm sweaters I see in store windows and make pumpkin bread and SOUP and crunch leaves under my boots but nooooo. Not yet, for me at least. In other words: I am feeling kind of bleh.
Of course the best way to deal with bleh is to hunker down in the evenings with a book and a cup of (iced) (mint) tea, right? Which is what I've been doing.
The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark: I picked this up on a sale table at Borders because it was $3 and I saw the words "Great Fire" and "London" on the back cover. I didn't expect to like it nearly as much as I did, but I have to say this is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is just Gothic and creepy enough and Clark's writing style is unbelievably visual. At one point while I was reading this book, I had an incredibly (dorky and) realistic dream about flying over London in the 1700's. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
Then I, uh, read that last Twilight book. It was, uh, pretty good. (*embarrassed*)
Moving on! London Calling by Edward Bloor. This was another sale table find (although found on a different sale table. I frequent bookstores. And sales.) It is technically a "young adult" book which really just means I was expecting a quick, light and fun read. The novel does get into some pretty heavy territory though (alcoholism, The Blitz, MURDER). Hands down my favorite parts of this book were the scenes that took place at York Minster, one of my favorite places on earth. I love, love, love reading historical novels that are set in places I've been. It adds a whole additional layer to the experience of reading an event when you can accurately picture the very room it is taking place in.
Next! The Queen's Sorrow by Suzannah Dunn. I had read and really loved The Queen of Subtleties, also by Suzannah Dunn (which took place mostly in the kitchens of Hampton Court Palace, which, hello. So obvs. I enjoyed that one.) This novel though had an ending that really pissed me off. Does that ever happen to you? Perfectly fine book but then the ending is just so WRONG? So that is what happened when I read this book: I hated the ending ergo I don't have that many nice things to say about the book. I suppose there were many scenes that took place at Hampton Court Palace so there's something.
On to . . . Julie and Julia. I had seen the movie (my mother in law's pick) and the book was a gift from my sister in law and I can't really say that I would've picked up either on my own but the book I did quite like. Moreso than the movie One thing very much appreciated was that the book was NOT just a compilation of blog entries. It was an actual, honest to goodness novel with a storyline, which just seems like the right thing for a book to be, no matter if a blogger wrote it.
And, most recently, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (which I waited in a HUGE line at Borders for the day it came out.) Yes, yes, of course I liked The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons. Both quite fun reads. I REALLY like Deception Point. It is safe to say I've enjoyed reading everything Dan Brown has written, and The Lost Symbol was no exception. It doesn't, however, rate #1 on my list of "best loved Dan Brown books". It actually ranks, um, last. Which is still a higher ranking than A GREAT VERY MANY BOOKS ever acchieve with me. It isn't that The Lost Symbol wasn't good, just that it wasn't my favorite of Brown's. Sorry, buddy, you set the bar too high. Will still read your next novel the week it comes out though so pls. write quickly, kthxbai!