Reading list 2015

Another year starts another year of reading!

1. The Shining - Steven King, Finished January 7

Everyone tells you to read this one because it really is actually good. If you have not already read it or if you need a place to start with Steven King, this is a good one to pick up.

2. Desperation - Steven King, Finished January 20

This was a very different Steven King novel when it began, but it slowly drifted into being like most of the other King books I have read recently. I was at first really excited that it seemed like it would be a realistic horror novel, where an insane police man just takes people back to an abandoned mining town in the Nevada dessert. Interesting start right? Well don't get too attached to that plot because this is another attempt by Steven King to write about capital G god. Ugh too much religion, too heavy handed on the metaphors, which all lead to the second half of the novel being just too heavy handed. Steven King if you ever want a new editor I would love to give you a hand ending your novels. . .

3. Carrie- Steven King, Finished January 21

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit to be honest. It was better than the movie, and I loved the movie so that is saying something. I think the novel does a better job of explaining some of the motivations for Carrie's mother, instead of her being just a crazy religious nut she has slightly more depth and a more detailed history.

Also the format or writing style in Carrie was interesting for me, it is not written like other Steven King novels, this one is written as though someone had compiled a detailed report of the incident on prom night and the events which lead up to it. The narrative was disjointed and jumped around to different points of view making it feel like you were reading a historical account of a real event instead of a work of fiction.

While this was enjoyable, I think it might be time for a small Steven King break. . .

4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson, Finished January 28

Do you remember the Wishbone series and novels that went along with it? Adorable Jack Russel Terrier, books, mysteries etc? It was my favorite as a kid and one of my favorite "Wishbone" Classics was the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so I thought it would only be fitting if I read the actual classic now that I am a proper grown up who maintains and works on a blog, keeps a steady job, and is getting married soon.

This was an easy to read classic novel, the language isn't too dense or out of date with modern novels most of the time. The story is simple but well told and I am pretty sure everyone knows the story for this one, a man is able to chemically separate his "good" side from his "evil" side so he can go out into the night and do terrible things in the guise of his evil self, while never harming the reputation of his good side, but what happens when the evil side isn't happy being one half of a whole anymore? Well read the book and find out how this classic mystery ends!

5. Different Seasons - Steven King, Finished February 24

I did not enjoy this novel but I think it is more because I was not expecting this type of novel more than me having a problem with the novel itself. Basically the problem is with how I select books not the book itself sometimes. My usual method for reading is to load my kobo(an ereader) with  at least one hundred different novels, of any variety, length, subject or time period. Sometimes I google lists of "100 novels to read before" whatever age I am turning next. So I am sure you can figure out that my hand held library is large, and unorganized.

I also never read the preview, synopsis, or anything else about a novel before I start to read. Either I like the look of the cover, have heard of it or been recommended it, or I like how the title catches my attention. So when I start to read I tend to know very, very little about what I have picked up.  Usually this works out fine because I would read a bottle of soap if it was in front of me. Look back through all my reading lists, I have rarely been disappointed by my random selections.

But going back, to Different Seasons, I told my wonderful fiance that I was reading it, and he said oh! like The Shawshank Redemption the movie right? Which I have not seen and so I still know nothing about the story, except now I am expecting a story which was made into a full length movie.

Different Seasons is not a movie length story, it is four completely separate stories, which according to the nonsense "letter to the fan" Steven King insists upon ending all of his stories with, is intended to evoke the feeling or tone of the season it represents in the novel.

I hated it, I was paying such careful attention to all the details in each of the four stories, pondering how they would all come together before the end but I never got my reward.

Ugh I think I need to walk away from Steven King for another little bit. Perhaps I will reread this one with a better mindset for what I am getting and then will have different opinions.

6. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs, Finished February 24

Another choice from my book/drinking club. This was a delightful little story, although it turns out to be part of series, which means I was left with a slightly unsatisfactory ending this time.

I was a bit reminded of A Wrinkle in Time, which is a story I love very much, and is also part of  a series so the two are very very similar. Don't want to give too much away in case someone from the book club stumbles upon this, we try and keep our opinions secret until the meeting. Makes the conversation better we find.

7. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon, Finished February 26

Not the greatest series I have ever started, but I was pretty interested in it just because I am a descendant of a highland clan, and I love all things related to my family.

8. Dragonfly in Amber- Diana Gabaldon, Finished March 5

Losing interest. . .

9. Voyager - Diana Gabaldon

Gone. . .

10. Anathem - Neal Stephanson, Finished March 19

This was a challenge to read but it was engaging enough that I kept trudging through the heavy philosophical paragraphs. This novel had a step learning curve to get used to the universe it was set it, but it was all well done.

If you would like a challenge and to think about existence and consciousness then this could be a book for you. If you want something easy to breeze through this is not it.

11. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Attwood, Finished March 24

This was a fantastic book, I had no idea where anything was going and was surprised by all the plot turns. If you like a dystopic novel this is one to try.

12. A Wind in the Door -  Madeleine L'Engle, Finished March 24

A short novel and a continuation of A Wrinkle in Time. I read the first in the series when I was a child, and decided to go back and see what else it held.  The writing is a little simple, but still enjoyable. It is an interesting universe to spend some time in.

13. A Swiftly Tilting Planet - Madeleine L'Engle, Finished March 25

A continuation of a Wrinkle in Time again, this time though the children have grown up, Meg is married but the space-time continuum is still not safe, and Charles Wallace must go through an awful lot to save the universe.

Seriously, I love these novels.

14. Many Waters - Madeleine L'Engle, Finished March 25

Going back in time chronologically with the cast of A Wrinkle in Time, this time it is the twin brothers time to shine while they are still teenagers, in the Biblical tale of Noah and his village.

The twins are great, the writing it great. I just love all parts of this.

15. An Acceptable Time - Madeleine L'Engle, Finished March 27

A lovely end to the quintet. I enjoyed this series the more time I spent with it. For sure one I will be coming back to sometime.

Still feeling a bit nostalgic. . .

16. Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 28

17. Little house on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 28

18. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 28

19. By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 29

20. The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 29

21.  Little Town on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Finished March 29

22. These Happy Golden Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder- Finished April 2

23. The First Four Years - Laura Ingalls Wilder- Finished April 2

24. Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder- Finished April 2

If you aren't aware of these books, they are the life story of Laura Ingalls, her Ma and Pa, and sisters Mary, Carrie, and Grace.  Her life begins in the big woods of Wisconsin, and ends up settling and helping to develop a whole new town far out in western America.

Read the first book when I was ten and then got the whole set a short time later and read them all as fast I could.  They are still great to read, although a few bits might not have aged well and there is a bit more blatant racism then I tend to be comfortable with. But I still think I would let a child of ten read them. At least the first one.

25, The ChrysalidsJohn Wyndham- Finished April 2

I first read this in grade 11 and it stuck with me. So while I am on a throw back reading kick I thought I would add this one in. I am so glad I did. This is an excellent novel for anyone. Set in the future after "Tribulation" rained down and ruined the world, a young boy is haunted by dreams of a place he has never seen, and thinks can't exist. The story is filled with secrets and complex relationships. I loved this and read the whole thing in one afternoon. 

26. Wake - Robert J. Sawyer - Finished April 8

This was excellent. If you want to try science fiction this is a great novel to try. I truly enjoyed it, it was engaging and I was not able to predict how the story would unfold until it was already happening.

Also a great mind trip if you have ever wanted to think about what it is to be conscious and what that means.

27. Secret Daughter - Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Finished April 9

The story of a rural Indian mother who tries to save her daughter's life by giving her to an orphanage when she is just one day old. The story follows the mother and her family, the daughter she gave away and her adoptive family. It is a beautiful story and very well written, I enjoyed it very much.

28. The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald - Finished April 9

I had this movie has a child and loved it! So it seemed only natural to read the novel once I realized it existed.  The novel and the movie are very similar with no real changes made. So I also enjoyed the novel as a reading experience, even though it is obviously a novel meant for someone a lot younger than I am.

29. The Way Of Kings - Brandon Sanderson Finished April 16

This was excellent. I very much like Sanderson's writing style. It is another fantasy series, with magic and near fatally moralistic heroes. If I ever feel the need to write a critical literary paper, it would be on Sanderson's hero archetype.

30- Sometime between April 17 and August 10, I read all the following from The Wheel of Time series, however I was getting married, buying a house, moving, setting up a house etc, and did not have chance to be as organized as I usually am. I am so sorry. But here are the titles of the novels I have busy with, and if you wanted to know more I read this series for the first time in 2013, and my thoughts are back on that page.

30. The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan

31. The Shadow Rising - Robert Jordan

32. The Fires of Heaven - Robert Jordan

33. The Lord Of Chaos - Robert Jordan

34. A Crown of Swords - Robert Jordan

35. The Path of Daggers - Robert Jordan

36. Winter's Heart - Robert Jordan

37.Crossroads of Twilight- Robert Jordan

38. Knife of Dreams - Robert Jordan

39. The Gathering Storm - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson


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