Monday, October 8, 2012

September 2012 Books

A bunch of fiction this month, thanks to lots of books from the library. I have at least 4 to pick up tomorrow and possibly 7.

I get many books via interbranch request but since our libraries are closed and Sunday and Mondays my books aren't always there by the time I go on Tuesdays (my general shopping and errand day) so I get those on Thursdays when I am also out running errands.

Right now the trips to the library are crazy in that there is so much work being performed on that street (this is the main artery connecting the east and west sides of Petaluma so it's busy all the time).
  • They are working on the sewer so one whole side of the street is generally closed off.
  • There is a new shopping center going in so the entrance to it is undergoing construction.
  • They are adding a new on-ramp to the freeway.
  • The railway crossings are getting upgraded in anticipation for the new SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) service.
I can get to the library via the back way but sometimes I just forget, like the other day when not only did they have traffic detouring through a side neighborhood but it was time for school to get out. And once I was in that mess I was in it for about half an hour. The things I do for reading material!

And one of the new clerks at the post office knows I always get books in the mail so the other day I was in line waiting and she called out in a loud voice, "GETTING MORE BOOKS TODAY?" Well, yes, but all the other customers don't need to know that. Thank goodness I don't regularly pick up anything embarrassing.

Anyhoo, on to September books....

NON-FICTION

  • 1969: The Year That Changed Everything by Rob Kirkpatrick
    • I heard of this book because Lady Chardonnay's mom gave it to Mr. Lady C for a birthday gift. It sounded intriguing so I picked it up at the library.
    • It was pretty interesting and my favorite parts revolved around the sports events that occurred that year (the Joe Namath Superbowl and the Miracle Mets) and the music-related stories (Woodstock and Altamont).
      • Another thing I learned was that while Woodstock was going on during the weekend of August 15-18, so was Hurricane Camille. So even though I was only 7 years old, I know exactly where I was during Woodstock! In Chalmette, Louisiana, evacuating to Chalmette High School because my parents were told the levee had broken. It hadn't but I wonder how well we would have been protected at the high school. Certainly we would have lost the house (that area had at LEAST 6 feet of water in both Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and our little house was torn down in 2006 as unsalvageable) but I have no idea how high the ground around the high school is. We were up in the bleachers so assuming the building held we would have survived fine. My brother and I were pretty excited by the whole thing but my parents must have been horrified by the whole thing.
    • But back to the book, it also covered lots of things about Vietnam, riots at college campuses (this was the year before the killings at Kent State), Apollo 11's moon landing, Chappaquiddick, the Manson Family murders, the Zodiac killer, and more.
    • I think that people living in those times (yes, I lived in those times but as a 7-year-old so I was unaware of all the awful stuff going on except the hurricane, of course) must have thought the world was going to hell. There was such change during the 1960s, in music and movies, in dress, in the drugs and violence, the sexual revolution, women breaking free from the home, the civil rights movement. 
    • I found a couple of factual errors in the book so I am always leery of all the other facts but overall this was a fun read.
    • B- for the book, A+ for my family surviving Hurricane Camille with no levee breaks
FICTION
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • The Death Cure by James Dashner
    • A three-part young adult series that starts off when a teenage boy arrives in the Glade with no memory of who he is or why he's there. All the other occupants are boys who also arrived with no memories of their past, one every 30 days. They are surrounded by a giant maze filled with deadly creatures. Then a girl arrives the next day with the message that she's the last arrival.
    • The book recounts their attempts to escape and to discover what put them there in the first place. Another dystopian series but one that doesn't completely revolve around the love connections which is refreshing.
    • I didn't love the conclusion but it didn't end ambiguously so that's a plus.
    • B for all three.
  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
  • Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder
  • Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
    • A young woman named Yelena is a condemned prisoner who is given the choice of immediate execution or become the food taster for the Commander. Guess which one she chooses!
    • A good series but more running, escaping, traveling, plotting or hiding than magic-related stuff, which I was hoping for given the titles.
    • B- for all three
  • Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
    • Carver Young grows up in 1890s New York City, in an orphanage run by a kindly woman (which is a change of pace from almost every other book featuring orphanages) but it's closing so he has to hope for adoption, even though he is a teenager. And adopted he is by a Detective Hawking who works for the Pinkerton Agency.
    • Since Carver wants to be a detective himself it seems ideal. He wants to find his father who's he come to believe is still alive but he also finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation where the killer exhibits the modus operandi of Jack the Ripper. Could he have moved to New York?
    • Interesting book and quite exciting in parts. I especially liked the parts where Carver and his other adopted orphanage friends work together. This seems like the beginning of a series but I don't know if that's the case. Carver would be fun to follow in further adventures.
    • B+


  • Changeless by Gail Carriger
  • Blameless by Gail Carriger
  • Heartless by Gail Carriger
    • Books 2, 3, and 4 of the Parasol Protectorate series. I read book 1 in August and book 5 (the last in the series) in October.
    • The books take place mainly in 1880s London with side trips to Scotland, France and Egypt.
    • The main character, Alexia Maccon, is "soulless" and she can neutralize the powers of werewolves, vampires and ghosts so she is their natural enemy. Naturally she marries a werewolf.
    • It's definitely an entertaining series but reading them all bunched together makes it a little too cutesy. Alexia is a rich, proper lady and there's a lot of comments from her on the propriety of everything related to the whole vampire/werewolf/ghost/normal world. It gets a bit tiresome in bulk but I really wanted to get through it.
    • B+ for all three
  • Every Day by David Levithan
    • The main character, A, wakes up in a different body every day. Sometimes female, sometimes male but always A's current age which is 16. A has guidelines to live this kind of life: don't get noticed, don't interfere, don't get attached.
    • But then A wakes up as Justin and falls for Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. Since there seems to be some sort of geographic component to the situation A never wakes up more than a few hours from Rhiannon.
    • And thereby hangs the tale. It's interesting and you definitely get caught up in A and hope everything works out. The story takes place over the course of about a month.
    • The author wrote Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green. I loved that book and am also looking forward to reading John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (I'm 20th on the library wait list!). I think I need to start checking out their other books.
    • A
I feel like I'm missing some books on my reading list but that's because it's October 8 and I've already plowed through 5 books this month. They'll need to wait until next month's list!

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