Friday, November 30, 2012

November 2012 Books

Only 5 books this month which is a PITIFUL total for me. I tried starting 3 or 4 others but I didn't make it past the first few pages. Plus I had a backlog of magazines to read through so that took away from book time. I hope December will be better but since it's definitely a busier social month it usually doesn't work out that way.

Here's the paltry (but full of quality!) list for November:

NON-FICTION
  • Elizabeth Taylor: Her Place in the Sun: A Shining Legacy on Film by Cindy De La Hoz
    • The Lindsey (Egad, is her name spelled with an "e" or an "a" at the end? I don't care enough to check.) Lohan biopic was much in the TV news this week. I caught about a minute of it because, well, I just had to see for myself.
      • One of the many criticisms was that LL used her regular, raspy voice when we all know ET had a very different way of speaking. And this was true.
    • This is a coffee table-sized book and it was great to peruse while I cooked dinner. Set the timer, read about a film or two, perform the next dinner task, read about the next movie and so on.
    • I have seen a LOT of her movies! National Velvet, Lassie Come Home, The White Cliffs of Dover (her character is played as an adult by June Lockhart!), Little Women, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun, Ivanhoe, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Giant, Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Suddenly Last Summer, Cleopatra, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Taming of the Shrew, Anne of the Thousand Days (bit part but you can't miss her).
    • Although I have seen a couple of her films with Richard Burton I would definitely like to see more of them.
    • The book offers many pictures and behind-the-scenes stories of each film. Much of her private life is included as it always impacted her acting choices.
    • A
  • New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families by Colm Toibin
    • The first chapter was fascinating, about how mothers are often dispensed with and replaced by aunts instead, focusing on books by Jane Austen and Henry James in particular.
    • Then the next chapters covered writers I had never read (or heard of in the case of J. M. Synge) and that made for harder going. If you haven't read at least one of the works of the authors covered the chapter was not as interesting so I skimmed a lot until I got to the parts about Tennessee Williams and John Cheever.
    • What I read was excellent but so much was lost on me.
    • B
FICTION
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
    • The seventh book in the Thursday Next series. I really love these books. They include literary illusions and wordplay in an alternate universe. 
    • I enjoyed the first few books better because they feature characters from various books (Thursday can go in and out of "Book World") and that made it more fun, especially when you'd read the books the characters came from.
    • The more recent books tend to focus on Thursday and her husband and children and while still entertaining are less FUN somehow.
    • This book had a subplot about Thursday's daughter Jenny who is actually a "mindworm" (thanks to an arch villain). She does not exist but the characters think she does and the conclusion of this plot is sweet and sad.
    • A
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    • The first volume in a new Young Adult series. (WHY do I keep doing this to myself?!) The next books are set to come out in Summer 2013 and Summer 2014. Guh.
    • This book features a woman named Alina and her discovery of the power to summon sunlight. The world is a mythical but its based on Russia, here called Ravka.
    • I will wait patiently for the next two books as I enjoyed this one very much.
    • B+
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
    • A teen with incurable cancer named Hazel meets Augustus, another teen who's now cancer-free, at a support group.
    • Just reading that sentence doesn't exactly make you want to jump for joy because you JUST KNOW going in that there probably won't be sunshine and lollipops at the end. But John Green co-wrote one of the best books I've read this year (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and it's gotten some great reviews.
    • And it is wonderful. I figured out where the plot was going with the help of a couple of foreshadowing moments so that kind of helped me brace for the end. Mr. Green really knows how to write the world of young adults.
    • A

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