I promised that I would try to join in, so here goes. All of this "New Year" enthusiasm for reading is going around my circle of family, and well, practically family. First, my sister Emilee signed up for several reading challenges. So, one of my best friends, Carrie, decided to join her. Then, my sister-in law Tara out in CA read about all the fun they were having, already reading several books this year, and she decided to join in too. She created an entirely new blog, just to talk about books. So, of course, Carrie had to create her own book blog too.
I'm telling you, I am surrounded by talk of books, constantly right now. It's not that I don't love to read. I do that constantly. So.... even though I refuse to sign up for any specific reading challenges (I like my freedom too much) I thought that perhaps I would give a short synopsis of the last few books I have read.
I had promised Tara it would be "the next book I finish", but I finished one last night, then started another, and ended up finishing it while waiting in the doctor's office today. I want to talk about both of them!
The most recent one is a new purchase. The Waldenbooks in our mall is going out of business and all of their stock is 60% off. Andy and I were very naughty and went a little crazy in there this weekend. I cannot resist books - I truly CAN'T. They are an addiction.
Anyway, one of the many we picked up on Saturday was "Odd and the Frost Giants" by Neil Gaiman, a beautiful hardbound edition with illustrations. It is set in Norway during the time of the Vikings, so I was pretty sure I would like it. However, before I read it to my children, because it is a children's book, I wanted to make sure that I agreed with all the ideas and ideals presented in it. It is only 117 pages, so it was an easy read.
The gods and the frost giants are fighting, and have caused a long winter. If winter drags on too long, nothing will grow, and the animals and people will eventually starve to death. Poor Odd, who has already lost his father, and has a crippled foot, sets off on a journey with three unlikely friends to try to end the long cold winter.
In the end he leans to respect himself. Even though he is not strong and healthy in body, he has a strong and healthy brain. Brawn counts for a lot, but brains are even more important.
The boys and I had finished "The Magician's Nephew" by C.S. Lewis last night, and needed something new to start tonight. I was glad I got a chance to whip through this one in a hurry so I could begin it with my boys tonight. We already read three chapters!
I had a discussion with Canaan about brains versus brawn. I am hoping this will be a chance to give him some ideas. He is very focused on being the strongest, and the best fighter. I want to show him that wit counts for a lot too.
The most recent book I finished for myself was an interesting combination of two of my favorite genres. I love anything Austen. The originals, the later "sequels", the supposed "lost diaries/letters" (which are really good, if anyone is looking for something to read), even some of the crazy stuff.
I also love anything Vampire. I got addicted to Buffy a WAY way long time ago, and really have never stopped loving both vampire slayers, or vampires themselves... which of course extends into werewolves, and fairies, and all sorts of mythical creatures. But vampires started the addiction.
So my sister bought me a book for Christmas called "Mr. Darcy, Vampyre" by Amanda Grange. Now, I know what you are thinking. "WHAT?" Trust me, I can understand. She also bought me one called "Vampire Darcy's Desire" by Regina Jeffers. I am pretty sure it will be a "WHAT?" book. Pretty much anything that has the word "desire" in it qualifies as !!!! Not that I won't read and enjoy it. But I somehow doubt it will qualify as actual literature.
However, "Mr. Darcy, Vampyre" was very well written. Elegant even. I won't say it was anything close to Austen. But it kept the angst of Pride and Prejudice.
Elizabeth and Darcy marry and set off on their wedding tour of Europe. The book centers around his fear of what she will think when she discovers what he is, and her fear of why he is so withdrawn and distant, even now that they are married.
He does not kill humans, this Darcy vampyre, nor do those he is friends with, but darker, evil vampyres are still there, in existence. Eventually they have to team together, rather then try to stay separate.
I thought it was a lovely picture of marriage. You may think you are protecting the one you love by not sharing your fears, or pains, or stresses. But those who truly love you know when something is wrong. They may not know exactly what it is, but they can sense it. Not sharing it will only cause more problems in the end.
I have enjoyed both of these last two books. I am off to start another. Andy is working 4pm to 4am this week, so the house is quiet this time of night. I really should sleep, so hopefully this book won't be too good, and I will be able to put it down before too long.
Today may have been a really, really awful day... but tomorrow will be better!