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I've read a run of really great books lately, and I thought I'd post the list here in case any of you might be interested.

"The Testament of Jessie Lamb" by Jane Rogers - Set in the near future, terrorists have released a virus that kills pregnant women. Everyone is infected and becoming pregnant is a death sentence. This story is told from the point of view of a teenage girl, and I found it really interesting to see how society changes around her while she's dealing with normal teenage stuff (and not-so-normal teenage stuff). A lot of really great questions about sexuality, parenthood, and consent are brought up, but they're not answered, and that left me a little unsatisfied. I was also not satisfied by the ending for reasons I can't state without spoiling the story. I'd still recommend this book, though, because it left me thinking about it for several days afterward.

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman - Told from the point of view of a 7 year old boy, this is a bedtime story for adults, not for children. Magic.

"Never Let Me Go" by Katsuo Ishiguro - I think Ishiguro may actually be one of my all-time favorite authors. His stories are so subtle and beautiful and they never fail to pull me in, even though they tend to be very sad. I didn't find this story as heart-wrenching as I'd expected, maybe because the "secret" of the Hailsham students' purpose isn't so secret and they're all consigned to it. Even the one glimmering hope just delays the inevitable, but maybe that's also what's so tragic about it.

"I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson - I put off reading this for far too long. I love post-apocalyptic horror and the twist in this one is absolutely, delightfully horrible.

"Sunshine" by Robin McKinley - Before you get the idea that I'm really into vampire fiction, let me tell you that that's not the case. I like Buffy and the aforementioned "I Am Legend", but that's pretty much the extent of it. This book came highly recommended by mirandawave, and I trust her judgment completely. I have mixed emotions about this book, though. See, I didn't read it; I listened to the audiobook, and, unfortunately, the narrator was terrible. She made the main character, Sunshine, sound very young, very petty, and very self-centered (and, I'm sorry, but Sunshine's real name sounds like it came straight from Tara Gillesbie's "My Immortal"). I started imagining the words the narrator was reading with different inflections and Sunshine immediately became more reasonable, relatable, and likable. She also has an unusual voice which I would have found interesting and pleasant under normal circumstances, but that I found ridiculous when she was reading just about any male character, especially the ancient vampire Constantine. Narrator aside, I think this is a solid story if you like vampire fiction.

"The Cuckoo's Calling" by Robert Galbraith - I think everyone by now is aware that Galbraith is a nom de plume of J. K. Rowling, and having read the book now, I understand completely why she chose to write this under a different name. This isn't Harry Potter. Not even close. This is a gritty detective novel full of very un-Harry Potter-ish language. It has quite a bit less murder, though, so when I read reviews from people upset at how much more adult this book is than Harry Potter, it strikes me as a bit funny. Detective stories are not my favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the characters to be well-developed and surprising, and I had no idea who the killer was until the reveal. In fact, I even went "Nuh-uh!!!" when I got to that part because I'd completely ruled that character out.

So how 'bout you? Read any good books lately?

This entry was originally posted at http://annissamazing.dreamwidth.org/425317.html. Feel free to leave comments here or there. I'm not picky. Dreamwidth comment count: comment count unavailable


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 9th, 2013 10:52 pm (UTC)
My SIL read I am Legend and said it's NOTHING like the movie. I'm supposed to borrow it from her soon.
Oct. 16th, 2013 12:56 pm (UTC)
There were three movies. I saw the first (Vincent Price's), thought nothing could be worse... until I saw the second (Heston). I'd learned my lesson and didn't see the third; based on the ads I knew I couldn't go through the torture again. In addition to being brilliant, the novel is an important addition to vampire lore. I think this is one of the places where - according to some people I met when I joined lj and BWR - I'm supposed to say vampires don't shimmer.

Regardless, the novel is fantastic.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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