I have a confession to make: I didn’t read anything from my list in November. In fact, I spent most of the month trying to get through an issue of Vanity Fair. One of these days I’ll tell you how I feel about Vanity Fair, but now is not the time. Now is the time to tell you what everyone else read.
Angel knocked two books off his list: The Planets and The Forever War. While he felt that The Planets wasn’t Sobel’s best, he did enjoy a “journey through time from the ancients’ view of the planets and stars to today’s astronomers using the latest and best telescopes” [review]. The Forever War was a reread – enjoyable science fiction with great social commentary and surprising relevancy given the current war on terror. [review]
J Harker also knocked off two books: Assassin’s Quest and Machine of Death. The former had flying dragons on the cover, but managed to avoid “cookie cutter” fantasy plots and so was a fitting and enjoyable final volume in the Farseer Trilogy [review]. The latter, a collection of short stories compiled by several webcomic authors, was great in concept – giving struggling artists a chance to publish – but not so much in execution. His review goes so far as to say: “Out of the thirty stories, there were at least seven I couldn’t finish and another five I wish I hadn’t.”
Jill read Diving into the Wreck, a “space opera” about “a woman who explores abandoned and wrecked space ships”. My favorite part of Jill’s review might be the “(Cue ominous music)” – I also enjoy how she separates the story – which she enjoyed – from the problematic technical aspects of the book.
Lanea read London Fields – a dense and brilliant book set at the turn of the millennium, in “a future of excess, environmental decay, international disputes, and general unpleasantness.” The story involves a woman who knows she will be murdered, an author who takes up her story, and a couple of murder suspects – not particularly likable characters, but Amis makes the reader enjoy them anyway. [review]
Mark read Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services. He first read Kulthau’s work in 2004 when in library school, and his observations held true upon reading the complete volume. Kulthau presents a process model for information seeking that is based in Constructivist, Personal construct, and Integrated theories and perspectives, and so challenges the predominant paradigms in our field. [review]
Meghan read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running during NaNoWriMo, which she found particularly appropriate. She wrote: “Murakami connects running in and training for marathons with his writing and with aging in a way that is peaceful and reassuring.” [review]
Rebekah read The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, recognizing from the beginning that she would have a hard time separating this memoir of Mormon singleness from her own experience. However she wrote that “the editor in me begged to push her (over and over again) for more personal authenticity than glibness.” In summary, “It’s got a bit of an Eat, Pray, Love end-vibe (minus the Love), but again, it ends up being a funny, if overall minor work.” [review]
Sara actually read FOUR books this month and summarized them all in one review. I don’t think I can do her post justice in a short paragraph – in addition to reading (or trying to read) four books in a series about history, time travel, and WWII England, she also read a short story by the same author that provided context and foundation for the series – and the Jerome K Jerome novel that inspired it. If you only click through to one other post from this summary, I’d recommend Sara’s, as it’s thoughtful, comprehensive, and enjoyable.
The Girl Works read The Heretic’s Apprentice, the latest in her comprehensive read of The Cadfael Chronicles. She writes that one of the things she loves most about the series is the “funny, old, unexpected, chewable words…They make reading aloud fun, and pausing to silently mouth unfamiliar syllables almost as enjoyable.” [review]
So there you have it, another month’s worth of books. I apologize if I missed your review, or slotted it into the wrong month. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one swapping out books based on availability or interest. And I look forward to your reviews!