Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I Read: June

Midnight showing update: I've been so pumped up all day that I don't think I'll have a problem with staying awake. I have been yawning profusely, though. All of this waiting around is driving me nuts! I've had on my nerd shirt and Luna-ish button bracelet for hours, and I've been biding time by reading, watching Doris Day in Tea for Two (a pretty forgettable film, unfortunately), and being creeped out by Twilight Zone episodes on Netflix. My mom is sleeping. It's my job to wake her and Dad up when it's closer to time. I asked them what happened if I fell asleep. Then I thought I had better keep my mouth shut, after what I spoke into existence at the last Harry Potter movie. :)

Anyway, I know I'm terribly late with this, as July is halfway over now. But here is the list of books I read in June:

My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, by Dick Van Dyke
I enjoyed this memoir, but I was hoping for a little more. I adore The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I've enjoyed all of his movies that I've seen so far. It seems like Dick Van Dyke is exactly the kind of person you'd expect him to be, and this book is exactly the kind of book you'd expect him to write. It's light and amusing. I didn't read this book looking for scandal, and he doesn't dwell on any scandal, though he does write about his addiction to alcohol and cigarettes, and the break-up of his marriage. My favorite parts were the little stories about working on his different projects. I'm one of those people who loves to learn behind-the-scenes information about my favorite movies and TV shows, so I wish he had spent a little more time writing about The Dick Van Dyke Show and Mary Poppins.

Some memoirs that I've read by celebrities are long and detailed and sort of..."too much information"-type books. This was the first one I've read that seemed to not include enough information...Dick Van Dyke covers a lot, but doesn't go into a lot of detail. But his writing style is very easy-going and conversational.

 Deep In the Heart of Trouble, by Deeanne Gist

A perfect sequel to Courting Trouble. This story takes place about four years later. While the first book was almost completely focused on relationships, this one has more plot (Essie helping run her father's oil business and the bicycle club). Although, of course, there is romance involved. The story is relatively calm and predictable until the last 1/4 or so of the book. Then you're hit with a twist and it's incredible how much action is packed into the last bit of the book. Like another reviewer said, it seems like things are winding down and there are still about 100 pages left in the book, and you wonder how on earth those pages will be filled. But don't worry- Deeanne Gist fills them. :) She's one of my favorite Christian historical fiction authors, and this sequel doesn't disappoint.

 A Tale of Two Castles, by Gail Carson Levine

I was so excited when I heard that Gail Carson Levine was releasing a new book. I absolutely love all of her stories (with the exception of Ever), and Ella Enchanted and The Two Princesses of Bamarre have been at the top of my favorites list for years now. The last book I read of hers was Ever, and I was hoping this one would be good after that disappointment. It didn't let me down! A Tale of Two Castles feels similar to Levine's older books, but it's a little different in a way I can't quite put my finger on. The story turned out completely different from what I expected from reading the blurbs. I loved Elodie as the main character, and I also loved IT (thought it took me a while to get used to that. "It" would have been a little easier to read) and the ogre. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story. I'm terrible at figuring out mysteries, so I honestly had no idea how things would be solved, until close to the end. After being warned about the "white sepulcher" at the beginning, I doubted everyone and trusted no one. :) I liked the end, and it seems open to sequels. Overall, this was a really sweet little fairy-tale/adventure story with good characters and a quirky fantasy feel.

 To Win Her Heart, by Karen Witemeyer

I wrote a review of this one here.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling

While it's not my favorite of the series, I can't help but love the first Harry Potter book. There's a lot of world-building going on, but you have to appreciate that Jo doesn't cram it all into the first book. She scatters it throughout the series, as the information is needed. I loved meeting the characters all over again, especially the Weasleys. I had forgotten the level of detail that Jo goes into, especially in some scenes that were left out of the film. This is my sixth "reread" of this year.

 The Waiting Place, by Eileen Button
 I wrote about this one here.

 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

I think that the HP series just gets better as it goes along. You really get to know and love the characters (well, most of them anyway). This is an interesting part of the series...I remember that I was always fascinated with how Harry, Ron, and Hermione figured out the truth about the Chamber of Secrets. I know that some people feel like the ending of this book is too similar to SS, but I disagree. Plus, this is the first glance we get of a Horcrux. Though we don't know it yet, of course. :) This was my seventh "reread" of the year, out of a goal of 20.

Well, that's it for June! The next "what I read" post will roll around quickly, I suppose. But I'll be back tomorrow with what will likely be a long, spoilery, emotional post about the last Harry Potter film. :)

Until next time,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave a comment, I love to read them! :) I reply to each one, so be sure to check back, especially if you asked a question.