Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book worm

I know, I haven't blogged in forever! Here is the reason. As I looked at last year, I was disappointed in the number of books I read. I love to read, and making that statement while only reading one or two books a year just isn't right so this month I went through everyone's Goodreads and picked up some books at the library and read - ALL OF THEM.

Let's start with the worst.

Luckily this one only took me a few hours to read. The main character, who is an avid Jane Austen fan and unlucky in love inherits a trip to Austenland, where people go to experience what this time period would be like. She goes so that she can finally put the notion that she will find her own Mr. Darcy out of her head. This almost happens (she starts to realize that she is attracted to losers who aren't confined to the US or her own time period) until the worst ending possible emerges: the actor portraying the Darcy type runs after her to the airport and professes his [real] love. Needless to say, happily ever after. Yikes. I think a smarter ending would have made the book much better.

This historical fiction centers on Sarah, a young, spunky, seemingly fearless girl growing up in the Arizona territories in the rough 1800s who keeps a journal of her family's wagontrain journey to Texas and back and their establishment in Arizona. Her story drew me in immediately - the characters are vivid and real, the situations they face heartbreaking and the way she is able to survive and grow amazing.

First of all, this epic is 1000 pages. So the fact that I finished it in one week tells you that it is riveting! This is also historical fiction about English 1800s - plague-era and the decline of feudalism. The story focuses on several characters whose lives are intertwined in a village housing one of the largest cathedrals in England. Ideas, customs and ways of life that have been around for hundreds of years are on the verge of radical change and it is so interesting how each character embraces it or doggedly fights it, leaving outcomes that drastically change lives.

Anyway, last week we had some great weather and enjoyed the park thoroughly. Charlotte insisted on taking her purse. Of course, it was filled with Hot Wheels to send down the slide.


lrbodine said...

Funny because I loved Austenland for it's mindless reading and cute story and These is my Words was one of my favorites too.

JoEllen said...

I want to know how many stars you give these books! I have only read the first two. (and wasn't wild about Austenland either. In fact, it made me wary of Shannon Hale books altogether, which is too bad because when I finally read her "teen" books, I quite enjoyed them.) I was really glued to These Is My Words. Good wholesome yarn. What other books did you read?

Smith Family said...

I love how Charlotte carries her "boy" cars in her "girlie" purse. Sounds like something Claire would do!

Jen said...

Thanks for the recommends on books. i have These is my Words, i just haven't read it yet.

Malesa said...

Thanks for the reviews. I think I'll go get that last one.