Friday, January 13, 2012

Books I've Read So Far This Year

My goal last year was to read 50 books, and I *just* made it in time, finishing the 50th on 12/31.  I thought it might be fun to post about some of my favorites from the year, but at the moment posting about the books I've read so far in 2012 sounds like more fun.  I guess because they are more fresh in my mind?  Here's what I've read so far this year:

I somehow got on a Philippa Gregory kick towards the end of last year, which continued with The Constant Princess as this year began.  This is the book that comes before "The Other Boleyn Girl", and I think it might be my favorite of hers so far.  While most of Gregory's books alternate between the points of view of several different characters, this one alternates between first and third person.  Sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does.  I know she takes a fair amount of liberty with the story, but I enjoy historical fiction that puts a real life behind names from history books. 

The Boleyn Inheritance
(Noooo, I totally didn't steal this cover image from Amazon!  Ignore the "look inside!"  I... I drew this all by myself in Paint!  I think I'm getting good.)
The Boleyn Inheritance is also from Gregory's series about the Tudors, covering wives 4 & 5. (The Other Boleyn Girl comes in between The Constant Princess and this one, but my library doesn't have it.)  Not quite as good as The Constant Princess, I think because I didn't relate to or like the main characters as much, but still a fun, compelling read.  It's interesting to me how much suspense Gregory can put into a story where we all know the end.

After all the Philipa Gregory, I was kind of on a Tudors kick, so I ended up picking up The Six Wives of Henry VIII.  Yes, I'm reading a 600+ page nonfiction history for fun.  It's interesting, though!  I'm particularly amused by Henry's pride in his calf muscles when he was young, apparently he had a tendency to show them off, and at one point he asked if the new French king had legs as good as his.  I'm actually not finished with this one yet, I'm less than 200 pages in, but I figured I'd write about it anyway since it goes along with the first two.

Yes, I realize that everyone else read Water for Elephants like a million years ago. I really enjoyed this one; It's not a life-changing book or anything, but it is a fun, quick read (it took me a day). I'm looking forward to seeing the movie, eventually.

I kinda hated this one. Citizen Girl is by the authors of The Nanny Diaries, which was super popular several years ago, so it seemed promising.  It sucked.  The authors tried to be clever, but instead just succeeded in being really annoying, with a main character named Girl, who has a boss named Guy, a boyfriend named Buster, etc. By the time it got to the Eastern European girl named Moldova, I was ready to punch the character names in the face.  (At least they didn't name her Ukraine.)  I had that "huh... this isn't very good." realization around 30 pages in, and by about 100 pages I had decided it really wasn't good, but I figured I'd already wasted a couple of hours of my life, might as well finish it. I kept hoping and waiting for it to get better, but it never happened. 

That's my 2012 list so far!  (We're less than two weeks in, so it's still short!)  What have you been reading lately?


Sharon said...

Tudor history, ftw! I've read most of Philippa Gregory's books, and I like The Other Boleyn Girl the best.

While I was on vacation I read two of Alison Weir's books: The Lady in the Tower (non-fiction about Anne Boleyn's final months), and The Lady Elizabeth (historical fiction about Elizabeth I up until she becomes Queen). Both were really good reads!

Right now I'm reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. Her descriptions of food are so delicious and it always makes me hungry - she's my food writing inspiration.

Erin said...

So far, the only book I've read this year is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Must.. carve out.. more.. reading time..

Megan said...

I love Alison Weir's books. I've already read The Six Wives of Henry VIII. I just bought Mary Boleyn The Mistress of Kings for my kindle, but I have a bunch of her books that I will one day read. Her writing is amazingly readable for nonfiction history.