Read shelf: April

I was just a little busy this past month.

Akira Vol. 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo
Maggie Without a Clue by Kasey Michaels
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design by Christiane Lemieux
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Brain Droppings by George Carlin
X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Princess Jellyfish, Vol. 10 by Akiki Higashimura
Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
More Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamanat
When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin

15 books! That’s one book every two days! I have not read that many books in one month since I started keeping track. Possibly ever. Well, at least since I started reading chapter books.

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Finished! The Yiddish Policeman’s Union

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For sixty years Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a “temporary” safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. The Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. But now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end.
Homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. His life is a shambles, his marriage a wreck, his career a disaster. And in the cheap hotel where Landsman has washed up, someone has just committed a murder—right under his nose. When he begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy, word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, and Landsman finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, evil, and salvation that are his heritage.
At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.

Review:
This book is one of the reasons I love Michael Chabon. He writes so well and with all the right details to bring a universe to life. This time it takes a little for the alternate universe to truly make itself known. The first time I read it, I had to look up Sitka and find out what was going on.

The beauty of this book is the detail he puts into it. Using the Yiddish words and including a glossary. Taking actual events in history and going the other direction: Sitka, the Bomb, Israel, JFK, Russia. Then throwing a murder mystery in among all of it. Just amazing.

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The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
Rating: 5 stars

Hope

I have hope that I can get the SBC finished!  I finished The Yiddish Policeman’s Union the other day.  I started The Hobbit Tuesday.  Yesterday Blackout came in at the library and I started that.  If I can finish it this weekend, and don’t take too long to finish The Hobbit, I might have enough time to get His Dark Materials finished before the end of the month!  Yay!

A Look Back at June

So, June’s over. I did manage to get 9 books read this month. Granted 4 of the 5 were audiobooks, but I wouldn’t have gotten them read otherwise. Here’s the list:
Turn Coat
The Last Battle
The Hours
Eragon
Fingersmith
Good Omens
Eavesdropping
Maggie Needs an Alibi

I wish I could have gotten 3 more books read. Then I would have the 12 read I was aiming for and I would have been that much closer to finishing the SBC. But that’s for another post. Probably tomorrow since today’s the last check-in day.

Finished! Maggie Needs an Alibi

Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey Michaels
Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey Michaels
When I read the description I thought it was worth checking out. Of course the fact that it was on sale along with the next two books helped. I am glad I picked it up. I’ve seen it categorized as a Mystery/Romance. I can see how there is some romance to it, but to me it’s just a mystery. A lighter mystery than many, but still a mystery. I’ve got it! It’s more like a “chick flick” mystery.

There were points where the plot was getting a little goofy and I almost put it down but I’m glad I finished it. It’s the first book in the series so there was a lot of setting up of characters to do aside from the whole murder part of the plot. The whole thing starts off with Maggie Kelly, mystery writer, finding her main characters in the flesh in her living room. After she starts to come to grips with it, people start dying. Luckily her characters, Alexandre Drake, Viscount Saint Just and his friend Sterling Balder, are quite good at solving mysteries. I am really looking forward to reading the next book.

Rating:
4 stars

Spring Book Challenge: Read one book in your favorite genre and one book in a radically different genre.

I am loving these!

Right now I have four books going at once. Thank God for audiobooks! I am enjoying them all and thought I’d share a little with you since I just can’t wait until I’m done with them! I’ll go in order of when I started them.

Fingersmith by Sarah WatersFirst off there’s Fingersmith. Sarah Waters is the queen of the twists! You think you know what’s going on, and then she pulls the rug out from beneath you. And then, just when you get settled again, she pulls it out again. I wouldn’t be surprised if she does it again before the book’s done. I’m maybe two-thirds of the way through right now. I’m loving every minute of it!

The Hours by Michael Cunningham (audiobook)Next there’s The Hours. I really enjoy the movie and when I found out it was based on a book, I had to read it. This is one of the few times that I think they did a great job with the movie adaptation. I do like the book more because it’s got a lot more detail than they’re able to have in the movie, but it’s still an amazing book.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini (audiobook)Eragon is a book I have been resisting almost since it came out. The more popular something is the less I want to read it. It took me until the third or fourth Harry Potter book coming out to get me to pick up the first one. It is a good book. I’m about halfway through and it’s starting to pick up. Which is about right for a first book in a series. It’s not at the “OMG-I-can’t-put-this-down” stage of enjoyment, but it is a good book. It’ll be interesting to see how the series develops

Maggie Needs an Alibi by Kasey MichaelsFinally, there’s Maggie Needs an Alibi. I bought this book because it was on sale at BarnesandNoble.com and it looked interesting. I actually bought the first three books because they were on sale. It is surprisingly good! I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. A little part of me was dreading picking it up and finding I didn’t like it and I had wasted all that money. But thankfully my paranoia is wrong! This is a great series and I’m barely into the book!

So that’s what’s going on right now. I’m hoping to have Eragon done soon. I’m halfway through the discs and should have it done in a couple of days. I’m so glad I can listen to it at work! Being able to listen for 5-6 hours straight is so helpful in getting books done!

Finished! The Hound of the Baskervilles

Years and years ago I had read an abridged version for younger readers. So I thought it would be good to read the unabridged version, despite the fact that I remember not liking it all that much before. But I attribute it to the fact that I was younger and didn’t really like the writing style.

I’m glad I read it. It is much better than I remember. Although my mind kept trying to remember things instead of letting me just read the book. That did impede on my ability to be completely absorbed by the book. I did find myself trying to figure things out before they did, but that was just fun. Overall it was a very good read. I may even go and read more of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

I do want to find out is if the Mershon pipe is ever expressly mentioned in any of the books. I realize I could simply look it up on Wikipedia, but it’s more fun this way. I did run across one thing that I was able to throw my husband with. He had commented after we saw Sherlock Holmes about the Holmes’ use of a clay pipe. That is specifically referred to in the book. It is always fun to point things like that out to my husband, since it doesn’t happen very often. Luckily my mental images of Holmes and Watson were not colored by the movie.

The one thing that threw me the most about the book is who was the narrator. I thought that they were told in third person. But this one is narrated by Watson. I figured it wasn’t going to be from Holmes’ perspective. It was a nice suprise though, and really lent itself to the story.

Spoilery things contained in the following paragraphs.

There were two things I had figured out before they were revealed in the book. The first was the identity of the second person out on the moor. Once it was mentioned that a young boy was running food and such out to that person, I knew that it was Holmes. I’m glad that I read The Final Solution before this because the Old Man (Holmes) makes a comment about how useful young boys were in his day. I was very happy to see I had deduced correctly.
The other was that someone was a Baskerville in hiding. I did not guess that it was Stapleton until the ruse of having his wife claim to be his sister was revealed. At that point things started to come together and I thought he might have been it. Again, I was very pleased to see that I was correct.

Now that I find myself writing like I am Dr. Watson, I shall leave you with your thoughts and hope that you may pick up the book as well.

Winter Book Challenge: Read a Classic and a spinoff/sequel to that classic by another author (the Classic)