March 1, 2012

Six Books: What I've Been Reading

I've been listening to Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch on audio book. I have to say that Elizabeth is a pretty remarkable lady! I've been enjoying the audio book, and I'll be reviewing it for Shelf Awareness soon. It's really long (21.5 hours) so it's been quite an undertaking. As a funny side effect, I keep finding myself talking in a British-y way, which I guess is a hazard of listening to a properly British narrator for so long.

I read Percy Jackson #3 (The Titan's Curse) last week. And #4 yesterday. And I'll probably finish #5 today. If you're not familiar with the series: they're kids' fantasy books based on the premise that the Greek gods are still alive and in control. Percy Jackson, dyslexic delinquent, discovers at age 11 that he's actually a demi-god, or "half-blood" and ends up on all kinds of crazy quests. I've really loved reading them now, but I can see how much more I would've loved them if they'd existed when I was in middle school! I highly recommend these for the tweens and teens in your life!

Over the weekend I read The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, almost without coming up for air. It's a beautiful retelling of the goose girl fairy tale, set in the fictional realm of Bayern. Crown Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee of Kildenree is sent to marry the Prince of Bayern, but along the way Ani is supplanted by her greedy lady-in-waiting, and is forced to flee for her life, ending up tending geese. But don't worry, it has a fairy-tale happy ending, and it's the first in a series of four books, woohoo!

Also for Shelf Awareness, I've been enjoying City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. I've never been much interested in Chicago...of all the places I haven't been it's near the bottom of my to-go list, but this book is making me change my mind! It's a fast-paced history that reads almost like an adventure novel. The fact that blew me away the most is that Chicago went from village-sized to a city of 3 million people in only 90 years. Talk about an infrastructure nightmare!

I almost got rid of my Peter Lovesey books when I was decluttering last month. But luckily I didn't, because the other night I was in the mood for a good police procedural, and picked up Bloodhounds. It was fantastic! Lovesey pays brilliant homage to locked-room thrillers of the 1930s, and the debate between the Bloodhounds [a book club of devoted mystery lovers] as to the relative merits of different mystery authors is spectacular. Plus the lady who's obsessed with The Name of the Rose cracked me up, she reminded me a lot of a former coworker. I really highly recommend Bloodhounds for mystery lovers. Inspector Peter Diamond is at his overweight, grumpy, brilliant best, and all the references to other mysteries makes it top-notch. Now I wish I could start a mystery book club of my own.

Last, I'm about to start The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig. I've been on the library waiting list for about three months, finally it's my turn! I've mentioned before how much I like the Pink Carnation series, and I'm sure this one will be another perfect blend of romance, mystery, and historical facts. Also, Lauren Willig is coming to the Tucson Festival of Books this year, I'm hoping I can meet her!

What have YOU been reading?

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