September 2, 2012

What I Read Last Week: A List of Six

I feel like I've finally gotten back into my reading groove (which was ruined by the Olympics) in the last week or so. I've read quite a bit lately, and it's been a pretty good mix of things.

I listened to Dracula on audio, thanks to an iPhone app that has free audiobooks. They're all LibriVox recordings, so they're read by volunteers. While it was fun to finally "read" the original Dracula story, it was pretty hard to listen to, because almost every chapter was read by a different volunteer, and some of them had terrible sound equipment, or annoying voices. I did note, however, how differently vampires were portrayed here than they are in more modern fiction (Twilight, et al) - because in Dracula the vampires were definitively pure evil; and the goal of the Harkers, Van Helsing, and their friends was to eliminate the vampires at all costs.

The next book I tried on the app was The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I highly recommend it! The girl who read it did a great job. I haven't read the book in years, and I forgot how much fun it is. If you don't know; the Scarlet Pimpernel is the nom de plume of an aristocratic English gentlemen who risks his life time and again to rescue French aristos from the guillotine during the French Revolution. There was this great, cheesy movie version of it starring Jane Seymour, but I checked on Amazon and the DVD is $72! Yikes!

I devoured Water Like a Stone and Where Memories Lie, the eleventh and twelfth books in the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie. As you all know by now, I love these books, and I'm getting sad that I'm nearing the end of the series! They're such great mysteries, and I wish I could be friends with Duncan and Gemma in real life.

I read a book for Shelf Awareness called In Need of a Good Wife. It's historical fiction set in 1866-7, telling the story of mail-order brides who leave New York for prairie Nebraska. I don't want to review it here yet, since it won't be published till next month - but I have to say that it was odd. I didn't really like it, in fact I actually strongly disliked one of the three main characters; and yet I couldn't stop reading it. Strange.

And finally, Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy and I are doing another synchro-read. This time it's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the story of the first "immortal" human cells - which were taken from a poor Southern tobacco farmer named Henrietta Lacks, without her knowledge, more than 60 years ago.

What are YOU reading?

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P.S. The giveaways of The Making of Us and The Joy Brigade are still open through Monday night!