FYI: This is My 2nd Blog

Hi there! You're here at my second blog where I do interviews and book reviews.

In case you're looking for my 1st blog, where I share my IWSG posts and other musings, just go to "The Musings of a Hopeful & Pecunious Wordsmith, SittieCates".

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Book Reviews: 8 Books, Various Genres

For the past few days, I've had my nose buried in various genres. Some books provided a most welcome literary escape to an exciting world; others were studied thoroughly for their plots and other story elements. I'm writing a short review for each of the books I've read - starting from the latest (which I finished last night) and the ones before that.

This post would be divided into two parts. This one shows the most recent ones I've read.

I shall not include a lengthy description of the book anymore. Rather, I'm focusing more on my own reading experience which would include what I've felt and what I've learned -- details that may or may not be similar to what your sentiments may be.

Let's start with the one I finished last night, shall we?

Having read and watched Brown's The Da Vinci Code, I was eager to learn this book's secrets. But I guess my late father would've been more eager than me to read Dan Brown's Angels & Demons since his tastes tend to lean more on stories that carry religious matters, ancient history and controversial topics.

I finished this last night. I must say that it was a thrilling reading experience. Although I felt somehow detached from its characters, I enjoyed reading the book because it is fast-paced and filled with precarious situations that make you want to continue reading (even though it's already way past your bedtime and half of your mind is almost asleep). Now that I'm done with the book, I look forward to seeing it on film.

The Waterborn (Chosen of the Changeling, Book 1) by Gregory Keyes (who writes as J. Gregory Keyes and Greg Keyes) is a story of magic, fantasy and the gods that govern its land. I like its book description when I saw this at a bookstore. So, I immediately bought it and brought it home.

Its sense of anthropology is good. Its writing is simple and, at some parts, somehow confusing. While there were scenes in the book that do not do much in moving the story forward, its hold on its mystical essence  lets you stay on whatever page you're on and lets you move on to the next.

Life is a Circus Run By a Platypus by Allison Hawn is filled with biting humor and wise antics. It brings us to the author's world and proudly exposes her thoughts on situations in her life that bordered on the uncanny side of things. However, some parts felt a little bit forced. I'm more of a stickler for humorous lines in a book that effectively reveal itself in the most unexpected pages in the story and done in a sparse manner. Nevertheless, it's a good read. (I received a free copy of this book from the author and have written my honest opinion about it.)

A lot of readers looking for contemporary romance books may like Sue Lee's Nerd Girl While the main character is too chatty and it carries a predictable plot, the writing is good and some people may even be able to relate to its story. (I received this for free and have written my honest opinion about it.)

Desert Rice is flawlessly written. Somewhat disturbing, but also emotionally captivating. (I received this for free and have written my honest opinion about it.)

Albeit short, The Memory Lights is equipped with strong dialogues. I felt drawn to the story and was able to connect with the characters. (I received this for free and have written my honest opinion about it.)

The illustrations of Bubbles Day is cute. Very colorful and appealing to the youngest members of one's family. The story is simple. While this is designed for kids ages 0 to 3, I was hoping to find something more within its pages. (I received this for free and have written my honest opinion about it.)

Patrick Heffernan's Greywalker is a good read. Greywalkers wander in and out of worlds - where light and darkness reside. That was Amos Garr's life. The book's language is rough -- but you can feel the character's emotions. It reads like a journal, and brings you deeper into the story of battles between worlds, and of the main character's journey in his life as a Greywalker. (I received a free copy of this book from the author and have written my honest opinion about it.)

That's it for this post. The second part would be posted soon.

* * * * * JUST A SHORT NOTE* * * * *

8 Books. Various genres. First part of my self-imposed reading challenge for this year and of my burning desire to mix literary pleasure with intensive and reflective hoarding of vital information to help me with my own writing plans for 2014.

I buy my own books when time and funds allow. I also have free copies. Very few come from the author themselves. I receive most of my free copies from various sites, including BookSneeze. Recently, I got accepted to do reviews for First Look of WorthyPublishing, too. 

Currently, I have two books to read for this week. I also have a handful waiting to be read for this month and the next two months. I usually schedule things in advance so I already gathered the number of books that I'll be reading.

1 comment:

  1. I don't need a review that recaps the plot; I want a review that shares an objective opinion of the quality of the writing and whether the story flows or trips over the writer's efforts to tell it. Thanks, Cates for writing helpful reviews that make it easy to decide if I want to read the book. (Your very brief comment about Desert Rice compelled me to click the link and read the "Look Inside" portion -- you're right.)