Today’s Book…is more than a book

It’s a soundtrack too.  Did you see this article in The New York Times about ebooks?  Part of me knows this is about sales and appealing to a large mass of people who may not read often.  And publishing is a business which means exploring possible revenue sources with new technologies.  I’m not against a concept like this and props to the person who came up with the idea for this company but why can’t books be books?  Why do they have to be and do something more?

Today’s Book – Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Does anyone out there love this book? Can you help me?

I knew going in this was not one of her most loved works. Also knowing how I adore some of her other books, I thought I could get past that.  It seems I’m not immune after all.

The biting social criticism is interesting but I’m finding the characters somewhat hateful. Fanny and Edmund, the only two likeable characters, are still annoying at times. I’m not quitting, I’ll finish it. But I’m finding it difficult to get into and that’s frustrating me to no end.

Austen is an author I go back to from time to time and always find something new to enjoy but this one may be a one and done for me. I don’t see Mansfield Park falling into my re-reading pattern.

If Mansfield Park is a favorite of yours, can you tell me why?

Today’s Book – The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Lately, all my today’s book posts have been about additions to my TBR.  The list is getting long…not that I’m complaining. 🙂

Today’s book is The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I read the first book in the series, The Magicians, liked it, actually rated it high but also had some issues with it.  Overall, I thought it was well done and the snarkiness that held me back from loving it seemed, well, plain snarky of me to use it as a major reason to dislike of the book in general.

First, don’t you love the cover?  Cover lover that I am, it made me want to run out and buy it for that reason alone.

Second, I love a good fantasy, and though the snarky attitude I mentioned earlier** bothered me some, the fantasy was still strong and really, who doesn’t love a fantasy book set at a boarding school?

** OK, I know part of this book was a take on other fantasy novels (Harry Potter, Narnia, Lord of the Rings to name three) but the issues the author had and the way he poked fun at the other worlds annoyed me because without those previously mentioned books, he wouldn’t be writing his own set of fantasy novels.  Toss all the stones you want but make sure you aren’t doing it inside your glass house.  Just sayin’.

Anyway, moving on.  If you’re interested, here’s the book’s site.  It doesn’t give you much but you can enjoy gawking at the covers.

Today’s Book – Non-Fiction & Travelogues

Today, I’m highlighting three books on my TBR.  I’ve said before that I want to read more non-fiction this year and while I haven’t stuck with my one non-fiction book a month idea, I have added several to my list.  Let’s take a look.

Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World’s Greatest Empire by JC McKeown – I love strange facts about ancient Rome and this one promises to provide me with facts for days about Roman life, superstitions, and customs.

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach – This one appealed to me because her travels are centered in Europe.  It’s also got a bit of the finding yourself theme that I don’t so much like but I think I can look past that to enjoy the travel part.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams – We live near the Peruvian embassy in DC.  Right now they have banners up celebrating the discovery of Machu Picchu and the photos on the banners make me want to get on a plane.  I also have a friend that hiked the trail this year so there are many reasons this one appeals.

Anything interesting on your list?

Today’s Book – The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

You know all those newsletters you get?  Well, the other day I decided to go through them all, skimming here and there, trying to get through as many as possible before my self-allotted time gave out.  That’s when I came across this little tidbit.  It’s a book trailer for The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton which is coming out this September.

It takes place in Victorian London, a favorite time period of mine, and involves faeries.  Faeries are not a staple of my fantasy reading but why can’t they be?  Also, the trailer looks gothic and foreboding — love that combination.

If you’re interested, more info about the book is here.

Today’s Book – is a new book

I’m reading Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff, actually I’ve been reading it for the last week.  It’s good, very good, but life’s been hectic so I haven’t spent much time it.  Due to my unexpected reading delay, I thought I would instead talk about a new book I bought — Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharks by Juliet Eilperin.

Confession time.  I heart sharks.  I just do.  I don’t know why.  On a trip to St. Thomas a few years ago, my husband and I went on a kayaking day trip and I was disappointed at not seeing a shark when we stopped to go snorkeling at a wreck.  The wreck was a small speedboat so don’t be too impressed with me.  Anyway, the barracudas were interesting and the tropical fish were very pretty but no sharks.  While packing up and getting ready to head back our guide said, “Oh, look, a shark.”  I dropped my paddle and kayak, ran back in the water, and got a glimpse of the said shark.  It was a nurse shark.  It’s wasn’t big, it wasn’t all that scary either, but it was a shark.  Smiling, and very thrilled with my shark encounter, I picked up my kayak and got in for the trip home.  My husband made fun of me all the way back, “Who runs in the water after a shark?”  Hmm, I do.  True story.

So this week I give you my summer reading, Demon Fish.  My perfect beach book.  🙂

Today’s Book – Actually Several

Since it’s June 30th, I thought I’d take a look at what I’ve read so far this year and mention a few of the books I loved.  As it stands, I managed to read 50 books in the first six months of this year and finish 47.  Three were DNFs and that’s about right for me.  I don’t abandon many but a few don’t make it all the way to end each year.

January

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill – A solid ghost story with excellent creepiness factor.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness – A nice addition to the vampire inundation we’ve been under.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – A new to me author in the beginning of the year and one that’s made it onto my favorites list already.

February

The Forever Queen by Helen Hollick – I adore her writing and this was another satisfying read.

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach – Another author I adore.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier – Possibly the best book I’ve read in a long time.

March

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen – She entranced with Garden Spells and did the same with this one.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis – Funny science fiction; I have plans to read several more of her books before the year ends.

April

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville – Love him.  Read this book and you’ll love him too.

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin – See Un Lun Dun.

May

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – Oh Miss Jane, you never fail to impress me.

The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma – Excellent companion for the long plane ride to Ecuador.

June

The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn – My first time with this series but not the author; I’ll be buying more this year.

The Postmortal by Drew Magary – Excellent read and the kind of strange fiction that I love to dive into.

Read anything great you’d love to share?  My TBR list is not nearly long enough!  Actually, it is, but I’m willing to add more.  🙂