Title: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Number of Pages: 208 pages
Book Number/Goal: 10/10 for 2012
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Coraline and her parents move into a large old house which has been converted into flats, resulting in a door in their drawing room that opens onto a brick wall. However, when Coraline opens the door without her mom around, she finds it actually contains a mysterious corridor leading to a world which is a mirror of her own, complete with another mother and father, who have buttons for eyes and pay her more attention than her real parents do. Coraline can stay forever in this other world where everyone and everything caters to her every whim...the only catch is she has to let her other mother sew buttons on her eyes just like theirs.

Review: Usually when a book is made into a movie, a lot of stuff is cut, but with Coraline it's the opposite. There's quite a bit that's in the movie that's not in the book, and it's not because they added stuff while cutting out other stuff. Because I'm used to books having more, and because I watched the movie first, I went into the book expecting it to be more fleshed out, so it was a bit of a disappointment in that regard. I wouldn't say I preferred the movie, though I do think the pacing was a little better, with her going to the other world a couple times before things started to go bad. I definitely enjoyed both the book and the movie, though.
Title: Feed
Author: Mira Grant
Number of Pages: 608 pages
Book Number/Goal: 9/10 for 2012
My Rating: 4.5/5

Amazon Summary: Twin bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason and their colleague Buffy are thrilled when Sen. Peter Ryman, the first presidential candidate to come of age since social media saved the world from a virus that reanimates the dead, invites them to cover his campaign. Then an event is attacked by zombies, and Ryman's daughter is killed. As the bloggers wield the newfound power of new media, they tangle with the CDC, a scheming vice presidential candidate, and mysterious conspirators who want more than the Oval Office.

Review: The only reason I didn't give this a full five stars is because the beginning is slow. Like, hella slow. It starts off with an action scene, but then grinds to a half with a shit ton of exposition (the book is actually pretty exposition-heavy all around, which is something I could have done without) and just really boring political stuff.

There isn't much in terms of zombies or action (well, lots of exposition about zombies), just the ins and outs of being a journalist following a presidential campaign, which I guess might be interesting for some people, but was just hugely boring to me. I actually set the book aside for several weeks and read a bunch of manga instead, while considering whether I wanted to keep trying with Feed or just give it up.

But I did decide to keep trying, and I'm really glad I did, because once it gets going, it's really good and I enjoyed it a lot. I just wish it hadn't been so slow to start!

I liked the explanation for the zombies and the world-building in general, and there was lots of intrigue. Also I would highly recommend this to anyone who read too much VC Andrews in their formative years, because wow, Georgia and Shaun. Like, there's no actual incest in the book, but only just. XD

However, Georgia dies in the end, so there's that.

I'm not sure whether I will read the other books or not. This felt pretty complete on its own (and: see spoiler above).
Title: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Book Number/Goal: 8/10 for 2012
My Rating: 2/5

Amazon Summary: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Review: I saw these books talked up so much on my friends list that it got me curious, but I think had I read the reviews a little more closely, I would have realised that they were Not For Me. All I really knew was supernatural! steampunk! female protagonist! And for some reason I didn't make the connection that it was a paranormal romance... A lot of people on my flist love paranormal romance, but everything I have seen about the genre has just been utterly unappealing, and this book did nothing to change my mind in that regard. All the tropes of "ooh powerful alpha male beast man" just...gag. Not for me, thanks.

And speaking of tropes that are not for me, I really am picky about vampires and werewolves, and this book was just chock full of all the things I don't like in such stories, from the terminology to the "pack" and "hive" dynamics of werewolves and vampires, respectively. I found Alexia's soullessness to be vaguely interesting, but not enough to make up for the annoyingness of other tropes.

Also, the writing itself was just really not my thing. Exposition and epithets abound, as well as constant switching between people's names (for example, Alexia goes from being referred to as Alexia to Miss Tarabotti from sentence to sentence, and the same with other characters). And so much telling. I did not need to read paragraph after paragraph where Alexia and Lord Maccon think "why do I feel this way, I hate him/her!" and stuff like that.

It was very slow-moving for most of the book, though it did finally catch my interest towards the end (last 100 or so pages of the ebook, so maybe last 50ish in print) when all the excitement was happening and the pace picked up (which is my only reason for bumping it up to two stars; I had been planning on giving it one up until then). But this is really a romance with light trappings of mystery when I would have preferred the latter.

Oh, and this is just a small thing, but I just couldn't get behind the use of preternatural as an antonym of supernatural. They mean the exact same thing!
Title: Battle Royale
Author: Takami Koushun
Number of Pages: 624 pages
Book Number/Goal: 7/10 for 2012
My Rating: 3.5/5

Amazon Summary: As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains.

Review: While I had heard of Battle Royale for quite some time, I only found out what the plot was when I started hearing people compare The Hunger Games to it. For some reason, I had always thought it was a yakuza movie, possibly because I was confusing it with Battles Without Honor or Humanity. Anyway, when I saw people saying The Hunger Games was a ripoff of this, I was curious.

As it turns out, it's totally not. They both feature teenagers being forced to fight to the death by the government in a dystopian world, but they are very different. (And I do find it totally believable that Suzanne Collins was unaware of Battle Royale before writing The Hunger Games, since as I said, even being into Japanese media, I had no idea what it was about myself. It's not like someone saying they've never heard of Pokemon or something.)

Battle Royale takes place in a not-very-well-fleshed-out dystopian AU where Japan is the Republic of Greater East Asia, a totalitarian nation semi-closed off from the west. Every year fifty classes of junior high students are chosen to compete in "The Program", which involves them all fighting to the death. Unlike in The Hunger Games, where the fights are televised and it's a form of entertainment, The Program is all very hush-hush, though the winner is shown on TV at the end. Instead the purpose is simply to terrorise the citizens and keep them in place.

I found the world-building to be rather lacking, the overwhelming cast of characters (most of which had little to no characterisation) hard to keep track of, and the writing extremely clunky (I read what I think is the first translation, so I linked to the revised version in this post because perhaps that's better; however, I could tell from the way it read in English that the problem was not entirely with the translator and the original was bound to be just as bad), but it was still a good read and I did enjoy it.
Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Number of Pages: 400 pages
Book Number/Goal: 6/10 for 2012
My Rating: 5/5

Amazon Summary: Spoilery for the previous book )

Review: This book was just as exciting as the first two and overall I'm pretty happy with the ending. I think that's really all I can saw without spoilers! )
Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Number of Pages: 391 pages
Book Number/Goal: 5/10 for 2012
My Rating: 5/5

Amazon Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Review: Damn, this was even better than the first book! Partly, I think, because I was 100% unspoiled and thus had no idea what was going to happen or even what was the plot. So much I wasn't expecting!

Spoilery stuff )

Can't wait to start Mockingjay!
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Book Number/Goal: 4/10 for 2012
My Rating: 5/5

Amazon Summary: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

Review: I went into this knowing at least one big spoiler as well as a few things from fannish osmosis that finally made sense (like all the jokes about Peeta's camouflage), but other than the basic "in a post-apocalyptic future, kids fight each other to the death" I really didn't know much about the actual plot and I didn't really have any idea of what to expect.

As it turns out, it's a really awesome book! I'm glad I wasn't any more spoiled than I was, because while of course you know Katniss has to survive, all the "how" was really interesting and I found it hard to put down. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next one.
Title: Snuff
Author: Terry Pratchett
Number of Pages: 416 pages
Book Number/Goal: 3/10 for 2012
My Rating: 3/5

Summary: When Vimes takes a holiday to his wife's family manor in the country, he's expecting to be bored out of his skull, but when a goblin girl is killed, he finds himself with an investigation on his hands.

Review: This was enjoyable, but I just didn't love it. The theme of a species previously looked down upon and treated badly by humans and everyone else becoming more accepted has been used in many Discworld novels and it's really geting old. If the surrounding story is good enough, then I'm happy to go with it, but I just really found the story lacking in this. I kept putting it down and not reading for days or weeks because it just wasn't keeping me interested. I really like Vimes (I used to say he was my favorite character, but that's now Moist), but Vimes on his own is much less fun than Vimes with Vetinari and/or the rest of the Watch. I like Sybill all right, but I really dislike how anything with Vimes and Sybill together turns into all this stuff about gender stereotypes and "oh those women, how can we ever understand their ways!?" I guess that's part of Vimes' characterisation, since Pratchett doesn't do that with other female characters, but it's not something I enjoy and it makes me dislike any time Vimes is with Sybill (which was a lot of this novel). I do like Young Sam, but he wasn't in this very much. And I love Willikins. He was probably the best part.
Title: A Study in Scarlet
Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Number of Pages: 134 pages
Book Number/Goal: 2/25 for 2012
My Rating: 3.5/5

Amazon Summary: When Dr John Watson takes rooms in Baker Street with amateur detective Sherlock Holmes, he has no idea that he is about to enter a shadowy world of criminality and violence. Accompanying Holmes to an ill-omened house in south London, Watson is startled to find a dead man whose face is contorted in a rictus of horror. There is no mark of violence on the body yet a single word is written on the wall in blood. Dr Watson is as baffled as the police, but Holmes' brilliant analytical skills soon uncover a trail of murder, revenge and lost love.

Review: This was okay? I enjoyed it, but it didn't get me really excited about Sherlock Holmes or make me see what all the fuss is about or anything. I will definitely be reading other Holmes books, though.
Last year I set a goal of 50, based on what I had read in 2010, and then only managed 25 (though if you count manga, I read 177 books total). Here it is the end of January and I've only finished one book (which I think I had actually read quite a bit of in 2011), but I'm still going to try for 25 this year. After all, not every book will be 1000+ pages like this one was!



Title: The Dark Tower
Author: Stephen King
Number of Pages: 1072 pages
Book Number/Goal: 1/25 for 2012
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Roland’s ka-tet is reunited, but not without cost. The last episode of the story takes them on the final stretch of their journey to The Dark Tower. Though they have rescued Susannah, there are still enemies who must be dealt with along the way and who could be their ultimate destruction. The journey is long and ka is but a wheel.

Review: This book was dense, and had so much going on it felt like several books (like, in the future, I'm sure I'll forget which stuff happened in this book because it felt like it spanned so much time that surely stuff at the beginning must have been in a previous book). Overall I felt pretty happy with how things wrapped up. I was sad about Eddie, but especially about Jake, who I'd really hoped would make it to the end, so I was really happy that Susannah was reunited with an alternate version of them. The ending felt right to me, though I do wonder if Roland is redoing things over and over so that they're different (like maybe next time he will have different companions, etc.) and if so are the Beams really breaking over and over? Or is he just going back in time to relive the same events the same way? Oh! And I especially loved the stuff about John, Aaron, and Moses and would totally read a whole book about them and the Tet Corporation and everything going on in the keystone world.

Anyway, it feels weird to be done with the series. I first read The Gunslinger in 9th grade, so over twenty years ago. O_o That's kind of a long time to be reading a series.
Hello, [community profile] a_reader_is_me people! I signed up for this community about a million years ago (or so it seems... Oh, those happy days of 2010), and am combining two things in order to actually make my reading challenge happen: my desire (as posted in my intro) to read 50 history books about the experiences of people of colour in Canada, and my PhD Comps reading. (My Canadian history required comps list is a bit light on race & ethnicity, but I have a lot of lee-way in my optional reading.)

That said, a book! Required reading:

Title: Sweatshop Strife: Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Jewish Labour Movement of Toronto, 1900-1939
Author: Ruth A. Frager
Number of Pages: 300, including index, appendix, notes, bibliography, picture credits, not including several pages of black & white photos.
Genre: labour history
Book Number/Goal: 1 of 50

Review:
Read more... )
Title: Witch Eyes
Author: Scott Tracey
Number of Pages: 336 pages
Book Number/Goal: 25/50 for 2011
My Rating: 3.5/5

Amazon Summary (edited for spoileriness): Braden's witch eyes give him an enormous power. A mere look causes a kaleidoscopic explosion of emotions, memories, darkness, and magic. But this rare gift is also his biggest curse.

Compelled to learn about his shadowed past and the family he never knew, Braden is drawn to the city of Belle Dam, where he is soon caught between two feuding witch dynasties. Sworn rivals Catherine Lansing and Jason Thorpe will use anything--lies, manipulation, illusion, and even murder--to seize control of Braden's powers. To stop an ancient evil from destroying the town, Braden must master his gift despite a series of shocking revelations.

Review: This isn't a book I would have picked up on my own, but it was the first book for [personal profile] rachelmanija's Permanent Floating YA Diversity Book Club, so I decided to give it a go. Aside from the fact that the romance is between two boys, there isn't a single original thing about it. I felt like I was reading an amalgam of a bunch of current supernatural-themed things, including Supernatural, but also Lost Girl and Twilight, which are not terribly original things to begin with. But despite kind of rolling my eyes at everything, I found myself getting drawn in, and as it is unsurprisingly the first book in a series (no one has any love for stand-alone books but me, or at least no writers/publishers), I will definitely be checking out the next one when it's released. If nothing else, it's nice to see a book with gay characters that's not about being gay (as much as I do enjoy those stories, too).
Title: Song of Susannah
Author: Stephen King
Number of Pages: 560 pages
Book Number/Goal: 24/50 for 2011
My Rating: 5/5

Amazon Summary: Susannah Dean is possessed, her body a living vessel for the demon-mother Mia. Something is growing inside Susannah's belly, something terrible, and soon she will give birth to Mia's "chap." But three unlikely allies are following them from New York City to the border of End World, hoping to prevent the unthinkable. Meanwhile, Eddie and Roland have tumbled into the state of Maine -- where the author of a novel called 'Salem's Lot is about to meet his destiny...

Review: Wow, I can't believe I finally finished the second to last book. I'm reading the final book now and don't know what to do once I've actually finished. I first read The Gunslinger over twenty years ago!

Anyway, while I am not thrilled with either the meta level of having Stephen King as a character in the series or with the done-to-death alien/possessed/whatever pregnancy plot, I enjoyed this book a lot. I loved the journal at the end (and the ending of it!) and I came to actually like Mia. This definitely felt more like a connector book than any other book in the series, though, and thus I don't really have a lot to say about it.
Title: Watchmen
Author: Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
Number of Pages: 416 pages
Book Number/Goal: 23/50 for 2011
My Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: In an alternate 1985, masked heroes exist, but with a few exceptions have been banned by the US government since the seventies. When one of the remaining active heroes is murdered, another exiled to Mars, and a third thrown in prison, two retired heroes team up to try and find out what's going on, but what they discover is beyond anything they could have imagined.

Review: I hated the art for this, but the story was interesting, if a bit hard to follow at times due to the way I couldn't keep anyone straight at first and it kept jumping all over the place in the timeline. Once I got a few chapters in, it was easier to keep everyone straight, though. This did interesting things with the idea of superheroes, making it a bit more realistic. None of the heroes or villains have any sort of superpowers, except for Dr Manhattan, and I like things like the way the heroes were inspired to start fighting crime by reading comic books, and the government ban and such. Like, one of the things that I find hard to deal with in US superhero comics is how everyone exists in the same universe. Like, I really think they should be separate. I don't think they necessarily cross over well. But they are all supposed to exist at once. It strains my credulity (one superhero is something I can accept; fifty with fifty different powers and origins less so). Anyway, so I liked the "realism" of this set-up. I wasn't that thrilled with the big reveal, idk. But still, I enjoyed it overall.

But one thing I cannot not comment on, and that is the wtfery of Sally's plotline/backstory/reveal/whatever you want to call it. Like, really? Really? The last we see of her, she is KISSING A PICTURE OF THE COMEDIAN? Because I guess all these years she has been pining for her rapist? Way to fucking go, Alan Moore. Gross. And it's not like we ever see a single redeeming thing about The Comedian. He is a thorough asshole, who killed a woman he got pregnant and raped another woman and is a total asshole in general. But Sally not only got over the rape enough to have sex with him again (just once? more than once? it wasn't really clear to me), but has apparently been in love with him all these years. If this had been a physical copy I read, I really might have thrown it across the room at that point. Also, just in general, and this has probably been noted by people who read comics more often than I do, but jfc, Moore has issues with women.
Title: Wolves of the Calla
Author: Stephen King
Number of Pages: 960 pages
Book Number/Goal: 22/50 for 2011
My Rating: 5/5

Jacket Summary: Roland Deschain and his ka-tet are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise. Readers of Stephen King's epic series know Roland well, or as well as this enigmatic hero can be known. They also know the companions who have been drawn to his quest for the DarkTower: Eddie Dean and his wife, Susannah; Jake Chambers, the boy who has come twice through the doorway of death into Roland's world; and Oy, the Billy-Bumbler. In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World's borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community's soul. For Calla Bryn Sturgis, danger gathers in the east like a storm cloud. The Wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to, and they can give the Calla-folken both courage and cunning. Their guns, however, will not be enough.

Review: I was unspoiled for this book, not even reading the jacket summary beforehand (because why bother when I already know I'm going to want to read it?), so I was totally surprised by Father Callahan's appearance. So I even cut that mention out of the summary above just in case anyone else is similarly unspoiled. XD (Not sure how likely that is at this late date, but who knows.)

I read Salem's Lot in high school, so it's been aaaaaages, but Wikipedia plus the story given in Wolves of the Calla itself were more than enough to get me up to speed. I know the Dark Tower books link to other King works all the time, but I never suspected a crossover as big as this, with Callahan becoming a major character.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this. I'm not thrilled with the Susannah plotline, and there are a ton of things I could talk about if I had any interest in doing anything other than going awhrjewhqjkerhejqwhekqw DARK TOWER, but I really don't. :p I love this series SO MUCH and this installment was definitely not disappointing at all.

Oh! And I loved that the sneetches turned out to be SNITCHES!

Now to read Song of Susannah. :D
Title: Almost Perfect
Author: Brian Katcher
Number of Pages: 368 pages
Book Number/Goal: 21/50 for 2011
My Rating: 1/5

Jacket Summary: Logan Whitherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. Since then–much to his friends’ dismay–he has been despressed, pessimistic, and obessed with this ex, Brenda.

But things start to look up for Logan when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Tall, unconventionally pretty, and a bit awkward, Sage Hendricks somehow appeals to Logan even at a time when he trusts no one. As Logan learns more about Sage, he realizes that she needs a friend as much as he does, if not more. She has been homeschooled for several years, and her parents have forbidden her to date, but she won’t tell Logan why. The mystery of Sage’s past and the oddities of her personality intrigue Logan, and one day, he acts on his growing attraction and kisses her. Moments later, however, he wishes he hadn’t. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy.

Review: I would never say that people should not write about disprivileged groups they're not a part of, but this book is an example of why such books are often best avoided. Sadly, this book has received a lot of praise and even won awards.

It is written by a straight cis man and it shows. This is not a book about a trans girl; it's a book about how hard it is to be a straight cis guy who falls for a trans girl. This is an intensely hurtful book and one I would never recommend to a trans teen or even a cis queer teen, because the homophobia is just as bad as the transphobia, but unlike the transphobia, left completely unchallenged. In fact, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

The protagonist's homophobia was relentless, and it's not that it's something uncommon in a teenage boy, in fact quite the opposite. But to have this sort of thing, especially in a first-person narrative, seems to assume that the audience is not going to be queer people, but rather straight people who probably identify at least a little with what the protagonist is saying. It's very alienating to read.

The transphobia is bad, but as I mentioned above, is actually somewhat less than the homophobia, because Logan does learn to mostly see Sage as a woman, even if he still sees her more as someone who will eventually become a real woman when she gets surgery. The homophobia is never challenged. In fact, it's implicitly reinforced by Logan's growing acceptance of Sage, since he is able to stop questioning his sexuality and see himself as really 100% straight and not one of those gross disgusting queers despite his attraction to Sage. I kept hoping one of the other characters would be revealed as queer, but no, there are no queer characters at all in this book.

Then there's the plot itself, which is formulaic, and of course ends up with Sage in the hospital after some guy nearly kills her when he finds out she's trans. I mean, how could we have a book about how hard it is to be a cis straight person who knows a trans person if the trans person wasn't horribly injured in order for the cis person to learn a lesson?

And as if that wasn't enough, the book is filled with all sorts of misinformation about trans people (well, trans women; trans men don't exist in this universe, either). For example, at one point Sage takes out a picture of another trans woman, a friend she's met on the internet. This woman is described as looking like a man in a dress, complete with wig and visible stubble. Sage says this is what trans women look like if they don't transition in their teens.

There are plenty of other problems with the book, including fat hatred and racism (combined in one character!). While Logan's friend Tim is not a stereotypical Asian character (in fact Logan introduces him by saying he's not a stereotypical Asian, bleh), the author couldn't be arsed to do two seconds of research on Google to find out the correct spelling of the name he was using. TokuGOwa is not a Japanese name. Like, at all. At first I hoped it might be just a typo, but it appears more than once. Anyway, while Tim may not be a stereotypical Asian, he does get to be a stereotypical fat kid, face constantly covered in food crumbs until the love of a good (white) woman finally gets him to clean himself up.

This book is bad. The other two books I've read about trans teens, Luna and Parrotfish, both had their own problems, but were miles better than this. Maybe next we can have a book that's actually about a trans character AND written by a trans person. (Luna is by a cis author and is about the sister of a trans girl, while Parrotfish is about a trans guy but is still by a cis author.)
Title: The Intuitionist
Author: Colson Whitehead
Number of Pages: 255 pages
Book Number/Goal: 20/50 for 2011
My Rating: 3.5/5

Jacket Summary: It is a time of calamity in a major metrolpolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female evelator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it. Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department. But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues. When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever.

Review: So, on the jacket, it's called "sidesplittingly funny", and I don't know if I totally missed the humor or the person writing the cover copy just read it completely differently to me (or didn't read it at all), because I don't know what they're talking about. Anyway, it was definitely interesting, even if I couldn't totally get into the whole "in this universe elevators are the biggest thing ever" premise. I liked the intrigue, though was a little disappointed with the ending. I see a lot of people in reviews raving over Whitehead's prose, but I found his style really off-putting. It seems like it might be one of those love it or hate it things. Still, I'm interested in reading more by him.
Title: The Calcutta Chromosome
Author: Amitav Ghosh
Number of Pages: 306 pages
Book Number/Goal: 18/50 for 2011
My Rating: 2/5

Jacket Summary: It begins in a near-future New York City, witha low-level data analyst's investigation into the disappearance of L. Murugan--a driven eccentric who vanished from the steamy, overcrowded streets of 1995 Calcutta. From here, the story leaps backward and forward across one hundred years--from a teeming contemporary city of clashing cultures and hidden facs back to the laboratory of Ronald Ross, the British scientist who was led by weird, fortuitous coincidences to the groundbreaking discovery of how malaria is transmitted to humans. Alternately following the analyst Antar's search for Murugan--and Murugan's own obsessive pursuit of the truth behind Dr. Ross's remarkable findings--Ghosh brilliantly unveils an impossible experiment in controlled destiny protected by a powerful unseen society that moves the world in secret and in silence.

Review: I wish I had read this review of the book before picking it up myself, because it would have made it clear that this book is not for me. I found the story very slow going at first, and then eventually it picked up and was getting quite interesting, all the threads coming together, and then...it ends. With nothing resolved. Because apparently he's writing the book to give the reader the same experience as the people in the book, of not being able to get it all. But I do not want that. At all. I am not one to throw books across the room, but if I were, I would have thrown this. I do not read mysteries to get to the end and not have any resolution.
Title: The Real History of the End of the World
Author: Sharan Newman
Number of Pages: 313 pages
Book Number/Goal: 17/50 for 2011
My Rating: 3.5/5

Jacket Summary: Ever since people realized that things have a beginning and an end, they have wondered if the world was fated to end. In entertaining and sharp prose, historian Sharan Newman explores the various theories of world destruction from ancient times to the present day--theories that reveal as much about human nature as they do about the predominant historical, scientific, and religious beliefs of the times.

Review: Does what it says on the tin. This was an easy read, and it was interesting seeing how so many people throughout history have felt that they were living in the end times.
Title: P.S. I Love You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Number of Pages: 503
Book Number/Goal: 17/50
My Rating: 2.5/5

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