Pub Writes

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Archive for April, 2012

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Posted by Caitie F on April 30, 2012

Title: Storm Front
Author: Jim Butcher
Paperback: 352 pages
Pub Year: 2000
Publisher: Roc Books (Penguin)
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

Storm Front is Jim Butcher’s first novel and introduces his most famous and popular character-Harry Dresden, wizard for hire.

For his first case, Harry is called in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with the blackest of magic. At first, the less-than-solvent Harry’s eyes light up with dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage. Now, that black mage knows Harry’s name. And things are about to get very…interesting

Review:

I am of two minds on this book, so I will present this review looking at both.

It being a book I loved:

This idea is so cool! It is basically a typical detective novel…but there are magical elements to it! Go read another detective story and you will see all the similarities from how the plot gets set up, to the police that the main character does consulting for, to everyone being in danger. I love a classic mystery, so I think this is incredibly cool, especially when you add a council that is watching Harry’s every move because they think he is killing people, some demons, and lots of death.

Like any good detective novel, there are twists and turns throughout that are unexpected and exciting. There is some flirtation, fun, and a hilarious spirit that lives in a skull (since wizards can’t use computers since technology doesn’t get along with them).

Looking at it strictly from an entertainment standpoint, I really enjoyed it and would jump right into the next book.

But it was also a book that made me very angry:

Harry is one of the most chauvinistic characters I have ever read. Defenders will claim it is just because he is from a different time, but he goes further than that. I noticed it from early on when he talks about refusing to just see women as “weaker men”. Excuse me? That is not what feminism is about! He has very negative attitudes towards women and there are so many comments in the book that show this. I wish I had written them down while I was reading. I had to stop several times and read a passage to Jason and just say “Really??”

It isn’t just the main character either. None of the females in the book are really characters. They do things and say things, but there is nothing to them. Most are portrayed as using men to get what they want and being evil. The couple that are good are portrayed as being less intelligent than the men. It was infuriating to read that! There were a couple times I wanted to throw the book across the room and makes me not want to read any other books in the series.

I am in a conundrum about this series because of this. If I knew that his attitudes came back to hurt him or he faced major consequences for being a misogynistic jerk, then I would be more inclined to continue. I did enjoy the plot a lot..but I don’t know if I can overlook my feelings on the gender issues.

Have you read the book? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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Jester by James Patterson

Posted by Caitie F on April 28, 2012

Title: Jester
Author: James Patterson
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher:  Little Brown
Pud Date: 2003
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

Hugh De Luc returns from the Crusades to discover that his terrifying nightmare has just begun. Merciless killers have slain his young son, kidnapped his wife, Sophie, and destroyed his town in their search for a priceless relic from the Crucifixion. Hugh’s quest to find Sophie is one of the most pulse-pounding adventures, mysteries, and unforgettable love stories in all of fiction

Review

I am not a big James Patterson fan. In fact, the only thing I usually like about him is the money he brings in to publishers, which allows other books to get published. Jason told me this one was actually really good, so i had to try it.

And it turns out he was right!

It was exciting and the characters were complex and endearing. It was an action adventure story set in medieval times during the Crusades, a time period that is not one of my favorites due to the religious fever. Luckily, Patteron’s main character is not a religious man thinking he is on a righteous cause, he is a man that wants freedom from the Lord that rules him.

If you are looking for a book with a strong hero who does what is right and gets others to follow him, pick up this book. The main character is the the best part of this book and was very fun to read!

My biggest problem is there were some very predictable twists that I figured out very very early on and hoped I was wrong. That took some of the intrigue out of the book. There were also some side characters that had no development at all. If the lord and some of Hugh’s sidekicks had more to them, it would have been a better book.

If you like historical fiction and books with a lot of action, this is a must read!

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Mini Reviews: Wings and Carrie

Posted by Caitie F on April 24, 2012

Title: Wings
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Softcover:  294 pages
Pub Date: May 1, 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Rating: +

Summary from goodreads: When a flower blooms in the middle of her back, Laurel discovers that she is a faerie and was placed with human parents as a child. As Laurel learns about her true background and the dangers that face the faerie realm, she struggles to find her place in both worlds.

Mini Review:

There was so much that bothered me about this book. The foreshadow was incredibly obvious. I could figure out almost every twist in the book from it. The characters were irritating. Everyone was beautiful and looked perfect, a HUGE pet peeve of mine in YA books. Even most of the personalities were perfect, which led to little conflict outside of the main story. It wasn’t funny or cute and it did nothing to make me like faeries…the full faerie character was just irritating.

Maybe it is just a YA book with no crossover at all, but I think even as a teen I would have felt the same way.

Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Paperback:  245 pages
Pub Date April 5, 1974
Publisher:  Signet
Rating: ++                   l

Summary from goodreads:

A modern classic, “Carrie” introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Mini Review:

I probably would have enjoyed this more if I didn’t know the entire story already just from absorbing it from pop culture. Since I already knew the story, I was reading it more for style, which I thought was strange, since it goes back and forth between reports and telling what happened. It just didn’t work for me.

If somehow you don’t know the story of Carrie, you may like it more! I just found it and the characters irritating due to expectations.

Well, those were teh clunkers form teh read-a-thon! Hope to review the books I liked later this week!

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Official Read-a-thon Wrap Up!

Posted by Caitie F on April 22, 2012

1.Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 14 when I was just done! My eyes were tired, I had a crick in my back, and exhaustion set in
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
The Dresden Files books – so fun! Also, Attachments was really engaging. Books that have some humor are great for it!
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
More cheerleaders. I felt a severe lack and it was discouraging, especially for a small blogger like me.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The mini challenges! I didn’t do any, but during my breaks I LOVED to go through and see what everyone was doing!
5. How many books did you read?
5! – 1639 pages!
6. What were the names of the books you read?
Jester by James Patterson

Wings by Aprilynn Pike

Carrie by Stephen King

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

 7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Probably Attachments
8. Which did you enjoy least?
Wings with Carrie being a close second
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I wasn’t officially but I started at hour 14 because it seemed like the cheerleaders weren’t cheering much.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will do it again as a reader! Tons of fun!

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Read-a-thon Update #4 – Maybe final one?

Posted by Caitie F on April 21, 2012

Reading right now:  Nothing – I might be done

Books finished since last update: Storm Front by Jim Butcher

Books read: 5

Pages read since last update:  322 pages

Total pages read: 1,639

Total time spent reading: 10:42

Snacks since last post: Dinner – yummy pot roast, tea.

I don’t know. I might be done. I may have hit my limit for reading. I read FIVE books today and only one was YA. That is a lot of reading.

What should I do? Should I try to read one more book? I wanted to go 14 hours, but one more will have me to half of the read-a-thon.

 

Posted in Dewey's Read-A-Thon | 5 Comments »

Read-a-thon Update #3

Posted by Caitie F on April 21, 2012

Reading right now:  Storm Front by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files #1)

Books finished since last update: Attachments by rainbow Rowell

Books read: 4

Pages read since last update: 323

Total pages read: 1,317

Total time spent reading: 8″05

Snacks since last post: Slupee from 7/11, girl scout cookies

Woohoo I am out of my slump! FInished a really fun book! Couldn’t believe it took me so long to read it! Time for dinner break!

Posted in Dewey's Read-A-Thon | 4 Comments »

Read-a-thon Update #2

Posted by Caitie F on April 21, 2012

Reading right now: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Books finished since last update:  Wings by Aprilynn Pike, Carrie by Stephen King

Books read: 3

Pages read since last update: 485

Total pages read: 994

Total time spent reading: 5:35

Snacks since last post: nothing, just some water, but having celery and peanut butter during my break!

Read two books I didn’t really enjoy since I last posted. Kinda bleh, but I wanted to read both of them, so at least I have! I need a break! It is beautiful out, so I think I will go for a walk then dive into the next book. I have also taken Like Dandelion Dust out of my pile. Looked at some reviews and more about the book and realized it is not my thing at all!

Posted in Dewey's Read-A-Thon | 3 Comments »

Read-a-thon Update #1

Posted by Caitie F on April 21, 2012

Reading right now: Wings by Aprilynnr Pike

Books finished: Jester by James Patterson

Pages read since last update: 509

Total pages read: 509

Total time spent reading: 3 hours

Snacks: almost whole pot of coffee (saving last cup for iced coffee in a bit), lunch: leftovers, chips and guac, Girl Scout cookies. Dinner smells amazing.

 

So far, it is going well! Hope everyone else is having fun! i will be back in a few hours!

Posted in Dewey's Read-A-Thon | 5 Comments »

Read-a-thon Introductory Questionnaire

Posted by Caitie F on April 21, 2012

Ok, I am ready to go! I figured I would wake up when I woke up (it IS the weekend) and woke up at 8:04. I had to get dinner ready – a pot roast that is cooking all day) and put my coffee on, and now I am ready to go!  I will answer the questions, then start reading!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
1. I am reading in Central NJ US, in my house – all around it. At the kitchen table for alittle, then probably my bed, and the living room too. I will most likely be rotating around!
2. That is tough – Jason has been raving about The Jester by James patterson, so I am actually looking forward to it…but it IS James Patterson so. Meh. I have heard amazing things about Wings, so I guess I will say that!
3. Not so much a snack…but my dinner. Hopefully the pot roast is good (if not, I will blame Martha). If I wasn’t lazy last night, I would say the cookies I made yesterday…but I was lazy, so celery and peanut putter!
4. Oh I hate this question! I will tell you a couple things. I work in publishing, but I swore I would not read any books for work today. I am a total nerd and love almost all things nerdy. And…I watch WAY too much TV! But I love it so it is okay.
5. It is my first, so I look forward to finally reading books that I have owned for two years or more (that is what my stack is mostly made up of!).
Well, i am off to read! I will check in with everyone at my lunch break!

Posted in Dewey's Read-A-Thon | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

Posted by Caitie F on April 20, 2012

Title: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
Author: Anna Quindlen
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: April 24, 2012
Rating: ++

Summary from goodreads:

From Anna Quindlen, #1 New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, comes this memoir about her life and the lives of women today.

Using her past, present, and future to explore what matters most to women at different ages, Quindlen talks about marriage, girlfriends, the body, and parenting

From childhood memories to manic motherhood to middle age, Quindlen uses the events of her own life to illuminate our own. Along with the downsides of age, she says, can come wisdom, a perspective on life that makes it both satisfying and even joyful.

Review:

I will start with the good because I don’t have much good to say. She is a great writer. She talks about topics that I think more women need to be talking and thinking about in a public space. So much of what she discusses seem to be off limit topics. She even has some interesting things to say, if she just didn’t have to dismiss two entire generations and those she disagrees with in order to say them.

My first issue with it is that she constantly insults young people, especially young women. As a young women, I take offense to it, but I think that anyone who knows young people may also take offense. She can’t seem to make any points in this book without saying that young people don’t know anything. Or that they are silly and will change their opinions.

There was even an entire essay on how her generation needs to get out of the way to let the younger generations move up in the world…and even in that she insults the younger generations. Most of it seem either unfounded or if she is making judgements on others based on what she was like.

Apparently no one in my generation appreciates the struggles their mothers and grandmothers went through to get us to where we are today. Last I checked, most young women get it and are thankful for it, but don’t think it is time to celebrate a victory yet.

Also, she likes to insult people who don’t agree with her. In an essay about faith she dismisses atheists as, of course, young people who think they know everything. Last I checked, there are a lot of older atheists and someone not believing in God doesn’t make then dumb or anything. It just means they questioned things and came to their own conclusions.

I just found this book so annoying. The only reason I rating it as “eh, you might like it” is because the writing wasn’t awful and each essay caught my interest…at least until she insulted huge groups of people.

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