Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan

Book:  The Curiosity 

Author:  Stephen P. Kiernan

Grade:  C

Recommended To:  Not sure, this book too me a very  long time to get into and the ended was dissatisfying. 

This book was okay, not good, not great, just okay.  It took an incredibly long time to get started and although the science portions were interesting, those were limited by the eventual and very strange love story that occurred between two of the main characters.

The premise of the story is decent.  Jeremiah Rice is found cryogenically frozen in an iceburg in the arctic circle.  A scientist, speaking only in second person (Why? Why!), brings the man back to life and then basically has no idea what to do with this person.  There is a lot of moral ambiguity that was interesting, but could have been better written.  There are protesters, of course, that are only portrayed as right wing crazies, which seems disingenuous because probably a lot of people would have moral concerns about reviving a man from the 1800s.

Some of the characters are overwhelmingly flat.  One of the characters, the news reporter that has the exclusive on the reanimation is exceedingly terrible.  So much so that I found myself skipping large chunks of his narrative because hey, its not like he was going to change in the next 20 swipes.

The love story is also ridiculous.  The one female scientist who has apparently worked her entire life to obtain this very lucrative position falls in love with the reanimated man, Jeremiah.  So, she takes him around to grocery stores, suit shops, and various places in Boston to acquaint him with life in the 21st Century.  Over and over he's amazed that you can buy oranges in stores.  Nobody cares, dude.  Also, they have the most awkward non-conversations about sex ever.  It is like watching this scene from 90 Day Fiance when Mike thinks that any girl other than this mail order bride from Russia wants to get with him.  Awkward!

So, I give this book a C for a decent plot line, generally and terrible execution.  You should save yourself the 10 days that it will take you to finish this book.  It ain't worth it.

Happy Reading.

Also, I note that this is my first review since New Year's Day.  Lawrd.  I need to pick up the reading pace in 2014!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014!

Happy New Year!! 

I love the New Year. It is so fun to reflect and look back on the changes of the previous year and to make plans for the year ahead.  I try to do this on my birthday also, so really, it happens twice a year!

2013 was a great year for reading! I read 76 books this year and surpassed my Goodreads goal by a full 11 books.  I'm thrilled and I can attribute that to taking a hour long round trip train ride every day.  Without that, my reading time would be seriously limited.

In 2013, I read 75 books, which accounted for 29,370 pages (thanks Goodreads, I didn't count them all!).  My blog also hit 20,000 hits in November and that was AWESOME!  Thanks everyone for reading and then coming back for more.  I am humbled.

Longest Book:  It by Stephen King at slightly over 1000 pages.  And each page was awesome!

Shortest Book:  Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich.  This book literally took me 2 hours.

Most Disappointing Book:  Divergent by Veronica Roth and subsequently Insurgent.  These books were so hyped up and were so so bad.

Most Rewarding Book:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  I cried at the end and I almost never do that unless the book is extra amazing.

Worst Book: The Night Ranger by Alex Berenson.  Also wins the award for most racist.

Best Non-Fiction:  We Band of Angels by Elizabeth Norman.  I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and it was awesome!  It won out of the 14 non-fiction books that I read this year.  I didn't realize that I read so many!  That's 18%!

Funniest Book:  I Am Not Myself These Days and The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer Purcell.  These are two different books, but they were both hilarious and I love love love these goat farmers.

Favorite Book:  Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks.  This is a toss up with The Book Thief and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger which was just phenomenally good.  But Imaginary Friend was by far the most original and well-written book that I read this year.

I also loved Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.  That book wounded my soul and it took me days to recover.  You should absolutely read it.  I'll probably blog about it eventually because it was so lovely.

Best Rated on Goodreads:  The Boy Who Said No by Patti Sheehy.  This book is rated at 4.49.  I gave it four stars and I'm surprised by this.  I liked this book, but the best rated?  Maybe you should read it.

Also surprising is that The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom is so well rated.  That book sucked.

Worst Rated on Goodreads:  The Forgetting Tree by Tatjana Soli.  I'm less surprised by this one.  I thought this book was a hot mess.

I set some goals for 2013 and here's how they panned out:

1.  Read 65 books in 2013.  Check!  76 books! 

2.  Finish an entire book series.   No dice on this one.  I think I was referring to the Kinsey Milhone alphabet series and I absolutely did not finish it.  Those books are repetitive, yo.  I also failed to finish the Divergent series and the Outlander series.  So, this one was a big fail. 

3.  Update this blog 1/week.  That's 52 updates.   Also a fail.  I posted exactly 27 times in 2013, which interestingly was the same number of times as 2012, so at least I didn't backtrack. 

4.  Buy a house.  CHECK!  We bought a house!  But, most of my books are still in boxes in the basement waiting to be unpacked 9 months later because we are renovating and I didn't want to pack up all that shit a second time. Because let's be honest, books are heavy! 

I was only 50% successful on my goals for 2013, except really, buying a house?  That's a million percent success.  Here are my goals for 2014:

1.  Read 70 books.  I think 76 might have been a fluke and 70 seems manageable.
2.  Alternatively, read 30,000 pages.  I keep getting really close to 30,000.  This year I am only 640 away!
3.  Post to this blog 30 times.  Let's get out of this 27 slump nice and easy. 
4.  Continue my One-Line a day journal.  I love keeping records of my day to day and I hope this journal will help me do it.  
5.  Actually read the books that I buy.  My to-read shelf is bigger than the shelves of books that I've read.  I am going to try to buy fewer books this year, get more books from the library (FREE), and make a dent in the to-read pile.  

Do you have any reading goals for 2014?

Happy 2014!!  I hope your year is full of life, love, laughter and fabulous books.