Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Turn the Page... Tuesday

It's amazing how much reading you can get done when you're not working and when the weather is chilly enough that once you're done walking the dogs, you all just want to snuggle up and read.

It's the first Tuesday of the year!  The first Tuesday of January!  So it's the first Turn the Page... Tuesday for 2011.  Don't know what TTP...T is?  Visit Adrienne at Some of a Kind for more info, then join us!

So, on with the reviews...
The first book I read was Jamie Ford's Hotel at the Corner of Bitter & Sweet (photo from Jamie's website).  I hadn't heard of this story till it was suggested for our January Book Club meeting.  I was leery at first, because it was another story about WWII and I was anticipating more of the same.  But, boy, was I pleasantly surprised.

The book could not be more perfectly named - every character, location, and interaction was both "bitter and sweet".  From the family relations (3-generations worth), to the love story, to the social and political story lines, it all made me smile and sigh. 

Before 'Hotel...', I'd never delved into the Chinese-Japanese-American relationships in the United States in the early 40s.  I knew OF the Japanese camps, but not the details; I was aware of the conflicts between the Japanese and Chinese throughout history, but Jamie masterfully took this history and painted on personal faces of this strife & suffering... and triumph (?) in the end of love and tolerance.

When I rate this book at the meeting, I plan to give it a 4 out of 5.  I highly recommend it, it's a good read.

Today, I'm almost finished with Book 3 of the Mortal Instruments trilogy, by Cassandra Clare (photos from her website).  Aimed at young adults, this set is fun, quick, and action-packed.  It revolves around a girl named Clary & her interaction with a race of people called the Shadowhunters, magical "superhumans", protectors of "mundanes" (regular humans) and killers of all things nasty - demons, mainly, but will take out the occasional vampires, werewolf or other beastie, if necessary.

In Book 1, City of Bones, Clary learns of her "Sight" when she meets the local family of Shadowhunters (one of whom is drop-dead gorgeous, but quite arrogant - Edward Cullin, anyone?).  Poor Clary's world changes SO dramatically in just a few short days after seeing her 1st Shadowhunter - her mom is kidnapped, she's attacked by demons, she has to negotiate with vampire and so much more.  Like I said - action packed - and a fun twist on the "alternative reality" genre.  I jumped right into Book 2.

Book 2 is filled with destruction and mayhem... for everyone.  Everything that everyone has thought was true has been shattered and they're seeking the truth.  Valentine is back and he's systematically draining the blood from each of the races (warlock, vampire, fae, and werewolf) to complete his evil plan.  He must be stopped!
Throw in a little teen love and forbidden love and you got yourself another lightning read.

Finally, here I am in the middle of Book 3.  Clary is trying to save her mom who is in a coma.  There's a new man in her life - who I suspect is evil.  And now the city is burning.  There are only a couple hundred pages left... I'm excited to see how this will all wrap up in the end.
I hope the good guys will win, but will there be a twist?  Will Clary end up with Jace?  Will Simon save the day?

This has been a fun couple weeks - breezing through an easy read in a world so different from mine.  Its been a nice visit, but I'll be happy to come back to reality soon.  I think.

What I should read next?  I got Larrson's Millennium Trilogy and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay for Christmas, so maybe I'll pick up one of them.  I'm also learning to crochet, so maybe I'll take a reading break and work on my Double Crochet stitch.  NAH, I can do both!

Happy New Year!  Happy Reading!


Paula said...

"Hotel" sounds really good in all of the reviews I've read. Will have to keep an eye out for it.

Learning to crochet! Yeah! It's so much fun, isn't it?! I love to see how things take shape from just a single thread of yarn. I've been knitting away the last week with some really quick projects that are so rewarding. Keep going!

Adrienne said...

I have wanted to read 'Hotel' for some time now ... looks like I need to pick it up (after I've depleted my own shelves first!).

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

I have picked up that "Hotel..." book at Target many time and then something else catches my eye. It really does look like a good read.

And about that crocheting on your last post --- You Go Girl! You'll be a master in no time. Trust me!

Stacey's Treasures said...

I love "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" one of my favorites!
I've been feeling like picking up a crochet hook. I definatly need practice. Most of my projects turn out crooked.