Sunday Salon (my first): Mid-year Review

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's already halfway through the year! I know it's cliche and everyone always says it, but seriously, this year REALLY HAS flown by so fast already! I took a little time off from school this year (from about March until this coming August) so I may have read a little more than I normally would have. I finished 51 books by the end of June (18,421 pages). I haven't read anything yet this year that is oh so amazing, though I have read some good books. Sometimes I get frustrated, as most readers do, that there are so many great books out there and so little time to read. I feel like I should not waste my time reading all the little fluff books, and instead, use my time to read all the great literary classics. But then I wonder, would those wonderfully, great books really be classics if they were all as wonderfully, great? And I don't know that I'd be able to read them all back to back anyway. So I might as well use the time in between to read all the good but not literary "classic" books. I'll just have to deal with the fact that I may not get around to everything I ever want to read.

So like I said, I haven't read anything that I would call my favorite of the year. I was disappointed with The Story of Edgar Sawtelle which was one that had potential. Same for Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed. I had to push myself to finish that. It also had potential but then for most of the book it rambled on about so many different things. It also had a book within a book which can sometimes be an interesting literary technique, but in this case, did not work. I was really excited about Moloka'i, and I did like it, but I felt that one could have been so much more too.

I will say I found a new author that I love (assuming the rest of her books are like the first one I read, lol). Meg Gardiner's The Dirty Secrets Club was one I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters were well developed and I really liked them. This was a mystery/thriller but was well-written in terms of how literary it was. Sometimes books in this genre are so focused on plot and twists, etc. they are very juvenile in the writing. Gardiner has intrigued me because I don't remember if I have read another book in this genre that was so well-written. I have the second in that series, The Memory Collector, which I will read and review soon. I also am interested in reading her Evan Delaney series. The first in that series, China Lake, sounds very interesting and unique. Plus, it sort of relates to my field of work, so that is always a good thing for me.

One example of a mystery/thriller in which the writing is more juvenile but still tells a good story is Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I had heard so many good things about this series from several people so I used this as my first attempt at using the free Kindle app on my iPhone. I have to say I really enjoyed the book, and I also liked using the Kindle app. I'll admit that the easier reading was a good choice to use for that app since I found myself reading a tiny bit here or there like while waiting for my fax to go through at work, etc. It made it easy for me to read a good portion at once even though it was a minute here or there.

Kristin Hannah and Barbara Delinsky both had new books this year. Theirs are those I consider "comfort reads" because they're about regular life and situations and always interest me. And I know I'll always like them. Their books this year were True Colors and While my Sister Sleeps (respectively) and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Another of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, had a new book this year but I have to admit it wasn't her best. It was about a child with the rare bone disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Again, this related to my work a little, as I currently work somewhat aiding in and following investigations of child abuse by law enforcement and child protective services. There were a couple cases of this disorder that had been seen at my job. This is where a child's bones break easily, even by sneezing, but it initially tends to look like abuse. This book had more potential than it exhibited. I'm afraid that it may have been rushed now that Picoult is turning out her books pretty quickly. But it may have just been like that for me. I know I love other books by her that some people don't think are the best.

Other than that, I finished the Twilight series this year. I fit into the camp of "Breaking Dawn was the worst of the series", but that's because I thought it was so weird. I'm working on finishing the Harry Potter series which has been a goal for a couple years. I'm on #4 right now, which is how far I read up to before and will catch me up on my re-reads. I'm trying really hard to read through 6 so I can go see the movie. (My dad really wants us all to go see it together on the IMAX so I have a limited time while it's in theaters to finish it!

The only other reads from this year I want to mention are Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins. I reviewed both of those recently, so I won't go into them. But I do want to say I really enjoy Hopkins's form of writing. Now, if a bunch of other authors jumped on the bandwagon and did the same thing, it would annoy me, but it really works for her books. The story of Kristina and her Meth addiction is very addictive (sorry) but frustrating too. I'm really looking forward to reading other Hopkins books about other topics. I do think it's great that she has written books about some serious young adult issues in a manner that young adults will want to read about it. Yay!


Jaime said...

I agree, this year has flown by insanely! I am trying to figure out when I will have time! LOL

I was so disappointed by the Hour I First Believed. I couldn't finish it!

I have an award for you here

jennala9 said...

It was very difficult, lol!

Thank you so much for the award!!

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