Calendar Girl (kirilaw) wrote,
Calendar Girl

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Books of '07

I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep the book-blogging up for the entire year. If the top-secret back-to-school plan pans out, I'll be too busy taking notes on literary theory to rate books for fun. Still, let's see how far I get...

1. The Geographer's Library (Jon Fasman)
This book was, I am sorry to say, a little disappointing. After I enjoyed the Historian so much last year, the idea of "spooky ancient mysteries being solved" was so appealing… but this book mainly serves to illustrate how hard it is to pull something like that off well. The premise is that there's a spooky secret society assembling a bunch of artifacts for a (presumably) nefarious purpose, and a small-town journalist stumbles into the plot. So far, so good. But the book never manages to pay off that setup. It's never entirely clear why the secret society is assembling any of the items other than one in particular, and, indeed, the book never properly links up all the bits. And the modern-day part of the story was so slow-moving and the journalist hero was so annoying and oblivious… Overall, it was rather a disappointment, though my expectations may have been too high. Alas. **

2. The Way the Crow Flies (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
There ought to be a disclaimer on Ann-Marie MacDonald's books: WARNING: WILL MAKE YOU VERY, VERY DEPRESSED. This book is beautiful, well-written, absorbing, and really, really depressing. Many many triggers for child sexual abuse and murder. I could see all the horrible things coming, and yet couldn't put it down. *****

3. Eastern Standard Tribe (Cory Doctorow)
I find I'm having a hard time describing this book. It was fun. I found myself wanting a little more meat... but then, I'm a fan of giant bricks of books, so take the comment with a grain of salt. Capsule review: Fun, frequently snarky, and based on some pretty convincing extrapolation of the near future. ***

4. The Vagina Monologues (Eve Ensler)
Oh dear. I have to rate one of the seminal (ha ha) books of the recent past. Well, not that it's the book that was important. And the monologues were/are, unquestionably important. There's something significant about saying words you're not supposed to say. I'd be happier if Ensler could tell a vagina from a vulva, mind you... Anyway. There is some lovely text in this book. Much of the supporting insistence that the play "just happened" is a little off-putting to me -- is it so wrong to claim your own ambition/planning/skill? -- but there is no denying that there is some lovely text. I'd really like to see it performed. I think it would capture me a little more in performance than it did on the page. ***

5. Inkspell (Cornelia Funke)
Aaaaaaaaagh! Cliffhanger!
Well, not really a cliffhanger as such. But definitely leaving some exceedingly major threads dangling for a future book. I hate that, particularly when I'm not expecting it. That said, this was a lovely, fun, enjoyable read. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as its predecessor, Inkheart -- the lovely idea of jumping in and out of books from Inkheart becomes more of an all-purpose magical system here, and while it works, it didn't charm me in quite the same way. But I'm still going to get that next book when it comes out (I have to know what happens, after all...) ***
Tags: books

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