Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August Readingfest

A couple weekends ago we took a long weekend road trip to Chicago. This trip reinforced the facts that I am NOT a big city kinda girl and that my TBR pile has gathered dust for far too long. To keep my daughter busy, we had stopped at the video store to stock up on DVDs for the long ride. As we wandered through the family video section I spy City of Ember and something clicks in the back of my head. Huh, that sounds familiar. Why? Oooooh! I have that book... and its sequel... in my TBR pile... from 2004. Behind much? Umm yeah.

The problem with buying books from a book club blurb is that I occasionally a smidge misled. As I sat watching the movie, I realized, I'd unwittingly purchased two YA books. I'm not a huge YA fan. I know, I know, YA is hugely popular right now, but I like my books dark and twisted or erotic and with plots that keep me guessing. As for the movie of City of Ember, I enjoyed watching it with my eight year old daughter. The effects were disappointing in the main action scene, but otherwise, it was pretty good. After finishing the movie, I vowed to clear these books from my stack.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau was slightly darker than the movie and not filled with the hand holding reminders and explanations that plague some of the YA I've encountered. While I admit I kept waiting for something dark, sinister or twisted to happen, (it didn't) the plot and its ending was still gratifying in it's own simple way. I wish I could share what drove me to purchase the book in the first place, perhaps it was just the post-apocalyptic flavor, but that several years ago so I don't remember exactly. Apparently there are two more books in the series now that I was not aware of until writing this post. If I happen across them, I might have to pick them up as I will be passing these books on to both of my kids (13 & 8) to read. With both a teen girl and a boy as the MCs this book fits a wide audience. If you enjoy YA and have five to six hours you'd like to spend in a book, this one might be for you.

The People of Sparks This sequel picks up right where City of Ember left off, with Lina and Doon experiencing the outside world for the first time in their lives. This book makes you think a little about all the skills and knowledge we (and our children) take for granted. The moral of the story was a shade more in your face than I prefer even in books for kids, but it did have a character twist that I didn't see coming so I must give credit for that. Another quick read and perfect for my kids. Now I just have to keep them off their laptops long enough to pick up a book.

With two books read in two days, I was feeling far too accomplished. I'd waited a long time (too long because the newest of the series is now taunting me from the top of the TBR pile), but I finally allowed myself to sink into the sumptuous feast that is George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings. Since I'd just watched Game of Thrones on TV, I didn't need to refresh myself with the first book of A song of Ice and Fire. This was my third time through the early books of this series, but I wanted everything fresh in my head so I could fully enjoy the fifth book when I get to it. The series should have been named A Feast of Words and Characters. If you have not yet allowed yourself the utter pleasure of reading this fantasy masterpiece, indulge yourself. Go on. Do it. Now.


  1. Sounds like you're making progress then. Good for you! Hope your summer outside of the TBR pile is going equally as well Jean.

  2. Curious. Is "reading fest" some kind of official game/challenge type thing?

    And for the record, I loved 'City of Ember', hated 'People of Sparks'.

  3. @Botanist - Summer is allergy season around here so I'm not good for much beyond prolific mucus production and reading. We have enjoyed a couple short vacations though and work is at a more tolerable level lately. I hope you're enjoying your summer too!

    @Ray - Readingfest is my own challenge because I'm sitting out of Camp NaNo. I needed something to push me through some of my towering TBR pile, If I'm not writing, I need to feel productive somewhere in that arena. ;)

    I liked City of Ember better than Sparks but I think my kids would enjoy both.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Happy Hour! I'm following you now that I am all into the blogland scene, lol. I dropped in occasionally before, but now I can stalk you properly.

    My TBR pile is pretty dusty. Not only were things not getting read, but I even stopped adding to it. And anything I read last year while pregnant evaporated from my mind. I WILL get to the new Terry Goodkind book that just came out yesterday post-haste, though, maybe that will jump-start me. :)

  5. Oh yay! I could use a proper stalking. :D I hadn't really bought any books in a long while either, they just seemed to find their way into my TBR pile... how did that get there? Ohh, you've been there for six years. eek!

  6. Jean, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can check out this post to accept!




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