Happy New Year, all!

Today’s plans include going with the Beloved Husband over to my parents’ and having an Extended Edition Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon. We figure, if we start around 2 or 3pm, it should last us til midnight, and, added plus, my younger sister has not seen them yet, so, should be fun (aside from that little issue with Faramir)!

So, given that I get to watch some good movies based off of better books, I think it’s the perfect segue into Booking Through Thursday’s latest topic, The Best of 2011. Now, most (if not all) of these have been used in a Book of the Week entry, or have at least gotten a mention in another post, so I’ll really only be giving light summaries (no point in subjecting you to the same rant twice ;)).

  • Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. It took me a little while to get into this book. The first third is reeeeally slow, the middle third is confusing, but intriguing, and the last bit so amazing! That actually is what I like best about American Gods – Gaiman takes his time to set up his plot and weave his plot twists in, and he doesn’t spell anything out for you. By the time I reached the conclusion, I had the wonderful reaction of, “Oh my gosh, I should have seen that coming, but I had no clue!” I really do love when the author hints at his plot twists, but still manages to surprise readers!

 

  • Mercedes Lackey’s Phoenix and Ashes. I think I liked this one as much as I did partially because I had prepared myself not to like it. It’s much more somber than the other Elemental Masters novels that I enjoy, but that actually improves the story, I think. The biggest strike against this book, though, is a bad one – frequent and obvious typos. I know this is the editor’s fault and not the author’s, but it got distracting, which was annoying, because I really enjoyed the story otherwise.

 

 

  • Anders Henriksson’s Ignorance is Blitz. It’s not often I laugh myself into a state of incoherency, but I did with this book. Best read out loud with a group of friends, it made my night. Best only read it once every nine months or so, otherwise it’s nowhere near as fun (the unexpectedness of the statements is half the entertainment value right there).

 

 

 

  • Jim Butcher’s Side Jobs. Nothing too spectacular or groundbreaking in the Fantasy genre, but it was such a fun read! I’ve missed the light-hearted side of Dresden, so it was good to see that return to the series! Of the stories in this anthology, some were stronger and some were weaker, and the last one was especially good (and rather unexpected). All things considered, it’s a good, solid book that I’ll probably buy.

 

 

  • Junichirō Tanizaki’s Naomi. It’s absolutely astounding that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, given that is was not only an assigned school book (in a class that I particularly had issues with), but also completely outside my usual genre. There’s something captivating about Tanizaki’s style of writing. I strongly disliked the character of Naomi and really couldn’t see why the narrator subjected himself to her presence, but I couldn’t but the book down (and usually disliking the main characters will kill a book for me). So, bravo for Tanizaki! He conquered a longstanding reading prejudice of mine! I’ll call that skilled writing.
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