104 Book Project: May

Wow. Five months into 2007 already. I’m not nearly as far into this project as I’d like to be, but I’m working my way there. I’m hoping to get quite a bit of reading in over the summer. I did get eight books read for the month of May, though. Progress.

My first three reads were books from the ever-challenging A-Z Reading List. The Pact by Jodi Picoult was one that I had been both looking forward to reading, as well as one that I was a bit apprehensive about. I found that I really enjoyed the story, but I did catch myself picking out the similarities between this story and My Sister’s Keeper. Picoult has a definite theme of mistrust between parent and child as well as within a marriage and she likes to push the idea of pressure on young children. I’m curious to read on and see how many of her other books continue along the same vein.

Running With Scissors was another book that I had mixed views of reading. I had heard many good things about it, but I’d also heard quite a few negatives. I was pretty pleased with this one. The storytelling was strong and I couldn’t help but find myself awed by the horrors of the two families highlighted. I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn’t fiction, but was actually a memoir. I almost picked up one of his other books, but I’m not sure if I loved Running With Scissors that much. I could change my mind later.

Third for the month and third off the list was Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho. I had moments reading this one where I was bored and moments where I was enthralled. It was a literal story of a second chance at life and what it truly means to live each day as though it is your last. I still can’t decide if I loved it or hated it, but it did make me think and there can’t be anything wrong with that, right?

From here I deviated into some more fluffy reading. Last year I got hooked on a new-to-me author, Kim Harrison, so I was pretty excited when her new book came out this last month. For A Few Demons More was fantastic. I love Rachel, the main character in this series, and Harrison really took her some crazy places in this book. In fact, it was so good that at the end, I was about fifty pages out from finishing when my workout at the gym was done. I had somewhere to be, but I sat in my car IN THE PARKING LOT, and finished the book. I couldn’t even wait to get home that evening to find out what happened. Now I’m more eager than ever for the next one to come out. She must write faster.

Mary Janice Davidson always amuses and Hello, Gorgeous wasn’t an exception. I do wish, though, that her books were longer and her main characters a little less carbon copies of each other. I can’t help but love them anyway. What’s not to love about a bionic woman turned reluctant assassin? I mean really.

Laurell K. Hamilton is losing me. I read the first half of her Anita Blake series and I fell in love with her writing, her characters, her world. Then she introduced a sexual aspect to her stories. I’m no prude, far from it, and that doesn’t bother me, but when the sex starts becoming woman on shape-shifting leopard while in leopard form… well, I start to draw the line. Then she posted a blog entry on her site that came off as really preachy and I slipped a little more. The book that I just read of hers, Strange Candy, was a collection of short stories and it really ran the gamut from terrible to reminding me why I fell in love in the first place. I’m really bitter about having gotten to hear that personal aspect of Hamilton though because it made me read her introductions in a different light and it just came off as very cocky and arrogant to me. As a friend said, as a published author with the kind of readership that she has, she certainly has every right to be so sure of herself, but I don’t know, it just doesn’t strike the right chord with me. Ah well, I’ll still keep reading her. However light the grip may be, in her grip I still am.

Speaking of author blogs, Jennifer Weiner has one of those blogs that actually draws me MORE to her writing. I had read Little Earthquakes last year and really enjoyed it, so when I saw In Her Shoes for a discounted price, I jumped right into it. I was doubly relieved when it was the original cover and not the movie version cover. (I have snobby issues about buying books after they’ve become movies and I refuse to buy the movie version cover if I can at all avoid it.) Except for the annoyance of seeing Maggie’s character as Cameron Diaz, I really loved the story. The two sisters lost their mother at a young age and some of their experiences really rang true with me. It was a very good book and I think I’ll pick up a few more of Weiner’s books.

Last, but not least, was Captured Innocence by Susan Sizemore. As with many of the books I read, this was one that made me glad I stuck to it even though the beginning was rife with cliches. The ending, however, was far from typical and really made me quite pleased.

All in all, May was a successful month and almost everything I read left me feeling satisfied. I can only hope that June goes as smoothly. How are you guys all doing with your reading? I know Carly got her groove back. Anyone else?