Monday, February 27, 2006

February Books (7/5)

I made a goal this year to read 60 books by the end of the year, and at least 5 books each month. Every month, near the end, I'll put up a list of the books I've read that month and maybe a few thoughts about them. Here's my February list:

Stolen – Kelley Armstrong
Shakespeare's Landlord – Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Champion – Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Christmas – Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Trollop – Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Counselor – Charlaine Harris
The Million Dollar Divorce - R.M. Johnson

Stolen – Kelley Armstrong
This is the sequel to Bitten, which I read last month. It's got more werewolves, more rough sex, more strong female roles. Plus now the author has introduced a new angle. Werewolves aren't the only supernatural race. We've got vampires, demons, witches, etc. Joss Whedon would be proud.

Lily Bard series of Shakespeare mysteries (5) – Charlaine Harris
All right, I'm not sure if reading 5 mysteries by the same author was what I had in mind when I said 5 books/month. This feels a little like cheating, especially because the books were so short. But February is a short month! And I really liked the books. Like the werewolf books, these books have a really physically tough female main character. She works out at the gym daily, she's really good at karate, and she's hot. Lily has some interesting psychological issues to work through though, and I liked seeing her story unwrap as the books went along. They went a different way than I expected, and it was a good way. I also enjoyed seeing this solitary woman open herself up and make friends, and begin to overcome her personal demons.

The Million Dollar Divorce - R.M. Johnson
Every month I guess I have to read some trashy novel, and this was it for February. This millionaire gets married, wanting a family. His wife puts him off for 3 years and then finds out she can't have kids because of early menopause (right when they started trying). So he wants to divorce her, but doesn't want to give her half of the fortune he's made since they got married. He decides to set her up to cheat on him. The premise was okay, but I thought the sex was cheesy and garish, and I think both of them were at fault, but the book kind of made the husband into the bad guy. I probably only finished the book because I liked the voice acting.

Even though I didn't finish these, I think I deserve some credit for attempting two other books this month –
Shalimar the Clown – Salman Rushdie
Dearly Devoted Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

Shalimar might have been a good book, but I was listening to it on tape and I didn't like the reader at all. The book had some crude parts, but the reader sounded like a prude when he read dirty dialogue. He sounded like a gentleman, not a voice actor, and the distraction was too much.

The Dexter book was interesting. The idea is that the narrator is a serial killer who only kills bad guys. He's totally mental, and he narrates things from a crazy, demented point of view. He's funny though, and self-delusional about some things. But the book got too graphic when he started admiring an extremely brutal and graphically described crime scene in which another serial killer tortured someone and left them alive. Plus there was a lot of swearing. Maybe I would have finished it if I'd skimmed the offensive parts, but I don't feel like I'm missing anything by never finishing this book.

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