Saturday, June 23, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge #14

Book 14 was City of Dragons, by Robin Hobb.  I realized that I was wrong, and it is not a trilogy.   Bah.  That makes my assessment of the previous book worse.  Book 2 of a series of indeterminate length is too soon for a filler book.  Book 3 was better, but it was odd to go from a book focused on only one plot line, to one that developed 3-4 new ones.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge #13

Book 13 was Dragon Haven, by Robin Hobb.  It was pretty much what you might expect from the middle book of a trilogy:  it sets up the final book nicely, and has a few independent moments of excitement, but overall the reader is just settling into the story.  I'm glad I read it, and am looking forward to the final book, but I am also glad I decided to check the books out from the library rather than buying them.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012 Book #12

Book #12 was Dragon Keeper, by Robin Hobb.  My father-in-law and his wife gave this to me as a Christmas gift, and I just got around to reading it this week.  I loved her Farseer trilogy, and the Tawny Man trilogy that followed in the same world, but did not enjoy the Soldier Son trilogy very much.  Dragon Keeper returns to the same world as the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies (and presumably the Liveship Trader trilogy, but I haven't read those).  My favorite part of this book was the point of view chapters from the dragons.  I sped through this book in about three days.  We're headed on vacation tomorrow, and I requested the two other books in the trilogy from my library.  That is the nice thing about finding a series after its is already written -- no waiting for the next book to come out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

2012 Book #11

Book 11 was In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson.  I picked this one up at an airport book store after finishing another book earlier than I anticipated.  I had not brought any work with me, and my iPad's battery was about to die, and I still had a good two hours before my delayed plane was to take off, plus the hour and a half flight to look forward to.  Usually when I find myself needing something to read in an airport I go for pure escape reading.  This book is not that (the Nazis on the cover should be a dead giveaway).  I was excited to see it though.  My husband bought me The Devil in the White City several years ago, and I bought Thunderstruck later based almost entirely on my enjoyment of The Devil in the White City.

I enjoyed In the Garden of Beasts very much, although probably not as much as The Devil in the White City.  I think that is largely because I did not know the story in the latter, and well, we all know how Nazi Germany worked out.  My one quibble, and it is a quibble I've had with all three Larson books I've read so far, is with his tendency to end chapters with a sort of foreshadowing, but not getting to the subject again for ages, sometimes long after I've forgotten to be on the lookout.  For example, we're told at the end of chapter 8 that meeting the young and sexually assertive Martha Young gave Hanfstaengl an idea.  The sentence that ends the chapter -- "Which gave him an idea." -- is set off as it own paragraph, clearly emphasized.  But the idea isn't revealed until Chapter 19 - eighty pages later. There are enough moving parts to the story that by the time the idea was revealed, I had forgotten to be looking out for it at all, which sort of defeats the foreshadowing.

Overall though, I really liked the book, and have added other Larson books to my to-buy list of books.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reading Challenge Book 10

Book ten was Crown of Stars, by Kate Elliott.  The last in the Crown Of Stars series, and I am glad I stuck the series out.  (I did inadvertently skip one of the books in the middle.)  This one felt a bit rushed, especially the last few chapters.  I liked the way the story wrapped up though.  I usually hate the endings of books, and I thought this one was perfectly adequate.  My husband kept asking me throughout my time reading the series if I knew who Alain was.  From the way he was asking, I figured there must be a big reveal somewhere, but then there wasn't. I'm glad there wasn't, and glad I didn't miss some huge glaringly obvious hint from somewhere around the book I skipped.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What a difference ten degrees makes

I had a much better run Thursday.  I started off with a better attitude, and it was a good ten degrees cooler than on Monday.  My legs were a bit shaky the first half mile or so, but I stuck it out, and felt great by the end of the first mile.  Need to do another 4 mile run sometime this weekend.

I think I've found the audio alert timing I like on runkeeper.  I have it tell me distance and pace every 10 minutes, and every half mile.  I like it more than the every five minutes setting it was on originally, even though the timing ends up being different by only a minute or two anyway.