Wednesday, January 30, 2013

No Easy Day, Downton inspiration, and YA

Code Name VerityCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not that it really matters, but it was nice to have the first book I read in 2013 be AWESOME. Code Name Verity has shades of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Book Thief in it, and not just because its setting is also WWII Europe. Like Guernsey, it's an epistolary-ish novel (but don't be alarmed - it uses the format well) with strong central female characters, and like The Book Thief, you sometimes know more about the end even when you're still in the beginning but you're not sure how it will all come together.

As for how it does come together - ah, well, you'll just have to read it and see. I'll be thinking about this one for a while, and I'm already planning on a re-read.

One thing - this quibble is softened by the author's own admission (in the afterword) that parts of this book stretch plausibility, but yeah, some of the things that happen in this book require you to WANT to believe. But you will want to believe, so.

To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got StartedTo Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started by Gail MacColl

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, until I looked up the publication date, I assumed this book was written to ride the recent wave of Downton Abbey popularity, considering that the mother in that show is an American heiress who married a titled Englishman in the late 19th century (real-life women like her are the focus of this non-fiction book). But it appears to have been published 20+ years ago.

I wish I had read it a long time ago, too, before I ever picked up any Henry James or Edith Wharton. It gives such good background for the time period those authors' books take place in. If I were running a high school lit class that included any Wharton, etc., then this book would be excellent class material. The level is not too high and there are lots of pictures and callouts and graphs and boxed text. I've been reading this book off and on over the last six weeks - it's very easy to pick up, read a few sections, and then put down again for a while. It doesn't depend on a single narrative; rather, it's thematically organized and progresses according to the decades in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Anyway, interesting book. Now I can't wait to read The Age of Innocence and House of Mirth again.

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just OK. I guess I was too much into the snark of this series and not enough into the story, because the snark had worn off by book 4. Still a fun series, though.

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin LadenNo Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The thing about this book is that its subject matter is not inherently thrilling. It's only amazing because it's UBL they were after instead of some random dude. I couldn't help but compare this book to Lone Survivor, which was far more riveting.

However, this was still a great read and a nice companion book for Manhunt, since they deal with the same timeline and the same events but from different points of view.

Boundless (Unearthly, #3)Boundless by Cynthia Hand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No major comments. Great conclusion to a great series. Really!


Jessie said...

Did you see Mark Owen's 60 Minutes interview? Fascinating. I watched it when it first aired(months before Zero Dark Thirty was released), then I watched Zero Dark Thirty, then I watched the interview again.

Putting Code Name Verity on my list.

Lucia- insert creative nickname said...

Wait, are these all the books you read just this month? Whoa. And you're in a masters program, that's intense, and awesome, and I'm impressed! I've had 6 weeks to read The Lemon Tree, but book club is friday and I have yet to crack it open, or check it out from the library for that matter. Lame.

I'll have to go through your book blog posts for ideas! Are you on goodreads?

Lucia- insert creative nickname said...

Oh, duh. Scratch that last question. When I click the title it takes me to goodreads...


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