Monday, June 11, 2007

Boy that 48 Hours Surely Went Fast!

Final stats for the 48-hour reading challenge:
6 books
1626 pages
22 hours
1 hour for reviews

Here are my final three reviews:
First, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (416 pages). This story had a flavor to it that transported you back in time to some classic mystery/ghost stories of the 19th century. Heroine Margaret is described very much like the classic spinster governess (think Jane Eyre which plays a role in the novel as well) and it is not surprising that she becomes so totally immersed in the life of Miss Winter and the intrigue that revolves around her true story. In a nutshell, Miss Winter (a famous writer with many novels to her name) decides after many years that she will share her true life story with no other than Margaret. Margaret travels to Yorkshire to sit with Miss Winter and listen to her history before the author dies. I really enjoyed the storytelling aspect of the tale and how Margaret pieces the truth together by listening between the lines. I have to confess that the book falls just short of the hype and I think that we will be done rather quickly with the review for reading group. I am sure that we will have a lively discussion about the comparison between this book and The Keep.

Second, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (181 pages). This is one of the books E has to read for the summer so I thought I would read it first. I actually really enjoyed it and can definitely see why it was chosen. Thirteen-year-old Brian is flying up to spend the summer with his dad in Canada due to the recent divorce of his parents. In the beginning, he is very fixated on the fact that he knows his mom's secret...the true reason behind the divorce is that his mom has been having an affair...but it is truly background and I feel doesn't play too much into the general gist of the rest of the story. So the pilot in the single engine has a heart attack and dies mid flight and Brian loses transmission and crashes in a lake. His only tool for survival is a hatchet that his mom gives him before he leaves. I think that the survivors on the last episode of Survivor could have learned a thing or two from Brian on how to survive. He creates a shelter, starts a fire, figures out how to fish without a line, hunt grouse and rabbits, and he plans for the future by creating a fish pen. He also has runs in with a bear, a wolf, a tornado, and finally a moose than whips his butt. He survives for over 45 days out in the wild by himself! Truly a great coming of age book that defines Brian in his later years...he obviously appreciates the little things.

And last but not least, Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella (358 pages). This is a quick and light hearted read that didn't involve a lot of thinking if you catch my drift. The whole Shopaholic vehicle I think has run past its course. I have read all the others in the series and after two the novelty has worn off. But nevertheless, Bex's antics still make me laugh and I hope that there aren't too many people out there that are truly like her. I have always thought that the series reminds me of an updated I Love Lucy and interestingly enough USA Today on the back of this book says as such. This story obviously revolves around Becky and Luke and the impending birth of her baby. She has not given up her spending ways...they are just now centered around the new baby and less on items for her. She manipulates Luke into agreeing to switch OBs mid stream as she learns about an OB to celebrities that specializes in holistic births including Thai massage. And it comes as no surprise that this OB just so happens to be the single former college girlfriend of her husband. And shenanigans ensue. If you want to escape and have no expectations of reading a Pulitzer prize novel, then this book is for you.

Again thanks to Mother Reader for holding the second annual 48-hour reading challenge. I put a nice dent into my summer reading list!


Anonymous Jill said...

You did great! It's a good thing I didn't participate in this challenge - I only had about six hours to devote to "The Other Boleyn Girl" and I still haven't finished it (661 pages).

June 11, 2007 at 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Patricia said...

Wow, congratulations. I am taking notes on titles. That for the synopsis.

June 12, 2007 at 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hats off to you Phoebe! Congrats on all that reading. Sounds like you had a good time.

June 12, 2007 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Carrie K said...

Oh my! Congratulations! Looks like you read a lot of good books in those 48 hours. Hatchet sounds like a great summer read.

June 12, 2007 at 7:46 PM  

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