- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (my review here)
- Drive by Daniel H. Pink: Subtitled ‘The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”, this book confirms what I’ve always suspected as a writer and mom. Pink explains that the carrot-and-stick approach taken by businesses to get the most of their employees only works under very limited circumstances. Instead, what motivates us all are intrinsic desires for: autonomy (do what we want to do), mastery (to do it well), and purpose (do something of significance). This book is more geared towards businesses, but the principles can be applied to other areas.
- The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim C. Hines: Danielle (Cinderella), Snow (White) and Talia (Sleeping Beauty) are back in this dark version of the The Little Mermaid, featuring lust, betrayal, murder and madness. I was not wild about this book, partly because of nautical fantasy fatigue and partly because the fairy tale has never been my favorite. Danielle came across as subdued and Talia (even though she is deeply sympathetic) kept striking the same angry note . Snow was the one who sparkled in this book.
- Soulless by Gail Carriger. I wanted to like this book more than I did. Vampires and werewolves in Victorian England? Cool! The voice of this book is so delish, full of wit and wryness and tongue-in-cheek humor (just check out an excerpt if you don’t believe me). Unfortunately, none of the characters drew me. I’ve seen the sharp-tongued bluestocking spinster many times (and I admit Alexia’s superior airs got on my nerves at times) and Macon was just another Alpha Male (albeit one who becomes hairy and drooly at the full moon). Their didn’t seem much to their relationship aside from “You are boorish brute/waspish on-the-shelf spinster, but our mutual physical attraction is so overwhelming we need to make out right now!” Pity, because the premise and the voice were so good.
- Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (my review, along with that of the prequel, here)
- The Affinity Bridge by George Mann: A steampunk detective story, featuring airships, automatons, a Queen Victoria kept alive past her time by machines and a plague that turns its victims in shambling zombie-like creatures. The plot was okay, but neither of the two detectives appealed strongly to me, The mid-book change of Newbury’s character from that of a bookish academic to a criminal-chasing, bad-guy-fighting, running-on-trains daredevil left me quite bemused.
- Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb
- Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson: Really good. Really very good. I love how Sanderson continued to put new spins on his magic systems and opened the scope to show more about the non-human races of his world. The fight scenes (using magic) are so visually appealing–they would look great on screen. I didn’t find Ruin as compelling of a bad guy as the Lord Ruler, and the ending was not the one that suits my personal preferences, but it was right for this trilogy. I’ve already got Elantris—which I will read once I figure out where I misplaced it!
- Sylvester by Georgette Heyer: I’ve been hankering to re-read this book for a while. I read a vast amount of Heyer’s regency novels in my teenage years and this was my favorite. I was pleased that the book read just as well to me at 29 as it did at 19. It was a bit disconcerting to be closer to (actually, passed!) Sylvester’s age than Phoebe’s. Instead of viewing the book as a young girl/older guy match, I viewed it with the matronly air of an almost-thirty-year-old seven-years-married veteran. Those young whippersnappers! I loved the prose, the witty dialog, the appearance of several secondary characters, the way Heyer weaves some pretty improbable events into her narrative. I was always fond of Phoebe–she rides horses and writes novels, she’s not beautiful and often shy, but she has spunk. The only let-down is that I’ve already read my favorite Heyer, so the next one I pick up to reread will be a step down!
Read any good books recently?