Jane (deadache139) wrote in bibliophilia,

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July Books

Here's all the books (I think) that I read in July, with mini reviews/summaries. Only one more month of Summer reading! :(


(1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J. K. Rowling. B.*
(2)Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling. B-.
(3)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling. A-.
(4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling. B+.
(5)Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling. B+.
(6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling. B+.
(7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling. A-.

I finally read Harry Potter! Watched all the movies as well. There's nothing I can say about them that hasn't been said before.
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov. B.
From children's books to pedophiles! I did not know if I would like this, or even finish it. However, Nabakov's prose was incredible, and that can make or break a book for me. The subject matter is revolting, but somehow, Humbert elicits so much sympathy. I would catch myself feeling sorry for him, then draw back in horror, because he was a pedophile. I can understand why this book has become a classic.
Seaward, Susan Cooper. B.
I can't really remember what this one's about, so it must not have left that much of an impression.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote. B.
This was not what I was expecting, based on the Audrey Hepburn movie. I like Capote's writing style, and the plot was interesting. A quick, entertaining read.
The Fall, Albert Camus. B.
An interesting book, being the confessions of a lawyer without conscience. Hypocrisy's monologue, is what it is. There is scant dialogue, which I don't usually like, but the material is thought-provoking.
Misfortune, Wesley Stace. C.
The first 75 pages of this novel were horrible: dry, and in the third person. THEN, the narrative improved greatly when it switched to first person, the narrator being Rose, a boy who was dressed/treated as a girl by his insane adopted father from infancy. This book had a lot of good points, but a lot of things didn't seem plausible. Now, even if you had been raised in the belief that you were a girl, wouldn't you start wondering when your voice started to change and you had to shave? Not to mention other physical changes. Wouldn't an outsider realize and say something? The ending seemed too lucky, and the whole thing could have been a lot better.
A Countess Below Stairs, Eva Ibbotson. A+.*
I love this book. It's a sort of Cinderella story (I admit, I the Cinderella thing), with a Russian Countess in the role of Cinderella. Anna Grazinsky and her family had to flee Russia because of the Revolution. The novel begins at about 1920: WWI is over, and Anna finds employment as a maid. Eva Ibbotson is so clever, and the whole thing is so well-written.
(1) The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde. A-.
This is set in a sort of parallel universe, in which literature takes a huge role in the public life. The main character, Thursday Next, is a literary detective. When somebody kidnaps a minor character from Martin Chuzzlewit, Thursday is on the case. Things worsen when threats are made toward bigger prospects....Jane Eyre, for example. This is a great book: original, witty, and entertaining. It's nice to read books about books.
Herzog, Saul Bellow. C.
This was a disappointment for me. Moses Herzog is a failure, and he's slowly going bonkers. As an outlet, he starts writing letters to everybody: family, friends, celebrities...It just wasn't a cohesive novel, although I should have expected that from a novel about insanity. Herzog seems like a big jerk, and I didn't find the descent into insanity exciting enough, I guess.
Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood, Meredith Ann Pierce. B+.*
Hmm...this is about a girl named Hannah who lives alone in the forest. She has been there as long as she can remember, but doesn't know how she got there. Weeds and plants grow amidst her hair, and she uses them to treat villagers who come for aid (wow, that sounds cheesy). Aside from Hannah's quest to find her true identity (!), it's original and well done.
The Woman Who Loved Reindeer, Meredith Ann Pierce. B-.
About a young woman who raises a foundling with the ability to turn into a reindeer. I didn't like too much because I felt like the characters were strangers at the end of the book.
(1)The Darkangel, Meredith Ann Pierce. B.
(2)A Gathering of Gargoyles, Meredith Ann Pierce. B-.
(3)The Pearl of the Soul of the World, Meredith Ann Pierce. B-.

A vampire trilogy of sorts. I could not get attached to the characters, and I felt that some of the truly original aspects were ruined when it turned into a trilogy with a prophecy, quest, and chosen one.
Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer. B+.
As strange as this book is, I really liked it by the end. So Jonathan Safran Foer (I loved that he used himself) traveled to Ukraine to find the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Helping him is Alex Perchov (who added a lot of comic relief), a Ukranian translator. The novel tells some of Jonathan's family history, and I found that storyline to be my favorite. My one complaint, and I may even be thinking of a different novel, was when at some points in the narration, italics were used instead of quotation marks. Annoying.

Discussion is always welcome!
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