August Reading

This was a busy month, what with me quitting my old job, getting a new job, and moving.  I only managed to read five books.  And I have to admit that I don’t really remember the first one too well.  Oh well…

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching was that first book.  I just looked it up on Amazon, and suddenly I remembered it quite well.  It was a very good book, one that kept my interest, in spite of my lack of clear memory of it now.  It is technically a young adult book, I guess, but I really liked it.  Jacob Lau has moved from Hawaii to central Illinois to live with his father’s family after the presumed death of his mother.   It is, of course, a lot more complicated than that.  This is the first book in the series; I plan to read the others.

Writing Naturally: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Nature Writing by David Peterson is another book that was on my shelf at work.  I finished it just before I left that job.  It was, as the title suggests, a book about nature writing.  It was enjoyable and instructive, even though I don’t read much or write any nature pieces.  He talked about making it personal but keeping nature as the focal point.  that seemed to me to be good advice or almost any kind of writing — nonfiction, of course, but maybe also fiction.  It is something I am going to think about as I do what I hope is the last read-through of the novel my son and I are writing here in the next couple months.

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow was even better than Little Brother, which I loved.  I think I liked it because it was more focused on what for me is a real issue: intellectual property and the abuse of power by Hollywood and the music industry.   We are all pirates in their eyes, or at least that is how it seems sometimes.  In this book Doctorow’s hero fights within and without of the system to try to change things. It is a good read.

Legacy of the Eldric by David Burrows was an interesting book.  I liked the idea of a prince leaving home for an adventure and finding more than he bargained for.  The ending made me think that these characters had died, but apparently I misread it as the second book deals with the same men.  That makes me wonder whether or not I would bother reading the rest of the series.  This book was enjoyable, though, so maybe I will.

The Devil’s Angel by Samantha Anderson was another book written by an Illinoisian.  Apparently this was my month for that.  (Makes me wonder if that wouldn’t be an interesting reading plan: one book by an author from each of the 50 states.  I’ll give that some thought for next year!)  The book started off OK for me, but it quickly became a little too complicated.  Much of it was flashback explaining how what was happening in the “present” in the book came to be.  I think I would have preferred to read a book that was all the past and then another that was the second “present day” story.  There was too much story in too few pages for it all to be clear.   But it was a good story — if you don’t mind books about the Devil.

On the first day of school, I had to tell everyone one of my personal goals for the year.  Not having had any advance warning, I had to think fast. All I could come up with was a goal of reading 6 books a month.  As you can see, I am not off to a very good start!  I think I will get back into reading more as life begins to calm down a little.  At least I hope so!


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