Archive for January 2011

#16 "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins


Two in one week?!  I must be on a roll!  The truth is, I literally had 17 different books going at the beginning of this week and my goal is now to start finishing them before I start any new ones (with the exception of my book club selections, because I HAVE to read those, obv).  Anyhow, I am officially down to 15 now; yay me!

The Hunger Games was a fantastic book!  I'm very eager to read the rest of the series, but alas, unless they are book club selections, I shall not allow myself to do so until those other 15 books are done!   For those of you who know nothing of the series, it is basically about a post-apocalyptic North America in which the nation has been divided into 12 districts.  Each year, from each district, a female and a male teenager are chosen and are placed in an "arena" to fight to the death in front of the entire nation via video, called none other than the "Hunger Games".  It's very reminiscent of Stephen King's Running Man, or that movie "The Condemned" with Steve Austin.

The author does a very good job of drawing you in and making you care about the characters in the novel.  I literally read all but maybe 50 pages of this book today.  Even at 374 pages, it's a very quick and easy read.

I really enjoyed imagining the characters development throughout the story, as pretty much everyone in the arena has not been forced to kill in the past.  Everyone is out of their element and have to develop in to a new sense of self.

For those of you unaware of the series, I realize that the concept seems sick and sad and just... wrong.  But the truth is, that's what makes for an intriguing read, right?  I won't lie though; I'm a wee bit fascinated with death.

This book is definitely RECOMMENDED.

First line teaser:  "When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold."

Next Up:  Not continuing something I've already started, I will probably read the new book club book next.  It is called Sarah's Key and it is by Tatiana de Rosnay.

#15 David Sedaris's "Holidays On Ice"


First off, I'd like to start by saying that I am fully aware of the complete slacking I've been doing with this whole "50 books in a year" goal.  I've read a few that I haven't posted about, but I will.  All in due time... I've been busy, I swear!

Anyway, the 15th book of my challenge was Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.  I believe I also read his Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim as part of my challenge.  This book was very similar.  It was a collection of short stories and essays, in fact, several of the stories were repeats from what I'd already read in Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim.  (The stories all just happened to have some sort of holiday theme.)  I'm not going to lie, I won't say I loved it and I won't say I hated it.  I will say that I read it and my opinion of it is just that... it's a book.  Some parts made me laugh, but for the most part I kind of just felt unmoved by the whole thing.

I did enjoy reading about Sedaris's stint as a "Christmas elf", where he worked in a Santa village at Christmas time.  I also did enjoy reading "Christmas Means Giving", which was about a family that bought themselves any lavish gift they might desire.  When a family moved in next door who wanted to compete with the original family, it all took a turn for the worst.  It was really just amusing because I think everyone knows someone that is like that.

Anyway, over all, I would NOT recommend this book.  I'm not a huge fan of short stories, so maybe, if you are, you might like this book more than I did.  I don't think that it helped that I'd already read several of the stories either.

First Line Teaser:  "I was in a coffee shop looking through the want ads when I read, "Macy's Herald Square, the largest store in the world, has big opportunities for outgoing, fun-loving people of all shapes and sizes who want more than just a holiday job!"  (Taken from the beginning of "SantaLand Diaries", which is the story in which Sedaris is a Christmas elf.)

Next Up:  Finishing The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins