Tuesday, 1 November 2011

October Ins and Outs

For once, the ins and outs post is not late. Lots of reading this month, but not that much change on the size of the pile of books that I have yet to read.

Few books bought (and none from bookmooch), but November will probably bring a lot more (Bookdepository, what is taking so long?).

The Red Dog by Louis de Bernières
Bought this one on a book fair in a shopping centre, I had seen a review of it on Floresta de Livros, and it was already under consideration.

House of many ways by Diana Wynne Jones
The final on the Howl's series. Probably one of my next reads.

Magic steps by Tamora Pierce
I have been meaning to read Tamora Pierce for ages. I have Alanna requested on bookmooch, but this one was at a good price so here it is.

In October I read some NetGalley titles, and also tried the Kindle app for Android and Chrome (Chromium on Linux, that's the one I use).

Physical books
A clash of kings by George R.R. Martin


Rating: 4 out of 5

The body finder by Kimberly Derting


Rating: 4 out of 5

Red Dog by Louis de Bernières
This is a rather light book (and really short one) about the Red Dog, a Australian Kelpie that belong to no-one and everyone, and travelled through Australia in search of excitement (and yes, based on a real dog, that did all that). It was fun reading, with some sad moments, and very episodic, so that if you are chuckling one chapter, you might be crying the next, only to return to laughing again in the following one.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kushiel's avatar by Jacqueline Carey
This one was so looooooooong and boooooooring. I made it to the end, through some stubbornness on my part, and a small desire to see this part of the story come to an end. My biggest problem with Jacqueline Carey is the writing, and that was true for all the three books on this series, but on the first two books the plot was enticing. On this one, not so much.
It took 350 pages to get to a mildly exciting part - I thought about giving up a lot of time in those pages, but Imriel had not yet appeared, and since there are three books with him as hero after this one, I supposed he would be a compelling character. He is quite a good character, but not enough for me to keep on the series.
But my biggest problem with this one was the main character Phedre: 10 years have passed since the book 2 and in those year the character stayed the same. Exactly the same. And if there are some behaviours I might believe in a 18 year old girl, in a 28 year old it makes me raise my eyebrow and say "Seriously? Can't you control yourself a little better?".
So, this was not a book for me (except the 150 or so pages [out of 750] that were actually rather nice).

Rating: 2 out of 5

Contos Carnívoros by Bernard Quiriny [Carnivore Tales]
A collection of short-stories bordering the surreal and magic realism. It reminded me too much of Jorge Luís Borges, in style and plot, yet it never got quite to its level. It was more disappointing than good, although it was not that bad. It just wasn't Borges in quality if it was in everything else.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell     *Review to come*
A story that I already knew very well (thanks BBC and their amazing adaptation), and that I loved. And the novel did not disappoint. There are points where series deviated from the book, but it was never in a very significant way, and I could not tell which version does it best. But, most of all, I loved Gaskell's writing. Even if the characters showed in part the time that they lived in, the writing never seemed old fashioned to me.
And well, it suffices to say I loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Orcs: Forged for War by Stan Nicholls and Joe Flood


Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Sketch Monsters - Book 1 by Joshua Williamson and Vincente Navarrete


Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Nursery Rhyme Comics edited by Leonard Marcus
This was quite a nice collection on Nursery Rhymes, done in a different way. Some I loved, some I liked. I do have one complaint, and it's not about the contents. The quality of the copy NetGalley provided was horrible. Please do make sure the comics can actually be read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Magic for beginners by Kelly Link
Couldn't finish this one. Maybe I was not in the right state of mind for something this weird, but I believe I will never be. Besides weird and disturbing the stories felt also very pointless. So, after skipping the ending of a couple of stories I decided to skip the book altogether.

Rating: 1 out of 5 (Did not finish)

*Kindle Store*
The moorland cottage by Elizabeth Gaskell
After reading North and South I was in the mood of something equally good. I tried Magic for Begginers and that didn't work out, and had an aborted attempt at Looking for Jake (also rather weird, I saved it for later). So I guessed I should stick with Gaskell and choose this novella.
It is a rather nice one, not as good as North and South. It features a positively horrid little boy (who grows up to be a positively horrid young man), and his sister that is such an angel. There is a lot to be said in parenting in this story.
Also, I have the feeling I have read this (or seen this) before. I can't find anywhere that there has been an adaptation, but I am certainly this story is not new to me.

Rating: 4 out of 5

TBR Variation: -3 (From 197 to 194) Yay!


  1. Those are some weird looking ebooks (minus The Moorland Cottage of course). And you didn't finish one! It must be terrible.

  2. The sketch monsters and the nursery rhyme comics are quite cute, orcs was too much of a boy thing. Magic for beginners is just too weird. Really weird. *shudders*

  3. Glad you liked the "Red Dog". :) It's a sweet book, especially for people who love animals.
    Also, was Kushiel's Avatar really that boring? I mean, the book is huge and only 150 out of all those pages were actually enjoyable? Boriiing.
    I though "Contos Carbnívoros" would be a good book, but now I'm not so sure. :(

  4. Kushiel Avatar might not be so boring for those who like Carey's writing and her long, word-y descriptions of places and every single thing that happens in a journey, but to me it was just filling the pages for no good reason. These are parts that there is not much that happens, and although some does move the plot forward, it could have been dealt with in half the pages (to say the least).

    I thought the same about Contos Carnivoros, but it was a bit of a let down. Not exactly bad, but not as good as I was expecting.