BTT: Recent Informative

btt2What’s the most informative book you’ve read recently?

This one is a bit hard for me–nothing jumps to mind immediately.  I have seen a few bloggers who answered Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant, and that’s definitely a contender.  Historical fiction is great in the sense that it allows the reader to enter a new world that usually isn’t accessible.  Sacred Hearts did just that–life in Italy in the sixteenth century, in a convent no less, is not something I am too knowledgeable about.  So I would say historical fiction in general is a great way to gain concrete knowledge.  Some other great historical fiction novels I’ve read recently are Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich, and Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh–both absolutely fantastic reads!


BTT: Biggest Book


What’s the biggest book you’ve read recently?

(Feel free to think “big” as size, or as popularity, or in any other way you care to interpret.)

Big in regards to size would have to Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon (around 800 pages I believe) and The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb (around 750 pages).  Generally, if I’m going to read a very long book like those two, I prefer they not be heavy reads.  While The Hour I First Believed was heavy in regards to theme, it had a fast moving plot that hour_i_first_believedallowed me to get through it fairly quickly.  I don’t have the best attention span, so for a book that long, I really need it to grab me or else I’m going to start praying for the end to come.

In regards to popularity . . . hmmmmm.  Again, The Hour I First Believed seems to be very popular.  It was published within the past year, so its popularity stems from the fact that it was just released, as well as Wally Lamb’s general popularity.  I would say that Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant, is also fairly popular, especially among the book blogging world, since many bloggers were able to get a copy for review.

Booking Through Thursday

btt2What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

I would say that one of the most fluff books I’ve read recently is Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon.  Her books are perfect for lazy summer days.  Page upon page of romance dragonflymixed with time travel.  I don’t generally read anything from the romance genre, but Gabaldon’s books have enough substance that you don’t feel as if you’re just reading your typical bodice ripper.  The story centers around Claire Randall, who travels back in time and falls in love with a Scot named Jamie.  Dragonfly in Amber is the second book of the series (Outlander being the first), which continues on with I think five or six more books.  I read Outlander a few months ago and while I’ll probably continue reading the series, I do like to take some time off between each book because they are so long, as well as sappy and cliché, so that generally by the end I need a rest.  However, if you’re looking for a great romance that’s fairly light, the Outlander series is a good choice.

BTT: Booking Through Thursday

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

(Tell me you didn’t see this one coming?)

n252254 In looking through the last few books I’ve read, the most recent one that I would consider one of the best (at least so far this year), is My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike, by Joyce Carol Oates.  This is not the first time Oates has taken a sensational, true life situation and fictionalized it with her own twist.  My Sister, My Love is based on the murder of beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey and told from the viewpoint of the older brother (in this case, instead of the siblings being Burke and Jonbenet Ramsey, they are Skyler and Bliss Rampike).  As in reality, the Rampike family quickly came under suspicion, with Skyler being a suspect himself.  However, the book takes great literary license in painting the picture of a morally depraved family.  While Jonbenet’s murder has never been solved, Oates does make clear in the ending of the book who killed Bliss Rampike.

For those of you who enjoyed Blonde, Oates’ fictionalized account of the life of Marilyn Monroe, My Sister, My Love is right up there alongside it.

Feel free to leave a comment about the best book you’ve read recently!

Booking Through Thursday

btt2 What’s the worst book you’ve read recently?
(I figure it’s easier than asking your all-time worst, because, well, it’s recent!)

I’ve been lucky recently in the sense that I haven’t read any books in the past few months that I absolutely loathed.  There were a few that I was apathetic towards.  The Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, is a recent one that left me bored.  I was thrilled when I finished it, which is never a good sign.  It was one of those books that I expected to enjoy immensely–it’s the story of a modern day serial killer in Italy who only kills couples having sex.  While the culprit has never been identified, Spezi and Preston did a good job of uncovering a valid suspect.  There were also political issues going on with the law enforcement of the area, which could have been fascinating.  Unfortunately, the book fell flat for me and Iprobably would not recommend it. 



Another book that did not live up to my expectations was Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser.  Again, I expected to love it, due mostly to its popularity.  There were a few tidbits that I found very interesting, such as the assertion that you’re better off eating carrot out of the toilet that out of the kitchen sink.  A shock factor of that magnitude will always grab my attention.  However, surprising bits like that one were few and far between.