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Forum nameReading Challenges, 2010
Topic subjectElle's reading list
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=505&topic_id=107
107, Elle's reading list
Posted by ellelassiter, Sun Jan-10-10 12:04 AM
What a great idea! In no particular order...

1. Dean Koontz, "Frankenstein: Prodigal Son"
2. Dean Koontz, "Frankenstein: City of Night"
3. Dean Koontz, "Frankenstein: Dead and Alive"
4. Katherine Dunn, "Geek Love"
5. Sara Gruen, "Water for Elephants"
6. Tom Spanbauer, "The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon"
7. Salman Rushdie, "The Satanic Verses"
8. Alice Sebold, "The Lovely Bones"
9. Stieg Larsson, "The Girl Who Played with Fire"
10. Ian McEwan, "Enduring Love"
11. Bret Easton Ellis, "Lunar Park"
12. Will Christopher Baer, "Kiss Me, Judas"
13. Will Christopher Baer, "Penny Dreadful"
14. Will Christopher Baer, "Hell's Half Acre"
15. Craig Clevenger, "Fade"
16. Ron Currie, "God Is Dead"

More to come!
122, Dean Koontz, "Frankenstein: Prodigal Son"
Posted by ellelassiter, Mon Jan-11-10 07:02 PM
Read January 10th. 0 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

This. Was. Bad.

Bad writing, B-movie characters, but that's what I expected. I skipped over a LOT, especially at the end. I'd previously read this and the next book in the series before (thought they were horrible then, too), and I'm rereading them now so I can compare them with the third book. I want to see how much of the suck was Koontz's fault and how much of the blame really should rest with his collaborators. But I'm not going to continue my investigation any time soon. I'm going to ice down my brain and read something different.
821, Dean Koontz -- "Frankenstein: City of Night"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-22-10 12:24 PM
Read March 4th. 0 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

Once again, I didn't enjoy this. I'm not a fan of mindless action stories with cliched, one-dimensional characters. At least it was a quick read.
822, Dean Koontz -- "Frankenstein: Dead and Alive"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-22-10 12:28 PM
Read March 10th. 0 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

I'd hoped the flaws in the first two books were due to Koontz farming out the responsibility for writing them to other, lesser known writers, but that's not it. Third verse, same as the first...

I like to learn something about the world from each book I read, and here's what I got from the Frankenstein series: Koontz is a best seller and obviously what he does is what people want, so there's no point in me ever seeking publication because I have no interest in this sort of writing. Lesson learned, pens and pencils put away.
824, William Gay, "Twilight"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-22-10 12:54 PM
Read April 2nd. 3.5 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

I'd never heard of William Gay prior to picking this book up on a whim at the library. It was the last book on the row, right at eye level, and I only looked it over because the title made me think, "God, I hope it doesn't have vampires in it." No vampires; just an undertaker with a dark secret that's uncovered by a young man and his sister, and the sociopath hired to guarantee their silence, all set in the hills of Tennessee. "Twilight" is a dark novel, a Southern gothic reminiscent of the work of Cormac McCarthy (who I LOVE). It's the first book I've really enjoyed this year and it almost renews my faith in writing. Almost.
823, Denis Johnson, "Nobody Move"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-22-10 12:39 PM
Read March 16th. 3 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

This novel -- novella, really -- was a welcome relief after the nightmare of the Koontz trilogy, but unfortunately I can't say I loved it. It had a number of elements that usually work for me (seedy story, rich and twisted characters, solid prose, dark humor) but something was missing. Maybe I was just expecting another Angels or Jesus' Son instead of coming to "Nobody Move" with an open mind. Whatever the case, I was a little disappointed.
825, Val McDermid, "The Mermaid's Singing"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-22-10 12:55 PM
Read April 20th. 4 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

I stopped reading books like this years ago, but I decided to give "The Mermaids Singing" a spin because I was such a big fan of BBC's "Wire in the Blood" based on the Tony Hill books. Having seen the TV adaptation of this, I was already familiar with the plot; however, I still found myself breathlessly turning the pages, scarcely able to wait to see what would happen next. As much as I love Robson Green's take on Tony Hill, I think I prefer him on the page to on the screen. My only gripe about this book is the alarming number of typos I spotted in my copy.
841, Margaret Atwood, "The Penelopiad"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-29-10 10:20 AM
Read May 21st. 3 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

This was a kind of charming book that examines the story of Odysseus from Penelope's point of view. Atwood pulls together ancient sources beyond Homer and gives her explanation of why Odysseus has Penelope's 12 maids murdered upon his return from his journeys. I thought the book provided a clever presentation of an academic argument.
842, Peter Straub, "A Dark Matter"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-29-10 10:27 AM
Read May 21st. 3 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

I was a big fan of Straub back when I was in my teens and early twenties, and it was great to return to an old favorite after so many years of not reading him. "A Dark Matter" wasn't a bad book, but I got a little lost/bored around the last 100 pages. I don't know if it was because of the book itself or if it was just life interfering with my attention span. It started wonderfully for me, though, and now I'm hungry for some of my old favorite Straub novels, like "Koko" and "Mystery."
843, Margaret Atwood, "The Year of the Flood"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-29-10 10:36 AM
Read June 11th. 3 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

This is another book I think I need to read again. Like "A Dark Matter," I didn't read it straight through as I would've liked, instead grabbing a chapter here and a few pages there as life allowed, and so my experience with it is disjointed. I feel like I missed a lot in the reading.
844, Dennis Lehane, "Sacred"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-29-10 10:37 AM
Read June 28th. 3 out of 5 stars on the Elle Scale.

I picked this up after watching Shutter Island. I expected something more psychological after seeing the film, but this wasn't a bad read in spite of not being what I'd hoped for.
845, Joe Hill, "Horns"
Posted by ellelassiter, Tue Jun-29-10 12:37 PM
Read March 9th. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I didn't much love Joe Hill's first novel, "Heart Shaped Box," but I really LOVED "Horns." Loved the characters, loved the writing, loved the premise... it's the first novel I've read in a long while that truly scored with me and made me jealous. I had a hard time putting it down, and I'm looking forward to reading it again someday.