Well, it’s been another year of a book a week. And the reading part was easy… it was the review part that was sometimes difficult. For instance, last week… there was a review ready to go, but it was ALL IN MY HEAD, and hasn’t yet made it to the blog. So this week there will be two reviews, and that will conclude the 52 Weeks. (I went by Fridays, not “full weeks”. So Week 1 of this year’s 52 Weeks was after only three days of 2014.)
Right – here’s the first review of this week’s post. (It’s Week 51, for anyone who’s counting and can’t infer it for themselves.)
The Cricket on the Hearth
by Charles Dickens
narrated by Jim Dale
(classic fiction, Christmas season story?)
This is the first book of the year that I’ve reviewed without finishing the book. (It’s not the first book that I didn’t finish, but it is the first one that I got far enough through to add it here and not consider it cheating.) Why didn’t I finish it? Because I had no interest in it whatever. I didn’t care about the characters, I didn’t care about the plot (to be fair, I couldn’t really distinguish a plot), and so I didn’t see any reason to keep spending time listening to the audio book that I could spend listening to Christmas carols instead. (I love Christmas carols.)
So – what did I like about it? The sound of the text. The phrases Dickens chose was fascinating. We just don’t use language in the same way anymore, and while I’m not meaning this as a complaint about modern language use, it does mean that classic fiction is mesmerizing to me in a way that few modern novels are. Do note, however, that phrasing is not enough to get me to finish a book.
Beyond that, though, I didn’t see anything compelling to me. Granted, I am not a huge Dickens fan, so your mileage may vary. I love Christmas Carol, but really, for me, that’s the only Dickens I need to worry about. So I guess I’m not surprised that this book was just not my kind of book.
And the second review of this week’s post…
The Demon Barker of Wheat Street (Iron Druid novella from CARNIEPUNK)
by Kevin Hearne
This was a novella filled with classic Iron Druid humor and quality writing. If you like the full-length stories, I think you will like this short as well. It’s a fun peek into some of the random encounters that Atticus could get up to which are not, strictly speaking, part of the main plotline. It was fun to have completely not-series-arc-related bad guys. It was great to have the whole thing be self-contained. (AKA even if you haven’t read anything else by Mr. Hearne, you could pick this up and not be lost. You might not understand it as well as someone who’s read the main novels, but you would still enjoy it.)
The basic premise is that it’s magical mischief set in a Kansas fair. I forget if it’s a state fair or a county fair, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s a fair, and we all have some kind of experience with fairs. Going into much more detail than that would mean spoilers, so I won’t. Great fun, though.
I will not be doing the 52 Books in 52 Weeks again next year. Maybe sometime further in the future, but not 2015. I will still be posting book reviews, and I still plan to read a lot. But I don’t want the pressure of posting a book review per week. For instance, sometimes I read a really long book, so it took me more than a week to finish it. Some of those weeks, I felt I needed to pause, read something short so I had something to post, and then pick the longer book up again.
If you want to see what books I’ve read in the year, you can go to my book review exclusive site (link in the sidebar) and see the page for any given year since I started tracking.
Happy last (less than full) week of 2014 everyone! I hope it was wonderful, and that 2015 is good to you and yours.