Saturday, December 28, 2013

Favorite Books of 2013

As I've been doing for the past two years, here is my list of the top 5 books I read this year. This are books I *read* this year, not ones that were published this year.

Statistics-wise, the number of books I've been reading has dropped: 2011- 32, 2012- 25, 2013- 19. This means picking 5 means picking the best book in nearly every 4 that I read! Not surprisingly, it was very difficult to pick and sort these.
In terms of page count (by Goodreads' standards since I read electronically), that's 10030 pages read (comparable to last year, which reflects the length of the books). While I'm still reading a lot, I didn't do as well this year. I attribute this to several reasons including a heavier work load as my science has really picked up, dealing with other hobbies, and to my broken kindle which left me to use the more uncomfortable iPad.

Here then are my top 5 books, roughly sorted.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is the first part of The Inheritance Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. Despite being a trilogy, the first book stands on its own and can be read without the others. This is my second read through it thanks to selection by our local book club. I sure hope they like it better than my last recommendation!

Without further ado, let's jump right in to my spoiler-free review.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Review: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

For our latest book club meeting, we read Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. Here is the Goodreads blurb:
Corelli's Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece. Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn't so bad--at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of "Heil Hitler" with his own "Heil Puccini", and whose most precious possession is his mandolin. It isn't long before Corelli and Pelagia are involved in a heated affair--despite her engagement to a young fisherman, Mandras, who has gone off to join Greek partisans. Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side. And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches. 

Read on for my full, spoiler-free review.