January 2016 was a slow month for me. I had school work, and other activities to occupy my time. For those of you who read my blog, I apologies for the lack of posts. I will do a better job this month.
These are the books that I’ve read in January:
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
‘I’ve not always been what I am now’
In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.
I love this novel. It has great characters (great as in well developed and complex), the story is pretty fast paced, and it is full of twists and turns. If you think that the selling of a wife is the major twist or conflict, you think wrong. That’s just the beginning. Despite it being a tragedy, it has funny moments as well.
It is not a fluffy, happy novel. It deals with somber matters, but it is still a compelling story. I gave it a 5/5 rating. You can read my full review here.
Cadaver Dog by Doug Goodman
Angie Graves trains dogs on all kinds of scents: guns, bombs, even cadavers. But when she is approached with the idea of training a dog to track zombies, she is not so sure. She needs a different dog for this line of work, and the only one available is a dog named Murder who she rescued when she found him left for dead. The problem is, Murder is nothing like a hero dog. He is scarred emotionally and physically. He is slow to trust, has a mischievous mind, and obsesses over his chicken toy. But if he and Angie can learn to work together, they may be able to solve the riddle of where the zombies come from, and why they are snatching up people.
Cadaver Dog is not my typical kind of book. I usually don’t read novels about zombies. However, Doug’s book was a interesting read. I liked his zombie adaptation, based on a real insect that makes a zombie out its pray. Moreover, the zombies are not the main plot. The main story is about dogs, and their trainer. It is fast paced, has interesting plot twists, and is a little bit darker.
Again, I gave this book a 5/5 rating. You can read my full review here.
XODUS (Astralis #1) by K.J. MCPIKE
“One of those rare literary treats that truly has something for everyone.” — Apex Reviews
The first time it happened, Lali Yavari told herself it was just a dream. But when she starts flashing between realities during the day and seeing people disappear before her very eyes, she can’t deny that something is happening to her–something she’s sure is linked to her mother’s disappearance.
Then the unsettling Kai Awana shows up at school, and Lali discovers she has inherited her mother’s ability to astral project–with a surprising twist. Not only that, but Kai needs her help to get to a world she never knew existed. In exchange, Kai promises to help Lali find her mom using his own unique ability.
Now Lali must learn to control her budding power if she ever hopes to see her mother again. She’s not sure she can trust Kai, but with her mother’s life hanging in the balance, will she have a choice?
Now, I did start reading this book, but since I’ll finish it this month, I decided to put it on my February TBR.
The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.
Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.
While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.
I have a good feeling about this book. The blurb is very interesting.
The Kite Family by Hon Lai Chu
A patient escapes from an asylum, to spend his life as the perfect mannequin in a department store display; when living alone is outlawed, a woman who resides quietly with her cat is assigned by bureaucrats to a role in an artificially created “family;” a luckless man transforms himself into a chair so people can, literally, sit on him. These are just a few of the inhabitants of Hon Lai-chu’s stories, where surreal characters struggle to carve out space for freedom and individuality in an absurd world. The Chinese version of “The Kite Family” won the New Writer’s Novella first prize from Taiwan’s Unitas Literary Association, was one of 2008’s Books of the Year according to Taiwan’s China Times, was selected as one of the Top 10 Chinese Novels Worldwide, and was awarded a Translation Grant from the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts.
A collection of Chinese short stories. I’m really intrigued.
That’s it for now.
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