It's a new year and with it comes a whole new goal to reach! I have decided to partake in the 50 Book Pledge hosted by The Savvy Reader but I set my goal at 75 books to read in 2013. One month in I'm thinking I was a wee bit ambitious but I'll do my best!
1. The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket: I'm going to spare you any more details about this series as there's 13 books in the collection and this is only book 7! If you want more information about the series just look at my previous posts as I have been reading 1-2 of them each month for the past few months.
2. King Solomon's Mines - H. Rider Haggard: I love the fact that the author wrote this book on a dare from his brother that he could write something at least 1/2 as good as Treasure Island. In my opinion it was better than Treasure Island! The story is about the adventure of Allen Quartermain on his quest to find a lost explorer who was in search of King Solomon's Mines. It's a great tale of adventurer, and friendship while at the same time exhibiting exceptional forward mindedness when the author introduces an interracial relationship. Considering the book was published in 1885 I was quite surprised at this and also uplifted! It certainly deserves its reputation as a classic.
3. The Case of the Missing Servant - Tarquin Hall: I bought 3 of these books in the series on a complete whim. To be honest I must have been craving butter paneer and it led me to these books about a detective in India. Who knew my stomach had decent literary taste!? If you're a fan of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency series you'll enjoy this too. What I do like about this series is that it's a little more high-tech than #1 Ladies so it has a more modern feel to it.
4. In The Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson: I really enjoyed reading Erik's book Devil in the White City so thought I'd give this one a try. It's the story of William E. Dodd who was the American Ambassador in Berlin during the rise of Hitler. What I like about Erik's writing is that he makes history interesting. He generally bases his writing off the person letters of the people he's writing about. Much of what he learned was in the diaries of William and letters of his daughter Martha. I found the first 1/2 of this book move quickly and was very interesting but the second half felt like he was stretching for more material. Still an interesting read if you can push through to the end.
5. A Nation Worth Ranting About - Rick Mercer: Have I ever mentioned how much I love Rick Mercer? I really, really think he should run to be our next Prime Minister as he seems to know more about Parliament than any official we have in office! His book is a collection of rants over the past few years along with some stories from his life. This book actually made me laugh out loud and made me google a few things when I was shocked by some of what he talked about. That's what I love about Rick, he makes you think and laugh at the same time. Totally worth it; go pick it up.
6. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad: I can't really say this book floated my boat (lame pun). It's a story of Marlow, a sailor, who is on a journey up the Congo River in the 19th century. He's on a mission to try and save Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious ivory trader. It was on our 501 Must Read list and I can't say I'm entirely sure why it was. When I read it I assumed it was written 100 years ago but was shocked to find out it was written in 1990. I didn't feel invested in the characters or the story so I'd say it wouldn't be on my own must read list.
7. Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis: This is a super cute series of books I picked up based on internet reviews. This is the 1st book in the series and it's about four gifted orphan children who are selected for a secret mission to help save the world. The characters are lively and original as is the storyline and the challenges the orphans face. I would recommend this for kids 8 and up or for the young of heart.