Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching Up on Book Reviews

Right now I'm reading a book on Halloween and it feels like it's taking forever. I don't know why I'm so determined to finish it. It feels like I'm cramming for a mid-term on Halloween!

Here are some of the library books I've read lately:

The latest in the Harry Dresden universe. I think I've mentioned before that Jim Butcher is one of the few authors I read where his books get better and better; he seems genuinely invested in improving his craft. This latest was no exception--totally entertaining, action-packed, funny, and addictive. It was interesting to see Harry working with someone he disliked so much. I wish that Murphy had been in the book more, but I think Harry's relationship with Luccio probably prevented Murphy from being around much, and I wonder if we'll see more Murphy in future books? Also, Thomas's character took an interesting turn. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, but might be interested in a wizard detective series, check out the first book in the series and then get back to me!

Pretty in Plaid was surprisingly sweet, deviating from the unrepentantly snarky tone of all of the author's other books. I still like Such a Pretty Fat the best, but perhaps that was because it was the first book I'd read of hers. Still, this was a quick, fun read. Now that she's covered all of her past, however, I wonder if she'll have more material to write about? It seemed like she went to the past because she'd already mined the present, so now what's left?
I could see some of Jen Lancaster's books as movies, so I wonder if that's her next avenue?

The Manual of Detection was awesome. It reminded me of the Thursday Next books, but without all of the literary references. It definitely had all of the absurd and self-referential moments, though.
I wasn't as endeared to the characters as I would've liked to have been, and so it took me awhile to get into the book. However, the premise was so great that I wanted to know what happened next.
The main character is a clerk in a detective agency who's suddenly promoted after the star detective whose reports he's been filing disappears. The clerk has no prep to be a detective, so he resolves to try and find his detective and bring him back, thereby going back to his safe life as a clerk. However, during the course of his search he discovers that the cases that the detective has solved to such city-wide acclaim have actually been solved incorrectly. The clerk meets dangerous and colorful characters along the way, uncovers another plot to take over the city by the nefarious villain, and in general gets into a lot of trouble.
The cover of this book is modeled after the "Manual of Dectection" instructional manual that the clerk is given upon his promotion. I loved that detail--the book within the book that has a cover modeled after the book within the book. So geeky and fun.
Also, the website for this book is great. It has a haunting mp3 playing that I would totally buy if it were available, but alas, the song was written specifically for the site.
Very fun read!

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