Recent Book Reviews

b4Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

This was a collection of 24 short stories, most of which were fun and enjoyable. For the most part, I read through this weekly and didn’t feel bored or compelled to stop. Like most of Murakami’s works, it has a surrealistic (full of magic) and mundane quality to the lives of the characters. The stories ranged from dealing with deaths, to sex, to marriage, and identities. My only problem is that I wish I understood the meanings for some of the characters and their stories (like why did this happen or what does it mean that that happened). My favorite of the short stories were A Poor Aunt’s Story, A Perfect Day for Kangaroo’s, Tony Takitani, Chance Traveler, and Shinagawa Monkey (my least favorite is the one about the Ice Man). Reading these felt like having a night-full of many dreams where you always wake up before you get a definitive ending.


Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter

This follows the story of Moses from the perspective of the wife Zipporah, a Cushite and daughter of Jethro (high priest of the Midianites). Most of the story is the author’s creation (things that aren’t mentioned specifically in the bible such as the really mean sister of Zipporah or how involved Zipporah was in getting Moses to listen to God). It was a really interesting twist on the biblical story and it gave many of the characters a little more depth then what some one may be used to. Personally the author’s writing was shit, but oh well. Also I felt that a man writing a sex scene from a woman’s perspective felt kind of ridiculous (but again oh well). I liked it and plan on reading the other two books from this trilogy.


b3The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt

Maggie O’Neill; an extremely annoying, preachy, full of herself and equally as closed minded young woman, loses her job (from what seems like a lack of hard-work) and instead gets a job working in an antique shop owned by a nice Wiccan woman. Very quickly into the story (maybe even less than forty pages in and during Maggie’s first day at her new job) Felicity (the Wiccan woman) becomes suspect of her sister’s murder. The main character feels hypocritical and most of the characters are under developed (even for a short mystery novel). It is written completely in first person (which is hard to do well so you can only imagine that this was poorly done) and felt like an amateurs fanfiction (trust me though there are a lot of fanfic better than this). The story line had potential, but was rushed in the beginning and slow in the end. I really couldn’t finish the book to be honest and would never recommend it to any one. Though I say all this I still think that it may not be all that bad, and maybe some one else will find it better book than I did.

b1Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose

This is a historical nonfiction book (I really like these sort of things) that focuses on the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition west (mostly from Lewis’s perspective). At times the story was a little boring, mostly cause the author added to much of his opinion and unneeded flowery words. But I really did like the book and by the end really felt for Lewis. Once the book got to the actual expedition, the story got way more interesting and for the most part I liked it (still every now and again I may have stopped and cared less for the book, but that may just be because nonfiction can be boring at times when politics and such get explained). As far as nonfiction go, this one is not my absolute favorite but I would reread it.

b6Neverwhere by Niel Gaiman

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It has to be one of my new favorites; a mix of urban fantasy and amazing adventure. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman living a dull life, with a dull job and a dull relationship. One day, while out on a date with his fiance, he does one kind deed to a stranger and his entire life gets turned upside down. He enters a bizarre world below London called Neverwhere and gets involved in a new and wonderful adventure. The characters are well written and well developed. The story is amazing and I can’t think of any complaints. I recommend anyone to try this wonderful book. If you aren’t into reading, then try the audiobook. Niel Gaiman reads it in the audiobook and his voice acting is fantastic and really brings life to each of the characters.

b5Left Behind Series by  Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

I read all thirteen of the books in this series during the summer. I actually really enjoyed it, even though I still have some complaints. The story focuses on a pilot named Rayford Steele and his other friends during the Apocalypse (of Biblical proportions). The books were fun to read for the most part (especially the first half) and their are a lot of characters being presented. My only problem is that the story got boring by the end. Since the characters knew they would win in the end (Jesus would defeat the Devil) and the Devil was not as scary as he should have been, it just kind of felt like ‘what’s the point of fighting or making an effort’ no matter what they still will win and still go to heaven. That was my biggest complaint.



Hope you guys had a great day.

-Blog Barista