Tuesday, July 24, 2007

#46 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Yes, I am done reading my copy already! And yes, I stood in line at Walmart at midnight the day the book came out to get my copy. :) I figured it was the last book, and I might as well be able to say I was part of the hype.

This book is a good closer for the series. It was action-packed from beginning to end, and an enjoyable read. Some well-known and liked characters die in this final Harry Potter book, but that's realistic given the fact that it's an all out war of good versus evil.

I won't give any plot spoilers. It's enough to say that it was worth the money, and the time I spent in line! And, it's kinda cool to think that I was reading the book at the same time as millions of other people.

But, I do think the hype was a bit much.....then again, anything that encourages kids (and adults) to read is a good thing!!!

Would I stand in line ever again to get a book on its publication date???? No, probably not. It was fun to do it once though!

50 Book Challenge 2007: 26/50

#45 - A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro

Kazuo Ishiguro is a British author of Japanese descent who was born in Nagasaki, Japan. Most of the story in A Pale View of Hills takes place in Nagasaki. A Japanese woman mourns her daughter who committed suicide, as she also remembers life in Nagasaki after the bombing in World War II.

Ishiguro's writing style makes this such a colorful and emotional book. But, he also leaves some of the discovery up to the reader. The plot seems simple, until you've read to the end and discover that the story was much deeper than you thought.

This is an enjoyable and very thought provoking book. It gives a peek into Japanese culture, and the changes Japan has gone through since the end of the war. Some facets of Japanese culture were lost, and older citizens had trouble accepting modern beliefs and culture.

I really enjoyed this book! It's one of those stories that has subtle plot twists that leave you pondering even after you've read the last page. :)

50 Book Challenge 2007: 25/50

#44 - Coast to Coast Ghosts by Leslie Rule

Leslie Rule is the daughter of famous author Anne Rule. But, she's an author in her own right, publishing several books on ghosts and the paranormal.

Coast to Coast Ghosts is a collection of ghost stories from all over the United States. It's a quick read, but very enjoyable! Rule basically spent some time travelling to different haunted places getting first-hand accounts from those who had experienced ghostly encounters. She also interjects some of her own experiences.

This is a perfect book to curl up with on quiet night with a cup of hot tea, and just enjoy some old fashioned ghost stories!

50 Book Challenge 2007: 24/50

#43 - The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde

Elisabeth Hyde combines a murder, social/political commentary, and family psychology into her book, The Abortionist's Daughter.

The basics of the plot: famous abortionist doctor is found murdered, husband and daughter go through a myriad of emotions coming to grips with the killing, and a murderer must be found.

This book delves into all sides of the abortion issue. It touches on the struggle between abortion providers and terroristic anti-abortion protest groups. It shows the struggle and emotional decisions faced by teenage unwed mothers and their families. And, it also shows the psychological struggle for family members of abortion doctors.

But, it's also a very good murder mystery.

I had misgivings about this book. The abortion debate can get so heated, and I've heard the argument from both sides. I really didn't know whether this book might be some sort of women's rights diatribe, or a preachy "abortion is murder'' story. It was neither. It showed the affects of abortion not only on the doctors themselves, but on their families, the families of pregnant women, unwed teenage mothers, and abortion protestors.....and, how the killing of a well-known abortionist would be a problem case at best for law enforcement.

Hyde told the story well without being preachy about either side of the issue, and unfolded a very interesting murder case with a great twist at the end.

50 Book Challenge 2007: 23/50