Thursday, December 6, 2012

City of Motherly Love Book Club: 2012 Book Awards

Welcome to the first meeting of the City of Motherly Love Book Club!  Like most moms, I love to read.  Also like most moms, reading comes at the expense of other things (like sleep!).  But, if the book is good, it's worth it!

Finding the books that will keep you turning pages all night (and feeling happy about it) can be tricky.  To help, just announced the winners of their highly anticipated 2012 book awards, based on over 1,000,000 votes. 

To give you an idea of the power of Goodreads:  50 Shades of Grey became a cult favorite on Goodreads, which led it to winning best romance of the year, which led to a major publishing deal.  If not for Goodreads, the world may not have met Christian and Anastasia.  Okay, that might not be a bad thing.  But, you get the point! 

So, without further adieu, here are the big winners of this year's awards...  Several I have read, and my mini-reviews are as follows!

Fiction - The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
As a Harry Potter fan, I gave this book a chance.  The writing was good and the characters were fully developed.  The story, however, was very dark and slow as molasses.  I kept waiting for the big pay-off and it didn't arrive!

Will The Casual Vacancy Keep You Up At Night Reading?  No!

Nonfiction - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
I didn't read this one, but it is all the buzz on the Business bestseller lists.  As someone who never stops talking, it makes me a little nervous.  

Mystery & Thriller - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I just saw that this is getting made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon as the star.  I'm not a huge mystery fan, because I can never figure out whodunnit.  However, if everyone is going to keep talking about this book, I might need to give it a try.

Paranormal Fantasy - Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
This is the second book of the All Souls trilogy.  The series gives off a thinking woman's Twilight vibe.  Shadow of Night is quite lengthy, but the world that Harkness paints is very vivid. The heroine is strong-willed and intelligent, and doesn't grate on your nerves like another female lead in a certain vampire series (ahem... Bella).  Harkness is a historian, so at times Shadow of Night reads like a history lesson disguised as a romance at times.  But the medicine tastes good enough that you don't mind.
Will Shadow of Night Keep You Up At Night?  Yes.

Romance - Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James
I am a sucker for reading the pop culture juggernauts of the day, just so I can say I did.  This rationale only excuses me for reading the first installment of this series, but not the next two!  Did I stay up all night reading these?  Yes, I did.  Did I like myself for it?  No, I did not!  After the first book, I was skipping through the racy parts to get to the "story".  I know, I know... that wasn't what the author intended!  And, if you have kids of reading age in the house, HIDE THIS BOOK.
Will Fifty Shades Freed Keep You Up At Night?  Yes (but you won't feel good about it!)

Children’s Book - The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
    And here's where things get embarrassing... A few years ago, a friend told me about a series he'd read called "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" on his various business trips and how much fun they were.  With a recent B&N gift certificate burning a hole in my wallet, I ordered the set of five books.  Let's just say I read them in about a week. Written in a breathless style and with plenty of wit, these tales are entertaining and mildly educational at the same time.  I haven't read Mark of Athena, the recent installment of a Percy Jackson spin-off series, but I have it on reserve at the library.  A caveat: these books all follow the same formula, kind of like General Hospital, complete with amnesia and love triangles.  But, just like General Hospital, you don't mind!
Will Mark of Athena Keep You Up At Night?  Yes!

If you're interested in the rest of the winners on the Goodreads list, head over to their awards list.  Some of them, I think I'll tackle.  Some of them, I'll leave on the shelf!  You can guess which :)   Happy reading!

Oh, and we want to hear from YOU!  Did you read any of the books on this list?  Did you love them?  Did you hate them?  Leave a comment below and let's get the conversation going!