Friday, December 30, 2011

Elle Ewok's Reading Goals for 2012

All my goals for 2012 generally relate to being a more productive person. I thought it would be fun to memorialize my reading goals for the coming year and see how I do come this time next year...

Reading Goal #1: Finish the 4 partially read novels that have been sitting on my nightstand for years. The sad part is these are not books I have purposefully abandonded. I have really like them so far and I'm not sure why I haven't finished them yet.
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand (1957)
  • In the Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (2007)
  • A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin (2005)
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy, Irving Stone (1961)
Reading Goal #2: Read the following Novels:

  • The Slynx, Tatyana Tolstaya (2007)
  • A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin (2011)
  • In Cold Blood, Truman Capote (1966)
  • Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov (1962)
  • Enders Game, Orson Scott Card (1985)
  • The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (2008)
  • Song of Kali, Dan Simmons (1985)
  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (1929)
  • The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (1988)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey (1962)
  • Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein (1959)
  • Dune, Frank Herbert (1965)
Reading Goal #3: Read at least 5 Non-fiction Books TBD.

Reading Goal #4: Read 2 short story collections preferably Nabokov and Flannery O'Connor.

Now look at how cute Gimli is:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thunderstruck, Erik Larson (2007)

Reviewer:  BeezusKiddo

Rating:  3 Pierogies

Review: Erik Larson knows he's got a formula that works, and he employs it with success time and time again. Like The Devil in the White City, in Thunderstruck, Larson juxtaposes important historical events with a grisly story of murder.


  would have liked Thunderstruck a lot more, if I hadn't read The Devil in the White City less than a month ago. The tone and pacing of both books is identical. All you do is swap out the historical facts, and you've got essentially the same book. Don't get me wrong, Thunderstruck is well written and engaging...I just don't recommend reading the books back to back, as it becomes tiresome.

Thunderstruck tracks Gugliemo Marconi's development of radio transmission technology alongside the story of Hawley Harvey Crippen, a meek, mousy doctor with a detestable fame-seeking wife. It's no secret Crippen is involved in murder (it says so on the book jacket), but the book hardly gets around to the murder part until the very very end. With the buildup in the description, I expected more gore. It wasn't scary, and I'm obviously watching too much American Horror Story, because I didn't even think it was that gruesome.

The last part of the book is pretty exciting. Scotland Yard begins investigating him, he tries to flee, and an exciting cat-and-mouse game ensues involving Marconi's radio technology. It's an interesting connection, even though I didn't find the Marconi storyline very interesting.

This book isn't a bad use of your time if you have some time to kill in an airport, but if you have something else to read that you're really excited about, I'd read whatever that is first.