Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some book ratings

I've had a flurry of reading over the last couple months.  I don't trust my ability to assign quality ratings since I'm influenced by what other people say about books or the opinions I hear about a writer or even just how much the books seems like it ought to be considered good.

So I'm using a more empirical scale:

Q     Quit reading the book.
Q+   Quit reading the book, but might read another book by the author.
R      Read the book, but probably won't read another book by the author.
R+    Read the book, will read more books by the author.

It actually takes me a while to truly quit a book -- usually about page 100 before I get irritated enough to dump it and decide that I'm not picking it up again.  Not sure about the qualitative difference between Q+ and R, thus no real star system.

The Tourist R+
I'm waiting for more modern era spy novels by this guy. I liked finding a modern spy novel that wasn't mired in the wars I can get mired in by turning on the news.

A Spy by Nature R
Up until the ending it's rather slow, but feels like an accurate description of a spy op.  The ending felt like it went a bit Hollywood, which was jarring compared to the rest of it.

Already Dead  and the rest of the series  R+
Was really reticent about this since I'm not big on vampire novels, but really dug the lean and nasty writing.

Closing Arguments  R+
Domestic life complicates theosophy and a mystic assault from beyond.

Magic to the Bone  Q
Our broke heroine spends her last ten bucks on a taxi.  Then her friend later gives her 100 bucks which she promptly blows on on more taxis.  Get a bus pass!  I got a hundred pages in and noticed I was starting to obsess over this taxi business instead of the story, so figured I'd move on.

Daemon  Q
I couldn't get past the killer remote control Humvee that FBI agents apparently didn't realize you could hide behind a thick tree in order to avoid.

The Breach  R+
Fun and fast-moving, one of two new authors from whom I'm definitely getting their second book.

Pandemonium  Q+
Some interesting writing style but I need to be fed regular little plot pellets like the reading rat I am.

Child of Fire  R+
Starts off fast and keeps moving.  What I particularly liked was the lead characters and their complex, evolving relationships. The second author where I'm definitely getting book two.

A Corpse in the Koryo  R  (first eBook read on iPad)
Really cool idea, a detective story set in North Korea where detective also has to navigate complexities of politics.  But the ending felt a little deus ex.

Songs of Innocence  R
This is pretty fucking dark!  Gritty pulp noir updated to today.

Horns  R+
I read and loved Heart-Shaped Box, then discovered this kid's lineage...  Anyway, the first book had already scored an R+ on its own.

Beautiful Lies  R+
Even though not paranormal fantasy, this is what provoked the Urban Fantasy Mary Sues post.  But the story was tense and fast-moving.  Gonna give Black Out a try.

American on Purpose  R
I suppose he'd have to re-incarnate in order to write a second biography.


dan said...

That's a lot of books in one post. When my life slows down. I might do a bunch of posts on books I've read in the last 3 or so years.

Some highlights:

Breath - Tim Winton
The Ice Storm - Rick Moody
Straight Man - Richard Russo

Some meh-lights:

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
The Brooklyn Follies - Paul Aster

Some lowlights:

Chronic City - Jonathan Lethem
The Intuitionist - Colson Whitehead

Steve Peterson said...

Actually, Pattern Recognition was one of the ones I started and couldn't stay through -- but I didn't make it that far so it feels a little unjust to judge it yet. The characters just grated on me.