Archive for June, 2010

No Ruts Reading Challenge : Bronze Level Part 2

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Bronze Level – Read two fiction books: one by an author you’ve never tried before, and one from a genre you’ve never tried before.

Peter Tremayne, Council Of The Cursed

Peter Tremayne, Council Of The Cursed

Fiction Book #2 has been read. The book I read was titled The Council Of The Cursed, A Mystery Of Ancient Ireland (307 pages) and written by Peter Tremayne. Mr. Tremayne has written 17 books in this mystery series.

I choose to read The Council Of The Cursed because it was by an author I’ve never read, and it was a mystery, a genre that I don’t read.

The characters were very typical from what I’ve seen of mysteries while flipping through the TV channels. Someone always notices every detail and weaves together the who dunnits and whys. What bothered me were the attitudes and actions of the female lead character. She was very much like a modern day plucky TV character, set back in the times when females were more likely to be burned at the stake for being “different” (circa 650AD). The author explains the reasons for the character’s pluckiness were from being a princess and of a culture where women could own own property, but Golly Gee, plucky ducks don’t emotionally move me, or make me feel invested in the character’s well being.

I really tried to keep an open mind since this is a very popular storyline by this writer, but I struggled with it. Apparently one of the major clues was that the bad seed family all had the same eye color and looked alike. How I missed that as a clue escapes me. The story was really only unique in that I learned a bit about early Christianity in Europe.

What I took away from this book: Priests/monks and nuns used to be able to marry before 1049. Pope Leo IX (1049-54) sanctioned the rounding up of priests’ wives and children to sell them into slavery, and Pope Urban II (1088-99) reinforced celibacy by decree and force.

I grade the book a B because I must be ignorant about mystery genres so I have graded higher than I’d normally would. But mostly the bump to a B is because I learned something new about Christianity in the prologue.

No Ruts Reading Challenge Level completed: Bronze, Part 2 ( Read a fiction book from a genre you’ve never tried before. )

Discover more about the No Ruts Reading Challenge, which is ongoing until September, 2010.

No Ruts Reading Challenge : Bronze Level Part 1

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Bronze Level – Read two fiction books: one by an author you’ve never tried before, and one from a genre you’ve never tried before.

Larry McMurtry, Rhino RanchFiction Book #1 has been read. The book I read was titled Rhino Ranch (278 pages) and written by Larry McMurtry. At first I thought the author was a musician, but apparently my confusion was over Larry’s son, who is James McMurtry.

I choose to read Rhino Ranch because it was by an author I’ve never read, and I thought it was a Western, a genre that I don’t read. I found it very interesting that the chapters were only one to three pages long.

The characters were very likable and unique. The story, while unique with the flavor of cowboys and mysterious rhinoceroses, was filled with funny and ironic vignettes. The style of writing very much reminded me of Fannie Flagg’s slice-of-life fleshing out the characters ala A Redbird Christmas. Both stories were accepting of the human condition, although a fair bit more grit and sex talk found it’s way into the Rhino Ranch book. Yet, the story still felt somehow innocent, caring and involved. I wouldn’t have hesitated allowing my boys to read this book as young teens. At least there wasn’t a pornographic blow-by-blow sex scene, or obscene violence for violence sake.

Rhino Ranch turned out to be the last book in a series, but as an ending, it was very good. I might even go back and start this series from the beginning.

What I took away from this book: Rhinos can be mysterious, people are all oddballs (some more endearing than others), and Meth use has become problem that can hit home in several ways even if you aren’t involved with drugs.

I grade the book a solid A with my thanks to the author, Larry McMurtry for a good read.

No Ruts Reading Challenge Level completed: Bronze, Part 1 ( Read a fiction book by an author you’ve never tried before. )
Discover more about the No Ruts Reading Challenge

How To Join The No Ruts Reading Challenge

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I’m always open to reading. I also believe in supporting my friends in a good cause. Opening up minds to new ideas is always a good cause. So here I go. Sign me up for the No Ruts Reading Challenge. Because as Ellen Glasgow wrote, “The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.”

The No Ruts Reading Challenge

===Copied from Deperado Penguin===
The rules are simple:

Challenge runs from June 1 to September 1, 2010. Feel free to join in any time.

Bronze Level – Read two fiction books: one by an author you’ve never tried before, and one from a genre you’ve never tried before.

Silver Level – Bronze challenge PLUS read a book you weren’t planning to read because someone has given a bad review to. “Someone” can be a friend, a newspaper, a blogger, or a reviewer on a book website. If you read a review that made you think twice about reading the book, and you read the book anyway … it counts.

Gold Level – Bronze and silver challenges PLUS read a book by someone whose viewpoint/fundamental premise you disagree with. For examples: If you’re a Democrat, read some Ann Coulter. Subject does not have to be controversial, book can be any genre. If you think poetry should rhyme and read something by T.S. Eliot … it counts. If you think graphic novels are moronic – get someone in a bookstore to recommend one and read it.

You can include books you read for other challenges, books of any length – no rules other than those stated above.

If you’d like to join in, please go ahead and grab the graphic above, which was graciously designed for the challenge by the very talented Cindy at Media Medley. (Hey! That’s me!)
=======
Note! If you want to sign up for the challenge through the McLinky in Desperado Penguin’s blog, you’ll FIRST need to write a post in your blog (sort of like this post) stating your intent.
Then visit the No Ruts Reading Challenge.
Click the McLinky link to sign up and add your blog post.

Later, when you’ve written a review of a book in your blog, you’ll want to visit the No Ruts Reading Challenge = REVIEWS and post your link to your written review. Do visit this page each time you write a review and add a link to the new post in your blog.

Have fun and get out of your rut! Join the No Ruts Reading Challenge this summer!