Thursday, December 20, 2007

Currently Reading - Audience Participation!

It's been a while since we've done a Currently Reading post! Please, leave me a comment and let me know what you are reading and what's next on your to read pile!!

Right now, I am very into The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I really want to see the movie on the big screen, but I definitely want to finish the book first. I have had it on hold for ever, and it finally came in! I plan on getting some good reading time in this weekend - maybe DH and I can hit the movie on Sunday! Here is a review from Booklist:

In the first of a planned trilogy, Pullman has created a wholly developed universe, which is, as he states, much like our own but different in many ways--a world in which humans are paired with animal "daemons" that seem like alter egos, only with personalities of their own. The story begins at Jordan College in Oxford, where young Lyra Belacqua and her daemon, Pantalaimon, are being reared and educated by the Scholars. Although a lackluster student, Lyra possesses an inordinate curiosity and sense of adventure, which lead her into forbidden territory on the night her uncle, Lord Asriel, visits. He's there to solicit funds for a return journey to the distant arctic wastes, where he has observed and photographed strange goings-on, including a mysterious phenomenon called Dust that streams from the sky and a dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora, or Northern Lights, that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. After he leaves, Lyra finds herself placed in the charge of the mysterious Mrs. Coulter and in possession of a rare compasslike device that can answer questions if she learns how to read it. Already shocked by the disappearance of her best friend, Lyra discovers Mrs. Coulter's connection with the dreaded children-stealing Gobblers and runs away, joining a group of gyptians bound for the North to rescue missing children. Lyra has also learned that her uncle is being held prisoner in the North, guarded by formidable armored bears. Filled with fast-paced action, the plot involves a secret scientific facility, where children are being severed from their daemons; warring factions; witch clans; an outcast armored bear, who bonds with Lyra; and more. It becomes evident that the future of the world and its inhabitants is in the hands of the ever-more-resilient and dedicated Lyra. A totally involving, intricately plotted fantasy that will leave readers clamoring for the sequels.

Next up is Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I'm reading this for a new book club I have joined and I am really excited about it!! Here is a review from Publishers Weekly:

Edwards's assured but schematic debut novel (after her collection, The Secrets of a Fire King) hinges on the birth of fraternal twins, a healthy boy and a girl with Down syndrome, resulting in the father's disavowal of his newborn daughter. A snowstorm immobilizes Lexington, Ky., in 1964, and when young Norah Henry goes into labor, her husband, orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Henry, must deliver their babies himself, aided only by a nurse. Seeing his daughter's handicap, he instructs the nurse, Caroline Gill, to take her to a home and later tells Norah, who was drugged during labor, that their son Paul's twin died at birth. Instead of institutionalizing Phoebe, Caroline absconds with her to Pittsburgh. David's deception becomes the defining moment of the main characters' lives, and Phoebe's absence corrodes her birth family's core over the course of the next 25 years. David's undetected lie warps his marriage; he grapples with guilt; Norah mourns her lost child; and Paul not only deals with his parents' icy relationship but with his own yearnings for his sister as well. Though the impact of Phoebe's loss makes sense, Edwards's redundant handling of the trope robs it of credibility. This neatly structured story is a little too moist with compassion.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

In other news, I got free passes to an advanced screening of the movie The Kite Runner, which opens in theaters tomorrow. This is based on the book by the same title by author Khaled Hosseini. I thought it was an amazing book, and am looking forward to seeing the movie!!


Amanda said...

Wow! I am so jealous you are reading a copy of the Golden Compas. I want to read the book but it's impossible to find at the library and I'm not sure if I want to buy it :) I am currently reading The Queen's Bastard, a novel about the supposed child of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. AND you get to see teh Kite Runner!! I'm super duper jealous. I'm excited for our book club though!!! Yay!

Leslie said...

I have The Golden Compass series in my TBR pile, but I'm not sure when I'm going to read it. I am working on rereading The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman for my thesis. I just finished Gossamer by Lois Lowry (along the same lines as The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger).

Rhonda said...

I am currently reading Plum Lovin....and it's all your fault. You introduced me to Stephanie Plum and now I can't get enough!! What am I going to do when Janet Evanovich eventually ends the series?

Charlie said...

I loved the His Dark Materials trilogy -- I read it a year or two ago, back when everyone was waiting impatiently for more Harry Potter and searching for things that compared. Really nothing like HP, but I'm glad I read them. I'm currently reading The Used World, by Haven Kimmel. I like it, but it's going very slowly. No idea what will be next -- maybe Ursula Hegi's latest, which just came for me in at the library.

tmac96 said...

Ooooh, I want to see Kite Runner so bad. It keeps getting pushed back! :-( You'll have to let us know what you think of it!

Arielle said...

I can't wait to see The Kite Runner. I just saw The Golden Compass today. It was visually very wonderful and the acting was great too. I'd love to read the book. I'm currently reading Mosaic: Pieces of My Life by Amy Grant and also A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Happy Holidays!