I’m participating with the gang over at 5 Minutes for Books again today, where they’re asking the question, What’s on Your Nightstand? I’m not taking the question literally this time around, so you won’t get a picture of my nightstand. (Trust me, though, you don’t really want to see a picture of it today. Let’s just say that many of the surfaces around here could use some sprucing up.)
But I will tell you about three books that I’m either reading now or have recently finished.
First up, I’m reading through The Mysterious Benedict Society with C., my 9-year-old. We’re moving slowly — we often only have 10-15 minutes each evening to read together — but we’re reading it aloud together nonetheless. When I first suggested to C. that we read this book, he gave me a skeptical look and asked what it was about. I read him the back-cover blurb and told him that I had read a review of it at another blog and it sounded great. He wasn’t convinced. “Sounds boring.”
Well, when we stopped for the first night, because it was bedtime, he asked if we could please, please read a little more. Yep, he was hooked. And honestly, so was I. This book is well-written and pulls the reader in right from the start. We’re only about 100 pages in so far, but can’t wait to find out what happens to the gifted children who’ve been recruited for a very dangerous, but very important, mission. Check out Carrie’s blog for a thorough (though non-spoilery) review of The Mysterious Benedict Society. C. and I highly recommend it, and will most likely be reading the sequel next.
In my personal fiction reading, I’m about 3/4′s of the way through The Dead Whisper On. My opinion of this book? It’s weird. Dead people whispering to living people. But then you wonder, is it really a dead person whispering? And there’s some bizarre human-like creature called a golem that is made of clay and apparently cannot be destroyed. Like I said, weird. I’ll finish it — I’m intrigued enough to wonder how everything is going to turn out. But it’s still weird.
Before I wrap things up, I have to mention the last fiction book I read: The Host. The Host is about aliens taking over the world, and one alien / host body combination in particular.
(I know what you’re thinking now: Katrina only reads strange books about aliens and dead people. Not true. Usually, you can find me reading boring old mysteries about non-alien living people and non-whispering dead people.)
I picked up The Host after seeing it highly recommended by my friends Jennifer and Lisa. They were right on target; The Host was a fantastic book. Once I got past the halfway point, I almost couldn’t put it down. And once I finally finished it, I couldn’t start another fiction book for the next five days, because I wasn’t ready to move on. Whenever I do that, you know I loved the book. (Oh, and I cried quite a bit toward the end of the book, even though I recently told you I hardly ever cry over fiction anymore.)
The author’s website tags the book as “Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction” and I think that’s very accurate. I don’t mind some science fiction now and then, but when you’re reading The Host, you’re not even thinking about genre — you just want to know what’s going to happen to the characters you’ve grown so attached to.
Suspenseful, engaging, action-packed, The Host was my favorite novel so far this year. I did a little digging and discovered a rumor that the author, Stephanie Meyer, is working on a sequel to it. You can bet I’ll be pre-ordering that one.
So that’s what I’m reading. What about you? Click over to 5 Minutes for Books to read about more nightstands, or link up your own post.
Shameless Plug: The Fall Into Reading 2008 challenge will be getting underway here at Callapidder Days beginning September 22nd. All you have to do to participate is set some reading goals for the fall and then work toward them along with the rest of us. Check back September 8th for all the details!